Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Julia Child Remixed | Keep On Cooking | PBS Digital Studios

Julia Child Remixed | Keep On Cooking | PBS Digital Studios

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Char Grilled Vegetable Lasagne

Choose your favourite vegetables for this recipe and simply layer them together with instant Lasagne sheets and a little cheese... doesn't get any easier than that. The little effort to char grill the vegetable first is what brings this dish to life... truly a divine way to eat vegetables.

Char Grilled Vegetable Lasagne

  • Quite thinly slice all of your vegetables and char grill them first. This helps to reduce the cooking time as the vegetable are most likely cooked enough to eat before assembling them into the lasagne dish. This means you only need to allow enough time for the sheets to cook in the final process... As my core vegetables I have used capsicum, pumpkin, zucchini, mushrooms and sweet potato.
  • The sauce is cooking on the side while I am preparing the vegetables... Soften a thinly sliced leek and some garlic in a little oil... if you want meat in this dish at this point brown off some mince.
  • To the softened leek add a large tin of crushed tomatoes and about 3/4 of the tin of water to create the sauce.
  • A dash of vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar will soften the acids in the tomatoes.
  • Finally I have added lots of fresh herbs and salt and cracked black pepper to taste... simmer this gently for a while to create that rich red lasagne style sauce.
  • Layer the vegetables into a suitable baking dish starting with a little sauce in the bottom, alternate with lasagne sheets and a touch of grated cheese throughout... final layer should be the sauce and should cover any lasagne sheets... a white sauce can be placed over the top or as I have done just sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan and bake in a 180 oven for about 45 minutes... Test that its cooked through by inserting a fork.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Pumpkin and Sultana Muffins.

Pumpkin and Sultana Muffins

Muffins are very popular in most coffee shops and so I thought I would try one with pumpkin... I have thought about adapting this pumpkin muffin by swirling through some melted chocolate into the batter at the end to create a marble effect just for something different, sweet and possibly deemed healthy as a result of the use of a vegetable.

  • Precook mash and cool some pumpkin - 1 cup of cooked vegetable required.
  • In a large bowl mix together a cup of milk, 1/4 cup of raw sugar and about 60 grams of melted butter.
  • Beat into this one egg.
  • Add to the liquid 2 cups of sifted self raising flour and a teaspoon of mixed spice.
  • Mixing gently with a wooden spoon add in about a 1/2 cup of sultanas or any dried fruit of your choice along with the cup of mashed pumpkin.
  • Spoon the batter, filling to the top, into paper cups inserted into muffin tins... bake at 190 for about 20 minutes for the large ones or until cooked... small ones will take less time.
  • When cooled these can be sprinkle with icing sugar and drizzled with chocolate if you want... just as nice plain and served warm is another option.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Frittata Recipe

Mushroom, Pencil Asparagus, Persian Feta and Herb Frittata.

Mushroom, Pencil Asparagus, Persian Feta and Herb Frittata

This recipe is a very simple blend of healthy options... you can add some diced bacon in the beginning if you like... it literally takes about 10 minutes to pull together and about 20 minutes to the table served straight from the pan.

  • Heat a splash of olive oil in a non stick pan and gently fry off your mushrooms and mini asparagus (pencil asparagus) for a few minutes until softened.
  • Spread some cubes of Persian feta cheese all over the mushroom base.
  • In another bowl lightly beat 8 eggs, a dash of cream, heaps of fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, chives and basil and some cracked black pepper and salt.
  • Pour the egg mixture gently over the mushroom mix and turn the stove down very low and gently cook until firmed almost through to the top.
  • Sprinkle the top with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and finish off the cooking process under the grill to a golden brown.
  • Rest in the pan for a few minutes and serve warm with a simple salad of your choice.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chilli Con Carne ~ Slow Cooker

Chilli Con Carne ~ Slow Cooker

A favourite for all time this dish has its origins in Texas USA... at lot of Australian families have this as a staple in there weekly regime if not nowdays most certainly in past years.
This version I have made has been cooked in a slow cooker or the good old fashioned "crock pot" and has an unusual ingredient which adds to the flavour exceptionally. 70% Cocoa Chocolate. 

  • Brown off in a little olive oil about 800 grams of diced steak and set aside.
  • In the same oil and pan soften 2 diced onions and a finely sliced deseeded chilli and add to this mix a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, a tespoon of cinnamon, a tespoon of chilli powder or flakes or both if you like it hot along with a tablespoon of brown sugar.
  • Into the slow cooker place the onion mix, the browned meat along with 2 tins of crushed tomoatoes, 2 tins of drained red kidney beans, 50 grams of 70% dark chocolate and about 300ml of beef stock... cook for 8-10 hours and serve with buttered mashed potatoes.