Friday, November 4, 2011

A revisit...

A while back, I posted a recipe for Russian Friendship Tea. Since then, I've looked for instant tea, and the only type I can find is instant iced tea (such as Nestea).
I'm thinking I may buy some so I can try it. I'm thinking combining the amount for the instant tea and instant lemonade mix, and using the Nestea stuff.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salmon cakes

Many years ago, I cooked a family recipe for fish cakes. It had onions, garlic, eggs, bread (cubed and soaked in milk), and ground coriander (spice), then crumbed (flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs) and shallow fried.
As much as I like the simplicity of that recipe, I wanted something different. I wanted something I could eat without needing to crumb and fry, if I had to. So I developed this recipe.

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled, cubed and steamed and then mashed
  • 400g tinned red salmon
  • 3 spring onions, diced finely
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander (herb, aka cilantro)
  • Bread crumbs
  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients, adding a dash of milk if too dry and they won't hold together well
  2. Crumb lightly
  3. Fry until golden
You can eat this without crumbing and frying, as a simple spread for a sandwich.
I make these salmon cakes and serve them as a fish burger.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A lazy Saturday...

A few weeks back, I put down some limoncello starter. That is, I bought vodka and a few lemons, peeled the lemons and soaked them in the vodka (seriously, a jar filled with peels and vodka just covering it) for 4 or so weeks. Today, I finished making it, as per my mandarincello recipe. And just in time - I'm almost out of cider ;)

But, while I was at it, I figured I may as well make some creamed rice. My friend, Julia sent me the Donna Hay recipe, which I've since adapted slightly. So, here's my version.

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups full cream milk
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  1. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil
  3. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally 
Enjoy hot or cold

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken "cacciatore"

So, cacciatore apparently means hunter in Italian, so this is Hunter's Chicken. 
Actually, it isn't so much cacciatore, but it is my version of it.
It's what I call a "meat plus wet" recipe - That is, meat, plus liquid (a tin of soup, some wine, some stock or similar) over heat or in the oven for an hour or so makes dinner. Of course, the longer you leave it, the better it tastes.

So, this recipe is for 4 adults, but since its me and the girls at home tonight, I'll still be making the same amount.

  • 1 large onion - sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic - minced
  • 4 chicken marylands
  • 2 tins (410 g each) of whole tomatoes
  • black olives to season (that's your salt, peoples)

  1. Cook down the onions in a large, heavy based saucepan until transparent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  2. Push the onion garlic mixture aside, and brown the chicken.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes, and a few olives to season.
  4. Simmer for at least 1 hour, or as long as you desire.

Serve with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Anniversary dinner

For those of you who've been living under a rock, it was my wedding anniversary yesterday.
So, last night, I decided to make mustard crusted rack of lamb, hasselback potatoes and roasted asparagus. This is significant for a reason - the dinner at our wedding reception was mustard crusted rack of lamb. Off the top of my head, I cannot remember what the sides for it were, but I do remember the lamb. And last nights was pretty damned close, if slightly over cooked.

Hasselback potatoes

  • garlic - 1 clove per person
  • butter - 1 tablespoon for 2 people
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large potato per person

  1. Make a garlic butter from softened butter and minced garlic. Season well
  2. Peel each potato. Cut in half lengthways. 
  3. Place flattened side of the potato on the chopping board. Along the length of the potato, cut into the potato to around 3mm from the base, around 3mm apart.
  4. Rub the garlic butter into the top of the potatoes, attempting to get the butter into cuts.
  5. Bake for ~45 minutes in a moderate (180C or 350F) oven.

Mustard crusted rack of lamb

  • 1 lamb rack - 4 bones for on each - per person
  • 1 tablespoon of English mustard per rack
  • bread crumbs
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. For each person, prepare a 4 rib rack of lamb. These should be Frenched. Season well, and brown fat side first in a large oven proof frying pan (I used my trustworthy cast iron frying pan).
  2. Remove the racks from the frying pan, rub English mustard over the now browned fat. Pat breadcumbs onto the mustard.
  3. Return to pan, and place on the top shelf of the oven.
  4. Cook until the potatoes are also done
Baked asparagus
  • 4 fresh asparagus spears per person
  • oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Place asparagus into an oven proof dish or frying pan (again, I used my trustworthy cast iron frying pan - this time, the medium sized one)
  2. Coat well with olive oil (I used a lemon infused one) and season
  3. Place on bottom shelf of oven for the last ten minutes of cooking time

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chocolate spoons

I keep seeing chocolate spoon images, so I figured I'd try making some. I looked around for recipes both I and my kids would like, and found nothing all of us would enjoy. So, I decided to play around a bit.

  • Good quality chocolate (I used white, dark and milk)
  • mini patty cases
  • cocoa and caster sugar (for the milk chocolate)
  • zip lock bags
  • any other flavourings you may enjoy and some extra for decoration
  • Plastic spoons
  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Place broken chocolate into zip lock bags with the flavourings and seal tightly (I placed 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa and 1 heaped tab of caster sugar with the milk choc, some chopped sugar free ginger and vanilla seeds in the white choc, and some crushed peppermint lollies in the dark choc)
  2. Place sealed bags in a large heat proof bowl, and pour over boiling water
  3. When melted, snip a corner off the bag, and pipe into the mini patty cases
  4. decorate as appropriate (mini marshmallows, crushed up caramels)
  5. Place spoon upright in almost set chocolate.
When the chocolates have set completely, place in an airtight container.
To use, pour boiling milk over the chocolate spoons, and stir vigourously.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Muesli slice

We Aussies would be tempted to call this a muesli bar - and in fact, the flavours I used are inspired by a well know commercial flavour of muesli bar. I also know that Americans would call it a granola bar.
This one is super easy, because I used store bought muesli.

  • 4 cups muesli 
  • 1 tin (395mL) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup glace cherries, chopped 
  • coconut essence
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (fan forced)
  2. lightly grease a slice tin (23cm by 23cm)
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients
  4. tip in to the slice tin, and level out
  5. bake for approximately 30 minute, or until golden on the top.
  6. Allow to cool in tin, turn out, and cut in to 16 squares.
I'm going to try with other fruit combinations in the next few weeks. I'm thinking dried cranberries and white chocolate would work well. 
Does anyone else have any other suggestions?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

5 can soup

So, yesterday, I decided that because it was getting cold (it's Autumn here in Australia, and this particular town gets snow from late Autumn through to late Spring).
I googled for a soup recipe (I also have a pumpkin soup cooking), and came across seven can soup.  I decided to change it slightly, and am making a five can soup.

  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can tomatoes (whole)
  • 3 cans of soup
  1. Pour each of the soup cans into the slow cooker.
  2. Pour in the tomato soup.
  3. Rinse the butter beans, and refill the can with water. Pour in to the slow cooker.
Cook on low for several hours. After 3 hours, taste for seasoning. If it is too salty, add in some halved, new potatoes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mini spinach frittatas

So, the other day, I had a Brain Storm.
See, the InfoxicatedMan has recently started a job where he will be spending a fair bit of time away from home. Including overnights. And he gets up fairly early each morning, too - He has to be at work before 7, so he leaves home at around 6.
And that got me thinking. Normally, he makes a coffee and has that and a cigarette for breakfast. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon snack tend to be one-hand food, too. Last night, the request was made for chicken legs for lunch. (I baked them as I was making beef stroganoff.) I also thought to ask, what if I could find a recipe for a simple, nutritious, protein rich breakfast. Would he eat it?
So, I went looking. And found egg muffins.
But, being me, I thought I'd change it slightly.

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 4 large eggs
  • 150mL cream
  • 100g cottage cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
  2. Chop spinach roughly, removing the stalk
  3. Rinse well
  4. Wilt in heavy based pan with lid. Remove from pan, and allow to cool
  5. Beat cream until soft ribbons form
  6. Chop cooled spinach, and add to eggs. Mix thoroughly
  7. Stir in cottage cheese
  8. Fold in cream
  9. Cook in greased cupcake tins for approximately 15 minutes, or until no longer wobbly
  10. Allow to cool to room temp, and place in a container

These should freeze well, and are great to eat hot, cold, or room temp
I'm also thinking chorizo and semidried tomatoes, pear and blue cheese, and fennel and camembert.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Home made KFC style chicken

Several years back, we lived in the lovely interesting town of Lismore. It's a uni town. That is, if not for the uni (Southern Cross), the town pretty much wouldn't exist. Like many uni towns, there were several fast food outlets. 4 Subways, a KFC, 2 Maccas, a Red Rooster...
Anyways, we lived across the road from KFC. And some nights, we'd feel like cooking just wasn't an option. So, we'd go across the road and grab KFC. Of course, we always felt sick after it, so we figured we'd play around with some seasoning, and here's what we came up with.

  • 1kg of chicken breast (diced, so its like popcorn chicken)
  • Flour
  • Masterfoods Season All
  • Paprika
  • Mustard powder
  • Egg wash
  • Hot oil (180C is good. Use the deep fryer you have. It's easiest) 

  1. Mix the flour with the season all - try 2 parts flour to one part season all. Add in a few tablespoons of paprika and mustard. Mix them thoroughly.
  2. Dip the chicken bits in the egg wash. 
  3. Dust liberally with the seasoned flour.
  4. Fry until golden. 
  5. Continue in batches.
  6. Re-fry the chicken until a dark golden colour.

Serve with fries, mustard (I suggest American, or honey mustard) and tomato sauce.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A thought...

My sister, Bast, lives in South East Queensland, in Logan. They're in a slab house, so if the rivers do break near them, they'll be swimming. My thoughts and prayers are with Bast, MrBast, the two baby girls (Bast' twins - aka Cut and Paste), BastJr, and the pets.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Uses for candy canes...

Inspired by this post on white hot chocolate with ginger, and with a rather large excess of candy canes hanging from the tree, I'm thinking of Ideas.
So far, I've used a small candy cane per mug of hot chocolate, I've been drinking peppermint mocha coffee each morning, and I'm eyeing off a bottle of vodka (peppermint vodka? Of course I want to try it).
Anyone else have any ideas?