Monday, April 30, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
|Spaghetti and Meatballs|
- In a saucepan put a bottle of your choice of sauce... if using a plain tomato puree you can fry off some minced garlic and finely diced onion first for additional flavour then add your bottle of sauce and a couple of cups of water. Bring to the simmer and add a dash of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar.
- In a bowl place about 500 grams minced meat(I like to use a mixture of pork and beef or you can chose chicken or even minced fish).
- Add some finely diced onion, lots of chopped fresh herbs, a cup full of freshly grated Parmesan and an egg ...season with salt and pepper.
- Roll into golf ball sized balls and place them into the simmering sauce. Cook gently until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve the meatballs on top of spaghetti or the pasta of your choice that has had a little sauce mixed through it and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Monday, April 23, 2012
|Cream of Mushroom Soup with Parsley|
This home made soup can be made from scratch and served in about 20 minutes ...
Delicious and nutritious ... If you love mushroom you will love this...
Friday, April 20, 2012
|Roast Vegetable Pizza|
|Rye bread flour crusty pizza base made from scratch|
|Individual serving sizes ... Vegetarian dish|
- 220 grams of Pizza or bread flour (I have have used a Rye bread flour), 1 teaspoon of dry yeast, a pinch of salt and about 150 ml of water ... dust with a little flour knead lightly and place in a bowl covered with a tea towel for the proofing process to happen...when doubled in size, knead lightly again and then form into your pizza base ... keeping it thin and pricking with a fork will mean a crispier base, thicker will be more bread like.
- While waiting roughly chop, uniform in size, all the veggies you like to roast I have used zucchini, pumpkin, capsicum, mushroom, cherry tomato and onion... drizzled in olive oil and chopped fresh herbs of rosemary, thyme, mint, salt and pepper. Bake these until just cooked through because the cooking process will be finished when on the pizza base.
- Spread your choice of either a pizza tomato sauce or creamed cheese or maybe a basil pesto over the base and cover with the roast vegetables and a little grated mozzarella cheese.
- Finish off the cooking process in a 180 oven until the base is cooked through and crunchy on the bottom... serve topped with some fresh greens of your choice and a drizzle of olive oil.
|Fresh greens used here are baby spinach and bean shoots|
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
|Beef/Pork Kofta with Saffron Yoghurt Dressing|
- Into a food processor place 1 roughly chopped brown onion, 1 cup of loosely packed fresh herbs such as coriander, continental parsley and mint... finely process.
- Next add 1kilo of minced meat... we used 50/50 pork and beef... process again quickly.
- About 100grams of crumbled feta and two eggs.
- Finally 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice and some salt and pepper.
- Pulse this mixture to a paste like consistency and then form into sausage shapes around bamboo sticks using about a tablespoon or so of the mix on each. (This mix produced about 17 as pictured)
|Saffron Yoghurt Dressing and tossed salad|
- Take 10 threads of saffron and soak them in a tablespoon of hot milk until the milk goes cold.
- Add this along with a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped coriander to a 250 gram tub of Greek style yoghurt and there you have it.
|Mars Bar Slice|
This went so fast I didn't get a photo of the cut pieces... also a huge success... also easily made by the kids at home.
Thank you kids and Lyn the Youth Officer for inviting me to conduct cooking lessons with you. I hope you all found the day as inspiring as I did. I Hope to see you all attending the next planned cooking lessons for this coming term. Excellent effort kids you made the mutual learning a pleasure to be a part of.
Labels: allspice, bamboo sticks, chocolate, coriander, cumin, feta, food processor, golden syrup, Kofta, Mas Bar Slice, minced meat, paprika, rice bubbles, Saffron Yoghurt Dressing, school holidays
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
|Pasta with Zucchini Sauce|
|Spiral Pasta with a simple Zucchini Sauce|
I love the simplicity of this dish both preparation and flavours... such a healthy option and so quick to make.
Monday, April 16, 2012
|Vanilla Poached Salmon with Borlotti and Butter Beans|
|Vanilla Poached Salmon|
- In a large pan prepare your poaching liquid by adding a cup of white wine, 1 cup of water or fish stock, 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste, knob of butter, a few cardamom pods crushed and husked removed, 1 cinnamon quill, 1 tablespoon of honey,1 teaspoon of saffron threads and salt and pepper. Bring this to the boil and pop in your salmon pieces and turn the heat down to a very soft simmer and poach them for about 6 minutes or until the fish is just cooked... remove the fish and set aside while continuing to reduce the liquid by about half.
- In another large fry pan heat a 50/50 olive and vegetable oil mix and fry stirring constantly until softened, about 5 minutes, the following tiny diced vegetables, 2 carrots, 2 sticks of celery, a leak and a clove of garlic.
- Add a can of Borlotti beans, a can of Butter beans and the reduced poaching liquid and continue to cook stirring occasionally until the liquid is almost evaporated and you are left with a coating sauce.
- Remove from the heat stir in another knob of butter and a handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley.
- Plate up and top with the flaked salmon to serve this delicious healthy meal.
Friday, April 13, 2012
|Pan Fried Snapper|
This is my favourite way to prepare fish... everyone in the family will enjoy this especially the kids... not batter so much better for you... shhh! don't tell them it's good for them and they will eat it.
Quality white fish is essential preferably fresh and not having already been frozen... this is a quick, shallow fry method for cooking fish and in my opinion is best when eaten immediately cooked and straight from the pan.
Labels: avocado, brown sugar, cornflour, egg, fennel seeds, feta cheese, fish, fresh ginger, pan fried snapper, seed mustard, snapper, Sweet potato and avocado salad
Thursday, April 12, 2012
If you squint you can make believe that this feather-light, no flour sponge cake is low calorie... every bite brings back feelings of nostalgia... there is no other sponge cake like this one.
This was the first ever sponge cake I made at the age of 13 and my family still talk about it to this day... Mine then had a base section on each layer of a greenish rubber with holes in it, resembling today's (sponge) dish clothes. The egg mix ended up on the ceiling and up the walls and to add to this epic, the rubbery section bounced when dropped onto the floor. We all have to start somewhere...
Thank you Mum (Dulcie Valenti)
for your understanding and patience...
|Custard Sponge Cake|
Thank you Mum (Dulcie Valenti)
for your understanding and patience...
|Vicki Sponge Cake (not Victoria) with cherry jam, whipped cream and icing sugar|
- Butter and dust (cornflour)two sandwich cake pans.
- Sift all of the following dry ingredients together 3 times...1/2 cup custard powder, 1 heaped teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1 level teaspoon of bi-barb soda, 3 rounded desert spoons of corn flour.
- Beat with an electric beater 4 Large Eggs and a pinch of salt until stiff and then gradually add 3/4 cup of caster sugar.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and make sure they are blended completely.
- Bake in a moderate 180 oven for about 20 minutes... watch closely in the last few minutes as it will burn quickly... cool on a wire rack... decorate with jam (pictured is home made cherry), cream and icing sugar for dusting.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Delicious is just one of the words I use to describe this dish... Simple is another and absolutely delicious... don't be frightened by the word soufflé it will finish wonderfully soft and fluffy. The kids and non carrot lovers alike will love this dish. It does have a slight zing so adjust the cayenne to suit. Preheat the oven to 180 while preparing.
|Simple Carrot Soufflé|
- Boil 1kilo of diced carrots in salted water until cooked and then process them to a puree and place them in a large bowl.
- Add to the puree 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of saltine cracker crumbs, 1 cup of grated tasty cheese, 1/3 cup of finely chopped onion, a knob of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and some salt and cracked black pepper.
- In a separate bowl, using an electric beater whisk 3 large eggs until frothy and then whisk this into the carrot mix until just combined.
- Place the mixture into a buttered greased shallow baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
|Red Carrot Soufflé|
As a variation on the original post I have made this with red carrots ... equally as wonderful as the orange version and so simple to make it is sure to become a family favourite ... deliciously sweet and by far the best way to get the family to love cooked carrot, everyone will want a second helping.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
|Cabbage and Noodle Salad with Tofu|
Once tasted it is sure to become a family favourite...
- Use either a 1/2 savoy cabbage or Chinese cabbage and this needs to be shredded very very finely. I use a machine because I like the cabbage at it's finest as it is eaten raw.
- add a half dozen or so sliced spring onions to this...
- 100 grams of lightly toasted pine-nuts... you can use slivered almonds or any nuts you prefer but I think the pine-nuts are my favourites in this instance.
- finally a packet of Chang's original fried noodles available in most supermarkets.
- Dressing: in a saucepan place 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup caster sugar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1/2 cup of olive oil... stir this over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and then cool before adding it to the salad.
Our tea tonight is served with pan fried firm tofu which has been lightly dusted in seasoned flour.
Friday, April 6, 2012
This puff pastry tart is a great idea alternative to home made pizza... making tonight's tea or tomorrows party finger foods both simple to make and tasty to boot.
Depending how many you are feeding will decide how big the pastry sheets that suit... for single serves cut a pastry sheet into four, for two people cut a sheet in half into a rectangle (as pictured), for bite size finger food use a large cookie cutter...
- Which ever size you require you will need two of each with the centre cut out of the second one. Egg wash the two together which gives you a frame/crust around the edge which is double thickness, egg wash the top of the frame also.
- Mix together enough of a soft cheese such as spreadable Ricotta mixed with some Dijon mustard for flavour and spread this onto the base working inside of the frame.
- Add slices of thickly cut tomato onto the top of the cheese, still within the frame.
- Finally add some chopped olives and anchovies,a light sprinkle of some grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of salt and pepper or lemon pepper.
- Bake in a 180 oven until golden and crunchy... the baking time will vary depending on the size so you will need to watch them closely to avoid burning.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
|Breakfast Tomatoes with fresh herbs, rocket and sour dough toast with butter|
Once again I can't emphasise enough the simplicity with which this healthy meal is delivered...
Faster than fast food and far fewer fat cells...
- Prepare lots of chunky chopped fresh herbs along with a couple of spring onions if you fancy...also pre chop, again chunky, the very best selection of tomatoes you can find. Vine ripened home grown are my favourites in a mixture of colours and types or rich red Roma's or maybe some Truss... quality is everything as tasty tomato is what makes this dish such a success.
- Melt a mix of 50/50 oil and butter (lemon infused olive oil is wonderful if you have it) in a large pan with lots of room to enable you to toss the tomato gently without stewing.
- Toss in your onion first fry for a quick minute then add a about a teaspoon of smoky paprika or any flavourings you may love with tomato... then the tomatoes and toss for a couple of minutes, only until just warmed through finally all of the fresh herbs, a teaspoon of sugar or a dash of maple syrup, a splash of balsamic vinegar, lemon pepper and salt.
- Final step is a handful of either rocket or baby spinach leaves... serve as soon as these have wilted onto buttered, toasted sour-dough or speciality bread of your choice with a final light drizzle of lemon infused olive oil and some cracked black pepper (tomatoes are in love with pepper and salt).
|Sour-dough toast with lashings of butter|
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
|Pistachio topped mushrooms|
No egg or cheese in these yummy mushy's...
Take any size mushrooms you prefer... the ones pictured are field mushrooms and will be served as a main meal with a side salad. Equally nice as finger foods would be cup mushrooms.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
- Thinly slice a handful of spring onions (save some for decoration, some garlic, ginger and chilli... fresh for all of these is best if you have it.
- Make a dressing for the top from 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil... just stir to combine.
- Crack six eggs in a bowl and gently whisk together with a couple of tablespoon of light soy sauce.
- In a wok heat some peanut or vegetable oil as these oils can take a higher heat than olive oil... add your chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry these off quickly to release their flavours... after a couple of minutes pour in the egg mix and as it sets on the bottom gently flip with a spatula allowing more of the liquid egg mix to hit the bottom until all the egg mix has gently set.
|Simple Chinese Omelette served with steamed green veggies|
- Serve with steamed green veggies of your choice (quartered boc choy is my favourite), drizzled the sauce over the omelette with sprinkle with the remaining spring onions.
Monday, April 2, 2012
|Leek, cheese and spinach in filo pastry|
This dish is my version of a Greek tradition and is so yummy... One of my absolute favourites however it is best eaten straight out of the oven while the filo pastry is hot and crunchy... serve as is or with a side salad. If you are lucky enough to have left overs reheat in the oven not in a microwave.
- Remove your frozen filo pastry from the box and defrost it for a couple of hours I think its easiest to work with when its at room temperature.
- Meanwhile soft fry either lots of onion, one or two sliced large leek or a whole bunch of spring onions in some butter along with a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and a tablespoon of chopped parsley and chopped dill... when softened drop in and wilt a large bag of baby spinach. Place in a large bowl to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- When the onion/spinach mix has cooled add a 250 gram tub of ricotta and about the same quantity of crumbled feta along with 4 lightly whisked eggs... salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
- Melt 150 grams of butter and using a medium baking dish start by greasing the bottom ... use 5 sheets for the bottom buttering every second sheet allowing them to hang over the edges on all sides of the baking dish... Add the spinach, cheese and egg mix and continue with the rest of the sheets of filo pastry still buttering every second sheet... roll the sides into the pan and finish the top and rolled edge with melted butter.
- Bake in a 180 oven until golden and crunchy all over (about 30 minutes)... enjoy on its own or with a side salad as a meal.
|Crunchy, cheesy Spanakopita|