Wednesday, August 3, 2016
I am not immune to the social media obsession with food bowls. Trends aside, they are a pretty spectacular way to eat - all that flavour, colour and texture, its hard not to love. Here are a few salad bowls I had the great fun of putting together for Myer Emporium. Enjoy them!
Slow roasted beef cheek winter bliss bowl with greens and cauliflower rice
There's nothing better than a hearty, good-for-you salad bowl, brimming with colourful roasted veggies, cauliflower rice and slow cooked beef cheek. Winter never looked so good.
WINTER FELAFEL BOWLS
"If you're short on time, you can whip these up in a flash by purchasing some of the ingredients. If you're going to pre-purchase falafels, be sure to opt for good quality deli versions."
1 ½ cups tinned chickpeas
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup almonds
½ cup frozen peas
1 green onion, very finely chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1 cup coriander leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp buckwheat flour
Grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying
1 beetroot, peeled, finely sliced and cut into batons
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
¼ red cabbage, very finely sliced
2 tablespoons of a good quality salad seed mix (sunflower seeds, pepitas)
1 bunch broccolini, rinsed and diced
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ bunch coriander leaves, chopped
2 avocados, halved
½ cup sauerkraut (I used a combination cabbage and beetroot version)
4 tbsp turmeric cashew cheese
½ small pumpkin, thickly sliced and slow roasted
Japanese red sorrel and nasturtium leaves to scatter (or use any fresh in season herbs, leaves)
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
So the lovely folk at Nestle sent me some of their new baking chocolate range to use, which I did. Of course I did. Who wouldn't? I made these individual white chocolate, vanilla, cardamom and rose cakes with white chocolate butter cream and Persian floss. I also played around with some chocolate buttons and it got me thinking, its actually fairly hard to find accurate information out there on some very basic moulding steps with chocolate. So here are a few tips from me to you. I'll be posting the recipe for the cake later this week, in a cake baking post extravaganza.
Basic Moulding Steps
1. Melting Chocolate.
My method of choice is a double boiler. Yes you can use a microwave, but its best to have complete control over the heating process. Simmer water on low heat in a saucepan. Place a bowl over the top, add the chocolate and stir until melted and glossy.
If you are using pure chocolate then it needs to be tempered. You need to heat the chocolate to 49C, slightly higher for dark chocolate, allow chocolate to cool quickly and evenly by adding chocolate until near set and a crust will form at 31C. Then warm to a working temperature of 33C.
2. Fill the mould.
Tips. GO SLOW. You do not want to over-fill or allow the entry of air, water or steam. Tap the mould on a bench to eliminate air bubbles and also to give a smooth base.
3. Chill the mould.
In the fridge for about 10 minutes. If the chocolates are not set, a wet patch will show on the underside of the mould preventing a clean and easy unmoulding. Return to the fridge until set.
4. Tap out.
Onto a soft surface. Only a gentle tap is required.
A few other handy tips.
Layers - a layered effect can be achieved by separate colours or painted sections to set in the mould before adding the next layer. Make sure layers are not too thin or transparent.
Nut centres - cover the base of the mould with a small amount of the melted chocolate. Tap to eliminate air bubbles, place a nut in the mould and fill with chocolate. Tap again for flat base.
Cleaning - use a dry cloth or wash in warm water and dry thoroughly. DO NOT use detergents, boiling water or dishwashers unless you want to say bye bye chocolate mould.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Hello. Yes I am still here. You could be forgiven for thinking I had fallen off the face of the earth. In between book projects, my weekly recipe column and two little people under the age of 3, sadly the blogging has fallen by the wayside. But not today!! Here is a seriously belated recipe update. Get cooking and let me know how you get on! Just to prove my commitment I'll be posting a recipe each day this week so keep an eye out.
Sometimes, I know with absolute certainty that my day will involve leisurewear and soup. Generally, its cold, windy and/or wet outside, and the in-your-face weather of late has provided several opportunities for me to don said leisurewear and indulge my obsession with soup-making.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Spiced pumpkin soup with brown rice, blackbeans and lime whipped feta
I am not built for cold weather. To me, chill is a fun killer. I know there is skiing, and ice skating and pretty white landscapes and amazing coats and boots but this all glosses over that very banal fact that being cold completely sucks. The only redeeming feature, other than the aforementioned, means long slow cooking in the kitchen, the kind that has wafting amazing roasting type smells escaping through your windows and floorboards. And bowls of deliciousness like this spiced number that is part soup, part hearty soul fortifying meal. Basically as many comfort foods you can find to fit in one bowl with a touch of flu warding garlic and spice.
1/2 Jap pumpkin, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red onions, peeled, roughly chopped
2 sprigs marjoram
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 cup coconut milk
100g adobo sauce
4 cups chicken stock
juice and zest of 2 limes
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 cup tinned black beans, rinsed
2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
Lime whipped feta
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp yoghurt
Micro coriander leaves, lime wedges and black sea salt flakes to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C. Toss the pumpkin slices, garlic and chopped onion with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a large baking tray and roast until lightly caramelized and tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before adding to a blender with the herbs and spices. Turn out into a saucepan and add the coconut milk and adobo sauce. Add the chicken stock gradually until your desired soup consistency is achieved. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop, adding more chicken stock as it thickens. Season.
For the whipped feta, blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.
Scoop a 1/2 cup of brown rice into each bowl. Pour soup over the rice, then top with blackbeans, lime whipped feta, and fresh coriander.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
BBQ spiced chicken, cauliflower and fennel cream
Roast chicken never gets old. Like never ever ever gets old. There are countless variations, flavourings and culinary persuasions to suit almost any cooking requirement. And that’s what I love the most, it can be dressed up and dressed down, there are infinite possibilities and persuasions to this humble concept. Here I’ve incorporated a cauliflower and fennel cream base for a spiced yoghurt marinated chicken; its a hunker down the weather is turning kind of roast chicken. One I’d imagine would go well with a quiet Sunday, a lovely pinot and a Netflix marathon.
Cauliflower and fennel cream
1kg cauliflower, broken into florets
2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 small onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 organic chicken, cut into 4 pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)
Butter for under the skin
Salt to season
150ml greek style yoghurt
½ onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
15g (3cm piece) ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp each ras el hanout, black lime powder, sumac, onion powder, cayenne pepper
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
For cauliflower and fennel cream, combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower and fennel are tender (12-15 minutes). Using a hand-held blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth and season to taste. Set aside.
For spiced yoghurt marinade, process ingredients (except oil) in a food processor until a paste forms, then stir in oil. Lift skin of chickens, being careful not to tear and push pieces of butter between skin and flesh. Place chicken in a non-reactive container, rub all over with marinade and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
Preheat oven to 200C. Heat a large cast-iron ovenproof frying pan over high heat, add 2 tbsp oil, then season chicken to taste and cook skin-side down until golden (3-4 minutes). Turn, then transfer to oven and roast until cooked through.
To serve, smear cauliflower and fennel cream at base of plate. Place over chicken pieces. Season with lemon juice. Serve.