Sunday 21 July 2013

12 hour roast lamb

I had good intentions of posting consistently this month. As you may have noticed it really hasn't happened. I have meals that I made ages ago that need to be blogged but just haven't gotten around to doing them. I think that I may have mentioned at some stage previously that I have depression and sometimes it just gets on top of me. I am really struggling with it at the moment. I usually like to "cook my way out" however even that is a struggle at the moment. Cooked meals are few and far between, well at least anything that involves any work. There has been quite a few "antipasto" plates, tins of soup and too many takeaways, mainly McDonalds.... The lack of good food contributes to the problem so it is important for me to start cooking my way out. 

Last weekend I did a pork roast which turned out really well and gave me leftovers, that I took to work for lunches. So I decided to do another roast this weekend. A couple of months ago I purchased a whole lamb, all cut up. I forgot to get the butcher to cut the leg roast in half. They are pretty big and I had been planning to save them for when I had visitors (rare) or cook and take it somewhere. However yesterday I thought that I should just cook it for myself and then I can freeze some for later. I didn't want to just do anything I wanted something a bit different. I had heard before about making 12-hour roasts and thought that this would be a perfect opportunity. All the recipes that I saw involve rosemary, which is traditional with lamb, but I really don't like rosemary. I searched all over the place but could not find a recipe for anything that I wanted to make. So I made it up as I went along. 

1 leg lamb
2 cloves garlic, sliced 
Peel from 1/2 lemon, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp sumac
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 carrot
1 onion
1 celery stick
1 c chicken stock (some wine would be nice too) 
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses extra 

Pre-heat oven to 100 C
Pierce lamb with a knife and place pieces of garlic and lemon in the holes. Sprinkle with sumac and rub in. Combine pom molasses and olive oil brush over lamb. 
Chop carrot, onion & celery and place in bottom of baking dish and place lamb on top. Pour stock into the bottom of the pan. Cover with a double layer of foil and roast in the oven for 11 hours. 
Remove from oven, increase temperature to 200 C and place tray of mixed veg, I used pumpkin, potato, sweet potato and baby turnips, to roast. 
Drain liquid from lamb and then drizzle with extra pomegranate molasses and place back in the oven for 30 minutes. 
Skim fat off the liquid, bring to boil and reduce by half. I added some cornflour to thicken after about 20 minutes. 
Remove lamb from the oven, cover with foil and let rest until vegetables are completely cooked, another 20 - 30 minutes. 
Serve lamb with gravy, roast veg and steamed greens. 

Sunday 7 July 2013

July 2013 - Chocolate Chilli Tart

I am not going to pfaff about with what is on the inside of the front cover. There are other things to make, and I may get to those later, but to start with I just could not go past the cover recipe. I have often lamented about the glorious cover recipes with desserts on the front and wanting to make them but no one to cook for. It hasn't changed but this time around I didn't care I decided that I would just make it. I have frozen a few slices to see if that will work. I have some to go to the office and finally some to go to a friend. Although, my friend isn't keen on chilli so I am not sure how she is going to go I guess her hubby will get it all if it is too strong for her. I will suggest freezing if it has too much of a kick for her. I had thought about reducing the amount of chilli in the recipe but I really wanted to make it as it. 

Talking about that, I didn't make it completely according to the recipe as I didn't make the chilli syrup to drizzle over it. Well, that is not exactly true. I did try to make the syrup but something went horribly wrong. I wasn't really sure what it was initially. I had a jar of glucose syrup in the cupboard, which I admit, had been there a while. After I ended up with a weird lumpy mess I had a look at the jar and it was use by 1996! I knew it had been around a while but not quite that long. After tasting the tart I don't think that the syrup was really necessary anyway.

I made this recipe over two days starting with the dulce de leche ice cream that goes with this and finishing with the tart. It wasn't difficult it was just a bit time consuming. I made everything from scratch, so it added a bit to the time. I will post the ice cream recipe in a different post.

I will start out with my recipe for the dark chocolate pastry I used. I cannot get the recommended Careme pastry so I made my own.

Dark Chocolate pastry

1 1/4 c flour
1/3 c dark cocoa (I used Plaistowe from the supermarket)
1/4 c caster sugar
125 g cold butter, chopped
1 egg
1 tsp vinegar
1 - 2 tbsp water

Add flour, cocoa and sugar to Thermomix bowl (or food processor) mix 5 sec on sp 4.
Add butter 10 sec on sp 4 or until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Whisk together egg, vinegar and 1 tbsp water. Add to flour mixture, knead closed lid position for 30 sec, checking to see if further liquid required. I did add the extra 1 tbsp water.
Wrap in plastic, set aside. If hot place in fridge, if cold on the counter will be fine.
Line 23cm tart tin, place in freezer for 10 min. Remove and fill with baking paper and pie weights (or rice) and bake for 10 minutes at 180 C, then remove weights and bake for a further 10 minutes. 

Chocolate Chilli Tart
adapted from Valli Little

300 ml thickened cream
150 ml pure cream 
2 tbsp caster sugar
200 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
100 g milk chocolate, finely chopped 
Seeds of 10 cardamom pods, ground
1/2 tsp chilli powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Bring creams & sugar to a simmer then remove from heat and add chocolate, cardamom & chilli and stir until smooth. Cool a bit and then add eggs. Pour into tart case and bake for 20 -25 min. Cool in pan. 

I had enough chocolate custard for two ramekins and baked them too. The hit of chilli seemed stronger in them than the tart. 

Saturday 6 July 2013

Cake Decorating - Traffic Light

I was asked to do a traffic light cake for a 3 yo boy for today. Since I had done the lighted cake for Skylanders I was asked if I could light this one up as well. I talked with the friend who did the lights for the Skylanders cake and he made up the lighting rig for me.

It was really a rather simple cake to make, although I hate working with black fondant as it stains.My only problem was hiding the cables. The top was a bit rough. I should have cut them into the cake better but they fact that it lit up, oh and flashed, made up for that. Next time I know what to do. I loved doing this cake. In fact I love decorating cakes for children. 

Monday 1 July 2013

Smoky Beef Chilli Con Carne

For Sylvia, hope that you enjoy this. 

Smoky Beef Chilli Con Carne 
by Katie Quinn
from Delicious magazine June 2013

2 large dried ancho chillies 
1 kg beef chuck steak, cut into 3 cm pieces 
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned 
2 tbsp olive oil (I would use grapeseed)
1 onion, finely chopped 
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
2 chipotle chillies in abodo sauce, chopped, 1 tbsp sauce reserved 
1/3 c bourbon
1 bay leaf 
1 L (4 c) beef stock 
2 red capsicums, seeds removed and chopped 
2 x 400 g cans chopped tomatoes 
2 tbsp tomato paste 
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
425 g can black beans, rinsed and drained
425 g can red kidney beads, rinsed and drained 
Steamed rice, sour cream, grated cheese and flat leaf parsley, to serve. 

Cover ancho with boiling water and leave for 30 min, drain remove seeds and slice finely. 

Coat beef with flour and brown using 1 tbsp oil in batches, remove and set aside. 

In remaining oil cook onion and garlic until soft, add cumin, paprika, oregano, cinnamon and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Return beef to the pan. 

Add all the remaining ingredients except for the beans. Bring to boil then simmer, with lid ajar for 2.5 hours. Add beans and simmer for a further 30 min or until thickened. Season as required and serve. 

A long list of ingredients for what is actually a fairly easy recipe. I hope to get it made one day.