Friday, May 22, 2009

mixed berry & frangellico trifle

This well presented, simple mixed berry trifle individually served is a perfect dessert for any dinner party.

what you need
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
250gr mascarpone
8 x 1cm-thick slices panettone
300g fresh or frozen mixed berries

what to do

Use a balloon whisk to whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoonful of the Frangelico and whisk until smooth. Add the mascarpone and use a metal spoon to gently fold until just combined.Use an round pastry cutter to cut discs from the panettone slices. Brush four discs with a little of the remaining Frangelico. Place in the base of four 1-cup (250ml) capacity serving glasses. Spoon half the berries evenly among serving glasses. Top with half the mascarpone mixture.Continue layering with remaining berries, mascarpone mixture, panettone and Frangelico, finishing with a layer of mascarpone. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill before serving

Thursday, May 21, 2009

potato doughnuts

what you need
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup shortening, melted
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

what to do
Sift flour with baking powder, salt, nutmeg, soda. Set aside.
Beat eggs with sugar, shortening; stir in mashed potatoes, lemon rind. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Turn dough onto lightly floured board. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter. Drop 4 or 5 doughnuts at a time into deep hot fat preheated to 360°. Cook until doughnuts are brown and rise to surface; turn to brown on both sides. Drain.

Roll in mixture of cinnamon and sugar

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms

what you need
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds assorted wild or cultivated mushrooms (such as oyster, porcini, cremini, portobello and stemmed shiitake), trimmed, large mushrooms cut into same size as smaller mushrooms
2 small onions, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
Sea salt
1 small bunch fresh chives, snipped
500gr (1lb) fresh pappardelle
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Generous pinch of sea salt
what to do
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until juices form, about 4 minutes. Add onion and saute until mushrooms are tender and liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Season to taste with sea salt. Keep warm over very low heat.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain.
Toss mushroom mixture through pasta, divide equally. Sprinkle with picked parsey and serve with a good parmesan

orange and polenta cake

what you need
200g butter, melted
½ cup polenta
1 cup cake flour, plain
1 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of one orange
3 eggs
½ cup milk
3 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons castor sugar (extra)

what to do
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Melt butter.
Combine all dry ingredients with orange zest and put aside.
In a mixer, whisk eggs until light and fluffy (approx 5 minutes).
Slowly pour in melted butter and continue whisking for 1-2 minutes.
Turn whisk to low and gradually pour in dry ingredients and zest.
When just combined add milk and orange juice and fold with spatula. Once combined, pour the mixture into a springform cake tin that has been greased well.
Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.
While cooling add remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice and extra sugar in a small saucepan, sir on high heat and bring to the boil, boil for 2 minutes then remove and brush syrup over orange cake.

marinated stawberries
what you need
2 punnets of strawberries
juice of 1 orange
15mls cointreau
1 dessertspoon icing sugar

what to do
Rinse and hull all but ten strawberries.
Mash the remaining berries, add orange juice, cointreau and sugar.
Tip sauce over whole berries, and marinate for about an hour.
To serve
Dust cake with icing sugar and spoon over marinated strawberies

Chicken Pizziola

This isa fool proof, quick and simple chicken dish that you can just top and pop in the oven with out lots of fussy cooking that will be ready in forty minutes.

what you need
4 x 125g flattened skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup lean ham, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup capsicum, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped shallots or thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
cooking spray
4 dsp tomato paste
1 cup tasty cheese, grated

what to do
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced. Flatten chicken breasts with a meat mallet. In a medium sized bowl, mix together ham, mushroom, capsicum, shallots, tomato, garlic and basil. Coat a baking tray with cooking spray and place all four flattened chicken breasts on it. Spread one dessertspoon of tomato paste over each breast, then spread pizza topping evenly over each breast. Sprinkle a quarter cup of cheese over each piece. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked and topping is golden brown.

now how easy is that

Monday, May 18, 2009

beef & red wine casserole

what you need
500g diced beef (use chuck or topside)
2 tbsp olive oil
6 small onions, peeled and left whole
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
200g button mushrooms

what to do
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Coat the beef in one tablespoon of the oil and brown in small batches in a large preheated fry-pan over a medium-high heat. Set beef aside. Reduce heat in pan and add remaining oil, onions, carrots and tomato paste, and cook, stirring for one minute. Add the stock and wine, scraping up the meat residue from the bottom of the pan. Heat until the mixture boils, then pour into a large casserole dish. Add the beef to the casserole dish, mix well. Cover the casserole dish tightly and cook in the preheated oven for one hour. Add the mushrooms.
Cover and cook for a further 20-30 minutes.

Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and sugar snap peas.

pumpkin & pinenut ravioli

pasta dough 1/2 recipe from my blog

what you need for the filling
500g pumpkin, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cloves organic garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg white
what you need for the sauce
2 cans organic tomatoes
250g butter
1 large onion

what to do for the filling
Rub salt and olive oil onto pumpkin and roast until soft. Roast pine nuts in a dry skillet. Combine pine nuts with chopped garlic and olive oil in a mortar and pestle to make a rough paste. Add to the cooked pumpkin. The mixture should be rough in texture, juicy and gooey.

what to do for the sauce
Add tomatoes to a deep pan with butter and halved onions.
Simmer for 40 minutes, then remove onions. To assemble ravioli Push fist-sized chunks of dough through a pasta machine to make sheets. Cut pasta sheets into 6cm circles and fill with a tablespoon of stuffing, paint edges of pasta with egg white, and top with another circle and press around edges to seal, ensure you remove all the air or the raviloi will burst when cooking.

Cook ravioli in boiling water until it floats to the surface.
To serve drain then serve with sauce.

spaghetti con cozze

what you need
1/2 extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 pounds small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
2 cups basic tomato sauce
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

what to do
Bring 4 litres of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until light golden brown, about a minute. Add the wine, raise the heat, and bring to a boil, then add the mussels. Cook, stirring and tossing, until all of the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes, remove mussels from the pan and add the tomato sauce, when sauce is hot add mussels back in to warm through.
Meanwhile, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente; drain well.
Add the fresh parsley parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. serve on top fresh spaghetti

Sunday, May 17, 2009

rustic vegetable soup with italian sausage

With the weather starting to change her in australia and temperatue dropping, nothing warms you up like a good soup, this rustic vegetable soup is a meal in it self, with winter vegetables, pasta, beans and good italian sausage, it will sure fill you up, enjoy it with crusty bread.. why not make double, and enjoy it for days to come. You'll be amazed how much better it tastes the second day.

what you need
1 tablespoon olive oil
500 gr (1lb) mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups drained and rinsed canned white beans, preferably cannellini
10 cups water
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup pasta shapes
1/2 bunch spinach, stems removed and leaves washed well
Grated Parmesan, for serving

what to do
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon.
Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of the beans and 2 cups of the water in a blender and puree until smooth.
Add the tomatoes, the bean puree, the remaining 8 cups water, the salt, and the pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface., add the pasta and cook further 6 minutes, Ssir in the sausage, the remaining 2 cups beans, and the spinach. Simmer until the spinach wilts, or about 3 minutes.

Serve the soup with grated Parmesan and a good spoon ful of basil pesto and lots of crusty bread.

Friday, May 8, 2009

creamy garlic prawns

what you need
250 grams green (raw) prawns
2 cloves of garlic
50 grams butter
table spoon olive oil
30-mls brandy or white wine
Chopped shallots
Cup of thickened cream

what to do
Melt butter with olive oil in fry pan.
Add prawns and cook for about 30 secs
Put crushed garlic in fry pan
add the Brandy or white wine
Reduce liquid until nearly all gone
add the shallots and cream
Boil until cream thickens and reduces slightly.

Serve with rice to soak up all that lovely garlic and cream

Sunday, May 3, 2009

braised lamb shanks

what you need
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound onions, chopped
2 carrots sliced
2 stalks celery chooped
5 large shallots, sliced (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
6 3/4- to 1-pound lamb shanks
all purpose flour (plain)
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
2 1/2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves

what to do
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions , carrots, celeryand shallots and sautee until brown, about 20 minutes. Mix in 2 tbs chopped rosemary. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle lamb shanks with salt and pepper; coat lamb with flour. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy roasting tray over high heat. Working in batches, all lamb shanks to roasting tray and cook until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes per batch.

Using tongs, transfer lamb shanks to plate. Add 1 cup dry red wine to theraosting tray and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour into Dutch oven with onion mixture. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups red wine, beef stock, tomato paste and 2 bay leaves to dutch oven. Bring to boil, stirring until tomato paste dissolves. Add lamb shanks, turning to coat with liquid.
Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lamb is almost tender, turning lamb shanks occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Uncover Dutch oven and boil until liquid is reduced to sauce consistency, stirring and turning lamb shanks occasionally, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.