Sunday, 31 May 2009

All Day Breakfast

Jared is golf obsessed. He plays several times a week and really is exceptionally good at it! I like to feed him a big hearty breakfast Sunday mornings before he heads off to the golfcourse for his day of comp golf.

Laura taught me this recipe. I once slept at her place and woke up to this for breakfast! I think I probably had too many wines the evening before so this would have put the fire out for sure!

I've been making it ever since and Jared is a massive fan of it!

8 rashers of short cut bacon chopped
2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped spring onion
5 eggs
1 dessertspoon butter
50ml milk
1/2 cup parsley finely chopped
Worchestershire sauce (or your fav breakfast sauce)

Chop the bacon into small squares and fry in a frypan. Meanwhile chop up the tomato and spring onion.

Whisk together the egg, milk, butter and half the parsley to prepare to scramble the eggs. Season to taste.

Add the tomato and spring onion to the bacon once the bacon is crisping up. Scramble the eggs.

Make the toast. Spread with butter. Arrange the scrambled eggs on the toast and top with the bacon, tomato and onion mix. Sprinkle with left over parsley. Season with salt and pepper and as much Worchestershire as you like.

Serves 2


Saturday, 30 May 2009

I'm Back! With Spinach & Ricotta Dip

It has been 20 long months since I posted on the Baker & the Curry Maker and a lot has happened in that time! I have a perfect new man, a funky new home, a new exciting job and a brave new hairstyle plus a few new gorgeous friends. I've been itching to get back into the blogging lately. I almost made it back last weekend with a lemon slice but I was staying at my parents place in Clare and didn't have my camera. And so this is my returning recipe.... Spinach and Ricotta Dip.

I've had this at morning teas at work a few times and I actually get frustrated when staff bring it along. I want to pick it up and take it back to my desk where I can devour it all myself. This week another pesky staff member brought it in and I decided to make one all of my own today so I can sit in the comfort of my lounge room and inhale it. I so badly didn't want to share with my boyfriend that I made him one all of his own also!

It's simple and always a hit!

300g Ricotta
500g Frozen chopped spinach
100g Danish Feta
300g Sour Cream
1/3 cup chopped chives
30g Spring Vegetable Soup Mix
Freshly Ground Pepper
Cob bread

Squeeze and discard all liquid from thawed spinach. Place into a large bowl. Add ricotta, feta and sour cream. Stir until well combined and smooth. Add chives and dried soup. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Mix until well combined.

Using a serrated knife, slice a 3 to 4cm-thick slice off top of loaf. Set aside. Remove soft white bread from centre of loaf to form a bread 'bowl' and use this to scoop out the dip. Spoon spinach and ricotta mixture into loaf. Serve immediately.


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Slowcooked Butter Chicken

I was very lucky to get a slow cooker for my birthday late last year. At the time I was five months pregnant, incredibly nauseous 24 hours a day and not really in the mood to go anywhere near the kitchen. Six months later the weather was much cooler and I had much less time to prepare dinner, what with a new baby and all, and so came my first attempt at using the slowcooker or crockpot as it seems the Americans call them.

I googled my way around the internet and stumbled across Stephanie over at A Year of Crockpotting (who literally used her crockpot for 365 days. Funny that). There are loads of recipes I am looking forward to trying but I started with Butter Chicken. Boy, am I glad I started with Butter Chicken. To be honest, I don't think I have moved away from Butter Chicken yet! I've made it several times and we're all loving it. I wonder how long till we get sick of it. No time soon, I hope because it is so incredibly easy to prepare and very tasty.

(I followed Stephanies recipe, however, I used 2 teaspoons of butter rather than 6 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste rather than a can).

900g boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tbs butter
15 cardamom pods
2 tsp curry paste/powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
3 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt (to add at the end)

Carefully sew together the cardamom pods using a needle and thread ro put them in a little cheese cloth bundle. Put chicken in crockpot, and add onion, garlic, and all of the spices. Plop in the butter and tomato paste. Add lemon juice and coconut milk and stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. The chicken should shred easily when fully cooked.

Stir in the yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Discard cardamom pods. Season to taste and serve with rice.

Sathya-rating *****

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Rice pudding

I don't recall having rice pudding when I was a kid. The first time I had it was maybe a year or two ago when I made chocolate rice pudding (which it seems I didn't blog about). I enjoyed it but never made again. For some reason it popped into my head recently. Probably because I thought it would be easy to prepare, I wouldn't have to leave the house, it does not contain chocolate but would still be comforting.

Yes, poor, poor Sathya cannot have chocolate at the moment. Its devastating! Our gorgeous baby boy screams and screams for two days when I eat chocolate. You know, I think I'm struggling more with no chocolate than no alcohol. Big call I know.

Anyway, enough fantasising about booze and chocolate! I searched the web and found so many different recipes but Deb's (adapted from Gale Gand) over at Smitten Kitchen seemed best as I had everything at hand.

Its perfect. Creamy, sweet and absolutely delicious. I have made it a few times since finding the recipe. You can serve it with any fruit (we really like banana too), here I have served it with dried cranberries.

1/2 cup Arborio rice
4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 pint raspberries, other berries or dried fruit (optional)

In a large saucepan, place all the ingredients, except the fruit. Bring it to a gentle boil and then turn it down to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Taste the rice to check for doneness. The rice should be very soft and plump.

Take the pudding off the heat and pour into dessert bowls and stir in some fresh raspberries, or other dried or fresh fruit. Serve immediately.

Sathya-rating *****

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Pumpkin Cannelloni

For Mothers Day this year we decided to spoil Mum by cooking her a nice lunch. Straight away I knew what we should make, and thankfully my sister Sal agreed.

We went to the Adelaide Central Markets on Saturday and got all the ingredients. Sal roasted the pumpkin at home later that day, so this dish was pulled together easily on Sunday. Sal rolled the cannelloni, I prepared the white sauce and the boys did the salad and the garlic bread. It was a perfect lunch on a cold wintery afternoon with family in the warmth by the fire.

This recipe comes from Bill Grangers new book and is a winner. I will definitely be making it again, everyone ate their plates clean and commented on how much they enjoyed it. I found the recipe at Lorraine’s blog Not Quite Nigella. Lorraine made this with ricotta and stated that next time she would do it with feta to counter balance the sweetness of the pumpkin, which is what we did and it worked a treat.

6 large fresh lasagne sheets or 12-14 smaller sized ones.
35g/1 oz parmesan

1.25kg peeled, deseeded pumpkin cut into 3 cm cubes
1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cheese sauce
40g butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
750ml milk
1 bay leaf
240g feta

Simple tomato sauce
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Preheat the oven to 200C. To make the filling, place pumpkin and onion on a large baking tray and drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle thyme, chili, salt and pepper on top and roast for 45 minutes until golden stirring occasionally. Cool slightly and mash with a fork ensuring to leave some texture.

To make the cheese sauce , heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until bubbling. gradually whisk in the milk then add bay leaf and cook. stirring until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the feta and season with salt and pepper.
Lightly butter a baking dish or use a non stick one ensuring you use one that will snugly hold the cannelloni. Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce onto to base of the baking tray. then assemble the cannelloni by filling in each one with 2-3 tablespoons of filling and fold over to make a tube to enclose filling.

Place cannelloni in a single layer on top of cheese sauce and then sprinkle some water on the pasta. Pour the rest of the sauce on top ensuring that the cannelloni is covered with sauce. Cover with grated parmesan.

Cover and freeze at this stage. Or if cooking this now, bake in a 180C oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and bubbling.

While this is in the oven, prepare the tomato sauce - empty tomatoes into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for about 15-25 minutes until reduced and thickened. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 1 minute.

Serve the cannelloni topped with the tomato sauce and a nice green salad.

Sathya-rating ****

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Fijian Creamy Lentil Soup

Summer must be officially over as it is cooling down and I am making lots of soups. The best so far was a chicken, corn and noodle soup by Karen Martini on Better Homes and Gardens which I forgot to take a photo of, but I'll defintely make it again and post it.

This lentil soup I made on the weekend is delicious. It was incredibly easy to prepare and was hearty enough with a bread roll for dinner. I love that, cos you can make a big pot and reheat it easily when you don't have time (ie, Austen the baby needs to be held). The caramilised onions were a nice touch, but I don't know if I'd bother next time. Although the cummin seeds through the caramalised onions were great, maybe I'd just dry roast and add them on their own at the end.

375g (1 1/2 cups) red lentils
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock or water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
250ml milk
1 tsp sea salt
60g unsalted butter
1 brown onion, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds

Pick over the lentils, removing any stones or discoloured ones. Rinse thoroughly and place in a deep saucepan with the vegetable stock or water, turmeric, ginger and tomato.

Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a food processor and blending until smooth. Return the pureed lentils to the warm pan, stir in the milk and salt and simmer gently over low heat until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for eight minutes, or until the onions are brown and caramelised.

To serve, ladle the soup into warm bowls and sprinkle generously with cracked black pepper to taste. Scatter the caramelised onion and coriander over the soup and serve immediately.

Sathya-rating ***