Wednesday, 30 November 2011

※ An Early Xmas Gift


An early Xmas gift to myself.

As a collector of vintage cook books I was so happy when I heard about this vintage beauty.
I look forward to documenting my journey in food with these old classics.

The Australian Women’s Weekly - The Retro Cookbook

It's a step back in time to the fabulous fifties when the kitchen was a woman's domain and salmon mousse was the height of sophistication.

Featuring pages and recipes from original 1950s AWW cookbooks, this wonderful new title traces our culinary journey from then to now, contrasting recipes from an era when the dinner party reigned supreme, to the wonderful contemporary recipes we all like to cook and share today. As well, there are iconic pages and advertisements from the mid 20th century which remind us just how far our cooking choices and meal-making skills have come. 

This is a trip down memory lane - a beautifully designed book with pages from old cookbooks showing what we used to eat, old advertisements showing what we used to buy and wonderful modern recipes alongside their beautiful modern photographs. These recipes are for finger food and sandwiches, snacks, afternoon teas, family dinners, the Sunday roast, and puddings. They contrast the way we eat now and the way things used to be.

The Women's Weekly Retro Cookbook is an Australian publication. Measurements are in metric, with recipes from the original AWW cookbooks in imperial.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

※ Honey, Soy, Lime Ginger Dressing.





INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

METHOD
In a small bowl, stir together the shallot, ginger, a few grinds of pepper, soy sauce, honey and lime juice. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the sesame oil. Set aside. When ready to serve, whisk the dressing thoroughly to recombine the ingredients. 

Great with salads, or sashimi.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

※ Vegetarian Samosas

Served with home made Fresh Sriracha




INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled
  • 2 C pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 1 C of peas (frozen is fine)
  • 2 TB ghee
  • 2TB olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • half tsp ground ginger
  • 1 and a half tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • half tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 packet of Filo pastry
  • Pepper to taste


METHOD
Place peeled and and cut potatoes, pumpkin and peas in a steamer and steam until soft.

Divide steamed vegetables, mash half and mix in the reserved half - so you have a mix of mashed vegetables and chunky veg - this is a textural thing.

In a fry pan, heat ghee and olive oil on medium high heat, add onions and saute for 10 minutes until sticky and golden - stir now and then, making sure they do not stick.

Once onions are sticky and golden, add garlic, ginger, salt, coriander, turmeric, masala, cumin and chili flakes and keep stirring them until they are toasted (they will become very fragrant and aromatic)

Add a splash of water to this spice mix to 'loosen' it up a little bit and then mix it into the vegetable filling, thoroughly combining all the ingredients and set aside to cool. Add fresh coriander.

MAKING SAMOSAS
Cut the Filo pastry into long strips of about 4 inch/10 cm. wide by 10 inch/25cm. long, roughly.  

Place about 1 heaped tablespoon of the cooled mixture into one corner of the pastry. 

Fold one corner over the mix to create a triangle (wetting the areas that meet to help it to stick) 

Keep folding and sticking until you are left with a triangular parcels. 

Place on lightly oiled baking tray and very* lightly brush oil over them. * If you put too much oil on, they won't brown very well.

Bake in medium-hot (190-200ºC/375-400ºF) oven for about 15-30 minutes until a light and golden.

Monday, 21 November 2011

※ Passion Fruit Tart



Serves 8

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

INGREDIENTS
250 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
75 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
a pinch of sea salt
90 g (1 cup ) confectioner's sugar, sifted
55 ml (1/4 cup) milk
2 egg yolks

METHOD
Place the flour, butter, salt, and confectioner's sugar in a food processor and process for 20 seconds. Add the milk and egg yolks and process for a further 30 seconds until a mass forms.
Turn out to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a few moments. Flatten and form a disk. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin according to the recipe. Refrigerate until needed.

Passion fruit tart
INGREDIENTS
9 x 55g eggs
350g caster sugar
300ml double cream (45 per cent butterfat)
350ml passion fruit juice, strained (I also added a few seeds to the juice for texture, is up to you really)
plain flour for rolling
500g sweet shortcrust pastry
a little egg wash for glazing
icing sugar for serving

METHOD
Put the passion fruit mix together the day before you wish to bake the tart (resting it in the refrigerator helps avoid splitting).

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk.

Add the sugar and continue to whisk until well incorporated.

While stirring gently, pour in the cream. Add the passion fruit juice and continue to stir until well blended. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Spray a 26cm tart tin with cooking spray. (I tend to grease my pans with oilve oil & paper towel as I am not a massive fan of cooking sprays, but that is what the recipe stated)

Lightly flour a bench and roll out the pastry until it is 2 cm wider than the tart case.

Roll the pastry over your rolling pin and gently ease into the tart case , pushing the sides in gently so that it takes the fluting. Rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F).

Line the tart case with foil, place rice in the foil and bake blind for 20 minutes.

Remove the rice and foil, brush the tart shell with egg wash and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 140°C (290F). Return the tart case to the oven.

With the case sitting in the oven, carefully pour in the passion fruit custard.

Fill the tart right to the top with a cup or small dariole mold. Bake for 40 minutes.

Check the tart, it should be halfway set but still quite wobbly in the middle. If you take it out too soon it will not set and run when you cut it; if you leave it in too long it will set too firmly ad lose its elegance. Through experience you'll find the optimum set for the tart in your oven.

Remove the tart from the oven, balance on a cup and remove the sides. Put on a cake rack and, with a palette knife, slide the base off the tart tin.

This will allow the tart to cool and the pastry to crisp up rather than sweat.

Invert the pastry ring back onto the tart to help hold the sides in as it cools and sets. Allow to cool for 1 hour.

Carefully cut with a serrated knife, dust with icing sugar & serve.

I served this with a raspberry sauce.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

※ Raspberry Sauce / Coulis

Raspberry Sauce
 
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon
 
METHOD

Place the sugar and 2 tbs water in a small pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly, then add the berries and lemon juice. Whiz in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a sieve. (if desired) I do like it with texture. Chill until ready to serve. (You can store the sauce, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days). 


Friday, 18 November 2011

※ Potato & Feta Pizza



INGREDIENTS
* 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
* 3 1/2 cups Italian 000 Flour, plus additional for rolling dough
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1 scant tablespoon honey
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, + some for coating the bowl/greasing the trays
* 2 Medium sized potatoes
* Small jar of tomato paste
* 1 block of feta cheese / alternately Boursin*
* Fresh rosemary
* Oregano (dried)
* Freshly cracked pepper & Salt

Boursin is a brand of Gournay cheese. It is a soft creamy cheese available in a variety of flavours, with a flavor and texture somewhat similar to cream cheese. I use the garlic & herb

METHOD
In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast and allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes.

Using a sieve or strainer, "sift" about half of the flour over the yeast mixture and blend until smooth with your hands. Add the salt, pepper and honey and mix to blend. Sift in the remaining flour and mix to blend.

Lightly flour a cutting board or flat surface. Turn the pizza dough onto the floured area and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. The flour should feel smooth and the ingredients fully integrated. Place the dough inside a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place, about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Press gently on the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, rolling each quarter into a loose ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for an additional 15 minutes. Flatten each ball, 1at a time, and roll into a 6-inch round. Place each round in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. (I made two large rectangular pizzas this time.)

Slice potatoes thinly, boil in salted water fror approx 10 mins.

Drain and dry.

Dress pizza base: I used tomato paste, oregano, pepper & salt.

Place sliced potato, and crumble over Feta or Boursin. Sprinkle with freshly chopped rosemary to taste.

Bake in hot oven approx 220 degrees fan-forced for 15 - 20 minutes, till base is crispy and top is slightly browned.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

※ Banana Ice Cream



This ice cream recipe is almost too good to be believed - so rich, creamy and luscious, you'd never know it's fat-free, dairy-free, and with no added sugar or preservatives, is even good for you!

It only takes 4 ingredient to make this dreamy dessert.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Bananas 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

I find bananas that have turned brown work best for this. You may already peel and freeze your bananas for smoothies or breads or dipping in chocolate. Now you can use them to make this luscious ice cream in no time at all.

METHOD
Peel at least two bananas, preferably ripe, but the older they are the sweeter the end product. Break them into smaller pieces, maybe two or three each, and freeze. 

Once frozen, cut into thin slices and put into blender or food processor.

Add vanilla and lemon & blend until smooth.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

※ Orzo, Peas, Mint & Feta Salad


Inspired by the delicious Pea, shallot, basil, mint & air dried ricotta salad at Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons. Yes, cold peas. But beautifully swaddled in a tumble of shallots, mint, basil and shredded air-dried ricotta. The perfect combination.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 100gsm of Feta (I used Fage Authentic Greek Feta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

Cook orzo in plenty of boiling salted water for 5 minutes; stir in the peas; cook until pasta is al dente and the peas are tender, about 5 minutes longer; drain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan; stir in the mint and parsley; add in the orzo and peas; toss to coat; let cool and add chopped parsley & mint, freshly cracked black pepper and coarse sea salt & roughly crumbled feta. Drizzle over olive oil & serve.










Friday, 11 November 2011

※ Nutella & Banana Pizza



INGREDIENTS
* 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
* 3 1/2 cups Italian 000 Flour, plus additional for rolling dough
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1 scant tablespoon honey
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, + some for coating the bowl/greasing the trays
* 2 semi ripe bananas
* 300gsm jar of Nutella 


METHOD
In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast and allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes.

Using a sieve or strainer, "sift" about half of the flour over the yeast mixture and blend until smooth with your hands. Add the salt, pepper and honey and mix to blend. Sift in the remaining flour and mix to blend.

Lightly flour a cutting board or flat surface. Turn the pizza dough onto the floured area and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. The flour should feel smooth and the ingredients fully integrated. Place the dough inside a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place, about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Press gently on the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, rolling each quarter into a loose ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for an additional 15 minutes. Flatten each ball, 1at a time, and roll into a 6-inch round. Place each round in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Top with Nutella then sliced banana.

Bake in bottom third of oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden (200 degrees.)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

※ Stuffed Peppers



I had some left over bolognese but didn't want pasta again, so I decided to stuff some peppers / capsicums.

INGREDIENTS
Left over bolognese sauce
Freshly chopped parsley to taste
fresh red chili diced finely.
Parmesan & or tasty cheese about 1/2 cup grated
100 gsm crumbled fetta cheese

METHOD
Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Chop edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large baking dish with about a cup of water in the bottom & a dash of olive oil.

I mixed left over Bolognese with some crumbled fetta cheese, some freshly chopped parsley and a fresh red chili diced finely.

Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes. If desired, top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before peppers are done; bake until cheese is melted.

I previously blogged a different recipe here for stuffed peppers.

Monday, 7 November 2011

※ Redskin Vodka


INGREDIENTS

  • 17 Unit/s Redskins (Small 8cm Ones)
  • 1 bottle of ABSOLUT VODKA

METHOD
Blending Instructions:

Take a full bottle of vodka and pour 1/4 of it into another bottle.


Take 17 small redskins and push them into the bottle of vodka

Top the bottle of vodka up from the liquid you previously poured out


Leave the bottle until all of the redskins dissolve


Give it a shake every now and again to help the process (This could take anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days depending on the redskins) 



A layer of gum will form on top of the vodka, this is normal

Once the redskins have completely dissolved poor the vodka syrup through a coffee filter to remove the gum.


To serve, use one shot of redskin vodka and top with lemonade (If its too sweet you can use tonic water instead)



Sunday, 6 November 2011

※ Dinner With Corey & Aaron


MENU:
Home made Nandos 

Served with Spicy Sriracha Mayo
Spicy Potato Wedges
Passion fruit white chocolate tarts
A salad with a balsamic vinaigrette



An array of cheeses including:
Fromager d'Affinois: a French double-cream soft cheese made from cow's milk.
Jarlsberg: A a yellow-wax rind and a semi-firm yellow interior. The flavor is mild, buttery, nutty and slightly sweet

Saturday, 5 November 2011

※ White Choc & Passion Fruit Tarts



INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
  • 150 g white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 Fresh Passion fruits
  • 100 gsm Lescure butter
  • A little butter for greasing trays

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 °C or 160 °C fan. Grease a 12-hole patty pan tray with butter

Using a biscuit cutter, cut 12 x 7cm rounds from pastry. Ease into prepared pan. Chill for 30 mins.

Cut 12 x 8cm circles from non-stick baking paper. 
To blind bake pastry cases, line with circles and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 mins. Remove paper and beans and bake cases for another 5 mins until golden. Cool

Meanwhile, place chocolate and cream, butter in a medium heatproof bowl. 

Place over saucepan of simmering water. Ensure the base of bowl does not touch water. Stir for 3-4 mins until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. 

Add the juice and pulp of  1 passionfruit.
Transfer mixture to heatproof jug and pour into tart cases. Refrigerate for 1 hr until firm.

Serve with the the pulp of the second passionfruit. 

TIP: Tarts can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 
Can be made as one big tart instead of 12 small.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

※ Quesadilla Recipe

"Queso" is cheese in Spanish. 
A quesadilla is a toasted tortilla with melted cheese inside.
My favorites are beef, cheese, baby spinach, hot sauce and onions.
I had some vegetarian friends over for lunch on Sunday & I made an array of fillings. 


What you need:
Large flour tortillas
Oilve oil

Suggested fillings
  • Slow roasted caramelized pumpkin
  • Slow roasted capsicum; red and green
  • Caramelized onions
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Home Made Sriracha
  • Slow cooked beef with home made seasoning **
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Green onions 
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Chicken pieces
  • Avocado
  • Grated cheese 
  • Refried beans
We grilled ours on our George Foreman grill, if you don't have an indoor grill, a fry pan will work just fine. Simply place all desired ingredients on an oiled tortilla (oil on grill side down) grill the tortillas on the grill until the cheese is melted and they are lightly browned.

**
Slow cooked beef
INGREDIENTS
2 cups of beef stock (salt reduced or it will be too salty at the finished product)
2 cups red or white wine for flavor
1 chopped onion or shallots
Herbs. (rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme) 
A few smashed cloves of garlic
4 Whole cloves black garlic
Dash of Tabasco
1 Teaspoon of paprika, sweet or smoked
Pepper
1 kg of beef strips, pre cut from the butcher.

METHOD
Brown beef and onions / garlic
Add all other ingredients and simmer 2 - 3 hours. (checking liquid levels periodically & topping up with stock if necessary) 


Table settings were gizmo aka mogwai  


Slow roasted pumpkin pieces

Slow roasted capsiums

Waiting to try food samples! 

Caramelized onions, slow cooked for 40 mins.

Slow cooked beef - see recipe below

Nachos as an entree 

Waiting for samples still....

A vegetarian quesadilla

A meat & cheese quesadilla

A meat & roasted capsicum quesadilla 

A meat & roasted capsicum quesadilla with cheese

A meat & roasted capsicum quesadilla with cheese and baby spinach. 

Toasting time. 

Ready to eat! 



Juanita posing the gizmos. 

Finished off the meal with my home made strawberry vodka