Monday, 12 November 2012

Nectarine and Raspberry Muffins

You know when Summer's just about here when stone fruits start coming into season. I bought a bag of yellow fleshed nectarines the other day and whipped up these delicious muffins for the kid's lunch boxes. They also happen to be pretty awesome with a cup of tea as well!




Ingredients:
125g butter, softened
180g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
220g self-raising flour
2 nectarines, cut into thin wedges
150 raspberries, frozen
icing sugar, to serve


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Place butter, sugar and vanilla into TM bowl and mix for 30 seconds/speed 5 or until light and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs and mix for 30 seconds/speed 5.
  4. Add the flour and mix for 10 seconds/reverse + speed 5.
  5. Spoon the mixture evenly amongst a 12-hole muffin tin that has been lined with paper patty cases and top with the nectarines and raspberries.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  7. Remove from oven and dust with icing sugar.

Makes 12


Tips:
You can also turn this into a lovely tart. Pour the mixture into a 20cm round cake tin (with removable base) that has been lined with baking paper. Top with fruit and bake at 160 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.





Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Baby Food (Vanilla Custard)

Most store-bought custards are largely made up of water, sugar, colours and other additives. This recipe, unlike many other custard recipes, is sugar-free and uses only egg yolk, making it suitable for babies from 6 months onwards.



Ingredients:
1 organic pear, peeled, cored and quartered
1/2 MC water
250g milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Method:
  1. Place the pear and water into the TM bowl and cook for 8 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2.
  2. Puree for 5 seconds/speed 8.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 7 minutes/90 degrees/speed 4.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl, cool and serve.


Makes 2-3 serves

Tips and Tricks
Use fresh organic apple, nectarine, peach or apricot in place of the pear.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Chicken Stroganoff

Forget those recipe bases - you can make this tasty meal using basic ingredients from your kitchen - perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.



Ingredients:
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 garlic clove, peeled
30g butter
150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
100g white wine
100g chicken stock (or 100g water and 2 teaspoons VSC)
15g cornflour
120g sour cream
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
500g chicken thigh fillets, sliced
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to season
parsley, finely chopped to garnish

Method:
  1. Place onion and garlic into TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down bowl.
  2. Add butter and sauté for 5 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  3. Insert butterfly and add mushrooms, tomato paste, wine, stock, cornflour, sour cream, worcestershire sauce and paprika and cook for 5 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  4. Add chicken and cook for a further 12 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place into serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with pasta and steamed greens.


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Roast Vegetable Stock Concentrate

One of the very first things every new TM owner makes is Vegetable Stock Concentrate which is used in place of store bought stock cubes.

Well I've been experimenting with a few different versions, and although this takes slightly longer to make, it definitely produces the best flavour.


Ingredients:
2 onions, peeled and halved
1 leek, halved
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots, halved
handful of mushrooms
1 zucchini
1 medium tomato (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
few sprigs of parsley
20g olive oil
150g rock salt
cracked black pepper

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the vegetables into a baking dish lined with baking paper and roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are nicely coloured.
  2. Transfer the vegetables into the TM bowl and add parsley. Chop for 10 seconds/speed 6.
  3. Add the salt, pepper and oil and cook for 10 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  4. Blend for 1 minute/speed 9.
  5. Place into an airtight jar and store in the fridge.







Thursday, 20 September 2012

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing

I've been using Quinoa for some time now. It's gluten-free and is a great alternative to burghul, couscous and rice. I like to use it in tabouli or Moroccan-inspired salads. This salad is great on it's own, served with barbecued steak or chicken or as I did tonight, alongside a Moroccan Beef Curry.

(NB: Quinoa should be soaked overnight if possible, but for those time-poor just make sure you rinse it really well before cooking.)


Ingredients:
1000g water
1 teaspoon sea salt
170g quinoa, soaked overnight
400g can chickpeas
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 small red onion
extra coriander leaves, to garnish
olive oil, to garnish

Tahini Dressing:
1 garlic clove
60g tahini
zest and juice of 1 lemon
20g olive oil
2-3 tablespoons water
sea salt, to season

Method:
  1. Fill TM bowl with water and add salt. Place drained quinoa into basket and cook for 15 minutes/varoma/speed 4. Drain and set aside with chickpeas into a serving bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients into TM bowl and blend for 10 seconds/speed 8. Add some more water and blend again, to achieve the desired consistency. Set aside.
  3. To finish, place red onion and coriander into TM bowl and chop for 4 seconds/speed 4. Add to quinoa and chickpeas and toss with half the dressing. Add more dressing if you wish and season to taste. Serve garnished with some coriander leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.


Sweet Moroccan Curried Beef (Devil of a Cookbook)



Monday, 17 September 2012

Red Curry Chicken with Pineapple and Ginger

I swear you will never need to order Thai takeaway again - and you can have this amazing dish on the table in less than 20 minutes. This is my new and improved version of Red Curry with Pineapple and Ginger only this time I've used chicken. For a delicious vegetarian variation, substitute the meat with tofu.



Ingredients:
1 x 165ml can of coconut milk
3 tablespoons Red Curry Paste
15g ginger, peeled and julienned
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips
1 tablespoon palm sugar, shredded
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 x 270ml can of coconut milk, extra
280g fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup Thai basil
3 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and finely shredded
coriander leaves, to garnish

Method:
  1. Place the small tin of coconut milk, red curry paste and ginger into the TM bowl and cook for 4 minutes/varoma/reverse + speed 1, MC off.
  2. Insert Butterfly, then add the chicken, palm sugar and fish sauce and cook for 5 minutes/varoma/reverse + soft speed, MC off.
  3. Add the 2nd tin of coconut milk to the TM bowl and cook for a further 5 minutes/varoma/reverse + soft speed.
  4. Add pineapple and simmer for 1 minute/varoma/reverse + soft speed.
  5. Pour into serving bowl (or Thermoserver) and stir through the Thai basil.
  6. Garnish with kaffir lime leaves and coriander and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Serves 4


Baby Food (10 - 12 Months) and beyond

Your baby should have quite a few teeth by now, so it's a good time to change the consistency of their food to "lumpy" which is great practice for their chewing skills.

Vegetable Risotto
Ingredients:
20g parmesan cheese
1/4 onion
sprig of parsley or basil
pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
20g olive oil
2-3 tablespoons aborio rice
small handful peas (fresh or frozen)
water

Method:
  1. Place cheese into TM bowl and grate for 10 seconds/speed 8. Set aside.
  2. Add onion, parsley, pumpkin and carrot to TM bowl and chop for 4 seconds/speed 6 or until evenly chopped.
  3. Add oil and sauté for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 with MC off.
  4. Add rice and sauté for a further 2 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  5. Add the peas and enough water to just cover the rice and vegetables and cook for 15 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  6. Stir through parmesan cheese and serve.
Try these other flavour combos using the following method. Just and pieces of organic meat and vegetables into the TM bowl and chop into small pieces. Add some olive oil and saute for a couple of minutes then add just enough water to cover and cook for about 15 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed. If your using tinned tuna, simply add it to the bowl at the end of the cooking time and stir through.

The ingredients are listed from greatest amount to smallest.

Chicken and Creamy Leek and Potato
Potato, Leek, Onion, Chicken, Spinach, Apple, Milk, Parsley

Tuna with Garden Vegetables
Potato, Carrots, Pumpkin, Onion, Peas, Spinach, Tuna, Parsley

Sweet Potato and Lamb Casserole
Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Swede, Onion, Tomato, Tomato Puree, Lamb, Ground Rice, Rosemary

Baby Spaghetti Bolognese
Tomato Puree, Macaroni, Carrots, Beef, Onion, Parsley, Oregano



Saturday, 15 September 2012

Peanut Curry of Tofu, Potato and Roasted Shallots

I guess by now you must be wondering what I did with the fresh coconut milk that I made - well here it is! The rich flavour of the red curry sauce is absorbed by the tofu and potato in this delicious vegetarian Thai curry. You can use chicken in place of the tofu - just increase the cooking time.


Ingredients:
150g golden shallots (about 2), peeled and left whole
375g washed baby potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
60g vegetable oil (extra)
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons palm sugar, shredded
2 tablespoons soy sauce
470g coconut milk
70g roasted peanuts
375g firm tofu, cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 cup firmly packed Thai basil leaves
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
red chilli, finely sliced

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Place shallots and potatoes into a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place into a roasting pan lined with baking paper and bake for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and shallots are soft.
  3. Place extra vegetable oil and curry paste into the TM bowl and saute for 4 minutes/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  4. Add palm sugar, soy sauce and coconut milk and cook for 4 minutes/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  5. Insert Butterfly and add peanuts, tofu, roasted shallots, roasted potatoes and basil and cook for 2 minutes/varoma/reverse + soft speed.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the kaffir lime leaves and chilli.
Serves 4

Hint:  Palm sugar is a sweet, unrefined sugar, widely used in Asian cooking. I have been using Jeeny's Palm Sugar (available in most supermarkets) - one piece is sufficient for this recipe.


Healthy Banana Chocolate Cookies

Looking for some healthy snack ideas for the kids? I made these cookies to use up the coconut pulp left over from the fresh coconut milk I recently made. They are a delicious and healthy alternative snack for the kids which are great for the lunchbox - they are Gluten Free and Sugar Free.


Ingredients:
1 large very ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaped tablespoon honey
20g olive oil
240g almond meal
40g coconut pulp (or desiccated coconut)
80g dark chocolate, chopped

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Place the banana, vanilla extract, honey and olive oil in the TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 5.
  3. Add the almond meal, coconut pulp and chocolate and mix for 10 seconds/Reverse + speed 3 or until a soft dough is formed.
  4. Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and gently roll into a ball, then place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly, then bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then store in an airtight container.
Makes 15

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Coconut Cake with Lemon Syrup

This deliciously moist cake was made using the leftover pulp from a batch of coconut milk I made in the Thermomix. Of course, you can substitute the fresh pulp with desiccated coconut if you prefer.


Ingredients:
cake
zest from 1/2 a lemon
220g sugar
125g butter, roughly chopped
4 eggs
70g fresh coconut pulp (or desiccated coconut)
140g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

lemon syrup
220g sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zest shredded (you need about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
130g water

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Place the zest and sugar into the TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds/speed 10.
  3. Add butter and mix for 10 seconds/speed 7. 
  4. Add eggs and mix for 30 seconds/speed 5.
  5. Add the coconut, flour and baking powder and mix for 10 seconds/Reverse + speed 4.
  6. Pour the mixture into a cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  7. Wash and dry TM bowl.
  8. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Place all the ingredients into the TM bowl and cook for 10 minutes/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  9. Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake in the tin.
  10. Remove the cake from the tin, slice and serve with the remaining syrup and thick cream.
Serves 8-10





Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Coconut Milk

The kids recently became fascinated with coconuts, so while we were out shopping the other day, I decided to buy one. We took it home and cracked it open to see what was inside that hairy brown shell. I personally love curries made with coconut milk, so I decided to make up a fresh batch of milk in the Thermomix which I later used to make a Thai curry. Freshly made coconut milk is something else and well worth the extra effort.  I used the leftover pulp to make a Coconut Cake with Lemon Syrup for dessert.



Ingredients:
1 coconut, flesh removed and cut into chunks (see note below)
500g warm water

Method:
  1. Place the coconut flesh and water into the TM bowl and blend for 30 seconds/speed 10.
  2. Pour through a strainer, leaving the pulp behind.
  3. Chill in the refrigerator until set, then scoop the cream from the top.
Makes 500g

NOTE:
Pierce the eyes of the coconut with a skewer and drain out the water (which you can drink.) Hold the coconut and give it a good crack with the back of a cleaver. Gently prise it open then carefully use a knife or large spoon to prise the flesh from the shell. With a sharp knife, clean the brown skin from the flesh and cut into small chunks.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

White Bean Dip

This is another quick and easy recipe made from everyday pantry items. Substitute the roasted garlic for 1 clove of fresh garlic if you wish.


Ingredients:
400g can cannellini beans, drained
whole head of garlic, roasted and cloves removed
few spigs mint, leaves removed (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
olive oil, extra

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to the TM bowl and mix for 5 seconds/speed 8. Scrape down bowl and repeat if necessary until smooth.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins

We always have some sort of citrus in our fruit bowl. I wanted to make some morning tea treats for the kids' lunchboxes and come up with this little recipe - it's an absolute cinch to make. It's made using a whole lemon (yes skin and all), but would be equally delicious made with either orange or lime. You can leave them plain or simply dust with icing sugar, but for an extra burst of lemony goodness, drizzle with some lemon glaze.


Ingredients:
1 whole lemon, quartered and seeds removed
200g butter
3 eggs
150g sugar
300g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bi-carb soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Place lemon and butter into TM bowl and mix for 7 seconds/speed 8.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix for 20 seconds/reverse + speed 4.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin lined with paper patty cases.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes and cool on a wire rack before icing.
Makes 12

Lemon Glaze:
130g icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:
  1. Place the ingredients into the TM bowl and mix for 20 seconds/speed 4 or until smooth.


Monday, 6 August 2012

Parsley Pesto

The other day I wanted to make some pesto which I was going to drizzle over a pizza I was making but as usual, the local supermarket was clean out of fresh basil. The shelves, however, were well stocked with parsley so I thought I'd experiment and make a fresh parsley pesto instead. The flavour was incredible and worked really well on my pizza, but would be equally as good stirred through some freshly cooked pasta or drizzled over scrambled eggs for breakfast.



Ingredients:

60g parmesan cheese, cubed
1 clove garlic
50g sunflower seeds, toasted
1 cup firmly packed parsley leaves
80g olive oil
sea salt and pepper
extra olive oil

Method:
  1. Place parmesan cheese and garlic into TM bowl and mill for 8 seconds/speed 8.
  2. Add toasted sunflower seeds into TM bowl and grind for 5 seconds/speed 7.
  3. Add parsley, olive oil and salt and pepper to TM bowl and with dial set to closed lid position, pulse Turbo button 3-4 times until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Spoon into a clean, airtight container and seal with a film of olive oil.



Sunday, 5 August 2012

Arrabbiata Sauce

I love a bit of spice, and this pasta sauce is so versatile. Pour it over your favourite pasta or use it as a base for chicken or veal parmigiana. It also makes a fantastic pizza sauce - just add your favourite topping.


Ingredients:
300g pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 - 1 teapoon dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
sea salt and cracked black pepper
grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:
  1. Place pancetta into TM bowl and saute for 5 minutes/varoma/reverse + soft speed MC off.
  2. Add tomatoes, garlic, chilli, oil, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed. (If you want a thicker sauce, leave the MC lid off for the last 10 minutes.)
  3. To serve, pour over your favourite pasta and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Chocolate Tart

For all you lover's of chocolate - this is THE dessert for you.


Ingredients:

Chocolate Pastry
320g plain flour
60g cocoa
160g caster sugar
160g butter, chopped
2 eggs

Chocolate Tart Mixture
270g quality dark chocolate, chopped
60g unsalted butter, chopped
320g cream
3 eggs
2 egg yolks

Chocolate Glaze
60g cocoa
190g water
120g caster sugar
25g butter, diced
300g dark chocolate, chopped
210g cream

Method:

To make the chocolate pastry:
  1. Place the flour, cocoa, sugar and butter into TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 6, or until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add eggs through hole in lid, and using spatula if necessary, continue to mix for another 5-10 seconds or until dough just starts to come together.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. 
  4. Flatten into a disc shape, wrap in clingwrap and place in fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
  5. Roll out pastry to 3mm thick. Line a fluted tart tin with removable base with the pastry and trim off the excess. Place in the fridge for another 15 minutes to rest. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking weights or rice and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove paper and weights and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to cool.
To make the tart filling:
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Place the cream into the TM bowl and heat for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  3. Add the chocolate and butter to the TM bowl and stir for 60 seconds/speed 2 or until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs to the TM bowl and stir for 30 seconds/speed 3.
  5. Fill the tart shell with the chocolate mixture and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked. (The tart will have a slight wobble in the centre when it's ready.)
  6. Cool the tart to room temperature.
To make the chocolate glaze:
  1. Place the cocoa, water and sugar to the TM bowl and cook for 3 minutes/varoma/speed 2 MC off
  2. Add the butter and stir for 30 seconds/speed 3.
  3. Strain through a sieve placed over a bowl and set aside. Wash and dry TM bowl.
To finish the chocolate glaze:
  1. Place the cream into the TM bowl and heat for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  2. Add the chocolate to the TM bowl and stir for 60 seconds/speed 2, or until smooth.
  3. Add the chocolate sauce (from previous step) and stir for 30 seconds/speed 2.
  4. When the tart has cooled, pour the chocolate glaze over the tart and refrigerate until set.
Serves 10-12


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Risotto Arrabbiata

This is one of my favourite risotto recipes. It's made with a traditional pasta sauce which happens to work wonderfully with risotto as well. It has just the right amount of kick - exactly how I like it, but you can adjust the amount of chilli to suit your individual preferences.




Ingredients:
150g pancetta (or bacon), chopped
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
sea salt and cracked black pepper
50g parmesan cheese, cubed
1 onion, peeled and halved
25g olive oil
25g butter
350g aborio rice
100g white wine
1100g chicken stock
flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Method:

  1. Place bacon into TM bowl and saute for 3 minutes/varoma/reverse + soft speed MC off.
  2. Add tomatoes, garlic, chilli, oil, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  3. Set aside and keep warm. Wash and dry TM bowl.
  4. Place parmesan cheese into TM bowl and grate for 10 seconds/speed 9. Set aside.
  5. Place onion into TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down bowl.
  6. Add oil and butter and and saute for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 MC off.
  7. Insert Butterfly. Add rice and wine and saute for 2 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  8. Add stock and cook for 16 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  9. Pour into Thermoserver and stir through parmesan cheese and half the arrabbiata sauce and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  10. To serve, place into serving bowl and spoon the remaining sauce over the top and garnish with chopped parsley.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Spiced Pear Paste

While pears and cheap and plentiful, try making this Spiced Pear Paste to use as an alternative to Quince Paste. It's absolutely perfect for a cheese platter or used as a spread on sandwiches with cold meats.


Ingredients:
3-4 ripe pears peeled and cored (you will need 500g of pear flesh)
Juice of 1 lemon
500g jam setting sugar
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Place pears into TM bowl and puree for 20 seconds/speed 9. Scrape down bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, sugar and spices to the TM bowl and cook for 15 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2 MC off.
  3. Pour into sterilised jars and set aside overnight at room temperature to allow mixture to set firmly.








Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Quiche

One of my favourite summer salads is Roast Pumpkin, Baby Spinach and Feta sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and a good drizzle of some homemade dressing. So I thought I would use the same ingredients to make this equally delicious quiche.


Ingredients:
Pastry
260g plain flour
145g butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons iced water

Method:
  1. Place the flour and butter into the TM bowl. Set the dial to closed lid position and Pulse the Turbo button 4 or 5 times or until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add egg yolk and water and Pulse the Turbo button 4 or 5 times or until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the pastry out to 3-5mm thick and place into a lightly greased quiche dish. Lightly prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for 15 minutes. 
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  5. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until light and golden. Allow to cool. 
  6. Reduce the oven to 170 degrees.
Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
150g baby spinach (about 2 handfuls), rinsed
200g cream
5 eggs
sea salt and cracked black pepper
500g roasted pumpkin pieces
100g feta cheese
2 tablespoon pine nuts
100g chedder cheese, grated

Method:
  1. Place oil into a frypan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
  2. Increase heat and add baby spinach. Toss through for 1 minute or until spinach has wilted. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place eggs, cream and salt and pepper  into TM bowl and mix for 15 seconds/speed 3. Set aside.
  4. Place roasted pumpkin pieces over the pastry base.
  5. Top pumpkin with the spinach and onion mixture, then crumble over the feta cheese.
  6. Sprinkle with pine nuts then top with grated cheese.
  7. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the filling in the tart shell and bake for 45 minutes or until set. 
  8. Serve warm or cold with a simple green salad.
Serves 6

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Lentil, Lemon and Yoghurt Soup

It's soup weather again, and this recipe is so quick and easy to make. All you need are some pantry staples and you're away. As a variation, you can stir through a handful of roughly chopped English spinach at the conclusion of the cooking time.



Ingredients:
1 onion, peeled and halved
20g olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
260g red lentils, rinsed
1000g water
1 tablespoon organic vegetable stock concentrate
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method:
  1. Place onion into TM bowl and chop for 4 seconds/speed 5.  Scrape down bowl.
  2. Add the oil, cumin and ground coriander and saute for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 MC off.
  3. Add the lentils, water, stock concentrate and lemon rind and cook for 18 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 or until lentils are soft.
  4. To serve, stir through salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Combine 1 cup of thick plain yoghurt with 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander and spoon on top if desired.

Serves 4

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Mushy Peas

I always have a bag of frozen peas on hand and this side dish is so versatile. It's great with seared salmon or placed on top of Beef & Guinness Pies (recipe here). You can also stir through a couple of teaspoons of shredded mint and use it alongside lamb cutlets.


Ingredients:
250g frozen peas
500g water
35g butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method:
  1. Add water to the TM bowl, and place peas into the simmering basket. Cook for 8 minutes/varoma/speed 4.
  2. Drain water and place peas into the TM bowl with the butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Turn dial to closed lid position and pulse 3 or 4 times until roughly chopped.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Spicy Mexican Calzone

We often go to the Davies Park Market on a Saturday morning which is so handy as it's just down the road. One of our favourite stalls is the Eumundi Smokehouse, where you can purchase a wide selection of handmade smoked meats and gourmet sausages. Today we purchased some spicy chorizo which I used to make this Mexican inspired calzone. For all you lovers of Mexican food, this is a fantastic little recipe you will want to make time and time again. You can substitute the manchego (a Spanish cheese) with mozzarella or cheddar. Serve with a chilled bottle of Corona!

(This is quite a substantial amount of pizza dough, so I usually tear off a third of the dough to make a medium-sized pizza for the kids.)


Ingredients:
1 quantity pizza dough (here)
1/2 cup passata
1 good quality chorizo, thinly sliced
300g can kidney beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups grated manchego cheese
150g chargrilled capsicum
handful coriander leaves, to garnish
2 long green chillies, sliced
sour cream

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Place dough onto a large sheet of non-stick baking paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Roll out to form a large rectangle about 5mm thick.
  3. Spread half of the base with passata and top with chorizo, kidney beans, manchego and capsicum.
  4. Fold other half of dough over to enclose the filling and press edges together to seal. Lift the baking paper and calzone onto an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  5. Serve the calzone garnished with coriander leaves and chillies and a side of sour cream.
Serves 4-6

Monday, 9 July 2012

Beef and Guinness Pies

I love a good meat pie and this sour cream pastry, made in the Thermomix, is to die for. The filling here will make 12 pies, however if you are only making 6,  the leftover filling can be served with some steamed vegetables and a big spoonful of creamy mashed potatoes.


Ingredients:
Filling
50g olive oil, plus extra
4 onions, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 sprigs thyme
3 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons plain flour
1.5kg trimmed chuck steak, cut into bite sized pieces
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 carrot, thickly sliced
440ml can Guinness
1 litre beef stock (approx)
1 egg, lightly beaten
tomato sauce, to serve

Sour Cream Pastry
250g plain flour
200g butter, chopped
pinch of salt
100g sour cream

Filling
  1. Put the meat into a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper, add a glug of olive oil and stir. Heat an enamelled cast-iron casserole dish over high heat and add the meat in batches until well caramelised and browned on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes or until golden and set aside with the beef.
  3. Pour 1/4 of the Guinness into the casserole dish to deglaze then add this to the beef and carrots.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the olive oil. Add the onions, and stir occasionally until the onion has caramelised. (This is take approximately 15-20 minutes.)
  5. When the onions are just about ready, add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and cook stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining Guinness to the onions and stir until thickened. 
  7. Tip the beef and carrots into the onion mixture along with the bay leaves and thyme.
  8. Pour enough beef stock to just cover the beef and vegetables and bring to the boil. Season well and cover with a tight fitting lid, then transfer to the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours or until tender.
  9. Leave to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold.

Sour Cream Pastry
  1. Place the flour, butter and salt into the TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 6, or until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sour cream and mix for 10 seconds/speed 4, or until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Putting it Together
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Grease 6 holes of a Texas muffin pan with a little olive oil.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick. Cut out six pie bases (enough to leave about 1cm overhang) and six pie lids.
  4. Gently place a pie base in each hole. Spoon in the filling then top with a pastry lid.
  5. Crimp the edges together and brush the tops with beaten egg.
  6. Cut a small hole in the centre of each pie for the steam to escape and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.
  7. Remove from oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with mushy peas if desired.

Note:  If you're making 12 pies, make a double batch of the pastry so you have enough for the pie bases as well as the lids. Alternatively you could use puff pastry sheets for the lids. Make the filling the night before - it will need a good 2 1/2 hours in the oven to get the best results. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Pork and Crab Wonton Soup

These Chinese-spiced wontons are a cinch to make, and added to this delicately light soup make a lovely start to an Asian banquet. If you can't get hold of fresh crabmeat, you can use finely chopped fresh prawns instead. For those of you who don't eat seafood, just use pork or chicken mince. These wontons can be deep-fried and would be the perfect finger food for your next function.


Ingredients:
Wontons
1 tablespoon coriander root and stem, very well washed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
250g pork mince
100g fresh crabmeat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
24 wonton wrappers
1 lightly beaten egg, for egg wash

Soup
1100g chicken stock
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon palm sugar
bean sprouts, sliced shallot and coriander leaves, to garnish

Method:
Wontons
  1. To make the wontons, combine the coriander, ginger and shallot in a mortar and pound into a paste. Place into a bowl with the remaining ingredients (except egg) and mix well.
  2. Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Lightly egg wash the edges and pull together either into triangles or dumplings. Cover and refrigerate wontons until ready to use.
Soup
  1. To make the soup, add the stock, oyster sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar into the TM bowl.
  2. Place the wontons evenly into the base of the Varoma which has been lightly oiled. Secure the varoma on top and cook for 15 minutes/varoma/speed 2.
  3. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with some wontons. Garnish with the bean sprouts, sliced shallots and coriander leaves.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cauliflower, Potato and Blue Cheese Soup


There's a magnificent deli a few doors down the road that sells everything a foodie could wish for, including a  great selection of European-style cheese. I found a wonderful Greek blue vein and thought it would team up perfectly with cauliflower to make this lovely winter soup. Ensure you have a nice crusty loaf of bread on hand for dunking.


 Ingredients:
1 medium brown onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
20g olive oil
450g cauliflower, trimmed and roughly chopped
125g potatoes, peeled and chopped
700g chicken stock
80g blue cheese
sea salt and cracked black pepper
100g single cream

Method:
  1. Place onion and garlic into TM bowl and chop for 4 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down bowl.
  2. Add oil and saute for 4 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 MC off.
  3. Add the cauliflower and potato and saute for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 MC off.
  4. Add stock and cook for 25 minutes/varoma/speed 1, or until potato and cauliflower is tender.
  5. Add half the cheese, cream, salt and pepper and blend the soup for 30 seconds by carefully turning dial up to speed 9.
  6. To serve, spoon into bowls and crumble the remaining cheese on top.
Serves 4

Friday, 29 June 2012

Skordalia


Skordalia is a fantastic Greek dip made of potato and garlic. Include it on your next antipasto platter alongside some crudites and crusty sourdough bread. However I am using it tonight as an accompaniment to my signature slow-roasted lamb. 


Ingredients:
300g potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
50g oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to garnish

Method:
  1. Fill the TM bowl with 500g water and insert basket. Place potatoes into the basket and steam for 15 minutes/varoma/speed 2.
  2. Remove basket with spatula, and set aside to cool. Rinse and dry TM bowl.
  3. To chop the garlic, turn to speed 10 and drop through the hole in the lid. Chop for a few seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 10 seconds/speed 7.
  4. Place into serving bowl, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Note - If the skordalia is too thick, add a little milk while blending to form a thick, mayonnaise consistency.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sesame Lemon Chicken with Ginger

Yet another classic Thai recipe - this tastes as good as it sounds.



Ingredients:
2 cups of seasonal vegetables (eg, broccolini, sugar snap peas, baby corn)
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons white sugar
juice and zest of one lemon
1 large chicken breast, sliced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
2 green shallots, finely sliced

Method:
  1. Place the vegetables evenly into the base of the varoma, place the lid on top and set aside.
  2. Put the ginger, soy sauce, vegetable oil, mirin, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest into the TM bowl at cook for 2 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  3. Add the sliced chicken breast to TM bowl. Secure the varoma on top and cook for 6 minutes/varoma/reverse/Speed 1.
  4. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving plate and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced shallots. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Leek and Potato Soup


This hearty soup is perfect on a cold winter's day - it lifts the spirits, comforts and warms. Studies have shown that leeks, which have similar nutritional benefits as onions and garlic, can improve the immune system, lower cholesterol levels and fight cancer.



Ingredients:
2 leeks, (white part only) washed and roughly cut
1 onion, peeled and halved
30g olive oil
300g potatoes, peeled and cubed
700g chicken stock
sea salt and cracked black pepper, for seasoning
thickened cream, for serving

Method:
  1. Place leeks and onion into TM bowl and chop for 4 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down and repeat if necessary.
  2. Add the oil and saute for 7 minutes/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  3. Place the potatoes into the TM bowl and saute for a further 2 minutes/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  4. Add the chicken stock and cook for 15 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  5. Blend soup for 20 seconds by carefully turning dial up to speed 9.
  6. Place into bowls, drizzle with cream and season well with salt and pepper. Serve with your favourite crusty bread.
Serves 4

Monday, 25 June 2012

Chilli Con Carne


This quick and easy meal is the perfect comfort food to eat during this cold spell we're having. It's so delicious and really versatile in so many Mexican recipes such as burritos and nachos. If you can get your hands on some good quality avocados, make up a guacamole to serve on the side. Be sure to up the chilli content if you like your food spicy!



Ingredients:
500g rump steak, fat trimmed
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
100g water
sea salt and cracked black pepper
400g red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Method:
  1. Roughly cut the rump steak into 2cm cubes. Put 250g of the meat into the TM bowl and mince for 2 seconds/speed 6. Set aside and repeat with the second batch. Set meat aside.
  2. Place the garlic and onion into the TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down and chop for another second if required. 
  3. Add the olive oil and cook for 4 minutes/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  4. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli powder and cook for 1 minute/varoma/speed 1 MC off.
  5. Place the minced meat in the TM bowl and cook for 5 minutes/varoma/reverse speed 1 MC off.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water and sugar to the TM bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes/100 degrees/reverse speed 1.
  7. Add the kidney beans and cook for 2 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed.
  8. Serve with steamed rice and sour cream and garnish with coriander and lime wedges.
Serves 4-6

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Canteen Cupcakes

I always bake a cake for the kids' birthdays. This year Harry wanted his favourite cupcakes.


Ingredients:
300g self-raising flour
210g caster sugar
100g butter, softened
3 eggs
100g milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
  2. Place all the ingredients into the TM bowl and mix for 40 seconds/speed 4 or until light and creamy.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin lined with paper patty cases.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes and cool on a wire rack before icing.
Makes 12

Passionfruit Icing:
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp

Method:
  1. Place the icing ingredients into the TM bowl and mix for 20 seconds/speed 4 or until smooth.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cakes

Harry is celebrating his birthday at Kindy today, as his actual birthday falls during the school holidays. Instead of a traditional birthday cake, I decided to bake some individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes. I figured small cakes would be easier for the teacher to serve out to 22 little munchkins - no cutting, no washing up.



Ingredients:
200g dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
180g butter, chopped
270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
120g (1 cup) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 eggs
120g (3/4 cup) almond meal

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. 
  2. Place the chocolate into the TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds/speed 8. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter, caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs into the TM bowl and mix for 20 seconds/speed 7.
  4. Add the grated chocolate and almond meal and mix for 30 seconds/speed 6.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper patty cases and bake for 30 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin.
  6. Dust with icing sugar and serve with thick cream and fresh berries.

Makes 12


Monday, 18 June 2012

Green Chilli Chicken Curry


Here's my recipe for Green Chilli Chicken Curry using the homemade curry paste from the previous post. You can swap the chicken stock with 250g water + 1 teaspoon organic vegetable stock concentrate. Feel free to add your favourite vegetables in place of potatoes during the final simmer. I like to garnish this dish with some finely shredded kaffir lime leaves and slices of red chilli.



Ingredients:
1 portion of Green Curry Paste (recipe here)
500g chicken thigh fillets, diced
250g baby potatoes, quartered
250g chicken stock
400g coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves, lightly crushed

Method:
  1. Make the Green Curry Paste. Cook for 5 minutes/varoma/speed 2 (MC off) or until the paste is fragrant.
  2. Add the chicken to the TM bowl and cook for 2 minutes/varoma/reverse + soft speed (MC off).
  3. Place the potatoes, chicken stock, coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves into the TM bowl and cook for 25 minutes/100 degrees/reverse + soft speed (MC off) or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove the lime leaves and serve with steamed rice.
Serves 4

Green Curry Paste

This is a quick and simple curry paste you can whip up in no time at all. I use it to make an awesome green chilli chicken curry. If you like a bit of extra heat, don't remove the seeds and membranes from the chillies.



Ingredients:
1-3 green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh coriander leaves
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Method:
  1. Place all of the ingredients into the TM bowl and chop for 30 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down bowl and repeat until you have a smooth paste.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Quesadillas with Guacamole

A quesadilla is like a toasted sandwich, made with two tortillas sandwiched together with a cheese-based filling. For a more substantial meal, bulk them up with pieces of chargrilled chicken and crispy pan-fried bacon.


Ingredients:
2 big handfuls of grated cheddar cheese
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 handful coriander, chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
Flour tortillas (recipe here)
Guacamole, to serve
Sour cream, to serve

Method:
  1. Heat a non-stick frypan over medium heat.
  2. Put the first five ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Grab a handful of the mixture and sprinkle between two layers of tortilla.
  3. Place quesadilla into frypan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until cheese has melted.
  4. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole and sour cream.
Serves 4

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Baby Food (8-10 Months)

It's now time to introduce some more textures and flavours to their diet. Mill grains (eg brown rice or lentils) and keep them ready in the pantry to add to your mix - they are a great source of protein, fibre and carbohydrates. Here is a sample of our favourites meals.


Chicken and Vegetable Puree
Ingredients:
1 potato, peeled and cut into quarters
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 chicken thigh fillet, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red lentils
250g water (add more or less depending on the desired consistency)

Method:
  1. Place potato, carrot, zucchini, celery and shallot into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 4.
  2. Add the olive oil to the TM bowl and saute for 5 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  3. Add the chicken, lentils and water and cook for 15 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  4. Puree for 10-15 seconds by slowly turning the dial to speed 9 (or for a chunky texture to dial 5).
  5. Place into serving dish, cool slightly and serve.
Makes 3-4 serves

Try these other combinations using the above method. Ingredients are listed from greatest to smallest by how much they weigh. Don't forget to add water - the amount all depends on your desired consistency.

Chicken and Apricot Puree
Potato, Carrot, Rice, Apricots, Chicken, Onion, Olive Oil

Bangers, Mash and Veggie Puree
Potato, Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Beef Mince, Onion, Tomato Paste, Oregano and Parsley,

Vegetable and Lentil Puree
Tomato, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Onion, Lentils, Corn, Oregano & Cumin

Tuna, Rice and Vegetable
Tomato, Carrot, Tuna, Rice, Onion, Tomato Paste, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Parsley

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable
Potato, Peas, Chicken, Spinach, Leek, Milk, Olive Oil

Beef and Vegetable Puree
Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Beef, Onion, Tomato Paste, Olive Oil, Oregano and Parsley

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Flour Tortillas

I was watching Masterchef the other night and got inspired to make some Mexican food which, I must admit, I don't eat very often. I've always been highly suspicious of the store bought tacos and tortillas - how can they sit on the shelves for weeks and maintain their integrity?

This recipe is fairly simple to make and the result is a soft, fresh and delicious tortilla which can be used to make Mexican specialities such as fajitas and quesadillas. If you are making these on a regular basis, I would thoroughly recommend purchasing a tortilla press.


Ingredients:
320g plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
180g warm water

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients into the TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 7.
  2. Set dial to closed lid position and knead for 3 minutes/interval speed.
  3. Turn the dough out and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has rested, preheat a heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. 
  5. Roll out a ball, then carefully stretch the dough into a circle about 20cm in diameter (it will be quite thin.) Alternatively, place each ball onto a tortilla press.
  6. Place into a hot pan for about 60 seconds. Turn and cook the other side. Repeat the above procedure with the remaining balls, until they are all cooked.
Makes 10