Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nutella Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding

What a wonderful adaption to an old favourite... I saw this recently on Better Homes and Gardens and just had to have a go...my adaption...

Nutella Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding

  • Preheat the oven to 180.
  • Halve 4 croissants and spread with Nutella... put back together and cut each into 3 portions.
  • Place quite tightly packed into a suitable high sided oven safe dish and sprinkle with a handful of craisins or your favourite dried fruit.
  • Whisk together 2 eggs with about 50 grams of caster sugar then add 300ml milk, 150ml cream and a teaspoon of cinnamon... gently pour over the croissants and press down to allow them to absorb the liquid.
  • Sprinkle the top with a tablespoon of brown sugar and bake uncovered until the top is golden and the custard is cooked about 25 minutes... serve with whipped cream. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Roast Chicken on Potato and Mushroom Bake

Roast Chicken Potato and Mushroom Bake and Mushy Minted Peas

You can't beat a traditional Roast Chicken... however maybe the traditional can be improved on ever so slightly. This recipe is one to bring out when that craving for a roast like your Nanna made on a weekly basis can't be substituted with a store bought imitation.

Dry roast a half dozen cloves of garlic for about 10 minutes until softened ... squeeze 3 of them into a large knob of butter along with some fresh chopped thyme to create a garlic and herb flavoured butter.
Gently pop your fingers under the skin from of the bird and smear the flavoured butter over the breasts ... use the best chicken available, free range birds not only have the nicest flavour they also contain less fat and a lot more of the omega 3's brain food than an ordinary cheaper cost caged chicken option ... let the bird sit at room temperature while you prepare the potato bake.
Slice about a kilo of the best waxy Blue varieties of potato with the purple skins and alternate in the bottom of your roasting pan with about 500 grams of sliced portobello (more flavour in my opinion) mushrooms which have been softened in a frying pan with a drizzle of oil and a knob of butter, the remaining roasted garlic and some sage ...
Rub some olive oil onto the skin of your chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop the whole chicken, breast side up on to the top of the potato/mushroom mix and cover the whole dish with foil and bake in a 180 oven for about 30 minutes per kilo ... remover the foil after the first 30 minutes and finish cooking to the desired crispy golden skin that your Mum and Nan served you once a week most likely on Sunday's.
Serve with mushy minted green peas ... so simple ... in a microwave safe bowl place frozen peas a small amount of shredded mint leaves and a tablespoon of water. Cover with cling wrap and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add a dob of butter and mash lightly with either a fork or potato masher and serve with black pepper.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Zucchini slice

Zucchini Slice

This slice can be made with the addition of diced bacon that is fried off with the onion stage however in this case a vegetarian version... 

  • In a slosh of olive oil gently fry off half a red onion some crushed garlic and a seeded red chilli.
  • Pop this into a bowl and add two grated zucchini about a half cup of grated mozzarella and about the same of grated parmesan cheeses.
  • Finally add 4 lightly beaten eggs... combine well and season with cracked black pepper and salt.
  • Evenly spread in a slice tin that has been greased and the base lined with a sheet of baking paper.
  • Bake until golden brown... equally delicious served hot or cold.

Don't be afraid to adapt this simple recipe to suit your own tastes such as adding extra vegetables like carrot or fennel or maybe leek in place of the onion.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quinoa Recipe

Spiced Indian Quinoa - Vegetarian dish.
Quinoa Recipe
  • Pan fry in a large heavy based pan until softened a finely diced onion, chilli and grated ginger in a couple of tablespoons of oil.
  • Add a tablespoon of curry powder and stir to combine.
  • Stir into this mixture 2 cups of Quinoa, 1 cup of diced pumpkin and 1 litre of vegetable stock... stir, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed and the pumpkin is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • lastly add a cup of green peas and a drained tin of chick peas... heat through for a further 5 minutes.
  • To serve stir through a cup of chopped fresh coriander and plate up with a dollop of creamy yoghurt and some roasted cashews.
Serve with
fresh coriander, creamy yoghurt and roasted cashews

Monday, July 16, 2012

Recipe for Eggs

Recipe for Eggs - "Menemen"
Traditional Turkish Breakfast

Turkish one-pan Eggs & Capsicum - "Menemen"
Delicious, quick and a nourishing way to start the day or end it... although this traditional Turkish recipe is served at breakfast I don't see why it can't be eaten at any time... when we were kids Mum did a version with sausages that was baked with the eggs being added at the last few minutes of cooking. The traditional version is stove top and without meat as follows.

  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and soften a couple of thinly sliced onions a red capsicum and a red chilli.
  • when softened add a tin of crushed tomatoes and a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar and cook until the liquid has reduced... season with salt and pepper.
  • Using a wooden spoon make pockets in the mix and crack eggs into them cover and cook until the eggs are just set.
  • In the meantime beat 6 tablespoons of thick creamy yoghurt together with 2 cloves of crushed garlic.
  • When the eggs are cooked sprinkle the top of the dish with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Serve directly from the pan topped with a dollop of the garlic yoghurt and crunchy toast.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ginger Nuts

Ginger Nuts
An all time favourite is this good old "Ginger Nut" biscuit ...crisp, crunchy, ginger, any time of the day with or without the excuse of a cuppa.

  • Cream together 150 grams of room temperature butter, 225 grams of brown sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla paste until well combined and smooth.
  • Add and egg and a desert spoon of fresh grated ginger and continue to beat until pale and fluffy.
  • Add to the mix 185 grams of plain flour, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of bi-carb soda which have been sifted.
  • Roll teaspoons of the mix into balls and into demerara sugar and place on baking paper lined trays allowing plenty of room for spreading.
  • Bake in a 180 oven until golden brown on the edges for about 10 minutes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ginger Cake

Pear, Ginger and Caramel Toffee Cake...
Ginger Cake

The title of this recipe almost says it all until you taste the final product, then all sorts of descriptive words come into play... It is a wonderful afternoon tea cake that can be served cold or warm with or without cream and the ginger matures delightfully.

  • Grease and glad bake line a large cake tin whilst preheating a 160 oven... peel core thinly slice and decorate the bottom of this pan with a couple of pears.
  • In a small pan melt together 100 grams of butter and 150 grams of brown sugar to form a caramel sauce and pour this all over the pear covered base.
  • With an electric beater cream together 150 grams of butter and 175 grams of brown sugar until light and fluffy... add to this 4 eggs, one at a time incorporating each one completely.
  • Next add 250 grams of golden syrup and 1 heaped tablespoon of freshly grated ginger while continuing to beat the mixture.
  • Sift together in a separate bowl 300 grams of plain flour, 3 teaspoons of ginger powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of bi-carb soda.
  • Finally starting with sifted flour mix and ending with sifted flour mix ... alternatively add 250 grams of sour cream and the flour mix until all ingredients are incorporated into a batter.
  • Pour batter onto the toffee and pear base which will become the top of the cake... loosely cover the tin with a piece of glad bake and al-foil and bake for about one and a half hours until a wooden skewer comes out clean... turn out up side down onto a cooling tray and if you can wait serve cold with a sprinkle of icing sugar or maybe some cream although my favourite is warm straight from the oven with nothing added... it truly is a stand alone cake.
The caramelised pear now becomes the decadent top layer and the edges take on a wonderful toffee texture while the moist ginger sponge centre is melt in the mouth when warm.

Enjoy this experience it is truly a magical one...