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    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Soups One Thin. One Thick- Perfect for Lunch

    Its that time of the week again. Lunch at Juice TV.
    Soup is proving very popular. I decided to do some research and find something new. I have always admired Nick Nairn and he has a cookbook called New Scottish Cookery.
    This may seem like an Oxymoron, given The Scots are responsible for The Deep Fried Mars Bar.
    BUT there is always an exception.
    Anyway I loved the look of his Soups. In fact the whole book is great.
    I picked two.

    Both of these soups are on
    The Calories have been counted

    First I made a Spicy Fish Soup
    I have made a few changes to his recipe, so I guess it’s mine now.
    I decided to steam bake the fish first, till just cooked, then flaked it and added to the stock.
    I have remade this soup and used Monk Fish. It was divine
    That's the fish to sue I reckon

    1 tablespoon Rice Bran Oil
    2.5 cm piece of root ginger cut into tiny matchsticks (julienne)
    2 large cloves of Garlic sliced into slivers
    1 large red mild chili sliced finely
    1 birds eye chili chopped finely (This add that extra heat)
    1 stick lemon grass bashed
    2 Kaffir Lime leaves finely sliced
    1200 mls chicken stock (I used Massels Chicken stock powder)
    3 tablespoons Fish Stock
    1 tablespoon Gluten Free Soy Sauce
    Juice of 1 lime
    I tablespoon  Palm sugar or brown sugar
    4 spring onions finely shredded
    200 gms sliced mushrooms
    10 cherry tomatoes halved

    500 gms of a meaty fish (I used Ling, it is cheap and worked well)
    Oil spray
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    50 mls white wine
    1/2 spring onion finely sliced

    Spray of oil
    3 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Heat the oil in a large pan
    Add ginger, garlic, chillies and lemon grass
    Cook over a low heat until just softened about 8 minutes
    Add stock, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, kaffir lime leaves and lime juice
    Bring to the boil
    Add mushrooms and spring onions,
    Simmer about 10 minutes
    Add tomatoes

    Meanwhile, lightly oil a gratin dish
    add the fish
    Season with a little salt, freshly ground black pepper
    Pour over white wine
    Spray with a little oil just to moisten it.
    Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes

    Take the fish out of the dish.
    Keep the stock for further use
    Flake and add to the pan
    Just bring back to a simmer
    Garnish with coriander and freshly ground black pepper

    To accompany this soup I made a Potage.
    One thin soup, one thick. Nice mix I think

    Parsnip, Parmesan and Chili Soup
    Another great choice.

    50 gms butter
    200 gms onions sliced
    900 gms parsnips, peeled and finely sliced
    1 red chili finely sliced
    1 teaspoon sea salt or Vegeta  which is great seasoning
    1 litre Hot water

    50 gms Parmesan
    Snipped Spring Onions tops or chives to garnish

    Melt the butter in a large pan
    Add onions and sweat till just soft BUT not brown
    Takes about 8 minutes
    Add Parsnips, Chili and seasoning
    Toss vege together
    Add hot water bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes
    Stir Grated Parmesan into the soup
    Into the blender whiz till smooth
    Check and adjust seasoning if necessary

    Serve with snipped  Spring Onions/Chives          

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Gilli's Chilli Soup

    I got an idea from my Friend Rex, who was telling me about a great Chilli Bean Soup he has been making. He is going to give me the recipe.
    Meanwhile I decided, I would borrow this idea and make up a soup from my Pantry and Fridge
    I had some Leftover Meat sauce and a tin of Black Beans,
    I can make Chilli soup from this.
    It was really good.
    When you are eating chili and you need to blow your nose, there is a nice after burn… but the food is not searingly hot I think you have the spice mix, just right.
    If you go across to Gillis Net Diary I have calculated the calories. Filling, healthy and Lo-Cal
    So here we go
    1 tablespoon Olive oil
    1 Med Onion finely chopped
    Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

    2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
    1 med Carrot chopped into cubes
    1 stalk Celery chopped

    180 Meat sauce
    700 Water
    1 can Cherry Tomatoes.
    1 can Black beans drained and rinsed
    1 tablespoon Sugar

    1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon Celery salt
    1/2 teaspoon Cumin
    1 tablespoon Oregano
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Heat the olive oil in a pot
    Add onions
    Season with Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté till tender
    Add garlic continue to cook another 3-4 minutes
    Add carrots, celery and Black beans
    Season with the spices
    Chili Powder. Celery salt. Cumin and Oregano

    Gently cook about 5 minutes to cook out the raw taste of the spices.
     Meanwhile put the leftover Meat Sauce in a blender with the water
    Add to pot
    Place the tomatoes in the blender, just a quick whiz just to break it down
    Into the pot
    Add sugar
    Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes
    You need the carrots to be tender
    Taste and adjust the seasoning it will probably need a little more salt

    Just before you serve Add lime juice and Parsley
    So nice for a cold Winter's Day

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Red Lentil and Carrot Soup- Lets have Onion Bread and Carrot Cake

    Lunch day at Juice TV
    I have posted this soup before, but it's winter and we all need more tasty soups people. to keep us warm. This is great, cheap and makes heaps. Just lightly spiced I thought it was great.
    To accompany it, I made my Basic white bread and added some spicy caramelised onions.
    AND a delicious  Carrot Cake. The cake I got from the Everyday Baking Programme on Food TV.
    It was easy and quick.

    Spiced Carrot Cake ( In My Net Diary Everyday Baking Carrot Cake)

    1/4 cup vegetable oil,  plus more for pan
    1 cup (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour,
    plus more for pan
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
    1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
    1 cup finely shredded packed (about 2 medium) carrots

    Quick Glaze
    1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 170C
    Brush an 8-inch round cake pan with oil.
    Place a round of waxed or parchment paper in the bottom;
    brush with oil, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cardamom, and salt; 
    set aside. 
    In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sugars, yogurt, and oil until smooth.
    Gently mix egg mixture into dry ingredients until moistened; mix in carrots. 
    Transfer batter to prepared pan.
    Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes
    (if browning too quickly, tent cake with aluminum foil).
    Cool in pan, 15 minutes.
    Turn out of pan, remove paper, and cool completely on a rack, right side up.
    Apply glaze, or dust with confectioners' sugar.

    Quick Glaze
    In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    until a smooth but thick glaze forms (too thin a glaze will be absorbed by the cake).
    Place a piece of waxed paper under cooling rack for easy cleanup.
    Spoon glaze back and forth over cake, forming a pattern.
    Keep cake on cooling rack until glaze is set, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Onion Bread
    2 cups white flour  
    1 tsp salt                
    1 tsp sugar              
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 packet yeast (8gms)  
    230 mls hand hot water

    Put yeast and sugar in 200 mls of hand hot water
    Leave about 5 minutes to activate the yeast
    put the other ingredients into the food processor
    Let it whiz not too fast
    If it is not forming into a ball slowly add more water until it does

    Turn out onto bench and start kneading by pulling edges into the middle
    like a little parcel
    Place in a greased bowl for about 1 hour to rise

    Finely slice a peeled red onion
    Saute in 1 tablespoon olive oil
    Add 1 tsp ground cumin
    1tsp ground coriander

    Sea salt
    Freshly brown black pepper
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 tablespoon finely cut fresh coriander roots and stalks
    Cook till soft and turning brown
    Set aside and Cool
    Take out the bread lay on the lightly floured bench and cover with the onion mixture
    Push all the edges in and knead with till it forms a smooth ball
    Back into greased bowl and cover for another 30 minutes
     When it has doubled
    Take this lovely doungh and press down to a rectangle on a greased and floured tray

    Bake at 205C about 20 minutes
    Remove. it should sound hollow when you tap it
    If not back in the oven about 5 more minutes

    Looking good.
    Now onto the main event
    Red Lentil and Carrot Soup  (In My Net Diary look under Gillis Carrot and Lentil Soup)

    I used the food processor to chop the vegetables and it was brilliant
    You may notice Vegeta. WE discovered this in Croatia they put it in everything. You can buy it here. It is a Vegetable Stock powder. Gluten free Great flavour. A must for the pantry

    55 gm unsalted butter      
    1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger 
    1/2 tsp ground allspice     
    1/2 tsp ground cumin     
    1/2 tsp ground ginger     
    and 1/2 tsp ground chili powder  
    1tsp curry powder 
    1 tsp ground coriander 
    300 gms onions finely chopped   
    143 gm parsnip      
    100 gms chopped celery
    1 k g sliced carrots    
    200 gms swede peeled and chopped  

    85 gms split red lentils     
    25 gms long rain rice     
    1 . 75 litres water
    Vegeta 3 tablespoon    
    400 ml can lite coconut cream  
    2  tablespoons fresh lime juice 

    MethodMelt the butter in a heavy based pan and
    Add ginger, allspice, cumin, chilli powder
    and Curry powder and coriander

    Cook over a low heat for about 3 minutes stirring constantly
    Add the vegetables and Vegeta
    Stir to combine and cook about 8 minutes
    Stir in lentils and rice
    Then the water
     Bring to boil and simmer around 30 minutes till the vege are tender and the lentils break up

    Into the blender
    Bring back to boil
    Add coconut milk and lime juice
    Taste and adjust if necessary

    Dont boil again just reheat
    Just add Fresh coriander and serve

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Grandma's Basic Beef Stew

    This Thursday at Grandmas, I decided to make Beef Stew and Dumplings for the Grand-kids.
    Its winter now don't you know and basic stick to the ribs food is necessary.
    I wasn't sure how it would go but they loved it and second helpings all around
    except of course for the littlest.
    I used Rachel Allen's Dumpling Recipe, which is basically Irish Soda Bread.
    The dumplings were very tasty but need to be eaten pretty soon after cooking. By the time I got to my dinner they were a bit heavy. I think I might try one of my scone recipes next time, could be lighter.
    BUT the Stew was a Triumph and it is so basic and so tasty. I chopped the Mushrooms very fine as I know the kids are not wrapped on them. Make it small and hide, I say.

    840 gms Blade Steak
    3 tablespoons seasoned Flour
    2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    2 medium  Onions chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 large Carrot chopped
    1 stalk Celery chopped
    150 gms finely chopped Mushrooms
    1 medium Courgette grated
    50 mls white wine

    2 Massel Beef Stock cubes
    2 litres Hot Water
    2 tablespoons Tomato Ketchup

    Cut beef into cubes and dust with seasoned flour
    Put 2 tablespoons olive oil into a med hot pan
    Drop in the beef and brown.
    Don't overcrowd the pan, you want a nice crust on the beef, for that extra flavour
    Pop the cooked beef into your casserole dish
    Add onions cook gently till soft
    Season with little salt and pepper
    Add celery, carrot and continue to cook till soft
    Add to casserole

    Add 1 more tablespoon oil to pan and add mushrooms
    Season and after about 2 minutes, add courgettes
    Continue ot saute about another 3 minutes
    Add white wine and reduce down
    Place in the casserole
    dissolve the stock cubes in hot water
    Use a little to get any scraps from the pan
    All into the casserole along with the tomato ketchup
    Stir well, Make sure everything is just covered.

    Into 160C oven
    Cook for about 2 hours
    The aroma filled the kitchen.
    While I was cooking the kids were cooking too
    They love to make flower soup
    Last week they were so enthusiastic, they completely denuded my Purple Pansies
    Well I guess they needed de-heading
    It made beautiful Purple Flower soup though

    The Dumplings
    Pre heat the oven to 230C

    350gms plain flour
    3/4 level tsp baking soda
    1tsp salt
    300 mls buttermilk

    Mix with claw hand till it blends  together
    Onto floured board
    Press out to 2-3 cms thick
    Cut into small scones
    Place on top of stew not too close together

    Brush with beaten egg and a little water

    230C for 10 minutes
    200C for 20 minutes
    The kids love my Broccoli
    I just break it into florets
    Blanch in boiling salted water, for about 3 minutes
    Drain and run cold water over it, to stop cooking and keep green
    When you are ready to serve
    Heat a pan to medium
    Add 1 tablespoom olive
    and 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    Just cook for a couple of minutes be careful not to brown
    It could become bitter
    Toss the Broccoli in the oil and cook for a couple of minutes till they heat up
    Grind some black pepper on top
    And a good squeeze of lemon juice.

    For pudding Banana Fritters
    Pieces of Bananas dipped in Batter
    Fried and then rolled in cinnamon and suge
    Eaten in the hand with cream and molten Nutella
    Ms Mia did a lovely presentation of hers