Thursday, 31 December 2009

Crispy Vegetable Lasagne Pots

Hopefully this will be the only recipe with a photo reminiscent of a 70s cookbook. Finding workable light for the photos is especially hard here lately.

Crispy Vegetable Lasagne Pots
makes 4 pots - serves 2

x 1 serving basic pasta OR lasagne sheets, cut into 12 x 8cm circles
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t chili flakes
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 L carrot, grated
1/2 M eggplant/aubergine, finely diced
1/2 L zucchini/courgette, grated
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup vegetarian parmesan, grated
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 200C.
Oil 4 x 9cm ramekins. Set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry all except pasta.
Turn heat down, and cook about 20 mins. Season.
Meanwhile, boil some water.
Cook pasta. Drain.
Place 1 pasta circle on the bottom of each pot.
Layer vegetable mix & some parmesan on top.
Repeat with rest of pasta circles & mix.
Sprinkle top liberally with parmesan.
Cook in oven about 20 mins or until slightly golden.
Serve in pots with extra parmesan, if desired.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Homemade Pasta

We had to exchange a xmas gift as we were given two Peugeot pepper grinders. We've been looking for a pasta maker for some time and now we had the chance to get a nice one that we didn't have to pay for :)

As a rule I make pasta as 1 + 1 = 1 meaning 1 cup flour + 1 egg = 1 serving. By cup I mean a 250ml cup. Basically you just multiply this recipe by how many people you need to serve.

Plain Pasta
serves 1

1 cup plain flour
1 M/L egg
dash olive or vegetable oil

In a large bowl, Add flour.
Make a well in the centre. Add egg & oil.
Using a fork, Whisk egg & oil.
Slowly start whisking in flour.
When it becomes too much to use a fork, Use your hands.
Knead until it becomes a workable ball that isn't sticky.
You may need to add a little extra flour.
Place ball in a freezer bag or wrap it in plastic.
Place it in the fridge for an hour or two.
Letting it rest will help reduce 'spring back'.
*You can do these steps without a maker, using a rolling pin and knife instead, but it's much more work*
Roll out until about 1mm thick and there are no visible bumps.
Using your maker's cutting mechanism, Cut into desired type.
*OR using a knife cut into desired type*

After mastering a plain pasta you can try experimenting with all kinds of dried herbs, spices & flavours.

Tomato & Chili - serves 1
2 t tomato paste, 1 t chili flakes plus an extra 1/4 - 1/2 cup flour.
Add all after kneading the plain dough a little.

Tomato & Chili pasta cut into spaghetti & tagliatelle.

...with some garlic lightly sautéed in white truffle oil.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Tomato Paste Risotto

Extreme pantry cooking.

Tomato Paste Risotto
serves 2-3

140g tomato paste
600ml vegetable stock
1 large brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
25g butter
dash olive oil
2 tbsp dried oregano
250g arborio rice
375ml/1 1/2 glasses dry white wine

In a jug stir together the tomato paste and stock.
Heat butter and oil in a large pot.
Add onion and garlic, Cook about 5 mins.
Add oregano, Stir well. Cook 2 mins.
Add rice, Stir to coat.
Add wine, Cook until it is all absorbed.
Add tomato & stock little by little.
Cook, stirring often, 20-30 mins or until rice is done.
Season. Serve with some grated parmesan if desired.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Strawberry, Cocoa & Cointreau Semifreddo

I don't add any sugar to this recipe as the strawberries and the cointreau tend to add enough sweetness. I add a tablespoon of sweetener, but if you feel like it needs some extra sugar you could add 2 tablespoons of white or icing sugar.

Strawberry, Cocoa & Cointreau Semifreddo
makes 8-10

500ml cream
3 whole eggs (pasteurised)
4 egg yolks (pasteurised)
350g strawberries, washed & hulled
1 tbsp liquid sweetener
2 t vanilla extract
3 t unsweetened cocoa powder
3-4 tbsp cointreau (or other orange liqueur)

Process strawberries. Set aside.
*if you don't use pasteurised eggs, do this in a bowl over simmering water*
Whisk eggs, yolks, vanilla & sweetener for 5 mins until pale and thickened.
*remove from heat, beat until cool*
In a seperate bowl, whisk cream until peaks form.
Fold cream through egg mix.
Add half of mix to the strawberries.
Gently fold through.
To reminaing mix, Add cocoa & cointreau.
Gently fold through.
Layer mixes in glasses.
Freeze at least 4 hours.
You may need to take them out to thaw a little before serving.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Jerusalem Artichoke & White Truffle Oil Soup

Jerusalem Artichoke & White Truffle Oil Soup
serves 3

500g jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed, diced
100g potatoes, peeled, diced
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 t+ white truffle oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
600ml unsalted water
400ml vegetable stock
100ml soy cream or cream

In a large pot over medium heat, Melt butter with 1t truffle oil.
Add potatoes, jerusalem artichokes. Stir to coat. Cook 10 mins.
Add garlic. Stir well. Cook 5 mins or until garlic fragrant.
Add unsalted water, stock. Bring to boil.
Simmer about 30 mins or until potatoes & artichokes are tender.
Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or in a processor.
Put soup back on low heat. Season.
Add cream. Stir well. Cook 5 mins.
Serve with a dash of truffle oil and some crusty white bread.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Beetroot Hummus

Beetroot Hummus
200g tin chickpeas, drained
25g tin beetroot slices
2 tbsp+ lemon juice
1 clove garlic
100ml tahini paste
1 t sweet paprika
dash olive oil

Combine chickpeas, beetroot, lemon juice, garlic, tahini in a processor.
Process to a creamy puree.
Add oil little by little until it reaches desired consistency.
Season to taste.
Serve sprinkled with paprika.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Garden Cress Pesto Potato Salad

It was time for the garden cress to be sacrificed for the greater good.

Garden Cress Pesto Potato Salad

1/2 tbsp roasted pinenuts
2 tbsp garden cress
3 t avocado oil
1 1/2-2 t grated vegetarian parmesan
1/2 t white wine vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic
300g washed baby new potatoes

Place all ingredients, except potatoes, in a processor or mortar.
Process or grind to a paste. Season only with salt. Set aside.
Quickly wash the potatoes and place in an unsalted pot of water.
Boil the potatoes until they're just tender.
Drain potatoes. Halve or quarter them to your own preference.
Place them in a bowl. Pour over the pesto. Toss well.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Chocolate Bottom ANZAC Biscuits

Australia and New Zealand Army Corps biscuits are a great favourite of mine (along with I think all Aussies and Kiwis) and now my Dane loves them too. They're dead easy to make and as such are wonderful to make with kids. They're also a biscuit with history. During WW1 loved ones would bake these biscuits to send to those off fighting as a care package, because there are no eggs or milk these biscuits would last the long journey to those fighting far from home. However, the chocolate bottom on these is not at all traditional!

Chocolate Bottom ANZAC Biscuits
makes about 15

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup or maple syrup
1 t bi-carb soda
2 tbsp water
150g dark chocolate

Preheat oven 160°C/320°F.
Line a baking tray.
Put flour, coconut, oats in a large bowl. Mix.
Melt butter, golden or maple syrup and water in a small saucepan.
Once they have all melted, Add bi-carb soda (this will fizz up).
Pour the wet mix into the dry mix. Stir until combined.
Roll the mix into balls 1 tbsp at a time.
Place them on to the lined baking tray.
Make sure to leave about 5cm between them as they spread out.
Press them down slightly with a fork.
Bake 10 minutes or until golden (watch closely as they burn easily!)
Don't worry if they're soft, they will harden when cool and they're meant to be a little chewy.
Leave to cool 10-15 minutes.
Melt chocolate in a small saucepan.
Using a knife spread a layer of chocolate over the bottom of the biscuits.
Let the chocolate set.

Lemon & Lentil Soup

This soup is really quite hearty and goes well served with toasted black bread. According to my carnivore father this soup is 'fantastic!' High praise indeed.

Lemon & Lentil Soup
serves 4

1 1/2 cups brown lentils
2L/8 cups vegetable stock or water
2 L potatoes, peeled & diced
1 bunch silverbeet/swiss chard or spinach, sliced
1 L brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
5t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
zest of 1/2-1 lemon
juice of 2 lemons

Add lentils to a large pot with stock/water.
Bring to boil.
Add potatoes, Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add silverbeet, cover, simmer 20 minutes.
In a small pot over medium heat,
Cook onion and garlic in a little oil.
Add ground coriander, cumin, lemon zest & juice.
Stir well.
Add coriander leaves.
Cook until fragrant, about 5 mins.
Add to soup pot.
Stir well.
Cook a further 10-15 minutes.
Serve with slices of lemon or a little coriander.

Tomato Soup with Basil & Black Olive Paste and Puff Pastry Twists

If you are a vegan or just don't want to add it, omit the parmesan cheese. You really will not lose any of the wonderful flavour.

On a side note, we have lovely new Sagaform plates and bowls which we got for next to nothing!

Tomato Soup with Basil & Black Olive Paste
serves 3
2 tbsp olive oil
1 med red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 x 400g tin tomatoes (or about 650g fresh, chopped)
1/4 - 1/2 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
12 large basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 t lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1 tbsp grated vegetarian parmesan

Heat oil in a large pot. Saute onion and garlic until soft.
Add tomatoes, wine and stock. Stir well. Season.
Bring to boil. Simmer 30 minutes.
Process soup in a processor or by using a hand processor.
PASTE: Using either a mortar & pestle or a processor,
Place all ingredients in and process or pound to a paste.
Serve the soup with a spoonful of the paste on top.

Puff Pastry Twists
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
handful pitted black olives
handful basil leaves

Allow puff pastry to thaw.
Preheat an oven to 200C. Line a baking tray.
Make a paste with the parmesan, black olives and basil.
Cut the pastry into 2 equal pieces.
Brush one piece of pastry with the paste.
Lay the pastry on top of each other, encasing the paste.
Cut the pastry into strips about 1-2cm wide.
Take either end of the strips and roll in opposite directions.
Place each rolled strip 2cm from the other on the lined baking tray.
Bake about 15 mins or until pastry has puffed and golden.

Lobio: Red Kidney Bean Salad

Lobio is from the Caucasus (Georgia, Azerbaijan..) and it can be done in many different ways. This following recipe is one that I have adapted from one that I found posted on a Georgian food blog a few years ago. I've searched in vain for the original.

Lobio: Red Kidney Bean Salad
makes about 2 cups

1 L clove garlic, crushed
1/2 M red onion, finely diced
1/2 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
1 red bird's eye chili, de-seeded & finely chopped
50g/1/2 cup walnuts, almost ground
40ml/2 tbsp white vinegar (distilled malt vinegar)
20ml/1 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
425g can red kidney beans, drained

Whisk all except beans in a bowl.
Add beans, mix well.
Season to taste.

As with generally all bean salads this tastes better if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, or even better over night.