Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bistro Basics Menu

This is a great meal if you're having friends over on a weeknight or whenever you want a no-fuss meal.

Serves 4

Asparagus with Simple Lemon Hollandaise

500g asparagus, trimmed
rocket to serve
cracked black pepper

simple lemon hollandaise
125g butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 egg yolks (reserve 2 whites for dessert below!)
sea salt

Steam asparagus until just tender, set aside & keep warm.
To make the hollandaise, place butter & lemon juice in saucepan over low-medium heat until bubbling.
Place egg yolks in blender & with motor running on high, slowly add hot butter mixture & continue to blend until thick.
Stir through salt.
To serve, place asparagus on serving plates, spoon over sauce & serve with rocket & pepper.

Garlic Butter Steaks

This also works well with roo steaks. Make sure you don't overcook if using them, though!

80g butter, softened
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
sea salt & cracked black pepper
4 large flat mushrooms
8 x 75g thin boneless sirloin or fillet steaks, fat removed
2 cups baby spinach leaves, wilted

Combine butter, oil, mustard, salt & pepper in bowl.
Heat large frypan over high heat.
Brush mushrooms with butter mixture & cook for 2 min each side or until cooked.
Remove from pan & keep warm.
Brush steaks with butter mixture & cook for 2 min each side or until cooked too your liking.
Remove from pan & keep warm.
Add remaining butter mixture to pan & heat for 30 sec or until warm.
Place spinach on serving plates & top with steaks & mushrooms & pour over warm butter mixture.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

These cakes can be made ahead of time as centres stay soft for around an hour after baking. Simply heat in microwave for few sec on med-high or place on serving plates in 150°C oven for a few min to soften centres again.

1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup almond meal
2 egg whites, beaten
80g butter, melted
160g dark chocolate, melted
4 x 10g squares dark chocolate, extra
raspberries to serve

Preheat oven to 150°C.
Place flour, sugar, almond meal, egg whites, butter & chocolate in bowl & mix well to combine.
Spoon half mixture into 4 x 1/2 cup capacity lightly greased ovenproof dishes.
Place chocolate squares on top of mixture & top with remaining mixture.
Bake for 20 min or until cooked but gooey in middle.
Stand in dish for 5 min before turning out.
Serve with raspberries (& cream or ice cream, if you want!).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Orange & Poppyseed Cake

This cake requires about 6 oranges and is delicious!

Serves 8-10

1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
200g butter, softened
1 tbsp finley grated orange rind
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup shredded orange rind

Preheat oven to 160°C.
Place poppy seeds & milk in bowl & stir to combine.
Set aside.
Place butter, orange rind & sugar in bowl of electric mixer & beat until light & creamy.
Gradually add eggs & beat well.
Sift flour & baking powder over butter mixture & add orange juice & poppy seed & milk mixture.
Stir to combine & spoon into a 20cm round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
Bake for 55-60 min or until cooked when tested with skewer.
While cake is cooking, make syrup.
Place sugar, orange juice & orange rind in saucepan over low heat & stir until sugar is dissolved.
Increase heat & boil for 5-6 min or until syrupy.
Pour half of hot syrup over hot cake.
To serve, cut warm or cold cake into wedges & pour over remaining syrup.