Thursday, 30 May 2013

※ Pepper Sauce

I love a good steak with an indulgent sauce.
Made this recipe last night, super easy and from one of my culinary heroes Marco Pierre White. 


Beef is a heavy meat, so it needs a heavier sauce. The combination of cream and Worcestershire sauce in this steak recipe complements the meat beautifully, and the peppercorns add an exciting hint of spice.

INGREDIENTS   

  • 75ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 75ml double cream
  • ½ Chicken Stock Cube
  • 10-20 green peppercorns

METHOD

1. Pour the Worcestershire sauce into the hot pan and boil over a high heat until it reduces down by about half.

2. Add the double cream and bring back to the boil. You can tell the perfect amount of cream by the colour – it should be about the shade of a café latte. Season the sauce with half a Chicken Stock Cube, letting it dissolve into the mixture.

3. Let the sauce bubble and thicken a little, then add the peppercorns to taste. The more you add, the spicier it will be.

4. Put the steaks back into the pan, letting them heat in the boiling sauce for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and serve.


I serve my sauce on the side, its up to you really how you like it.

Friday, 24 May 2013

※ Two New Flavours In Store Now



LIP BALMS: Two new flavours: Fizzy Cola & Strawberry Pancakes / Tubs and tubes available:

Due to all the problems of synthetic chemicals being placed in over-the-counter health & beauty products, I set out on a mission to handcraft products I knew I could use and trust! Perfectly designed to drench your lips with the unsurpassed softening protection of organic waxes, butters, and oils!



INGREDIENTS (may include)
Organic Coconut Oil, Golden Yellow Bees Wax, Vitamin E, Maple Extract, Organic Cocoa Butter, Spearmint Essential Oil, Orange Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil. May contain Propylene Glycol or Glycerine, Ethanol, which is in flavouring oils, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Infused Olive Oil, Coffee Beans, Apricot kernel Oil, Peanut oil (only in peanut butter chocolate balms)

instore now at: elliluca.com

Friday, 17 May 2013

※ An Ingredient I can't do without


Thought I'd share with you some ingredients I couldn't do without in my kitchen. This week it is Vinegar. I have specified a brand (no I'm not paid to do so, I just love this particular one) 

If you can get your hands on a bottle of this I highly recommend it. It's the best balsamic vinegar I've ever had hands down. People who know me know I'm obsessed with vinegars. Loved them since I was a kid. Yes the price tag is a bit on the high side but you only use a smidgen each time. I generally have a bottle for 6 months or so. 

Name Federzoni Elsa Balsamic
Producer Monari Federzoni

Profile
Vinegar and mulled wine (Balsamic vinegar from Modena is derived from mulled wine) have been the leading unifying elements in Italian cuisine since the time of the ancient Romans. Historically, some evidence suggests that Balsamic Vinegar, or one of its close cousins, was used as early as the period of the Gallic Invasions of Julius Caesar. Definitive evidence however traces it back to the 1300’s. 

In the Modena area, special vinegars have been produced for centuries, the environmental conditions (terrain, climate) and the grape species are ideal for this type of product. The qualifier "balsamic" comes from the ancient habit of using it as a medicine and remedy for various complaints, and during the plague of the 1600s, it was also used as a disinfectant. During the Estense Family’s rule, the batteries of balsamic vinegar of Modena were left as dowries to the daughters of patrician or upper middle class families. Through the generations, the "secret of the vinegar" was closely guarded to avoid the corruption of a valuable product, which was used principally for holidays, gifts, and special occasions. 

In more recent times, it has become a very commercial product. Numerous production companies were born, and in the 1960’s, they were awarded the first ministerial licenses. The first company to obtain this official recognition was Monari Federzoni. 

The package of the Elsa Aged balsamic is painstakingly crafted in every detail and sealed with wax, and contains another product of the Elsa farm. This quality of balsamic vinegar of Modena is called "riserva" (reserve) to highlight its unique flavours and components, which are obtained using choice grapes. Aging always lasts over three years, and the flavours and aroma typical of high quality aging develop during this period of "forced rest". Its characteristics make it ideal for use on hot dishes with assertive flavours, or as a seasoning for cooking sauces or dressings.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

※ Zucchini Chips

Excuse the mobile phone snap! But it was the only picture I took.


Preparation time: 5 minutes / Cooking time   25-30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • tiny dehydrated garlic
  • 2+1/2 cups sliced zucchini (2 small)
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • olive oil about a teaspoon / or cooking spray
METHOD
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine dry ingredients together in a medium-size bowl. In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg. Dip zucchini slices in egg, and toss in breadcrumb mixture. 

Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; (I prefer to just use olive oil which I rubbed on the rack with paper towel) place rack on a baking sheet. 
Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately, as a side or a snack. Serves 4

※ My Lovely Birthday Dinner (Thanks Jake's Kitchen)

The husband hijacked the kitchen for my birthday and made a beautiful meal for me.

So proud of him, he had never cooked such an array of items at one time. It was super delicious & I think he needs to cook more!

Tomato Consommé - Jamie Oliver



INGREDIENTS

  • 2 kilos lbs tomato
  • 0.50 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 to taste salt
  • 1 to taste black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 0.50 cup fresh basil
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 slice beetroot

NOTES: *** You also need cheesecloth for filtering

METHOD
Put everything except the beetroot into a food processor and run until slushy. (You will probably want to split the tomatoes into 2 batches to avoid spillage.) Place 4 layers of clean muslin cheesecloth in a deep bowl. Pour the tomato mixture into the cloth. Tie up the corners of the fabric. Add the slice of beetroot to the bowl to color the liquid. Hang the bag from a shelf in the refrigerator with the bowl under. Let slowly filter out overnight (or at least a few hours) Serve in a pretty clear bowl with an ice cube to keep it very cold, a nice basil leaf, and a few drops of very good extra-virgin olive oil. We served it in small espresso ceramic cups.



A favourite Mersey Valley Chilli Cheddar! I love cheese.


Jamie Oliver's Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

Servings: 4

  • 450 gsm / 1 lb ground beef
  • 450 gsm 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD
Preheat oven to 425°F In a large bowl, mix together beef and pork. In a food processor, process the bread into crumbs, add to meat mixture. Add seasonings and egg, mix well. With wet hands roll mixture into balls. Warm a large saute pan over med. high heat. Add 3-4 tablespoons oil to the pan.

Fry the meatballs until nicely browned on all sides.

Transfer to a 9 by 13 baking dish. Chop onion and saute with garlic in 1 tbsp oil. Add tomatoes and about 1/2 cup torn basil and simmer 10 minutes. Pour over meatballs. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Smashed Chat Potatoes with Chili & Rosemary



There are three characteristics that make potatoes fantastic. Flavor and a creamy, crispy texture. This recipe is versatile and simple. Par-boiling in a separate pan is not necessary. Boiling and roasting all in one pan helps these potatoes retain their flavor and contributes to the contrast in texture. Our flavor profiles are simply suggestions, try your own. The secret is choosing a fat (butter, oil, animal fat) and a flavor (herbs, garlic, zest, vinegar, etc.) and following the technique. Try it and let us know what you think. Oh and serve them HOT!

Parboil your potatoes in salted boiling water for around 10 minutes and drain in a colander. Toss about to chuff them up, this will make them really crispy.

Bake in a moderate (180 deres) oven for about 30 minutes until desired level of crispiness is achieved.


Jake's raspberry bread and butter puddings

Previously blogged a couple of days ago but here it is again.

Donna Hay’s Jake's raspberry bread and butter puddings

INGREDIENTS

soft butter for spreading (he used Lurpak)
12 slices bread, crusts removed200g frozen raspberries


CUSTARD

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup (single or pouring) cream
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     

METHOD Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Butter half the bread and sandwich together with the remaining slices. Cut the sandwiches in half. Divide the sandwiches between 4 x 1 cup capacity greased ramekins, placing the raspberries between the layers of sandwiches. To make the custard, combine the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour over the bread and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and fill enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 minutes or until just set. 
Makes 4.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

※ Green Machine Drink


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored, finely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup brewed green tea, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves plus 2 sprigs mint (for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Fresh lemon Juice

METHOD
Purée apples, cucumber, spinach, tea, 1/4 cup mint leaves, and honey in a blender until very smooth.
Strain juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium pitcher.
Season to taste with lemon juice.








Monday, 13 May 2013

※ Raspberry Bread and Butter Pudding (by Jake's Kitchen)

Yes that's right, Jake's Kitchen. This is one of his and it's amazing! So I had to share with you all. (it is actually a Donna Hay recipe)

Donna Hay’s  Jake's raspberry bread and butter puddings
INGREDIENTS
  • soft butter for spreading (he used Lurpak)
  • 12 slices bread, crusts removed200g frozen raspberries

CUSTARD
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup (single or pouring) cream
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius
Butter half the bread and sandwich together with the remaining slices. 
Cut the sandwiches in half. Divide the sandwiches between 4 x 1 cup capacity greased ramekins, placing the raspberries between the layers of sandwiches. 
To make the custard, combine the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. 
Pour over the bread and allow to stand for 5 minutes. 
Place the ramekins in a baking dish and fill enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 minutes or until just set. Makes 4.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

※ Thank You!

Thanks everybody for your support yesterday & today.

FYI the following flavours have now sold out:
LIP BALM Small Pot & Tubes - Vanilla Honey (large tub still available)
LIP BALM - Banana Pancakes with Maple Syrup (all forms sold out)
LIP BALM Tube - Peanut Butter Chocolate (all forms sold out)

May need to do another run of the pancake, maybe strawberry pancakes this time?





Wednesday, 8 May 2013

※ Lip balms now back in store!

PLEASE NOTE / POSTAGE RATES
Buy 4 small pots or tubes & postage is only $2.60
Large pots, postage $8.00 Flat rate shipping capped at $8.00 up to 500gsm Australia Wide



NOW IN STOCK:

BALM Headache Relief - Small Pot
BALM Headache Relief - Tube
LIP BALM Large Pot - Spearmint
LIP BALM Large Pot - Vanilla Honey
LIP BALM Small Pot - Banana Cream
LIP BALM Small Pot - Banana Pancakes with Maple Syrup
LIP BALM Small Pot - Bubble Gum
LIP BALM Small Pot - English Toffee
LIP BALM Small Pot - Mint Chocolate Chip
LIP BALM Small Pot - Peach Lemonade
LIP BALM Small Pot - Peppermint
LIP BALM Small Pot - Vanilla Honey
LIP BALM Tube - Banana Cream
LIP BALM Tube - Bubble Gum
LIP BALM Tube - Chocolate Licorice
LIP BALM Tube - Orange
LIP BALM Tube - Peach Lemonade
LIP BALM Tube - Peanut Butter Chocolate
LIP BALM Tube - Peppermint
LIP BALM Tube - Salted Caramel
LIP BALM Tube - Vanilla Honey
 




Thursday, 2 May 2013

※ Zucchini Fritters



Makes about 10  fritters adapted from Simply Recipes version

INGREDIENTS
2 medium sized zucchini
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
2 scallions / spring onions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried garlic / or fresh (but use less if fresh)
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup plain flour
Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

To serve (optional)
1 cup sour cream 
Sweet Chili Sauce to taste.
Pinches of salt

METHOD

Salt the zucchini with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Try to remove the excess moisture from the zucchini by either squeezing the liquid out with a potato ricer, or by squeezing with paper towels. (The original recipe calls for putting the zucchini in a colander set in the sink to let it drain for 10 minutes after salting it. I think it works much better to use a potato ricer.)

Whisk egg in a large bowl; add the zucchini, flour, spring onions, garlic, pepper & cheese. Mix to combine well.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook fritters in two batches. Drop six mounds of batter (2 Tbsp each) into the skillet. Flatten slightly. Cook, turning once, until browned, 4-6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt.
Serve immediately, with sour cream  sweet chili sauce.




We served it with a side salad of baby spinach, feta and semi dried tomatoes, crumbled feta with a balsamic reduction.



Wednesday, 1 May 2013

※ Slow Cooker Beef & Potato Pie

Serves 3 - 4 people in standard size ramekins.

special equipment: Potato ricer (optional)




INGREDIENTS - Pies
  • 2 Medium sized porterhouse steaks, fat trimmed off
  • 1 Large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Pepper
  • Beef or chicken stock 1 1/2 cups (if using powdered don't add any salt)
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons of Worcester sauce.
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cornflour (enough to coat the meat before browning and frying off)
  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons  instant gravy mix (I use greens chicken, I find beef too rich) 


INGREDIENTS - Cheesy Mash Topping
  • 2 Large Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoon of Butter
  • Dash of cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

METHOD - Pie
Cube beef into preferred bite size pieces (I like them small about 1 cm or so)
Coat in corn flour and Fry off in small batches till brown, place in slow cooker as you go
Add onions and garlic to pan cook until caramelized, add to cooker.
De glaze pan and scrape off all brown you can with a cup of water / add to cooker.
Add all remaining pie ingredients to cooker.
Slow cook for 8 hours on low (less time for smaller cubes of beef, around 6 hours or so)
I add the gravy powder to desired thickness straight into the cooker (less dishes)
Spoon into ramekins with enough room at top for potatoes.

Spoon on roughly mashed potatoes
Heat oven to grill setting grill until top is golden brown 5 - 10 mins depending on your oven / grill



METHOD - Mashed potatoes
The perfect mashed potatoes aren't actually mashed. The key is using a potato ricer (which looks like a giant garlic press). This gadget gently breaks the potatoes into tiny, flaky pieces (rather than smashing them into a gluey mass), creating just the right texture. Your left with light, fluffy, perfect potatoes.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. 
Add potatoes; reduce heat to medium and simmer with lid slightly ajar until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain potatoes; return to pot. Toss potatoes over high heat until moisture evaporates, about 2 minutes. Heat cream with butter in small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted; set aside. Using potato ricer, press potatoes into large bowl. Add cream / butter mixture; stir to blend. Add Cheese & season to taste with white pepper. 

DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl; let stand at room temperature. Reheat in microwave in 1-minute intervals until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.