Saturday, June 16, 2012

Russian Fish Pie

⅓ cup (65g) basmati rice
20g unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
150g Swiss brown mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
⅓ cup chopped dill
⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbs capers, rinsed, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped plus 1 beaten egg to brush
2 x 375g blocks frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used frozen sheets because that’s all I could buy)
800g skinless salmon fillet, pin-boned

Pre-heat oven to 2000C
Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cook the rice according to packet instructions, then cool completely.

Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a pan over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 5-6 minutes until softened.

Add the mushroom and cook for another 5-8 minutes until tender.

Stir in the turmeric and toss to coat, then add the rice, herbs, capers, zest and chopped egg. Season and allow to cool.

On a floured surface, roll out 1 of the blocks of pastry to 5mm thick. Trim to a 30cm x 20cm rectangle. Place on the prepared tray and place salmon on top. Season, then top with rice. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg. Roll out the second block of pastry to generously cover the filling and place on top. Trim, leaving a 2 cm border, and press to seal. Use trimmings to decorate the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Serve warm.

The Story Behind the Recipe

This is a new recipe only ever tried on The MOTH for dinner one evening (actually two evenings because we had leftovers the next night).

It's going to be one of my all time favourite foods!

Source: Delicious Baking, Ed. Trudi Jenkins (2012) ABC Magazines.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Double Choc-Chip Cookies

125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 ½ cups (225g) plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
100g good quality chocolate, roughly chopped
100g while chocolate, roughly chopped

Pre-heat oven to 1800C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place butter and brown sugar in a bowl and heat with electric beaters until pale. Add vanilla and egg and continue to beat until just combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and fold to combine. Stir through the chunks of dark and white chocolate.
Place tablespoonfuls of mixture 4-5 cm apart on the tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 days (if you can).

N.B. I used just 200g dark chocolate instead of half white and half brown chocolate.

Makes 16 cookies.
The Story Behind the Recipe

"Mummy, you know how to make biscuits?" asked in wide-eyed wonder my 5 year old Crown Prince, who used to be the sous-chef to Diana's scone-making marathons if he was home from kindergarten in 1989.

I told him that anyone could cook anything they liked if they knew how to follow a recipe. After all, it was just like a science experiment, wasn't it?

The kids routinely made biscuits for weekday afternoon teas every Monday afternoon until the last child left home in 2004, and we had scones or banana loaf most Sunday afternoons. The Crown Prince was the ring leader in the Monday cookie making marathon, as you can imagine. It wasn't until he was about 10 years old that he settled on his favourite recipe - choc chip cookies.

This isn't exactly the recipe that David used back from 1995 until he left home in 2002, but it is pretty close to it. I've stopped worrying about domestic finances and calorie content and put in rich, dark chocolate of the sinful kind!

I wasn’t a confident cook when I was young. My aim with the kids in a kitchen was therefore to get them using a kitchen to its fullest capacity with confidence (i.e. learning to choose recipes, writing shopping lists by knowing what they used in the kitchen each week, learning how to cook, and cleaning up after themselves) and having fun (and maybe before they all left home have them cook one night per week each and eat pizza on pay-day Wednesdays).

It worked brilliantly! I still remember David making something for everyone to eat and comparing recipe picture in the book and what was on the plate in front of him. Nowadays, I often see on Facebook what he and Nadia have conjured up in their kitchen and when I am on the East Coast enjoy dinner at their place when I can.

Source: Delicious Baking book published 2012


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Choc Fudge

Preparation Time: 5 mins plus 1 hour chilling time
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 36 squares

100g unsalted butter, chopped
395g can sweetened condensed milk
200g dark brown sugar
3 tbl spoons golden syrup
170g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Line a 17 x 27cm slice tin with baking paper.
Put butter, condensed milk, sugar and syrup into a large microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine.
Cook on medium-high/75% for about 7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.

Add dark chocolate and vanilla paste.
Stir to combine and then beat, either using a wooden spoon or electric mixer, until chocolate is melted and mixture is glossy.
Spoon mixture into prepared tin and use a palette knife to smooth surface evenly.
Set aside to cool.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
Cut into 36 spares to serve.

N.B. I sprinkle the top with ¾ cup of unsalted mixed nuts over the fudge before chilling.

To cut the slice into smooth, clean squares, dip a large knife into hot water in between each cut.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, 05/12
First served for Mad Tea Party April 2012.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Salted Spice Choc-Caramel Slice

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins plus 4 hours chilling time
Serves: 12

¾ cup plain flour
½ cup brown sugar
120g unsalted butter, chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon

50g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ cup golden syrup
1tsp ground cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 Earl Grey tea bag
395g can condensed milk

220g dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
1tsp good-quality sea-salt flakes

Pre-heat over to 1600C and line base of a 20cm spring-form tin with baking paper.

Put flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a food processor and process until combined.

Press mixture evenly into prepared tim. Smooth surface and bake for 14-16 minutes.

To make the caramel filling, put butter, golden syrup, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and tea bag in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Gradually bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove and discard the teabag.

Add condensed milk to pan.

Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes, or until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened. Remove cinnamon stick from pan and discard.

Pour mixture over slice base.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Remove from heat and set aside until caramel is firm.

To make topping, put chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of boiling water and heat until almost melted. Remove from heat and then stir until smooth.

Spoon topping over caramel filling smoothing with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle sea-salt flakes over the top and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.

Cut into wedges and serve.

N.B. I double the filling mixture and use a square tin instead of a round one. The teabag adds a lovely rich flavour but you can leave it out.

To cut the slice into smooth, clean squares, dip a large knife into hot water in between each cut.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, 05/12
First served for Mad Tea Party April 2012.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Libby's Tiramisu Ice-cream

2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1/3 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons coffee flavoured liqueur (Kahlua or Tia Maria)
1 x 600ml carton thickened cream
1 x 395g sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup milk
10 sponge finger biscuits
50g dark chocolate, grated

Line a deep 20cm round cake pan with plastic wrap, extending plastic 5cm above edge of pan
Dissolve coffee in water, add liqueur, cool.
Beat cream and condensed milk in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Add half of the coffee mixture and beat until combined with cream & condensed milk.
Pour half that mixture into prepared pan.
Combine the remaining coffee mixture with the milk.
Dip the sponge biscuits (one by one) into this mixture and arrange them in a single layer on top of the cream.
Top with remaining cream mixture.
Sprinkle evenly with chocolate.
Cover, freeze for several hours or overnight.

Serve with fruit.

The Story behind the recipe

We lived in a very social neighbourhood during our Brisbane years. Libby & Stan were near neighbours, and along with Dianne & Garry, we’d have these delicious get-togethers. One night, Libby produced this wonderful but simple dessert with stewed strawberries.

The rest is Blue Book history!


Friday, June 18, 2010

David’s French Onion Soup

You will need:

90g butter
4 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 x 470g cans beef consommé
3 cups water
Salt, pepper
⅓ cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 clove garlic, extra
1 stick French bread
250g Swiss cheese
60g parmesan cheese, grated

Heat butter in large pan, add onions and garlic and sauté gently until onions are golden brown.
Add flour and stir until combined

Add sugar, undiluted soup, water, salt, pepper, and red wine.
Stir until combined.

Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sherry and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Cut bread into cm (½ inch) thick slices. You will need 12 slices of bread.
Melt extra butter in pan, add crushed garlic, stir until combined.
Brush bread slices on both sides with butter mixture.
Place bread slices under hot griller until golden brown on one side.
Do not brown other side of bread.

Pour soup into large flame proof bowl, place bread (toasted side up) onto soup.
Sprinkle with combined cheeses.
Place hot soup bowl under griller to melt the cheese.

If you don’t have a griller big enough to accommodate the bowl, melt the cheese on toast under griller and then place in bowls. Pou on hot soup after.

Serves 6 hungry family members

The Story Behind the Recipe

This soup recipe was one of the Crown Prince’s first attempts at feeding the family. It was pre-1992, so he must have been 8 or 9 years old, at the time. It was an instant hit with the family!

Recipe souce: Women’s Weekly's Cooking Class Cookbook


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Kashmiri Roast Lamb

1 x 2kg leg of lamb
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbl spoons lemon juice  
(extras: for a more elaborate version, the lamb is marinated for two days in the refridgerator, and a mixture of yoghurt, saffron, ground almonds and honey can be poured over the lamb as well)

Pre-heat the oven to 1800C.
Trim any fat from lamb and carefully remove parchment-like skin.
With the point of a sharp knife, score the flesh lightly.
Combine ginger, crushed garlic with salkt garam masala, cummin and lemon juice and rub well all over meat.
Place in a roasting pan, pour 1 cup of hot water into pan and roast in a moderate oven for two hours, basting occasionally.

Serve with rice, chapatis or roast potatoes.

The Story Behind the Recipe

Recipe first tried in my first year of marriage: 1980.
It has been a family favourite ever since.

Make an Apple Streusal Pie for dessert.