Friday, February 26, 2010
This is a new discovery for us and it is the best so far - Connoisseur Gourmet Ice Cream, Cookies and Cream. Of course not considering the gelato counter kiosks. This is comparing to all the other store-bought brands. This cookies and cream ice cream brand has chunky cookies its almost like mud cakes in there. This has become a staple in our freezer. Best serve in a cup with waffles crisps. Yum!
Friday, February 19, 2010
This Baked Chocolate Fleck Cheesecake takes the same basic ingredients and method as the Baked Lemon Cheesecake here with slight variations .
- 250g plain chocolate biscuits (I used Arnott's Choc Ripple cookies) to substitute for the Nice biscuits
- Increase the butter to 150g
- Increase the caster sugar to 165g (3/4 cup)
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
- 100g dark chocolate, coarsely grated
- Spread the melted chocolate over the chilled biscuit base at the end of Step 2;
- Coarsely grate 100g dark chocolate and fold into the cream cheese mixture after adding the sour cream in Step 3
- Reduce baking time to 1 hour
- Continue as for the basic recipe.
This cheesecake made its way as a "dessert plate to share" to the December luncheon after the Filipino Mass we usually attend every first Sunday at the Our Lady of Dolours church. (This is a regular monthly lunch event after the mass composed of the Filipino community who frequent the church. But we only grace the luncheon every December. Actually with the hidden agenda of getting to eat some lechon!!)
About the cake?! Well, it was gone before I even got a chance to taste it. Literally in a flash! Not anyone from our party/group had a taste. But it doesn't matter. If its all gone, that must mean its good! Must try the chocolate fleck with a different cheesecake recipe.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Filling 375g cream cheese, at room temperature 150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar 1 tbs finely grated lemon rind 3 eggs, at room temperature 2 tbs fresh lemon juice *
Monday, February 08, 2010
I know that with three 6yo's this is a daunting-leap-of-faith-massive task. But with a 12yo who just started Year 7 (high school by Australian standards) and a 41yo clueless-in-the-kitchen-aside-from-the-occasional-fried-rice husband, this should be an easy enough task. Yeah, right. Aside from the basic ingredients of salt and pepper, I shall need a little bit more patience, understanding, kindness, courage, tact, and less of being a control freak in the kitchen. So help me God!
The series shall involve weekend cooking lessons - either lunch or dinner, and shall also include some occasional baking for dessert and even pasta dishes. And will also cover familiarisation with kitchen utensils, gadgets and equipments and how to use them. "Yes honey, its called a garlic crusher!" Or even, "… meet the food processor!"
The first of a long series, we tackled this goal as planned, last weekend. The apprentices requested for a simple Filipino dish. A favourite in our home - the Pork Sinigang.
Pork Sinigang is a favourite Filipino dish, usually eaten with rice and may be served for lunch or dinner. It is a soup recipe, stewed with tamarind. The dish has the similiarity in preparation and some ingredients to the the Indonesian Sayur Asem, the Korean Canh chua and the Thai Tom Yam. The sinigang soup is characterised by the sour tangy taste, attributed to the inclusion of the tamarind. There is also the option for a bit a spice, by adding fresh long chillies or jalapenos in the preparation. The uniqueness of the sinigang recipe is the variety of preparation - as it can be prepared with pork, beef (meat cuts with bones are best used), fish and prawns. And in some restaurants in the Philippines, chicken sinigang is also offered.
With the innovations in food technology, a variety of mixes are now available to make most dish preparation much easier. In preparing sinigang, while some people still use fresh stewed tamarind, the availability of different brands of tamarind mixes such as Knorr, makes this an easy enough dish to start our apprenticeship. And while the mixes are solely Philippine produced, it is locally available in Sydney through the Filipino shops in Chatswood, West Ryde and more in the Western suburbs like Blacktown.
Our simple recipe involved:
1.5 kg pork neck bones (from the local butcher) I love more bones in my sinigang dish as it adds more flavour to the soup, and the kids love it too
2 25g sinigang tamarind mix
3 pcs tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
1 bunch snake beans (sitaw)
1 bunch ong chai (Chinese kang kong), or if not available, we use Bok Choy which is equally lovely
First step is to boil the meat to make it tender, with about 2 liters of water. With the pork neck bones, it took about 45 minutes.
Once the meat is tender, put in the onions and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
When the tomatoes have softened, mash them using a fork.
When boiling, add the sinigang mix, stir and bring to a boil.
Add the snake beans and simmer for 2 minutes.
Turn off heat, and add the kang kong and cover.
Normally, I would add some long chillies (green jalapenos), but we did not have it in stock at the time. The chillies are added whole, so it does not really make the soup spicy. Otherwise the girls would not have enjoyed it so much.
There is also the option of including eggplant and taro (gabi), and sometimes leeks and radish like Marketmanila's recipe here (with lovely photos to match!) and more sinigang recipes in Filipino Food Recipes here, and Pinoy Mix here.
* This post is written in first person, compared to the usual 2nd person style in previous posts. Just think of it as Mum, thinking out loud.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 10 minutes
(what it said in the recipe, but this was good for a family of 6 adults and 5 kids)
1.2kg piece scotch fillet
2 tsp olive oil
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
horseradish cream, to serve (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Place beef onto a flat surface. Tie lengths of kitchen twine around beef, every 3cm along the length of meat, securing tightly, to hold the beef in place. Place into a roasting pan. Rub oil over and season with salt and pepper.
2. Roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes for medium rare. Remove meat from roasting pan, cover and rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with vegetables and horseradish cream (optional).
- It is important to buy meat that has some fat as the fat will keep the meat moist during cooking. If you are concerned about the amount of fat, you can cook your roast in an over bag which will also help keep the meat moist.
- Some leaner cuts of roasting meat are: Heart Smart Roast, Roast Beef Silverslide or Beef Bolar Blade. If you use one of these, consider using a marinade as it will boost the flavour and help stop the meat from drying out.
- Make sure you preheat the oven well before putting your roast in. This ensures that the meat is sealed which helps retain the moisture.
- A heavy-based roasting dish is an asset in any kitchen. Although the initial cost can seem expensive, a good quality pan will last many years and give you a better result.
Roasting time for beef:
- Rare: Cook for 20 minutes per 500g
- Medium rare: As above + extra 20 minutes
- Medium: Cook for 25 minutes per 500g
- Well done: Cook for 30 minutes per 500g
The roasted vegetables were:
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 medium white onions, halved
While the recipe was simple, the roast was excellent in itself, that we didn't need any gravy or cream as side. It was an absolute delight!
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Here are macro snaps of our backyard growing produce. Hopefully, we can revive the basil, tomato and potatoes back to life and harvest some fresh produce soon.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
With your grandparents (Lolo and Lola Cambe) staying with us for the week, I thought it would be a welcome change to the usual rice and pasta dishes I prepare for dinner. Only Ate tried it and liked it, but as always, your taste buds will mature with age and you will try this and love it, just as we all did.
- For the mushroom*, I only used three varieties of what is locally available: button, portobello and Swiss brown mushrooms.
- I also used vegetable stock** as substitute for the chicken stock.
- You can buy mascarpone from any supermarket, in the dairy section.
- I used grated parmesan as substitute for the pecorino cheese.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1.5 pound mix of cremini, chanterelle, and trumpet mushrooms, trimmed and sliced *
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp white wine
5 cups chicken stock**
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cup risotto rice (arborio)
3 tbsp mascarpone or creme fraiche
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
extra parsley leaves for garnish
1. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Cook mushrooms, salt and pepper over high heat, stirring, for 6 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of wine. Cook until the liquid evaporates.
2. In a saucepan, heat the stock.
3. In a flameproof casserole, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon butter. Cook the shallot and thyme for 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the remaining 1/3 cup of wine and cook, stirring for 3 minutes or until the liquid evaporates.
4. Add stock 1 cup at a time and cook, stirring, until each cup is absorbed before adding more. The rice should be tender with a little bite. Add the mushrooms with a few more tablespoons of stock. Stir constantly for 2 more minutes (total cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes).
5. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper, if you like, and turn off the heat. Stir in the mascarpone or creme fraiche, parsley and pecorino. Cover and set aside for 2 minutes. Discard the thyme and garnish with parsley leaves.
Monday, February 01, 2010
I got this cherry clafoutis recipe from the Sydney Morning Herald LIFE section, issue 18-20 December 2009. "Clafoutis is a baked custard, traditionally made with unpitted cherries. This version is adapted from the book Tartine."
The recipe actually called for baking in eight small quiche moulds, but I opted to up-size it using an 8-inch pie dish*.
1 tbsp unsalted butter, for greasing moulds
500 ml milk
150 g caster sugar, plus 50g for topping
1/2 vanilla bean
a pinch of salt
3 eggs, large
50g plain flour
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Butter eight small quiche moulds or pie dishes.*
In a small saucepan, combine milk, 150g caster sugar, vanilla bean (split and scraped) and salt.
Place over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar until almost boiling.
Break 1 egg into a mixing bowl.
Add flour and whisk until mixture is free of lumps.
Add remaining eggs and whisk until smooth.
Slowly ladle hot liquid into egg and flour batter, whisking constantly.
Pour into buttered moulds and distribute cherries evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining sugar on top.
Raise heat to 220 degrees C and bake for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.