Monday, 6 December 2010
Traditional cherry clafouti includes a splash of kirsch. I decided to make a pear clafouti this time around - decided by having a surfeit of eggs in the house, and a large tin of pears at hand. To add a little extra twist, I had a think about flavours and concluded that butterscotch schnapps might just work. And indeed it does - the butterscotch schnapps being quite a warm creamy flavour it worked well with the custard and contrasted with the slightly crisper sharper edge of the pear.
Now I am sure a purist would use freshly sliced pears for this recipe, but then again, a purist wouldn't be allowing butterscotch schnapps anywhere either, so they can go be purist and we can enjoy the fruits of our experimental labours. Tinned pears mean that you can create this delicious dessert at any time of the year or day of the week. If you do use fresh pears, peel and core them, and slice them thinly.
5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (I make my own by keeping my vanilla bean pods in the sugar jar)
1/2 cup sifted flour
1 and a half tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
1 cup (250ml) cream (normal 35% fat cream is fine; occasionally I even use sour cream)
3 extra tablespoons of caster sugar
1 large tin of pears, drained
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Take a large ceramic or glass pie dish (a gratin dish will do at a pinch). Grease the bottom with the butter and sprinkle it with the caster sugar; shake the dish to get an even spread of sugar.
Place the eggs and vanilla sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy Sprinkle on the flour, add the cream and the butterscotch schnapps and mix with the whisk to combine well.
Arrange the pears around the dish in an attractive pattern. Pour the batter over the top.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until set. Allow to cool, and serve sprinkled lightly with sugar, with or without icecream.
2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
1 cup fine sugar
2 tins of sweetened condensed milk (around 400g each)
60 grams of butter
60mls (4 tablespoons)golden syrup
300g dark chocolate
40g copha/vegetable shortening
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Like most of my foodblogging friends I am passionate about food and cooking.
I guess what I have that is perhaps a little rare in the grand foodblog community is simply the span of my cooking. Not just doing home cooking, nor modern cooking, nor cooking from a particular area, my food spans not only countries, but centuries.
How many foodbloggers are catering for 200 people, as well as making dinner for one? How many are exploring medieval and renaissance recipes as well as inventing completely new and different food? Giving restaurant reviews across the world, as well as sharing recipes and cooking tips. How many are cooking Italian, French, Japanese, Australian, English, Malaysian, Indonesian, Hungarian... the world on a plate? Hosting and cooking challenge dinner parties, organising social restaurant outings, and teaching cooking from pasta to sushi? Ooh, and I forgot.. doing a bit of food design for my friend's published cookbook on the side. Many are doing one or two of these things, but I suspect very few do them all.
I hope that what I also do is share what I love most about cooking: the adventure, the fun, and how wonderfully simple it all can be.
I put together this photo montage of myself, to sort of sum up my foodie self... ======>
To vote for me and keep me cooking and experimenting, head over to the Project Foodblog site.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Sometimes I take shots that I am absolutely thrilled with, but rather more often the photos are ok at best. I do wish I had more talent, but to be truthful, don't spend the time really learning enough about photography to become expert. That said, among the chaff are some real gems and I have decided to share them in a more formal fashion.
I just wanted to tell you that I now have a Redbubble site, where you can buy prints in the form of greetings cards and posters of some of my photos. Even if you don't lash out and buy anything, I would love it if you visited my site and commented on photos you like...
Saturday, 14 August 2010
But what recipe to use? A quick rummage through my cookbooks turned up nothing. Hmm... time to get inventing!
1.7kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 large onions
1.5 cups vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Chop the onions finely. Cook with a splash of olive oil in a deep heavy bottomed saucepan until softened and transparent. Add the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Drop to a simmer, and simmer for an hour, topping up with water if required. Push through a seive and pour into jars.
Someone asked for my judgement on how it worked out. I would describe it as a complete success (I don't post up my failures
Saturday, 22 May 2010
You do need a food processor for this recipe, and it is super quick and easy. Be warned though, there is no way to avoid getting your hands messy!
1.3kg beef mince
2 medium eggs
2 large onions
2 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs - use the food processor to process stale 'square' bread.
4tsp dried herbs - I used sage, oregano, basil and marjoram
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 kg pre-rolled puff pastry (5 rolls)
1 egg lightly beaten, for brushing on top of the rolls
Peel and roughly chop the onion. Pop it into the food processor and process until it is quite fine in texture (but not liquid!). Put into a large bowl with the breadcrumbs. Stir in the herbs, salt and pepper.
There is no need to rinse the bowl of the food processor. Just put in the mince (you might need to process in two lots) and process it down to make it a sort of paste. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth, but it does need to be much finer than the original mince. This will help the filling to hold together. Put into the bowl, and break into the bowl, two of the eggs. With your hands, mix the whole lot together.
Cut the sheet of puff pastry in half lengthwise. Take a good handful of the filling and form into a fat sausage (I guess about 2.5 cm/1 inch in diameter) and lay along the long edge of one piece of the pastry. Brush the opposite edge with water and then fold the pastry over to make a roll. Place seam side down. Repeat with the other pieces of pastry.
Cut the rolls in 3cm lengths. Brush the tops with egg yolk, and chill for at least 15 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown in quite a hot oven - 240 degrees. Serve warm with tomato sauce, home made or otherwise. (These can happily be made the day before, or even made and frozen uncooked)
Friday, 7 May 2010
Bake in a closed pie shell, or as little individual pies. Eat while piping hot.
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Now the latter is a Turkish dish, and you would think that being in Europe (and not that far from Turkey) it would be easy to get, but I haven't been able to find it, and even if I could, I suspect it would be a disappointment compared to the Kabak Mucveri in my fave Turkish restaurant in Canberra. A trip to Alanya was definitely on the list for my visit to Australia.
I got my chance, and met up with a friend and ex-colleague for lunch there. The restaurant itself hadn't changed much in the years I have been away. It is tucked away upstairs in the Style arcade in Manuka and has a big challenge to fight the trendy on-street restaurants that saturate this mini town centre. But fight it has, and for forty years (!) it has been serving Turkish food to hungry Canberrans.
The reason why it has managed to stay viable for all this time is because it is simply good. What more can I say than go there and check it out for yourself.
Manuka, ACT 2603
Friday, 5 February 2010
Now, as usual, I was slack about weighing and measuring, but luckily the receipts from the supermarket have weights on them. It's funny because I thought this recipe is super simple, with only a handful of ingredients, but now that I list them out, I included 12 different things!
- 1.2kg carrots
- 1kg sweet potatoes
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 lime leaves
- 3 tablespoons of coconut milk powder
- 1 good sized pinch of chili flakes
- ~ 1 tsp lemon myrtle, coconut and chili seasoning
While these are cooking, chop the onions - no need to be too fussy about how finely they are chopped as it will all be blended in the end. Brown the onion in a 5 litre pot with a bit of olive oil. Once they are transparent and going brown, add the finely chopped fresh ginger and the garlic - they will only take seconds to cook.Once browned, add a splash of vegetable stock; enough to lift the caramelised onion and tasty bits from the pan.
Add the roasted orange vegetables, pour in the rest of the stock and add the lime leaves and chili. Peel and chop the potatoes and add them to the pot. Bring to the boil and then drop to a simmer. Simmer until the carrot and potatoes have softened - the potatoes will likely start to fall to pieces, while the carrots will crush easily with the back of a spoon.Blend the soup with a stick blender. Stir in the coconut milk powder along with an equal amount of water. You may need to add extra water to thin the soup out as it gets very thick. If you are transporting it, I advise leaving it very thick to make it less likely to leak out of its container during transport, and then then when reheating. Reheat on quite a low heat, to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
Pour into a pretty tureen to serve, sprinkle some of the lemon myrtle sprinkle and swirl it through. There you go... all finished!