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




Monday, 4 June 2012

Italian Almond and Carrot Cake

This is my version of Torta di Carote, a Carrot Cake that originates from the North of Italy.


Ingredients:
250g caster sugar
peeled skin of one lemon
300g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
300g almond meal
4 eggs
80g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons pine nuts
icing sugar, to serve

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Grease and line the base of a springform cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Place sugar into TM bowl and add lemon peel. Grind 20 seconds/speed 10.
  4. Weigh carrot chunks into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 5.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the pine nuts and icing sugar). Mix for 20 seconds/speed 5 until you have a smooth batter. Remove lid, scrape down sides of bowl and mix again for a few seconds, if required.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle the top with pine nuts. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until set.
  7. Remove the cake and allow to cool a little. Place cake on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bacon and Caramelised Onion Quiche

Caramelised onion is a beautiful sticky, sweet topping for a burger or used to garnish a pizza. Here I have used it as part of the filling for this quiche. To make the caramelised onion, just heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the sliced onions. Season with salt and stir every few minutes until it softens and becomes a deep golden brown (about 20-30 minutes.)


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
3/4 cup caramelised onion (about 2 large onions, sliced)
200g bacon, roughly chopped
small handful parsley
100g chedder cheese, cubed
220g cream
5 eggs
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method:
  1. Place cheddar cheese and parsley into TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds/speed 5. Set aside.
  2. Place bacon into TM bowl and chop 5 seconds/speed 5. Set aside
  3. Place cream, eggs, salt and pepper and mix for 15 seconds/speed 3.
  4. Sprinkle the tart shell with the caramelised onion and chopped ham followed by the cheese and parsley mixture.
  5. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the filling in the tart shell and bake for 40 minutes or until set. 
  6. Serve warm or cold with a simple green salad.
Serves 6