Monday, 29 April 2013

book 1 - anglaise

Sleeplessly I watch over the spring night, but no measure of guarding is enough to make it stay.


2 egg yolks
25 grams sugar
1 vanilla pod (or some essence)
250ml milk

Place milk and vanilla pod onto stove and bring to the boil.  Whisk yolks and sugar and whisk in boiling milk.  Return mix to gentle heat and stir constantly.  Sauce is ready when glossy and just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  To serve, drizzle around a tart.

Friday, 26 April 2013

book 1 - creamy chicken in a bag (original recipe) and flour tortillas

Creamy Chicken in a Bag (serves four)

2 organic chicken breasts
100 ml cream
2 carrots
1 orange (peeled)
200 grams button mushrooms
2 tablespoons minced garlic
handful fresh thyme sprigs
finely ground black pepper

Slice chicken breasts into strips approximately 1 cm wide.  Put into a large oven bag and pour in the cream.  Slice the carrots thinly.  Chop the orange into thick chunks and then chop the capsicu and white button mushrooms.  Add to the bag.

Add the garlic, thyme sprigs (keep whole), salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the content sof the bag by hand and flatten bag as much as possible.

Bake in oven preheated to 220C for 45-60 minutes (until chicken is fully cooked).  Laddle out contents into bowls.

Best served with roasted vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, and rosemary potatoes) and slices of sourdough bread (which can be used to soak up the remaining sauce from the plate).

Flour Tortillas

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup warm water

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the oil and stir briefly through the flour, then gradually add the warm water.  Once the dough is kneadable, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minute.  Divide into 10-12 pieces and form these into balls.  Cover, and leave to stand for 15-30 minutes.

Roll out each ball of dough until it forms a circule about 20 cm across.

Heat lightly oiled frying pan and cook dough circles for 30-60 seconds per side.  Use a damp clean cloth to keep cooked tortilla soft until serving.  Wrap around fillings for burritos.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

book 1 - leek flan and calzone filling ideas

Leek flan
For a 20-30 cm flan

1 uncooked pastry pie crust
3 small leeks (about 500 grams)
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup of water
3 eggs
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Roll out pastry to fit a 20-30cm flan dish.
Slice washed leeks into 5mm rings.  Cook leeks and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes without the butter browning and then add the water and cook until tender. Raise the heat and let the rest of the water evaporate.
Beat the eggs, sour cream, grated cheese, milk and salt together.
Remove the leeks from the heat and allow to cool.  Add to the egg mixture.  Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
Bake at 220C for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has set in the centre.

Calzone filling ideas
Fresh Napoletana sauce, mozzarella, bocconcini and mushrooms, roasted potato, zucchini and eggplant, with a hint of chilli and brushed with a light herb oil.

Fresh Napoletana sauced baked pumpkin and taliegio cheese, with layers of baby spinach, freshly sliced tomatoes, Spanish onion, basil and mozzarella, brushed with extra virgin oilive oil.

Fresh Napoletana sauce, roasted pumpkina and eggplant, pineapple, Danish salami, semi dried tomatoes and jalapenos, with mozzarella cheese and coated in olive oil.

Fresh Napoletana sauce, filled with mushrooms, eggplant, artichoke, pineapple and onion, finished with parmesan and mozzarella cheese and a dollop of basil and pinenut pesto.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

book 1 - greek pasta with avocado sauce, zucchini fritters, barbecued asparagus with honey mustard dressing

Greek pasta with avocado sauce
This is an unusual sauce with a pale green colour, studded with red tomato.  It has a luxurious, velvety texture.  The sauce is rather rich, so you don't need much of it!

3 ripe tomatoes
2 large ripe avocados
25 grams butter, plus extra for pasta
Salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
350ml cream
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Halve the tomatoes and remove the cores.  Squeeze out the seeds and dice the flesh.  Set aside.
Halve the avocados and remove the stones and peel.  Roughly chop the flesh.  If hard-skinned, scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the garlic.  Cook for 1 minute and then add the cream and chopped avocados.  Increase the heat, stirring constantly to break up the avocados.
Add the diced tomatoes and season to taste with salt, pepper and a little Tabasco sauce.  Keep the mixture warm.
Cook pasta.  Drain well through a colander and toss with a knob of butter.
Scoop pasta onto plates and then spoon over the sauce.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with a spoonful of sour cream.

Zucchini fritters

1/4 cup self-raising flour
sea salt and cracked black pepper (or 1 clove of garlic, crushed)
2 tablespoons of grated horseradish (or 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan)
3 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of oil
lemon wedges, to serve

Place the eggs, flour, salt, paper and horseradish in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the zucchini and stir to combine.  Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Cook 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture, in batches, for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden.
Drain on absorbent paper.  Serve with the lemon wedges.

Barbecued asparagus with honey mustard dressing

Olive oil
Lemon juice
Seeded mustard

Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and char grill or barbecue for 1-2 minutes or until tender.  Combine lemon juice, honey and seeded mustard and pour over.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

book 1 - corn fritters and chicken, camembert and plum parcels

Corn Fritters
For 2 servings:

1 egg
1 can creamed corn or whole kernel corn (or, even better, the corn kernels off 4 fresh corn cobs)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes/powder
4 tablespoons oil (a high burning point oil, such as coconut oil is best)

In a bowl place the egg.  Then add the corn. Mix.
Add flour, baking powder and chilli powder and stir with a fork until the mixture is just dampened.  Do not overmix.
Drop teaspoons for the fritter batter into a pan of hot oil about 1 cm deep.
Turn the fritters as soon as they are brown on the bottom.  Keep warm on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the extra oil.

Chicken, Camembert and Plum Parcels
Serves 4

500 grams chicken breast
4 tablespoons plum sauce
8 pieces of filo pastry
50 grams butter, melted
2 tablespoons sesame and poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Heat oil in a frying pan and brown chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side.  Layer two sheets of filo together with melted butter.  Top with one chicken breast, quarter the camembert and quarter the plum sauce.  Wrap up, folding in the side to form a parcel.   Place on a lined baking tray, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds.  Bake for 25 minutes until golden.  Service with mixed salad.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

book 1 - italian baked stuffed peaches, my grandmother's apple pie

Italian Baked Stuffed Peaches
Serves 2

Assume that the peaches have been picked the way that connoisseurs say they should be - stroked off the tree with a fond and delicate hand, using a gentle rotary movement.  Then take sensuality a little further and cook them this beautiful way.

2 large peaches
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg yolk
30 grams butter
90 grams crushed amaretti biscuits

Halve the peaches, no need to skin them, and remove the stones.  In a bowl mix together the sugar, egg yolk butter cut into small pieces and amaretti crumbs.  Scoop out a little pulp from each peach half, chop finely and mix with the stuffing mixture.  Use to stuff each peach half.

Arrange the peach halves in a buttered shallow ovenproof dish, pour around a little white wine or water, just enough to cover base.  Bake in a preheated moderate oven at 180C for about 30 minutes or until tender.  Serve hot with cream.

My Grandmother's Apple Pie
Serves 4

Quick Flakey Pastry:
For one thinly rolled double crust in a 20cm diameter pie dish.

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 grams butter, grated with a cheese grater
1 teaspoon wine vinegar

Mix the flour and baking powder.  Add grated butter and rub into the dry mixture.
Mix the liquids together.  Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture slowly to make a fairly stiff dough.  Cut dough into two pieces and roll out thinly for the base and top of the pie.

Apple Pie
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4-6 apples
25 grams butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Make the flakey pastry.  Roll out thinly and evenly on a lightly floured board, to form two rounds a little bigger than the pie plate.  Put one piece into the pie tin with the edges overhanging.

Put sugar and flour in a bowl.  Coarsely slice apples and toss them into the sugar-flour mixture.  Pour melted butter over the apple and add cloves.  Toss to mix.  Put apple into pastry lined tin.  Dample surface of remaining pastry and place on apple, dampened side down.

Press two layers of pastry together.  Flute or fork edges if desired.  Brush with beaten egg for glaze.

Bake at 220C until golden brown, and the apple is tender when tested with a skewer.

Serve warm with ice-cream or yoghurt.

Variation: Replace apple with blueberry and pear.

Monday, 11 February 2013

book 1 - the beginnings

I took two boxes of paper with me when I left home as a teenager: one of magazine images I'd collected and another of recipe snippets.  Shortly thereafter, someone gave me a blank book for my birthday, and my first book of recipes was bron.

This blog is for all the friends who have enjoyed flicking through my books on their visits to our teeny apartment. Here are my books and my recipes for you.

Table of contents:

Chapter pages:

End pages: