Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vegetable Pancakes

Mock Fish or Vegetable Pancakes
Vegetable Pancakes
This is one of my favourite things to both create and eat... My Nan made them, and one of my earliest and fondest memories of her cooking involved her original version of these which, although I never understood at the time and still don't, she called "Mock Fish" ... and made them solely with potato. Mine is adapted to suit me and was a great way to get my kids to eat many veggies without complaint... you can adapt this to suit your tastes in your way also.
  • Grate into a large bowl similar amounts of your choice of vegetables ... I have used for this recipe sweet potato, potato, zucchini, pumpkin and onion... squeeze out as much of the liquid from the mix as you can.
  • Add to this a couple of spoons of flour and a lightly beaten egg to bind the mixture together.
  • Shallow fry in oil a spoonful or two of the mixture flattened out nice and thin... the vegetables are raw so they will need to be cooked all the way through.
  • Drain the patties on paper towel and repeat until all the mix is cooked.
  • Serve with a light salad mine is baby spinach, asparagus,thinly sliced yellow capsicum and crumbled feta cheese dressed with balsamic and a little olive oil.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quinoa

Broccoli and Quinoa Patties
Broccoli and Quinoa ("Qin Wah")Fritters
You know the old saying "the best thing since sliced bread" well I just gotta say that these patties in my opinion are "better than sliced bread" ... they are simply delicious and very very good for you. 
Quinoa is a grain like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseuducereal rather than a true cereal or grain. It is cooked in the same way as rice and in this recipe I have used the absorption method so that the grain will retain the flavour of the liquid added to it. The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals.Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids and good quantities of calcium, phosphorous and iron.

Firstly wash and place 1 cup of dry quinoa into a saucepan with 2 cups of stock of your choice for extra flavouring (water can be used instead)... bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes until all the liquid has absorbed... when cooked fluff up with a fork and transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
In the meantime steam a head of broccoli florets... mash with a fork and add to the mix.
Purée a tin of white beans and add them also (these will add protein and help to bind the mix and no one will even know they are added).
In a frying pan soften off a finely diced onion and the diced stems of a bunch of coriander... finely diced bacon can be added here also if you wish.
When the mix is cooled add a lightly beaten egg, a cup of mozzarella cheese, a large handful of diced fresh coriander (basil can be substituted) and salt and pepper.
Form the mixture into patties and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before shallow frying them to a golden brown... do this quickly in hot oil until heated through... serve with a tomato relish or similar to your taste.







Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Happy 12th Birthday Cup Cake Carousel
These are pretty special little cupcakes made all that
more exciting by the frosting and decorations...
It's a special girls birthday so a once a year splurge is acceptable...

"Happy 12th Birthday Tiarna"
·         Preheat the oven to 180 and pop your patty pans into a cupcake tin for extra support... or I have found if you use the silver paper patty pans they will stay upright much better than the paper ones do. If you only have paper perhaps a couple instead of one.
·         In a bowl sift together to aerate 1 and 1/2 cups of self raising flour, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt... set aside.
·         In a another large bowl with an electric mixer beat 125 grams of room temperature butter for a couple of minutes until creamy.
·         Continue beating for a few more minutes while gradually adding 1 and 1/3 cups of caster sugar...scrape the sides down every now and then.
·         Next beat in a teaspoon of vanilla extract... and 2 eggs one at a time to make sure they combine properly...keep scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
·         Next finish by combining the flour into the butter sugar mix...flour first in four batches, alternating with a cup of room temperature milk in three additions... ending with flour.
·         Divide the batter into the patty pans... this is quite a large batch of mix and I achieved 14 large and 14 small.
·         Bake in the preheated 180 oven for about 15-20 minutes... test with a toothpick... moist but clean... when cooked cool patty pans in the trays for a few minutes and then transfer the cakes to wire trays for complete cooling.

...and now for the pink frosting...
  • To decorate use a piping bag, large nozzle and heaps of fancy sprinkles decorate as you desire... top with a birthday candle and "make a wish come true".
  • In a large bowl and using an electric mixer beat for a couple of minutes 125 grams of room temperature butter until it is creamy.
  • Gradually add 1 cup of icing sugar while continuing to beat for a couple more minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add 1 more cup of icing sugar and about half of 1/4 cup of room temperature milk, continuing to beat well and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add 1 more cup of icing sugar and the remaining milk and beat well.
  • Add the the final 1 cup of icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat for about 5 minutes until light and creamy... if too soft add a touch more icing sugar... the more you continue to beat it the lighter, airier and creamier it will become. This mixture can be stored, bring back to room temperature and rebeat when ready to use.
To decorate use a piping bag, a large nozzle and heaps of fancy sprinkles... now get creative and
"Make a Wish Come True"
 
 




Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Margarita Pizza

Margarita Pizza
Margarita Pizza with Anchovies and Lumpfish Caviar
This is a wonderfully decadent pizza that you can make very simply with the same dough used in yesterday's blogspot if you have any left... I will however repeat it again here and I hope you give it a go, well worth the minimal effort it takes to make your own from scratch especially if you love the thin and crispy style pizza. 
    • Combine 300ml of warm water with a packet of instant dried yeast, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of caster sugar in a jug and stir to combine then cover and stand in a warm place for a few minutes until bubbles form on the surface.
    • Sift into a large bowl 3 cups of plain flour and add to this the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil...mix into a soft dough and turn out onto a floured board... knead for a few minutes until elastic in texture. Cut it into 6 to 8 pieces and proof them on a greased tray covered with a clean cloth in a warm place until they have doubled in size (about 20 minutes).

    • Top each pizza base with a spoon full of tomato paste spread evenly, sliced tomato, torn pieces of mozzarella or bocconcini, anchovies and torn basil leaves. 
    • Bake in a 180 oven until golden and crunchy (about 10 minutes), remove from the oven and place on a board and top with a little caviar and more fresh basil and then slice and serve.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Turkish Recipe

    Spinach & Feta Gozleme
    Turkish Recipe - Spinach & Feta Gozleme
    This is a traditional Turkish recipe that may also have origins in Greece. It is so wonderfully simple in its ingredient content that the flavours are really able to be appreciated... great cooked on a BBQ hot plate or fried in a pan and that is the only cooking required... This pastry is light, crisp and delicious and is easily made from scratch.
    • Combine 300ml of warm water with a packet of instant dried yeast, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of caster sugar in a jug and stir to combine then cover and stand in a warm place for a few minutes until bubbles form on the surface.
    • Sift into a large bowl 3 cups of plain flour and add to this the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil...mix into a soft dough and turn out onto a floured board... knead for a few minutes until elastic in texture. Cut it into 4 pieces and proof them on a greased tray covered with a clean cloth in a warm place until they have doubled in size (about 20 minutes).
    • Roll out each piece to approx 40x50cm rectangle and place a large handful of baby spinach on to one half and then crumble about 50 grams of marinated feta cheese on top along with some salt & pepper... I purchase a flavoured tub of feta and then add extra spices to it which usually includes fennel seeds and  cracked pepper corns... Fold dough over enclosing the filling and remove the air by gently pressing and pinch close the edges to seal.
    • Brush one side of the Gozleme with olive oil and place onto the hot plate for 2-3 minutes until golden brown then brush the top with some oil and flip over for a further 2-3 minutes until crisp... remove slice and serve with a wedge of lemon... don't miss this step its the best bit. Truly adds another dimension to this simple dish.

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Recipe for Poached Pears

    Ginger Poached Pears with Cinnamon & Honey
    Ginger Poached Pears with Cinnamon & Honey
    This recipe for poached pears is made absolutely delicious because of the couple of additions to the poaching fluid...pears are in abundance at the moment in my fruit and veg store and at a great price, too good to pass up.


    • Firstly peel and quarter your pears removing the core as you go or leave whole as you choose. I have used about 2.5 - 3 kilos of fresh Bosc Pears which cost about $3. 

      • Place them in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of honey, a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, a heaped teaspoon or two of cinnamon, a cup of Rochester Ginger Drink (non-alcoholic) or "Traditional Ginger Drink with the Kick of Two Angry Mules" or Stones Green Ginger Wine (alcoholic) and finally top  the saucepan up with a little water to just cover the fruit.
      • Simmer gently until the fruit is just cooked and serve either warm or cold both are just as nice...

      Wednesday, June 13, 2012

      Cheesecakes

      Sour Cream Cheesecake

      Sour Cream Layered Cheesecake

      Normally I would avoid baked cheesecake however on this occasion I could not resist trying this one as I had a batch of home made sour cream to use... my thought pattern was "how can a baked cheesecake which has been topped with yummy home made sour cream turn out dry" (classically baked are drier) to me it felt like they went together so this is the result... 

      "Happy Birthday Sharee ... This one is for you ... Enjoy!"

      • Crust ~ For a 20cm tin, crush and blend together in a food processor about 200grams of biscuits... I have used butter-nut snap, about 6 tablespoons of chopped cold butter and a teaspoon of your favourite spice... mine was cinnamon, press into the base of your pie dish and bake in a 180 oven for 10 minutes then allow this to cool before adding the 1st layer.
      • 1st layer of filling ~ Again in the food processor beat up 2 eggs add to this about 400 grams of room temperature cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of vanilla   paste, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt... pour this into the cooled crust and bake it in a 180 oven for 20 minutes...watch it closely so that it doesn't burn, let this cool also before proceeding with the 2nd layer.
      • 2nd layer of filling ~ Into a bowl and mixing by hand add 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste and tiny pinch of salt... spread over the top of the cooled 1st layer and brown the top, quickly, under a hot grill... cool before refrigeration.
      • Refrigerate in the pie tin overnight preferably... a little dry as anticipated but truly worth the wait !!!
         

      Monday, June 11, 2012

      Recipe for a cake

      Super Moist Orange, Chilli & Mango Liqueur Cake
      Super Moist Orange, Chilli & Mango Liqueur Cake
      I am a lover of all things creamy however in the case of this cake I add cream to the side so as not to take anything away from this truly delicious experience... truly just as nice without cream because it is filled with syrup and is super moist.
      Cakes are the only recipes I will give an ingredients list...in saying that I will still adapt it to suit my taste however I think the wet and dry ingredient amounts need to be pretty close to ensure success.
      • 170 oven and a 20cm springform greased cake pan.
      • Beat together 170 grams of softened butter and 170 grams of caster sugar until light fluffy and creamy.
      • Add to this the zest of an orange and 3 egg yolks (reserve the whites)
      • Sift 85 grams of self raising flour and add half of this to the butter mix and gently fold it through along with 85 ml of Mango Liqueur (or similar flavour of your choice, vodka is nice)
      • Measure out 85 grams of almond meal and add half of this along with the remaining flour to the mix and gently fold it through.
      • Add the last of the almond meal and gently folding through, we are trying to preserve as much air as possible.
      • Whisk the egg whites to peaks and add these in two batches, also quickly but gently folding it into the mix.
      • Spoon the mixture into the greased pan and bake in the centre of your oven until a skewer comes out clean about 45 minutes.

      • Meanwhile remove the zest of another orange and a lemon (if you have a sharp peeler thicker zest would be my preference however I have used a zester here as I don't)... squeeze the juice of the two oranges and the lemon and put this aside for the syrup.
      • Place the zest into a small saucepan along with 30grams of sugar, 100ml of water and a teaspoon or so of chilli flakes to start making the syrup... stir until the sugar has dissolved and simmer gently for a couple of minutes and then remove from the heat.
      • When the cake is cooked leave it to sit in the pan for a couple of minutes and then remove it onto a wire rack over a plate and finish off making the syrup.
      • Bring syrup back to the gentle boil add the juices and 2 1/2 tablespoons more of the Mango Liqueur... when heated through strain it into a poring jug and reserve the zest and chilli for decoration.
      • Prick the warm cake all over with a fork and take your time to gently pour the syrup over the cake until all of it has been absorbed... decorate with the zest and serve. 


      Equally nice 

      - warm or cold 
      - with or without a dollop of cream/yoghurt.

      Saturday, June 9, 2012

      Lentil Soup Recipe with Caramelised Onions...

       Lentil Soup with Caramelised Onions
      This lentil recipe soup is divine even if you are normally not a lover of lentils, very easy to make and so very good for you... the caramelised onions are a sweet delight to top this soup off beautifully. 
      • Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add to this 2 bay leaves, 2 diced carrots, 2 diced celery sticks, 2 diced onions and 2 minced garlic cloves...fry this off for a few minutes stirring continuously until the onion is soft and golden.
      • Next add a 1 large diced tomato, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 cup of red lentils that have been washed and 1 litre of chicken stock... cook for about 40 minutes until the lentils are cooked through completely.
      • Meanwhile throw 2 sliced red onions into a frying pan with a pinch of salt and soften until they glisten adding  a dash of balsamic and the same of maple syrup to enhance the sweetness of the onions.
      • Blend the soup with a stick blender until the desired texture is reached and serve the soup hot with a dollop of the warmed onions on top... 
      "don't tell them it's good for them and they will eat it by the bowl full"




      Monday, June 4, 2012

      Ginger and Carrot Soup Recipe

      Ginger and Carrot Soup 
      Scientifically speaking, eating one serve of carrots a day has been correlated to reduce the risk of heart attack and some types of cancer... add to this mix the addition of the five best cancer fighting spices... garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and you have not only a healthy soup but also one of the sweetest soups that the whole family will love.
      • Soften some red onion in a little butter and add to this fresh minced garlic, fresh grated ginger and fresh grated turmeric... if you don't have fresh dried will suffice however do yourselves a favour and invest in the fresh herbs and spices when your doing your veggie shopping you'll wonder why you waited so long... true!
      • When softened add your diced carrots, a small amount of diced sweet potato for a thicker textured result, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a sprinkle of cayenne, a teaspoon of vegetable stock powder... stir and coat everything in the butter and yummy spices to start the cooking process for about 5 minutes... then finally add enough hot water to cover the amount of veg you have used as this will govern the amount of soup you will make...don't peel your carrots as the majority of their goodness lies in or just below the skin... wash only.
      • Soup is cooked in about 15 minutes once the carrots have softened and cooked through... puree with a stick blender and serve... 

      ...   delicious food   ...