So how was your Valentine's Day? I hope you had a lovely meal with your loved one somewhere.
We had a quiet night in at home. As promised, here are the recipes from last night's dinner.
For starters we had Souffle Oysters. I am not a huge fan of raw oysters, so I always tend to cook them some how. I am kind of tired of the usual of Oysters Kilpatrick, so decided to make Souffle Oysters this time. Years and years ago I had a go at making these, but for the life of me I couldn't remember where the recipe was (don't you hate when that happens?). So after several google attempts, and not finding the recipe I wanted here, is what I I ended up making (I think it was kind of close to the one I made many moons ago!!!)
12 oysters on the half shell
2 tbs finely grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, separated
2 tbs whole egg mayonnaise
1 tbs snipped chives
squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
Prepare a small baking try by either spreading rock salt on the tray or by placing a piece of foil that you have crinkled up on the tray (you want a decent amount of crinkles to hold the oyster shells in place!!)
Place the oysters on your prepared baking tray.
Combine the parmesan, egg yolk, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice and dijon mustard in a small bowl. Mix well, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a separate small bowl beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg white into the parmesan mixture, until just combined. Fold in the remaining egg white, being careful not to mix it too much and break up the air bubbles.
Spoon 1 -2 teaspoons of the souffle mixture onto each oyster shell.
Place the oysters under the grill, and grill for approximately 3 minutes, or until the topping is lovely and golden.
So how were they - delicious!!! not overly cooked, but not raw either. The lovely light cheesy souffle topping was just what I was searching for!
For the main I wanted to try something a little different, and decided to try steamed salmon (in the Varoma). The recipe actually had the salmon being stuffed with a salmon mousse, but I wanted to vary it a little, so I gave it a prawn and salmon mousse filling!
Salmon with Prawn and Salmon Mousse Stuffing with Curried Mango Sauce
Adapted from Full Steam Ahead - Thermomix Cookbook
180g green prawn meat *
60 g salmon (these were the off cuts from evening out the fillet pieces) *
15g butter, softened
200g cream (30% fat)
2tbs snipped chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Place the salmon pieces and prawn meat into the TM mixing bowl. Mince for 15 seconds on speed 5.
Add the cream, salt and pepper, nutmeg, chives, and cayenne pepper. Mince for 15 seconds on speed 6.
Transfer mousse mixture to a bowl.
* You can either use approximately 250g of salmon, or prawn meat for the mousse, or do as I have done and make a combination. You will have slightly more than is needed for stuffing the fillet, but wait.... and see what I did with it!
I purchased 2 x large tail pieces, skinned
Trim the tail pieces so that they match each other exactly in size, and you have a nice even sized pieces of fish.
Spread out a large piece of cling wrap on the kitchen bench.
Place one fillet on the cling wrap. Spread the fillet with a generous amount of the mousse. Place the second fillet on top of the mousse. Wrap the cling wrap tightly around the fish, making sure that you have completely enclosed the fish.
Place the wrapped salmon fillet into the Varoma receptacle.
Now I hear you asking what I did with the left over mousse mixture???
Lay out another piece of cling wrap. Place the mouse onto the wrap, and roll it into a sausage shape. Place in the Varoma along with the salmon.
Curried Mango Sauce
250g of fresh mango pieces
1/2 tsp curry powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g fish stock
200g cream (30% fat)
100g plain yoghurt
2 tsp cornflour
Now here is the beauty of cooking with the Thermomix. You can steam your fishand vegetables, and cook your sauce all at the same time (while you are still sitting at the table having a glass of wine!!!). There are two levels to the Varoma - on the bottom level you have your fish, and the top level the vegetables that you are serving with the fish. Leave the vegetable layer out for the first 2 cooking stages.
Place the mango pulp, brandy and salt and pepper into the TM mixing bowl. Cook for 5 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1.
Add the stock, place the Varoma (with the fish inside!!) into position and cook for 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1.
Set the varoma aside. (Keep covered) Add the cream through the opening in the mixing bowl lid, place the varoma back in place, with only the vegetable layer in place. Cook for 5 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 1.
Add the yoghurt that you have combined with the cornflour, blend for 30 sec/speed 10. Season if needed. Add both levels back to the varoma, and cook for an additional 4 minutes/varoma/speed 1.
Carefully remove the fish, and unwrap from the plastic. Cut neatly into two serving portions. Unwrap the mousse "sausage" and slice up and serve along side the salmon.
Serve the salmon with potatoes and steamed vegetables of choice.
The reason I split up the vegetables and the fish was that last time I cooked the vegetables in the varoma for the length of time the recipe specified I found the vegetables too soft for my liking - you may alter this if you like.
Now of course if you do not have a Thermomix - do not despair. You can make the mousse filling in a food processor - and steam the fish in a similar way using other steaming methods.
Now onto the piece de resistance!!! Dessert. I pondered long and hard over this one - I was going to make my favourite Creme Brulee - but Precious wanted to bake cupcakes for her new beau - so we compromised, and split one batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes between us - and had fun making them together. I had seen many and various recipes for these floating around the internet - but this is the one we tried to adapt to the Thermomix.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from recipe found at joyofbaking.com
Makes approx 12-13 (you want a "spare" to sacrifice for crumbs!)
200g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 grams cocoa powder
60g butter, at room temperature
180g white caster sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbs red liquid food colouring
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp bi carb soda
Cream Cheese Frosting
250g crem cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g icing sugar, sifted
I will give you both methods for making these - the regular version and in bold the TM method.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (non fan forced)
Prepare muffin tray with liners.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
In the bowl of electric mixer (TM) beat the butter until soft. (1.30 minutes 50 degrees - Speed 4). Add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy (30 seconds speed 5). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. (10 seconds speed 3). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. (5 seconds speed 6).
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food colouring. With the mixer on low speed (speed 3) alternatively add the flour mixture, and then the buttermilk mixture to the bowl. Do this in three additions, ending with the flour mixture.
In a small cup combine the vinegar with the bi carb soda. Allow the mixture to fizz, and then quickly mix into the cake batter. (10 seconds speed 6).
Now they said to work quickly - but we couldn't and it didn't seem to make much of a difference. Divide the batter amongst your prepared muffin cups. Smooth the tops.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool the cakes on a wire rack until completely cool.
To make the cream cheese frosting place the cream cheese in the bowl of your electric mixer (TM - with butterfly attachment) Beat the cream cheese until smooth (20 seconds speed 4) scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla and icing sugar, and beat until the mixture in nice and smooth (20 seconds speed 4). You may need to add more icing sugar to get the right consistency. Now you can either pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes (but we found this took way too much frosting!!) - or you can use a spatula knife.
Crumble your "sacrificial" cupcake and top the frosting with those lovely red crumbs!!
So how were these lovely little red cakes?
Pretty darn good ........
Even the taste tester said so!!!!
So I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day as much as we did.
.... and in answer to the question that I know you are going to ask.... no "The Darlings" did not partake of this meal with us - I fed them earlier - on 4 ingredient pasta!! So everyone was happy last night!!!
I apologise if I have not given exactly accurate directions with the TM - but it got a little frenetic at times in the kitchen yesterday while we were baking!!!
As you all know I am signed up for the 2011 Cookbook Challenge. This fortnight's theme was LOVE!!! So last night's meal I thought fit pretty well into that theme!!! Go check out the site to see what others have been making.