Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thermomix - Week 1

Well, what a week!  The first week with my Thermomix is drawing to a close so I thought I'd remind myself of all the fabulous things it's helped me make.
  • mashed potato (EDC)
  • lime butter (EDC)
  • lemon, lime & orange sorbet (EDC)
  • tomato relish
  • brownie milk (chocolate sauce for milk drinks)
  • Isi's Easy Portugese Rolls (x2)
  • wholemeal bread (EDC)
  • tortillas
  • mushroom risotto (EDC)
  • tzatziki dip (EDC)
  • lavosh crackers (x2)
  • coleslaw (EDC)
  • potato & boiled egg salad
  • mayonnaise (EDC)
  • greek lamb marinade (a modified version of this recipe)
  • homemade lemonade (EDC)
  • homemade 'orange-ade' (modified from EDC)
  • french dressing (EDC)
  • breakfast smoothies (x4)
  • apricot sour cream cake
  • lemon meringue pie (EDC)
  • shortcrust pastry (EDC)
  • mango sorbet (EDC)
  • baked beans
  • butter (EDC)
  • KFC chicken (coating spice mix + buttermilk for marinade)
  • tomato and lentil dahl (EDC)
  • pizza bases (EDC)
  • tomato pasta sauce (EDC)
  • chocolate milkshake
  • custard (EDC)
We did have some great friends over for lunch yesterday, so our little family didn't eat all of this on our own!  It is a lot of food, and certainly wouldn't have been remotely achievable without my new kitchen slave, the Thermomix.

Happy days!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Thermomix cooking marathon!

    Since receiving my Thermomix on Monday, I've gone slightly mad with cooking (as if I wasn't already anyway!).  On Tuesday, I tackled Sally's Yummy Relish, thanks to Full Little Tummies for posting the recipe.
    I ended up having to finish reducing it on the stovetop because it was taking longer than expected and I needed to get dinner on.  Can't have hungry boys in my house that's for sure!

    Dinner was the Mushroom Risotto from the Everyday Cookbook (EDC).  It made the most enormous amount of risotto, but it was absolutely delicious.  I still have leftovers in the fridge so I've decided I'm going to make balls and crumb them and put them in the freezer for another day!

    Yesterday I made quite a few things.  Firstly I made Lavosh "bread".  This recipe came from the Tick of Yum blog.  The dough itself is really easy - just throw everything in.  The more challenging part of this recipe is to get the thickness of the dough right when you roll it out.  I found the dough to be quite sticky, so I rolled it between 2 sheets of baking paper.  Worked a treat!




    When the right thickness is achieved, which I think is 2-3mm (paper thin is just too thin), remove the top sheet of baking paper and slide the bottom sheet (with the dough obviously!) onto a baking tray.



    Ideally, you don't want it hanging over the edges, I was just too ambitious!  Bake until crisp.




    I also made Isi's Portugese Rolls which have been extremely popular on the Thermomix Forum.




    I enjoyed one toasted for brunch today smothered in the Lime Butter which I made on Monday.
    Dinner last night was the Tomato and Lentil Dahl from the EDC which our family really enjoyed.  We had it with Naan Bread, a recipe provided by Chook Woman.  Absolutely yummy naan, and so easy to make in the Thermomix.



    For dessert, I made a citrus sorbet using a lemon, a lime and an orange (recipe from the EDC).  Absolutely sublime.
    I also made Tenina's Brownie Milk which makes a deliciously rich chocolate milk drink.  Again, yummo.



    Today I made pizza bases in the Thermomix, and just made a simple bacon and pineapple topping on bought BBQ sauce.  I've now got a couple of bottles I can make some sauce in, so that will be a project for me in the coming days.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Apricot Sour Cream Cake - Thermomix style

    My Thermomix finally turned up yesterday.  So last night I used it to make the smoothest, creamiest mashed potato I've ever made.  Should have taken a photo, it was worth it!  I also made homemade lemonade and some Lime Butter.  It's all just too easy.
    This morning I made my favourite cake, the Apricot Sour Cream Cake.  I have now converted it to Thermomix.  It's the easiest cake to make anyway, but the Thermomix has made it a smoother, more velvety cake to eat.
    What a success!

    Apricot Sour Cream Cake
    80g dried apricots
    125g butter
    220g apricot nectar
    125g sour cream
    2 eggs
    250g SR flour
    30g shredded coconut
    200g castor sugar

    1.  Place dried apricots in TM bowl and process on speed 8 for 3 seconds (less if you like them chunkier) and set aside.
    2.  Place butter in TM bowl and melt for 40 seconds at 50C on speed 4.
    3.  Add nectar, sour cream and eggs and mix for 20 seconds on speed 5.
    4.  Add remaining ingredients and mix for 20 seconds, reverse speed 3.
    5.  Pour into a greased and lined tin (ring tin ideally, but I have successfully made this in square tin and loaf tin) in a preheated 180C oven for 40 minutes.
    6.  Ice with a tangy lemon icing.

    Last days pre-Thermomix

    We have had some dreadful home network issues over the past few days so I haven't had a chance to get on here.  I think I was also suffering some depression because my Thermomix didn't make it to me on Friday.  As a quick pick-me-up, I baked some Double Choc-Chip Cookies and some bagels.  I had never made bagels and was surprised to learn that the cooking process is started a pot of boiling water before being drained, thrown on a tray and slid into an oven.  I used this recipe from Brazen but made the dough in my bread machine.  I will certainly be making these again once I get my TMX.
    I also made a super easy and semi-healthy fruit slice, but I'll post this recipe once I've converted it to TMX speak.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Spinach, Bacon & Parmesan Quiche

    I made a loaf of "fake" sourdough bread today.  Fake, because I didn't use a starter - something I fully intend to do one day.  I LOVE sourdough.  There is a recipe in my breadmaker for Sourdough, but it is essentially just flavoured white bread.  It uses yoghurt and lemon juice for the "sour" and the rest is fairly standard white bread.  Despite it's fakeness, it is still pretty yummy.
      
    Dinner was a yummy and easy quiche.  Recipe came from the Taste web site (it's one of my favourites!). 

    Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 100 g rindless bacon, in short, thin strips
    • 100 g baby spinach leaves
    • 4 eggs
    • ¾ cup (185ml) cream
    • ½ cup (125ml) milk
    • cup (30g) shredded parmesan
    • Pastry
      • Pinch salt
      • 2 cups (300g) Ogran gluten-free plain flour
      • 150 g butter, chilled, cubed
      • 1 egg

    Directions

    1. For pastry, mix flour, butter and salt in a food processor until mixture forms crumbs. Process with egg and 1-2 tbs cold water. Knead until smooth. Refrigerate covered for 10 minutes.
    2. Roll pastry out between 2 sheets of lightly floured non-stick baking paper and place in 25cm (base), 3cm deep fluted loose-bottomed flan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and bacon. Cook 8-10 minutes or until soft. Drain on a paper towel. Microwave spinach on high for 1 minute or until wilts. Cool for 5 minutes. Squeeze out moisture. Chop.
    4. Preheat oven to 190°C. Place a tray in the oven. Line pastry with baking paper. Cover base with rice. Bake on the hot tray for 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice. Spread over spinach, bacon and onion. Whisk eggs, cream and milk together. Pour over the filling. Sprinkle over the parmesan. Bake 30 minutes and serve with salad.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Apricot Sour Cream Cake

    Today I made my new favourite cake.  My friend Kate gave me this recipe which I have modified slightly.  It is super easy to make, so moist, and in a way quite subtle, with a hit of lemon icing on the the top, it is definitely a keeper.
    The batter is quite runny so ideally it should be cooked in a ring or bundt tin to prevent the edges becoming overcooked waiting for the middle to finish.  At this point in time I don't have either of those tins, so I just made it in my square cake tin.  It still turned out ok.  I also forgot to put in the dried apricots today so I just sprinkled them over the top before I put the cake in the oven.  It certainly wouldn't win any prizes at the local show, but that is of no matter to me, as long as it tastes delicious!!  Normally, the apricots should be mixed with the dry ingredients so they get a coating of flour.  This helps in preventing them from sinking straight to the bottom of the tin.

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ cup SR Flour
    • ½ cup coconut
    • ½ cup diced dried apricots
    • 125 grams butter, melted and cooled
    • 1 cup castor sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup apricot nectar
    • ½ cup sour cream

    Directions

    1. Place flour, coconut, sugar and apricots in a large bowl and mix well.
    2. Mix the nectar, eggs and sour cream together.  Add to the dry ingredients and begin to combine.  Add the butter and mix well to form a batter.  It will have a similar consistency to pancake batter. 
    3. Pour batter into a ring tin and bake at 180C for 40 minutes.
    4. Once cake has cooled, ice with a tangy lemon icing.

    The lemon icing I made is just 1-2 teaspoons of melted butter, the juice of half a lemon and enough icing sugar to make a reasonably stiff mixture.
    I also made one of my all time favourite desserts today, rhubarb and apple crumble.  This one I made to put in the freezer for another day, but I also made a plain apple crumble for dinner tonight and it was sensational.  I used the last of my leftover roasted hazelnuts for a twist and it has been declared a winner.
    PS My Thermomix has made it to Sydney!  Not long to wait now...woohoo!!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Wholemeal Bread

    Today's baking effort was wholemeal bread.  I just used the recipe in my breadmaker's manual, but I used the dough cycle and baked it in a loaf tin.  This is the first time I've made a "proper" loaf of bread.
    The dough went into the loaf tin and then into the small side of my sink into which I had put an inch of hot water and an upturned plate.
    I placed a tea towel over the top like so:




    And left it there for about 30-45 minutes.  It ended up like this:



    Woohoo!  But I think the tea towel flattened out the dough a bit.  Next time I might use less water and a plate with smaller sides so the loaf has more room to rise.  Anyhoo...into the oven it went and 30 minutes later it looked like this:

    Altogether a fairly successful experiment.

    On a Thermomix note, I spoke to my Sydney consultant today.  She's lovely.  Hopefully we shall see some action and a delivery this week.  All my fingers and toes are crossed!

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Apricot & Coconut Choc Cookies

    Today I baked some biscuits to use up some leftovers from the Choc Hazelnut Puddings from the other night.  I used this recipe from the Taste website with some modifications.  Replaced pecans with hazelnuts, added more apricots and used chopped up leftover Lindt Dark Chocolate mixed in instead of choc bits pressed into the top.  Result = Scrummy!

    Ingredients

    • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
    • 200 g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
    • 90 g (1 cup) rolled oats
    • 85 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
    • 80g (1/ 2 cup) diced dried apricots
    • 70g (1/ 2 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped
    • 125 g butter, melted, cooled
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    • 50g (1/ 4 cup) dark choc bits

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the oats, coconut, apricot and pecans and stir until well combined. Make a well in the centre.
    2. Whisk together the melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
    3. Use your hands to roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place balls, 5cm apart, on prepared trays. Press 3 choc bits into each ball, then flatten slightly until about 6cm round.
    4. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Light Brioche Burger Buns

    Tonight for dinner my husband requested burgers.  A couple of weeks ago we discovered a burger patty recipe that has become our current favourite.  I wanted to make hamburger buns instead of buying them.  I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen which I adapted for my breadmaker as I seriously don't have time to stand around kneading dough.  It turned out brilliantly.

    Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons warm milk
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 ½ tablespoons butter, softened
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • cup plain flour
    • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 1 egg, additional
    • sesame seeds

    Directions

    1. Mix the milk, water, egg and butter together and place in the bowl of the breadmaker.
    2. Mix the flours, sugar and salt together and place on top of the liquid. Make a pocket in the top of the flour and place the yeast.
    3. Set the breadmaker to the dough cycle and allow the process to complete. Once finished, remove the dough from the machine and place on a lightly floured work surface (the dough will be quite sticky, avoid using too much extra flour). Divide into 8 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place on a baking sheet allowing 2-3 inches between each roll. Cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with oil spray, and allow to rise for 30 minutes to one hour.
    4. Lightly beat the remaining egg and gently brush the rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, rotating the tray half way through cooking.

    Chocolate Hazelnut Self-Saucing Pudding

    Last night was the Junior Masterchef Cook-Along where the instructions on how to make the self-saucing pudding, cream chantille and candied orange were given on the TV, and those of us at home cooked at the same time as the Junior Masterchef finalists.  It was kinda fun!  The worst thing was having to have all the ingredients ready beforehand in little containers which meant I had a tonne of washing up to do afterwards!  Normally I just bung things things in the mixing bowl as I go along.
    Despite that, the outcome was awesome, very, very rich though.

    Chocolate Hazelnut Self-Saucing Pudding with Cream Chantille & Candied Orange

    Ingredients

    • *** PUDDING ***
      • 1 cup SR Flour
      • cup hazelnuts, roasted, peeled & roughly chopped
      • 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
      • ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
      • 60 grams dark eating chocolate, roughly chopped
      • 140 ml full cream milk
      • 1 egg, lightly beaten
      • 50 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
      • icing sugar, to serve
    • *** SAUCE ***
      • ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
      • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
      • 100 ml warm water
    • *** CANDIED ORANGE ZEST ***
      • 1 orange, zest of
      • ¼ cup caster sugar
      • 50 ml orange juice, strained
    • *** CREAM CHANTILLY ***
      • 400 ml thickened cream, whipped
      • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste

    Directions

    1. *** PUDDING ***: Preheat oven to 190C. Place flour, hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar, and chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add milk, egg and butter and mix well to form a batter. Divide mixture between 6 greased 200ml ramekins.
    2. *** SAUCE ***: Dissolve the cocoa and sugar in the warm water. Gently pour the sauce over the top of the puddings. Place the ramekins on a tray and into the oven for 12-14 minutes.
    3. *** CANDIED ORANGE ZEST ***: Place the zest, sugar and juice into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil the reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced slightly and become a syrup.
    4. *** CREAM CHANTILLY ***: Place the cream in a mixing bowl with the sugar and vanilla. Whip to soft peaks.
    5. Place a ramekin on a serving place with a quenelle of cream which is topped with some orange zest and syrup.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Potato Salad

    Today was a busy day for me.  Went to Bunnings first thing to get some organisational supplies for the kitchen.  It's a liberating thing to be organised.  You should try it some time.

    I spent a fair bit of time outside today - the weather was sensational - now the pergola area also looks pretty good.  I'm on a bit of a roll!

    Because it was so nice tonight we ate outside under the pergola, and had the perfect warm evening meal.  Leftovers!  Lamb roast with a potato salad.  Ok, so the potato salad was not strictly leftovers, but what I did for the dressing was to use the leftover mint sauce.  I just mixed it into some sour cream - delicious!




    It appears I'm not getting my Thermomix tomorrow.  Some drama about having a delivery demonstration in my home, which my SA consultant cannot help me with (given that I'm in NSW).  Boohoo! 
    On the up side, tomorrow night is the Junior Masterchef Cook-A-Long.  Can't wait for the Chocolate Hazelnut Self-Saucing Pudding with Chantille Cream and Candied Orange.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Lamb Roast & Veggies

    One thing I like about being a stay at home mum, is the ability to put on a roast in the middle of the week.  Yummo, and plenty of leftovers for wraps and sandwiches.  One of my favourite things from my childhood is cold roast lamb and tomato sauce...not sure that it contains all five food groups, but hey, it's yummy!
    I put lemon juice in with the oil, garlic and rosemary that I smothered the roast in before cooking and I sat the lamb on the squeezed out lemon cut in quarters.  I liked the added flavour it gave.

    I also made a quick Mint Sauce which turned out really nicely.  I'm not normally a fan of mint sauce, but this added a beautiful refreshing taste to the lamb. 

    So tomorrow lunch may very well be cold lamb and tomato sauce!  Looking forward to making my own tomato sauce in my Thermomix when it arrives.