» Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

African Adventure

Sunday, March 8th, 2009 by Tina

The biggest challenge with having an African dinner party was which region’s cuisine to choose, so we didn’t! We just left it quite open and this is what we ended up with…

img_2107_small

Clockwise: In the large white square dish is doro wat chicken, injera bread, bobotie, rice, bulgar salad, tomato salad.

Coriander Bread (Pain Nord Africain au Coriandre) Recipe

img_2076_small

2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm milk in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except all-purpose flour. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 hour. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Punch dough down; divide into halves. Shape each half into an 8-inch long loaf. Place loaves into two greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise until double — 40 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190 C or 375 F.

Cut lengthwise slash in top of each loaf. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped — 35 to 40 minutes; remove from pans. Cool on wire racks.

Egyptian beetroot dip

img_2077_small1

serves: 4

ready in: 1 hour (15 mins Prep – 40 mins Cook)
Serve this beautifully vibrant dip with chargrilled pita toasts for a casual start to a barbecue, or use it as a scrumptious sandwich filler.
ingredients

5 red beetroot (1 kg)
1¼ cups (325 g) plain low-fat yoghurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon paprika
pepper to taste
preparation method

Cut off the beetroot stems 1 cm from the roots (no closer). Scrub the roots very gently but thoroughly, being careful not to nick the skin.

Cook the beetroot in a large pot of simmering, salted water for 40–60 minutes until tender. Drain. Allow to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cool slightly and rub off the skins. It is a good idea to wear rubber gloves when doing this to prevent your hands from becoming stained.

Finely chop, grate or process the beetroot in a food processor, then transfer the flesh to a serving bowl.

Add the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, oil, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika to the beetroot and mix well. Season to taste with pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Serve with warm crusty bread.

Kosayi (African Dipping Sauce)

500g or 9 Baby red capsicums
90g or 3 long red hot chillies
30g or 7 small red hot or habanera* chillies
2 tbsp vegetable oil
75g sugar
75 ml white vinegar
1 tsp salt
Olive oil

*If replacing the 7 small hot chillies (with habanera chillies) you must remove the seeds and veins before blanching them in boiling

Method
A good kosayi should be not too hot, you can just feel the heat. The mixture will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator – the older it gets the better it tastes.

Place the chillies and the whole capsicums in a large pot of cold water and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 25 min or until soft. Cover, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Drain and seed both chilli and capsicum, then peel the capsicum. Place in a food processor and blend to a creamy paste.

Press mixture through a fine strainer to remove any remaining skin.

Stir in sugar, oil, salt and white vinegar then place in a jar and allow at least 2 days to mature.

bobotie

img_2113_small1

1 kg beef mince
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated or chopped
2 slices white bread
1 tbs jam
2 tbs chutney (Mrs Ball’s is the authentic safe chutney)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tbs vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup raisins (variation is 1/4 cup raisins + 1/4 cup grated apple)
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tbs curry powder (Indian spice mix)
2-4 bay leaves (fresh or dry doesn’t matter!)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Oil in pan, saute onions, ginger and garlic and remove from pan.
Saute curry powder in oil to develop flavour then add mince. Cook mince until brown and crumbly, remove from heat.
Soak bread in milk, squeeze dry and shred.  Add to mince along with onion mix.
Add salt, pepper, tumeric, cloves, vinegar, raisins, jam and chutney and mix through.
Place in baking dish, press down and top with bay leaves.
Bake for about 50 minutes @ 180 degrees. After 30 min in the oven, beat the egg and milk together and carefully pour over mince in the dish, return to oven.
Remove from oven when topping is cooked (may not need the extra 20 minutes).

rice

2 cups white rice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs margarine
1/2 cup raisins

Boil saucepan of water. Add all ingredients except raisins to boiling water and top up water as required during cooking. About 5 min before rice is cooked, add raisins and simmer until rice is tender. Drain and serve!

chef kurt linsi’s queen of sheba salad

img_2094_small

700g          ripe tomatoes, cut into small wedges with seeds removed. Nicole used ‘kumatoes’.
1                   red onion, finely chopped.
1                   clove garlic, finely chopped
1                   small red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 cup      tomato sauce or ketchup
Few drops tabasco sauce
1 tbsp          vinegar
1/4 cup      olive oil
1/4 cup      medium dry sherry
1/2 tsp       worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp       salt
grind of     black pepper
In a bowl Combine salad ingredients. Combine sauce ingredients. Marinate the tomato mixture in the sauce. Serve in sauce dishes without lettuce or drain well and place in the center of the Injera bread.

bulgar salad

img_2092_small

225g (8 oz) bulgur wheat
285mL (1/2 pint) boiling water
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt
pepper
1 red capsicum, grilled, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of plump spring onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cucumber, coarsely chopped
115 g (4 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
lime wedges, to serve
oil-cured black olives, optional

Place the bulgur wheat in a large bowl, add the boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a fork, until the water has been absorbed. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Pour oil mixture over the bulgur wheat, add the herbs and mix well. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill until required. Serve garnished with lime wedges.

doro wat chicken

img_2097_small1

Feeds 10-20

Wat
1 whole chicken, plus an extra couple of chicken breasts or thighs
3 lemons
500ml of white vinegar
5 kg brown onions
50g finely ground cardamom seeds
100ml olive oil
100ml Nit’r Qibe (spiced clarified butter)
6 tbsp berbere spice mix (chilli powder)
4 tbsp tomato paste

Mixed spice
2 tbsp cardamom seeds
2 tbsp nigella seeds
2 tbsp ajwain (or fennel seeds)
1 tbsp African basil leaves, seed and leaves
2 tsp black pepper corns
3 tbsp salt
2 tbsp ground black pepper
12 hard boiled eggs

Remove the skin completely from the chicken and cut into 21 portions. (This is the traditional Ethiopian way.) Any excess blood or fat on the chicken needs to be removed, as it will affect the flavour of the sauce. After the chicken has been cleaned, soak it in the vinegar and some wedges of lemon in a non metallic bowl.

Finely dice the onions and place them in a large pot with the lid on over a medium heat. Do not add oil or liquid. Cook the onions until they have reduced by at least half. This process usually takes about an hour.

Once the onions have reduced, add the olive oil cook for 30 mins. Then add the spiced ghee (nit’r qibe) and berbere and stir into the mixture. Add the 21 portions of chicken. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the temperature and allow the chicken to cook through, making sure the onions do not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Grind together the mixed spice ingredients and once the chicken is partially cooked, add the mixed spice and stir through. Add salt. Allow the mixture to simmer slowly and stir occasionally.

While the mixture is cooking, prepare the eggs. Bring water to the boil, add salt and hard-boil the eggs. Once cooked, peel the eggs and allow to cool.

Cut vertical groves into the eggs to ensure flavour seeps in. Spoon out some of the excess oil that settles on top of the mixture. Add the eggs when you are about to turn off the heat.

This is better the next day and even better the day after that. Just make sure you reheat thoroughly.

N.B. A berbere spice mix is available from Herbie’s spice shop in Rozelle and it includes many of the spices mentioned in the ‘mixed spice’ section of the recipe and not so much chilli, so I used 6 tablespoons of Herbie’s berbere mix and added the tomato paste to round out the flavour and add a redder colour as it was bit dull brown and too clovey. The heat seems to come more from the pepper than the chilli so add some more chilli if your spice mix is not hot and you like spicy food.

Serve with Injera bread. Here is the recipe for it below…

injera bread

makes 8-10

1 cup amaranth flour (available at health food shops, you could also try buckwheat or wholemeal for a nutty flavour)

2 cups plain flour

3 cups water

pinch salt

Mix flours with water until smooth in a bowl, cover.  Leave to sit for 2-3 days (even overnight will do if you don’t have time, it just won’t be as sour) until it starts to bubble. During this time you can mix it a few times with a spoon but otherwise just leave it covered. You want crepe batter consistency so if too thin you can pour off some of the liquid that has risen to the top before you mix and cook the batter.

Stir in the salt. Heat a large frypan until when a few drops of water are added the water dances on the surface and evaporates. Quickly wipe the surface of the pan with a paper towel dipped in oil. Add a ladle of the mixture and cook slowly until air bubbles rise to the top. Do not let it brown, and make sure that it is not too thick. You can tip the pan so that excess batter runs to the edges. Do not turn over, only one side gets cooked, just wait until it is cooked through then slide off to a large plate. Repeat until the batter is used up.

Cover with clingfilm once cooled until ready to serve. You can cover the plate with one injera and use it to mop up sauce, by breaking off a piece with your fingers and any extra injera can be rolled up into a ‘cigar’ and cut in half and used to dip into sauces.

m’hanncha (the snake) with caramelised fig

img_2121_small1

* 150g chopped almonds
* 75g granulated (raw) sugar
* 1 tablespoon butter, melted
* 2 teaspoons orange flower water
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 8 sheets filo pastry
* 40g butter
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 cup icing sugar
* 8 fresh figs
* 4 tablespoons brown sugar

Put the sugar, butter, orange flower water, almonds and cinnamon in a blender and blend until smooth.

Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and place each lengthways down the side of one piece of filo pastry. Roll the pastry around the mixture. The finished thing should resemble a sausage shape.

Coil it into a kind of snail’s shell then set aside and cover with a damp tea towel. Repeat this with all 8 pieces.

Heat the butter in a large pan and then fry the pastries until they are browned on both sides.

Sprinkle the pastries with cinnamon and icing sugar and serve. They can be left to cool if you wish to eat them cold.

Figs: Depending on the quality of the figs, they can be sliced or quartered and eaten fresh if very juicy or if a little dry then cut in half from top to bottom, lay cut side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in a 180C oven for 5-10 minutes until the tops start to caramelise. Keep an eye on them as they burn quickly.

A dollop of thick sweetened yoghurt flavoured with a little cinnamon and honey would be a delicious addition.

Wine

img_2118_small

We had a couple of bottles of South African red wine, called Pinotage, which were so different to each other you would have sworn they were different types of grapes.  Nice to try though.

Ottolenghi

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 by Tina

Another wonderful cookbook received at Christmas was called Ottolenghi. They have a few shops/cafes in London and are known for delicious salads, breads, desserts and exciting flavours. I tried one of the eggplant recipes the other night.  Marinated aubergine with tahini and oregano. I’d run out of tahini so just made it with what I had- the lemon, garlic, chilli, herbs and olive oil with the richness of roasted eggplant was so good.

img_1868_small

The two founders of Ottolenghi are both from Jerusalem, Sami from the Arab east and Yotam from the Jewish west. Their story is unusual and moving. They say much of their flavour inspiration is drawn from memories of childhood and streetfood. This is such an interesting book, keep an eye out for it and if anyone sees it in Sydney let me know as I have friends wanting to steal my copy kindly sent from the UK. Apparently it has been spotted in Melbourne…

Chocolate Cake

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 by Tina

img_1835_small

I believe there may end up being many posts with a similar title, but for my friends who requested the recipe for the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake enjoyed on a Friday night a few weeks ago, here it is. Thought we should also take a pic before it is all demolished.

This is a really easy recipe, similar in method to making brownies and the buttermilk adds such a lovely flavour to the cake that makes it moist and moreish and not at all sickly.

Just type in Chocolate Buttermilk Cake, at the Australian Women’s Weekly Website: http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/

Notes:

1. I used my grandma’s old springform tin which is 23cm (so a little bigger than the recommended 22cm)  and I checked the cake along the way but didn’t put a skewer in until 7 minutes before the end of the cooking time and it was definitely cooked by then. It was still moist, but I like my cakes on the cooked but gooey side. So next time I will pull it out after 1 hour, instead of the recommended 1 hour 15. My new oven is a strong beast and I am still getting used to it!

2. As you are using so much chocolate in the recipe it has a tendency to go black on top if you are not careful. Burnt chocolate is not nice. A few tips: one is when you line the base and sides of the tin with baking paper make the baking paper wider so it sits an inch or two above the pan so that it provides a little extra protection from over browning, or you can also keep an eye on it and towards the last 20-30 minutes put a piece of foil or baking paper on top to stop the browning process. This is easier if you are not using fan-forced as it will blow around a bit!

Icing

The Chocolate Ganache icing was made based on a recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion and I used Lindt Intense Orange chocolate  (a pantry staple, well there is always some chocolate, it just happened to be this one yesterday) which gave the icing a Jaffa flavour, yum.

Buttermilk

Link below for those wanting a bit more info on buttermilk. It is also nice in muffins or pancakes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttermilk

Rabbit and Chambourcin

Thursday, December 18th, 2008 by Tina

It was meant to be a simple dinner, using up ingredients in my overflowing freezer and pantry, which I did, but it wasn’t simple. That’s what happens when I have a day at home to cook…

I found a rabbit in the freezer (I know that sounds crazy but it was from work and no one else wanted to take it home), some tomatoes that were bordering on over-ripe on the counter, some limp carrots and some ok celery from the bottom of the fridge. I hunted through The Cooks Companion, always reliable for hearty basic recipes, and I wasn’t disappointed tonight. A basic pasta sauce using hare legs, I thought using rabbit would be fine, which it was.

Here is a photo of the results, a homemade pureed tomato sauce with carrot, onion and celery then added to a whole rabbit, browned in olive oil and slow cooked in a casserole dish with garlic, red wine, bay leaf and fresh thyme.

The wine was a Chambourcin bought at the Rouse Hill Growers Market and worked quite well in the dish and in my glass.

img_0981

Oh and by the way, it was delicious.

Prawn Sambal

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 by Tina

Here is my first batch of prawn sambal, based on a recipe given to me from my friend Malini Ganesan who is a wonderful cook and keeps herself sane in Germany with a curry, laksa or sambal here and there to break up the delicious meatiness and carbohydrate-rich German cuisine.

I have included the recipe below in case anyone would like to try it themselves and let me know what you think. It is very tasty eaten with a curry on the side, lots of basmati rice, and please, do try eating it with your fingers. Mush the sambal into the rice bit by bit. It is irresistable, pungent, spicy and addictive. It is the only way to truly experience it. Well, that and in the traditional Nasi Lemak of course, see post on Temasek Restaurant for dishes included in Nasi Lemak.

The curry I made above was fish and eggplant curry from a Madhur Jaffery cookbook.

Prawn Sambal

Ingredients

  • 10 dried red chillis
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2-3 stalks lemon grass, thick outer layers removed, finely sliced
  • 5-10 red asian eschallots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp belachan (shrimp paste, solid block)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp peeled and chopped ginger, pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can chop it very finely)
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2-4 tbsp ikan bilis from asian grocer
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. Blend chilli, garlic, lemongrass, eschallots and belachan to a fine paste in a blender or small food processor, adding a tablespoon of oil until a rough paste forms.
  2. Fry paste in a few tablespoons of oil for a few minutes or until fragrant. Remove paste from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving some oil in the pan.
  3. Fry onion in the same oil over a low to medium heat until clear. Add pounded ginger and cook for one minute. Add chilli/garlic mixture and fry for one minute. Add sambal oelek, fry until dark.
  4. Add tomato puree and cook until oil separates and comes to the top of the mixture. Add dried shrimp, stir. Finish by stirring in lemon juice. Serve with lots of basmati rice, a curry or some dahl on the side.

Enjoy!

There is a lovely light mustardy tasting broth called Sambar that moistens the rice and the sambal and is very nourishing that I need to get the recipe for, will post it here if I can persuade Malini to part with it 🙂 She has agreed to share, will post soon.