Month: March 2015

Quick Sunday Curry

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Today I bought home Steve from Hospital, and knew that he had taken one look at the fish for dinner the night before , it was cooked and reheated  and certainly looked horrible.

I knew Steve would want and need a comforting curry to fill his stomach and warm his body. Good food always makes us feel better.

I have been making really delicious curry pastes in the Thermomix and have been amazed at the speed and ease in which I have been able to quickly produce them.

This night I didn’t have the right ingredients for a fresh paste ,so made up a quick curry using curry powder and some bought madras curry paste. I also had some leftover lamb from a lamb roast.

After sautéing some onion I added two different curry powders and some curry paste. I find combining a few different powders or pastes gives the curry a more complex flavour.I also like to add some root vegetables such as carrot and potato along with pumpkin. This gives the curry some body.

My finishing touches are fresh herbs and a good dollop of yoghurt and sweet tomato chutney.

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Steamed Shakshuka Eggs

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Armed with a load of freshly picked tomatoes full of great flavour I decided they would be perfect as part of the breakfast, I would be hosting to raise funds for Oxfam Trailwalker. On April 10th I will walk 100km as part of a 4 man team. Aside from undertaking this gruelling event my aim is to support the Oxfam charity

I settled on the idea of a breakfast  and thought that would be a fun way of raising money. I asked some of my best gal friends to come together to meet at my home, to enjoy good healthy food and meet some new people.

The menu included bircher muesli, fresh fruits , danish pastry, fresh croissants with a small range of conserves, a variety of bread including fruit toast for toasting. The hero of my breakfast was the Shakshuka eggs.

This is a dish of slowly braised onion, capsicum,and tomatoes with fresh herbs and a touch of chill.whats more I could cook this the evening before and finish with an egg once the quests arrive. The combination of sweet onion and capsicum and the beautiful freshly picked tomatoes with a runny egg , served with a slice of sourdough is called heaven in a dish !!

Well the girls duly arrived ,and with assistance from Olivia and Zoe coffee and tea was served , eggs cracked into a small dish containing the shakshuka , steamed at 95c for three minutes and my guests were happy.

shakshuka recipe

 

Cooking Disaster

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I work with a very talented bunch of cooks – all fabulous in their own way. Imagine my horror and shame when given the task to make mini mud cakes for 80  – yes 80 serves I completely stuff up and they looked like mini volcanos. !!!

At first I thought the oven was too hot and that was the problem. Even when I turned the oven down the little cakes were still overflowing and making lots of mess over the oven.

The most stressful part was that they were for an evening function and a desert was required whilst this baking was occuring.

Cake making is a science and I simply was in such a rush I didn’t check the recipe. BIG MISTAKE – we must always check that every ingredient is included and the simple part I didn’t include was water of all things.

Those talented girls used some of the crumbled cooked cake in a glass with cooked berries and a simple chocolate custard and a dollop of cream

Disaster for the evening event averted.

 

 

Cooking with Cauliflower

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Olivia and Zoe love eating roasts as long as cauliflower with cheese sauce makes an appearance ! I do love the taste of steamed cauliflower with a creamy cheese sauce drizzled over the top and finished off in a hot oven to brown and crisp.

Sometimes we get stuck cooking vegetables in the same way ,only steaming them when often there are other methods of cooking the same vegetable which can result in other delicious dishes.

Cutting the cauliflower into florets and then into very fine “rice” has become a popular form of fried rice as an alternative to cooking rice. It is simply fried along with other vegetables and even adding in some chopped bacon or small prawns can add in some protein.

Roasting vegetables such as cauliflower adds a nutty flavour and allows maintaining a crisp texture and colour . I like adding a handful of toasted nuts, chopped herbs such as parsley, coriander, some dried fruits such as currents, all tossed together with a light dressing make for a fabulous salad.

Why not make a raw salad ,cut and mix raw cauliflower for a very crunchy salad. Children always love raw vegetables and young fresh vegetables are very tasty . Why not give it a go ?

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Flour less Orange Cake

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Asked by a new friend for an easy cake recipe and my immediate reply was did she have a food processor ?

The Classic Claudia Roden flour less cake came to mind simply because it is so easy to make and yet delicious to eat.

There are a few variations about, namely instead of always cooking oranges you could substitute mandarin or even a lime.

If you don’t own a steamer simply boil 2 oranges for 2 hours ( covered in water) when cool cut whole fruit roughly removing the pips. ( the pips make it bitter)

Place chopped oranges along with 250 g castor sugar,250g almond meal , 1 tsp baking powder. Blend until smooth.

Place in a greased lined 24 cm tin at 170c fan forced oven for about 40 mins to 60 minutes.