Sunday, March 30, 2014

322/984 - Steamed chicken breast

My three boys were out and about today and so I only needed to feed myself for dinner. I had a hankering for chicken and remembered that this recipe was specifically designed to feed one person and so headed straight for it!

To be honest this recipe did not exactly go to plan.

I seasoned the chicken and put it on a plate, which I then covered in (too much) foil. When I dropped the plate into the saucepan to steam, it became wedged halfway down and obliterated any possibility of the steam actually making it to the chicken!

When I pulled it out of course it was raw and I decided to tip it straight back in onto the rice, adding the vegetables and a bit of extra water as I did so. A couple of extra slurps of water later, I had beautifully steamed chicken and lovely cooked rice and vegetables to eat alongside.

The flavour of the dish was beautiful seasoned with garlic, ginger, mirin and soy. All in all very simple, but requiring a different plate to saucepan ratio in order to be effective on the first go. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

321/984 - Potato and chive cakes

We needed a potato dish to go with our wonderful Spanish lamb the other night and I thought this would be a great way to use up some more of our beautiful garlic chives.

I decided to cook these as individual serves using metal egg rings rather than making one big cake. I used the thermomix rather than the food mill to shred the potato and so ended up with a much smoother texture than was probably intended. It was much simpler though!

Blended with butter and egg yolks, the potato tasted amazing before it was even baked. Only twenty minutes in the oven turned these little cakes into golden discs, which made delicious eating and were a great match for the lamb. I couldn't help following the last portion of the recipe with just one, drizzling it with melted butter and some more chives. I happily donated it to my little one who has been known as butter boy ever since I can remember due to his obsession with the golden stuff. 

This is a great and simple way to make a potato side just that little bit more interesting...and to use up flourishing herbs!

Our lovely garlic chives

Saturday, March 22, 2014

320/984 - Spanish-style marinating paste for lamb

We love lamb rump and tonight I discovered yet another way to make it taste fabulous!

I chose thyme over basil to include in this paste and was pleased to see that it is still going great guns in the garden. Also included was some amazing garlic from Angelica Organic, pink Murray River salt, sweet paprika and the juice of a lemon. 

I decided to make the paste the old-fashioned way tonight (mainly because the thermomix was dirty!) and dragged out the mortar and pestle which did a fine job of combining the ingredients, leaving enough lumps and bumps so as to keep the texture interesting. 

I only marinated the meat for thirty minutes because we were all hungry, but I don't think this affected the taste at all. The best part about the result was the tang from the lemon which I will be honest, I never would have thought to include.  

Fabulous! Loved this. As I told my husband tonight, there is just no place in the world for bland meat. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

319/984 - Date scones

I love scones. Ever since I was small and my Mum would make scones that we ate still warm from the oven, I have adored them. My favourite variety is still cheese and onion but goodness me these came in a very close second! In fact I think I will name these my favourite sweet scones. 

Mum always stressed to me the importance of not over-handling the scone dough, and so I was tossing up whether I could use the thermomix to put these together. In the end I decided to give it a go, using the appropriate setting to mix the final dough. I mixed until the liquid had been absorbed, then tipped it out, bringing it together gently with my hands. The fact that these were cut into squares meant even less handling, as opposed to stamping out circles and having to put the scraps back together to make the final few. 

I also ground my nutmeg in the thermomix, but was worried that the few small pieces that didn't quite grind would be a problem. The result was the opposite, with the taste of the nutmeg being the highlight of this little treat. Freshly ground nutmeg is definitely a must for these, as well as raw sugar which I think is a zillion times nicer than any other sweetener.  

As the scones were in the oven baking I asked Trev if he would like one when they came out. "With a coffee?" he asked. "Yes I would!" 


Monday, March 10, 2014

318/984 - Piadine

A request for butter chicken from my youngest was the inspiration behind finally getting around to making this Italian flatbread. It is very similar to roti and so I knew it would be perfect for scooping up the lovely butter chicken juices.

Trev was on duty to cook the main tonight, and my role was to supply the bread and some lovely fresh vegetables to serve with dinner. The piadine was so simple, and with only a half hour for resting, I was rolling little balls of dough before I knew it and throwing them into a hot, hot frying pan to cook. The hotter the pans got (yes I used two at once!) the faster I had to work, in the end roping Jules in to help me roll them out so that I could keep up with my self-imposed crazy production line. 

The dinner was a success and the carrot with mustard seeds, which I found in the margin on page 223, was an absolute hit. The piadine recipe made a stack of twenty flatbreads and so lunches, and maybe a huevos rancheros or two, are very likely over the next couple of days.

Note the very beautiful new table that we ate our dinner on
this evening! If you live in Melbourne I can highly recommend
 Nook Vintage for amazing industrial homewares. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

317/984 - Chicken with red wine vinegar and tomato

This really has to be eaten to be believed. 

We are on a quest to eat all of the meat in our freezer before we buy any more, and were thrilled to find yet another Yapunyah chook in there when we went digging. They really are quite easy to spot, wrapped in newspaper and quite well sized!

I unwrapped the chook and put it in the fridge on a plate to thaw a couple of days ago, and was excited to have a go at jointing it today without completely destroying it in the process. Some determination, a pair of sharp cooking scissors and a few grimaces later I had myself a little bowl of ten chicken pieces. Hooray!

The only thing I didn't add to this dish was the chicken stock, having plenty of juice left in the pan when it was set to simmer. Apparently the important thing to ensure with this dish is that it tasted interesting rather than sharp due to the large amount of red wine vinegar. On tasting the juice after 25 minutes of simmering, I was thrilled to find that it had turned out beautifully, Jules actually proclaiming that it was the best chicken he had ever eaten. 

I must say I think I agreed!