Saturday, November 29, 2008

Apricot Pie

Our fruit tree has ripened, so the only thing to do was...

6 cups apricot halves
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice, preferably fresh

Mix lemon juice with apricot halves. Whisk dry ingredients together, then gently mix into apricots. Fill pre-baked pie crust. Top with bits of butter. Add 2nd crust to top and cut slits. Bake at 200 for about 30-40 minutes until golden and apricot filling just beginning to bubble through the slits. Sprinkle top of crust with small amount of sugar immediately after taking out of oven. Let cool enough to gobble;)

Spanish Rice

Veggie meal #1 for 101 of 1001

We're having Pork Chili Verde and Black Bean burritos from Chili Mojo (watch the video) for dinner tonight, so I was just going to make some rice and refried beans as a side, but decided to try some Spanish rice instead. I've never been a huge fan of it but that's most likely due to the fact that it's typically not cooked that well at restaurants. I combined suggestions from a few different recipes, including The Homesick Texan's recipe.

1 cup of rice
2 cups of chicken broth (or veggie stock)
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
ground pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes (with chillies, if you can find them) -or- 1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can kidney beans (optional)
lime juice and cilantro to taste (optional)
avocado and sour cream to top (optional)

Add rice, chicken broth and butter to pot. Bring to a boil on high, stir once and cover. Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, then remove from heat and keep covered for 5 to 10 minutes longer. In the meantime, cook onions in oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, pepper and cumin and cook for approx one minute. Mix in cooked rice, lime juice and cilantro. Serve!

P.S. You could also add some capsicum/pepper to the onion mix, and use as a burrito filler along with some cheese and lettuce (and meat optional if you are a carnivore)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anzac Biscuits

A Kiwi workmate brought me a couple of these last year and they were so good---nothing better than oats and coconut.

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup oats
75g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup or corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Mix flour, sugar, coconut and oats. Melt butter and syrup. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to butter and syrup. Stir butter mix into dry ingredients. Place level tablespoons of mix onto greased baking trays, then press out with fork. Bake at 180C for about 12-15 minutes or until golden. Makes 15.

*Mine turned out slightly flat because I added a bit too much water but damn they were good anyway!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Simple Mafe

This is a West African lamb stew. The recipe was obtained from The World is a Kitchen. The next time I make it I may add some garlic, diced tomatoes and use chunky peanut butter instead. I substituted macadamia oil instead of peanut oil, as I couldn't find the latter, and used dried thyme. It seemed to work out fine although I may search out the peanut oil next time just to try the difference. I also cut the recipe in half and found it to make 4 serves; below is the full recipe.

2 tbsp peanut or macadamia oil
1 large onion, minced
2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cups hot water
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 springs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in heavy saucepan, add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add meat and lightly brown. In small bowl, mix peanut butter with cold water and pour it over the meat. Dilute tomato paste with hot water, pour liquid over the stew, and stir to mix well. Add remaining ingredients, lower heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Remove thyme springs and bay leave. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dawn's Potato Pancakes

Have a handwritten recipe for potato pancakes tucked into my recipe book and as I'm at home jobless at the moment thought I'd spend an hour and a half cooking them up last night to have something special with dinner. I forgot that I could have literally shaved off 1/2 an hour by using my food processor instead of the grater for the onions and potatoes, and when we redo the kitchen I will definitely have two burners that I can place a large rectangular griddle over to cook more at a time.

6 small to medium potatoes
1 medium onion
1/2 c swiss or tasty cheese
2 eggs
3-4 tbsp flour

Grate potatoes, onion and cheese, and mix in eggs and flour to bind. Heat oil or shortening in non-stick pan and drop spoonfuls of mixture on to pan, then flatten with spatula. Heat until brown and crispy on each side. Serve immediately, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and with sour cream and applesauce on the side.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coconut Pie

I got this recipe out of a book titled Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, With Pie. It's a book of pie recipes (obviously) from women in the South of the US. I modified this one slightly by using low fat milk instead of whole and lowering the amount used (recipe called for 2 cups whole milk...but I buy low fat and didn't want to use more than I needed to of the weekly milk supply as I hadn't planned my grocery shopping to suit the recipe). I also used less butter (it called for an entire [US] stick but I used about half, which was actually an accident as I wasn't paying close attention). It was fantastic, warm and cold. The coconut rises to the top and forms a slightly crispy top and beneath is a custard consistency. Lovely!

P.S. Just realised it didn't call for a crust and although I used one, I wonder if you could do without.

3 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c low fat milk
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Mix eggs, then add sugar, milk, melted butter and flour, and mix until well blended. Add vanilla and coconut, mix well. Pour into pie plate (after pre-baking the crust) and bake until centre feels firm, about 50-55 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before serving.