Recent Recipes

Week 23 - The Cookbook Challenge - Ham Salad with Peach and Pecan

Comments (10) | Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week 23
Theme: Leaf
Cookbook Used: Marie Claire Fresh + Fast
Author: Michele Cranston

Thank Hamsley again this week for this recipe. He must have still been motivated from red week, he was looking through cookbooks for a leaf recipe. We originally were going to do caesar salad, but found this recipe in a book I've actually never used before.

We had a bit of an adventure through Oakleigh getting all the ingredients for the dish. Hamsley's goal was to get everything we needed without going into the supermarket chains. In doing this, we discovered the Oakleigh fresh food market, and the lovely shop keepers running them.

Given that we missed the season for fresh peaches, we substituted for the good old canned variety. It turned out well as they added a nice sweetness to the salad. The nuts added a nice crunch and all the flavours seemed to mix well together.

Ham Salad with Peach and Pecan
Michele Cranston

Get your hands on:
4 small ripe peaches
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 buffalo mozzarella cheese
100g baby rocket leaves
250g leg ham, sliced off the bone
40g pecans, roughly chopped

1. Halve the peaches and remove the skin before slicing them into a bowl. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and toss to combine. Season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Tear the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the rocket on a serving platter and top with the leg ham and mozzarella. Add the peaches and pecans and drizzle with any remaining dressing.

Serves 4.

Read More......

Week 22 - The Cookbook Challenge: Beef Strips in Tomato Cream Sauce

Comments (14) | Sunday, April 18, 2010

  Week 22
Theme: Red
Cookbook Used: Margaret Fulton's Kitchen
Author: Margaret Fulton

This week's cookbook challenge almost didn't happen. Hamsley and I have been busy looking at places to live, and buying stuff for the move. This week was full of pushy real estate agents and it all became very draining; I just wasn't in the mood for cooking. I then decided I'd just do something simple to get my obligatory blog post for the week done, but Hamsley wasn't too happy with that, so he raided my book shelf and flicked through trying to find something to suit the red theme.

I must admit, it was nice of him to be so enthusiastic, and seeing him drowning in cookbooks brought a smile to my face after such a hectic week. It was a toss up between soup, beef and red wine pies, or this dish. This dish ended up winning and we cooked it up today for lunch after checking out the local trash and treasure market.

It was relatively easy to make. Hamsley helped cut everything up and we watched the calzone episode of Seinfeld whilst it simmered away. This was meant to be served with parsley rice but I served it with pasta instead. It was quite like a beef stroganoff but with tomato.
Hint: Don't season the dish until after you have added the sour cream.

The move will be happening next month, hence why I have not been blogging so much, and whilst I won't be until I'm all settled in. I need to reply to comments left by gorgeous people such as yourself, but I'll see you again next week for the cookbook challenge... and maybe a review of my birthday dinner which will be happening on Tuesday. I'll be turning a quarter of a century!

Thanks to Hamsley for making this week's cookbook challenge happen!

Beef Strips in Tomato Cream Sauce
Adapted from Margaret Fulton's recipe

Get your hands on:
1kg round steak
1/2 cup plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green capsicum, diced
500g button mushrooms, sliced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups sour cream

1. Coat the beef strips with seasoned flour. Heat half the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and saute the meat in 3 or 4 batched until brown. Add the remaining butter and oil when required. Set aside.

2. Add the onions, garlic and capsicum to the frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until softened. Return the beef to the pan, add mushrooms, tomatoes, water and Worcestershire sauce. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Replace over low heat, stirring until mixutre is hot, without letting it boil. Taste and check for seasoning. Serve with rice or pasta.

Serves 4.

Read More......

Week 21 - The Cookbook Challenge: Thai Red Duck Curry

Comments (16) | Saturday, April 10, 2010

 Week 21
Theme: Thai
Cookbook Used: Margaret Fulton's Kitchen
Author: Margaret Fulton

After seeing Margaret Fulton on Masterchef Australia, I wondered why I didn't own one of her cookbooks. As you can imagine, her books were scarce on the shelf at bookstores after her appearance on the hit show, so I waited till they restocked. 
The lovely thing about this book is the short story she writes before each recipe. For this recipe she writes: 
I can't resist buying a barbecued duck whenever I go to Chinatown. The Chinese are experts at cooking it. Thai red duck curry, or Kaeng Phed Ped Yang, is traditionally served in Thailand at family celebrations such as weddings and the New Year. This is a tasty, simple recipe and a fabulous way of using ready-made Thai curry paste.
I had been looking forward to Thai week since week 1, as I knew I was going to make this. The picture looked so mouth watering; and the combination of lychees (yum), pineapple (yum), duck (oh yum yum), all in a Thai red curry sauce was bound to be good.

It was so easy to make too for a curry. Given that the meat is already cooked most likely had something to do with it. I served it with some steamed rice and there were no complaints. I was worried Hamsley might not be too keen on this one, but as I was cooking it he said it smelt like penang curry (one of his favorites) and was really looking forward to it. Turns out he loved it, so looks like I'll be making it again!

The tomatoes don't really work however. So if you are making this, I'd suggest leaving them out. Perhaps it's the acidity of the tomato that just doesn't go with the sweetness of the lychees and pineapple. I'm not too sure... just leave them out!

Thai Red Duck Curry
Margaret Fulton

Get your hands on:
1 Chinese barbecued duck
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 1/3 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
1 x 560g can rambutan or lychees, drained
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple (I used canned and it was fine)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes (I'd personally leave these out)
Thai basil leaves, to garnish

Serve it with:
Steamed rice 

1. Use a sharp knife to cut the large portions of duck flesh off the carcass, leaving skin on; or get the people at the Chinese restaurant to do it for you. Cut into 2cm slices and set aside.

2. Heat a wok or large saucepan on high. Add curry paste and half of the coconut milk. Cook, stirring; for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk, water or stock, rambutan or lychees, pineapple, peas, fish sauce and lime leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Add duck slices and tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with Thai basil leaves and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4.

Read More......

Week 20 - The Cookbook Challenge: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Comments (24) | Friday, April 2, 2010

 Week 20
Theme: Tangy
Cookbook Used: Faking It
Author: Valli Little
 So for tangy week, I thought I'd try something that I thought sounded gross the first time I read it; chocolate mayonnaise cake. The picture in the cookbook is a chocolate cake with white icing and decorated with nuts. My first thoughts were, "Oh my gawd, this is a chocolate cake with mayonnaise icing!!".... but this was not the case. The mayonnaise is used inside the cake instead of using eggs.

My mother, aunty and I sat down to have a taste test. Because we all knew there was mayonnaise inside the cake, we could taste it. I fed a slice to my dad without telling him anything. After he finished it I asked him how the cake was. He said it was alright, and seemed pleased with what he had just eaten. I then followed up with the question: "Could you taste the mayonnaise?"..... surprised he said "MAYONNAISE?!?!.....*pause*.... nup..."
 I don't think I'd make this one again unless I REALLY wanted chocolate cake and didn't have any eggs. Once you get over the mayonnaise taste within the first bite, it's really just like a chocolate cake. But let me tell you, the only substitute for eggs.... is eggs.

*NB. I did use whole egg mayonnaise, not cheap or tangy mayo you'd put in your salad roll.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Valli Little

Get your hands on:
1 2/3 cups (250g) self-raising flour
60g cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
200g caster sugar
3/4 cup (225g) whole-egg mayonnaise
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g cream cheese
1 2/3 cups (250g) pure icing sugar, sifted
1 shot (30ml) Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur)
Hazelnuts half-dipped in melted chocolate, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan.

2. Place the flour, cocoa, baking powder, caster sugar, mayonnaise and 2 teaspoon of the vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer with 200ml warm water and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, make the icing. Process the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and Kahlua in a food processor until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake and decorate with nuts.

Serves 6-8.

Read More......

Week 19 - The Cookbook Challenge: BLT Risotto

Comments (12) | Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week 19
Theme: Rice
Cookbook Used: 5 Nights A Week
Author: Valli Little

So last week was just absolutely bonkers, I didn’t end up having time to do the cookbook challenge. So this week I’m making up for it.
I had a quick flick through some cookbooks on Monday night, and came across the recipe for BLT risotto. 

Mum and Dad liked the risotto, Hamsley said it wasn't his favourite dish I've cooked him, and I'm still on the fence about it. Maybe I should have cut the leeks finer than I did, maybe I should have read the recipe and stirred the parmesan cheese.... I don't know. If you make it, let me know what you think about it.

BLT Risotto
Valli Little

Get your hands on:
8 bacon rashers
1L (4 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 leek (white part only), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups (300g) arborio rice
1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine
400g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
80g grated parmesan, plus shaved parmesan to serve
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsely
40g unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1. Remove the tail ends of the bacon rashers, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Place in the fridge until needed. Dice the remaining bacon.

2.Preheat the oven to 200°C.

3. Place the stock in a pan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer.

4. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Stir in the leek and diced bacon for 2-3 minutes, or until the leek and bacon starts to colour. Add the garlic and rice, and stir for 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until absorbed between additions, until the rice is cooked but still firm to the bite(this should take about 15-20 minutes).

5. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes and bacon curls on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season the tomatoes. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just soft and the bacon is crisp. Set a few tomatoes aside. Remove the stalks from the remaining tomatoes and stir into the risotto with grated parmesan and parsley, then season. Serve the risotto topped with butter and garnish with the tomatoes, bacon curls and shaved parmesan.

Serves 4. 

Read More......
All images and text is property of Iron Chef Shellie. These reviews are based on my opinions and experiences.
Permission must be granted before using any images or text from this website.

Feel free to contact me:
ironchefshellie [at] gmail [dot] com