Monthly Archives: May 2012

Kedgeree

Gotta say, this is one of my favourite dishes, how could it not be? The individual components are fantastic- smoked fish, hardboiled eggs, spiced rice- and when they come together it’s sublime. Surprisingly, given the amount of butter in this dish, it’s light, but the butter does give it a real comfort food feeling. And speaking of butter, David Lebovitz, who writes one of my favourite food blogs, has just written a damn good post on what he eats. He is a butter lover, not afraid to hide it.Reminds me very much of one of my favourite sayings “everything in moderation, even moderation”. So, yup, this dish has lots of butter, and what?

On the night I made this, I had bustled up to Mum and Dad’s with the purpose of doing some study, lugging textbooks with me (catcall along the way “Hey girl, that’s a really big book”. Well yup, yup it is). This is great food for when you’re studying, it’s quick to whip up, and you can grab a steaming bowl and curl up with your books.

Kedgeree- Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef

Serves 4

250g rice

1 bay leaf

a small handful of peppercorns

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

150g butter

2 heaped tsp curry powder

375g smoked fish

6 hardboiled eggs, sliced into wedges

Juice of 1 lemon + Lemon wedges to serve

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt it well. Add rice, bay leaf and peppercorns and boil, stirring occasionally, until the rice is nearly cooked. Drain well and remove bay leaf and peppercorns.

In a large pan or wok, melt butter over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Then add the curry powder and cook for a minute, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, fish and rice to the pan, heat through, then gently fold in the hardboiled eggs. Serve in warm bowls with lemon wedges.

Delicious. Next time I make this, I’m gonna try making it more fragrant, not quite sure how I’ll do this yet, but maybe playing around with spices added to the rice when it’s cooking, or making my own curry powder. Also, I’ll add something green and herby, lots of it.

 

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Chicken Noodle Soup

In these days of Southerlies, a flat so cold I can see my breath when I wake up in the morning, and frustrating assignments, there is only one thing that can keep me going: Chicken Noodle Soup!

Here’s the good news: If you can boil water in a pan, you can make this soup! Seriously, that’s pretty much all it takes. Also, this makes HEAPS, yay, which meant that I could have chicken noodle soup for lunch and dinner the following day and the next day too, happy, frozen girl. The recipe I used had no vegetables, so I added some, because it feels bad bad bad to have a meal without veggies. I urge you all to make this and keep warm and rugged up.

Chicken Noodle Soup Adapted from Made by Hand by Julie Le Clerc

serves 6

1L liquid chicken stock

750 mL water

350g (ish) chicken mince

250g rice vermicelli noodles

2 bunches of bok choy, washed and chopped

3 spring onions, sliced thinly

Good handful of coriander, roughly chopped

Chili sauce (I used Huffman’s Hot Sauce- hooray!), soy sauce and lemon wedges to serve

Put chicken stock and water in a large pan or wok and bring to the boil. Once boiling put in chicken mince and boil for 5 minutes, breaking up the mince if it goes clumpy. In the last couple of minutes of cooking add in the rice vermicelli and the bok choy. When cooked, divide into bowls, sprinkle with spring onion and bok choy. Serve with soy sauce, chili sauce and lemon wedges, let people add as much or as little to their taste.

The chili gives some heat and the soy sauce adds to the depth of flavour and I love that the spring onion, lemon and coriander give a little ray of lightness, dee-lightful. This soup is so warming, nourishing even. It warms you from the inside out (effect is heightened of course if you add lots of chili harhar), I think at this time of year we all need some nourishment, so grab some soup, wrap up in a blanket and grab your favourite book- wonderful.

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Chickpea Curry

This week was one of those times where you realise that you have no. money. what. so. ever. So how do you cook dinner for your flatmates when this happens?

Answer: buy things in cans and cook them with spices then serve with rice. Done and done.

What a happy coloured dish! All up I think this cost under $10- boom! Plus it’s seriously quick, on the night in question I cooked this for my flatmates and then also managed to cook for my family and no one ate too late (this included about an hour on the bus in rush hour). Nigella eat your heart out.

Chickpea Curry- Recipe by little ol’ me

Serves 5ish

2-3 tsp rice bran oil

1 onion, chopped finely

3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

2 large red chillies, chopped roughly

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp Garam masala

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

2x cans of tomatoes

2x cans of chickpeas

salt, sugar to taste

1 small can of coconut cream

Pop the rice bran oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Throw in onion and a pinch of salt, cooking until the onions are soft. Add garlic and chillies and cook for a futher couple of minutes without browning. Add spices and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes until spices are fragrant. At this point drain and rinse chickpeas and pop them in the pot with the cans of tomatoes, salt and sugar. Simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, until curry has reduced and looks saucy not soupy. Taste and adjust seasoning, then stir in coconut cream and cook for another couple of mins. Serve with fluffy rice.

So, I have a bit of a reputation for not really measuring spices and inadvertently making things to spicy to eat, this dish sorta toed the line, but it was still pretty yum! The coconut cream makes it rather velvety, which is definitely needed to balance out the spice.

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How to make feijoa jam and watch River Cottage at the same time….

Tonight I did battle with my sugary nemesis, JAM!

And guess what….

I WIN!
So here, dear friends, are the fruits (harhar) of my hard labour in the ad breaks of River Cottage (and a little bit after if I’m honest).
JAMJAMJAM

So here is my very own recipe for jam that is easy enough to make late night, midweek. Jam to text your Mum about (yup I did, still waiting on a reply, sigh), jam to slather so thickly on toast that people ask “Would you like some toast with your jam?”… so witty… and you can happily reply “NA BRO!”.

Feijoa and Ginger Jam

 

1kg Feijoas, flesh scooped out and sliced roughly

2 and 3/4 C sugar (reduce if you would like it less sweet)

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped finely

1/4 C water

Wash jars in hot, soapy water and pop them in an oven at 120°C for 20 mins, hey presto, sterilisation! Meanwhile, put all jam ingredients into a heavy bottomed pan over a moderate heat and bring to the boil, stirring often.

Boil for a couple of minutes til soft then boil hard for about 10 minutes then test for set (don’t stop stirring, jam will burrrrnnnn!). To test for set, chuck a saucer into the freezer, bring it out and pop a wee dollop of jam on, wait for a couple of seconds to cool then push your finger through. If there is a wrinkle ahead of your finger, jam is set. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, seal and label.

Man, this jam made my house smell good. Full of feijoa-y perfumed goodness and a subtle kick of ginger, this is gonna make my breakfast time very happy!

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Perfect Beef Fillet

Hi friends, are you drooling? You probably should be. I’m going to share with you a recipe from my Aunt and cousins on how to get a perfect fillet of beef every time, without hassle, without strife.

Simply take your fillet and marinate it in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and horseradish for a couple of hours. Preheat your oven to 200°C, then heat up a large, heavy fry pan til it’s really rather hot and sear your beef quickly on all sides then place in the oven for half an hour. Remove from the oven, place on a serving plate and rest for at least 20 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with potatoes, a green salad and plenty more horseradish.

This dish, I must say, is an ex-vegetarians dream. The beef absolutely melts in your mouth and the marinade lends a subtle sweetness.Very rich and very let’s-have-seconds. Would be fantastic the day after in a crusty sourdough roll with strong mustard and rocket.

That night we also roasted some tomatoes, which turned into little, succulent sauce-bombs.

And since we were celebrating Mum’s birthday, I made up the salad below according to her request.

Fennel and Radish Salad

Thinly slice 3 washed radishes and one trimmed fennel bulb. Place in a bowl with a mix of rocket and other lettuce that takes your fancy. To make the dressing combine 2 Tbsp of oil, 1 Tbsp of balsamic vingear, 1 peeled clove of garlic, 1 tsp of wholegrain mustard and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk together with a fork and pour over the salad. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

This salad tastes as pretty as it looks. The warm acidity of the balsamic combined with shards of crunchy fennel and peppery radish is an absolute delight. I was not a fan of raw fennel, but this salad has converted me. That aniseed flavour (a flavour I completely and utterly despise) is not too overpowering and is counteracted to some extent by the dressing.

Also, it made my wee heart sing to see that people have signed up to follow my blog! You have all made this girl very, very happy and I treasure you wonderful people who listen to my ramblings.

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