Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Middle East Wrap

A simple dish using leftover rotis or tortillas.

Aubergine - 1 large cut into 1inch cubes
Salt - 1tsp
Rotis/ Tortillas - 4
Green Chillies - 2 finely chopped
Slice Cheese - 8

Sprinkle salt onto the aubergine and set aside for 30minutes. Squeeze out the water and pat dry. Deep fry the aubergine in hot oil until golden brown and drain on absorbent paper. Lay one roti/tortilla on a work surface. Put a few cubes of aubergine in the center sprinkle some chillies and cover with two cheese slices. Fold in the sides and roll the roti/ tortilla. Repeat with remaining rotis.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuscan Christmas Panforte~ Christmas Cake

I was about to make the Christmas cake, my mum's recipe which we have been using over thirty years. But this year I passed on my version of the Christmas cake recipe to her and asked her to try it out...only because mine turned out absolutely yummy!!

Suma Rowajee of 'Cakes and More' is hosting her first event, the best part is the giveaway -  The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Here's my entry~

Hazelnuts - generous 1/3cup
Almonds - generous 1/3cup
Candied Peel - 1/2cup
Candied pineapple - 1/3cup chopped finely
Dried Apricots - 1/3cup chopped finely
Grated rind of 1orange
All purpose flour - 1/2cup
Unsweetened cocoa - 2tbs
Ground cinnamon  - 1tsp
Ground coriander - 1/4tsp
Ground cloves - 1/4tsp
Freshly grated nutmeg - 1/4tsp
Caster sugar - 1/2cup
Honey - 1/2cup
To decorate:
Icing sugar

Line an 8inch cake pan with parchment paper. Spread put the hazelnut on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven for 10minutes until golden brown. Put them onto a dish towel and rub off the skin. Meanwhile spread out the almonds and toast in the oven for 7minutes watching them as they can easily burn. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C. Chop all the nuts and place them in a large bowl.
Add the candied peel, chopped candied pineapple, apricots, rind of the orange to the nuts and mix well. Sift together the flour, cocoa, coriander, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl and mix well. Put the sugar and honey into a pan and set over low heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 10minutes until thickened and starting to darken.Stir in the nuts mixture into the pan and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and level the surface using the back of a damp spoon.Bake in the oven for 1hour and then transfer to wire rack to cool in the pan. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper and. Just before serving dredge the top with icing sugar. Cut into thin wedges to serve.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cookies ~ A Sweet Makeover

Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. ~ Helen Steiner Rice

Asan Khana is hosting the month's event on 'Its time to jingle'. These cookies are being sent over......

Wholewheat flour - 360gms
Raisins or Sultanas - 50gms
Ground Ginger - 1 1/2tsp
Ground Cinnamon - 1/2tsp
Dark Brown Sugar - 125gms
Bicarbonate of Soda - 1tsp

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Mix in oil with the sugar, tip in the raisins or sultanas and mix. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate soda, ground ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the oil, sugar and raisin mixture and mix together. Knead the mixture for a few seconds till it comes together, adding a teaspoon or so of water if necessary. Take care to keep the dough soft but not sticky. Flatten the dough into a a round surface about 2cm thick, cling wrap and leave to chill for 30minutes. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough to .5cm thickness. Stamp out shapes using the Christmas cutter or regular rounds of 6-7cm diameter. With a spatula put each shape onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10-12minutes until golden brown . Remove from oven, leave to cool. Store in airtight container.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baked Beans Deluxe

Another one of my Mum's recipes that she would make, on the days she and Appa would head out for their weekly game of badminton back in the day when her children were still going to school.....

Cabbage - 450gms shredded
Potatoes - 3 medium sized
Baked beans - 450gms (1can)
Tomato Ketchup - 2tbs
Sweet paprika powder - 1tsp
Onions - 1 large finely chopped
Bechamal Sauce - 1 1/2cups (White Sauce)
Butter - 2tbs

Macerate the shredded cabbage with salt. Place the cabbage into a steamer and let it steam through for about 3minutes. Boil the potatoes, peel and cut into roundels, apply salt and pepper to taste and keep aside. Into a frying pan, melt the butter and sweat the onions, then add the paprika powder, baked beans and ketchup and saute for a while. Grease a baking dish. Arrange the cabbage at the bottom. Cover the leaves with the seasoned baked beans. Sprinkle some cheese over the beans and then top the beans with the potato rounds. Pour the white sauce over the potatoes. Top the potatoes with more cheese and bake in a hot oven at 180C for 25mins. Serve hot.

Bechamal Sauce (White Sauce):
Butter - 2tbs
Plain flour - 3tbs
Milk - 11/2cups
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Blend in the flour. Add the milk all at once and cook quickly constantly stirring, till the sauce thickens.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chip Muffins

My son has been pestering me to make him muffins for over a month, and due to various reasons kept postponing his request. Until  I get a December letter from his play school announcing one of the days as 'Picnic day' with specifics to snacks, a mat, paper plates and cups to be brought along as the paraphernalia. My son couldn't have have had better reasons to take along with him 15 muffins for his friends, with my constant reminder "Elijah you got to share with your friends" to which he promptly responds "No, Mama I can't - Please..."!!
At the end of the day he indeed shared his muffins with all his little friends. Ria is hosting the mingle for the month - Chocolate Extravaganza, and I'm sending this across as my entry.

Plain Flour – 215gm
Baking Powder – 1 tsp
Butter/Margarine – 115gm
Caster Sugar – 70gm
Dark Brown sugar – 30gm
Eggs – 2
Milk – 125ml
White Chocolate Chips – 85gms
Chocolate Chips – 85gms (I used a semi sweet chocolate bar and cut them into pieces)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 10 – 12 silicone muffin cases/ paper cups or the muffins tray. Cream the butter until soft. Add both sugars and beat until light & fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Sift together the flour & baking powder, twice. Fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Spoon the mixture three fourths full into the muffin cases. Sprinkle several chocolate chips on top. Bake until lightly colored , about 25 minutes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Sweet Punch~Pear, Chocolate & Almond Crumble

We are down with a nasty cough, so couldn't enjoy this crumble with ice-cream like we wanted to nor did I make custard or cream to go with it. And without ice-cream, heavy cream, custard or any of the like the crumble is just warm enough to delight us all.

Ripe pears - 1kg (4-5), peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm pieces
Light brown soft sugar - 50gms [ Can substitute with regular sugar]
Grated zest and juice of 1 un-waxed lemon
Swiss milk chocolate - 100gms, roughly chopped

For the crumble:
Plain flour - 100gms [ You could substitute this with Whole wheat flour too]
Butter - 50gms, chilled and diced
Light brown soft sugar - 50gms
Almonds - 50g blanched, lightly toasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease 6 ovenproof teacups or ramekins or a pie-dish. In a medium bowl, mix together the pears, brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and half the chocolate. Divide the mixture between the teacups or ramekins, spooning over any juice. To make the crumble, place the flour and butter in a medium bowl and, with your fingertips, rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, almonds and remaining chocolate. Spoon the crumble over the pears and press down lightly. Place the crumbles on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice-cream.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Beef Stroganoff with Buttered Rice

This dish remains to be a personal favorite. Well if you have friends coming over for a meal...then its one occasion to get a stroganoff on the table.

Fillet steak - 750gms
Butter - 3tbs
Onion - 1/4cup finely chopped
Mushrooms - 500gms sliced
Warm water - 1/2cup
Beef stick cubes - 2 crumbled
Tomato puree - tbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream - 3/4cup
Cornflour - 1tsp

Cut fillet into 1cm thin slices. Heat butter into a non stick frying pan and saute the meat very quickly until cooked and golden brown. With a slotted spoon remove meat to a warm plate. In the rest of the butter saute the onion for a while. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2minutes. Return meat to the pan with water, stock cubes, salt, pepper and tomato puree. Finally add in the sour cream and cornflour mixture. Allow to boil and then simmer for 3minutes.

Buttered Rice
Long grain rice - 11/2cups
Butter - 2tbs at room temperature
Salt to taste
Parsley - 2tbs chopped

Soak the rice for 10minutes and drain. Cook in plenty of boiling water and drain and refrigerate for 3hours. Just before serving, melt the butter into a non stick pan and stir fry the rice for 3minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and mix in parsley.

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