Saturday, 22 December 2007

Fettucini with Sweet Tomato Sauce & Baked Ricotta


IM BACK!! I have not posted for 2 months! And it has been very frustrating! Over the last two months I've had a lot of changes in my life. I lost my job as my employer developed terminal cancer and closed down the practice. When I finished up there in late October I took two weeks off and went to Queensland to visit my brother and his wife who are expecting their first baby in April. Then I started a new job which has much much longer hours than my previous job! And on top of that Andy started a new job as a truck driver, travelling all over Australia - so I'm home alone a lot more - thus no one to cook for! :-( But I'm on Xmas holidays now, and so is Andy - so I finally finally was able to cook last night. And so this was the choice. Andy requested pasta, and I'd had my eye on this Jamie Oliver recipe for some time...

It was really really simple. I feared it would be a bit bland once I actually started putting the ingredients together. But it was delicious. Really filling, yet very light. Andy described it as refreshing. Didn't take long. Incredibly simple. And really yum served with hot crusty garlic bread..

450 gram piece of ricotta cheese
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 flat teaspoon of dried oregano
1 flat teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a knob of butter
2 x 400g tins of good quality plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
455g fettucini
a handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
2 handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Rub the ricotta all over with the olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli and oregano. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and firm. In a pan, slowly fry the onion and garlic in the butter and a good drizzle of olive oil. Cook for four minutes until sweet and softened. Add the tomatoes, simmer gently for about 15 minutes, then break the tomatoes up with a spoon. Add the balsamic vinegar and the sugar and stir until you have a fine tomato sauce.

Meanwhie, bring a large pan of salted water to teh boil and cook teh fetuccini according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain and reserve some of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with teh tomato sauce and add a little of the reserved water to loosen if necessary. Correct the seasoning carefully to taste, and then, working quickly, add most of the basil and parmesan cheese. Place into a warmed bowl, rip over some extra basil and grate over a little extra parmesan. Either crumble the baked ricotta over the pasta, or serve it at the table with a spoon in it and let everyone crumble some over their plates...

E.

December Daring Baker's Challenge - Yule Log


And so, it was time for my fifth Daring Bakers Challenge! I can’t believe it! I never believed I was worthy, let alone capable of successfully completing 5 challenges! (I had to skip November as our oven door exploded into hundred’s of pieces).

This month Lis and Ivonne, the creators of the Daring Bakers group I am a part of, took control and set the challenge - the Yule Log. I didn’t know anything about them. When I Googled it and saw a pic, I recognised it.

I waited till the last possible opportunity to make and give it as a Christmas gift to the gorgeous Madden sisters. I have to say, I went in pretty confident, didn’t really pay close attention. Somehow that worked for me, as I had no problems with the making side of things. I’ve been checking in on our Daring Bakers website, and quite a few people had problems with the buttercream, for example. I had made the genoise style cake previously and I have to tell you it was so much easier with my new sexy red KitchenAid!

Unfortunately, I got too big for my boots and forgot to put the cake smeared with the buttercream in the fridge before I rolled it up. Once the cake had cooled down I applied the buttercream and rolled it and the bloody thing cracked on each turn! Urgh. I was devastated! I powered on and smeared the whole thing with the best tasting frosting I have ever, ever made or tasted and tried to make it pass for a log. As you can see it didn’t have too much luck.

You need a piping bag for the meringue mushrooms. I don’t have one, but will be buying myself one soon! I tried to make my own from bakingpaper. Therefore, my mushrooms didn’t really work. Good trick though, I’d like to try them again.

I’m pleased with the cooking and tasting side of this fun December challenge.

The recipients of the Yule Log, loved it and said the taste was divine, so all was well in the end.
I’ll definitely be making this again and will endeavour to make it appear more like a log. I‘ll know when to pay attention!

If you’d like to see how the other Daring Bakers went please visit our blogroll.

Plain Genoise:
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup plain flour
¼ cup cornflour

Coffee Buttercream:
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
340g unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons brandy

one 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200C.

Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so
the water is simmering.

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger - it should be warm to the touch).

Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume.

The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.

While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornflour.

Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t overbake and become too dry or it will not roll properly. (Mine only need 5 minutes).

While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.

Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Filling and frosting the log:
Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.

Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.

Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper.

Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).

Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.

Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.

Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end.

Position the larger cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.

Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump.

Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.

Transfer the log to a platter and decorate with your mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.

Meringue Mushrooms:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup icing sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 110C.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.

Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each ½ inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, ¾ inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and ¾ inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.
Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.

Garnish your Yule Log with the mushrooms.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Beef Curry (No fat if you wish)

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We're on this ridiculous diet. One of the 7 days we're allowed only beef and tomatoes. Last week I struggled with this particular day, so this week I decided to try a curry without any fat. For all you slim people, follow the recipe below. Anyone like me, struggling to lose a few pounds - I toasted the whole spices (no oil) in the pan and then dumped everything else and allowed it to simmer for 3 hours. It was fantastic. It was incredibly difficult for me to restrain myself and not fry off all the spices and onion etc like the usual ceremony for curries so I was surprised it still tasted great!

2 tins of tomatoes
3 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods, crushed
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup of water
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
400 gm diced beef
salt
2-3 tbsp of oil
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, chopped
fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a pan and when hot add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamon, chill and bay leaves.

When the seeds start to pop, add the onion, ginger and garlic and stir till it a nice golden brown and earthy smell.

Add the tins of tomato, beef, water, salt, turmeric and ground cumin.

Cover and simmer on a low heat for 1 to 3 hours. The longer the better. You want the tomatoes to become nice and thick. Depending on how long you are going to leave it on the heat, add the potatoes and carrots for the last 30-40 minutes.

Remove from heat, garnish with the chopped coriander.

S

Monday, 17 December 2007

Christmas Cake



I’m on and off with giving everyone goods from my kitchen. It’s been a few years I think. Last time was litres and litres a sweet chilli sauce from scratch. That was a never ending task, I swear, I was sticky for weeks.

This year I couldn’t decide what to make. I tossed around many ideas. In the end, I picked up all my baking courage and attempted the Christmas Cake.

I had to make quite a few so there were bowls and bowls of soaking fruit. I made them in 2 at a time, which my largest bowl was only just able to take. This morning, my fussy boss (who will be a recipient) moaned of the Christmas Cake he got on the weekend and how it resembled the Sahara Dessert and he threw I away! Oh dear, I hope mine is better! When we taste tested we were impressed, it’s moreish to say the least!

500g sultanas
300g currants
175g seedless raisins
150g dried apricots
1 large tablespoon bitter marmalade
150g mixed peel
Grated zest of 2 oranges
120ml brandy
300g plain flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp salt
220g softened unsalted butter
200g light-brown sugar
4 large free-range eggs
100g blanched almonds
Glace cherries


Put all the dried fruit, marmalade and the orange zest into a large non-reactive bowl mix thoroughly, and pour in the brandy and mix again. Leave for 24 hours at room temperature, turning the mixture once or twice to distribute the brandy evenly.

Preheat the oven to 140C and grease a 24cm round cake tin. Flatten out a cardboard box and cut a round to fit the base of the cake tin and line with baking-paper.

Sift the flour, spices and salt into a large bowl.

Cream the butter and brown sugar until pale and thick and the sugar has dissolved. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add slowly a tablespoon at a time into the butter and sugar mix. If you hurry this process it can curdle, so take your time. When all the egg is in, gently fold in the spiced flour and then fold in the soaked fruits.

Tip the batter into the prepared tin. Smooth the top and decorate with the blanched almonds and glace cherries. Stand a baking dish of water in the oven, on the shelf below the cake, which will help the cake stay moist. Bake for 2 and a half to 3 hours.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cake in a doubled layer of baking-paper and then in a doubled layer of foil and store in an airtight tin.

S

Friday, 14 December 2007

Apologies for the lack of posts

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How good does all that look? Mmm. We returned home to Adelaide for my Dad’s 60th birthday. This is the wonderful Indian meal we had at Jasmin (where I worked once upon a time). Thanks for making it all so special Amrik and his team.

My oven exploded (ye, its great for all that Christmas baking I had planned!) and I’ve been detoxing for 10 days, so you truly don’t even want to hear what has been passing my lips, let alone see it! I love this blogging business, but my hips really don’t, so I had to take desperate measures. Sorry to be a bore, but I have a few things planned for the weekend, so come check it out next week :)

S

Thursday, 6 December 2007

My Mums Dutch Apple Pie

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My gorgeous Mum made this apple pie for my Dads birthday the other day. My Mum is amazing in the kitchen. Many of my friends hold on to memories of her cooking years later. The thing is, she is not so good at baking. Her magic is with savouries and dinners. However there is one thing she can bake - an apple pie, and wow, is it perfect every time!

On your birthday in Holland, the tradition is that everyone comes over. Its a visiting day as such. Its a great tradition as you get to see everyone. I don't think it would work in our Aussie culture though, as its announced and everyone expects cake and coffee. 'Gebakje' its called, usually served with lots of cream.

So this is what Mum made for all the visitors who came over for Dads 60th birthday this year. They were pretty lucky if you ask me!

300 grams plain flour
200 grams butter
150 grams caster sugar
2 eggs

Filling:
1 kg granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
100 grams sugar
100 grams sultanas, rinsed under cold water
Ground cinnamon
lemon rind
2 tbs flour
apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Mix the flour, butter (cut the butter into fine pieces), egg and caster sugar in a bowl and knead into the dough with your hands till smooth.

Mix the apples slices, with the sultanas, sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind and 2 tbs of flour.

Roll out the dough [in between sheets of clingwrap] with a rolling pin. Fit this into an buttered tin and cut off the overhanging edges.

Add the apple mixture into the tin.

Roll out the left-over dough and cut long and shorter strips and place these in lattice style over the top of the apple pie. Cut the overhanging edges.

Bake for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and brush the top with apricot jam.

Serve with sweetened cream.


Happy birthday Daddo xx

S

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Melanie's Chocolate Cake

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We moved around a lot when I was a kid. To be fair, as an adult I haven't really stopped. This has its up and down sides as you can probably imagine.

A huge positive is the number of wonderful people who have influenced my life and my character along the way, some of which I didn't realise until years later. Recently I have been back in touch with one such individual, Melanie. We were dear friends in the first few years I was in highschool, I moved away and we lost touch. I've really enjoyed the reading what shes now doing with her life and where its taken her, its comforting to read someone's familiar style with a new twist.

I have 2 clear memories of hanging out at her house, one was her gorgeous cat and the other was Melanie's Chocolate Cake. I hadn't made it for years and attempted it on the weekend and it was just as easy and as tasty as I remember.

Ah ye, BTW, ignore my decorating skills, it was my first real attempt. I have some practicing to do!

1 1/3 cup self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 oz butter
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Grease tin and pre-heat oven 180C.

All dry ingredients together in a bowl and add milk, vanilla and butter and beat for 2 minutes.

Add all the eggs and beat for a further 2 minutes.

Bake for 25-40 minutes.
S

Friday, 30 November 2007

Mid-Week Pasta

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10 slices of pancetta
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 lemon (juice and zest)
4 tomatoes, diced
Mushrooms, sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
Small handful grated parmesan
Pasta


Put the slices of pancetta under a hot grill allow to get crispy (this should only take a minute or 2). Once completed allow to sit on some paper towel and once cool, roughly chop.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to instructions.

Meanwhile, heat a glug of olive oil in a large fry pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and the zest of half a lemon until soft. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes.

When the pasta is cooked and drained, put it back in the pan and add the lemon juice, crispy pancetta, the mushrooms etc from the fry pan, basil, parmesan and salt and pepper and stir well.

S

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Mostaccioli

Something rather odd occurred yesterday. I was released from the office early. This is the type of news I don’t need to be told twice, so I scurried out the door and was home 2 hours earlier than usual. I decided to bake and found this wonderful recipe for chocolate cookies in my pile of “to do” recipes. Everyone who’s tasted them loves them and they weren’t difficult to make. I’d never done glazed cookies before, I think it’s a nice touch.

This recipe came from The Canadian Baker website, and called for walnuts, which I didn’t have, so I used hazelnuts instead, which worked great.

¼ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ cups plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts


Glaze
1 ¼ cups icing sugar
¼ cup brewed coffee
½ tsp vanilla


Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and add the egg.

In another bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and salt.

Add this half of this dry mix to the butter mix with a little milk and beat well. Add the rest of the dry mix and milk and mix again.

Add the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and cover and pop into the fridge for 2 hours till firm.

After 2 hours preheat the oven to 180C and line your baking sheets with baking paper.

Roll 1 tbsp of the mixture into balls and place onto the tray an inch apart.

Bake for about 12 minutes (until tops begin to crack). If you used 2 trays, and remember swap the trays from top to bottom of the oven at the half way point.

Allow the cookies too completely before glazing.

For the glaze whisk together sugar, coffee and vanilla and drizzle 1 tablespoon on each cooled cookie and allow to set.
S

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Pad Thai (my 1st attempt)

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Our local Thai restaurant (Thairiffic - great name, huh?) is probably our most frequented restaurant. Whenever we go there, or any other Thai restaurant, I always order Pad Thai. Personally, I think I'm quite the expert after eating many versions of this dish and spending some time with a Thai chef years ago in London.

I don't recall attempting my own before, so when I saw this Nook and Pantry's attempt, I thought it was time. I gathered all the ingredients and tried it last night. It wasn't too hard, and the taste wasn't bad at all, but it didn't taste like my favourite one at Thairiffic. I will be attempting Pad Thai again, playing around with this recipe. If anyone has any hot tips, please, please let me know.
a
Sauce
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
Chili powder to taste
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1 pack rice noodles
Firm tofu (you can use chicken or prawns or whatever you like really)
2 eggs
Vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finally chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
2 Tbsp minced dried shrimp or pounded until fluffy with a mortar and pestle
Garnish with garlic chives or coriander
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 tbsp ground peanuts

Soak the rice noodles in warm water. Don't soak too long as you want them just under done, as they will continue cooking in the pan. If you're using dried shrimp, soak them in hot water for a few minutes and drain. Put all your sauce ingredients in a small pan and and simmer until dissolved.

Next, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Add your tofu (or whatever you're using) and pan fry for a few minutes. Add about 2 tablespoons of the sauce and fry for a second and remove from the wok just and set aside.
a
Add some more oil to your wok (you'll need to be generous as you don't want the noodles to stick). Fry the the garlic, dried shrimp and onions for a short moment and add the drained noodles. Then add about 1/2 cup of the sauce and stir fry until the noodles are the edible. If the pan is getting dry, add some water.
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Add your eggs in the middle of the wok or skillet and let it set a bit before tossing it with the noodles. Add some of the bean sprouts and your tofu (or whatever you're using) back to the noodles and stir fry until everything is warmed through.
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To serve, sprinkle with ground peanuts, coriander/garlic chives, bean sprouts as a garnish and serve with extra chilli and a wedge of lime.
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S

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber and Lime Salsa

Salmon is my favourite, and its Tony's too. Yum. We don't seem to buy it often though, as its hard to get decent, fresh salmon near us. I managed to get some for this past weekend to barbeque on our long weekend at the beach. It was delicious and I was very pleased with how I prepared it.

Salmon:
1 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vegetable oil plus additional for brushing pan
1 tsp ground coriander
2 salmon fillets


Salsa:
1 lime
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 tbs finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tbs finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sugar, or to taste
¼ tsp salt

First you need to marinate the salmon. Stir together lime juice, honey, oil, and coriander in a shallow dish.

Add salmon and rub with the marinade all over and allow to sit and marinate at room temperature, turning over once, 15 minutes. (Do not marinate longer).

While salmon marinates prepare the salsa by combining all the ingredient in a bowl and set aside.

Heat up the bbq or the grill pan till hot. Remove the salmon from marinade grill the fish until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve topped with salsa and whatever else you like.

S

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Potato Wedges



I've made these babies a few times now, and they are a huge hit. The original recipe, from Chocolate and Zucchini uses flour, but they work much better with breadcrumbs. It makes them even crunchier!

Please make them, they're well worth the effort and I promise you will love them. I've been serving them with this fantastic new mayonnaise I discovered - Doodles Creek Wasabi Mayonnaise. Wow, my mouth is watering just writing this. This range of mayo's is perfect, its creamy and not sweet like the usual Australian mayonnaise. I guess that is the Dutchie in me.

PS. Today we hit the 10,000 hits on BCM. It took us 3 and a half months! Not bad huh?

Oil (I used vege, you can use whatever you like or butter)
approx 15 potatoes scrubbed but not peeled and cut into wedges

1/4 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbs parmesan, finely grated
2 tsp mustard seeds, crushed in a mortar

1 1/2 tsp chicken salt
1 tbs paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder, to taste
Fresh black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Oil a large baking sheet and place in the oven to warm it up.

In a freezer bag mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan, mustard seeds, chicken salt, paprika, chilli and pepper.

Cut the potatoes into wedges and add to the bag and shake well to cover all the potatoes in the seasoning.

Next, remove the hot tray from the oven, put the wedges on the tray and bake for 30 minutes. After half an hour, turn the potatoes and bake for another 20-30 minute until nice and golden. Serve with whatever your heart desires or with a small bowl of sour cream and sweet chilli sauce or mayonnaise works great too.

S

Monday, 19 November 2007

Easy, tasty, tender BBQ Chicken

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We were a pair of lucky ducks who got to go away for 2 long weekends at the beach in a row! Knowing what I did I planned ahead and found a couple of recipes to try out on the barbeque. One was this ‘foolproof grilled chicken’ recipe from Epicurious.

This meal was perfect. I had never brined chicken and was new to the whole experience. I thought of skipping it but in the end, I had enough time so I made the brine and put the chicken in overnight. Let me tell you, it was well worth the effort! Wow, it made the meat so tender. Yum.

There were only 2 of us, so I cut the recipe down a fair bit as the original serves 6. Heres what I did.

1 litre cold water
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tsp salt
3 chicken breasts, each cut into 3 pieces
4 limes,
2 tbs fish sauce
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
I handful fresh mint, finely chopped
1 handful fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil


First you need to brine the chicken, up to 6 hours in advance. To start with Bring water, sugar, and salt to the boil in a large pot, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Cool completely. When cool add the chicken and pop this in the fridge with a lid for 6 hours or more (I did it overnight).

Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry.

Whisk together lime juice (3 limes), fish sauce, garlic, mint, coriander, chilli flakes, and remaining teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking until combined.
Turn on the bbq and let it get nice and hot for 10 minutes or so and then turn down the heat to moderately high.

Sear chicken on the bbq and close or covered with lid, turning over once, until well browned for about 5 - 10 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your chicken). Turn off 1 burner to let the chicken cook through, approx another 10 - 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to bowl with vinaigrette and turn to coat, then transfer to platter to keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

While the chicken is resting in the vinaigrette, grill lime halves, cut sides down, uncovered, over lit burner until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes, then transfer to platter with chicken. Serve limes with chicken and serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Next time, I want to try the Mediterranean vinaigrette for chicken by whisking together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 minced large garlic clove, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, and 1 tsp salt, then add 1/3 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking.
S

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Amaretti

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Amaretti are one of my favourite cookies to enjoy when I’m out for a coffee. I always thought there was something complicated about making them and never thought twice about making them. I have now discovered there’s nothing to them, they’re quick and easy to make. This is not a good thing. I think I ate almost the whole batch (um, it’s a small batch but) in one evening apart from the few I let Tony have. They’re so good!! My Dad would love these, almonds are his favourite, they’re crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft inside, and not overly sweet.

(makes 12 cookies)
100 grams ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg white
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract

Preheat over to 180C.

Whisk together almonds, sugar and flour in a bowl to combine. Then mix in egg white and both extracts until well combined.

Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on a parchment line cookie sheet. Flatten the balls of dough slightly. (Note: I like my amaretti soft so I don't flatten the balls of dough too much. If you want the cookies to be less soft, flatten the balls more.)

Bake at 180C for 13-14 minutes or until lightly golden.

S

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Oven Baked Sausage Ragu

Jamie Oliver made this one of his recent series when he was doing a special on tomatoes. He made it outside in the garden, in a wood oven and assorted tomatoes and it looked wonderful.

I have made this several times and its delicious, especially when tomatoes are plentiful. It takes a bit of time, but not a lot of work. This is a really “boys” recipe I find. Crusty bread, sausages and loads of flavour.

Here's what I cam up with after watching this Jamie episode and making it a few times now.

Olive oil
6 strips Pancetta/bacon
About 15 - 20 small tomatoes
6 bay leaves
Thyme
8 thick sausages
Balsamic vinegar and crusty bread to serve

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large, deep tray put the bacon/pancetta with some oil and put in the oven for a few minutes till crispy.

Once its crispy, remove from the oven, add the bay leaves and thyme (rosemary or oregano work well too, or all 3) and toss them in the and let them sizzle.

Cut the stalks from the top of the tomatoes and put them in the tray, with the open stalk part facing down to soak up the oil and let juices flow into tray. Drizzle with olive oil and put them back in the oven for 10-20 minutes.

Rub olive oil lightly all over the sausages.

Take the tray out of the oven and pinch off the skins of the tomato. (I have skipped this step and no one seems to mind).

Add the the sausages to the pan and push them in between the tomatoes.

Place about 4 whole pieces of garlic unpeeled through the mix. Add more olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.

Put the tray back in oven for an hour, turning the sausages once or twice throughout.

After an hour, remove the tray from the oven and serve by tearing up a big crusty roll, spoon the sausages and tomato with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to finish.

As there is only 2 of us at home, we usually have a fair bit left over. What I usually do is, slice the sausages and then roughly chop the rest of it the next day. Add all this to a pan and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes while you cook some pasta and mix them together, the flavours are sensational!

S

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Toffee Apple Tart

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I came across this recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website and decided our weekend away at the beach, with a couple of friends, was a good time to have a go.

I didn’t read the recipe properly, so if you’re going to make this, be aware that you need to start a few hours before you plan to serve it.

It wasn’t a difficult tart to make, however there were several different steps during the preparation. The end result was a rich oozing caramel with tart apples and soft crumbly pastry. I could not finish my slice, others did though… If I was to make this again, which I think I will, I would only use one tin of condensed milk and use a deeper tart pan, a couple more apples, and push the apple slices into the caramel, and maybe even a lattice of pastry on top.

On a side note, we were all very excited about the end result of the condensed milk boiled for 3 hours, it was the perfect caramel and oh, so easy!

Pastry:
125g butter
100g icing sugar
a small pinch of salt
255g/9oz flour
zest of ½ a lemon
2 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold milk

Filling:
2 x 397g tins of condensed milk
4 granny smith apples
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Start this tart at least 3 hours before you want to serve. Firstly you need to pop the unopened tins of condensed milk in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and reduce the heat and simmer constantly for 3 hours with the lid on. Keep in mind the liquid will evaporate so keep an eye on the water level always covering the tins ‘cos they’ll explode. After 3 hours, switch the heat off, drain the water and set them aside to cool.

Next comes the pastry. This also needs 2 hours. I just put all the ingredients in the food processor and it produced a ball of dough that I floured lightly. Don’t play with it too much as it will ruin the texture. Roll it into a large sausage shape and wrap in clingfilm. Put it in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.

After an hour, take it out of the fridge and slice it up and line a 28cm tart mould with the slivers. Push them together to form the case and tidy up the sides by trimming off any excess. Place into the freezer for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC.

Take the pastry case out of the freezer and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Peel and slice the apples and toss in the icing sugar.

Take the pastry out of the oven and smear the caramel you produced from the condensed milk over the pastry.

Scatter the apples on top and pour any remaining juices over.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.

S

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

I recently had a gorgeous and very pregnant friend of mine over for dinner with some others. I wanted to make something comforting, easy and not complicated or overly expensive. I decided on cannelloni. I then thought maybe I should check if there are things she cannot or will not eat. The answer was ricotta. I'd already bought everything for the cannelloni, so I invited some friends over later in the week and we enjoyed this meal with a nice bottle of Barossa Shiraz, salad and garlic bread.

1 onion, chopped
Zest of half a lemon
3 bunches English spinach, trimmed, shredded
300g ricotta cheese
250g packet cannelloni pasta
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 440g can peeled whole tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Preheat oven to 200°C. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach. Cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Process in a food processor with ricotta and oregano until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir thru the egg and lemon zest.

Make sauce by heating the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until sauce thickens.

Lightly grease a 2-litre capacity casserole dish. and spread 1/3 of the sauce over base of dish. Spoon spinach and ricotta mixture into cannelloni tubes. Place into dish. Spoon over remaining sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and tender.

S

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Gobi Manchurian – Cauliflower Curry

I have 2 gorgeous younger sisters. One, Surya seems to be an avid fan of The Baker and the Curry Maker, which is fantastic. Occasionally she sends me ideas, recipes, subtle hints etc and I love it.

Surya sent me an email recently that she had been meaning to mention this dish, it was amazing, yummy and something we might like. This is the link she sent me. http://kitchenwonders.blogspot.com/2006/07/gobi-manchurian_02.html

Ever obliging, Tony and I made this dish. He loved it, I wasn’t as excited. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty, I think I built it up a little too much. Its an Indian cross Chinese dish I believe.
Next time, I wouldn’t fry the cauliflower; I’d just steam them and add more ginger, garlic and chilli to the mix.

250g (approx) cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp chilli powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 green chilli, finely sliced
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
5 to 8 curry leaves
Oil, to deep fry
Salt to taste
Bi-carb soda

Make a slightly thick batter with cornflour and flour dissolved in water, add the ginger and garlic, ½ tsp red chilli powder, salt and a pinch of bi-carb soda to it.

Heat the oil till hot.

Coat the florets with the batter and then deep fry till it turns golden brown (lower the heat so as to cook them through).

Drain and set aside

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. the ginger and garlic and fry a little. Add the onions, green chillies and capsicum and saute till onions are soft and shiny but not brown.

Add the chilli powder, roughly torn curry leaves, tomato sauce and soy sauce.

Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornflour with half a cup of water and add to the pan.

Add the fried cauliflower florets and mix well.

Serve immediately with chopped spring onions or coriander leaves.

S

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Hummingbird Cupcakes

I thought I’d make some cupcakes to make a few people at work smile, as it’s been miserable lately. Mary over at Alpineberry made these a few months ago and I thought they’d work well plus there is a crazy woman I work with who claims I always bring in chocolate stuff. Firstly, ah no, I don’t and secondly, what would be the problem if I did? Like I said, crazy.

I got a gorgeous sparkly red Kitchen Aid for my birthday recently and want to give that thing a run for its money, but something is going on…. Every time I think – ooo I can use my Kitchen Aid this time, seems to not really need it once I get into the thick of things.

Anyway, once I was in the thick of this recipe I realised this was going to produce a LOT of cupcakes! In the end I think it was 46, although I’m not sure as a few were eaten before the count. They were small cupcakes though. Australian patty-pans. Maybe America has bigger cupcakes? I think next time I’d do them as muffins. And I’d add more cinnamon and mixed spice. My sister Surya tells me I’m heavy handed with spices so I talked myself out of adding more while mixing, but wish I had as it was way too subtle.

Sorry, I’m rambling. The point is everyone loved them, everyone ate several of these pineapple-y, banana-ery cakes.

3 cups plain flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice3
40g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups diced banana, chopped
1 ¼ cups diced fresh pineapple, chopped

Preheat oven to 180C.

Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice into a large mixing bowl.

Stir in melted butter, eggs and vanilla until just combined. Gently fold in pineapple and banana.

Fill the patty-pans about 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
250g cream cheese, softened at room temp
115 grams unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups icing sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until light and creamy. Beat in the icing sugar until well combined.

S

Monday, 5 November 2007

Roast Tomato, Mushroom, Haloumi Salad

We had gorgeous weather on the weekend and after a day out and about I whipped together a hearty but summery salad that went down quite a treat. It was late in the afternoon and we were going out for dinner so I didn’t want anything too much, yet we were really hungry.

It was a taste sensation, with sweet rich tomatoes, salty hot cheese, tangy soft mushrooms and peppery rocket.

Oven-dried tomatoes
Portobello mushrooms
Balsamic vinegar
Seeded mustard
Haloumi
Olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Rocket

I had an excess of tomatoes and for the first time tried oven-dried tomatoes, which I popped into the oven before we went out. Oven-drying tomatoes brings out their flavour and sweetness ten-fold.

Heres how I did it:

Preheat oven to 100°C.

Remove core from tomatoes and halve or quarter lengthwise (this depends on the look that you want - halved tomatoes will take longer to dry). Sprinkle cut surfaces with salt and pepper.

Place tomatoes, cut side up on wire racks over baking trays; bake in preheated oven 1 - 4 hours. Check tomatoes to test their dryness. If necessary bake further until dried as desired.

I worked at a fancy Indian restaurant some years ago, and one of my favourite things on the menu were Tandoori Mushrooms. I stayed on at this restaurant much longer than I should have as I loved the team we had there, but also in the naive hope that I would gain some of secrets to their famous recipes. I always asked questions and tried to pick up what the cooks were up too, but didn’t have too much luck. The mushrooms are probably the closest I can get to anything they made. I have attempted those mushrooms often, and although they’re not perfectly like the ones at my old work place, they’re fantastic.

What I do is, combine some balsamic vinegar, seeded mustard, and salt and pepper and a splash of water and let the mushrooms seep up this mixture. Next, I remove them from the marinade and put them under a hot grill for 5-10 minutes. You can serve these as a great appetiser or on bruschetta with fresh coriander or basil.

Next I sliced up the haloumi, heated up a little olive oil in a fry and pan added the slices of haloumi cheese. After a minute or less, I turned them to cook the other side. I removed them from the frypan and allowed the cheese to drain on paper towels.

Now combine it all, add the washed rocket leaves, fried haloumi, mushrooms, tomatoes, and dress with a little olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper and serve with some nice bread.

S

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Chicken Marengo

AI’m sure many of us have a stash of recipes we’ve put aside to make, and never made them? My pile keeps getting bigger, it’s quite silly really. This is one of those recipes. No idea where it came from, but my it was worthwhile making it as Tony said it’s his favourite of all the meals I’ve cooked him. What the! I’ve put a lot of time, attention and detail into other meals and haven’t even heard a grunt.

The story goes that this dish was Napoleon’s must-have meal when he went to battle. His cook threw it together after Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1800 in the Italian town of Marengo. It’s said that Napoleon enjoyed it so much, he declared that the dish should be served after every battle. I’m not sure whether to leave this story in with the link to Tony. He’ll think he’s Napoleonic now.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 chicken breast, cut into chunks
flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
400 rams crushed tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 portobello mushrooms, diced
juice of 1 lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup basil, torn

Fry the onions and garlic in vegetable oil until soft.

Coat the chicken with flour, salt and red pepper flakes. Add the pieces of chicken to the pan with the oil and fry until browned on all sides.

Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and allow to simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

Separately, melt butter in a saucepan and fry the mushrooms until tender. Sprinkle the mushrooms with lemon juice.

Add the mushrooms and the basil to the tomato sauce and mix well.

I served this with spinach and cheese tortellini which was a great combination or you could serve with bread.

S

Monday, 29 October 2007

Bostini Cream Pie - October Daring Bakers Challenge

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14 eggs were needed for the October Daring Bakers Challenge! This month we were asked by Mary at AlpineBerry to make Bostini Cream Pie.

For those of you, like me, who’ve never heard of a Bostini Cream Pie it’s basically a light, fluffy orange cake in a smooth cold vanilla custard with a rich chocolate glaze on top.

I have to be straight up with you, I did not like the sound of this, which is probably why I left it to the last minute. All the components separately would have worked for me, but I do as I’m told (most of the time, anyway) and it wasn’t too bad. The part I enjoyed the most was custard I’d never made my own, and was a little worried about all those eggs, but it went fine and the result was delicious and perfect. I’ll definitely be making that again.

If you’d like to see what my fellow friends in the Daring Baker community did with this challenge, have a look here at our blogroll - http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/

Custard
3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar


Chocolate Glaze
225 grams semi or bittersweet chocolate
225 grams unsalted butter

To prepare the custard:
Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Spray 8 moulds with non-stick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.

Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed moulds nearly to the top with the batter.

Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the moulds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble:
Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

S

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Friands or Financiers

I somehow found myself with an excess of vanilla beans, which in my opinion, is a luxury and therefore something special needed to come of it.

Steph
from http://awhiskandaspoon.wordpress.com/ answered my request with a few ideas and offered recipes if I needed them. One of Steph's offerings was Financiers. I liked the sound of it and got this recipe in return, which is when I realised Financiers are Friands, at least that what I knew them as.

The style of baking was different to any type of cake I'd made in the past, but I quite enjoyed assembling in such a different manner and was extremely pleased with the end result.

I followed the recipe to the letter, and added some chopped strawberries and sliced almonds on top. My Friand tray only holds 6, so I had way too much mixture left over, so I made a little cake too! They were gorgeously soft and moist and just perfect. I will definitely be making these again, thanks Steph.

1 cup almond meal
1⁄2 cup flour
1 vanilla bean
225g unsalted butter
7 egg whites
1 cup icing sugar
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180C.

First you need to brown the butter with the vanilla bean. Split the vanilla bean open and empty the tiny black seeds into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vanilla bean and the butter and cook until the mixture caramelizes and emits a rich nutty vanilla aroma. The butter will turn golden and there will be little browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, fish out the vanilla bean, dry it and save it for another use.

Next, in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk together the egg whites and the two sugars until the whites become warm to the touch and the white sugar has dissolved. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Slowly whisk the flour, ground almonds, and salt into the egg whites. The mixture will become thick and smooth.

Using a ladle, add approximately 1/4 cup of the vanilla brown butter at a time to the egg mixture and whisk until incorporated. Repeat this process until you have added all the butter. This step is very important. You must whisk the butter into the egg mixture slowly making sure that it is incorporated into the batter slowly. Adding the butter too quickly will not emulsify the butter properly which will result in a greasy and heavy cake.

Pour into buttered 10" cake tin or lined muffin/friand cups. Bake at 180C until the cakes are golden brown.

S

Friday, 26 October 2007

Oven-Baked Asparagus, Bacon & Basil Risotto

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After all that risotto talk with our recent blogging event I had a craving for risotto.

It was a lazy Sunday and I adapted an old and trusted recipe of Liz and I's into what I had in the house and came up with this. An oven-baked risotto is so nice, its easy and you don't have to do all that stirring. I don't mind the stir-style, traditional method usually, it does create a different, creamier result, but this baked one is just damn fine when you're lazy and need to fix a risotto craving.

20g unsalted butter
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups (440g) Arborio rice
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ cup red/white wine
1 litre hot chicken stock
Handful fresh basil leaves
2 bunches asparagus, ends trimmed
2 rashers of bacon, diced
½ cup parmesan


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a ovenproof pan on the stove.

Fry the bacon, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the rice and paprika and stir.

Add the wine, bring to the boil then simmer, uncovered, for about 1 minute until the wine is absorbed. Now add the stock and cover.

Put the pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir once during cooking.

Toss the asparagus in the remaining oil and spread on a baking tray with the. Place in the oven for the final 10 minutes of the rice cooking time to cook.

Just before serving, stir the asparagus pieces, basil leaves and parmesan through and serve.

S

Dutch Spiced Cake/Koek

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I was trying to find inspiration for a blogging event and got totally distracted and discovered a recipe for an old favourite from my country of heritage, Holland which is called Onbijt Koek - which means Breakfast Cake.

This cake, which is more like banana bread-style cake, is very common and popular in Holland. People have it smeared with butter with breakfast or lunch or as a snack. Its a nice and easy recipe, with everything in the cupboards and lasts for a few days if stored properly. Give it a go, its like a honeyish gingerbread.

500 grams self raising flour
150 grams golden syrup or honey
150 grams brown sugar
400 ml milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons baking powder

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Place milk in jug, add golden syrup, place in Microwave for 1 min. Mix thoroughly and blend into the dry mixture.

Bake for 1 hour in fan forced oven on 140 degrees.When cold, slice spread some butter on top and enjoy.

S

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Risotto Relay Rundown

Well, its time to judge our very first blogging event - The Risotto Relay, and boy was it tough for the 2 of us to agree on one winner.

We had 14 entries and I reckon I could sit down at the dinner table and enjoy them all. I tell ya, looking at all this risotto means I am craving it and we're having it for dinner here in Sydney on this sunny Sunday.

There is probably more than 14 ways to say yummy but I can't think of them right now, instead take a look for yourself...

So the 1st entry we received was from Brilynn Jumboempanadas with her Prawn/Shrimp & Pea Risotto http://jumboempanadas.blogspot.com/2007/09/defying-logic.html

2nd was Simona from PBJonrye with Pumpkin Risotto http://www.pbjonrye.com/ but we didn't get a copy of a photo and I am unable to get a link to take you directly there, its worth a look though. (Augustina, please email us a photo if you see this and we'll amend it).

3rd was Augustina from Briciole with an idea for leftovers, Risotto-al-salt http://briciole.typepad.com/blog/2007/09/risotto-al-salt.html

4th was Chez Denise from Chezdeniseetlaudalino with Abalone Mushroom Risotto
http://chezdeniseetlaudalino.blogspot.com/2007/09/risotto-relay.html

Number 5 was Gretchen from Canelaycomino with Mushroom Barley Risotto
http://canelaycomino.blogspot.com/2007/10/risotto-relay.html

Number 6 was Lizann from Bitsnbites, Saffron & Prawn Risotto
http://bitsnbites.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/keeping-the-cooking-fires-going/

7th was Lisa from Chefmomcooks made Breakfast Risotto http://chefmomcooks.blogspot.com/2007/10/bacon-egg-risotto.html

Number 8 was Zuzana from Burntmouth made Mushroom & Wine Risotto
http://www.burntmouth.com/2007/10/mushroom-wine-risotto.html

Number 9 , Annemarie from Divineambrosia had 2 entries, one was Annemarie, Squid Paella & Pumpkin & Sage http://divineambrosia.blogspot.com/2007/09/squid-paella.html


Next to arrive was Kevin from Closetcooking with Pear & Gorgonzola Risotto
http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/2007/10/pear-and-gorgonzola-risotto.html


The last entry to land in our inbox was the sweet Steph, from Whisk & a Spoon
http://awhiskandaspoon.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/risotto-relay-baked-risotto/

And now for the winner, Deborah from Workingwomanfood! This was Deborah's 1st time with a risotto Liz and I were both amazed at how good it looked for a first timer. Well done Deb - we love you! Expect some famous Aussie Tim Tams in the mail soon. Deb made Chicken, Mushroom & Cashew Risotto which you can see here -
http://workingwomanfood.blogspot.com/2007/10/chicken-mushroom-and-cashew-risotto.html