Sunday, 6 November 2016

5 Seed & Spelt Crackers

This recipe is originally a Donna Hay recipe which I have adapted ever so slightly. It is extremely simple and the result is a crisp, salty flavour filled cracker.

5 Seed & Spelt Crackers
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup flaxseeds
3 tbsp black chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp salt flakes plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil

Method: Preheat oven to 180 C. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. I make this in my Kitchen Aid mixer, just since it is already on the kitchen bench - a big bowl and a wooden spoon would be fine! Your mix will be fairly wet, don't worry. Place half the mixture between two sheets of baking paper that you have cut to the same size as your baking tray. Roll the dough out to a large thin square, remove the top layer of paper and place the paper with the dough on to the baking tray. Sprinkle with some extra salt. Lightly cut the dough into wide strips - you are basically scoring a line to snap when they are cooked. Repeat with the other half of the dough and then bake for  15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Chopped Salad with Charred Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Apple

So this is a slight variation of a recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen. I served this with the quinoa and the sweet potato still warm though I am sure it would be just as good cold. The apple adds a tart note which confused my children at first. This was our dinner tonight and it was a good option for a meat free main meal.

Chopped Salad with Charred Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Apple
1 cup tri-colour quinoa, rinsed well and cooked.
2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 2cm dice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large green apple diced
1 large red apple diced
mixed salad leaves
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp tumeric
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Method: Dice the sweet potato and toss in a large baking dish with 1 tbsp oil. Roast in a hot oven until the sides are charred and the sweet potato is cooked through. While it is roasting cook the quinoa and set aside. Dice the apple and onion, chop the parsley. To make the dressing simply combine the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring jug and whisk together.

Take a large mixing bowl and add two big handfuls (or more if you like) of mixed leaves, roughly torn into smaller pieces if your prefer. Toss the charred sweet potato on top and add the parsley, onion and apple. Drizzle half the dressing on the salad and toss gently using your clean hands. Tumble in to a serving bowl and drizzle the remaining dressing over the top.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Nutella Pie for Bella

My daughter could live entirely on Nutella. Not joking.

Nutella Pie
400g Nutella or another hazelnut chocolate spread
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
400ml cream
1 tbsp plain flour
30g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped to different sizes
Pastry - use your own sweet pastry if your prefer, I used the Maggie Beer sour cream pastry.
125 ml sour cream
250g plain four
200g butter, chilled

Method: Prepare you pastry. Dice the butter and pulse in a food processor with the flour until it resembles crumbs. Add the sour cream and process to combine into a ball. Turn out and form into a flat disc, wrap in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
When it is ready, roll out on a lightly floured surface and line your pie tin. Put it back in to the fridge for ten minutes then remove again. Prick the base and line with baking paper and weights. Blind bake for about 10 minutes then remove the paper and weights and bake for five more minutes to crisp up the base a little. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling whisk the Nutella, eggs and egg yolks and the cream together until smooth. Take about 1/4 cup of the filling and mix it in a small bowl with the flour and then return it to the rest of the mixture, whisking well to combine. Pour gently into the cooled pastry case and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the edge is set but there is still a bit of a wobble happening in the centre. Allow to cool and then serve topped with toasted hazelnuts.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Porcini Braised Beef with Horseradish Marscapone

This is from Curtis Stone and is delicious. Very rich, very comforting. There are a few steps but it is well worth the effort.

Porcini Braised Beef with Horseradish Marscapone

Porcini Braised Beef 
15 g dried porcini mushrooms (look for these in the Asian food section of your supermarket)
1.2 kilo chuck steak, large dice
salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup white wine
3 cups beef stock
450g mushrooms, thickly slice
4 shallots, sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
bunch of fresh thyme

Horseradish Marscapone
1 cup marscapone
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Method: Preheat oven to 150 C. Using a clean coffee grinder or a small food processor grind the porcini mushrooms into a powder. Heat a Dutch oven or another wide ovenproof pot over a high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pot and then add the beef, browning on each side for about 10 minutes. Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pot. Add the beef stock, mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme as well as the porcini powder. Bring to a gentle simmer then cover and place in the oven. Braise the beef, stirring and turning the pieces of meat over half way through the cooking for 3 hours. 
Uncover the pot and continue cooking the beef for another hour or so, or until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with a spoon and the liquid has reduced by about one third. Discard the thyme stems. 
Transfer the beef to four shallow serving bowls, spoon the mushrooms and braising liquid over and serve with the horseradish marscapone.

To make the horseradish marscapone combine the ingredients until blended, season to taste. If you cannot find fresh horseradish substitute with bottled minced horseradish.

Green Spring Salad - Temple Food

Nigella Lawson would call this Temple Food (as in your body is a temple). It is based on a recipe from Donna Hay and is a very pretty spring salad using pretty much whatever is in your fridge. The blanching takes a bit of time but it is hardly complex so you can multi task and clean your cutlery drawer at the same time!

Green Spring Salad

1 bunch asparagus, blanched and sliced into three lengths
150g green beans, blanched and sliced lengthways
100g snow peas, blanched
200g brussels sprouts, blanched and sliced
1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced, fennel fronds to garnish
2 medium zucchini sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandolin
1 avocado sliced
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
100g feta
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
zest and juice of a lemon
3 tbsp olive oil

Method - Blanch and prepare all the vegetables. Place in a large bowl. Make a simple dressing by combining the white wine vinegar, the lemon zest and juice and the olive oil. Mix well, season and adjust to taste and then drizzle over the salad. Toss to coat and then turn out on to a serving plate. Scatter fennel fronds, toasted pine nuts and feta over the salad and serve.

Raw Sesame and Cranberry Bars

I made these for a Yoga Retreat. They are a strangely sweet and salty combination and have been quite popular with my children.

Raw Sesame and Cranberry Bars
2 cups sesame seeds
1 cup dried Cranberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt

Method - Place all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and fold through gently. Press the mixture firmly into moulds or into a lined slice tray. I used ice cube trays and they worked really well. Chill in the freezer until they have firmed up. I would suggest keeping them in the freezer until you want them. They won't melt completely but they will soften with heat.

Salted Peanut Cookies

It seems ridiculous to need another cookie recipe, and yet...... I saw these on Joy the Baker, who had found them on Smitten Kitchen  who had found them in Ovenly and so the cookie cycle goes.

Salted Peanut Cookies
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
450 grams peanut butter 
Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish
Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a  baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl or a freestanding mixer, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated.
Chill the dough in its bowl for 15 minutes, stirring it once (so the edges don’t freeze first), before scooping it.  Scoop or spoon the dough into balls and place on prepared tray. If you want them to absolutely keep their shape, place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake smaller cookies for 14 to 15 minutes and larger for 18 to 20. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges. They’ll need to set on the tray for a minute or two before they can be lifted intact to a cooling rack.