Tuesday 31 August 2010

August 2009 - Lamb Paprikash and Noodle Kugels

Goodness, all of the desserts that have been on the covers of the August issues have looked delectable and issue #85 was no different. The Almond croissant pudding with chocolate sauce looked divine and I am sure that it would taste incredible too. However being essentially a bread and butter pudding made with croissants and almonds and topped with chocolate sauce it would be a bomb of calories. 

Ben O'Donoghue's Pakistani spiced pumpkin sounded really good a nice vegetarian dish, although I a pretty sure that it would need to be served as part of a meal with at least another vegetarian dish or meat curry and rice. I really didn't feel like making that much food. 

I was very interested in Sophie Zalokar's Slow-cooked breast of Twin Lakes lamb with pomegranate molasses. I knew that I would not be able to get Twin Lakes lamb, since the article was a focus on regional Western Australia, however I am sure that I would be able to get a breast of lamb from the butcher. It is an interesting recipe that involves slow-roasting the lamb with various vegetables & herbs and rubbed with the pomegranate molasses. It is then chilled overnight, and then a tray placed on top of the meat and weighed down on it and chilled again. After all this the breast is then cut into wedges and eggwashed, crumbed, browned in a fry pan and then finished off in the oven. After this treatment I am sure that the lamb would be delightfully tasty and wonderfully tender. I have pomegranate molasses in the pantry, I had purchased it quite a while ago to use in a recipe and since then I have use it in vinaigrettes and I found a delightful recipe for Pomegranate cupcakes that used quite a bit of it. I don't have much left, not sure that I would have the full 1/2 cup called for in the recipe. I was considering making this lamb dish on the weekend as I have invited my grandparents for lunch on Sunday since it is father's day here in Australia this coming Sunday.

Ultimately, I decided to make Valli Little's Lamb paprikash and Noodle kugels. I had everything to make the dish with the exception of the lamb shanks. I thought that I had some diced lamb in the freezer that I could use in place of the lamb shanks in the recipe. I guess that I must have used it in something else as I couldn't find it in the freezer when I went looking. So I decided that I would forego the all pantry/freezer items for this recipe and I bought some lamb shanks. Unfortunately when I got them I didn't ask for frenched lamb shanks so they were not trimmed. This wasn't really a problem but they just didn't look very nice. The dish was very tasty. Although I have noticed that I tend to eat a lot of tomato based dishes and I think that it is time to branch out a bit on that. I made the noodle kugels using some spinach fettucine. I wasn't overly impressed with them. They were a bit stodgy and bland. They could, perhaps, be improved by some parmesan added. Although I don't think I would bother making them again. If I make the dish again I would probably serve it with some kind of mash, perhaps celeriac & potato or sweet potato. 

Monday 30 August 2010

August 2008 - Gypsy Eggs

I meant to get this post done before I went to work this morning but some how it just didn't happen. I was up in plenty of time but I just didn't get around to doing it. 

There were some interesting recipes in issue #74. When first going through the issue again I had two recipes already marked to try. The first was Sumac lamb with carrot rosti. I purchased sumac a while ago to try out another recipe from delicious. At the time it was the first time that I had used it and I was impressed with the citrusy tang to it. I have used it in various other recipes since then, including sprinkling it on potatoes and then drizzling with olive oil before roasting. I was interested with the combination with lamb. The carrot rosti also sounded like a nice side dish, although the recipe looked like it would make a huge amount and might be a bit difficult to reduce, although I am sure that I could if I really tried. 

I decided to go with making Valli Little's Gypsy Eggs for lunch on Saturday as I had everything to make it with the exception of the prosciutto/jamon but I did have bacon so used that instead. It was easy quick and tasty. I served it on some toasted English muffins and it was perfect for lunch. I halved the recipe and made it in a slightly bigger dish with two eggs. I saved the leftovers for Sunday breakfast. The egg didn't reheat all that well, but the tomato/chorizo base was fine.

Sunday 29 August 2010

August 2007 - Cubano Sandwich

Just a quick one so that I can get through all of August's posts before the end of the month. 

Sometimes when you make the choice to go with something unusual and unique it just doesn't work out. I was trying to decide between two recipes. The first was Valli Little's Vanilla-braised beef cheeks. This was a wonderful sounding recipe. I didn't have any beef cheeks but I did have diced beef in the freezer and I thought that I could easily substitute it for the cheeks. 

However, one evening when looking for something quick and simple I change my mind and decided to make the other recipe that I had been considering, April Bloomfield's Cubano sandwich. I had some leftover roast pork in the fridge and decided that it would be a good way of using it up. I was intrigued by the relish combination. Unfortunately, I didn't like it at all. I am a fan of all of the ingredients separately however together I didn't enjoy it. In fact I couldn't even finish half of it. I did eat the oven chips that I served with it though. I really don't think that there was anything that I could have done differently, it just wasn't to my taste. 

Cubano Sandwich 
  • 4 crusty French rolls
  • 3 cups grated gruyere cheese 
  • 3 cups shredded or very thinly sliced roast pork
  • 8 slices prosciutto
Jalapeno relish
  • 1/3 cup pickled jalapeno chillies 
  • 2 tbsp drained capers 
  • 1 cup cornichons
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • For relish: chop jalapenos, capers, cornichons finely and combine with mustard. 
  • Slice rolls in half, spread the bases with half of the cheese, prosciutto, pork and top with remaining cheese and 2 tbsp each of relish. 
  • Wrap each sandwich tightly in foil and bake in a 190 C oven on a baking tray with another weighted down on top for or in a sandwich press for 15 minutes. 

Saturday 28 August 2010

August 2006 - Brussels Sprouts sautéed with Garlic & Sage

So, I have been unwell again, ugh. I had a dreadful earache and general blahness. The earache lasted for a couple of days and since I don't see the ear, nose & throat specialist for another 5 weeks there is a likelihood of more. I hope that the doctor will be able to help figure out what is going on in there. I am also rather sick of having such dreadful hearing in that ear. That certainly wasn't improved with drops and cotton wool stuffed in there.
Needless to say, all of this has left me not feeling much like doing much of anything. I have at least managed to get some stuff done today. Although really only the washing and cooking lunch. I very much need to clean up the kitchen. I had some mice in some of my cupboards. I think that I have managed to get rid of them now, or at least blocked up where they were coming in. Now I really need to clean out those cupboards because it smells yucky every time that I open the door. :-( 

There were several options that I wanted to make from issue # 52. The first was Jamie Oliver's Chicken with tomatoes, capsicums and couscous. This was a very easy dish and would have been lovely flavoured with chilli and cumin seeds. Jamie used cherry tomatoes (although I am sure you could use quartered regular) and a jar of roasted capsicums. I didn't have a jar of roasted capsicums, nor did I have enough capsicum to roast myself.
The next one that I considered was New Zealand's Natalia Schamroth & Carl Koppenhagen's Salmon fillet with beetroot risotto and fresh horseradish cream. This really sounded terrific. There were two reasons that I didn't makes this. Firstly, I have already done a beetroot risotto from one of the other issues. The second was that I have never found fresh horseradish here. I would love to try it as I have heard that it is so much better than the bottled stuff. I think that I may look into growing it myself. I think that I should be able to. Should I be able to do that I hope to come back to this recipe. 

One night when roasting a small chicken (size 9) I needed a side dish to go with it. I had some brussels sprouts in the crisper and some sad looking sage in the garden so I decided to make Sean Moran's Brussels sprouts sautéed with garlic and sage. I remember as a kid absolutely loathing brussels sprouts. I am not sure what my mother used to do to them but I always remember them being bitter and horrible. However, last year I made a Jamie Oliver dish where the brussels were blanched and then sautéed in butter with garlic and flaked almonds. I had bought some baby brussels and I was very impressed with the dish and I have been eating brussels ever since. This dish sounded really good too. The brussels I had were a bit larger than I would have liked but it turned out that they were fine. 

Brussels Sprouts sautéed with Garlic & Sage 
  • 6 brussels sprouts per person (this will depend on size) 
  • Duck fat or olive oil 
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • Few sage leaves chopped
  • Pancetta diced* (Not in original recipe but a suggested addition)
  • Trim base of brussels and remove outer leaves. 
  • Finely slice brussels. 
  • Melt duck fat in a fry pan over a medium heat. 
  • Add everything to the pan and sauté until tender.

Monday 23 August 2010

August 2005 - Braised Chicken with Lemon and Honey

Mmm...chocolate indeed. I love the look of Valli's warm brownie pudding with chocolate sauce. Wickedly decadent and I am sure divine. As wonderful as it looks though, I have no desire for desserts at the moment. 

When first revisiting issue # 41 there was one recipe already marked. One that I wanted to make when this issue first came out, Gordon Ramsay's Saddle of lamb stuffed with spinach. The whole dish looks and sounds so succulent with a beautifully golden roast saddle of lamb. The stuffing with a combination of mixed mushrooms, spinach, mascarpone and sage (amongst other things) sounds perfectly delectable. There were two things stopping me from making this. The first was the fact that I am trying to do a pantry/freezer/fridge month and I definitely don't have a saddle of lamb in the freezer. However I would have been willing to break that for this recipe but it has a suggested serves of 8 - 10, so even half of that is a huge amount of food and I would be eating left overs for days. So this one will have to wait until I have guests coming for dinner. 

I had Nancy Duran's Pasta with roast pumpkin, feta & basil on my menu plan for the month. When I did the menu plan I was sure that I had pumpkin in the fridge, apparently I didn't so I decided to pass on the pasta dish. I will make it at some stage though. 

I was won over by Bill Granger's recipes for Braised chicken with lemon and honey and served as he suggested with Shepherd's salad with feta. This was a fantastic meal. While it all sounded nice, I was blown away by the combination. I love chicken dishes but this one really wooed me and I am sure that I will make it over and over again. The salad cut through the richness and sweetness of the chicken dish nicely. The lemon added a lovely tang to the dish. I made half the recipe and used 4 chicken cutlets with the skin on rather than a jointed whole chicken. I would highly recommend this one.

Thursday 19 August 2010

August 2004 - Haloumi with Santorini Salad

Two posts in two nights...yay! I may actually get all these post done this month after all. I had hoped to get some cooking done tonight but I will have to wait until tomorrow night now as it is starting to get a bit late to do any baking now since I have to be up early for work tomorrow. Oh well, as long as I get it done tomorrow night it will not be a problem so that I can get cake decorating on Saturday. 

There were plenty of recipes that interested me in issue #30. The first of those was Jamie Oliver's Lamb chops with bay, paprika and chickpeas. A wonderful spiced combination. I had everything but the lamb cutlets. Although it would have meant seriously depleting my bay tree of leaves and since it is still fairly cold here I wasn't all that keen on doing that as I have had one die in the past. 

The next one that I considered was Bill Granger's Glazed salmon with bok choy and brown rice. This is a nice healthy meal. A bit of a healing one really. The salmon is glazed with a combination of ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce. It sounds wonderful. Satisfying but light at the same time. I had it on my menu plan for the month. 

On a Saturday afternoon, after I had been out shopping and doing errands I needed something quick and easy to make for lunch. It was then that I recalled Valli Little's Haloumi with santorini salad. A wonderfully simple salad made from onion, cucumber, tomato capsicum and olives with seasoned fried cubes of haloumi. This was a fantastic lunch dish. I used some parsley and garlic, onion & alfalfa sprouts in it as I didn't have any fresh oregano and I had a big punnet of sprouts to be used. I was so pleased with this. I think the addition of some chickpeas or beans would round it out a bit and make it last a bit longer. The ease would make it the perfect work lunch as it doesn't take long to fry up a bit of haloumi. The other ingredients could already be chopped and mixed together in the fridge just waiting to be eaten. It would also be a wonderful side dish for for a grilled or barbecued steak. 

Wednesday 18 August 2010

August 2003 - Beef Stir-fry with Rice Noodles

Well, I haven't managed to make much of a start on posting yet. I have gotten quite a bit of the actual cooking done though. I guess that it is a start. Something I noticed looking through this month's magazines was that on all but two of the covers are some very delicious looking desserts. The Malted chocolate pudding with Mars bar custard looks incredible. There were two reasons that I didn't make it the first being that I didn't have everything needed for the recipe and and second, I really don't need any desserts at the moment. 
The first recipe that I actually considered making was Jill Dupleix's Hokk Bol (Chinese pork noodles). Jill describes it as an Asian version of spaghetti bolognese. I was intrigued by it but at the same time I wasn't convinced that I would actually like it. There were only two things that I didn't have to make it, hoisin sauce (which I normally have) and Shaohsing rice wine, which I know in small quantities can be substituted with sherry. In the end I just decided to not to take the chance with the lovely pork mince I have in the freezer. 

I decided to make something quick one night after work and Valli Little's Beef stir-fry with rice noodles was just the thing.  I didn't have a leek, so just used onion. I had no tamari, so just used light soy sauce and used sherry in place of the shaohsing. The end result was a but gluggy, perhaps I didn't have the heat high enough when cooking. It was also quite salty, water may have been a better option than stock. It was nice though and was very quick and easy to make from store foods. 


Monday 16 August 2010

August 2002 - Bill's Hot Chocolate

Oh dear, I really have made a late start of it this month. I am not really sure what happened. I even got a late start with the actual cooking too. It is amazing that you can put off doing some thing for one night and it snowballs and the next thing you know two weeks have passed and nothing has been done...sigh. Well, I am back on top of it now. 

I had originally decided to make Valli Little's Polenta with Sausage Casserole. I love polenta any way that it is cooked. This was a soft polenta however the left overs normally harden up and it can be cut up and grilled or fried the following night. The casserole a lovely tomato base using sausages. However I really needed something that could be made quickly and, to be honest, I just didn't feel like making this and I really needed to get making something. 

The other thing that I really want to do this month is to use up some of the food that has built up in the freezer, cupboard and fridge so I am hoping that this month, as much as possible, will be a stores month. I am trying to choose recipes based on what I already have. It really isn't that hard as I have so much food in this house. 

Since I was behind and I needed to get started quickly I decided to go with Bill's Hot Chocolate. It was easy and quite tasty, although I used a little bit too much chocolate. I think that one tablespoon of chocolate per glass is plenty. I used Cadbury dark chocolate chips, although I am sure it would have been better with Callebaut, like Bill used. 

Bill's Hot Chocolate

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup good-quality chocolate buttons
  • 1 litre (4 cups) (I used 300 ml for 1)
  • Pour boiling water into 4 heatproof glasses and leave for 30 seconds. Pour out water & dry glass thoroughly. 
  • Divide chocolate between glasses and turn glass on side & roll to coat sides in chocolate. 
  • Heat milk until warm (but not too hot) and pour into glasses and serve immediately. (I would heat milk first next time as the chocolate melted a bit much on the side of the glass)

Sunday 1 August 2010

July 2010 - Smoky Texan Short Ribs

Wow, another month as been and gone, it really is incredible how fast this year is passing by. It feels like I only started this blog yesterday.

I was interested in making the Spinach, brie and mushroom freeform pie. However since I had planned on making the creamy chicken, pea and bacon pies from the 2009 issue I didn't want to have two pies in a row.

The next recipe that I considered making was Justin North's Beef braised in stout with winter mushrooms and crushed potatoes. This sounded like a really good recipe which involved marinading the beef overnight in stout and various other ingredients. However I had made a couple of, non-blog  related, casseroles so thought I would try something different.

Finally I decided to make Adrian Richardson's Smoky Texan Short Ribs. These were really nice, although I was feeling a bit under the weather when I ate them so I didn't enjoy them as much as I may have if I was feeling ship shape. These were easy to make and I got some of the biggest and meatiest ribs from my local butcher. I think that I could have trimmed them a bit but they were great as they were.

Smoky Texan Short Ribs

Serves 6

  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 small red chillies, deseeded, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 firmly packed cup (110 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 c (60 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 c chopped coriander leaves 
  • 2 cups (500 ml) red wine
  • 1/4 c (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 c (60 ml) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar 
  • 2.5 kg beef short ribs cut across the bone into 10 cm pieces
  • Place all ingredients except ribs in a processor with 1 tbsp each of salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. 
  • Arrange ribs in a large shallow container and pour marinade over turning to evenly coat. 
  • Cover and marinate for up to 48 hours (I didn't 36 hours) 
  • Preheat oven to 160 C. 
  • Transfer ribs to roasting pan and cover with foil. 
  • Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours basting with marinade every 20 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool. (This can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  • Preheat bbq or chargrill to medium-high and grill ribs for 3 minutes each side or until sticky and warmed though.