Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grapefruit cake with syrup

The mysterious citrus tree in our backyard has turned out to be a grapefruit… at least we're now 98% sure. So now I have to find recipes for a fruit I know little about and don't particularly like. This cake, however, did the trick.

Inspiration from

125g unsalted butter
½ cup caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 tbl zest, and ¼ cup juice
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
200ml philly cream for cooking (because it's what I had in the fridge)

Oven 180C/350F, 20cm pan lined with baking paper (or whatever you usually do)

In their own bowl, beat eggwhites until they form stiff peaks.

Then in a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until thick and pale. Add yolks one at a time beating after each addition. Beat in zest and juice.

Fold in sifted flour and baking powder in three batches, alternating with philly cream.

Fold in eggwhites.

Bake approx 50 mins, or until the skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

200ml sherry (because it's what I had in the cupboard)
¼ cup caster sugar
zest and 2 tbl juice (one small grapefruit)

Pop everything in a small pot. Heat. Stir until slightly thickened (or until you get bored). Pour over cake.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mummy's iced tea

This iced tea recipe is easy to make, and adds that magical home-made touch that ramps up the flavour.

1 litre boiled water
1 litre apple juice
2 tea bags
sprig of mint
1-2 sticks cinnamon
nip of gin

Let the tea bags brew in the hot water for a good fifteen minutes before discarding. Add the apple juice (this generally provides enough sugar), mint and cinnamon, and let it sit in the fridge overnight or until chilled.

This becomes Mummy's iced tea with several ice cubes and the nip of gin. Absolute life saver!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chicken cacciatore

1-2 anchovies
½ large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced, mooshed, chopped, whatever
1 chicken thigh per person (or more if you're not on a budget)
¾ tb dried rosemary, or a good few fresh sprigs
1-ish cup sherry
large handful olives
400g tin tomatoes
two-three bay leaves

Preheat oven 180C/350F

I use a cast iron pot with an oven proof lid, though this can be just as easily cooked on the stove top.

Using a good glug of olive oil, gently fry onion, anchovies and garlic until the onion is translucent and soft but not brown. Remove. Brown chicken. Add rosemary and return onion, garlic concoction. Add sherry (or alcohol of choice) to deglaze. Add olives, tomatoes and bay leaves. I pop this in a moderate oven for 1 ½ hours (or simmer very gently on the stove top for the same amount of time). I fill the tomato can with water, and if the sauce is thickening a little too fast from an overly enthusiastic heat, I add this tomato-water a quarter at a time. The dish is ready when the chicken is falling apart, the sauce has thickened a bit, and you're sick of looking at it.

Serve on rice or couscous.

Sometimes I also add a 400g tin of lentils for extra protein and to make it go a bit further.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Moving House Tiramisu

So half the kitchen is packed, I suddenly realise I have quite a lot of food left, and my eye catches several significant food groups – sugar, chocolate, cream and alcohol. I smile.

A small square cake tin
Left over savoiardi biscuits (dry, sugary sponge fingers)
approx 150g chocolate melts
about 250ml cream
roughly (I'm moving house remember!) 4 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 100ml hot water
sort of 100ml port mixed with 50ml water

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (about two inches of water in a medium saucepan, with the chocolate in a metal bowl sitting on top of the saucepan).

Line the cake tin with baking paper (this makes life so much easier!). Place enough biscuits in the tin to form two layers – you may have to break up some biscuits. Pour over the coffee and the alcohol until the biscuits get soft but not squishy. Pour melted chocolate over the top, and allow to cool.

Whip the cream with a bit of caster sugar (about 2 tbl) and a dash of vanilla extract. Spread over a firm, cooled chocolate layer. Serve. Several times. With alcohol (I'm moving house remember!).

A nicer version of this (when one isn't moving house) would be to substitute the cream with mascarpone, use a little Grand Marnier instead of port, and add orange zest to the mascarpone.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Four meals from one roast pork

For Christmas, we picked up 1.5kg of boneless rolled pork loin. Since there were only two of us, and we were conscious of the custard, cheesecake and triple brie to come, we managed to stretch our pork over several meals.

Roast pork and vegies
For Christmas lunch, the pork was roasted with garlic, rosemary and peach at high heat for the first 20 minutes and then a moderate heat for the remaining 60 minutes. We also filled another roasting pan with sweet potato, potato and onion. These went into the same oven at the 60 minute mark.

Pork and vegetables wraps
A small amount of the leftover pork and vegetables (just enough for taste) with some cream cheese and apple sauce were wrapped up in flat bread for a quick and light lunch.

Pork pies
Again, the pork and remaining vegetables were warmed up in the fry pan. We added 1 tsp cornflour, a little white wine (2-3tbl) and approx the same amount of water to make enough sauce to bind everything together. Puff pastry lined and topped four little pie dishes. These were baked at 180C for 25 minutes (until the pastry was brown and crispy). If I wasn't already sold on the beauty of a big single roast and it's leftovers by now, I certainly was after this dish. It was so simple and so incredible!

Pork pasta
The final dish. The remaining pork was warmed up in the pan with olive oil, and combined with sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, shallots, fresh rosemary and white wine to make a light pasta.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beef Koftas

800gm mince (you can use any, lamb, chicken or even pork)
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 bunch of coriander, finely chopped
3 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
1 large egg

Mill all the ingredients, working the mince a bit to get the proteins going, this helps the balls to not fall apart. Roll the mince into little balls, then roll them through flour and dust off excess. In a fry pan with a little oil, fry them off til golden on all sides and cooked in the middle.
Serve with minted yogurt.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Soft boiled eggs

It sounds easy I know BUT it took me a while to perfect my breakie :)
First things first, the egg should be at room temp, if you keep them in the fridge take them out 30 minutes before cooking. Pierce the bottom of the eggs to stop them cracking.
Bring the water to a boil, carefully put the eggs in using a tablespoon.
When the water comes back to boiling point, reduce the heat so the water is simmering and begin your timing.
I use large eggs so only need to cook them for 4 minutes for a runny yolk OR 6 minutes for a medium-boiled egg, where the yolk is only slightly runny.
For medium sized eggs, reduce these cooking times by one minute.
For extra large eggs, add on one minute.
If you want hard boiled leave them in for 10-12 minutes.
Happy breakfast :)