Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Round Up

Here's what Thermie has been doing for me lately...

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
  • Blueberry & APPLE porridge (had to change things up a little), focaccia (EDC), pizza dough (used 1/2 to make 2 pizza bases for the freezer and 1/2 to make cheesy breadsticks), savoury toast mixture (used the focaccia as the base), onion & cheese sauce (to go with maple syrup corned beef which I cooked in my slow cooker - haven't tried it in the Thermomix yet)
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
  • Blueberry & apple porridge, orange juice, bechamel sauce, bolognaise sauce (using pepperonata), pasta dough (for lasagne)
I hope your Thermomix has done some nice things for you this week as well.  I'm considering taking up the challenge of macarons next week??!?!?!?!  Help!!!

          Friday, May 27, 2011

          Chorizo, Spinach & Lemon Risotto

           Another facebook fan request (thanks Jeanette :-) )!

          This is based on another of Janelle Bloom's recipes, although hers was a baked risotto.  No need to dirty a casserole dish when using one's Thermomix!

          Ingredients

          • 4 chorizo sausage, (probably could get away with 2 or 3)
          • 1 red onion, halved
          • 400 grams arborio rice, rinsed
          • 2-3 teaspoons chicken stock paste
          • 1000-1100 grams water
          • 1 bunch english spinach, shredded
          • 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
          • 1 lemon, juiced or zested
          • 50 grams parmesan cheese

          Directions

          1. Place cubes of parmesan into TM bowl and grate on speed 8 for 8 seconds. Set aside.
          Place onion into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5.
          2. Use a knife to split the sausage casings and peel each chorizo sausage. Discard casings. Place sausages, quartered, into TM bowl. Set dial to lid closed position and Turbo until chopped to desired texture (2-3 pulses). Insert butterfly and cook at 100ºC for 5 minutes on speed 1. Add the rice and cook for a further 5 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.
          3. Add water and stock paste (or you could use 1100 grams of chicken stock) and cook for 16 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.
          4. Transfer risotto to Thermoserver, add shredded spinach and lemon juice or zest and parmesan. Stir through, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
          5. Serve with additional parmesan if desired.

          Thursday, May 26, 2011

          Pepperonata

          I am 100% guilty of owning quite a collection of cookbooks, but not making the effort to make something new.  As a reasonably new Thermomix owner, I've been concentrating on making recipes from the forum that are tried and tested, or from the Everyday Cookbook, or making things that we've always made.  I've done plenty of experimenting with the baking side of things (you may have noticed a bit of a theme on my blog) as I can do this during the day without the pressure of having to put up something edible for my three ravenous boys for dinner.

          So, in an effort to remedy this, I was thumbing through my copy of Janelle Bloom's Fast, Fresh and Fabulous earlier this week looking for some recipes to try.  I decided this would be a good one to try in the Thermomix, because when required, it can be really delicate and I wanted to see how slow cooked strips of capsicum would hold up.

          The answer would be...really, really well.  I was surprised as I did kind of expect capsicum mush at the end of the cooking time, but not to be.  I was also surprised at how well the capsicum was stirred around while cooking when using soft speed.  Often I have found that this is just not enough to get things moving, particularly when the bowl is nearly full.

          Anyway, this turned out to be a lovely topping for our scotch fillet steaks tonight for dinner.  Quite tart, so a good match for the rich meat.  I expect that the flavour may indeed develop further as it sits in the fridge over the next couple of weeks.

          Ingredients

          20 grams olive oil
          1 small brown onion, halved
          2 cloves garlic
          2 red capsicum, cut into strips
          1 yellow capsicum, cut into strips
          1 orange capsicum, cut into strips
          1 can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
          1 teaspoon caster sugar
          3 teaspoons red wine vinegar

          Directions

          1. Place onion and garlic in TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds speed 5. Scrape down. Add the oil and cook for 5 minutes at 100ºC speed 1. Add the capsicums and cook for 20 minutes 90ºC speed soft + reverse.
          2. Add tomatoes, sugar and season with salt & pepper. Cook (without MC) for 15 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1 (or until sauce has thickened). Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute 100ºC speed 1.
           
          Janelle recommends this as a great sandwich filler with ham, or tossed through hot pasta.  I tend to agree.  I think I'll be having a great dollop of this on a fresh, hot, crusty bread roll with leftover corned beef for lunch tomorrow.  And it may very well turn up in next weeks meal plan as a quick and easy pasta dinner.

          Happy cappy days :)

          Wednesday, May 25, 2011

          Apricot Bites

          Delicious, crispy (on the day they're baked anyway) and chewy at the same time, teeny tiny cuties.  A good way to use up some homemade condensed milk.

          This recipe is modified from a recipe on Bestrecipes.com.au.

          Ingredients

          85 grams dried apricots
          45 grams dessicated/shredded coconut
          1 tablespoon self-raising flour
          1 tablespoon cornflour
          150 grams sweetened condensed milk

          Directions

          1. Place the apricots in the TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Add the remaining ingredients and stir for 20 seconds on speed 1 + reverse (or until thoroughly combined). If the mixture is too stiff and not mixing well, heat on 50ºC while stirring to thin the condensed milk a little.
          2. Roll level teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on baking paper lined oven tray about 3 centimetres apart.
          3. Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes. Stand on trays for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

          VARIATION: Replace half the dried apricots with choc chips.  This recipe could be doubled easily.

          TIP: Leave the mixture in the TM bowl as you're shaping your balls.  If you find the mixture getting quite difficult to work with, you can then just heat on 50ºC, speed 1 + reverse for 10-15 seconds to get it more flexible again.

          There's no denying that I DID NOT roll my bites into balls here.  I just used two teaspoons and prodded them into some kind of resemblance of a ball.  This mixture is seriously sticky.  So because they had quite a bit of coconut 'hair' sticking out all over the place, they don't look as pretty as they could.  I'm sure if you had wet hands it would be ok to roll them, but I just wasn't up for it, chasing after two little boys!

          Tuesday, May 24, 2011

          Not Chow Mein Mince & Not Samosas

          I'm sure this recipe came into being perhaps in the 70's, when here in Australia, folks were beginning to discover 'cuisines' that involved things other than meat and three veg.  It's such a classic from my childhood that I still make it today.  I love it, my oldest son loves it, hubby loves it and it contains a lot of cabbage, which is REALLY good for you.  I have changed the ingredients to remove the old faithful 'packet of chicken noodle soup' (man that stuff was in everything back then!) and when I run out of Keen's Curry Powder, I'll be making my own from whole spices.  And this recipe is a super easy one pot meal to boot!
          I don't think my Mum ever ran out of this stuff, it was always in the cupboard!

          Ingredients

          500 grams mince
          2 teaspoons curry powder (I normally use 1 teaspoon when making for the kids)
          2 onions, quartered
          1 carrot
          1 stick celery
          2 teaspoons chicken stock paste
          500 grams (2 cups) water
          280 grams rice, rinsed
          ¼ cabbage

          Directions

          1. If using Thermomix to chop cabbage, place large-ish chunks into TM bowl and chop for 2-3 seconds on speed 4. Remove and set aside.  If not using Thermomix, finely shred the cabbage using a knife.  The shreds of cabbage need to be quite small so that the full amount will fit into the TM bowl.
          2. Place onions, carrot and celery into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds speed 5. Add the oil and mince and cook at 100ºC for 10 minutes on speed 1. Add the stock paste, water, rice, chopped cabbage (and any other chopped veggies) and continue cooking at 100ºC for 20 minutes on speed 1 + reverse (MC off, basket on top to prevent splatters). Use the spatula every 5 minutes or so to give the mixture a good stir to ensure all the rice and cabbage is pushed under the liquid.
          3. Check to ensure the rice is cooked, remove to Thermoserver and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
          This recipe makes too much for one meal in this family.  In fact, there's enough for lunch the next day plus more.  So, today, I got to thinking about how I could jazz this very basic meal up a little.  Samosas?  Well, kind of...

          Not Samosas

          Ingredients

          1/2 batch of rough puff pastry (either EDC or this one or the bought stuff)
          leftover Chow Mein Mince 

          Directions

          1. Roll out the puff pastry to 3mm thick.  Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut out square or circles (or whatever shape excites you).
          2.  Place a teaspoon (or so) of the mince mixture in the centre of the pastry, wet one half of the edges with water, fold over the pastry and seal by pressing together with your fingers.
          3.  Brush with egg wash and bake in a hot oven until the pastry is cooked, golden and crispy.
          These are a great finger food idea for your next party.  If you make a batch of the mince mixture specifically for the Not Samosas, I recommend using the full amount of curry powder.  As there is a reasonably small amount of filling, they are very mild with only half the curry powder.
            
           
          Happy 'Not' Days :D

          Monday, May 23, 2011

          Making Sweetened Condensed Milk - UPDATE

          Those of you who read my last post on this topic, will know that I make condensed milk primarily for making vanilla icecream for my husband.  I have made this a number of times since that post, and have a few updates for you.

          Firstly, I now make a smaller batch.  Only enough for one batch of icecream, which for me these days is around 300 grams (sorry, I haven't ever weighed the end product).  Secondly, I've reduced the amount of sugar down to half the weight of milk.  So, if I use 400 grams of milk, I use 200 grams of sugar.

          I'm still using raw sugar and it still has the background taste of the raw sugar when it's done.  I suspect if I were to use white sugar, this after taste wouldn't be present.  However, my husband hasn't complained and I prefer not to have white sugar in the house.  Making the smaller amount also shortens both the cooking time and the cooling time before I can make the icecream.  Additionally, it means the speed doesn't have to be as fast.  I still put it on speed 4 to allow maximum evaporation, but because the bowl isn't as full, it won't boil over at the slower speed.

          Here's my current recipe.  Note, that these quantities can be increased proportionally to make whatever amount of condensed milk you need.  Just increase the cooking time by the same ratio.

          Ingredients

          400 grams milk 
          200 grams raw sugar
          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

          Directions

          Place all ingredients in TM bowl and cook at Varoma temp for 17 minutes at speed 4 with the steamer basket on the lid to prevent splatters.
          Happy icecream days :)

          Sunday, May 22, 2011

          Lemon Curd & Blueberry Friands

          I do love a good friand.  Blueberry is most often my choice if I have one, but friands are few and far between in my life...sadly.  I have never made them before because...well...almond meal is so damn expensive and goes rancid so quickly I just never bothered.  Enter...Thermomix and instant almond meal.


          I also have a love affair with lemon.  I love anything with lemon in it.  Lemon chicken, lemon syrup tea cake, lemon and sugar on pancakes, lemon water, lemon iced tea...I could go on, really.  In fact, when I was little, I would eat lemons like oranges.  Not so much anymore.  But if there's a lemon wedge on my plate, and I'm not eating at some fancy hatted restaurant (like that ever happens), I will often pick up that wedge and eat the flesh.  That does sound kinda creepy...

          Anyhoo...to the recipe of my day...and gosh this is really good, and quite easy.  The ingredients are based on a combination of a couple of recipes on Taste.com.au and the method is based on Tenina's.

          Ingredients

          75 grams plain flour
          185 grams almonds
          200 grams sugar
          5 egg whites
          200 grams unsalted butter, melted
          1 lemon, zested
          10 teaspoons lemon curd, plus extra to serve
          Handful of blueberries
          Whipped cream (optional), to serve

          Directions

          1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 10-hole friand pan or line with paper cases.  (I used a muffin tin with muffin cases and made 12).
          2. Place the sugar, almonds, flour and lemon zest into TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds on speed 10. Set aside.
          Place egg whites into TM bowl and mix for 30 seconds on speed 4.
          Return the almond mixture to the bowl. With dial set to closed lid position, add melted butter through the hole in the lid as you mix all ingredients together for 30 seconds on interval speed.
          Divide mixture between prepared pans and top each with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Swirl through the batter with a skewer. Scatter with blueberries.
          3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool, then dust with extra icing sugar. Serve with extra lemon curd, and whipped cream if desired. 
           Happy lemony days!

          Saturday, May 21, 2011

          Saturday Round Up

          So, Thermie, what have you done for me lately?

          Sunday
          • Blueberry porridge, steamed rice, naan bread, Butter Chicken (Indian Cookbook)
          Monday
          Tuesday
          Wednesday
          Thursday
          • Blueberry porridge, chocolate cake, steamed veggies & gravy (using liquid from slow cooker pot roast)
          Friday
          • Blueberry porridge (a bit of a theme here...), tortillas
          Saturday
          I think there might be a couple of things missing from this week's Round Up, but we won't dwell on the failings of my short term memory here.

          I hope you've all had a great week, and stay tuned for a couple of recipe posts coming this week.

          Happy sunshiney Autumn days!

            Saturday, May 14, 2011

            A Round Up of sorts...and a quiche and a salsa

            I have been meaning to do a couple of retrospective posts to update you on what Thermie has been up to the past few weeks.  Instead, I'll just do a bit of a summary here and then provide a quiche recipe from earlier this week.

            Each week, I have been making a loaf of bread (we try not to eat too much bread here), baby food (although this is getting less and less as Sam is able to eat more and more family food), a couple of batches of fresh orange juice, and porridge most mornings.  I love being able to make great tasting flavoured porridge using normal (and very cheap) rolled oats and then adding some frozen blueberries or an apple or whatever fruit is at hand.  I normally drizzle on some raw honey for a little sweetness.  I've also made focaccia, cheesy breadsticks and Anzac biscuits.
            As my Facebook followers would know, I've made a couple of batches of choux pastry for chocolate eclairs.  I've never made choux pastry before and so hadn't been aware of the difficulties faced when making it the conventional way.  I know now!  But Thermie makes it oh so easy, and chocolate eclairs or profiteroles will probably be my go to dessert when something a little special is required.  In fact, I'm inspired to attempt a croquembouche one day!
            I've made mini lemon tarts, a pineapple and coconut cake, and some stewed fruit.
            Main meals have included pumpkin soup, Sausage & Celery Casserole (I may post the recipe here soon as it's a really simple and delicious meal with an ordinary sounding name!), Spiced Chicken & Sweet Potato with rice, Moussaka, Savoury Toast, Chicken Stroganoff (EDC), Mushroom & Bacon creamy pasta sauce, KFC Chicken, coleslaw, potato salad (mayonnaise & steamed potatoes), and Spinach, Bacon & Parmesan Quiche.  Recipe (as requested by lovely Facebook follower, Julianne) is below.

            Ingredients

            1 qty sour cream pastry
            2 teaspoons olive oil
            1 onion, halved
            100 grams rindless bacon, in short, thin strips
            125 grams spinach (if frozen, then thawed and drained)
            4 eggs
            185 grams cream (or milk)
            125 grams milk
            50 grams cheddar cheese, grated
            50 grams parmesan cheese, grated

            Directions

            1. Make the pastry as per directions and blind bake for 12-15 minutes or until the top starts to brown. Grate the cheeses (separately) and set aside.
            2. Place onion (and bacon if preferred, I prefer to chop by hand) in TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5. Add oil and spinach and cook for 5 minutes at 100ºC, speed 1. Remove from bowl and drain if necessary. Add eggs, milk & cream to TM bowl and mix for 8 seconds on speed 4.
            3. When pastry has been blind baked, place the grated cheddar cheese in a layer over the bottom of the quiche, then spread over the bacon & spinach mixture. Pour in the egg mixture and use a fork to swirl through the spinach, lifting it up into the egg mixture. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and some smoked paprika if desired.
            4. Place the quiche back into the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until just set.

            Last night we had nachos using organic corn chips, tomato salsa, grated cheese and sour cream.  This is such a quick and easy meal, but normally full of additives and other nasties.  I chose a brand of plain corn chips to reduce the nasties that are generally in the flavoured versions and I made my own salsa rather than buying a jar.  This was so easy to make - never will The Opies buy another jar of salsa!  I used this recipe but made some modifications (next time I might add a red and/or green capsicum as well).

            Ingredients

            750 grams raw tomatoes
            1 medium red onion
            20 grams red wine vinegar
            1 tablespoon homemade sweet chilli sauce
            1 teaspoon mustard powder

            Directions

            1. Chop the onion for 5 seconds on speed five, then add the tomatoes and process for an additional 5 seconds on speed 5.
            2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 30 mins, Varoma temp , reverse + speed 1. Leave the MC off but place the steaming basket on top to prevent splatter. 
             
            Hopefully next week I will get back on my horse and continue with "proper" weekly round ups.  Until then folks...happy days!!
             
              
             

            Tuesday, May 3, 2011

            Lemon-Lime Yoghurt Poppyseed Cake

            I've had a request from Sarah, a lovely follower on my Facebook page, for a recipe I made this morning for a Lemon-Lime Yoghurt Poppyseed Cake.  She was fortunate enough to have been given a whole pile of lemons and limes and was looking around for recipes.  This recipe will only use up one lemon and one lime, so for those of us not so fortunate, it is still extremely accessible.
            I based the recipe on this one.

            Lemon-lime Yoghurt Poppy Seed Cake 

            Ingredients
            210 grams plain flour
            2 teaspoons baking powder
            ½ teaspoon salt
            1 tablespoon poppy seeds
            200 grams raw sugar
            1 lemon, juiced and zested
            1 lime, juiced (if desired) and zested
            120 grams thick plain yoghurt
            3 eggs
            1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            100 grams grapeseed oil
             
            Method
            1. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Grease and line a loaf pan.
            2. Place sugar, lemon juice (and/or lime juice) and zests in TM bowl and grind on speed 10 for 5 seconds. Scrape down sides and repeat.
            3. Add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and oil and mix for 10 seconds on speed 6. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds to the TM bowl and mix using interval speed for 10 seconds.
            4. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.