Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pasta night

Thursday nights are pasta nights in my house.
The reason is simple. Ian (that is, the InfoxicatedMan) doesn't like pasta (inorite? who doesn't like pasta?), and Thursday nights is Band Night.
This recipe is my standby, budget pasta recipe. I've added salami to it before, and fresh cherry tomatoes, and bocconcini, but as a general rule, this is it.

  • Pasta of choice (I've been using rollini lately, but I imagine penne or spirali would work well, too)
  • minced garlic to taste
  • chili to taste
  • sundried tomatoes
  • olives (pitted are best, and I normally use kalamata)
  • a tablespoon of tomato paste

  1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. Make sure it's al dente.
  2. Heat a heavy based pan on the cook top.
  3. Add in some of the oil from the tomatoes or olives (its generally olive oil anyways).
  4. Gently fry the garlic and chili.
  5. Add in chopped sundried tomatoes and the tomato paste.
  6. Stir through the olives.
  7. Allow all to heat through.
  8. Add drained pasta.

If you are adding salami, fry it off in chunks with the garlic and olive oil.
Prosciutto and pancetta should be fried (or baked) until crispy, and crumbled through at the last minute.
Any mozarella or bocconcini should be stirred through at the same time as the pasta.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Cocktail bar - Moscow Mule

I'm sitting here, drinking vodka lemonade and thinking what I could possibly do with the 1L of vodka my husband brought back duty free when he came back from Switzerland - and then I thought of the Vodka Mule.
Smirnoff at the moment have an RTD (ready to drink) called Smirnoff Mule at the moment, and I know 3 different recipes for this - I'm gonna give you my favourite first, and then the alternatives, which I'm not so sure on.

  • 50 mL vodka (always use Smirnoff - mostly because its what I drink, and its also what tends to be the "house" vodka at pubs I work at)
  • Lime
  • Dry ginger ale

  1. Muddle the lime in an old fashioned glass
  2. Add the vodka
  3. Add ice to top of glass
  4. Top with dry ginger ale

The alternatives I know are using ginger beer, which is much spicier in flavour, and using lime cordial/syrup instead of real lime. If you're gonna use the lime syrup, make sure its the very pale chartreuse coloured syrup, not that dark green-kids-love-it stuff

Friday, September 10, 2010

Corned beef

I mentioned to my friend, Destri (the same one mentioned here) that I should do a corned beef post, so here it is.
I've noticed a lot of my friends wouldn;t know how to cook corned beef, even if the piece of meat and a boiler (with the pickling brine in it) were put in front of them.
This is a recipe similar to what my husbands grandmother used to make, but developed for our personal tastes.

  • A decent sized chunk of silverside or "corning" beef
  • 1/2 cup vinegar for each kg (2 lbs) beef
  • water to cover
  • sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and cloves to taste
  1. Place heavy pot boiler or stockpot on stove top with the above ingredients
  2. bring to boil
  3. reduce and simmer for a minimum of 2 hours
Serve with cabbage, mashed potatoes and white sauce

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A product review...

I generally don't do them unless something really OMG! comes up, and this is it.

I drink a lot of coffee. Read several mugs worth of bitter, dark coffee a day (yeah, I drink it with milk, but I can't drink plain black coffee as a rule).
Anyways, as I was walking through the supermarket yesterday, I came across Zolito coffee, in pop up cup sized filters. (I'd give you a link on their site, but a) I don't read or speak Thai, and b) it doesn't seem to be listed)
Anyways, here's the point (and yes, there is one). It makes a nice cup, and at $3.60 for a pack of 6, it's not bad....
Now to see if I can work out how to make my own cup filters...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Destri's Zesty Refrigerator Pickles

I've copied this recipe exactly from my friend, Destri.

Just so we're all on the same page, Destri is a mate that I chat to online - ex-Navy, and an all round Good Bloke.

I'd give you his real name, but we're all kind of private about stuffs like that :)

1 large cucumber, cleaned and sliced into half-chips. (makes 2 -12 oz jars)

baby carrots

Onion optional

Rice wine vinegar

Hot water

1 Jalapeno

1 jar of banana peppers (you want pepper-infused vinegar)

2 (or more) clean jars with sealing lids.

Dried basil (or fresh)

Hot sauce (your fave, I used Frank's redhot sauce this week)

First off you want a jar that is just jalapeno peppers and/or hot banana peppers. You can refill this over and over with the rice vinegar and make more pepper-infused vinegar. You can add some of these pickled peppers to your pickle jars, and keep refilling your pepper-vinegar jar with fresh sliced peppers.

For refrigerator pickles, you want a mixture of 3/4 vinegar to 1/4 water for your brine. I'm on a low-sodium diet, so I'm not using any salt.

Fill your jars with the sliced cucumbers and carrots (if wanted). Pour hot brine over the pickles in the jar and then seal them. Shake it a lot and put it in the fridge. They will be awesome in 3 days and last a total of 2 weeks.

Brine this week.

2 parts Pepper-infused rice vinegar

1/4 cup of Frank's red hot sauce

1 part plain rice vinegar

1 part hot water. (1/3 of the vinegar amount)

Dried basil, 1 tsp

Garlic powder 1 tbsp.

-I stirred this all together in a large cup, letting the spices rehydrate. Try the brine it should be really zesty and have a serious twang. The pickles will be about 1/2 of this twang. The cucumbers have their own water that will mix with this. I added a few of the pickled Jalapeño slices to the jar.

These pickles seem to get better the spicier they are. You can reuse the brine I'd say 1 more time within the 2 week period. After that, start fresh with a new brine. I'd say that these are "Medium spicy", which for me is spicy enough. Lower-spicy threshold will say "Those are spicy!" but keep eating them. People who regularly eat Thai and Indian food will think they are good and just keep eating them. I haven't been able to make them /too/ spicy yet. This may be a challenge for somebody. Probably putting sliced jalapeños in the jar with the pickles should kick them up, and make the pickled jalapeños tasty as well. Adding onion slices makes tasty pickled onions. It's a pretty tolerant recipe for changes. These are dynamite out of the jar as a snack or on a sandwich. We pretty much just eat them out of the jar at game night. Interspersed with chips, bread, cheese etc.