Comments (3) | Saturday, December 20, 2008
I have just finished making the cutest Christmas cupcakes and wanted to share them immediately with you. You will have to excuse the not so creative photography as they are all packed up in my cupcake courier ready for transportation for a Christmas party.
They are taken from Donna Hay's latest magazine: Issue number 42. The recipe is on page 198. The cupcakes are vanilla with raspberries, topped with a chocolate butter frosting.
The nose is done using a Jaffa, and eyes are made from mini-m&m's. Whilst the antlers are made from halved preztels. I'm sure these are going to be a big hit, I'll be making another batch for my family on Christmas eve.
Comments (0) | Friday, December 19, 2008
Ok so I've had some of my favorite people nag me about not posting often enough! So here is another post to keep you all entertained for a while.
This recipe is from Donna Hay's new book, "No Time To Cook". I made it on a day when I literally had no time to cook, running from place to place, stuck in peak hour traffic, dramas, dramas, dramas!! I still had dinner on the table for the family and they were none the wiser.
For me, I wanted more flavour from this dish, perhaps more salt, or more basil. My boyfriend and mum raided the bunch of basil and covered their chicken with extra basil. Still a nice one to keep on file though.
Ricotta-Basil Chicken & Wilted Tomatoes
100g fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon shredded basil
1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan
2 x 200g chicken breast fillets, skin on
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
extra basil leaves, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Combine ricotta, shredded basil and parmesan. Carefully loosen the skin from the chicken breast, leaving the ends intact and carefully spoon in ricotta mixture.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan with an ovenproof handle over medium-high heat. Add oil and chicken to the pan and cook chicken for 2 minutes each side or until well browned. Add tomatoes, place the pan in the over and cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Divide between plates and top with extra basil.
Comments (0) | Thursday, December 18, 2008
Ok, so I've been swamped with stuff and finally found some time to post something.
I've done beef stroganoff before, but this recipe looked delicious from Valli Little's new book "Faking It".
Simple, easy to impress if you have someone coming around and very tasty. Yum!
New Beef Stroganoff
4 x 180g beef fillet steaks
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra to brush
2 tablespoons mixed dried peppercorns, crushed
250g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons brandy
1 1/4 cups (310ml) beef stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream
400g pappardelle or fettucine
1. Brush the steaks with a little oil, then season with salt. Sprinkle all over with the crushed peppercorns, gently pressing into the steaks. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until well-seared but still rare in the centre (or until cooked to your liking). Set aside and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
2. Add the remaining oil t the steak pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until they start to soften. Add the brandy and stock, then bring to the hoil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in the mustard, parsley and cream. Cook for a further minute, stirring, until heated through.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructinos. Frain, then add to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine.
4. Slice the steak 1cm-thick on an angle, then divide among plates with the pasta. Drizzle with any sauce left in the pan, then serve garnised with parsely.
Comments (1) | Thursday, December 4, 2008
Mid-week cooking this week changed location. My boy, Iron Chef Rob got hit by a car when he was out on his new bike. Whilst he is ok for now, just bruised up and stiff, I went over to his place and cooked for him and his family instead of mine!
This recipe was ripped out of an old issue of Notebook magazine, but it can also be found on the taste website here. It was a huge hit with the family. A very simple and fresh pasta. Usually I only like my pasta dripping in rich tomato sauce, but the fresh vegetables and balsamic vinegar was just as good. In fact I'd go as far as saying it was one of the most amazing pastas I've had in my life! That's quite a statement to make I know, but I will be looking forward to the next time I make it.
Marinated Tomato, Zucchini, Pine Nut & Ricotta Pasta
2 x 250g punnets grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbs shredded basil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar, plus extra to drizzle
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 large zucchini, trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally
1/3 cup (50g) toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup basil leaves extra, torn
1/2 cup (125g) fresh ricotta, crumbled, to serve
1. Place the tomatoes, garlic, shredded basil, balsamic and 2 tbs of the oil in a small bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside for 20 minutes to marinate.2
2. Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a bowl with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the oil to coat. Preheat a char-grill pan on high. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes each side or until lightly charred and tender. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water following packet directions until al dente. Drain well.
4. Return pasta to the saucepan. Add the tomato mixture, zucchini, pine nuts and remaining basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Divide pasta among serving bowls, serve topped with ricotta and a drizzle of balsamic.
Comments (3) | Monday, December 1, 2008
Instead of spending money on going out, I got together with Iron Chefs; Rob, David and Jason, for a cook off. We decided to try a Japanese soba noodle salad. I've been wanting to try noodle salads for ages, and since the weather is getting warmer, healthy salads are always a great option.
I have had this recipe sitting in my "recipes to try before filing away" folder. This folder is so full I better start cooking my way through it before it explodes! We decided to serve our noodle salad with some sushi rolls in case the salad wasn't filling enough. It was a really refreshing dinner. The salad could have done with a bit more dressing, but I think that was due to the fact we cooked a little more soba noodles than required.
We all agreed more dressing was required, and Jason went to the fridge to get the French dressing. I'm not sure what French dressing and a Japanese noodle salad taste like but he gobbled it all up with no hesitations. The tofu was meant to be eaten raw, but as we thought that was a little weird (even the vegetarians thought that it was weird to eat tofu uncooked) we fried it up with a little soya sauce.
Japanese Buckwheat Noodle Salad with Tofu & Soy-Chilli Dressing
Michelle Curtis, found on www.cuisine.com.au
For the dressing:
- 2 tsp castor sugar
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 small red chillies, deseeded and diced
For the salad
- 125g soba noodles
- 100g snow peas
- ½ red capsicum, finely diced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 4 red shallots, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 1 tbsp Vietnamese mint (optional), chopped
- 250g firm silken tofu
- fried shallots, to serve
1. Mix the ingredients together, ensuring the castor sugar dissolves. Set aside.
2. Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes and refresh under cold running water.
3. Boil the snow peas for 2 minutes, refresh under cold running water and slice thinly.
4. Place the noodles and snow peas in a large bowl, then add the capsicum, carrot, cucumber, shallots, coriander and Vietnamese mint (if using). Toss gently, add the dressing, and pile onto a platter. Dice tofu, scatter over the top and sprinkle fried shallots over.Serve immediately.
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