Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Healthy Pastry

Good for pies, flans, pasties or anything calling for short pastry. This amount is for one 25cm pie crust - double the quantities for both base and top.

1 Cup of either a mixture of half and half white /wholemeal SR Flour or all wholemeal.
125g Ricotta cheese
2 tblspn milk

Simply work the ricotta into the flour with a fork and add the milk - lightly knead into a ball and roll out as required.
If you are using it for a flan or tart, blind bake for 10mins. before adding the filling and returning it to the oven.
For pies, 165 degrees C. for 35mins ensures a nicely browned crust.

Nutty Apple Crumble

6 Grany Smith apples - cored and sliced
1 tspn allspice
1tblspn honey
2 tblspn water
2 tblspn rolled oats
1 tblspn desiccated coconut
1 tblspn LSA
1tblspn wholemeal flour
2 tspns raw sugar (optional)
1 tblspn yoghurt or buttermilk or milk

Cook the first 4 ingredients until the apples are just soft. Place in an ovenproof dish. To make the crumble, mix the remaining ingredients using just enough of the yogurt or milk to bind the crumble together. (it shouldn't be too moist) Place the crumble mix on top of the apples and bake in a moderate oven for approx 20 to 30 mins or until lightly brown and crunchy.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Apple and Rye Dessert

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 cups rye breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 tablespoons grated dark chocolate
2 cups apple puree
2 cups of vanilla flavoured whipped cream

Mix butter,sugar and breadcrumbs and fry gently until crumbs are crisp.Allow to cool.
Stir in cinnamon and 1/2 the chocolate.
Alternate layers of apple and crumb mix in a glass dish
Cover with cream and grated chocolate
Chill for 2 hours or overnight
Any fruit puree can be used in this recipe eg apricots or fresh berries.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Mushroom Soup

2 sliced leeks
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large potatoes (cut in 1cm dice)
2 to 4 very large mushrooms
2 crushed cloves of garlic
3 to 4 cups of water or stock
salt and pepper
a good handful of chopped parsley
1/2 to 1 cup cream or milk

Saute leeks and potatoes in oil until starting to soften (add a little stock if dry)
Add the diced mushrooms and cook until soft
Stir in the stock, garlic,salt and pepper and simmer gently for 15 minutes
Stir in the cream and parsley and serve .

Warm and wonderful - thanks Maggie from Kate !

Winter Warmers

Winter is a great time to make your favourite vegetable into a tasty soup.Fry some onion and garlic in a pan.Stir in some of your favourite herbs or spices.Add a good amount of your favourite vegetable and a little water or stock.Simmer until the vegetable is just tender.Season with salt and pepper and a good handful of freshly chopped greens or appropriate herbs.Add some already cooked beans, lentils, rice or barley.Not only is this delicious but highly nutritious.If you like a sweet snack during the day try this.Gently simmer some rice, sago or barley in water or fruit juice until tender.Add some fresh or cooked fruit and top with some honey, maple syrup or sultanas and nuts.Once again this is a good warming healthy snack.Maggie


From Gerda ‘07. Gerda is the Austrian mother of a friend of our's who is 96 and whose mother used to bake this for her when Gerda was a child. I recently came upon a few kgs of red currants and asked my friend for the recipe. Simple food, simply delicious

Prepare a pastry with two ounces sugar, four ounces butter and six ounces flour, a few drops of lemon juice and line a buttered and floured rectangular flan tin with this. Bake 'blind'.
When baked, but still hot, cover thickly with red-currants, sprinkle with a little sugar.
Whisk two egg whites until stiff, whisk in two ounces caster sugar, fold in another two ounces sugar. Pile whipped egg white over redcurrants.
Bake in cool oven until meringue top has set .Cut into slices when cool ( will be a bit runny when warm). Serve with cream.

Braised waxy potatoes

This is from 'The Cook and The Chef'. Channel 2 Wednesdays at 6.30pm. I made it last night - yum

Serves 2 – 3 as an accompaniment
500g peeled waxy potatoes (Nicola, Dutch Creams or Kipflers)
2 fresh bay leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)
40g butter
1½ cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
squeeze of lemon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters depending on how large they are. Place in a small but deep baking or casserole dish so that all the potatoes sit snugly but will be submerged by the stock. Add the stock, bay, butter and a good splash of evoo along with a pinch or two of sea salt. Place dish, uncovered in a 180 C oven for an hour to hour and half (the timing will depend on the size & type of potatoes used), gently basting the potatoes with the cooking liquid every now and again. When the potatoes are tender, remove from the oven, sprinkle with thyme, flat leaf parsley, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper, adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve.


I like to pickle about 5 kg now but the first time I did it I had 3 kg and this is plenty to get started. Don't go for the big ones - I think small ones have a much better flavour and pack better in the jars.

3 kg black olives (I have never done it with green ones)
3 Tbl salt
12 Tbl olie oil
600mls white / cider vinegar
1.25 litres water ( boiled and cooled)
optional : 1 clove garlic / jar
1 small red chilli (or less)/ jar
dried oregano or other herbs
After picking , wash then slit each olive on 2 sides. Place in a large bowl and cover with ordinary tap water.
Change the water daily for 10 - 14 days, until you can bite into one and not spit it out in disgust ! It should still have flavour but not be unbearably bitter.
Sterilise some jars (I find 3kg makes about 12 medium jars) . Place olives into jars . Putting in some / all / none of the optional ingedients as you go.(I usually don't use any now because I prefer the real olive flavour)
Mix the boiled water, vinegar, salt and olive oil in a bowl. Pour into the jars making sure you cover the olives completely. Put on well - fitting lids.
That's it. Wait at least 2 weeks before starting to eat. You will find the flavour changes with time - some people prefer them with the ' fresh' taste you get after 2 weeks, others prefer the more mellow flavour after 6 months or more.
They should be stored in a cupboard but when you open a jar put it in the fridge if its a big jar / you think you might take ages to finish the jar / if the weather is hot. I always put open jars in the fridge in summer or they go mouldy, but I never do in winter as we eat them pretty fast and I don't use huge jars.
Good luck. Give me a ring if you have any questions or if you have any spare olives you don't have time to pickle !

Thai Red Curry Mussels

Cooked by Alex, Feb 07

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1kg mussels, debearded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander stems, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons chopped Thai basil or Italian basil leaves

Heat a wide pan.
Add oil, the lemongrass, curry paste, wine, coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice and bring to a simmer, whisking.
Add the mussels, cover the pot, and let steam until opened. During the last minute of cooking, add the coriander and basil.
Serve with rice.
Why would you eat a take-away when this takes only a few minutes to prepare and is so good.


Makes 1 x 23 cm round cake
160g butter, softened
150g sugar
1 1/2 Tbl fresh chopped mint
6 eggs
230g desiccated coconut
210g self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 150°C

Beat the butter, sugar and mint until they begin to change colour. Add small quantities of the egg, coconut and flour, beating well between each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling Repeat until you have used these ingredients up
Line a lightly greased spring-release cake-tin with baking paper Pour the batter in Bake for 1-1 1/2hours (you can make the Mint Syrup during this time)
Check the cake is baked by inserting a skewer in the centre If it comes out clean, the cake is ready Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes
Mint Syrup
200ml water
90g sugar
11/2 cups roughly chopped fresh mint
Place the water, sugar and mint in a saucepan Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar is dissolved Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes Strain through a sieve and discard the mint leaves Use the syrup as directed
75g butter
180g honey
180g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 170°C
With the cake still in the tin, prick 60-70 holes in the top Pour the Mint Syrup evenly over the cake, allowing it to soak in
Place the butter, honey and almonds in a saucepan and melt together, stirring until well combined Do not allow to boil Remove from the heat and immediately spread this topping on the cake
Place the cake back in the oven and bake the topping to a light amber colour, approximately 15 minutes Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 20-30 minutes Remove the cake from the tin carefully and remove the baking paper gently while still warm
Dust with icing sugar before serving

Keys to Success
• Don't cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy, as this will result in an open and light-textured cake. This is a dense, hearty cake.
• Prepare the Mint Syrup in advance and allow to cool before using. This will enhance the mint flavour.
• Make the honey and almond topping just as you need it: it must be warm when you spread it on top of the cake.
• When the cake is in the oven for the second time, avoid burning the topping.


Balgowan, March 06
Use a large, deep ovenproof dish 175'

Beat until stiff : (use small bowl) 3 egg whites

Beat together on low speed until smooth : (use large bowl)

Finely grated rind 3 lemons
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
270g sugar
3 egg yolks
100ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
90g melted butter
375g milk
Fold in beaten whites and pour into prepared dish.
Bake about 35 - 45 mins. In a water bath. Should be gooey in the middle but set top and sides.

Chilli Green Soup (Cold Cure)

1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 colves garlic
1/2 red chopped chilli
3 sliced spring onions
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
Salt & pepper to taste
4 cups sliced mixed greens (chinese mustard greens, pak choy, rocket, mizuna, chard, parsley or chinese greens)

Heat oil & gently fry garlic chiil, onions, ginger & tumeric for about 1 minute.Stir in the greens, add about 2-3 cups of water & salt and Pepper to taste.
Cook for 2-3 minutes - enjoy.


10 - 12 apple cores, with seeds
8 - 10 black peppercorn
2 inch long of cinnamon stick
8 - 10 cloves
1 - 2 inch fresh ginger
3 - 5 cardamoms
750 ml water
1 piece of jaggery (Indian sugar) or a teaspoon of honey
Bruise the peppercorn, cloves and cardamoms using mortar and pestle. Add to the rest of the ingredients. Add the jaggery if using, keep the other sweeteners off the mix for now, and add when serving. Boil on a very low heat about 30 minutes. Strain from a very fine cloth, add sweeteners if not already, and serve hot. I found I didn't need any sweetener.

Cheesy Cabbage Stir Fry

1tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 to 6 cups of finely shredded cabbage (savoy is good)
3 sliced spring onions
1 cup chopped parsley
salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup of grated cheese (cheddar or pecorino), less of strongly flavoued cheese e.g. pecorino

Heat oil and butter in a apan, stir in cabbage over a medium high heat until cabbage wilts but does not colour.Add spring onions, parsley & salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, remove from heat, stir in cheese and serve hot as a quick meal.

Dukkah crusted roast pumpkin

From The Cook and the Chef, ABC TV May23rd 07
Serves 6
1 Jap pumpkin
¼ Queensland Blue pumpkin
½ Butternut Pumpkin
Dukkah :
1 cup almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ whole nutmeg grated fine
1/2 cup sesame seeds
½ teaspoon saltSage Sauce
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Olive oil
½ bunch sage
500ml creamGrated Lemon rindLemon juice.

Slice pumpkins into nice 2” thick wedges (at the skin side) keeping the skin on.Lightly toss with olive oil and roast in the oven at 180C for about 15mins or until starting to get soft.Roll in the Dukkah and rebake at 200C until cooked through.
Serve with nutmeg cream poured over the pumpkin, top with sage leaves and serve with rocket leaves on the side.
Dukkah Grind the coriander, cumin seeds, and peppercorns; add the nutmeg, salt, and the sesame seeds. Grind the nuts coarsely. Mix the nuts and spices together.
Nutmeg cream with sage Make a sauce by reducing cream with ground nutmeg until it is thick. It should reduce by ½ to a 1/3rd. Add a grate of lemon zest. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry sage leaves, with a pinch of salt, till crisp, squeezing a lemon onto the leaves just as they get crisp. This stops them burning. Add the left over nuts from the pumpkin roast pan just before you pour the sauce over the pumpkin. Drop the sage leaves over and serve with some rocket leaves on the top.


180°C This is the cake we ate at the Economic Garden '07
1 cup (200gr) chopped, dried apricots
1 cup apricot nectar
125gr butter
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 1/2 cups S.R. flour (I used rice flour and baking powder )
1/2 cup choc. bits, broken in halves
Soak apricots in nectar 1 hour.
Beat butter and sugar (needs small bowl).Add egg yolks and coconut. Beat well.
Stir in apricots and nectar and choc. bits. Fold in flour.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold in.
Pour into lined 20cm tin. Bake at least 1 ¼ hours. Test with a skewer.
Stand 5 mins. or longer before turning out.
When cold, sprinkle icing sugar over.


Makes: 16 muffins May 05
100 g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
250 g onions, grated
100 g red capsicum, finely diced
100 g spinach, shredded (or broccoli, finely chopped)
100 g canned corn kernels, drained
1/3 cup peanut oil
250 g grated cheese
salt and black pepper
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
4 eggs
Steam the sweet potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Mash and put aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease 18 muffin tins.(I usually put muffin patty pans in the muffin tin instead of greasing – easy to clean).
Place the onions, capsicum, spinach or broccoli and corn in a mixing bowl with the oil, grated cheese and season to taste. Fold in the flour, then the mashed sweet potatoes. Whisk the eggs until frothy, then fold into the vegetable
mixture and spoon into the muffin tins.
Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and brown.
( Let the muffins cool thoroughly before removing from the tins. Or eat straight away if in the patty pans ! )

Carrot, Lentil & Coriander Dip

2 tablespoons of oil
1 chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup red lentils (soaked & drained)
1 tablespoon of shredded coconut
4 large carrots finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
Heat the oil, add seeds & heat until they pop (1 or 2 minutes).Add curry leaves & curry powder, cook for 1 minute.Add remaining ingredients except coriander.Simmer gently until carrots and lentils are soft.Mash or puree to a thick paste, Stir in coriander.Serve with pita bread.

Pineapple Capsicum Curry Stir Fry

2 tablespoons coconut oil
10 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 diced chilli
2 cups spring onions (cut in 3 cm pieces)
2 teaspoons indian garam masala or curry powder
1 diced pineapple
1 x 2 cm piece of fresh ginger (grated)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 red capsicum diced
1 green capsicum diced
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped)
Salt to taste
Heat oil in pan, add seeds and curry leaves, cook 1 minute.Turn heat up, stir in spring onions,pineapple, capsicum & chilli.Add garam masala, sugar & salt, stir over a high heat until pineapple starts to soften slightly.Stir in coriander & serve with rice or noodles.


Serves 8 May '07

2 1/2 cups dried lima or scarlet runner beans
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
6 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
basil, thyme and, oregano 1 cup chopped pumpkin
I stick celery, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 large potato, sliced 2mm thick sliced cheese to cover
Soak beans for at least 6 hours. Drain.
Put into large pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil and boil for 15 minutes. Then gently simmer for about 1/2 hour. Drain.
Pour hot stock over lentils and set aside.
Sauté onions in oil until soft. Gradually stir in lentils in stock, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, thyme, oregano, sugar, carrots and celery.
Simmer covered until carrots are tender. Add cooked beans.
Put bean mixture into ovenproof dish. Top with potato slices then cheese.
Bake uncovered in 180°C oven for about 40 minutes or until potato slices are tender and cheese is browned.
Serve with salad from your garden.


Serves: 4
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons grated or crushed ginger
3 teaspoons olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
4 bream fillets, about 150 g each
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
3 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teasooons rice vinegar
I star anise
2-3 bok choy, cut in quarters lengthways
I teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and black pepper
(shreds of orange zest, blanched )
1. Heat the oven to 200°C. To make the marinade, combine the garlic, ginger, oil and orange zest in a small bowl, then rub the mixture over the bream fillets. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Place the fish flat-in a baking dish. Mix together the orange juice, chilli, honey, soy sauce and vinegar, pour the liquid around the fish and add the star anise. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for >12 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the fish to rest for 3-5 minutes. '
3. Meanwhile, bring 5 cm of water to the boil in a steamer, or a saucepan large enough to hold a basket that all the bok choy will fit into. Steam the bok choy for >3 to 5 minutes until just tender but retaining a slight crunch.
4. Drain the bok choy halves, drizzle with sesame oil and lemon juice and season .to taste. Transfer to serving plates, top with
the fish and pour over the pan juices.(Garnish with the blanched orange zest.)