Saturday, March 7, 2015

Beef Curry

1 large brown onion, chopped finely
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cm fresh ginger, minced
3 tbsp fresh coriander or parsely, minced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 to 3 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp black pepper or chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
500g beef, cut into cubes
3/4 cup water or beef stock
 medium tomatoes, cubed

Heat oil on medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, ginger and fresh coriander.  Stir and fry 5 to 10 minutes until soft and transparent but not brown.

Add turmeric, garam masala and black pepper or chilli.  Mix well.  Cook 1 minute.

Add meat to onion and spices.  Stir and fry 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Add water or stock to meat.  Mix well.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer 30 minutes.

Add tomatoes.  Mix well.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until meat is tender.  Remove cover.  Cook until most of liquid is absorbed. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hard Sauce

90g (3 oz) unsalted butter
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon brandy, or more to taste

Beat butter until creamy.
Add sugar a little at a time, beating until
white and fluffy.
Add liquor gradually, beating constantly.
Pile sauce into a bowl and chill.
Makes about half a cup.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sago Plum Pudding

3 tablespoons sago
1 cup milk
2 cups raisins and sultanas
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon bi carb soda
pinch of nutmeg, if desired

Soak sago in milk overnight.
Dissolve the soda in the melted butter.
Add the sago/milk mixture to all the other ingredients, mix well.
Place in a 1 to 1 1/2 pint greased basin, cover securely with foil.
Steam for 3 to 4 hours.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Grilled Vegetables Marinated with Oil and Vinegar

These vegetables can be prepared a day or more ahead, but they should be brought to room temperature before being served. 

Makes 8 servings as a first course, 10 servings as part of a meze.

2 eggplants (aubergines), preferably the plum-shaped Italian ones, about 500 g (1 pound)
2 red capsicums (bell peppers)
2 yellow capsicums (bell peppers)
3 long, slender zucchini, about 700 g (1 1/2 pounds)
a little olive oil for brushing

The marinade:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced, or salt to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint, thyme or oregano

Cut the eggplant into lengthwise slices about 2 cm (1/4 inch) thick.  Place in a bowl and cover with water, measuring the amount used.  Add 1/4 cup of salt for every 1 quart (2 pints).  Set a plate in the bowl with a weight on top (a can of tomatoes is ideal) to hold the slices underwater and leave them to soak for 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, rinse the capsicums (peppers) and cut them in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and white membrane.  Cut the zucchini on the diagonal into slices about 2 cm (half an inch) thick.
Preheat the grill.  Remove the eggplant slices from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.  Brush the eggplant and zucchini slices lightly with olive oil, using a pastry brush, and grill them on each side for 10 to 18 minutes.  When the slices are toasted dark brown on both sides, remove from the grill and arrange on a deep platter.

Place the capsicum halves skin side down on the grill.  Cook until the peppers are slightly blackened and the skin is starting to lift off and blister, about 5 to 8 minutes.  (Capsicums need not be cooked on both sides).  Add to the platter.

Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour the marinade over the vegetables.  Cover with aluminium foil and set aside at room temperate to marinate for several hours or overnight.  Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stuffed Capsicums

Try to choose red capsicums with flat bottoms, so they stand up in the baking dish.

Serves four to six.

One half red capsicum for each person
100 grams of ricotta for each person
A small bunch of fresh basil
Two eggs

Cut the capsicums in half, wash them and remove seeds.
Wash and dry the basil, then gently strip the leaves into three or four parts.
Separate egg yolks from egg whites.  Place egg whites in a bowl and gently whip.
Place ricotta in a large bowl and drain fluid.  Place the gently whipped egg whites in the same bowl
   and blend with the ricotta.
Blend the basil leaves with the ricotta and egg whites.
Place the blended ricotta into the capsicum halves, filling to the brim.
Place the filled capsicum halves into a baking dish and put in the oven at 140 Celsius degrees. Bake for 30 35 minutes.  Keep an eye on the process.  When the ricotta browns a little the cooking is complete.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sambal Terasi

There a lot of chillies in this dish, but don't be put off.  Those large red chillies you buy in the supermarket or at the grocer's are fairly mild.  You don't even need to deseed them, and the lime juice will soften the heat anyway. Blachan and shrimp paste can be purchased from an Asian supermarket or grocery store.

12 large red and green chillies
2.5 x 2.5 cm slice blachan or 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste or more if desired, roasted in foil and then crumbled
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice

In a food processor grind everything to a paste.  Moisten with lime juice. Place on a small serving dish with a spoon to serve and put on the table with rice and main dishes.

Chilli Ginger Sambal

This is an Indonesian sambal, delicious with most South East Asian dishes. There are a lot of chillies in this recipe, but don't be put off.  Those fat red chillies you buy in the supermarket or at the grocer's (or grow in your garden like I do), are mild.  You don't even need to deseed them. And the vinegar (or lime juice) dampens the heat further anyway.

3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
10 fresh large red chillies, or to taste
a good dash of white vinegar or lime juice
chicken stock to moisten

In a mortar or a food processor, grind the ginger and chillies into a rough paste.  Add a little lime juice or vinegar and salt to taste, and moisten with chicken stock.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Cook Sweet Potato

This is a simple but beautiful way to cook sweet potato.

Use a large non stick frying pan with a lid.  Wash one or two large sweet potatoes, and leave them unpeeled. Slice each sweet potato into thick pieces. Use only a little olive oil or vegetable oil, about one or two tablespoons.  Heat the oil on a medium high heat, then place the pieces of potato into the pan.  After about a minute, turn each piece over.  Place the lid on and cook the potato pieces, on a medium low heat, until they are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Turn the pieces over every 20 minutes.  Turn out onto a platter.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sago Plum Pudding

I obtained this recipe from my grandmother, and when she died I carried on the family tradition of this delightful pudding.  I think it is nicer than the usual Christmas pudding.  It is lighter.  I don't use the usual mixed dried fruit, preferring raisins and sultanas instead.  You can even add some nuts, if you like.

2 cups (500ml) milk
2/3 cup (130g) sago or tapioca
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ cups (330g) brown sugar
3 cups (210g) soft fresh breadcrumbs
3 cups (480g) mixture of sultanas and raisins
4 eggs, lightly beaten
120g butter, melted


Put the sago in a bowl and pour in the milk. Refrigerate overnight to soak, or for a few hours.

Add bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Stir through remaining ingredients and mix well.

Thoroughly grease an 8 cup pudding basin with butter, or use canola spray.  Spoon in pudding, packing down firmly as you go. Cover with two sheets of foil. Tie foil with string to seal.

Pour enough water into a large saucepan to come halfway up side of pudding basin. Bring to boil and lower pudding into water. Cover and simmer for 4 hours, adding more water if necessary. Serve sliced with custard and cream, if desired.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake - Wheat Free

This wheat free and dairy free cake is suitable for those, like me, who have to follow a FODMAPS regime.  It is easy to make, moist and delicious.

440tg (15 oz) can pineapple thins in syrup or natural juice, drained
125g (4 oz) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups gluten free plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup soy milk

Caramel topping:
75g (2 oz) butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180 C (356 F).  Grease a 22 cm (8 inch) cake pan.  I use a spring form pan, or you can line the base and sides with baking paper.

Make the topping.  Whisk butter and sugar together in a bowl until well combined.

Pat pineapple dry with paper towel.  Arrange pineapple over caramel, pressing down into caramel.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add flours and milk.  Stir to combine.  Spoon mixture over pineapple and smooth the top.

Bake for 50 mins to one hour or until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Cover with foil if over browning during cooking.  Stand in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out into a wire rack.  Serve.