Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Lime Sorbet

Serves 6

150ml lime juice
2 cups sugar syrup (see below)
1 1/4 cups water
1 egg white, whipped (only if you're not using an ice-cream machine)

If preparing fresh syrup, add finely shredded lime peel before simmering, then strain & keep peel to garnish.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix juice, syrup & water.
Pour into ice-cream machine & leave until ready, then freeze.
Alternatively, pour into a container & cover. Freeze until slushy. In a bowl, beat semi-frozen sorbet & egg white together until light & smooth. Return to container & freeze until firm.
Serve with berries, or alone garnished with peel, & enjoy!

Sugar syrup

2 cups sugar (caster works best)
2 cups water

In saucepan, bring sugar & water to a gentle boil. Reduce heat till bubbles break surface. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat & cool before using or storing. Can be stored in fridge in a sealed glass or plastic container for 2-3 weeks.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Thai Beef Salad

This is pretty hot, so you might want to add less chillies if you're not a huge fan.

Serves 6 (or 1 if you're like me!)

500g tender steak (fillet, lean rump, etc)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon pounded coriander roots & stems
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon palm sugar (brown sugar is fine)
3 teaspoons Maggi seasoning
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
3 fresh red chillies
3 tablespoons sliced purple shallots (I use regular shallots)
3 tablespoons finely sliced lemongrass (tender white portion only)
1 lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
20 fresh mint leaves

Grill the steak under a preheated grill until medium-rare.
Allow to cool.
Combine crushed garlic with pounded coriander & stir in the pepper, palm sugar, Maggi seasoning, lime juice & fish sauce.
Stir to dissolve sugar.
Slice the chillies finely, removing seeds if preferred (it makes them less hot).
Combine seasonings with the sliced shallots, lemongrass, cucumber, mint & thinly sliced steak.
Toss lighly & serve with jasmine rice.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Here are two of my favourite champagne cocktails, for the festive season:

Kir Royale

This always reminds me of Europe, where I drank it as an aperitif everywhere we ate.

30ml crème de cassis
100ml chilled brut champagne

Pour crème de cassis into a chilled champagne flute & top with chilled champagne.
Alternatively, you can pour the champagne first and then add the crème de cassis so it sits in the bottom of the glass.

Passionate Affair

15ml passionfruit liqueur
10ml passionfruit in syrup
120ml chilled brut champagne

Combine passionfruit liqueur & passionfruit in a champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne.
You'll get drunk v. quickly after a couple of these!

Friday, December 20, 2002

Christmas Ice-cream Pudding

This is a great alternative to the traditional hot pudding, especially Down Under. You will need at least 2 "nights" over which to prepare this, so read the recipe in full before you start.

Serves 10

1/3 cup (50g) toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup mixed peel
1/3 cup (60g) raisins, chopped
1/3 cup (60g) sultanas
1/3 cup (60g) currants
1/3 cup rum
1L vanilla ice-cream (I like Sara Lee)
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup (100g) red & green glacé cherries, quartered
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1L chocolate ice-cream (again go for Sara Lee)

Day 1: Place almonds, peel, raisins, sultanas, currants and rum in a medium bowl & mix well. Cover with cling wrap & stand overnight.
Place 2L-capacity pudding basin (or roundish bowl) into the freezer to chill.
Soften vanilla ice-cream slightly & mix in brandy & cherries. Press ice-cream mixture around the inside of the chilled bowl, spreading evenly right to the top of the bowl. Return to the freezer & freeze overnight. It might be necessary to check the ice-cream several time & respread evenly.
Day 2: Add spices & chocolate ice-cream to fruit mixture & mix well. Spoon into the centre of the pudding bowl & smooth the top.
Return to freezer overnight or until very firm.
To remove from bowl, stand very briefly in hot water & then turn out onto a plate. Serve decorated with holly (if you want to - it looks very pretty).

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Pasta with Roast Sweet Potato & Feta

Serves 4

750g sweet potato (kumera)
3 leeks, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
500g pasta of your choice (I like tricolore short pasta or fettucine)
2 tablespoons butter
185g marinated feta cheese, chopped
250g baby English spinach leaves
cracked black pepper
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Peel & chop sweet potato & place chunks in a baking dish with a little oil & salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until soft & brown.
Place pasta in a saucepan of boiling water & cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, place oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add leeks & rosemary to oil & cook for 7 minutes or until leeks are golden & soft.
Drain pasta & place in a large warmed bowl. Add sweet potato, leek mixture, butter & feta (I didn't use butter, just the oil from the marinated feta), & toss to combine.
Place piles of spinach on warmed serving plates & top with pasta, pepper & parmesan.