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    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Recycling Food - Leftovers Turned Into More Leftovers - 3 meals - 3 days

    Lunch today, Risotto Cakes,  Fabulous.

    In the weekend, I whipped up some soup from the vegetable bin, in the fridge,
    Celery, Butternut, onion, some leftover chicken stock, Very Simple
    Plenty for 4 people
    We didn’t eat it all, we were off to a party and thought we should have a small bowl, to line our stomachs. The remainder went into the fridge.
    So last night, I thought I would be a little more creative, than just a bowl of soup and toast for dinner.

    Let’s make risotto.
    I also had some leftover marinated feta, that I had bought from Farro Fresh in the weekend.
    Also for  a little extra zing, a dash of Sriracha Sauce

    It was really tasty and very easy.
    1 onion finely chopped
    Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    2 cups Arborio Rice
    Slosh White wine
    4-5 cups of leftover soup. You may need to thin it down so that it is the consistency of stock

    2 tablespoons Marinated Feta in Olive Oil
    Dash of Sriracha Sauce (optional)

    Gently saute the onion in olive oil till translucent
    Season with S & P
    Add Rice and stir well

    Cook about 2-3 minutes to toast it a little
    Add wine, cook till absorbed
    Meanwhile, have the soup gently simmering on the stove

    Start adding the soup, gradually,
    A ladelful at a time
    stirring well till liquid absorbed
    Continue cooking, till rice is just cooked and the risotto is creamy, almost soupy in fact
    Add marinated Feta and extra olive oil
    and dash of Sriracha Sauce if you are using it.

    Serve in bowls, best way to eat, this kind of food I think.
    Of course I made too much

    Solution. Risotto Cakes

    Take your leftover Risotto
    There was about 2 cups left
    2 rashers bacon chopped finely and sauteed till crisp
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    Add an egg to bind

    1 cup Breadcrumbs (I used Panko Crumbs)
    4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan Cheese

    Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together on a plate

    In a large bowl, add risotto, sauteed bacon and parsley

    Add beaten egg
    Mix well this mixture was quite wet
    So I added 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs mix just to dry it out a bit

    Roll into cakes and pat them flat
    Coat with the remainder of breadcrumbs

    Pop into the fridge for an hour or so just to solidify

    Fry till crispy and golden in some vegetable oil
    Voila Lunch

    I served them with some Pear Chutney, supplied from our friends Derrick and Lorraine Woods
    Actually you don't need much chutney, they are very tasty on their own
    On Sunday, the family came over, so I made Italian Meatball Soup
    Click here for the recipe
    There were 9 of us
    I had preceded the soup, with a very tasty Aubergine Salad 
    Read the recipe in this post
    Threw some beautiful baguettes on the table
    Great lunch

    I didn't add pasta to the soup, before serving, as I wanted to keep it gluten free
    At lunch, I cooked the pasta and only added it to those who didn't care
    So there was at least 3 cups of soup left
    So on Monday, I cooked up 2 cups of penne

    Mixed together with the Meatball soup
    Placed it into a Gratin dish
    Meanwhile, I made a Bechamel sauce which I flavoured with the Marinated Feta

    Smothered the penne mix and baked for about 30 minutes at 180C
    There was enough for 4 people.
    So half of it went into the freezer for another day
    As my friend Mary said
    Great budgeting, absolutely no waste

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Kid Friendly Dinner - Crumbed Sausages with Savoury Sauce

    Back once again, to The Trusty Triple Tested Cookbook.
    It really does have some good basic food, that suits kids.
    These Crumbed Sausages with Savoury Sauce, have been very popular with the Grandkids
    Not the most attractive looking dish, but very tasty
    I went into the Posh Supermarket to buy the sausages, but I think basically the kids just like a good old fashioned Beef sausage, so off to the Supermarket Supermarket, I went.

    You can prepare this earlier on the day, and cook in the oven, just before you need it
    Will take about 10-15 minutes.

    I thought this time I would accompany the sausages with corn fritters
    This gets extra vege into the kids.
    Everyone likes Corn fritters, surely

    I used the base for my fritters in this recipe click here, to get the recipe,
    replacing the seafood and spinach with, frozen corn, red pepper and onion.
    2 sausages per person
    3 tablespoons Flour
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon water
    Breadcrumbs. As much as you need to coat the sausages, this will vary
    Oil for frying,  2-3 tablespoons

    ½ cup Ketchup
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 tablespoon soya sauce

    Place the sausages into a pot, cover with cold water
    Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2-3 minutes
    Drain, cool and remove skins

    Mix pepper into flour, on a plate
    Beat egg with water in a shallow bowl
    And lay breadcrumbs on a paper towel

    Dip skinned sausages into flour
    Then egg mix
    Finally into breadcrumbs

    Best to let them set, for at least 15 minutes
    Makes a better crust when you cook them

    In a medium hot pan
    Add oil
    Lightly brown the sausages all over
    Place into an oven dish

    You can leave them in the fridge till you need them

    When you are ready to go
    Preheat oven to 190C

    Combine all the Sauce Ingredients
    Pour sauce over the sausages, making sure each has a good coating
    Bake 10-15 minutes till golden

    Serve, as I did with Corn Fritters or
    Mashed potatoes and broccoli go well
    Kids seem to adore them

    We had leftovers
    So the next day, I cooked up some Cous cous
    Fried some chopped onion,
    Diced carrot and diced celery in olive oil
    Quantities up to you
    Cut up the leftover sausages into medium dice
    Threw onto the pan

    Mixed the lot into the hot Cous cous

    Excellent Brunch Idea - Scrambled Eggs and Mushrooms in a Toasted Bread Basket

    Been watching a bit of Jacques Pepin lately, he gave me an idea, which I have just cooked for our dinner. Jacques put a bit more effort into his mushrooms, but we liked these.
    Scrambled Eggs and Mushrooms in a Toasted Bread Basket

    Would make a great brunch recipe.

    Because the bread case required real bread, I especially made a loaf from my blog. A recipe that I stole from Michel Roux Jr
    Sensational bread you can find out how to make it here
    This is seriously very easy and if I can do you can

    So you need for 2 people
    2 slices Day old bread
    4 Eggs
    2tbs milk
    100 gms Mushrooms sliced
    Slosh of White wine
    Clove of garlic peeled and squashed

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Spring onion tops, chopped for garnish

    It's up to you how much butter and oil you use
    So I haven't  specified amounts

    Slice the bread into 1 inch/ 2.5 cm pieces
    Cut off the crusts
    Cut about 1cm inside the slice
    Carefully remove the crumb so you are left with a little square basket

    Melt approx 1 tsp butter per slice of bread, with the garlic
    Remove the garlic and set aside
    Brush the slice with the garlic butter
    All over and place on an oven tray

    Pre-heat the oven to 200c
    Bake the buttered basket
    for 7 minutes
    Remove and set aside

    Meanwhile add a dob of butter and the same amount of oil into a hot pan
    Add sliced mushrooms
    Season with S&P

    Toss around quickly
    Till they start to brown
    Slosh in a little white wine,

    Cook quickly till liquid absorbed
    Set aside

    Now quickly beat your eggs with the milk
    Season with S&P
    Scramble in a medium hot pan in melted butter

    Place bread case on plate'
    Fill with scrambled eggs
    Dress with mushrooms and garnish with spring onion tops
    or parsley if you'd rather


    This would be great for a crowd
    Prepare the bread case, butter them
    Set aside, till ready to cook

    Cook the mushroom
    Set aside
    At the last minute
    Cook the cases
    Reheat the mushrooms

    Cook the eggs

    Would go well with a Mimosa

    Saturday, September 06, 2014

    Seriously Good Cheddar, Date/Craisin and Orange Flaky Scones

    I am re-posting this blog. Today, I made scones to take up to the hospital.
    Found this on my blog and they were sooooo good.
    In the recipe below, you will note that I candied the orange peel, which is very very good.
    I didn't have time to bother with that, so I used the zest of 1 orange, also  No dates, so out came the trusty Craisins.
    If you are siting comfortably, then we'll begin!

    When we were on our road trip round New Zealand in 2008. I was on the hunt for the best Date Scones. Only found 3 I think, so I had to try my own.
    I believe the addition of orange is the secret
    You can candy the orange peel which is very simple.
    See below

    I have adapted The Cheddar and Thyme Biscuits/Scones recipe to make these delicious treats.
    From a previous post

    I like the idea of adding sugar to savoury muffins or scones.
    It gives the food such a lift
    This is a very good recipe

    Heat oven to 220C  Fan 200C

    2 cups flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    3 tablespoons white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    54 gms butter or margarine
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup /115 gms shredded Cheddar cheese
    1 cup chopped dates/ or 1 cup Craisins
    Candied zest of 1 orange chopped/or zest of 1 large orange

    So if you want to do the Date Candied orange way
    First candy the orange zest
    Zest the orange into strips with a potato peeler
    Cover with water bring to boil
    Drain and repeat
    Make a syrup ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar
    Bring to boil
    Add drained peel and simmer about 8 minutes
    Remove and chop

    Sift dry ingredients into large bowl
    Grate butter into flour
    and rub between fingers till it looks like breadcrumbs
    Or use a pastry cutter
    Add dates and orange zest (or craisins and raw orange zest)
    Toss the fruit in the flour mix
    Make a well and add cheese and milk.
    Mix quickly and you may need to add a little extra milk.
    I like the dough to be wet

    Turn out onto floured surface
    Knead gently to get together and pat out to about ¾ inch
    Cut into pieces
    I got 10 pieces
    Brush lightly with milk
    And place on oven tray I like to line my trays with baking paper.

    Cook 10 -12 minutes
    A beautiful mid morning snack…I think I have cracked it.

    Monday, September 01, 2014

    Mini Croissants - Best Appetisers - So Simple

    When the World Cup was on, I received a link to Jamie Oliver's daily "youtube" update, Food Tube. A young French Guy, (turns out that's what he calls himself), The French Guy, suggested making Mini Croissants, from bought puff pastry.
    I was first attracted by the version, using Nutella, I knew the kids would like that AND they did.
    So it is so simple
    Take a sheet of frozen puff pastry, cut it into a large circle and cut into triangles
    The pastry I use is 25cm x 25cm
    Out of that I got 8 triangles

    Beside the Nutella filling, for adults, the Chef offered 2 other ideas
    Pesto and Mozzarella
    Or Cheese and Ham, 
    I had mixed up a tasty Cream Cheese filling
    So so simple, just take about 100 gms cream cheese, 
    Mix well with some tubed Chilli and Basil
    Squeeze out around 2.5 cms of each herb. 
    Really to your taste
    By the way, you could add some chopped fresh Chilli and some chopped Fresh Basil
    but I really like to have these on hand
    You don't have to add anything else, this is just right, as Goldilocks would say
    I actually mixed this up, for a base for Pizza Blanca. Excellent. Had some left over so I thought this could be tasty in these croissants. Perfect
    Pre-heat your oven to 200C

    Take your triangle, spread the pesto over 2/3 of the triangle, leaving some space at the top
    Break the Mozzarella into small pieces and place on top
    From the bottom, roll them up one at a time
    Place onto baking sheet, lined with baking paper
    Press down and brush with an egg, beaten with a little water
    Below, the filling is the Cream Cheese mix, with a slice of shaved ham
    Bake till golden brown about 8-10 minutes could take a little longer, keep an eye on them
    Cool on a rack

    They are so popular. perfect to make for pre dinner drinks
    Or anytime for the kids

    Once again for the kids version
    Just smear the triangle with Nutella and follow the procedure as above, then bake

    In the last few years, I have also taken to making Pinwheels, to serve with drinks.
    Have a look at the method here

    Change that filling a la the croissants above
    Pesto and Mozzarella
    Or Ham and Cream Cheese Mixture
    One more use for this delicious Cream Cheese
    Spread onto a Blini, place some Smoked Salmon on top
    Little lemon juice and some cracked pepper
    Hey Presto, another delight
    This little batch, went up to the hospital, to give the beloved a wee treat. He loved them