Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rum & Raisin, Black Forest Trifle

I simply don't do pretty food photos very often, so you'll have to use your imagination when I describe my rum & raisin, black forest trifle. It was made using my cocoa brownies as a base layer instead of sponge cake, and is extremely decadent so not recommended for the faint hearted.

1 recipe cocoa brownies (add 100g crumbled rum & raisin chocolate to the mix)
approx 600g pitted cherries (1 l...arge jar will work)
1/2c good quality rum (no Bundaberg!)
500g custard
200g rum & raisin chocolate (a bar of Cadbury will suffice!)
approx 400g thick cream
2 tsp icing sugar

Drain juice from jar of cherries and replace with 1/2 c rum - soak overnight.

Break up remaining 100g rum & raisin chocolate up and place in saucepan with custard. Warm until chocolate has melted and mix into custard. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally so film does not coat top of custard.

Place cooled brownies on bottom of trifle dish. Place rum soaked cherries on top of brownies. Next, pour the chocolate custard mix over cherries, then leave the whole lot to 'soak' in the fridge overnight.

Day 2 - Whip cream with icing sugar, top the trifle, then indulge!

*Tip: If you want the brownies to be lighter, replace 1/2c standard flour with self-raising. The brownies will crumble, but the dish will be lighter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Agnello con Sottaceti

Abruzzi is the region of Italy my grandmother was from, and I've been keen to try out some of the recipes she used to cook, however sadly, most of the family has forgotten them. So, I'm reading about regional Italian foods, and tonight I'm trying out what is meant to be an Abruzzi dish - agnello con sottaceti. This is an easy and pleasant dish!  Use as much or as little of ingredients as suits the numbers you are serving!

Heat olive oil in dutch oven. Brown diced lamb with minced garlic, then add white wine and rosemary, simmering until tender.  Next, add in some pickled vegetables and simmer for approximately 10 minutes more.  Serve with a nice loaf of crusty Italian bread.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rosemary Lemonade

The rosemary lemonade is just a variation on my basic lemonade, but it certainly turned out well!

4-5 lemons
4 1/2-5 cups water
1/2 cup sugar (I do 1/2 brown sugar & 1/2 white)
2 sprigs rosemary

You can play with the amounts of everything of course to make it as sweet or tart as you like.

Cover one sprig rosemary with 2 1/2 cups hot water & let sit for 20 mins.
Juice lemons & keep pulp.
Remove rosemary from water.
Add lemon juice and sugar and stir until sugar dissolved.
Add rest of water, which should be cold, then place bowl in fridge to cool.
When cool, put in pitcher along with other sprig of rosemary. Serve over ice.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I've been making wassail for Christmas the last few years, but it's time to assimilate properly and make something appropriate for the warm weather.  This was my first attempt at sangria and I stuck to a traditional recipe, which called for citrus fruits only.  Feel free to dice up some apple and/or pear if you prefer.

1 lemon & 1 orange, sliced
enough Cointreau to cover the citrus fruits
1 bottle of red wine
sparkling water (optional)

Soak citrus fruit in Cointreau for at least a few hours (or overnight), in the jug you plan to serve with. When ready to serve, pour in the well chilled red wine, and if you prefer, add a bit of sparkling water. Drink immediately;)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chicken, Apricot and Lentil Stew

I love Middle Eastern food. You can spice this one up to taste.

2 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 c dried apricots, quartered
1 can lentils
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
3 c chicken broth
olive oil

Saute onion in oil, then add garlic and ginger. Add chicken and brown. Mix in spices. Toss in lentilsm, apricots, and chicken broth. Cook until chicken is tender - about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring water and oil to boil, then add couscous. Cook for 2 minutes then remove from heat and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Serve chicken stew over couscous.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kefta Bil Tahini

I really think there is nothing better than Middle Eastern food (aside from Mexican). I've replaced the potatoes in this recipe with beans (a 4 bean mix, to be precise, as I had no potatoes on hand).

1/2 kg lamb mince
1 large onion (1/2 diced, 1/2 sliced)
breadcrumbs (I used italian and omitted spices below)
1 egg

Mix above (only diced onions) together and form into patties, then brown under grill.

3 tbspn tahini
lemon juice
ground pepper
garlic powder
potatoes, slice thinly

Place potatoes and sliced onions in bottom of casserole dish. Place kefta on top, then pour tahini mix over. Cook in 180C oven for 30 minutes. (If using beans instead of potatoes, serve over rice.)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Turkey & Curry Stew

This is made with curry powder so not a true curry but more of a chili.

1/g kg ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chick peas
1 large onion, diced
curry powder
ground pepper
olive oil

Saute onions in oil, then add turkey and brown. Add curry powder and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and chick peas and simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in yogurt and simmer (do not allow to boil) for 5 minutes. Serve alone or over rice.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Lamb Shanks in the Crockpot

Adapted from a Master Chef recipe - some of the same ingredients, different method of cooking

4 lamb shanks
ground pepper
5 beads mastic
lemon juice
1 c white wine
1 c chicken stock
plain yogurt

Place lamb shanks in crock pot. Sprinkle with ground pepper and thyme, sprinkle with lemon juice, and pour in white wine, then chicken stock. Smear yogurt on lamb, then drizzle honey over. Place beads of mastic on top of lamb. Cook on low for 7 hours.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fish & Potato Chowder

As I couldn't stomach the thought of coming home on a cold winter's night and having boring old whiting and potatoes, I decided to try a chowder.

2 fillets fish (could also use a seafood marinara mix)
2 large potatoes, diced
veg (I used 1/2 cup each of frozen peas & corn, defrosted)
1 large onion, sliced
white wine
stock (approx 2 cups, weak)

Melt butter in pot and saute onions, then add chopped potatoes and wine. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes, then add stock and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are almost tender. Add fish and vegetables, simmer until fish is cooked through. Remove 1/2 of soup from pot and put into food processor or blender. Blend well and return to pot. Serve with some nice warm bread.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Laban Immo (Lamb & Yogurt Stew)

Changed this up slightly from another recipe I came across. Feel free to do what you like with the spices.

1 kg diced lamb
2 onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tub yogurt
beef or other broth
ground pepper
olive oil
1 can chickpeas
frozen broccoli &/or other veg

Saute onions, then garlic, in olive oil. Push to the side of pan when almost done cooking. Toss diced lamb in flour, pepper & paprika mix, then add to pan to brown. In separate pan, mix yogurt and an equal amount of broth. Whisk while heating, then bring to simmer. After lamb is browned, add yogurt mix to pan, along with chickpeas. Add cinnamon and rosemary. Bring to summer and let cook for about an hour. Serve with bread!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate

Haven't made this yet but it sounds good, so saving it!

12oz prepared hot chocolate (not too sweet)
2 tbspns honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 shots pepper vodka
2 tbspns heavy cream

Combine all but the cream (top the rest with that). Garnish with cinnamon sticks or choc shavings (optional).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tahini Chicken

Hubs says this one is a keeper

2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 c water
olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
chili flakes
ground pepper

Chop chicken into 1 inch pieces. Heat oil and saute onions until transparent, then add chicken and brown. In the meantime, mix tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil and water. Add tahini mix to pan with chicken, as well as a sprinkle of chili flakes, and some ground pepper to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve on top of rice. Savory and spicy!