Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Portofino Pizza

Had Portofino takeaway pizzas for dinner on Sat night.  Finn wasn't home so we could.  Haven't had one for years.  All in all pretty good.  A little doughy in the middle, still hit the spot.  Washed down with a glass or two of red wine.  Pizza and red wine, a perfect combination.

This one above is the Margherita.  That was all gone when I went for for another piece so I don't how good that one was.

The vegetarian, with mushrooms,artichokes,olives etc.  Very good.

This is the pepperoni. Yum I feel like a piece now.

Monday, 30 May 2011

I love my wok

I love my wok and I use it probably every day for all sorts of things.

Frying beef for Finn's lunch.

Prep your veges

Make your omlette

Take it out

Stir fry the veges

Add the cooked rice

Deep frying the pork for sweet and sour pork

Perfect for making chips

Steak and chips for dinner. Yum.

Home made chicken stock

I make chicken stock pretty much the same way I make my beef stock.

I have roasted 4 chicken carcasses along with 2 carrots and 2 onions, roughly chopped.  I keep the skins on the onions as it gives the finished stock a rich colour.

It doesn't matter what vegetables you put in, whatever you have.  Sometimes I don't even bother roasting the carcasses or add any vegetables at all.  It just makes a straight chicken broth.  You can always add spring onions, fresh ginger and sesame oil once the broth is made for the basis for an asian flavoured soup.

Anyway back to this one.  Once roasted I put it all in the slow cooker with some celery stalks, celery leaves and also the celery bulb, which has the most flavour and most people throw away.  Add about 10 peppercorns 3 or 4 bay leaves and enough water to cover it all.  And don't forget some whole garlic cloves.  You could also add some fresh herbs like thyme or parsley.  I didn't have any today.

I start the slow cooker on high for about 6hrs and then turn to low and continue cooking anywhere up to 12hrs, often overnight, especially if it is a big quantity.

Let it cool down and strain the stock.  Taste and season accordingly,  don't scrimp or the stock will be bland.  The fat settles on the top as you can see.  When the stock is at fridge temperature the fat solidifies and makes for easy removal, making your stock fat free.  I store some in the freezer in the cleaned milk bottle and the other goes into the fridge ready as the base for some soup.  Lily has requested Broccoli and blue cheese soup.  Mmm haven't made that one before.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Broccoli and blue cheese soup

I made this soup at my daughter's request.  She had it somewhere and thought it was delicious.  So I sort of made it up as I went along.

I used
2 potatoes
2 onions
1 head of broccoli
3 cloves of garlic
2 litres of home made chicken stock
1 wedge of strong blue cheese

Start by sautéing the potatoes, onion and garlic together until onions are soft and translucent.

Add the stock and simmer away until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile chop up broccoli and steam till soft.  I put straight into an ice bath to try and retain some of the green colour.  There is nothing worse than grey looking soup.
Strain the broccoli and add to the stock mixture along with the blue cheese.
Blitz in the blender or food processor until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Lily's Party Table Setting

My daughter turned 13 this month and had 12 girls over for a party.

The outside area was decorated courtesy of the $2 dollar shop.  Paper Latterns

and fake pink orchids, pink napkins and paper doilies.

We used old coke bottles as candle holders and coffee jars to hold the orchids.

The day was a great success despite the terrible weather.  I would have loved to take photos of the food served, but I was just too busy preparing and cooking to do anything else.

Easy eggless icecream

This ice-cream turned out surprising well.  Way better than I expected.  It was a big hit with my kids.  I didn't manage to get a photo once it was frozen as it was all gone before I got around to doing so.  I ll get a photo next time I make it.

The ingredients of the recipe are

1 can of condensed milk
500mls of cream
1 cup of plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup of boysenberry couli or any other fruit puree

Mix the condensed milk and cream together using an electric mixer.

Keep going till it starts to thicken and looks like this.  (soft peaks)

Add the yogurt and fold in gently, then the boysenberry couli making a swirling pattern.
Pour into a container that can hold about 2 litres.  Freeze for minimum of 4 hours.  It does freeze quite firmly if left to long.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Boysenberry couli

We were mean't to have Lemon Sponge Pudding for dessert last night, as my husband Chris said he felt like pudding and was going to make it.  I decided that a boysenberry couli  would go very nicely with it.  So I decided that I would make that.  He went off and bought all the ingredients, measured them all out into bowls.  Well that is far as he got.  He made one of his legendary Roast Lamb dinners and well that's all he had in him.

Anyway, this is really simple to make.  Get 1 can of boysenberries in syrup and empty into a pot.

Bring to the boil and add 1/2 cup of icing sugar and then simmer for about 15mins or until reduced and has begun to thicken.

I added a squeeze of lemon since it was supposed to be going with the Lemon Sponge Pudding.

Let it cool and then strain out the seeds through a sieve.  Work with a spoon to get every last bit through.
So now I have this very rich boysenberry couli and nothing to put it on.
I have always wanted to make 'cheats ice-cream'.  I might give that a go tomorrow, the couli will be perfect for that.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cottage Pie

Finely chop 1 onion and 1 carrot and saute with 2 cloves of garlic and olive oil.

Brown off 500g of beef mince on medium heat, add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.  Once it starts to catch on the bottom of the pan add 1/4 cup of red wine.

Then add 1 can of whole tomatoes and 1 cup of water and a couple of bay leaves and 1/2 tsp of sugar.  Actually I used a teaspoon of my quince jelly instead of sugar.  Gently simmer for about 1/2 an hour till cooked down.  Taste again for seasoning add some black pepper.

Add the beef mince mixture to oven proof ramekins.  Allowing space for the mashed potato.

Boil some peeled potatoes and mash, add a good chunk of butter and let it melt into the hot potatoes, add salt some milk and grated cheese for the desired consistency.  I like it quite dry.

Put some salt and pepper on top before cooking.  Bake in an oven dish for about 20-30 mins in 180 degree oven.  Check halfway to see how it 's going.  Then dig in.. Watch out it's hot.