Saturday 16 February 2013

Harissa & honey salmon

This was the first full Thermomix meal that I made. 

I have made the harissa & honey salmon before but grilled it. I should have thinned the harissa & honey mix a bit as it was more of a paste and when steaming it just wasn't right. The other thing I did was I steamed it for too long and it ended up overcooked. Overcooked salmon isn't nice, it was dry, although it might have gotten a pass if harissa & honey had been saucy.

I cooked Rice Plus in the basket in the bowl of the tmx. It is a mix of brown long grain rice, white basmati rice, pearl barley, quinoa, red basmati, black rice, black sesame seeds. I have since had it with something saucy and it was very good but it was a bit bland and dry with the salmon though. 

In the bottom of the varoma with the salmon on top I had zucchini & carrot that cooked perfectly, although I was a bit too liberal with the salt, oops. 

I won't bother with recipes since it wasn't what I wanted, expected nor came out in a good way anyway.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Sweet Chilli Sauce

This is another Thermomix recipe. Again I made it some time ago and just haven't posted until now. I wanted to try as many sauces and pastes as I could with the Thermomix. It was so easy to make but was rather expensive. If you had your own chillies it would be fine but I had to buy chillies to make it. The long red chillies are $15/kg. I did get 3 bottles and a jar about it so I suppose that when you compare the prices when what you pay in stores then it probably isn't that expensive. It has a wonderful taste to it. A nice bit of heat but not too much. If you wanted more you could leave the seeds in more of the chillies or you could add a few birdseye chillies. It has just the right amount of sweetness as well. So far I have used it on hamburgers and included in a glaze for some pork. I will definitely make it again. I have given some away and all think it is wonderful too. 

Sweet Chilli Sauce

100 grams whole long red chillies stems trimmed
3 cloves garlic peeled
750 grams white vinegar
645 grams castor sugar
400 grams de-seeded long red chillies 

Blend chillies, garlic, sugar and 250 g vinegar on speed 8 for 20 seconds. Scrap down the sides if necessary and add remaining 500 g vinegar.
Cook 15 minutes on varoma on speed 2.
Scrape sides and then cook 40 - 45 minutes or until it has reached the consistency that you want at 100 degrees on speed 3.
Pour into hot, sterilised bottles and/or jars. 

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Smoked Paprika Chicken

I will admit it I love smoked paprika. In particular I love the hot smoked paprika that I have. It has just the perfect amount of heat and smokiness. I use it often in things. I find that it is really good with chicken. I had some chicken thighs in the fridge. I have used smoked paprika with chicken before so I knew it was a good combination. I whipped up this marinade and left them overnight. I cooked them under the grill but I think that they would be terrific done on the bbq. They were perfect cold with salad and on sandwiches. For this meal I made a salad with chickpeas, tomato, cucumber, corn freshly cut from the cobs, snow pea sprouts and pomegranate arils. 

If you don't have hot smoked paprika I suggests adding some chilli powder or cayenne pepper. 

Smoked Paprika Chicken

4 chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
zest & juice of a lemon

Combine everything but chicken and mixed well. Add chicken in and rub in all over. Marinate overnight and then grill until cooked. 

Sunday 3 February 2013

February 2013 - Fried Polenta Panzanella

There are a number of recipes in this issue that I plan to make and this is the second one that I have made so far. The first was a easy little salad that I will post at a later date. 

The recipe on the front cover looks very good, even for a non-seafoodie like me. I doubt that I would make it though. I will, I think, make the quinoa risotto with prawns, oregano and tomatoes. It looks and sounds so good. Plus I am getting a good supply of cherry tomatoes from my plants. I even have everything to make it as a bought a bag of Australian frozen prawns a while ago so it is time to start using them. 

I really also like the sound of the lamb biryani rolls on the next page. Something a little different than the standard sausage rolls. If you serve it with a nice salad they would make a good meal. 

I decided to make the fried polenta panzanella on Thursday night for dinner. It was quick and easy and very, very good. It made a huge amount of polenta so next time I would make a smaller amount. I put some of the leftovers in the freezer before frying. I am not sure if they will be okay once thawed but thought it was worth trying. Next time I would make them thinner as well. I think that they would have been great if they had been half the thickness. I would also love to try baking it, although it wouldn't be the same. I served it with just a drizzle of balsamic rather than making a dressing. It was very good for a light meal. 

Fried Polenta Panzanella

3 cups ( 750ml) vegetable stock or water
1½ cups (250g) instant polenta
2⁄3 cup ( 50g) finely grated parmesan 
½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil 
1 tbs balsamic vinegar 
600g vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped (I used a punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved)
2 cups basil leaves, torn 
½ cup (60g) Sicilian olives, chopped (I used kalamata as I don't like green)
1 Lebanese cucumber, chopped in chunks
125g ball mozzarella, torn (I used bocconcini)
Rocket (my addition)

Grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan or baking tray well. 
Place the stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Add the polenta in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly for 2 minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat, then stir in parmesan and season. Spread the polenta mixture into the lamington pan, then chill until set.
Cut into rounds with a small cookie cutter. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Three or four polenta rounds and cook until golden and crisp. Repeat with the rest of the polenta with oil as needed. Drain on paper towel. Set aside. 
Toss tomato, basil, olives, cucumber, mozzarella and polenta in a large bowl, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.