Friday, September 21, 2007

Egg Fried Rice

A tasty snack or light meal.

Serves 4

150g long grain rice
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, chopped
125g cooked peas
1 tbsp light soy sauce
pinch of salt
shredded spring onions, to garnish

Cook rice as directed on the pack.
Place beaten eggs in small non-stick frypan & cook over gentle heat, stirring until softly scrambled.
Heat oil in preheated wok or large frypan, swirling oil around base of wok until really hot.
Add crushed garlic, spring onions & peas & sauté, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 min.
Stir rice into wok, mixing to combine.
Add eggs, soy sauce & salt to wok & stir to mix in egg thoroughly.
Transfer to serving dishes & garnish with extra spring onions.

Pistachio & Lemon Bites

Like shortbread, with a twist!

Makes ~30

300g butter, softened
3 tbsp caster sugar
150g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp lemon rind
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place butter & sugar in bowl of electric mixer & beat for 4 min or until light & creamy.
Add pistachios & beat for 2 min.
Fold through flour & lemon rind & mix until well combined.
Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls, place on baking tray lined with baking paper, flatten slightly & bake for 15-20 min.
Cool on wire rack & dust with icing sugar.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Serves 4

4 pita bread, quartered
olive oil for brushing
1 cup sour cream
400g smoked salmon slices
70g baby rocket
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup salted capers, rinsed & dried
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Preheat char-grill over high heat.
Brush bread with oil & cook for 1 min each side or until crisp & golden.
Spread bread with sour cream & top with salmon, rocket, chives, dill, capers & onion.
Fresh & tasty!
Chocolate Swirl Cake

I made this for my birthday party last Sat. The chocolate part is very rich, but delicious!

Serves 8-10

250g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups plain flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted dark chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa powder

vanilla icing
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 160°C.
To make the vanilla icing, place icing sugar, water & vanilla in bowl & mix to combine, then set aside.
Place butter, sugar & vanilla in bowl of electric mixer & beat until light & creamy.
Gradually add eggs & beat well.
Sift flour & baking powder together over butter mixture & combine.
Fold through milk.
Divide mixture in half.
Add melted chocolate & cocoa to one portion & mix to combine.
Place chocolate mixture into lightly greased 25cm fluted bundt tin.
Drop spoonfuls of vanilla cake mixture into tin & swirl with butter knife to achieve marbled effect.
Bake for 50-55 min or until cooked when tested with skewer.
Cool on wire rack & spoon over vanilla icing.
Pickling Beetroot

This is more for my own reference, as my baby beetroot are finally ready!

Wash the roots being careful not to break the skins. Trim the tops to remove any leaf residue but do not cut back into the flesh. Cut off the root to leave a tiny "tail". Place in sufficient boiling salted water to cover the roots properly. Bring back to the boil and simmer gently for 1 to 1.5 hrs depending on the size. When fully cooked, a knife should sink into the flesh easily. An alternative is to cook at 15lb pressure in a pressure cooker using the manufacturers instructions. Allow to cool, skin and trim. Cut the main root into rounds about 3mm-6mm thick depending on your preference. If the rounds are very large, cut each one into 4 pieces so as to get them into the storage container easily.

If the pickled beetroot is to be used within a week or so (and stored in a fridge during that time), the rounds can simply be packed into a jar and covered with cold malt or pickling vinegar. If they are to be stored for a long time they should be packed (not too tightly) into proper pickling or bottling jars and covered with boiling vinegar and sealed immediately. Modern jam jars that create a vacuum seal can be used but make sure that the lid is clean, the seal is good and that the vacuum has been created (the central dimple should be depressed.)

With all pickling and preserving, cleanliness is important so make sure that the jars are very clean before use. When bulk pickling, we have held our jars at 120°C. in the oven for 30 minutes after washing, just to be sure.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Caramel Slice

Makes 24

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted

caramel filling
1/3 cup golden syrup
125g butter, melted
2 x 400g cans sweetened condensed milk

chocolate topping
185g dark chocolate
3 tsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place flour, coconut, sugar & butter in bowl & mix well.
Press mixture into 20cm x 30cm slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper & bake for 15-18 min or until brown.
To make caramel filling, place golden syrup, butter & condensed milk in saucepan over low heat & stir for 7 min or until caramel has thickened slightly.
Pour over cooked base & bake for 20 min or until caramel is golden.
Refrigerate slice until cold.
To make chocolate topping, place chocolate & oil in saucepan over low heat & stir until melted.
Remove from heat & allow to cool slightly before spreading over slice.
Refrigerate until firm & cut into slices.