Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Time for some sweet stuff!

Sweet Sage, Apple & Cinnamon Toddy

Good for keeping warm in all this cold weather.

Serves 2

4 slices dried apple
2 sage leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
60ml scotch whisky
2 tsp honey
boiling water

Put 2 slices of apple in each of 2 glasses or clear mugs.
Add a sage leaf & cinnamon stick to each.
Add 30ml whisky & a teaspoon of honey to each glass & 3/4 fill each one with boiling water.
Serve immediately.

Grown-up Hot Chocolate

For sweeter dreams.

Serves 1

30g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp coffee-flavoured liqueur
1 cup milk, warmed

Place chocolate & liqueur in glass or mug.
Pour in warm milk & stir to melt chocolate.

Marshmallow Affogato

Serves 2

4 marshmallows
2 shots espresso coffee
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
extra marshmallows, to serve

Put 2 marshmallows in each of 2 espresso coffee glasses or cups.
Pour 1 coffee shot into each glass & stand for 1 minute, allowing marshmallows to melt slightly.
Add ice cream & serve immediately with extra marshmallows.

Chocolate Risotto

Serves 4

6 cups milk
1 cup cream
20g butter
1 cup arborio rice
100g dark chocolate, chopped
brown sugar, to serve
warm milk, extra, to serve

Place milk & cream in saucepan over medium heat & bring to boil, then reduce heat & keep warm.
Heat large saucepan over medium heat, add butter & rice & cook stirring for 2 minutes or until grains are translucent & coated with butter.
Add warm milk mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup of milk is absorbed & rice is al dente.
Add chocolate & stir until melted.
Serve topped with brown sugar & extra milk. Mmmmm...


Makes 24 slices

1 cup blanched almonds
3/4 cup hazelnuts
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cup honey
1 cup caster sugar
rice paper for lining

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Place almonds & hazelnuts on separate baking trays & bake for 5 minutes or until golden.
Set almonds aside.
Place hazelnuts in clean tea towel & rub to remove skins.
Roughly chop almonds & hazelnuts.
Place apricots, flour, cocoa, cinnamon & allspice in large heatproof bowl.
Place honey & sugar in saucepan & stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Brush sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals.
Increase heat & allow mixture to simmer for 1-2 minutes until 'soft ball' stage (113-115ºC, use sugar thermometer).
Pour into flour mixture, add almonds & hazelnuts & stir quickly to combine.
Line 20cm x 30cm slice tin with sheets of rice paper, trimming edges to fit.
Press mixture into tin.
Cook for 20 minutes or until springy.
Cool in tin, then cut into slices.

Jam Donuts

These are my personal favourites.

Makes 22

4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g butter, melted
4 1/4 cups plain flour
3 eggs
vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 cup caster sugar, extra
1 tsp ground cinnamon
raspberry or strawberry jam

Place yeast, water, milk & 1 tbsp sugar in bowl & set aside for 10 minutes.
Mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
Add butter, flour, eggs & remaining sugar to yeast mixture & mix with a butter knife until sticky dough forms.
Bring dough together by kneading on lightly floured surface.
Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with tea towel & set aside in warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until it feels smooth & elastic when pressed.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until 1cm thick.
Cut 8cm rounds with a cutter.
Place on tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with tea towel & set aside in warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
Heat oil in saucepan (or deep-fryer) over medium-low heat.
Cook donuts a few at a time for 1 minute each side or until golden.
Drain on paper towel, then pierce each donut with the tip of a knife & pipe in a little jam.
Toss in combined sugar & cinnamon & serve. Yummm!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Lamb, Mushroom & Capsicum Risotto

Made this tonight from what I had in the fridge and it was actually really good, if I do say so myself.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 Spanish (red) onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp olive oil, extra
2 lamb steaks, cut into stips
4 medium field mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red capsicum, sliced
mixed herbs
cracked pepper
sea salt
parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion & garlic & cook, stirring, until soft.
Add rice & stir until translucent.
While rice is cooking, heat wine & stock in another saucepan over medium-high heat to a gentle simmer.
Add warm stock mixture to rice, 1 cup at a time, waiting for each cup to be fully absorbed, & until rice is al dente (approx. 25-30 minutes).
While rice is cooking, heat extra oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat.
Fry lamb, mushrooms & capsicum with herbs & pepper until cooked.
Once rice is cooked, stir through meat & vegetables, adding salt to taste.
Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Pasta a la Dive

For maximum effect, enjoy with a good wine while watching Casablanca ;-)

Serves 4

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
4 medium field mushrooms, sliced
enough pasta for 4
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
500g chicken breast, cut into strips
1 red capsicum, sliced
1/2 cup white wine

Mix egg & cheese together & set to one side.
Fry chorizo & mushrooms in medium, non-stick frypan over medium heat till cooked.
Set aside until needed.
Cook pasta.
While pasta is cooking, fry garlic & onion in large, non-stick frypan over medium heat until soft.
Add chicken & capsicum till cooked, then add the pre-cooked chorizo & mushrooms.
Add wine & keep warm over low heat till needed.
Drain pasta & add to meat & vegetables, stirring well.
Finally, add egg/cheese mixture, stir thoroughly through pasta & serve immediately.