Saturday, 21 March 2015

Strawberry syrup, cinnamon and yoghurt muffins

Last weekend I saw a sign, "Strawberries - 2 large punnets $4" it said.  Visions of blissful mornings with strawberries smoothies ensued, but decided to come up with some alternative breakfast ideas. As the week progressed, mornings were rushed, caffeinated, and not so blissful; and there were no strawberry smoothies.  So now it's the following Saturday and the bright happy strawberries are now getting sad and soft.  But don't be sad strawberries, because you can now become muffins - and muffins are heaps better than smoothies.
    1 3/4 cups self raising flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt


    1 cup Greek natural yogurt (unsweetened) 
    1 egg
    90g melted butter

    1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1/3 cup water

    Granulated sugar to top the muffins

    Put syrup ingredients in a saucepan, put on a low heat and simmer for 15 mins.  Watch the syrup carefully as it cam boil over very easily.   Put in the fridge to cool. 

     In a bowl, mix dry ingredients together.   In a seperate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together then gently mix the wet, dry and syrup together.  Don't over mix. 

    Grease a muffin tin and divide mixture over 12 muffins.  Sprinkle generously with granulated sugar and baked at 180c for 20 minutes or until cooked. 

    Check out my post next week when I talk about kitchenaid ice cream maker reviews.

    Sunday, 30 November 2014

    Grilled Fig Salad with Vintage Cheddar, Red Wine Vinegar and Black Pepper

    Grilled fig salad with vintage cheddar, black pepper and red wine vinegar

     There is fruit galore this time of year, and its hard to walk out of the fruit mart without an overflowing basket, so therefore fruit finds its way into many of the main meals of the day.  I find figs a little sweet so pairing with salty cheese, sharp vinegar and the heat of black pepper works perfectly.



    4 figs quartered
    3 cups of mixed salad leaves
    40g cheddar
    1 tbl EVOO
    2 tbl red wine vinegar
    Freshly ground black pepper 

    What to do:
    Put olive oil, vinegar, large pinch of salt and ground pepper in a jar and shake till combined. 
    Mix half the dressing over the figs and then place the figs under a hot grill for 10 minutes or until they go slightly brown at the edges. 
    Mix the salad leaves with the remainder of the dressing and spread over a large plate.  Top leaves with figs, then the crumbled cheese and extra pepper.


    Friday, 21 November 2014

    Tumeric Pork Rice Paper Rolls

    Tumeric rice paper rolls  

    As summertime gets closer and closer it's time to cook up quick and refreshing meals.  Away with the stews and soup and in with the rice paper rolls and salads.  These are really quick to make and are still full of flavour and goodness.

    600g pork mince
    2 tsp ghee (or a high smoke point oil)
    1 tbl fennel seeds- ground in mortar and pestle
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tbl tumeric
    1 cup chicken stock
    2 tsp corn flour

    1/4 lemon
    Iceberg lettuce
    Spring onion

    Dried rice paper (approx 8)

    What to do
    Heat the ghee in a frypan and when very hot add the pork.  Make sure the pork get nice and brown with lots of carmalised bits (therefore don't overcrowd!). 
    Add the spices and fry for a minute more. 
    Add the chicken stock and wait until its 3/4 evaporated.  Make a slurry with the cornflour and a little water - and add it to the pork.  Squeeze in the lemon.  Check whether you need any salt  (I didn't as there was enough in my chicken stock). The pork is now done.  

    Wet the rice paper and add shredded lettuce, coriander, and sliced spring onions.  Top with the pork - which can either by hot or cold. 

    Roll up! Done! easy :) 

    16Nov-11 16Nov-12

    Sunday, 16 November 2014

    Pork Belly Steamed Buns with Chilli Salted Cabbage

    Pork Belly Steamed Buns  

    Every since I tried the pork belly steamed buns on a sunny afternoon from the food truck Tsuru at Batch brewery, they have been held high on the "must eat again" list. So I figured I needed to master the recipe so they can be at my disposal anytime! After speaking with my mum, who of course had already defeated the task, she informed me "that it's really not hard", I figured I would give it a go.  I've combined, amended and completely changed recipes, because of course what would Momofuku know about steamed buns.  These will now be on high rotation in this household - sorry scales. 

    Pork Belly
    Approx 1kg slab of pork belly
    1 cup of soy sauce
    1/2 shaoxing wine
    1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup black vinegar
    1 tsp white peppercorns
    1 tsp 5 spice powder 
    2cm cube of ginger - sliced thinly

    Score the skin of the pork belly horizontally into 1cms strips.  Rub with a little oil and run liberally with salt.
    Shake together all other ingredients. 
    Place pork belly in a snugly fitting dish and tip the marinade around the pork belly till it comes up to but does not cover the skin. 

    Place uncovered in the fridge overnight. This will slightly dry out the skin.

    Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature while you heat the oven to 220c.  Put in over for 20 mins then reduce to 150c and cook for another 2 1/2 hours.  Keep an eye on the liquid level and top up with water if it falls below the skin, otherwise the pork will dry out. 

    Remove from the oven and carve into slices along the scored skin.

    1/4 head of white cabbage (Chinese cabbage would also be good) 
    1 tbl salt 
    1 tbl of chilli paste (vary with the heat of the paste)
    1 tbl mirin
    1 tbl rice wine vinegar

    Finely slice the cabbage, place in a colander and cover liberally with salt.  Leave for 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water to remove the salt and squeeze the cabbage to remove any liquid. Mix cabbage with all other ingredients. 
    Chilli salted cabbage Chilli salted cabbage

    2 cups plain white flour 
    1 7g sachet of dried  yeast or equivalent
    3/4 warm water 
    2 tbl skim milk powder 
    1 tsp bi carb 
    Pinch of sugar 

    Place yeast with 1/4 warm cup of warm water and a pinch of sugar until it starts to bubble.  Mix together dry ingredients and slowly add the yeast and extra water until all the flour has combined. Kneed for 5 mins then place in an oiled bowl, covered, for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, roll the dough into a log and cut into balls a little smaller than a golf ball.   Flatten each ball of dough and lightly roll into an oval shape. Folded the dough in half and place on a small square of baking paper leave to rise for another 30 minutes. 

    Place a bamboo steamer over boiling water and steam the buns for 3 minutes.  
    Steamed buns

    Once the buns are cooked, slice across the fold and fill with a piece of pork belly and some of the chilli cabbage. YUMMMM

    Pork belly Pork belly steamed buns