Monday, August 31, 2015

470/1038 - Buckwheat and currant bread rolls

After a brief hiatus from my regular bread making activities, I decided I would return with a bang and bake a batch that was a little different. 

I loved that I made this recipe entirely in the thermomix, reducing time, mess and energy. First the buckwheat went in to be ground to a flour and then in went the rest of the ingredients. Kneading was completed with the push of a button after which I left the dough in the bowl to rest for an hour. 

Once the hour of resting was up, it was another button push for the final knead and then a bit of manual labour as I split the dough into sixteen balls. I will confess that I weighed my dough and divided the total weight by sixteen so that as I rolled each ball I knew it would be the correct size. It may seem pedantic, but when it comes to baking, attention to detail can be the difference between sixteen evenly baked rolls and a pile of uneven rolls, some of which are too big and undercooked and the remainder too small and burnt through.  

The rolls were painted with coffee before the final prove and I was fascinated to see how this would affect the final taste. As it turned out, the flavour was lovely and subtle and not at all coffee flavoured. The paint job also helped the rolls to emerge from the oven beautifully brown. 

As I write this, I am aware that five of the sixteen rolls have already disappeared, so I am going to call that a convincing win! x

Thursday, August 27, 2015

469/1038 - Friands

Having been a parent for many years now, I am a firm believer in the effectiveness of role modelling the behaviour we want to see in our children, rather than lecturing to them. While I certainly don't want my children to be carbon copies of me, I will confess to being secretly thrilled every time my youngest seeks to use food as a way to make others happy. He could have picked up worse traits from me! 

It was his teacher's birthday last week and my gorgeous boy came straight home  asking what he could take to school to help him celebrate. I have been a bit slow off the mark and even though it's a week late, I think his teacher will be pleased with what I have turned out. A big fan of almond meal, I absolutely LOVE friands and this batch definitely did not disappoint.

Using both regular and mini muffin tins, I made an assortment of blueberry, raspberry and blackberry friands. Just to be sure they were wonderful, I have tested (read: inhaled) a few already and am incredibly pleased to report that they are crunchy on the outside and wonderfully sweet all the way through. 

I think it might be time to go and work off today's calorie intake now....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

468/1038 - Aïoli

With a hideous head cold going around, I felt it was time to bring out the garlic big guns.

Aïoli is such a wonderful way to eat garlic because of course raw garlic is best when trying to kick a cold. As I was testing the flavour of my concoction, I inadvertently discovered a way to completely unhinge my husband. I took him over a spoonful to taste, thinking he knew what I was making. It turns out he had no idea and simply going on looks alone, thought I was giving him a taste of sweet lemon curd. Needless to say, his reaction was not a good one! 

Tasting mishap aside, the aïoli was a wonderful addition to our dinner of baked snapper, boiled eggs, rice and pumpkin. It tasted amazing but definitely left a strong taste in the mouth. 

A simple little recipe, but one that should definitely be made x  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

467/1038 - Spicy fried pork balls (well, baked actually...)

The flavour of these pork balls was AMAZING and I can only imagine how wonderful they would have tasted had I fried them as the recipe instructed. As it was, I decided I would bake them instead, mainly with our health in mind given how badly we were struck down with colds this week. 

The baked balls were fabulous, but a tiny bit dry in the middle and so I decided to break them apart and stir fry them in a modest amount of coconut oil with some garlic and a huge pile of vegetables. To further enhance the flavour (and moisture) I covered the whole lot with a good swig of sesame oil.

Served atop a mound of brown rice, this combination was another winner. I especially loved the way the flavour of ginger popped through; strong and tangy enough to excite me, but mild enough to keep my youngest from balking.

Great for cocktail parties and mid-week dinners alike x

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

466/1038 - Parsley and garlic cream sauce

Continuing my recent trend of finishing chapters...this recipe marks the completion of number eleven, parsley. 

I decided that this sauce would be a wonderful topping for pasta and am pleased to report that I was absolutely correct. With the addition of some leftover pumpkin and roast chicken, the entire family agreed that this combination worked wonderfully. My favourite thing about this recipe was the incredibly GREEN taste of the sauce, which was packed with an insane amount of fabulous, fresh parsley. 

I halved the recipe, knowing that one cup of cream was going to be plenty for my little family and didn't relish the idea of finding a mouldy container of leftover sauce in the fridge one week later. The amount was perfect for four and now we are crossing our fingers that the garlic helps us get over the nasty cold that has gripped our house in the past 24 hours. 

Here's hoping! x

Monday, August 10, 2015

465/1038 - Carrot and nutmeg tart

This little recipe sees my 10th chapter done and dusted!

Contrary to what this picture suggests, I made a full sized carrot and nutmeg tart rather than individual serves. This little portion was created especially for my youngest who is a lover of both pastry and beautiful plates of food. It turned me into mother of the day and also used up the little bit of pastry I had left over after lining my tart tin. 

We all adored this dessert, particularly the strong nutmeg flavour which is possibly one of my family's favourite tastes. We ate it with cream and caramel, honey and macadamia ice-cream (which I didn't make). Wonderful combination. 

So that was the carrot chapter! Eight recipes full of carroty goodness. 

It finally feels like this challenge is getting somewhere; 10 chapters down, 115 to go.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

464/1038 - Papillote of fish with lemon myrtle

With some lovely dried lemon myrtle to hand, I thought it high time I entered the world (well, chapter) of bush foods. This recipe required fresh lemon myrtle leaves but I made the dried version work!

The fish we landed on was a lovely blue grenadier and I honestly couldn't believe how wonderful it tasted cooked in this way. One of the best parts of cooking this was that I finally had use for the circles printed on the pastry mat bought for me by my ever-thoughtful husband. (Honestly I NEVER would have thought to buy a pastry mat, but it is SO handy for pastry and pasta making!)

Once my little paper butterflies were cut, it was time to pile some goodness on the fish. I went easy on the lemon myrtle (because it was dried) and hard on the butter and chilli. 

I slightly altered the amounts in each package (fish, chilli etc.) and so decided to label them for easy identification at meal time, which was actually a lot of fun! 

Big, big winner with the entire family. The most difficult thing was cutting out the paper butterflies. Once that was done, this was so easy I am adding it to my list of dinner party entrees. Simply wonderful x  

Monday, August 3, 2015

463/1038 - Cantonese-style sweetcorn and crab meat soup

Warning: This soup comes with very big pros and cons! (Spoiler - the cons are worth it...)

Crab and corn soup seemed like a very simple Sunday night meal, and indeed it was. As evening approached I set out my ingredients and got ready to cook, completely oblivious to the mess that was to come. 

The first step in the recipe was to grate five cobs of corn. Seemed simple enough. Except that the corn I used was ridiculously juicy and I ended up covered in it! With yellow speckled glasses, hair and clothes, I realised too late that I should have cut the kernels from the cobs and thrown them in my trusty Thermomix. No matter, I promise you the mess was worth it. 

This soup is dead simple to put together and had the most wonderful taste, with just the right amount of sesame oil, soy and black vinegar to create a flavour that was more complex than expected. The recipe made four exact serves and they had all but disappeared before I had finished photographing my meal. 

So with a new focus on the chapters with only one recipe uncooked, here is another chapter complete. Farewell corn! 

Nine down, one hundred and sixteen to go x