26 February 2009
25 February 2009
I am really glad that you enjoyed the meal!!
You should be able to get lemon myrtle from the supermarket, although it is hard to find, it's not usually with the other spices. It is usually in a container with a black lid away from the others (I'm not sure why). It is an Australian bush spice that tastes a lot like lemongrass.
Definitely add chilli - I don't really like chilli as I find it too overpowering, but anyone who loves it should add as much as they like.
24 February 2009
If you are serving as a main, add extra chorizo and perhaps extra tomatoes. I would suggest 4 sausages, perhaps more if you are feeding hungry people, or people with big appetites. Tomatoes are up to you.
I'm not great with quantities, I normally just throw things together. Therefore publishing how many people a recipe serves is quite a task. I also tend to over-cater and normally have far too much food. So I may be a little conservative in what I publish as an attempt to compensate for that tendency.
So stay with me while I work all of this out and look out for updates to quantities as I experiment and receive feedback.
And thanks to everyone who has been reading!
23 February 2009
22 February 2009
The taste of homemade mayonnaise is far superior to store bought mayonnaise. The only time I us store bought mayonnaise is when making Mum's chicken pie - and this is simply because the sweeter taste of store bought mayonnaise works better in that recipe.
Homemade mayonnaise is tangy and creamy. Everyone should have a go. I've heard people say that it is difficult to make, but this is not true. I make my mayonnaise by hand, as I said I find it relaxing, but also the only time mayonnaise has ever split while I was making it was when I used a food processor. You need to make a large batch if you use a food processor, as it is only Mark and me at home, I make small batches.
I have no idea where I read this recipe, there are many around. I have a feeling it is a combination of many I have read over time - but it works well for me.
Feel free to double the recipe below if you would like to make more. This makes just over half a cup. You may need to experiment with the quantities to ensure the taste is just how you like it.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
Dijon mustard (extra - to taste)
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
Place the egg yolk, dijon mustard and white wine vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the sunflower oil one drop at a time, whisking continuously. Continue whisking until the ingredients are emulsified. The mixture should be rich and creamy. You will need to taste the mayonnaise at this point to work out what else it needs. It will be quite bland, so whisk in extra dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
To make aioli, stir in half a clove to a full clove of fresh garlic. If you are not a huge garlic fan (unlike me) try roasting a head of garlic in the oven. Cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with oilve oil and wrap in foil and roast for 30-40 minutes. The garlic flesh will have lost its pungency and be delicious and sweet. Mash the flesh and stir into the mayonnaise to taste.
I also like to add lemon zest, lime zest, lemon myrtle and herbs like mint and basil to the mayonnaise/aioli depending on what I am serving it with. For example, mint aioli works beautifully with roast lamb.
I never use oilve oil when making mayonnaise as the flavour of olive oil is too rich and overpowering. However, if making aioli I do add a very small splash of oilve oil just at the end. It works well with the fresh garlic.
Have fun and experiment.
21 February 2009
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 chicken breasts (or 8 thigh pieces), each cut into 3 pieces (if using thigh pieces, just cut in half)
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic crushed
3cm piece ginger grated
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
1½ cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons lemon myrtle
Mixed steamed vegetables to serve
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place curry power a bowl and toss chicken pieces to coat well.
Heat olive oil in a casserole dish (with a tight fitting lid) over medium heat. (if you do not have a casserole dish that can be used on the stove, just use a fry pan and transfer to a casserole dish to cook in the oven). Cook chicken in batches until browned. Remove and set aside.
Cook onion, garlic and ginger until soft (if the pan is a little dry, you may need to add a little extra oil). Add rice and cook until well coated and transparent (about 2 minutes). Return chicken to the dish. Add tomatoes and stock and stir to combine.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Add lemon myrtle and return dish to the oven and cook for another 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
Serve with steamed greens.
I love taking the leftovers to work the next day. This is one that also freezes well after cooking.
150g baby spinach washed and dried
2 punnets cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 chorizo sausages chopped (quantity depends on whether you are serving as a side or a main)
1 packet (250g) haloumi cut into 1 cm strips.
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra)
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for 20 minutes or until soft.
While the tomatoes are cooking, heat a fry pan and a small drizzle of olive oil over medium heat and cook the chorizo until crispy. Drain on absorbent paper and wipe the pan clean.
Place the extra olive oil, balsamic and sugar in a screw top jar and shake to combine.
Place the spinach in a serving bowl. Once the tomatoes are cooked and cooled slightly add the chorizo and tomatoes to the spinach. Immediately fry the haloumi in a little olive oil for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden. Cut into cubes and add to the spinach, chorizo and tomatoes.
Dress with the olive oil and balsamic dressing, mix lightly and serve immediately.
If serving as an accompaniment to steak, marinate the steak in a mixture of soy sauce and red wine vinegar prior to cooking. I find this gives the steak amazing additional flavour.
This is a fantastic salad to serve when entertaining. You can prepare the tomatoes, chorizo and dressing in advance and simply combine with the spinach and haloumi just before serving.
Treat the quantities as approximations only and add more or less of anything according to taste.
Mum and I hope you enjoy.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 large tin corn
2 cups frozen peas
1 onion grated
1 green apple grated
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
1/3 cup milk
1 whole BBQ chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
2-4 tablespoons of mayonnaise (according to taste)
2 sheets store bought puff pastry
Powdered chicken stock to taste
1 egg beaten
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a pie dish with oil spray or butter.
Cook the mixed vegetables until just tender. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once melted, cook the onion and apple until soft. Add the flour and stir until the mixture thickens. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add milk and cook until thickened. The mixture should be thick, but not runny. Let the mixture cool slightly (you can put the mixture in the fridge to speed up the cooling process). Stir in mayonnaise.
Ensure the chicken and mixed vegetables are cool, add to the mixture and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper and chicken stock.
Line the pie dish with one sheet puff pastry. Place the mixture in the pie dish and place the remaining sheet of puff pastry over the top and close. Glaze the top of the pie with the egg and cut air vents in the pastry.
Cook for 20 minutes, turning the pie if it cooks unevenly. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 180 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes.
I like to prepare the pie in advance and store in the freezer, uncooked, to be enjoyed on busy evenings.
Add an additional 2 sheets of puff pastry and make 2 smaller pies using disposable pie dishes. Smaller pie dishes sold at supermarkets serve 2 people and the extra pie can be kept in the freezer for later. Perfect when you are cooking for 2.