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    Saturday, September 08, 2012

    Gin and Tonic with Spicy Nuts Anyone

    As anyone who has sold a house knows, keeping it pristine is not really hard, but so unnatural.
    Doesn't stop me from sitting down at the end of the day, with a beautiful Gin and Tonic, with a lemon from our tree.

    Some kinda nibble, is almost compulsory.
    I love making hot nuts and I really enjoyed this version
    I got a bottle of Al Browns Orange and Chili Oil at the Food Show in a Goodie Bag and it has been great.
    Just mixed with some cumin and citrusy coriander seeds, a little cayenne pepper, brown sugar and salt.
    I added some Extra Virgin Olive oil, as the infused oil is delightfully flavoured, but maybe could be a little overpowering. 
    Yum. The Aroma. That's what I should do for the Open Home to tempt them
    The SuperMarche had salted Cashews on special. Couldn't resist.
    I normally would use raw nuts but let's not be too proud here.
    A special is a special, $13 a KG

    Heat your oven to 180C
    So for about 250 gms Nuts

    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 - 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (your choice)
    1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar
    1 heaped tablespoon sea salt
    2 tablespoon Al Browns oil (optional) 
    2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    I mixed the dry ingredients in a mortar  using the pestle
    with Al's oil
    And then added the rest of the oil

    Made a nice 'wettish' paste

    Meanwhile place your nuts in a tray into the pre-heated oven
    They should take 15-20 minutes to toast
    Keep an eye on them
    Nothing worse than burnt nuts
    When toasted, remove from oven and toss immediately with the oil mix

    Two Gins and Nuts
    No Waiting!

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012

    Vegetable Bake with Potato Topping - Gluten Free

    I belong to a group who cook meals for Mums with New Born Babies,
    They come home too soon after the birth, in my humble opinion.
    They are tired and occasionally need a meal, they can take out of the freezer,
    pop into the oven and serve

    The food we make, which is really tasty, is definitely not Gluten Free or Vegetarian
    so I have devised 3 dishes that will suit. In the Central Auckland Area there are quite a few people who follow the Halal diet and this has been perfect for them.

    This first dish is really a take on Cauliflower Cheese, 
    I have added a Potato Top, just to make it more filling
    This amount will fill 4 foil containers.
    Each of the containers, (which are the size of take out food containers) should feed 2 adults.
    Perhaps a salad on the side.  
    When I mash my potatoes I use a potato ricer for the best results
    but a normal old potato masher will do
    Multi tasking. Vege and potatoes cooking. White sauce on the go

    Vegetable Bake with Potato Topping 
    150 gms butter 
    5 tablespoon Gluten Free Cornflour 
    1 litre whole milk 
    1 bay leaf 
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

     1 large onion chopped 
    1 stick celery finely chopped 
    100 gms grated cheese 

    Extra grated cheese for topping 

    3 carrots peeled and sliced 
    1/2 cauliflower broken into florets 
    1 cup frozen peas  

    1 kg (preferably Agria) Potatoes (All round mashing and baking potato)
    100 mls hot milk 
    20 gms cold butter 

    Melt butter 
    Add onion and celery
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    Cook till tender
    Add cornflour 
    Stir well and just cook out for about 3 minutes
    Meanwhile heat milk with a bay leaf 
    (I use the microwave)
    Add to onion and celery mix a slosh at a time
    Stirring all of the time till thickened

    Add 100 gms grated cheese stir well

    Don't have it too thick, consistency of a custard is good

    Meanwhile, while you are making the sauce
    Into a pot of salted boiling water
    Add Carrots and cauliflower 
    Cook till just tender
    Add frozen peas just for a few minutes
    Drain (Reserve the liquid it is a nice stock)
    Add vege to cheese sauce 
    Put into containers

    Also, meanwhile
    Peel and cut potatoes into chunks 
    Cook till tender in salted water
    Mash with 100 mls of hot milk 
    Beat in 20 gms cold butter and you should have perfect mashed potatoes

    Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed 
    Lay potatoes over the vege 
    Brush up with a fork
    Sprinkle some grated cheese over the top 

    Bake about 30 minutes
    Until potato topping is golden and sauce bubbling
    A good couple of hours work, notice the wine glass. Well deserved. I feel.
    3 different dishes for 4 different families