Sunday 31 July 2011

Toasted Coconut Waffles with Mango & Syrup

Well, it has been a little while since I last posted. No I haven't abandoned my little blog. I have been busy at work and then the past few days I have been sick. Sore throat, no voice and headache. I am pleased to say that after some sleep and tlc I am feeling a better. Good enough that I am sitting here waiting for it to be time for me to go out for dinner. In fact, I doubt I will get this finished before I go but at least I will have made a start.

I have seemed to have slowed down a little bit in what I am making from Bills Sydney Food. Plenty of other things have been on the menu including stuff from other books and magazines or just making it up as I go along. I will have to make a concerted effort to get back to it through. There are a few recipes that I want to leave for later in the year as there are some seasonal ingredients required and while I can buy them now they are either imported or not at peak flavour. Plus there is no point making everything at once. The other reason I have started to slow down is that I am getting to a point now where I am closing in on the recipes that don't interest me as much. Instead of spreading them out a bit with the ones that I knew I would definitely like I have been a bit silly and left some things, specifically the seafood dishes until "later". Now I am heading rapidly towards "later" and having to make them and I find the prospect of several seafood dishes in a row not particularly appealing. I do know that seafood is good for me and there are things that I do like but it really isn't something that I sit down and specifically choose a recipe to make. Oh well, I will just have to bite the bullet and get a start on them.

No, I didn't get this finished before I went out last night and it was late when I got home. I had a great night out with my friends. I did mean to get back to this earlier today but have only just gotten the chance now. 
I really enjoy waffles. I have an electric waffle iron that my parents bought years and years ago. It doesn't get a lot of use but I drag it out of the back of the cupboard occasionally for a lovely breakfast. These waffles were different. I am not a huge fan of traditional waffle mixes I find them too light and fluffy with the beaten egg whites folded in. I much prefer to use a pancake mixture in my waffle iron as it is that bit thicker and makes a sturdier waffle that is not only good the first time around but freezes and toasts really well. I had to have two attempts at the toasted coconut for this. It was only in the oven for half the time that Bill suggested before it was burnt so the second time around I made sure to stand and watch it. Given the time of year, I didn't have fresh mango to go with them so I used some canned ones. These might be great for a mango lassi but I wasn't impressed with them as a fruit to eat on these waffles. Instead of the palm syrup I just used some golden syrup. These were nice but I am not in a hurry to make them again. I might try adding toasted coconut to my pancake mix and doing in the waffle iron and see if that is any better. 

Toasted Coconut Waffles with Mango & Syrup

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Fresh mango, sliced (to serve)
  • Syrup (to serve)
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Spread the coconut on a baking tray and toast for 3 or 4 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • Combine egg yolks, melted butter, milk, coconut milk, vanilla and toasted coconut. 
  • Sift flour, salt, baking soda and sugar then make a well in the centre and then gradually stir in wet ingredients. 
  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold through batter.
  • Cook the waffles in a waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Serve with slices of fresh mango and then drizzle with syrup. 

Saturday 23 July 2011

Delicious: July 2011 - Crumbed Lamb Chops with Roasted Greek-Salad Vegetables

It seems like it has been a really long week and I am having trouble unwinding tonight. I was hoping to get to bed early tonight but I wasn't tired earlier. I am finally started to feel a bit sleepy now so hopefully I will get this typed up quickly and then be able to get some sleep. 

This would have to be my favourite recipe that I have made out of this issue of delicious magazine. I really, really loved the roasted greek-salad vegetables. I have made them twice since as well. The lamb when with the vegetables perfectly. I used some lamb loin chops rather than the frenched cutlets. The only reason was that the loin chops were half the price of the cutlets. I really liked the lemon zest in with the breadcrumbs. It was also a really easy meal to make. I can see this one entering into rotation on my menu planning. 

Crumbed lamb cutlets with roast greek-salad vegetables

  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 roma tomatoes, halved (I used a punnet of cherry toms) 
  • 2 red capsicum, roughly chopped 
  • 3 zucchini, halved lengthways and thickly sliced 
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
  • 1/3 c olive oil (I used garlic olive oil) 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 200 g feta, chopped 
  • 1/2 c kalamata olives (I used pitted ones) 
  • 1 tbsp oregano leaves, plus extra to serve 
  • 1 c dried breadcrumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs) 
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 8 French-trimmed lamb cutlets
  • 1/4 c plain flour, seasoned 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • Pre-heat oven to 200 C and line a large baking tray with foil.
  • Toss vegetables and garlic with 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Season. 
  • Spread on the tray and bake for 15 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. 
  • Add feta, olives and oregano leaves and bake for a further 5 - 8 minutes until feta is golden. 
  • Meanwhile, combine crumbs with zest and remaining 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Coat lamb first in flour, then in egg and crumbs, shaking off any excess. 
  • Heat remaining oil 2 tbsp oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat (I used grapeseed oil). 
  • In batches cook lamb for 2 - 3 minutes each side for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. 
  • Place lamb cutlets on a serving platter with rated vegetables, lemon wedges and oregano leaves.

Monday 18 July 2011

Blueberry Butter Cake is late and I have a full day at work tomorrow and here I am doing a blog post. I had gotten a couple of good nights sleep and, of course, now I am here wide awake at midnight when I really need to be sleeping. Oh well I guess it gives me a chance to get another post done. 

I am also sitting here watching old episodes of my favourite show Spicks & Specks, which is kind of a music quiz show. It is finished up at the end of this year and I am going to miss it terribly. I have a number of dvds full of episodes that I have recorded over the years so they should at least keep me happy for a while. 

I made this lovely cake of Bill's last weekend. It was a really nice little cake. I didn't want a full 23 cm cake so I halved the recipe and cooked it in an 18 cm pan. However that pan was still a bit small. I would like to try it again but I would divide the recipe by 3 and try it again. I do know that the reason my blueberries sank is that the tin was too small and the mixture almost rolled over in the tin. I thought for a while that it was going to actually go over the side of the tin, thankfully it didn't. The cake part of it was so nice. Lovely and smooth and dense. It is a perfect dessert cake. I am also looking forward to making it with fresh rather than frozen blueberries. 

Blueberry Butter Cake

For the Topping:
  • 1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 c plain flour
  • 75g unsalted butter, cold
  • Place brown sugar and flour in a bowl, add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside
For the Cake:
  • 2 c plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 2 c blueberries
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. 
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs beating well to incorporated. 
  • Add the dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream, mixing well after each addition.
  • Pour the cake batter into a greased 23 cm spring form cake tin. Sprinkle with blueberries and topping mixture.
  • Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, top side up.

Saturday 16 July 2011

Cinnamon Snail Scrolls

I have finally managed to get some sleep and am starting to feel a bit more motivated to get things done. Although the weather isn't really co-operating with me at the moment. I had planned on gardening this afternoon but it is very cold and miserable outside although we haven't really had that much rain. However a day doing the stuff inside is a much better option and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. 

Bill's Cinnamon Snail Scrolls looked really good but this recipe had a lot to live up to for me. My Gramma made the best cinnamon buns that I have ever had and I have her recipe and have made it numerous times. So having what I already considered the ultimate cinnamon bun recipe so I was a little bit apprehensive about what these would be like. Well, they were fine, but not as good as my Gramma's recipe. They weren't nearly as light a fluffy as hers, although looking at the picture in Sydney Food I am not sure they were supposed to be but I much prefer a lighter fluffier bun. I didn't put in the currants or sultanas as I am not overly keen on them. I also didn't ice them as I thought that it would be overly sweet. These were fine but I will be continuing to stick with making my Gramma's recipe. 

Cinnamon Snail Scrolls

  • 14 g dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 125 g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 80 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl, and set aside until frothy. 
  • Place milk and cubed butter in a saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, leave to cool slightly.
  • Combine flour, salt and white sugar in a mixing bowl. 
  • Make a well in the centre, add eggs, milk and yeast mixtures, and stir until combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for 6-8 minutes, adding flour if dough is too sticky. Add the currants and sultanas during the last 2 minutes of kneading. 
  • Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. 
  • Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Press out into a 23 x 60 cm rectangle. 
  • Brush generously with the melted butter (saving some for later). Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the dough.
  • Roll the dough up lengthwise to make a log. Cut into 2 cm thick slices and place on a greased baking tray. Brush the tops with the remaining butter and cover loosely to rise again, until doubled.
  • While the rolls are rising pre-heat oven to 180 C. 
  • Bake the rolls for 20 - 30 minutes or until nicely golden.  

Thursday 14 July 2011

Delicious: July 2011 - Pea, Ham & Lemon Soup

I really should be in bed at the moment but isn't it always the way when you think that you are going to get some early nights other things get in the way. I was ready to go to bed over an hour ago now but have had non-stop phone calls. Strange how the phone never rings when I am sitting up until all hours but when I think that I will get an early night it just doesn't stop. I really shouldn't be complaining though,  it is good to hear from people. 

There is some wonderful recipes in issue #106 of Delicious magazine. In fact I have made several of them already this month. I will be posting all the ones that I have made. There is even more that I would like to make. Jamie Oliver has a feature on doing a roast chicken and what you can make with the leftovers. There are some wonderful ideas especially the chicken & pumpkin salad. The pumpkin is roasted with ground coriander seeds & dried chilli. There are toasted chickpeas & pumpkin seeds along with left over chicken and stuffing with leaves. It would make a perfect lunch time meal. 

I am also keen to make Jill Dupleix's Hot & Sour Noodle Soup with Minced Chicken. It just sounds like I wonderful revitalising soup full of all those wonderful Thai ingredients. It should be easy to halve the recipe as it is probably one of those soups that wouldn't keep as well as some. What I would be really worried about is how well the prawns would reheat. Better just to reduce it then risk having rubbery reheated prawns. 

The first meal that I decided to make out of this issue was Matthew Evans' Pea, Ham & Lemon Soup. Matthew said 'that it would be brilliant to enliven pea & ham soup with lemon to make it lighter and brighter'. I am not really sure how much it lightened the soup up, perhaps I needed to add a bit more liquid to make a thinner soup. Although the lemony flavour did come through and it was very good. I had the ham bone left over from my ham at Christmas time still in the freezer so I used that in place of the ham hock. I did go to the trouble of making the ham stock first before making the soup and I do think that it did make a difference. Although the problem with using the ham bone was that it was too long for my stock pot and it was mid afternoon on a weekend when I started so couldn't take it down to my butcher to cut in half for me so I had to use my giant braising pan instead. There was some meat left on the bone (on purpose) but I also had a small chunk in the freezer that I cut up and put in the actual soup after making the stock. I would definitely go with using a hock next time. I did really enjoy this soup and it has made for good lunches with some in the freezer for a later date. The recipe claims to serve 8, I have at least 10 or 12 servings from it. 

Pea, Ham & Lemon Soup 

Ham Stock Ingredients: 
  • 1 kg ham hock
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Place all ingredients in a large stockpot with 4 L water and bring the the boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until meat pulls away from bone easily. 
  • Strain the stock, reserve the hock but discard the rest of the solids. 
  • Shred meat discarding skin & bones, set meat aside. 
Soup Ingredients: 
  • 40 g unsalted butter 
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped 
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c parsley chopped 
  • 500 g split green peas 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Place onions, carrot & celery into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, alternatively very finely chop. 
  • Heat butter in clean stockpot over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook, stirring until just starting to colour. 
  • Add parsley & cook 1 minute. 
  • Add peas and ham stock and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until peas fall apart. 
  • Add shredded ham and lemon and simmer a few more minutes. 
  • Taste and then season to taste with pepper. 
It was recommended to serve with crusty bread, I served mine with chilli & cheese cornbread muffins (recipe to come). 

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Semolina Porridge with Caramelised Balsamic Blueberries

Is there something that you used to make all the time but when you think about it you realise it has been forever since you made it. This is, sort of, one of those things. I used to make semolina porridge for breakfast all the time. I used to eat it with a variety of different fruits or even just with some brown sugar and milk like regular porridge. I have always really loved it. However, I realised that I hadn't made it in such a long time when I was in the supermarket to buy some polenta and next to that were the bags of semolina. I decided that I just couldn't leave it on the shelf and I have been eating semolina porridge just about every morning since. I am very pleased to have rediscovered this wonderfully warming and satisfying winter breakfast. 

Semolina on its own doesn't have a lot of flavour so it is all about what you have with it. I have had a number of different things with it recently, banana, some canned mango diced up, sautéed apple but I think that the best that I have come up with so far was the caramelised balsamic blueberries. They were very, very good and I was so pleased with the flavour. I think it would be just as good with regular porridge or as a topping for waffles or pancakes. 
Semolina Porridge

  • 1 1/4 c milk 
  • 25 g semolina 
  • Place milk in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. 
  • Just before it boils drizzle in the semolina whisking continuous. 
  • Allow to cook stirring regularly until it thickens. 
  • Serve immediately with extra milk, fruit and syrup (if wanted). 
Caramelised Balsamic Blueberries
  • 1 punnet blueberries (mine were frozen) 
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • drizzle caramelised raspberry balsamic vinegar
  • Place blueberries in a saucepan over a medium-low heat with caster sugar. 
  • Allow to cook stirring occasionally until they are thawed and you can squash some of them. 
  • Drizzle in vinegar to taste and then let cook until thickened. 

Monday 11 July 2011

Moroccan side dishes

When I decided to make Bill Granger's Moroccan Lamb Tagine I decided to go all out and make a bit of a Moroccan feast. I considered making a Jamie Oliver carrot salad which I had made previously however I didn't have everything that I needed for it. So instead I turned to google and came up with two recipes on different blogs. The first was this glorious looking recipe for mezgaldi over at Kayotic Kitchen. It was such a stunning looking dish and you could almost taste how wonderful it would be just looking at Kay's photos. The only change that I made to the recipe was to use red onions. It was so stunningly good that I will be making this side dish again and again with a variety of different meals. It has also convinced me to go looking for more onion side dishes rather than using them as just a seasoning or flavouring. Making them a star really isn't too hard if this recipe is anything to go by. 

The other side dish that I found was a Moroccan cabbage dish. I made a number of changes from the original recipe. I was a bit apprehensive about the orange flower water as part of the dressing but I was very pleased with how good it was. The cinnamon was rather unusual for me too but again it was very good. The pomegranate seeds added a lovely tangy burst while eating. I just loved this however I did use up the last of my orange flower water so I will have to wait until I can get some more before I can make it again. 

Moroccan Cabbage Salad 

  • 1/4 cabbage, finely sliced 
  • 1 carrot, julienned 
  • 1 apple, julienned 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 
  • 1 - 2 tbsp sesame seeds 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tbsp orange flower water (or to taste, I started off slowly and added more) 
  • Place cabbage, carrot, apple, pomegranate and sesame seeds in a bowl and toss to combine. 
  • Add cinnamon, sugar and orange flower water and mix to combine. 
  • Refrigerate until requires but let sit at least 20 minutes for the flavours to develop. 

Sunday 10 July 2011

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Arrrrgh, I can't sleep tonight. Actually, no let me rephrase that, I was asleep and I can't get back to sleep. Normally, once I am asleep I stay that way until a series of alarms wakes me, the first being an alarm clock, the second my alarm on my mobile phone and the third being my hungry kitty cats. If, for some reason, the first two do not wake me I can be assured that my kitties will, although not always in time for things that I am supposed to be doing. What is waking me at the moment is a rather awful recurring dream about being in a car accident. It has been just awful. I told some friends about it after the second time hoping that would stop it coming again. Perhaps by mentioning it on here it will stop now. 

I made this tagine a couple of weeks ago now. I have to admit I was a tad apprehensive about making it as I haven't been overly fond of the tagines that I have had in the past. This was the first one that I had made though. I will admit that there are some ingredients that I would not normally associate with a Moroccan dish but hey, I enjoyed this so much I am not going to object to them. I did make a couple of my own changes to the recipe. Since lamb shanks became trendy and popular the price of them has sky rocketed. My favourite butcher has them for $3.50 each, and I believe most of the others in town have them for around that price too. With the full recipe using 8 small ones it makes for a very expensive meal. I had 1/2 kilo of diced lamb in the freezer so I decided that I would use that instead of the shanks. The recipe had kaffir lime leaves in it, which I didn't have, so I left them out. It was so very good and the meat was wonderfully tender. I will definitely make this again.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g diced lamb 
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, unpeeled and chopped
  • Preheat oven to 160 C. 
  • Heat oil in a flame-proof casserole dish (I used my Emile Henry clay pot) over a medium-high heat. Brown lamb in batches, remove and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onion is translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute longer, then add chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sugar, fish sauce, chopped tomatoes, lime leaves and stock, bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
  • Return lamb to the dish and add potatoes and sweet potato. Cover with lid or foil and bake for 1.5 - 2 hours, or until lamb is very tender and potatoes are cooked.
  • Serve with couscous, mezgaldi and cabbage salad (recipes to come) 

Sunday 3 July 2011

Carrot & Beet Crumble

Just time for a quick post tonight of a simple little side dish that I made quite some time ago now. I have posted before about how much I enjoyed Chocolate & Zucchini's Zucchini & Mushroom Crumble and I decided that I should be able to do it with a variety of different vegetables. I have in the past used beets and carrots together and know that they combine well so decided to try them in a crumble and it worked really well. I served it with a pork belly dish (which I still need to post about) and steamed broccoli and mash. I will definitely be making this again. 

Carrot & Beet Crumble

  • 2 carrots, peeled & julienned
  • 2 beets, peeled & julienned 
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used grapeseed oil)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (leek finely sliced would be nice too)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • 2 tsp flour 
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • salt & pepper, to taste 
  • 1 tbsp water (stock or white wine would be good too) 
  • Juice of 1 lime (not necessary)
  • 25 g panko breadcrumbs (regular breadcrumbs would be fine)
  • 25 g rolled oats 
  • 25 g grated parmesan
  • 25 g butter, diced 
  • dash of dried herbs (I used Masterfoods Pizza Topper)
  • Pre-heat oven to 200 C. 
  • Heat oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for a further minute. Add beets & carrots cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add caster sugar, salt & pepper, water & lime juice. Add flour and continue to cook until the sauce thickens (there isn't a lot of it).
  • In the meantime, combine breadcrumbs, oats, parmesan and herbs. Add butter and rub in. 
  • Spoon beet mixture into a baking dish and top with crumble and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • This should make 2 - 3 serves. You could grate the carrots & beets but just watch when you are cooking as it will cook quicker if grated.

Friday 1 July 2011

Middle Eastern Chicken with Olive, Walnut, Pistachio & Pomegranate Salad

It has been a big week at work. One that I am glad is over. Although there is still stuff that needs to be done. Records that need to be bundled up and filed. Stuff that needs to go to the accountant. One bonus though is that I can get my tax return submitted this weekend, hopefully today, and I should get a small refund if previous years are anything to go by. Anything would be welcome at the moment. 

I recently decided that I needed to make more of an effort to curb my spending habits. Less buying ingredients just in case I need them. Or think that I might use them at some point. Make a point of using all the fresh produce that I buy. Actually sit down and plan meals and make lists, consider what I already have in the pantry, fridge and freezer before deciding what to cook. Make a point of coming home from work for lunch or at the very least taking food with me to eat for lunch. I have already cut back in a few other areas. I am keen to save for some improvements to my house. I would also dearly love to purchase a Thermomix. Everything that I have seen and heard about them has convinced me that it really would be an asset in my kitchen. However, first I really need to replace my dodgy electric cooktop. Going back to gas cooking is my desire, I miss it so much. Hopefully by the end of the year I should be able to replace my cooktop and be on my way to saving for a Thermomix. 

Recently, while in the supermarket they had some pomegranates on special. I do love pomegranates. I have made a number of different things using them in the past. I really like them as an addition to salads. There was also a pomegranate, quince and raspberry sauce that I made to go over ice cream which I then added more sugar to and reboiled making a really lovely jam. This time I wanted to try something different so plugged "pomegranate recipes" into google to see what I could come up with. I was drawn to two recipes in particular and decided that they would work together perfectly since they had a few common ingredients and, more importantly, everything already in my fridge, freezer or pantry. The first was this recipe for Middle Eastern Chicken over on Not Quite Nigella. The flavours of this were just divine. My chicken was slightly smaller, at 1.1 kg, but I left all the rest of the ingredients the same. I was so pleased with this. I think I could easily eat it weekly. I served it with quinoa cooked in vegetable stock. 

The other dish served that night was an Olive, Walnut, Pistachio & Pomegranate Salad based on a recipe over at A Life (Time) of Cooking. The original recipe had green olives but I am not a fan of green olives. I do, however, adore black olives so I decided to use them instead. This salad was just incredible. The combination was just a revelation. Even the leftovers a few days later when the nuts had softened slightly were delightful. I still have pomegranate seeds and pistachios left so I am planning on making this one again tomorrow. In fact I think that I will make it as often as possible. 

Gemma's Middle Eastern Chicken 

  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, diced 
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1.5kg organic chicken (I used a 1.1kg) 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tsp ground allspice 
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses 
  • 60ml brandy 
  • 1 pomegranate 
  • salt and pepper 
  • handful of roughly chopped, toasted pistachios
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over a low heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion is soft, approx. 10 minutes, then remove and set aside. 
  • Increase heat to medium high brown chicken on both sides being turning carefully so as not to damage the skin. Ending with chicken breast side up.
  • Remove from the heat and spoon carrots and onion around the chicken. 
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper and allspice on top of the chicken and drizzle with 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses and half the brandy. 
  • Place lid on Dutch oven and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours. Adding water if needed to stop it drying out (I didn't need to). 
  • Turn the heat up to 200C and baste the chicken with pan juices and cook for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • Remove the Dutch oven out of the oven. Carefully remove chicken to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm 
  • Heat the Dutch oven over a low heat on the stove then add half the pomegranate seeds, remaining pomegranate molasses and brandy. Cook for about 5 minutes. Spoon this around the chicken on the serving platter then top with remaining pomegranate seeds and chopped, toasted pistachios. 

Olive, Walnut, Pistachio & Pomegranate Salad

  • 1/4 c walnuts, toasted and chopped 
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2  cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red chilli (or to taste), seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp shredded parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp walnut oil
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • juice of  1/2 a lemon
  • sea salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Combine nuts, olives, pomegranate arils, shallots and parsley in a bowl. 
  • In a small bowl combine oils, chilli, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk well. 
  • Mix dressing with salad and let stand for 5 minutes to allow flavours to develop.