As promised I am going to start and show you how easy it is to use a Thermomix.
I am going to break down the recipes that we made the other day into several posts (simply because there is too much for one!!). Today I am going to start with the basics.
For all of you that use stock on a regular basis, probably for ease of use, you buy the stuff (and I do say stuff) in the tetra pack from the supermarket. Now don't feel guilty - I do the same thing! If like me you buy it, you will be well aware of the cost of it. With the Thermomix the other day we made two basic stocks - one was a concentrated vegetable stock, the other was a liquid chicken stock.
Before I start with the recipe there is probably something I need to explain. Thermomix recipes are slightly different from regular recipes in that they give measurements in a weight format. This is because the Thermomix has an in built weighing function. It can be "zeroed" after the addition of every ingredient - no more weighing and measuring before you start - you can do it as you go!!
Vegetable Stock Concentrate
200g celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly cut
1 tomato, halved
1 zucchini, roughly cut
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
few leaves of basil, sage and rosemary (or herbs you have available)
1 bunch of parsley
150g rock salt
1 tbs olive oil
Place all the vegetables into the Thermomix (TM) bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 6.
Add the rock salt and oil and then cook for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.
Mix by slowly turning the speed dial to speed 6 then pulverising for 1 minute on speed 9.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Use tablespoon quantities instead of stock cubes. ie 1 tablespoon of concentrate is equal to 1 stock cube or around 500ml of liquid stock.
See - how easy that was!!! 20 minutes!! This stock concentrate will last for 6 months in the fridge. This mixture made the equivalent of many, many litres of liquid stock, and it is all stored in one small container! As you can see from the photo I have stored it in a take away container!
We then went on to make a liquid stock. This can be varied to either meat/chicken or fish, we opted to make chicken. This was the first time that my friend had made this recipe, so I will share with you our thoughts on this recipe. Feel free to make comments if you have made this recipe yourself.
Liquid Stock (Chicken)
200-300 chicken bones, roughly cut (you can also use beef bones, or fish heads)
2 small carrots
1 small parsnip, roughly chopped
1 small sweet potato, roughly chopped (optional)
1 small onion, cut into quarters
2cm piece celeraic, or 2 small stalks of celery
3 bay leaves
3 pimento (optional)
1cm piece seaweed vegetable ie kombu (optional) we used nori
Place all ingredients except the water into the basket. Pour the water into the TM bowl.
Cook for 30-40 minutes at 100C on speed 4
Remove the basket with the aid of the spatula. Pour the stock into a dish and refrigerate until ready to use.
Now here is where we add "our" thoughts on this recipe. For one, the stock was a little insipid - and we thought it lacked flavour. The first thing we did was puree all the vegetables that we had used to make the stock (we thought why waste all those lovely vegetables?). The second thing we did was add salt, based on the amount of salt that we had added to the concentrated stock we added 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. This was a little too much - it was then too salty. When we used this stock to make the risotto we reduced the quantities of stock and added a little water. For the 2/3 of a cup showing above, we made the remainder up with water.
We were not overly happy with the result of this stock - but saying that I used it later that night with outstanding results!! I was roasting a chicken for dinner. I had the usual sporting commitments which meant I had to turn the oven on and leave it for 1 1/2 hours. What I did was place the chicken (plus 2 x 1/2 chickens into a foil disposable roasting pan. I placed 1/2 an onion in the cavity of the chicken, then 1/4 under each of the half pieces. I liberally sprinkled with garlic, then poured over the stock that we had made earlier in the day. The chicken was sitting in a lovely stock bath!!
That chicken was soooo tender and beautiful! The skin was delicious - "Precious" commented that that skin was so good it would put Charcoal Charlie out of business!
So there you have it - sometimes from failure you end up with success!!
Feel free Dear Readers to give me your comments on this liquid stock if you have made it.
In a matter of 1 hour we had made two different stocks, for next to nothing, the chicken bones cost less than $2 and we used ingredients that are usually found lurking around in the bottom of everyone's vegetable drawer - so really, litres of stock for just a couple of dollars!!
Another basic we made was Mayonnaise. This was incredibly easy to make, and literally only took 2 minutes to make.
1 egg, at room temperature, separated
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs white wine vinegar
250ml grapeseed oil
Into the TM bowl, with the butterfly attachment on, put the egg yolk, mustard, salt and pepper and vinegar.
Blend for 1 minute on speed 4.
Using the top of the TM as a reservoir, slowly add the grapeseed oil, scrape down the oil as needed, until all the oil has been incorporated. (We had the spatula balanced there to make sure that too much air was not "burped" into the bowl.)
Continue on at speed 4 for 4-6 minutes, until the mixture has emulsified.
To have a lighter textured mayonnaise you can add the egg white. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg white then at mix on speed 4 for 10 seconds.
Now why would you buy commercial mayonnaise if you could make it that easily?? Imagine the permutations you can make with this basic recipe - garlic aioli, citrus (lime/lemon) mayonnaise, perinnaise (chilli).......
So are you starting to get impressed yet? There are so many things you can make easily and cheaply using the Thermomix. If you are very conscious of what you eat, then this machine lets you have complete control over your food. You can make so many of the basics, as and when you need them, such as flour, powdered sugar, mayonnaise, peanut butter, nutella, stock - the list goes on, and the good thing is that you know exactly what is in there and you know that there are no additives added!!!
As I told you yesterday, we ground raw sugar for a matter of seconds and turned it into icing sugar (pure icing sugar - ie no caking agents). You can also mill your own flour, again pure flour, no additives. It is a little know fact that besan flour has a very short shelf life. It will actually only last 2 weeks before it begins to go rancid. So unless you know that the shop where you buy besan flour from has a very high turn over you can almost guarantee that the besan flour you just bought is already starting to go rancid. The answer of course is to mill your own - a very simple thing to do with the Thermomix.
It took only 8 seconds to grate a 250g block of parmesan cheese! 8 seconds!!! How long would that take by hand?
So Dear Readers what do you think?
Is this little machine something that you think would make your life easier? What would you like to make with a Thermomix if you had one?
PS Dear Readers I have to tell you something - one of my Dear Readers is quite concerned when I don't post for a few days. She is in fear that I am starving my children!! So I must set the record straight - if I don't post with a recipe it means that I have either made something that I refer to as a "crap" dinner - be it anything from some convenience food from the freezer (I know gosh horror!!) or it's burritos, or a grill OR something that I have already blogged about - such was the case last night. For dinner last night I had a special request - Chinese Spag Bol (that is the new favourite). So rest assured Dear Readers, if I do not post, it merely means that I have made a meal that I feel is not blog worthy!!! "The Darlings" are not starving!! - no need to report me to the the authorities (just yet!).
Last Night's dinner - Chinese Spag Bol!!