Thursday, January 30, 2003

Cardamom Cocoa with Marshmallow Islands

I know, this is a winter drink, but I need some comforting at the moment.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons cocoa or drinking chocolate
4 tablespoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons ground cardamom
500ml milk
125ml cream
white marshmallows
50g milk chocolate shavings, to decorate

Put the cocoa, sugar, cardamom, milk & cream in a pan & stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Stirring continuously, increase the heat until the mixture is just coming to the boil. Remove from heat immediately.
Divide between 2 mugs & top with the marshmallows & chocolate.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Vine Leaves With Meat Stuffing (Etli Yaprak Sarma)

A delicious Turkish recipe. I have attempted to re-write the badly translated English, but some of it still doesn't quite make sense to me, so good luck. I'd also like to add at this point that the recipe is in the 'Vegetables & Pulses' section of my Turkish cookbook. Ha!

Serves 10

500g vine leaves

500g minced lamb
5 medium onions
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons rice (cooked, I guess)
1/2 pinch each (150g) mint, parsley, dill
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large tomato

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tomatoes (these are mentioned in the instructions, but not the ingredients list, so I am guessing a number, if you think you need more, add them)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 pinch salt (again, this is not actually included in the ingredients list)

1 piece wax paper

Chop the onions. Peel the tomato (see Fish dish below on how to do this) & dice small. Place the rest of the stuffing ingredients in a bowl, add 3/4 cup of water, mix well & set aside.
Boil the vine leaves for 2 minutes in salted water. Take out the leaves separately with a sieve. Divide the leaves in two.
Place a walnut-sized lump of stuffing at the base of each leaf, fold the sides & roll up. Place these (dolmas) in a saucepan in layers.
To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan (different to the one above, obviously). Dice the tomatoes & add to the melted butter with the tomato paste & salt, & stir over heat until the tomatoes soften. Add 2 1/2 cups water & bring to the boil.
Pour the sauce over the dolmas, then cover with wet wax paper. Place a place over the dolmas to weigh them down. Cover & bring to the boil. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes.
Serve with plain or salted yoghurt on the side.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Fish in Chilli-Tomato Sauce

Another one of my Thai favourites. Again, you can reduce the chilli content as you wish.

Serves 4

500g fish fillets (any white fish works well)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons hot chilli sauce
1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 red tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped
fresh coriander, roughly chopped (garnish)
red chillies, finely sliced (garnish)

Note: To peel & seed the tomatoes, drop them into boiling water for 30 seconds. Lift out & drop into cold water. Peel. Halve the tomatoes & gently squeze out the seeds, then chop the shells roughly.

Rinse & dry the fish.
In a small bowl mix together the vinegar, fish sauce, chilli sauce & sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Heat the oil & fry the onions over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until it is soft & starts to turn golden. Add the tomatoes and vinegar mixture, cover & simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
Add the fish fillets, spooning the sauce over them. Cover & cook gently (ie low heat) until the fish is done.
Garnish with coriander & red chillies. Serve with steamed jasmine rice. Mmm!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Champagne Berry Cocktails

Another celebratory champagne cocktail (- hey! I have something to celebrate!).

Serves 6

6 sugar cubes
Angostura Bitters
zest of 1 lime, shredded
200g fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries or strawberries)
750ml champagne, chilled

Put a cube of sugar in each of 6 champagne glasses & add a dash of bitters to each.
Divide the berries among the glasses & fill with champagne.
Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

The NYE recipes:

Chunky Ratatouille Tarts

I used one less zucchini & added cubed feta to this recipe, but it's up to you...

Serves 4 (2 tarts each)

1 eggplant, cut into 3cm cubes
1 red capsicum, cut into 3cm squares
3 zucchini, cut into thick slices
1 red onion, chopped into large pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
200g teardrop or cherry tomatoes
150g kalamata olives, pitted
2 tablespoons finely shredded (fresh) basil
salt & pepper
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used more, but see how you go)
1 egg, lightly beaten
extra shredded basil, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200ÂșC.
Sprinkle eggplant with salt & let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
Place eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and onion in a roasting tin, add the oil & toss to coat. Bake the vegetables for 40 minutes, tossing frequently.
Add tomatoes & bake for 5 minutes.
Transfer all the vegetables to a bowl, stir in olives & basil (& feta, if using), & season with salt & pepper. Strain the mixture to remove any juices.
Cut each pastry sheet into four squares & place on a tray line with baking paper. Cut 16 2cm wide strips to fit around the edges of each square.
Divide the ratatouille among the squares. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg & bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
Garnish with extra basil & serve. Warning: they get pretty hot!


This is a traditional Peruvian dish, usually served as finger food in our family. We usually use ocean perch, but you can use any white fish. This recipe is quite spicy, so you might want to use less chilli.

Serves 6

1kg white fish, cubed
3 (red) onions, sliced
10 limes (or lemons)
2 bitter oranges (optional - if you don't use them, you'll need extra lime/lemon juice)
3 fresh chillies, sliced (use aji amarillo or small red chillies)
1 tablespoon ground chilli
salt & pepper
2 ears of corn, cooked, to serve
1 kg cooked sweet potato, to serve
1 lettuce, to serve

Put fish in large colander & pour boiling water over it.
Drain well & put into a bowl.
Add onion & ground & fresh chillies, & cover with lime/lemon/orange juice. Mix well.
Cover & seal tightly. Put in fridge & allow to marinate for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
Serve on lettuce with cooked corn & sliced sweet potato.

Frozen Mango Daiquiri

60ml Bacardi
60ml mango liqueur
30ml fresh lime juice
1 medium ripe mango, peeled, chopped coarsely
1 cup ice cubes

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until just combined. Pour into 300ml highball glass & serve.