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.

Wheat Free Banana Cake

This recipe is both wheat and dairy free, and so it is suitable for those on a FODMAPS regime.  It is simple to make, with good results.  Moist and delicious.   Use a frosting or icing of your choice. 

325g (11 oz) bananas
325g (11 oz) brown sugar
3 eggs
85ml  (3 fl oz) olive oil
170 ml (6 fl oz) soy milk
300g (10 oz) gluten free plain flour
20g bi carb soda

Preheat oven to 185 C (365 F).  Mix together the bananas, sugar and eggs with a beater until light in colour and doubled in volume.  Add the oil and milk and beat a little more.  Sift the flour and bi carb soda together and beat into the mixture briefly.

Pour into a greased 22 cm (8 inch) cake tin.  Bake for about 50 mins to one hour, and check that a skewer comes out clean and the top bounces back. 



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Indonesian Sour Fish

A very simple and easy dish, with grand results.
For a FODMAPS friendly recipe, infuse the garlic in the oil and remove before cooking.

2 large fish fillets, (eg. Spanish mackerel, barramundi, snapper)
tamarind water made from 1 tbsp tamarind puree and 1 cup water
2 tbsp oil for frying
1 large clove garlic, finely sliced
2 large mild red chillies, finely sliced with seeds removed
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised and cut into 3 cm pieces (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Wash the fish and cut into 6 x 3 cm pieces, discarding any bones.
Lightly stir fry the garlic, chillies and lemon grass.
Add the fish and tamarind water, turmeric, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and simmer gently until the fish is cooked.
Tip out onto a dish, remove the lemon grass and serve.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe by Rosemary Brissenden in her book, South East Asian Food.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tomato Oil Chilli Pickle

Another FODMAPS friendly recipe. 

1 1/2 tablespoons black mustard seeds (or a combination of yellow and black)
1 1/2 cups malt vinegar
3/4 fresh ginger, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 1/4 olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons turmeric
4 tbsp cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
20 fresh red chillies (big mild ones)
2 kg tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sugar

For the FODMAPS diet, put the peeled garlic cloves in the olive oil and leave to infuse for at least one hour.  Discard the garlic before using the oil in the cooking.

Soak mustard seeds overnight in vinegar.  Remove mustard seeds from vinegar, and grind in mortar and pestle.  Add fresh ginger (and garlic if you are not following FODMAPS) to the mustard puree.

Heat oil and fry turmeric, cumin and chilli powder.  Add chillies, tomatoes, sugar and mustard puree.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and cook gently until it forms a pulp (oil should float on top after about one hour).

Allow to cool and transfer into clean and sterilized jars.

Lemon Jelly

1 kg lemons
4.5 cups water
3 cups sugar

Take 1 kg of the freshest lemons you can find, not overripe or stale. The younger the fruit, the more pectin in it.  Slice off the stem end of the lemons, but leave the blossom end intact, as that's the end with more pectin in it.  Using a food processor, slice the lemons as thinly as possible and put them into a large pot with 4.5 cups water.

Bring the lemon water to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently boil for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.  You can leave it for longer, even overnight.  Strain the mixture to remove the seeds and pulp from the liquid.  This should give you about 3 cups liquid.

Put a small plate or saucer into the freezer.  Add 3 cups sugar and 1 cup lemon juice to the mixture, and bring to a boil.  Boil the mixture fairly hard ( but not so hard that it overflows or goes foamy), stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.  It should appear ever so slightly thicker on the back of your spoon.  Take your frozen plate out of the freezer, set a teaspoon of liquid on the plate and see if it sets up:  run your finger through the liquid, and if the two sections do not run back together, it is set and the jelly is ready.  Just make sure that you do not boil it for too long, as that will make the mixture bitter.

Be warned: it may look runny and watery, but it really takes only about 10 minutes to see a slight change in the consistency of the liquid.  When the 10 minutes have passed, immediately pull the pot off the stove and ladle the jelly into three or four waiting jars that have been properly cleaned and sterilized.