Thursday 24 July 2014

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins 

I followed a new recipe with almond meal & coconut flour. When I put mixture into patty papers I thought it was going to be a dismal failure, but I was delighted with the outcome. 

2.5 cups almond meal
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp vanilla 
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup Blueberries

Step 1. dry ingredien
Step 1. Put all dry ingredients into the bowl

Step 2. Add wet ingredients & mix together.
It's very thick at this stage.

Step 3. Fold in Blueberries

Step 4. Portion mixture into 12 patty papers in a muffin pan. 

Step 5. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown in a pre-heated oven 170c. 

As mentioned before, I was concerned at this stage that I'd failed. The mix was thick & gluggy.
The almond meal & blueberries were delicious!
The calorie count for each muffin is approx; 200 calories. 

Curried Sausages

Curried Sausages 
Curried Sausages

It was decided, Curried Snags for dinner! Not those different spices, just the old Keens Curry Powder. 

Bec & I love trying Thai or Indian Currys', but Keens Curry was the old original curry powder used in most households in Australia in our Era. It's a favourite, easy to prepare & even great the next day for leftovers. I usually always make extra.

12 thick beef snags, pork or thin can be used
pumpkin, 3 carrots, 1 onion,
 6 cloves garlic, capsicum
1 tabs beef stock powder
2 tabs Keens curry powder
3 tabs plain flour & 1 cup water to make a paste for gravy
Potatoes for mashed spuds & fresh beans to serve with snags.

Peal spuds, add water bring to boil.
add beans to pot & let them boil for 3 mins,
then remove them until serving.
Step 2. Heat fry pan, add a dob of butter
Step 1.
Peal spuds, add water to pot, boil to until potato is soft. I piggyback the beans, cooking them for several minutes, removing them until you serve.

Step 4. Add water.

Step 3. Add in the curry powder
                                                         Step 2. 
Heat the fry pan, add a dob butter, then add in onions, capsicum & garlic, stir until brown or slightly transparent.

Step 3.Add the curry & beef powders to pan, stirring while heating 
the spices to release the flavours.

Step 4.
Add snags to pan, then add water to half way cover snags. Step 5. Add pumpkin & carrots, place a lid on the pan, bring to the boil, then turn hotplate down & simmer until snags & veggies are cooked. Pumpkin will break down becoming part of the gravy. (this was my adaption to the dish).

Step 5.
Step 6. Add flour paste to the pan, stirring & bringing to the boil. Simmer for several minutes. Mash spuds, if you add the beans just before the potatoes are cooked, the beans won't need reheating. 
Step 6.

It was brought to my attention, "How did sausages get the name snags?"
I think 'snag' is the link when tying sausages, a snag. 
 Aussie & Cockney slang play a big part in our language, sandwiches become sangers, Butchers' hook means Look, Bangers & Mash means Cash.  My dad's favourite was "Pass the dead horse" meaning Tomato Sauce. 

            I hope you enjoy this recipe, as with all my recipes, use seasonal vegetables, make life easier on yourself, keep it simple & get the kids to wash their dishes in the sink of hot soapy water that's waiting for them after dinner, BEFORE DESSERT. I hope this works for you also.                                                                                                                                                               

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Oyster Blade or Mongolian Beef

Nostalgia versus A New Recipe!

Ingredients for 2 recipes using Oyster Blade.

2 for the Price of 1! 

I was going to cook an old Nostalgic Dish I first cooked before I followed my favourite recipe books. Mum & Dad used to braise the meat for most of our meals, whether it was lamb chops or rump steak. When I cooked this way back when down at the beach house, also a trip down memory lane,
Ingredients & Instructions:
 I'd brown the rump steak, (today I'm using Oyster Blade) add in 1 diced onion, 1/2 capsicum, 1 stem celery, a small handful of rice, 2 stock beef cubes, dash of soy sauce & some water. Stirring occasionally to avoid burning , it would simmer for about 20 mins. At this stage add about 1 tablespoon of plain flour
The recipe is according to taste & portions needed. Oyster Blade has a delicious texture, with the gristle turning to jelly in a short time. 
It was known as 'Poor Man's Fillet' back in the good old days, I know 'cos my mum in law told me.  :) Lena would toss slices of Oyster Blade in plain flour seasoned with salt & pepper. Fry this up, browning both side & cook for 15 mins & you have a delicious steak, add a little water, stock cube & you'll have a gravy & delicious meal to serve with mashed spuds.
Braised Oyster Blade & Cabbage.

Braised Cabbage & veggies in the fridge.

Today I'm serving Braised Cabbage with the Oyster Blade.
I cooked the veggies before my Mongolian Beef, so I'd only use 1 pan.
Ingredients: Chinese Cabbage, onion, capsicum, carrot, dob of butter, spoon of garlic. I didn't need to add salt as flavour was perfect.

Brown garlic, ginger, add soy sauce,
water, sugar & cook for 3 mins.

Mongolian Beef

When I saw this recipe on Just a Taste I just had to try it. So I took some of the Oyster Blade from the first recipe to experiment.

Step 1. I used a teaspoon sesame oil &rice bran oil, added it to the hot saucepan, then added chopped 5 cloves chopped garlic & 1 teaspoon grated ginger. Add 1/3 cup low-salt soy sauce, 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup brown sugar & stir. Cooking for 3 mins then set it aside. (I used less sugar than in the recipe)

Step 2. I'd already cut some Oyster Blade into strips, now I coated them in 1/4 cup of corn flour, placing the meat into a sieve to shake off excess flour. Let the meat rest for 10 mins for the flour to be absorbed.

Step 3. Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a fry pan (I used less than specified amount, as I don't normally deep fry food), then add meat when the oil is hot, turning it & browning without cooking meat through.
Remove meat from pan & drain on the paper bag from your Butcher.
Step 4. Drain oil from pan, reheat pan, then add soy sauce mix from the saucepan. The sauce should boil quickly, now add the meat to the sauce stirring & cooking to reduce sauce until meat becomes a sticky consistency. 

TIP: Definitely use low salt soy sauce. 

Mongolian Beef on Braised Cabbage

I loved this method of cooking the Asian Style Beef, but wouldn't make this as a regular 'cos of the sugar & oil content. But definitely worth the effort. Authentic finish.

Delicious Avocado & Cocoa Mousse
 made by Bec! Will add recipe in next blog
Braising Oyster Blade in veggies & rice.

Monday 14 July 2014

Juices, Soups & Veges

I Did It Again,
Refreshing Juices & Avocado
 I Played with Your Heart

Yes, That Britney Spears song…….da, da, da, da, daaaa. Don’t ask me the rest of the lyrics, the first line kept going through my head.

Why?  Well I decided to make a veggie juice for breakfast, which turned into making a soup, as well as preparing some healthy snacks for lunch & during the week.

Lemon & Lime Juice & more...
 I have a habit, where I decide to juice or cook & it escalates to 3 hrs in the kitchen cooking several different meals. Handy for cleaning out the fridge & having some meals over the next few days, but feeling a little possessed.

Today’s juice (I made two, one for Bec’s taste & a spicier one to mix for myself)

Juice 1. Pineapple wedges, kiwi fruit, green apples, celery, small slice of ginger & several mint leaves in the juicer.

Juice 2. Green apple, carrot, beetroot, big knob of ginger, knob of galangal & Parsley. I mixed a little of juice 1 into my red juice for a sweeter treat.

Juice 3. Lemon, Lime, Honey & a sprig of Mint. For this juice I used the original orange squeezer, added boiled water to the honey & mixed the ingredients together. In my jug, there’s an infuser where I added wedges of the citrus & mint.

Vegetable Soup

Roasted veggie Soup

I was ready to cut up the vegetables I put aside & decided to roast them. So it was renamed ‘Roast Vegetable Soup’

 I used all the different vegetables I had in the fridge, I was inspired by Bec’s Veal Shank casserole she’d made earlier this week. The sauce consisted of a tomato, herb with chunks of celery.

In the casserole dish went

·         1 potato
·         Some pumpkin

·         2 zucchinis

·         4 tomatoes

·         2 medium onions

       ·         3 celery sticks & leaves

·         2 large carrots

·         2 chicken & 2 beef stock cubes

·         Splash of soy sauce

·         Splash of sweet soy sauce
Pureed Roasted Vegetables

·         Sprig of basil

·         Very light sprinkle of mixed herbs

·         1 tablespoon of tomato paste

·         2 cups of water

I mixed the ingredients well, covered with a lid & put it in the oven at about 180c for 1 hour, turned the vegetables & placed back in the oven uncovered for another 30mins.

When it cooled I added some more water, wizzed it with my stick blender, tasted to see if it needed any more seasoning. I added 2 more stock cubes & brought it to the boil. When it cooled I stored it some containers for a few meals.

Avocado, Salt, Pepper & Lemon Juice

Avocado Dip

To keep the avocado fresh I scooped it out & added fresh lemon juice to it, some salt & pepper & mashed it together.

Fennel in balsamic

 I've already posted this recipe, but it’s simple. Wash & slice the fennel bulb, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, olive oil & balsamic vinegar. It’s a nice refreshing snack.

Cauliflower or Rice

   Cauliflower or Rice? 

 I decide to cook a Favourite of ours tonight! White Risotto & Rib Fillet

 Thinking about a vegetable to accompany the meal & thinking a little bit Paleo or low carb, I thought of substituting the Rice with Cauliflower. Now this wouldn't do for Steve, so my mission was to cook both & compare. 

What do you Prefer? Cauliflower or Rice
Ingredients for our recipe, I forgot to show peas here.

Step 2. Dice onion, garlic & rosemary.
 Ingredients for White Risotto
1.5 cups med grain rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 onion
5 cloves garlic
Rosemary, Salt, Pepper, Butter

Step 1. Add about 6 cups of water to saucepan & bring to the boil. I add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add in the Rice,  boiling for about 15 mins until tender.
Step 2. Dice onion, garlic & rosemary.
Step 3. Heat fry pan, add butter then add onion, garlic & rosemary, cooking until soft & slightly brown. Add peas to boiling rice.
Step 3. Frying the onion, garlic, rosemary.
Boiling rice & cauliflower.

 Step 4. Strain rice & return it to the pan. Then mix in the fried onions & Parmesan Cheese.
Step 4. Rice & Peas
 The Cauliflower Version is a little quicker.
Step 1. Boil water in a saucepan, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, then add chopped stem of cauliflower, peas, then florets of cauliflower, boiling for a few minutes until tender.
Step 2. Strain the cauliflower mix, return to pot, gently stir in the cooked onion mix (step 3 of the rice recipe) & Parmesan Cheese.
Mixing in the cooked onion mix

Cauliflower & Peas
 Rib Fillet marinated in Garlic & Rosemary.
Heat a little butter in hot fry pan & then add in the steak. I sliced it thin, so brown each side & it's just about done. 'Minute Steak'

 TIP: Always read the labels.
I wondered why my food had been a little tastier & inky looking, so I checked the black jar in the photo & it turned out to be salt. It looked like Black Pepper to me! Black Cyprus Salt.

White Risotto & Rib Fillet.

Cauliflower Version

What's your preference? Cauliflower or Rice..........

I'd love to hear from you & let me know if you try the recipes. Taste as you mix & add more garlic or salt if needed. Romano Cheese will increase the flavour as well. 

Bon Appetit & Vi auguriamo una Buono Salute!