Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Raspberry Frangipane Tarts

This is a beautiful, quick and easy recipe taken from Jamie Oliver's book "30 Minute Meals".

6 Small deep shortcrust pastry cases
1 egg
100gm ground almond
100g butter
90g caster sugar
1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I used essence, tasted great)
1/2 a 350g jar of raspberry jam (that's an estimate, I used less)
1 tub of thickened cream or creme freche to serve

1. Turn your oven to 190c
2. Put 6 pastry cases on a baking tray
3. Make the frangipane mixture by cracking the egg into a mixing bowl and adding the almonds, butter and sugar. Grace over the zest of 1/2 an orange and add the vanilla. Use a spoon to mix everything together.
4. Spoon a teaspoon of jam into each pastry base. Top with a heaped teaspoon (I didn't heap it as my cases weren't deep) of frangipane. Add another spoonful of jam and finish with one more spoonful of frangipane.
5. Place the tray into the oven on the middle shelf and set the timer for 18 minutes.
6. When the tarts are golden and cooked, take them out and serve warm with the cream

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plum and Chocolate Clafoutis

This is from Donna Hay's cookbook "Seasons". I've adapted it to make it easier, because after making it I don't think it needs to be made in a fry pan at all...just something fancy that she did for looks.

1/3 cup (50g) plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa, sifted
1/3 cup (75 g) caster sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used essence)
3 eggs
1 cup (250ml) single pouring cream
1 cup (175g) chopped dark chocolate
20g butter
6 blood plums, halved and stoned

1. Preheat the oven to 180 (355 F).
2. Place the flour, cocoa and sugar in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, place the vanilla, eggs and cream and stir to combine.
4. Add the vanilla mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
5. Stir in the chocolate.

Now this is where she gets you to divide it between two 13 cm ovenproof frying pans. I used a 28 cm oven proof frying pan, but I would think if I did it again I would just use a cake tin. Perhaps the only advantage to using a fry pan is, that because the cake doesn't rise it is not very high, so a fry pan makes it easier to get it out. Up to you though!

6. heat butter in the fry pan and remove from the heat(or grease a cake tin) and then place the chocolate mixture into the pan.
7. Place the plums on top of the mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed up and cooked through.

Serves 7-8 people

It was beautiful having some chunks of melted chocolate, mixed with the plums... although word of warning, try a plum first. The plums I bought were very tart, so I ended up putting caster sugar on the top when we got it out of the oven.
Another fruit that would go great with this is cherries or raspberries instead of the plum. We served with some fresh cream. some nice vanilla ice cream would of been great too!

chicken pot pie

This is taken from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook "Thirty Minute Meals". I changed one or two minor things to work for my family.
Below is the recipe that I used. In brackets is what he has done.

600gms chicken breast ( OR 4x 180gm chicken breasts) sliced into 1cm strips
knob of butter
bunch of spring onions
150gm button mushrooms (about 5-6 of them)
1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
2 heaped teaspoons English Mustard (he used hot, I used mild)
1 heaped teaspoon cream for cooking (creme fraiche)
300ml chicken stock (or use one chicken stop cube in a cup of water-this is what I did)
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
sprinkle of nutmeg-dried (he used fresh nutmeg)
1 sheet pre rolled puff pastry (depends on the size of your pan. I used two sheets for mine)
1 egg

(pre heat oven to 200C/400 F)
1. Cut the chicken into 1 cm strips
2. Add some butter and olive oil to a hot, large pan (he used a pan that goes from stove top to oven, as I did. Otherwise use a saucepan and then transfer it to an oven proof dish).
3. Add the chicken and cook for 3-minutes
4. Chop the spring onions and mushrooms and add these to the pan.
5. Add the flour to the pan and stir.
6. Add the mustard, cream and chicken stock and stir well.
7. Pick the thyme leaves and add these with some nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Leave to simmer gently.
8. Place your sheet of puff pastry over the pie dish or pan, using a knife to make light criss crosses in it. Tuck the pastry in around the edges of the pan. Brush an egg wash over the top of the pastry and cook for around 15 minutes (until the pastry is golden and cooked).

We served it with salad and mashed potato. Serve it with your favourite side dishes.
My kids, hubby and I ALL loved it! Had it for leftovers the next night.

Feeds 4 adults and 2 children

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jamie Oliver style cucmber/spinach salad

This is adapted from a salad in Jamie's new book "30 Minute Meals".
He added toasted pine nuts and lemon juice (I had none of these in the cupboard) and I added some feta, he did not. I also used mixed bag of lettuce (that includes baby spinach), he also added some mint at the end, I don't like mint. I added some bean shoots.

1/2 packet your favourtie mixed leaves, or use just baby spinach leaves

good handful sun-dried tomatoes

handful bean shoots (or alfafa would do good too)

handful danish feta crumbled

1/2 cucumber chopped

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

handful grated parmesan

Simple as. Place all the ingredients in a bowl, in a small bowl mix the oil, vinegar and salt and pepper, drizzle over just before stirring along with the grated parmesan on the top.

Creamy chicken pasta

This is similar to another creamy chicken pasta dish I have made, this was more creamier for some reason...Love it!

You will need:
500 gms shredded cooked chicken (you could use a cooked chicken from the store, or do what I did and cook two skinless chicken breasts and then shredded it)

1/2 brown onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic (good size) chopped

4 mushrooms sliced

2 handfuls baby spinach

1/2 butternut punpkin (squash) you could use sweet potato instead, into 2cm cubes

1 cup grated tasty cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan (the real stuff, not that gross stuff in a tin)

200 mls cream (that's used for cooking)

salt and pepper to taste

Linguine pasta

Shred already cooked chicken and set aside (or cook some chicken and then shred it)

Chop and dice all of your veggies/ grate the cheese

In a microwave proof bowl add your pumpkin and some water (don't cover the pumpkin) and heat for around 5 minutes until just soft)

Put water on for the pasta

As you put the water on you can start adding the onion/garlic to a pan
and frying them in some olive oil.

Add in the veggies (pumpkin, mushroom) and chicken. Heat these up and then add the cream and cheese (save some grated parmesan for the end) and cream and spinach. Place on low and let simmer. If you need to add some water to make the sauce less thick and sticky do so here. I added maybe 1/3 cup to mine. Also add some salt and pepper to your liking.

Once the water is boiling add your pasta.

Once pasta is cooked turn off the chicken sauce. Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the sauce, stif around so everything is coated well.

Serve with some grated parmesan on the top.

This served about 6-8 people as we had a salad with it too. So it will probably serve 6 adults well.
My kids LOVED it and asked for seconds.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spanish beef with rice

This is a wonderfully easy and delicious meal to make.
There are lots of ways to make it, but I tried to keep it as real to what I saw on alot of other sites, changing the tastes to suit my family (and adding veggies!!)

500gm beef mince (ground beef)
1 tin tomato soup ( i used salt reduced)
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 cup water with one beef stock cube dissolved
1 cup frozen veggie mix (I used corn, carrot, bean and pea)
1 cup rice (I use basmatti rice)
1/2 red onion chopped finely
1 clove garlic chopped finely
pinch chilli flakes
2 pinches coriander seeds (ground)
2 pinches Harissa
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 handful of parsley finely chopped
corn chips (I use plain ones)
1 cup grated cheese (any of your fav cheese)

Heat a saucepan with some olive oil and cook the beef mince. Add the onion and garlic. Once they are softened turn down the heat. Add the tomatoes, tomato soup, stock and water and veggies and rice to the pan along with the spices.
Let this simmer and when the rice is cooked the meal is ready, add some parsley at the end.

Serve with corn chips for dipping and topped with some grated cheese.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

home-made chicken and vegetable soup

This is a great cold remedy. Fills you up and restores health to your bones :)

500gms or half a cooked chicken (or 2 chicken breasts that you cook and then shred)
2 carrots finely chopped
2 sticks celery finely chopped
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large potato finely chopped (not too finely about inch sized pieces)
1 leek finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
good handful chopped fresh parsley
good pinch of sage (fresh or dried)
good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
3 litres chicken stock
2 cups water
handful of thin spaghetti

Shred your chicken or cook the breasts and then shred.
In a big pot cook off the onion and garlic, along with the leek.
Add in the other vegetables and cook for a minute or so.
Add in the stock and the water, salt and pepper and dried herbs
Leave this to get to the boil, add the chicken and broken bits of spaghetti in and turn down to a simmer
I let mine simmer for about 45 mins
about 10 mins before add in the parsley.

Eat and enjoy!!

kids loved this, they loved the spaghetti which is why I added it so it was like chicken noodle soup
This can be frozen if you wish