Wednesday, 24 October 2007

HONEY GLAZED ROOT VEGETABLES

Another one of our favourites. The original recipe had too much honey, here I have altered it for our tastes.
Combine in a bowl:
1 level Tbl honey (less is ok but in a large baking dish full of veg this is not too much)
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp curry paste (don't over power the vegs with this, its not a curry)
1 tsp cumin seeds (or ground)
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds - only the soft ones
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil

Put into a large bowl:
1 - 11/2 cups chopped pumpkin
1 large parsnip, quartered lengthways
1 fennel bulb, cut into chunks (lengthways but not too big)
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 - 2 potatoes, cut into chunks
(any other suitable vegs)

Mix all together well and place into a baking dish so it all fits fairly flat. Bake 45 - 60 mins, tossing once. Enjoy. Beautiful cold for lunch.

FENNEL AND BEETROOT

This is adapted from one of Jamie Oliver's recipes which just uses beetroot but, like Maggie, I have lots of fennel and this is a star performer at my place.Now I also have lots of beetroot - perfect.

Set oven to 180 -200.

Into a casserole dish place chunks of fennel bulb and halved or even quartered beetroot, depending on their size. For this recipe I would use 1 fennel bulb (or less if its huge) and about 4 or 5 medium beetroot.
Add 10 (yes! 10) cloves of garlic - squashed with a flat knife but not peeled
a handful of herbs - oregano is good
6 Tbl balsamic vinegar (more or less is ok)
quite a lot of olive oil, don't be cute about it
salt and pepper
Cover the dish tightly with foil (or something else - it must seal in all the juices) and put the lid on.
Bake for 1 hour. Test with a skewer - beetroot should be very soft. If you are not going to eat it hot, leave it in the oven to cool and keep it sealed up. Mmmmm.....you will love it hot or cold. We are eating it every day at the moment. It was so popular at a BBQ we had last weekend I could have cooked twice as much.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

ELDERFLOWER CHAMPAGNE


no added yeast, non-alcoholic version
20 elderflower heads
5 lemons
150ml vinegar
1.5kg sugar
20 litres water

Cut most of the stems from the flowers. Shake any bugs, dirt etc.
Squeeze lemons and cut rind into strips.
Add all ingredients to a large container, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Steep for 24hrs, then strain, bottle and seal. Store in a cool place. Keep at least 3 weeks before drinking.
Make it now and it will be ready for the christmas celebrations.


Tangy Asian Style Chicken Soup


This recipe comes from the Oct 2005 ABC delicious magazine but they call it "aromatic chicken soup".
1 litre chicken stock
2 lemon grass stems, trimmed & chopped
2.5 cm piece of ginger, sliced
3 Asian (red) eschalots, chopped
2 long red chillies, bruised
2 kaffir lime leaves
200g skinless chicken breast or thigh fillets
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
small handful of snow peas, very thinly sliced
1/2 red capsicum, very thinly sliced
1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked

Place the chicken stock, lemongrass, ginger, eschalot, chilli and kaffir lime leaves in a saucepan, then bring to the boil. Add the chicken and poach for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the chicken to cool slightly in the broth. When cool enough to handle, remove the chicken and strain the broth, discarding solids. Return the stock to the saucepan. Shred the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Add the lime juice and fish sauce to the stock and return to the boil. Add the shredded chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to reheat.

Add the spring onions, snow peas and capsicum and allow the soup to return to the boil.

Ladle into deep bowls and sprinkle with coriander. Serve immediately.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Pavlova


Ingredients
6 egg whites (eggs must be fresh)
a pinch of salt or cream of tartar (helps stabilize the egg whites)
1 1/2 cups of caster sugar (fine sugar)not icing or powdered sugar
1 level Tablespoon of cornflour
2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice

Method
Preheat an oven to moderate ( 180 degrees celsius or 350 degrees fahrenheit )
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl at a high speed until stiff but not dry
Add sugar slowly and continue to beat until mix is thick and glossy and the sugar is dissolved (don't over beat the mix or it will go flat)
Fold in the vinegar and cornflour
Spoon on to baking paper (or an oven proof crockery plate that has been sprinkled with water or greased then sprinkled with cornflour) , make about a 9 inch (23cm) circle
The mix should look like a cake
Put pavlova in the centre of the oven
Turn down the oven to 120 or 150 degrees celsius or 250 degrees fahrenheit, a slow oven,
Turn it down a bit more if it starts to colour.
Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until pav is set on the outside but not coloured (it will firm up once it is cool)
Turn off the oven
Leave the pav to cool in the oven with the oven door slightly open (use a wooden spoon to keep the door open).
Some people remove the pav to cool outside the oven
When cool cover the top (just before serving) with thickly whipped cream and strawberries , berries, passionfruit and kiwi fruit ( or other berries, even grated chocolate if you don"t have fruit)

Points to Pav success
You must have no egg yolk in the whites, so crack each egg with a knife into a bowl, then if it is yolk free tip it into your mixing bowl.
Even a tiny amount of egg yolk means the mixture will not beat up. The grease coats the white so it can not trap air and hold its shape.
This also means you should have a perfectly clean bowl and beaters, no detergent residue.
Use a glass bowl, things will not whip up in plastic.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

PERSIMMON SPICE CAKE

A recipe for Pattie

Ingredients:
4 - 6 ripe and soft persimmons - peeled and puréed.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
115 g butter
(1/2 cup sugar - not nec)
350g plain flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
60g walnuts or pecans - coarsely chopped

Method:
Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.Add the baking soda to the puréed persimmon. You will notice that the persimmon will set and become more solid. No cause for alarm. Although this might look strange it is perfectly normal.In a mixing bowl whisk the butter (and sugar) with and electric mixer, until creamy and fluffy. Stir in the persimmon and egg, beating until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients to the persimmon mixture. Blend in well and stir in the nuts.Spoon the batter into a round greased cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.Take out and allow to cool on a rack. Sprinkle generously with icing sugar.