Tuesday, February 28, 2012
called “Café Secrets”, you can Google this, then read about Julie and this very good programme.
All the recipes on there as well.
I watched her make the following
A Double Chocolate Pear Cake
I had some preserved pears in my Pantry, grown picked and preserved by my friends Derrick and Lorraine.
They have a lovely lifestyle block in Bunnythorpe and there are dozens of fruit trees.
One year, they actually grew a pear in a bottle for me and then immersed it in brandy.
Derrick and I tying the bottle onto the bud
Delicious, my own ‘Poire Williams’…well almost.
So after seeing Julie make this cake, I just had to do it.
Not only delicious, but so so simple
Thank you Julie, we all loved it
Word of warning... test the cake at say 45 minutes, I left it in too long.
When I pushed the skewer in it came out damp but I think I make have hit a molten chop chip.
So I left it in another 10 minutes.
It was a little dry. Still tasted very good though.
I fixed it by reducing leftover syrup in a small pan.
I then put holes in the cake, with the aforementioned skewer, poured the syrup over the cake.
Actually maybe this could be a good idea anyway. See what you think.
100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
150g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour, sifted
Extra 100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 home-preserved pears cooked in red wine or 400g
can pear halves in juice, drained and quartered
Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Spray a 22cm spring-form cake tin with oil and line the base
with baking paper.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of
simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water or
it will get too hot and may damage the chocolate).
Stir until smooth and set aside to cool a little.
Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat
until pale and creamy.
Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Stir in flour to just combine.
Stir in extra chopped chocolate.
Spread cake batter into prepared tin.
Slice pears into quarters and arrange over surface of the mixture,
pressing them slightly into the batter.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer
inserted comes out clean.
If necessary, cover with foil towards end of cooking
to prevent cake over browning.
Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before removing to a wire
rack to cool completely.
Brush peas with cooking juice to moisten.
Dust cake with icing sugar, if desired.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Corn and Tomato Soup - Nice use of Fresh Summer Produce- And Some Unexpected Kudos for our Countdown Supermarket
Its a beautiful Summer's Day, they have been few and far between this year.
You may think Soup? Is she having a laugh? but I can assure you this fresh light soup was just perfect for lunch today.
I made a chicken salad for sandwiched the other day.
And, what do you get when you poach Chicken?
Why, Chicken Stock of course.
I fossicked around in the fridge
grabbed a few ingredients and quickly put together this delicious soup.
I really like using Vegeta as a flavour booster.
And when cooking tomatoes I always add a little sugar to balance to flavours
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 carrot grated
1 red onion finely sliced
2 medium tomatoes, cored and large chop
1 tbs Vegeta or any good stock powder
500 mls of homemade chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
2 cobs fresh Corn
Little parsley for garnish
I popped the corn into the microwave for 5 minutes
Removed the silk and husks, then sliced off the kernels
Meanwhile heat butter over med heat in a pot
Add carrot and onion
Gently saute till soft
Add tomatoes and Vegeta and sugar
Add chicken stock
Taste and adjust seasoning, using sea salt and black pepper if needed
Bring to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes
Add corn kernels
Simmer another 5 minutes
This has a wonderful fresh taste.
The corn is still crunchy, tomatoes, carrot and onion soft
By the way the Chicken Salad was pretty good as well
I lightly poached chicken thighs in water
With the addition of carrot chunks, onion, celery. stalks of parsley
Once again a tablespoon of Vegeta
Best way for moist chicken...
Bring everything to the boil.
Simmer for about 5 minutes
Turn heat off
Cover and leave for at least 30 minutes.
This should be enough for small, no skin, boneless thighs
Remove the meat and chop
Mix with some chopped cucumber, and spring onions and a little parsley
Toss in Mayo
I used a bought one.
Best Foods is pretty good.
I added some lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
Also for an added extra, a big teaspoon of a curry coconut paste, that my friend Heinzie made.
This is so good.
The sandwiches were excellent.
I had leftovers.
Chicken Salad on Toast
An added bonus.
So "Waste Not, Want Not"
It is handy, a 2 minute drive and basically they suit me
but I frequently make complaints.
It's obvious when the big spenders, get their product on show and the particular brand, you would like gets either left off the shelf altogether... or placed so high you cant reach.
But that aside,
I have to mention their latest promotion in association, with Thomas from Rosenthal.
The prize, if you collect enough stamps is a set of excellent knives
It's like the olden days...green stamps
Collect enough and you get a prize.
Of course I got sucked in, but was a little apprehensive.
Anyhow...Last week, I had enough for my first knife.
It is excellent. I am rapidly shopping to acquire another.
Good work Countdown and Rosenthal
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Last night she made this eggplant dish or dinner last night
It was very yummy and for those who are interested, it is gluten free
Eggplants are cheap at the moment and it is always good to have yet another way to cook them.
By the way, here's another use for cooked rice
Of course if you don't have leftovers, just cook the rice anyway
The Sriracha Sauce, which is possibly foreign to many, was recommended by Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen Thank you Kalyn.
Click here to get some inspiration. It is a great blog.
Anyway it is an excellent hot sauce.
I assumed that you can't buy it here, so I asked Joyce, to bring me some from the States.
The day she arrived, we took a trip to the local Chinese green grocer .
Joyce was poking around the store and guess what she found... a bottle of the Sriracha sauce.
So you can buy it here in New Zealand . Hooray.
But I digress
So here you go.
This is enough for 4 people
1 eggplant per person
1 red Onion finely chopped
1 tbs Olive oil
500 gms mince
2 stalk Celery finely sliced
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp ground Cumin
8 leaves Fresh basil sliced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese. grated to cover
50 gms feta cheese crumbled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Sriracha Hot Chili sauce (or any hot sauce that takes your fancy)
1/2 cup cooked white rice
Heat oven to 180C
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise
Place on a baking sheet and bake till just tender
Remove and then when cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh
Reserve the shells for stuffing
Mix the flesh with feta and the Sriracha hot sauce
Season to taste and set aside
For the mince
Sauté the onion in olive oil in a medium hot pan
Add mince and sauté till brown
Season with S&P
Add oregano, cumin and basil
Add crushed tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes
Time to assemble
Lay the empty eggplant shells on a lightly greased tray
Mix all the components together
The eggplant mix
And the rice
Pile into the shells
Cover with grated Parmesan
And bake for about 15-20 minutes
I only thought to take the picture, when I was halfway through my dinner.
That plate was clean as, not long after.