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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Baked Custard


This is a simple warming dish, easy and cheap. Remember this is cooked in a "water bath" and you need to remove the custard as soon as you can tap it with a knife and it is wobbly solid or the eggs will curdle. You can bake it in one big dish or single serving dishes - just remember small dishes will cook faster.

Baked Egg Custard

3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
450ml cream
½ cup caster sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg, to dust


• Step 1
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

• Step 2
Beat the whole eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract together lightly (you don't want them to become too frothy).

• Step 3
Place the cream in a pan with the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Heat to just below boiling point then pour onto the eggs and stir to combine. (you can do this in the microwave – 1 minute) Strain through a sieve into a 1-litre (4-cup) capacity baking dish or individual oven proof dishes.

• Step 4
Stand in a roasting pan half-filled with hot water. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg. Bake for about 30-35 minutes: it should still wobble slightly.

• Step 5
Remove from oven and serve hot or cold as desired.  Really beautiful with steamed fruits.

Risotto / Arancini Balls

This is a recipe from an amazing friend and cook, who has competed in several competitions, J. Camilleri.   This while a fiddly recipe is not difficult and the results are awesome.   With mini arancini I don't add the filling. The main problem with this recipe in our house is I make the risotto and everyone wants to eat it hahahaha, so I often make double so I'll have enough for arancini. To make it cheaper I use half a teaspoon of tumeric instead of saffron. You can add finely diced mushroom, fried chicken or bacon and peas at the end stage if you like (when you mix in the cheese and butter to the cooked risotto). I like to use Panko bread crumbs for the best result. 

Arancini - stuffed rice balls

These are great for parties and get togethers - they are risotto balls filled with various fillings and are delish and very morish. You can stuff them with whatever you wish - I like them with a bolognese meat sauce but a simple cheese mix like these have is sooo yum! They are best made the night before you want them so they can firm in the fridge and make it easier to cook

Risotto:
2 Tablespoon olive oil
60 g butter, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 litre chicken stock, warmed
pinch of saffron threads (optional)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
80 g grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the rice and sauté for 1–2 minutes, then pour in the warm chicken stock. Add the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered with a lid, and stirring from time to time, until the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Finish by stirring in the parmesan and the remaining butter until well combined. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside to cool.

Filling:
100g Fetta cheese
1 cup Mozzarella - grated/shredded
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Pesto (from a jar - I love the Barilla brand)

Crumble up the fetta and mix with the parsley and pesto then combine with the mozzarella

Coating:
Flour
2 eggs - beaten with a splash of milk
2 - 3 cups of breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying

Assembly:

Take a heaped tablespoon of risotto and roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball. Push a hole in one side and fill with a teaspoon of cheese mixture (or whatever filling you are using). Seal the hole and roll again, ensuring the filling is completely enclosed. Keep a bowl handy filled with water or oil so you can lubricate your palms to make it easier to roll each one. Roll the balls in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs and then cover and keep in fridge for an hour or over night. Fry in batches for about 4 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry

I've made curries with veg before and they just tasted boring, no flavour - then after a bit of googling and reading discovered that the trick is to roast the veg first!  WOW is all I can say, this curry is fantastic and delicious - my only problem is not eating the yummy roasted veg before it gets in the curry pot!  Delicious with freshly steamed rice, this vegetarian meal will make even non-vegetarians super happy! 

INGREDIENTS:

3 x sweet potato (peeled and cut into chunks)
1/2 a cauliflower (cut into big florets)
Olive oil
Sea Salt
30g Butter
1 Onion (very thinly sliced)
Handful of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut cream
Thai red curry paste

METHOD:

  • On a big baking tray place the cauliflower and sweet potato pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Pop in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes to bake till the potato is soft.
  • In a big frypan pour a little more olive oil and the butter and gently fry the onion till it is soft and translucent.  Add 1 teaspoon of red curry paste (add more later if you like your curry hotty hot) and stir in.
  • Turn the heat down a bit and add the vege stock and then the roasted veg.
  • Add the coconut cream and sprinkle with fresh coriander.
That's it!!!  Add a bit more curry paste if you like a hotter curry and mix it in. 

Want your curry more "saucy" - add more veg stock and coconut cream.

If you would like to add meat, this is delicious with chicken - simply cut up two chicken fillets into bite sized pieces and dust with flour - gently brown in the pan when you are at the onion stage.

Mango Mousse with Lime

 
These little dishes of delicious sweet softness can be made with or without the gelatine.  So, incredibly simple and easy to make.  You can substitute any fruit for the mango - strawberries, banana...whatever you have.
 
Ingredients:
 
2 ripe mango - peeled and flesh cut up
1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
2 limes - grated and juiced
500ml thickened cream - whipped till stiff peaks form
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1/4 cup hot water
 
Method:
 
In a little dish or mug, dissolve the gelatine in the water and set aside to cool
Blitz the mango in a blender/food processor/smoothie maker
Gently fold the mango puree, sugar, lime zest and juice in to the whipped cream.
Gently fold in the gelatine mixture.
Distribute evenly into desired serving dishes and pop in the fridge for about 1 hour.