Thursday, 30 July 2009

Tunesy Morns

I never ate seafood growing up. Even now I only eat whiting. But I ALWAYS ate Tunesy Morns. Our family lived for it. I always stared through the oven door at the golden crust on the top asking mum "is it ready yet? Is it ready yet?". I love my tunesy morns.

When Jared and I first started dating I cooked it for him one night and he hadn't eaten it since his mum made it for him as a boy. He was well excited - and to top things off, he says my Tunesy Morns is the best he's ever had!! I've never shown him how to make it because that way he'll never leave me!

I have however, shared it with both of our neighbours and we all enjoy tunesy morns evenings regularly.

70g butter
4 heaped dessert spoons plain flour
1 litre milk
2 x 400g cans corn kernels
2 x 425g cans tuna in brine/springwater
Grated cheddar
Freshly grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts to sizzle, add the flour and using a whisk, stir it around and let it sizzle for at least three minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and pour in half the milk. Whisk quickly to remove lumps. Add the rest of the milk and return to the hotplate. Bring the milk to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce begins to bubble add the drained corn and tuna. Stir well and add S&P to taste. Wait until it begins to bubble again and pour into a ceramic dish. Cover the top with the grated cheese and parmesan. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the cheese.

Cook in the oven for at least half an hour, or until it is brown to your liking. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.


Monday, 27 July 2009

Dengaku Tofu

I love tofu. I'm not ashamed to admit it. For many reasons, its so versatile and delicious when you add good flavourings to it. I know many people out there hate it, if so, then go to the next post.

This little recipe comes from Serious Eats, an interesting place I regularly hang out. I liked the sound of it and it sounded healthy, all I needed was some tofu and off we went.

It was a tasty and healthy meal but it was a fair bit of work for something that wasn't amazing. The flavour wasn't great. I needed chilli paste when I was eating it. I like the idea of painting a yummy sauce all over tofu and grilling it though, so although I won't make exactly this again, I will make something similar and make it my own.

One block of firm tofu
1/3 cup of a miso paste
2 eggs yolks
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons dashi, or water

Toppings (optional):
Sesame seeds
Grated lemon

To make the miso sauce: put a bowl on top of a pan of simmering water, or use a double boiler if you have one. Put the miso in the bowl along with the egg yolks, sake, mirin, and sugar.

Over the simmering water, gradually add the dashi. Stir until thick, and adjust seasonings to taste if needed. At the last moment, some lemon rind if you like.

To prepare the tofu: Remove the tofu as a block from its packaging, and set it on a chopping board. Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel. Weigh the block of tofu down with something heavy.

Cut tofu into 2-inch blocks and lay on a tray and put under a hot grill it is browned and the tofu is heated through.

Remove generously lather one side with the miso sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place back under the grill for one or two minutes, until the topping is browned. Serve immediately.

Sathya-rating ***

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Soy Chicken

I have a little something to tell you but I don't have a photo so you'll have to use your imagination. I'm hoping I can portray the deliciousness and ease with my words. I don't know if I can do it, but here goes.

I'm not sure where or when this started for me, but someone somewhere in my universe mentioned soy chicken. It may have been a blog, it may have been in a magazine, maybe it was a friend or someone I was eaves dropping on at my local coffee hang out (I know, I'm pathetic, I'll do anything for some adult conversation lately. Including going to a coffee shop with Austen, parking myself next to the most interesting looking people and listening in to what they're chatting about).

Anyway I Googled 'Chinese Soy Chicken' and this video came up. I fell in love with the lady who commentates the recipe while her her son pesters her in the background. Its gorgeous.

I noted down what I needed and found myself making it for friends a few nights later.

I had gone to the Adelaide Central Markets and gathered everything I needed hoping to make it for our fortnightly visitor Nikolas but it didn't happen so when my dear friend Hannah said she was coming to see Austen and I, I said, stay for dinner and whipped this up. We all loved it! I thought I'd made far too much but we demolished it with steamed broccoli tossed in oyster sauce and minced garlic. The chicken is tender and sticky and tasty and crunchy has no skin or fat left on it after the cooking process so it is wonderfully healthy, which I need at the moment (damn baby weight).

Hey, if just one of you out there makes it then I will have succeeded.

2kg chicken drumsticks
2-3 tbs miso paste
big bottle of soy sauce (I have no idea how much I used probably 1 to 2 cups)
2 tsp chinese five spice
fresh ginger, roughly chopped (I think I used about a 2 cm piece)
quite a few twists of the pepper grinder

Add all the ingredients together except the chicken in a large pot and stir to make a paste. Add the drumsticks and cover with water and more soy sauce so the water is quite black. Stir thoroughly. Place on the stove and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, turn it down to a low simmer and cover.

After 30 minutes, turn the oven onto 180C and remove the chicken from the pot and place into baking dish.

Roast the chicken drumsticks in the oven for 20-30 minutes, remove from the oven and serve with streamed greens.

Sathya-rating ****

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Chocolate Brownies

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe for brownies that are on the dessert menu at Fifteen. They look amazing in his cook book so I baked them on a cold Sunday afternoon as dessert after a Roast Lamb lunch.

When they first came out I thought they were a failure because I'd taken them out too early. The entire centre was still really runny. It was more like a runny pudding when we ate it. I was so disappointed, although the flavour was UNREAL. I left them out over night and in the morning it had set! Exactly the way it was supposed to. I had perfect chocolate brownies. The entire tray was eaten within hours. I'll absolutely be baking these again. Such a decadent, moreish treat. And the orange zested creme fraiche was a sensational addition and created such a good balance between the rich chocolate and zesty sour tasting cream.

250g unsalted butter
200g best-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) broken up
150g chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)
80g coco powder
65g plain flour sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
350g caster sugar
4 large eggs
zest of one orange
250ml creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a 30cm rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the nuts. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency.

Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray; and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don't want to overcook them so, you don't want a skewer to come out clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle. Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche mixed with some orange zest.


Saturday, 18 July 2009

Raspberry Cheesecake

Recently we had a 'family weekend'. In Holland (where my family is from) this a a normal yearly occurrence with most families. Everyone goes away together for the weekend, we play games, watch movies, go for walks, cook, etc. Sometimes I love it, sometimes not so much. This family weekend was the first one in a long time and was great. We went to Victor Harbour, about an hour and half out of Adelaide and had a gorgeous penthouse apartment overlooking the ocean for 3 nights. The weather was terrible so we spent a lot of time in the apartment whale watching from the balcony. My parents were incredibly disappointed to return one afternoon and hear that we had spotted whales and they hadn't, while they had gone especially looking for them!

The deal was that my parents paid for the accommodation and my sisters and I looked after the food. As you can imagine, we ate like kings! The highlight was a raspberry baked cheesecake which I found on and is by Stephanie Alexander and is simply titled "Best-ever Cheesecake". Let me tell you, it was! Oh my Lordy! I studded raspberries on the top and made a coulis and it was amazing. Honestly one of the best things I've ever made or eaten!

100g butter, melted
300g wheatmeal biscuits
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
3 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
few drops pure vanilla, or vanilla extract to taste
pinch of salt
2 cups sour cream
200 grams of raspberries

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC. Brush the base and sides of a 22cm x 6cm deep springform tin with a little of the melted butter. Remove the base from the tin.

Cut a round of baking paper to fit the base of the tin, brush the paper with a little butter and set aside.

Tear off an 80cm sheet of foil and double it over so it measures 40cm in length. Lay the foil over the base of the tin, then put the buttered round of paper on top. Sit the springform tin over the base and lock the sides into place, leaving excess foil outside the tin. Draw up the excess foil around the tin and fold the top out of the way. You now have a watertight container.

Crush the biscuits in a food processor. Add the remaining butter and process. Press the crumb mixture into the base of the tin, tapping firmly with the base of a glass tumbler or similar as you go.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the cornflour, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating each time just until smooth. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Add the sour cream and beat briefly to combine. Pour the batter into the tin, sprinkle with raspeberries (pushing some into the mix) and stand the tin in a large baking dish. Pour boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the tin. Bake for 50 minutes, then turn off the oven but do not open the door for a further hour.

Lift the tin from the water bath and flatten the foil away from the sides just in case there is any water trapped inside. Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

Sathya-rating *****

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Chicken Korma

I won a copy of Jamie Oliver's Ministry Of Food cookbook. It really does have some fantastic recipes in it and they're never difficult because they were designed for those of us who have never really cooked.

I've heard many people say that Jamie Oliver's Chicken Korma recipe is bland and not that great - but after some investigating and reading a few forums I think it's actually his original, fancy recipe that people dislike; because this Ministry of Food Chicken Korma is DELICIOUS. Jared and I have cooked it and recooked it several times and it never lets us down.

800g skinless and boneless chicken thighs
2 medium onions
1 fresh red chili
1 thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 small bunch of fresh coriander
olive oil
a knob of butter
290g jar of Patak's korma curry paste
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
2 heaped tablespoons desiccated coconut
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g natural yogurt
1 lemon

Cut the chicken into approximately 3cm pieces. Peel, half and chop your onions. Halved and finely slice the chili. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Pick the coriander leaves and finely chop the stalks. Drain the chickpeas.

Put a large casserole type pan on a high heat and add a couple of glugs of oil. Put the chicken thighs into the pan and brown lightly on all sides for five minutes. Push the chicken to one side of the pan. Stir in the onions, chili, ginger and coriander stalks with the butter. Keep stirring it enough so it doesn't catch and burn but turns lovely golden. Cook for around ten minutes. Add the korma curry paste, coconut milk, the drained chickpeas and dessicated coconut. Half fill the empty tin with water, pour into the pan and stir again. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 45 mitues with the lid on. Check the curry regularly to make sure it isn't drying out. Add a little extra water if necessary. Remove the lid and cook down at a simmering heat for another 25 mins. Season with Salt and Pepper.

Serve with rice. Add a few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt and scattered coriander leaves. Service with lemon wedges for spooning over.