Thursday, 21 August 2014

Little Apple and Cinnamon Loaves - Gluten Free

In the afternoons, I like to settle into a comfy chair and sip my coffee out of a porcelain cup and daintily eat something sweet and elegant, all the while looking serene and "together, man". I like to. But most afternoons I'm swigging coffee out of a giant mug and stuffing little loaves into my face while up to my armpits in flour and with a camera hanging around my neck. True story.

Little Apple and Cinnamon Loaves - Gluten Free
Makes 6

For the Loaves:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I make my own. Recipe here) or store bought
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup milk (or almond milk if you want to keep this vegan)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/ 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
Pinch of salt

For the Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons milk (or almond milk if you want to keep this vegan)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Loaves:
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a mini loaf pan. Set aside.

Put the applesauce, egg, oil and milk into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the brown rice flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, ground hazelnuts and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake for  20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Vanilla Glaze:
Put the icing sugar into a bowl and add the vanilla and stir in enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cooled loaves.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup with Turmeric

This gloriously sunny soup was my lunch today... and about half of that loaf of bread you see up there.

Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup with Turmeric
adapted from Delicious
Serves 4

1 kg carrots, peeled trimmed and sliced into 5mm thick rounds
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed (fonds reserved) and sliced thinly
1 brown onion, peeled and sliced thinly
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 teaspoon turmeric
1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Thick Greek yoghurt, to serve
Lemon, to serve
Reserved fronds, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the carrots, fennel and onion into a large baking dish. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss well to coat. Roast for 30 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and roast for a further 20 - 30 minutes. The vegetables will be starting to soften and be getting a little golden at the edges. Remove the skins from the garlic.

Put the roasted vegetables into a large pan. Add the stock and turmeric and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Remove the soup to a blender (or use a stick blender) and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle hot soup into bowls, top with a swirl of Greek yoghurt, sprinkle with reserved fronds and a squeezed of lemon juice.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fast and Fabulous French Bread

This bread can be on your table from Go to Whoa in just over an hour. Which is either marvelous or disastrous depending on which side of the carb fence you're on.

Fast and Fabulous French Bread
adapted from Eat Cake for Dinner
Makes 3 small loaves

1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon salt
15g unsalted butter
5 - 6 cups "00" flour
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 80C. (*Yes, that's 80C not 180C. The low starting temperature gives the bread a little rising before you hit it with the heat).

Spray a large baking tray with cooking oil spray and set aside.

Pour the 1/3 cup of warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, mix with a fork and set aside for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the sugar, salt and butter. Pour over the boiling water and mix until the butter has melted. Add the cold water and mix. Add the yeast mixture and mix again.

Add half the flour to the bowl and mix on low. Then add enough of the remaining flour until a soft dough forms (I used 6 cups). Keep the mixer on low and mix for 8 minutes. Stop the mixer and leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking tray and divide it into three equal portions. Let the dough rest for another 5 minutes.

Using your fingertips, spread each portion of dough out to a rectangle. Roll them up like a Swiss roll length ways and then fold the two ends in toward each other. Turn them over so that they are seam-side down. You can tuck the edges in to create smooth tops and sides if you like, though it's not necessary.

Spray a sharp knife with cooking oil spray and make three diagonal slashes into the tops of each loaf. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 80C for 15 minutes (*See note above). After 15 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 200C and bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 180C and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool (a little) before slicing.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Do we really need chocolate pie to kick start the week? Hell yeah.

NOTE: I have laying hens who give wonderful eggs with orange yolks, that's why my pastry is so yellow.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
adapted from Donna Hay

For the Pastry:
225g (1/2 cups) plain flour
125g unsalted butter, chopped
80g (1/2 cup) icing sugar
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon iced water
1 egg white, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
90g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
175g (1/2 cup) brown rice syrup
40g unsalted butter, extract, melted
100g dark chocolate, melted
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
60ml (1/4 cup) cream
125g pecans

Make the Pastry:
Put the flour, butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Keep your motor runnin' (Head out on the highway. No, not really), and pour the egg yolks and vanilla down the funnel. Add the water and process until it comes together into a ball around the blade. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and bring it together into a smooth ball with your hands. Pat it out to a disc, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease a 11cm x 34cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Set aside

Roll the pastry out to about 3mm thick. Line the prepared tart tin with it, trim the excess pastry and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Brush the base and sides with the egg white and place the tin on a baking tray. Set aside.

Make the Filling:
Put the sugar, brown rice syrup, butter, chocolate, salt, eggs and cream into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour into the pastry shell and top with pecans. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool before slicing.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Pulled Pork and Greens Rice Bowl with Chipotle Yoghurt Sauce

In English, there are several variations of the spelling of the word, including yogurtyoghurt and to a lesser extent yoghourtyogourtyaghourtyahourthyoghurd,joghourt, and jogourt.[6][7][8] In the United Kingdom and Australia, yogurt and yoghurt are both current, yogurt being more common[9] and used by the Australian and British dairy councils,[10][11] and yoghourt is an uncommon alternative.[9] In the United States, yogurt is the usual spelling and yoghurt a minor variant.[9] In New Zealandyoghurt is preferred by the New Zealand Oxford Dictionary.[12] In Canada, yogurt is most common among English speakers,[9] but many brands useyogourt,[13] since it is an acceptable spelling in both English and French, the official languages of Canada.
Historically there have also been cases of yogurt being spelt with a "J" instead of a "Y" (e.g. jogurt and joghurt) due to alternative transliteration methodologies. However, there has been a decline in these variations in English speaking countries, but in certain European countries it is still commonly spelt with a "J". Most people tend to spell in the manner shown on the packaging of the major brands in their country.
Whatever the spelling, the word is usually pronounced with a short o /ˈjɒɡət/ in England, with a long o /ˈjɡərt/ in Scotland, North America, Australia, Ireland and South Africa, and with either a long or short o in New Zealand. - Wikipedia

I hope I cleared that up for you. :)

Pulled Pork and Greens Rice Bowl with Chipotle Yoghurt Sauce
Serves 6 - 8

For the Pork:
1 x 1- 1.5 kg piece of boneless, skinless pork shoulder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 - 1 cup BBQ sauce

For the Rice
6  cups hot cooked rice
1 cup tomatillo salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Greens:
Large bunch baby kale (Use grown-up kale if you can't find the infant stuff)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt (I used goat yoghurt)
2 - 3 tablespoons Chipotle Sauce  (depending on how hot you like it)
Juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges for serving

Make the Pork:
Preheat the oven to 135C.

Combine the brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder and  garlic powder in a bowl. Rub it over all of the surfaces of the pork. Place the pork into a roasting pan, cover the pan tightly with foil and cook for 6 hours. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 20 minutes, then shred the meat with two forks, discarding any fat /sinew. Put the shredded mat into a bowl and pour some of the pan juices into the BBQ sauce to loosen a little, then pour this over the pork. Mix thoroughly. Set aside and keep warm.

Make the Rice:
Stir the salsa and cumin into the hot rice. Set aside and keep warm.

Make the Greens:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Remove the stems and ribs from larger kale and chop into small pieces if using. Place the kale into the hot oil. Cook until wilted. This should only take about 4 - 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Make the Sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Assemble the Rice Bowls:
Spoon the rice into some deep bowls. Top with the greens and pork and then drizzle with the sauce. Serve with extra lime wedges.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

My mum was a great home cook. She almost always had something freshly baked for me and my brothers and sisters to eat when we got home from school and if there was anything left, a little slice of it went into our lunch boxes the next day. I guess I learned by example, as I do much the same for my boys. I spent many afternoons with her in the kitchen watching her bake and chatting to her endlessly. When I grew up, she once said to me that whenever she creamed butter and sugar together, she thought of me. Now, whenever I cream butter and sugar together, I think of her.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

For the Bread:
170g plain flour
5 digestive biscuits blitzed to fine crumbs in a food processor (should give you 1/2 cup biscuit crumbs)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

For the Drizzle:
70g dark chocolate chopped and melted

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 23cm x 13cm loaf pan with baking paper. Set aside.

Put the flour, biscuit crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir together. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, honey, oil, buttermilk and egg together until well combined. Pour this into the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45- 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the top and leave it to set for 20 - 30 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Caesar Salad with Crispy Fried Trout

Crispy-fried, panko-and-sesame-crusted fish with creamy dressing and crunchy salad greens. Could it get any better? Well actually, yeah it could. We need beer. Could you organise that?

Thanks to Goulburn River Trout and Seafood Industry Victoria for providing the fresh trout I used in this recipe. 

Caesar Salad with Crispy Fried Trout
adapted from Simply the Best
Serves 4

For the Fish:
4 fillets of skinless, boneless fresh rainbow trout
1/2 cup plain flour
1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups panko
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Sunflower oil for deep frying

For the Dressing:
1 egg
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
150ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice 1 lime. plus extra lime wedges to serve
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:
1/2 baguette, thinly sliced and lightly grilled
2 baby cos lettuce, roughly chopped
250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

Make the Dressing:
Put all the dressing ingredients except the Parmesan, into a blender and blitz until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.

Cook the Fish:
Cut the fish into 2cm thick slices. Put them in a bowl and add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup and sesame oil. Toss to coat. Set aside.

Put the flour into a bowl and put the egg whisked with the milk into a another bowl. Pour the panko and sesame seeds onto a large baking tray and mix them together. Set aside.

 Dredge the fish in the flour, dip them in the egg mixture and then coat them in panko and sesame mixture.

Heat the oil in a large pan and when it reaches 180C, drop the fish in and cook until golden. Cook the fish in batches and drain them on a wire rack suspended over paper towels. Set aside.

Make the Salad: 
Lay the chopped lettuce in a large serving bowl. Scatter in the halved tomatoes and sliced and grilled baguette. Lay the crispy fried trout on top along with the quartered eggs. Drizzle with some of the dressing. Serve with extra lime wedges and the remaining dressing on the side.