Sunday, November 25, 2012

216/656 - Raw beetroot and yoghurt salad

I love raw food, not only because it's good for you, but also because it is always so beautifully and naturally coloured.

Stephanie has several no-cook recipes in this book which are incredibly quick and easy to create. On the night I made this Trev was making hamburgers and I decided to have mine deconstructed and sans bun. 

While Trev worked on making his delectable signature burger patties, I was chopping capsicum, lettuce, tomato and herbs to lighten the meal. To make the salad I simply threw a raw beetroot, herbs and lemon juice into the thermomix and blitzed. So much easier than grating! The yummy pink pile was then dropped onto a mound of natural yoghurt and oh my, what a combination! 

My hamburger with the lot (including fried egg and onions!) was absolutely amazing and I didn't miss the bun at all. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

215/656 - Chinese soy dipping sauce

My family love prawns, especially freshly steamed ones. We could happily eat them plain, dipped in a sauce, smeared with mayonnaise, sprinkled with herbs; really any variation you can throw at us we would be in to.  

On this day we were all getting peckish in the afternoon. I threw on some prawns to steam and while they were cooking I whipped up this lovely sauce. Soft brown sugar, white rice vinegar, a knob of fresh ginger (blitzed in the thermomix) and light soy. If I make this again I think I would also add some chopped fresh chilli and maybe some fresh coriander, if only to make it more attractive!  

Three of us (not Jules!) loved the sauce and even enjoyed the remainder tipped over our salad at dinner. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

214/656 - Cantaloupe ice-cream

I remember many (many) years ago when my Dad used to buy our vanilla ice-cream in boxes, and each little oblong serve was individually wrapped in paper. As I was putting this ice-cream on the plate it reminded me of those neat little ice-cream blocks, and I wondered when they disappeared from the shops.

I had a spare cantaloupe in the fridge and so bought some cream with this recipe in mind. I was very amused when Trev told me that a second cantaloupe had been delivered to the house, and that he had helpfully cut them both into small pieces, ready to eat. What he did not realise is that this ice-cream needed to be frozen inside the intact rind. Off to the shops I went for a third cantaloupe!

Getting off the topic just slightly, I had so much cantaloupe to use up that I decided to create a new smoothie. Take some vanilla yoghurt, piles of cantaloupe, about 6 strawberries, a handful of mint and a tiny piece of ginger, blend, and then add a handful of slivered almonds for crunch. Yummm....

Back to the ice-cream! It was very easy to make; the major challenges were a) willing the chooks to lay as I was two eggs short (they obliged) and b) purchasing ANOTHER bottle of alcohol. Honestly for a light drinker my liquor cabinet has never looked so good! Kirsch this time, and in the past Stephanie's recipes have required brandy, spiced rum, white rum, cognac... I think I feel a cocktail party coming on. And a black forest cake to use up the Kirsch! 

Served with fresh strawberries, cherries, Holy Goat fromage frais and mint this was the perfect summer dessert. Even better than ice-cream served in little paper packages. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

213/656 - Salade Niçoise

The great weather we have been having has provided us with plenty of beautiful lettuce and so I took the opportunity to try out another Stephanie salad!     

Salade Niçoise contains so many of my favourite things; olives, anchovies, hard boiled eggs and of course loads of fresh vegetables but the kicker for the family was the boiled potatoes. How good is eating a salad and then actually feeling full afterwards?

I included the optional wine vinegar in the dressing and may have slung on a couple of extra anchovies. I boiled the beans, but only for about 10 seconds so they were fresh and snappy.  


Monday, November 5, 2012

212/656 - Spanakopita

Hooray, another chapter finished!

My mum had a crazy amount of spinach growing and so I took a load off her hands and turned it into spanakopita. It was very easy to make, but anybody who has made this before will see that I did not follow the instructions re tucking the pastry neatly down the sides. I think it looks prettier this way, but to be honest it looks like this because I was being a little bit lazy...  

With three chapters down I have decided I should be sharing at least one learning from each, and so I am going to backtrack a bit here;
  1. Rabbit chapter (completed April 2012). My learning: A rabbit that is fresh will have a glistening liver. I dare anybody to ask for a liver inspection when they are purchasing! I suspect that would not go down well with the butcher.
  2. Bread chapter (completed September 2012). My learning: Spraying the loaf with water while it is baking will make your crusts crustier! 
  3. Spinach. My learning: Spinach was first cultivated by the Persians. A fact to share with fussy children to make this tricky vegetable sound more exotic and tempting. 
So much more than just a cookbook.