Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ham and Egg Quiche

Forget the claggy, ready-made quiches in the supermarket. This classic quiche recipe with it's crisp, flaky pastry is a winner with everyone. Why not try some of these combinations for the filling ingredients: sweetcorn, tomato and pesto or pumpkin, mushroom and pinenuts.


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 and mix for 10 seconds/speed 6, or until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Set dial to closed lid position and add egg yolk and water.  Knead for 30 seconds/interval speed, 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 3mm thick and place into a lightly greased pie dish or tart tin. Trim the excess pastry, 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
100g parmesan cheese, cubed
200g ham, roughly chopped
small handful parsley
100g chedder cheese, cubed
220g cream
5 eggs
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method:
  1. Place parmesan cheese into TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds/speed 8. Set aside.
  2. Place cheddar cheese and parsley into TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds/speed 5. Set aside.
  3. Place ham into TM bowl and chop 5 seconds/speed 5. Set aside
  4. Place cream, 3 of the eggs, dijon mustard, salt and pepper and mix for 15 seconds/speed 3.
  5. Sprinkle the tart shell with the chopped ham followed by the cheese and parsley mixture.
  6. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the filling in the tart shell and carefully crack the remaining two eggs on top, keeping the yolks whole.
  7. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and bake for 40 minutes or until set. 
  8. Serve warm or cold with a simple green salad.
Serves 6



Monday, 28 May 2012

Cherry Smoothie

Frozen cherries are readily available and happen to be conveniently pitted. They are packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin E which help to support your immune system. LSA (a combination of linseed, sunflower seed and almond) is high in Vitamin E and Omega 3 which helps promote healthy heart and brain function. Skip the yoghurt and try almond or rice milk if you prefer a dairy-free version.


Ingredients:
200g frozen cherries, pitted
200g milk
3 tablespoons vanilla yoghurt
pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon LSA

Method:
  1. Place all ingredients into TM bowl and blend for 1 minute/speed 9.
Serves 2


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Vanilla Snap Biscuits


The school fete is on next weekend, and these biscuits will be perfect for the cake stall.


Ingredients:
185g butter, roughly chopped
210g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
330g plain flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
icing sugar, to serve

Method:
  1. Place butter, sugar and vanilla into TM bowl and mix for 1 minute/speed 4, or until smooth.
  2. Add the flour, egg and egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds/speed 4, or until dough comes together. Use the spatula to assist if necessary.
  3. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  5. Unwrap the dough and cut across into slices approximately 5mm thick. 
  6. Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
  7. Cool on wire racks and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Lemon & Lime Tart


Lemon tart is always a nice way to finish off a meal, and the addition of lime in this tart adds a little extra zing...
 

Ingredients:
Pastry:
300g plain flour
30g icing sugar
150g butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons iced water

Filling:
5 eggs
140g caster sugar
300ml thickened cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
120g lemon and lime juice (2 lemons and 1 lime)

Method:
For the pastry:
  1. Place the flour, icing sugar and butter into the TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 6, or until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Set dial to closed lid position and add egg yolk and water.  Knead for 30 seconds/interval speed, 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 3mm thick and place into a lightly greased 24cm loose-bottomed flan tin. Trim the excess pastry, prick the base with a fork and  refrigerate for 15 minutes. 
  4. Preheat oven to 190 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. Reduce oven to 170 degrees.
For the filling:
  1. Place all the ingredients into TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 6. Stand 5 minutes.
  2. Pour mixture into the prepared pastry case and bake for 25-30 minutes or until just set. Cool and refrigerate until set.
  3. Dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream.
Serves 10


Monday, 21 May 2012

Mushroom Soup


You either love 'em or hate 'em. I personally love them, and amazingly so do the kids! Mushrooms are full of protein, vitamins and minerals, amino acids and antioxidants which can help to reduce high cholesterol, diabetes and increase immunity. Here's my take on mushroom soup.


 Ingredients:

10g dried porcini mushrooms
1 red onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
20g olive oil
600g mixed mushrooms (eg portabello, swiss brown, oyster) 
25g butter
small handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
800g water
1 tablespoon stock concentrate
30g cornflour
sea salt and cracked black pepper
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

Method:
  1. Place dried porcini mushrooms into TM bowl and grind for 10 seconds/speed 8.  Set aside.
  2. Place onion and garlic to TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 4.  Scrape down bowl.
  3. Add olive oil and saute for 4 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  4. Place mushrooms into TM bowl and chop for 5-10 seconds/speed 4.  Use spatula to assist if required.
  5. Add butter and saute for 4 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  6. Add ground porcini mushrooms, thyme, water, stock concentrate, cornflour and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 20 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  7. Add parsley and mascarpone cheese and blend for 20 seconds by slowly turning dial to speed 9.
  8. To serve, place in bowls and top with a slice of toasted sourdough, some fried mushrooms, a sprinkling of chopped parsley, a dollop of mascarpone and a drizzle of olive oil.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Fig and Walnut Bread

Fruity, nutty bread, herbed scrambled eggs and freshly squeezed OJ - what a way to start the weekend. This bread is DEL-I-CIOUS. Try it toasted and spread with a combination of cinnamon, honey and softened butter.

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons sea salt
400g bakers flour
100g wholemeal flour
330g lukewarm water
1 sachet dried yeast
75g walnut halves
75g dried figs, roughly chopped
semolina, for dusting

Method:
  1. Place all ingredients, except walnuts and figs, into TM bowl in the order listed.
  2. Blend together for 15 seconds/speed 7.
  3. With dial set to closed lid position, knead for 3 minutes/interval speed.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and press it gently into a rectangle. With the short side facing you, scatter the walnuts and figs over the dough. Roll and tuck in both ends as you roll the dough into a log. Turn 90 degrees and repeat 4 times until the ingredients burst out.  Ensure the seam is up before pressing out.
  5. Place into a bowl and cover until doubled in size.
  6. Knock back by placing the dough on a lightly floured surface and pushing the dough away from you using the heel of your hand. Roll back up as before and repeat 4 times. Knock back 2 more times at 20 minute intervals.
  7. To shape, repeat kneading method above. Place dough onto a oven tray dusted with semolina, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about 1 hour, or when doubled in size.
  8. Preheat oven to 240 degrees.
  9. Uncover dough and make several slashes on top using a serrated knife. 
  10. Place a tray with a handful of ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and then place dough into oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped.




Thursday, 17 May 2012

Pumpkin Soup - Mark II

Mark hates pumpkin no matter how it's cooked - he always has, until he tried this version of pumpkin soup. This soup has a number of different vegetables added to the mix, so it creates a really lovely flavour. The Thermomix makes the smoothest purees, but you can leave this soup slightly chunky if you wish.


Ingredients:
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic, peeled
1 spring fresh rosemary
sea salt and cracked black pepper 
20g olive oil
750g pumpkin, peeled and cut into pieces
750g water
1 tablespoon of stock concentrate
olive oil, for serving

Method:
  1. Place onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper into the TM bowl.  Chop for 5 seconds/speed 5.  Scrape down bowl.
  2. Add oil and saute for 10 minutes/90 degrees/speed 1 lid off.
  3. Add pumpkin to TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 5.
  4. Add water and stock concentrate and cook for 25 minutes/varoma temperature/speed 1.
  5. Blend soup for 30 seconds by carefully bringing dial up to speed 9.
  6. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and some crusty artisan bread.








Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomato Muffins

I often pop these into the kid's lunchboxes for morning tea. They are also great served alongside a bowl of soup for a nice, simple meal.


Ingredients:
20g unsalted butter, melted
400g self-raising flour
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 free range eggs
300g buttermilk
2 tablespoons pesto
200g vegetable oil

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with the melted butter.
  2. Place the eggs, buttermilk, pesto and oil to into the TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 4.
  3. Add the flour and sundried tomato and mix for 10 seconds/speed 2. Use spatula to incorporate if required.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin holes. Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until browned on top.
  5. Leave for a minute in the tin, then turn out onto a rack to cool.



Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Blueberry and Lemon Bread and Butter Pudding

Just what you need on a cold winter's night - a bowl of luscious pudding. This was the perfect way to use what was left of the Brioche I made the other day.


Ingredients:
10 slices of brioche
60g unsalted butter, softened
1 punnet blueberries
2 cups milk
1 lemon, juiced
3 eggs,
3/4 cup caster sugar

Method:
  1. Lightly butter an ovenproof dish.
  2. Butter the brioche slices and then cut each slice into 2 triangles.  Arrange in layers in the dish, then sprinkle with the blueberries in between layers.
  3. Put the milk, lemon juice, eggs and sugar into the TM bowl and whisk for 10 seconds/speed 5.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread slices. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  6. Place the ovenproof dish into a large roasting pan and pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
  7. Place in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and custard has set.
  8. Serve with cream or vanilla bean icecream.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Brioche

This amazing butter and egg-rich bread is fantastic alongside charcuterie plates and slabs of chicken liver parfait. However to satisfy those with a sweet tooth, it can be turned into a decadent bread and butter pudding. Try it toasted for breakfast with your favourite jam or use it to replace sourdough for classic French toast, topped with fresh berries and maple syrup.


 Ingredients:
30g caster sugar
330g warm milk
1 sachet dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
80g butter, softened
650g plain flour
1 egg
1 egg extra, lightly beaten
raw sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Method:
  1. Place sugar, warm milk, yeast, salt, butter, flour and egg into TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed7.
  2. Set dial to closed lid position and knead for 3 minutes/interval speed.
  3. Remove dough and shape into a loaf.  Place into a non-stick loaf pan and cover with a clean damp tea towl.  Leave to prove in a warm position for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  5. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle with some raw sugar.
  6. Place the loaf into the oven and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove brioche from the pan and place onto a rack to cool.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Organic Vegetable Stock Concentrate

Store bought stock cubes generally contain artificial colours, flavours and MSG. You can easily make your own stock concentrate using a mixture of rock salt and fresh organic vegetables. To use, just dissolve one tablespoon in hot water and you'll have homemade vegetable stock.  Use it to flavour soups, stews, gravies and risottos.


Ingredients:
2 sticks celery, roughly cut
2 carrots, roughly cut
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 garlic clove
1 zucchini, roughly cut
1 tomato, halved
small handful of parsley
small handful of mixed herbs (eg basil, thyme, sage, bay leaf, rosemary)
150g rock salt
20g olive oil

Method:
  1. Place all vegetables and herbs into TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds/speed 6.
  2. Add salt and oil then cook for 20 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  3. Blend for 30 seconds by slowly turning the dial to speed 9.
  4. Place into an airtight jar and store the vegetable stock concentrate in the fridge. 







Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Baby Food (6-8 Months)

My little one is now 6 months old and has just started on solids.  Using a Thermomix, I can whip up a delicious home-cooked meal for him in a matter of minutes.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 48 hours.


Ingredients:
350g organic fruit or vegetable of your choice, peeled, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 MC water

Method:
  1. Place fruit or vegetable into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 4.
  2. Scrape down sides and add water.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
  4. Puree for 20 seconds by slowly turning dial to speed 9.
  5. Place into serving dish, cool slightly and serve.
Makes 3-4 serves

Try these other delicious flavour combinations as first foods for babies:
  • Sweet Potato, Carrot and Apple
  • Spinach, Apple, Broccoli and Peas
  • Pumpkin, Apple and Sweetcorn
  • Apple, Pear and Cinnamon
  • Apple and Blueberries
  • Carrot, Apple & Sweetcorn



Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Pasta with Tomato, Basil and Olives

This is a quick and easy meal you can create using basic pantry ingredients.


Ingredients:
400g pasta
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
20g olive oil
2 x 400g cans peeled and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
sea salt and cracked black pepper
small handful of black olives, sliced
small handful of basil, roughly chopped
parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted water until al dente. Drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the onion and garlic into the TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil.  Saute for 5 minutes/varoma/soft speed lid off.
  3. Add tomatoes, olives, sugar and salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes/100 degrees/soft speed.
  4. Stir through the basil and toss the sauce with the pasta.
  5. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Monday, 7 May 2012

Breadcrumbs

I only buy preservative-free bread. The trouble is, it doesn't stay fresh for long - but then bread is not meant to stay super soft and fresh for weeks! Breadcrumbs are a great way to use up leftover bread and it freezes well too. I always have breadcrumbs on hand for making a crunchy topping for gratins, preparing stuffing for poultry, crumbing meat and fish or adding to meatballs or meatloaf dishes. Give the packaged stuff the flick once and for all.


Ingredients:
350g stale bread, broken into pieces

Method:
Place bread into TM bowl and pulverise for 1 minute/speed 7.

For something different, why not try the following flavour combinations. Just finely chop the ingredients and combine with the breadcrumbs:

  • grated parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper
  • smoked paprika, parsley and cumin
  • olives and sun-dried tomatoes
  • lemon rind, parsley and sage
  • orange rind, parsley and garlic



Sunday, 6 May 2012

Hollandaise Sauce

I love eggs benedict, and it used to be so stressful making toast, poaching eggs, and furiously stirring the hollandaise without overcooking it -  all at the same time. Not anymore. The Thermomix effortlessly makes the hollandaise for me now.


Ingredients:
50g butter, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 egg yolks
60g cream
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
sea salt

Method:
  1. Insert butterfly and place all the ingredients into Thermomix bowl.
  2. Cook for 8 minutes/90 degrees/speed 3.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Flatbread

These freshly baked flatbreads are excellent used as a wrap filled with hummus, chicken and tabouli or stuffed with cevapi and onion.  They are also great alongside soup or a curry.


Ingredients:
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
130g tepid water

Method:
  1. Put all ingredients into TM bowl and mix for 5 seconds/speed 7.
  2. Set dial to closed lid position and knead for 3 minutes/interval speed.  The dough should be smooth and silky.
  3. Form into a ball and place the dough into a bowl.  Cover and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide dough into 8 pieces, about the size of an egg.  Roll each piece into flat rounds on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Heat a heavy-based frying pan on medium-high heat.  Put a round of dough into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn to cook the other side.  Repeat with remaining dough.
Makes 8

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Hummus

Chickpeas are naturally low in fat, high in fibre, and rich in vitamins and minerals. Regular consumption can help to manage weight, boost intestinal health and reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is an excellent dip and is also great used as a spread on rolls or sandwiches.


Ingredients:
400g can chickpeas, drained
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
45g water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
extra olive oil, for drizzling
paprika, for garnish

Method:
  1. Place all ingredients, except for extra olive oil and paprika, into TM bowl and mix for 45 seconds/speed 4.
  2. Place into serving bowl and drizzle with extra olive oil.
  3. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.
  4. Serve with pita chips, crackers, flatbread or toasted lavash.



Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Spinach and Cheese Roly Poly

This is a traditional Bosnian recipe known as Pita.  It is basically a spinach and cheese pie, not to dissimilar to the Greek Spinach Pie or "spanakopita". Here you will learn the art of making your own Filo pastry. It is certainly worth the extra effort.


Ingredients:

Filo Pastry
270g flour
120g lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
olive oil, extra

Filling
bunch silverbeet (6 stalks), stem removed and finely shredded
500g cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
300g sour cream
2 eggs
sea salt, to season
olive oil, for drizzling

Method for Filo Pastry:
  1. Place all ingredients (except for extra olive oil) into TM bowl and mix for 5 seconds/speed 6. With dial set to closed lid position, knead the dough for 5 minutes/interval speed - the dough will be smooth and pliable.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two balls. Roll each ball out into a disc approximately 1cm thick and brush with the extra olive oil. Cover and rest for 40 minutes.
Dough ready for resting
Method for Filling:
  1. Place all the filling ingredients into a large bowl and mix well to combine.
Putting it together:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Place a clean sheet or tablecloth onto your work surface and lightly dust with flour.
  3. Place one of the discs in the centre of the sheet, and using your fingertips, slowly stretch the dough to form a very thin rectangle measuring 60cm  x 90cm. Take care not to tear holes in the dough.
  4. Drizzle the dough with olive oil.
  5. Place a row of filling on each of the longer edges of the dough.
  6. Using the sheet, bring the edge of the dough up over the filling and roll it halfway across the dough. Repeat on the other side. You will now have two long sausage-shaped rolls side-by-side.
  7. Wrap the roll around itself to form a scroll. Carefully lift the scroll into a well-oiled baking tray. 
  8. Repeat with second disc. You will now have two scrolls side by side in the baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and place into the oven for 40 minutes.
  9. Cut into wedges and serve with a garden salad.
(3) Dough is now stretched

(5) Filling has been placed

(6) Pita being rolled

(7) Rolled into a scroll

Cooked and ready to eat!