I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bouillabaisse in a Bag with Rouille

My loyal readers should know by now what a sucker I am for a gorgeous cookbook, especially one with drool worthy photos!!!

So it should come as no surprise when I tell you that when they recently offered a free copy of "Delicious Simply the Best Cookbook" when subscribing to Delicious Magazine - I said yes immediately!!!  I offer let my subscriptions lapse just so I can see what offers they will entice me with!!!  I have received many free cookbooks this way - a girl can never have too many, now can she???

The other day when the postman came and delivered my anxiously awaited parcel, let me tell you I had that envelope open before I had even left the letterbox!!!  My mouth was seriously salivating before going more than 20 pages into the book.  This book was full of serious food porn!!  Every page a beautiful full page photo - I couldn't wait to start cooking!!!

One of the first dishes that caught my attention was the one entitled Bouillabaisse in a Bag - my second love after food porn, is of course seafood!!!  This recipe looked right up my alley - and so simple too.  I ummed and aaghed  about how I was going to actually make it.  I did think about steaming it (in the varoma on my Thermomix) - but then decided as I already had the oven going making fresh bread I would just go ahead and cook it in the oven as the recipe suggested.  I did, however, make a couple of little alterations along the way (what did you expect?)

Bouillabaisse in a Bag
Adapted from Delicious Simply the Best Cookbook by Valli Little

Serves 3-4 (depending on how much you love seafood!!!)

12 green prawns, peeled, (tails intact, deveined
350g skinless, boneless white fish (I used Marlin)
350g skinless, boneless salmon fillet
12 mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
12 cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a tomato medley)
1 cup podded broad beans, blanched, and peeled
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 cup dill sprigs
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

To prepare the parcels lay out 2 sheets of foil for each package that you are making.  Place one sheet horizontally, and one piece vertically (you want them to form a cross).

Divide the seafood, tomatoes, beans, peas, 3/4 of the dill, and the lemon slices among the parcels.  Drizzle with the white wine and a little olive oil.  Seal the parcels, by gathering up the sides, and securing the tops well.  Add an additional layer of foil if necessary to ensure a tightly sealed package.

Place the parcels in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the seafood is just cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Now here is where I made another deviation to the recipe.  Valli suggested that you serve the dish with an aioli and boiled potatoes.

I decided that because I had lovely fresh bread that the potatoes were unnecessary, and I really didn't feel like an aioli, so instead I made a rouille.

What is a rouille you may ask??  A rouille (rhymes with bluey) is basically a mayonnaise type sauce, but with colour and texture.  The word rouille is french for rust - so it gets it's name from the deep red colour that the chillies and capsicum give to the mayo.  The textured part comes from breadcrumbs.  Typically it is used to enhance a bouillabaisse, but can also be served with roasted meats.  I am so glad I went with my gut instinct on this one - it was the perfect match for this dish!!!

From Meat on The Menu, Thermomix Cookbook

70g stale breadcrumbs
60g water
200g roasted red capsicum, deseeded and peeled (approximately 2 capsicums)
1 long red chilli
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg yolk
1 tbs lemon juice
sea salt to taste
60-80g extra virgin olive oil

Place the breadcrumbs into water in a small bowl and allow them to soak for several minutes.

Place the capsicum, chilli, garlic and cayenne pepper into the TM bowl, blend for 10 seconds on speed 7.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the bread using your hands.  Place the bread into the TM bowl along with the egg yolk, lemon juice and salt.  Blend for 10 seconds on speed 10.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the dial set to speed 4, add the oil to the reservoir, with the MC in place, and allow the oil to seep slowly into the TM bowl (taking approximately 2 minutes to add all the oil).

The mixture should be the consistency of a thin mayonnaise.

Note: you can make this in a food processor if you want.

To plate up the Bouillabaisse, gently empty the parcels into a wide, soup type plate.  Top with additional lemon slices, dill springs and a dollop of rouille.

Mmmmmm was this dish good!!!!  A slice of freshly baked bread comes in oh so handy, to mop up all the lovely garlicky, seafoody liquid in the bottom of the plate!!!

This was a lovely, tasty, easy dish to make - if you are having a dinner party and want to impress, this is one to try!!!  Why wait for a reason though - this is a good simple dish to try anytime!!!

So tell me Dear Readers are you addicted to food porn too???  Come on, don't be shy tell us all about it!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coconut Crusted Salmon with Passionfruit Mayonnaise

The summer fruit has all arrived in the fruit shops, but somehow the summer weather seems to have made a wrong turn somewhere en route to Sydney!

Monday, we were all rushing to find our shorts or the coolest of clothes, as we sweltered in unbearable heat.  The night that followed was no cooler, and we wrestled with the bed sheets trying to sleep in the oppressive heat.

The next day the air was filled with the smell of bushfires (thanks to backburning that had gone a little awry!!) and all of this makes you think that summer has finally arrived, and hot glorious days are here to stay - then


It's cold again!  Today I sit here rugged up in jeans and a sweater, and wonder what warm comforting food I can make for dinner tonight!  I tell you it's crazy!

This meal was from last weekend when the nights were balmy, and I was dreaming of summer!  Perhaps those nights will come again, and this is the perfect meal to serve then!!

It's a little left of centre - but in a really good way.  I wondered what the passionfruit mayonnaise would be like, and I must say I really liked it.  The quantity the recipe makes will leave you with some left over, and I am contemplating using it with some prawns and mango - in a some kind of salad.

The recipe says that it serves four - but I found that the coconut crust was enough to make a fairly substantial topping for two large tail pieces of salmon.  I will give you the recipe as it appears in the magazine, and let you make the judgement call on what size, or how many pieces of salmon to use.

Coconut Crusted Salmon with Passionfruit Mayonnaise
From Good Food Magazine, December issue - Recipe by Ross Dobson

Serves 4

1/4 cup (60ml) coconut cream
1/4 cup (35g) unsalted raw cashews, lightly roasted *
1 cup mint leaves
2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs fish sauce
700g salmon fillet, skin on **
lemon wedges to serve

Passionfruit Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
1 tsp lemon juice ***
3/4 cup (185ml) light olive oil ****
3 tbs passionfruit pulp (approximately 2 large passionfruit)

Place the coconut cream, cashews, mint, lime juice and fish sauce in a food processor (or the Thermomix).  Process to a thick, smooth paste.

Place the salmon, skin side down, on a lined baking tray.  Rub the cashew mixture all over the salmon flesh, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the passionfruit mayonnaise, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Whisk in the oil a little at a time, until the mixture is combined and thick.  Stir in the passionfruit, and set aside.

Of course I made the mayonnaise in the thermomix - here is my version.  With the butterfly in place, add the egg yolks and lemon juice to the TM bowl.  Put on speed 4 and mix until the the egg yolks and juice are combined.  With the motor still running on speed 4, add the oil to the reservoir, making sure that it drips slowly.  Continued whisking until the mayonnaise is totally emulsified - this should take between 2 - 3 minutes.  It will make quite a thick consistency.  Add the passionfruit pulp to the mayonnaise, mix gently on speed 3 until combined.  Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Set aside.  I really does need seasoning - the salt really picks up the passionfruit flavour!!

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (fan).  Roast the salmon for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and medium rare, or cooked to you liking. (You may need to place under the grill to crisp up the crust - but watch it carefully if you do!)  Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with vegetables or salad of choice, passionfruit mayonnaise, and lemon wedges.

My changes:
* oops - I forgot to toast the cashews - it was fine.  You could also just buy already roasted, unsalted cashews.

** I used 2 x tail pieces - you could also use 4 x smaller pieces of salmon.

***  I used lime juice as it was leftover, and I couldn't be bothered cutting a lemon for 1 teaspoon worth of juice!  Added a nice zing to the mayo!

**** I used light olive oil, but I think next time that I would actually prefer to use an even lighter flavoured oil, such as rice brain oil (which is what I usually use when making mayo).

This was a great summertime meal - and really quite easy if you are entertaining.  You can make the crust ahead of time, and place it on the salmon.  Make the mayo in advance and then just serve it with a lovely salad.  Your guests will be suitably impressed I am sure!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Home Made Fast Food

I have had several comments lately from loyal readers commenting that my posts have been somewhat irregular of late.  I explained that I have been (as most people) a little time poor lately and have simply been churning out quick and easy dinner solutions.  I was then asked, well what kinds of things have you been making?  Can't you share those with us, we need a little inspiration to??

So here is what I churned out last night - fast food, but home made and healthy!

As "The Darlings" have a love of anything that comes wrapped in flat bread I was sure I would be onto a winner here.  They didn't even comment about the pieces of green stuff in the meatballs, probably because once it was all wrapped up, they were so intent on devouring it, they didn't even see it!!!!  Saying that - they didn't eat the tabbouli - but you can't expect miracles now can you???

I started off by making a hommus - it appears going back through my blog, that I haven't given you the recipe for this before, but it is a stock standard Thermomix recipe.

From Thermomix EDC Cookbook

1 clove garlic
400g can chick peas, drained
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs tahini
40g olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the garlic in the TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.

Add all other ingredients and mix 30 seconds (for a coarser style dip) or up to 1 minute (for a creamy style dip) on speed 4.

Remove approximately 90% of the dip, place in a container, and refrigerate until needed.

With the 10% of the hommus left in the TM bowl, it's time to make the tabbouli.

Adapted from Meat on the Menu - Thermomix Cookbook

1 cup of burghul
2 green onion/shallots, cut into approximately 6 cm pieces
2 bunches of continental parsley, broken into halves
1 large bunch mint
juice of 2 lemons
50g olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 large roma tomatoes, halved, and seeds removed
1 lebanese cucumber, halved, seeds removed, then halved again

Place the burghul in a bowl and cover with boiling water for approximately 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, drain well, before adding to salad.

Place the shallots, parsley, and mint into the TM bowl (along with the remaining hommus).  Chop for 5 seconds on speed 6.  Scrape the bowl down, and repeat if necessary.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes and cucumber.  Place on closed lid position, and press turbo 2-3 times until the desired consistency is achieved.

DO NOT RINSE OUT THE BOWL!!!!  One of the great things about the Thermomix is that you don't need to keep washing the bowl all the time - often times you want the transference of flavours to the next thing you are making - of course, make sure you wash it well after mincing the meat!!!!!

Note:  I find that using the turbo function gives you much more control and a lovely uneven chopped consistency - as opposed to simply "processed".

Add the well drained burghul and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place in a bowl and place in refrigerator until needed.

Now onto the Meatballs......

Beef and Feta Meatballs
Adapted from Meat on the Menu - Thermomix Cookbook

large handfull continental parsley
large handful mint
4 cloves garlic
3 green onions/shallots, cut into approximately 6cm pieces
1kg rump steak, trimmed and cut into large cubes
2 tsp cumin powder
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
200g feta cheese

Place the shallots, mint, parsley and garlic in the TM bowl and process for 3 seconds on speed 7.  Scrape down the bowl and repeat if necessary.  Remove from the TM bowl, and place into a large bowl.

Place the bread into the TM bowl and process on speed 8 for approximately 10 seconds, or until fine breadcrumb stage.  Remove from TM bowl and add to the herb mixture.

In 200-250g lots process the rump steak by putting in closed lid position and pressing turbo 2-3 times, this will give you a lovely inconsistent texture - some large some small.  Remove from TM bowl and place in large bowl with other ingredients.  Repeat until all the steak is minced.

Crumble the feta cheese, and in closed lid position hit turbo 1-2 times, or until the cheese is just crumbled.  Add the cheese to bowl with all the other ingredients.

To the bowl containing the mince and herbs add the egg, cumin, and season well with salt and pepper.  Using your hands mix the mince and seasonings until well combined.

To save washing up I like to use disposable aluminium trays - spray one or two (depending on size) well with olive oil spray.

Take a small handful of the mince mixture and shape into a torpedo shape.  Place in the prepared aluminium tray.  Repeat until all mince has been shaped.  Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees.

Spray the tops of the meatballs with olive oil spray and bake for 110-15 mintes, or until starting to turn golden.  Turn over, spray the other side with olive oil spray and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.

To assemble your meal, heat a pice of lebanese flat bread in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Spread the bread with a good lashing of hommus, top with 2 meatballs, add a large dollop of tabbouli, then garnish with sauce of your choice - mine is hot chilli sauce!!!!

So there you have our fast and easy dinner last night!!!!

Hope it gives you some inspiration for your dinner tonight!!!  I know it appears that there are a lot of steps to this - but in reality it all took between 30-60 minutes to prepare and all of the hard work was done by thermie.  The most time consuming thing was shaping the meatballs!!!

For all those out there that always ask me "Do you really use your Thermomix?" - there you have your answer!!!  It made making this meal oh so simple - no laborious chopping - just a couple of seconds of button pushing!!!!  I use Thermie practically everyday in some way or another!!!  Don't know how I ever did without my little friend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cashew Nut Curry and Grilled Banana Prawns with Black pepper and Curry Leaf Sauce

Now, I don't live on your typical suburban block, so when the neighbor says to me that our dinner last night smelled really good, you know that there has to be some weight in that statement! That, or there was a good stiff breeze blowing I their direction that evening!

I wish I could take a bow and say thank you, yes it was a wonderful meal, and feel like an absolute domestic goddess, but unfortunately I can take absolutely none of the credit.

You see, I was reading one of favourite regular blogs, Muppys, and saw her wonderful menu, and of course I had to copy it! Now the credit of course, as Muppy openly admits, doesn't belong with her either - in fact her inspiration came from watching the SBS series My Sri Lanka with Sydney based chef, Peter Kuravita, of Flying Fish fame.

All I can say about this menu is...... You have to try it! It is absolutely fabulous! The flavours, the aromas...... I'm salivating again just thinking about how good this meal was! It truly urge you, make the effort, source out the indigents, and give it a go. It really isn't that hard, once you have everything chopped up, it virtually cooks itself, and then all you have to do is quickly fry off the prawn the prawns.

Of course, I did make a couple of amendments, some by accident, some by choice, but check out the original recipe, and make your own adaptions. After the link I will tell you my adaptions to the recipes.

Cashew Nut Curry

Cashew Nut Curry Sauce simmering away!!!

* Changes:

Forgot to buy green chillies, - so used 1 x red chilli - heat volume was good, but if you like hotter, go with the green chilli.

Ooops, forgot the roasted curry powder as a garnish!!!

Grilled Banana Prawns With Black Pepper and Curry Leaf Sauce

Black Pepper and Curry Leaf Sauce


Couldn't find Bombay Onions, - used purple/red onions.

Oooops, didn't do all the garnishes - had no idea what a pomelo was, and.... well I was getting hungry by this stage and the aromas had been wafting around for about an hour now!!!!  Just get those puppies on the plate!!!!

Please, please try this, you will not be disappointed! You have my word on this!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Muppy for giving me the inspiration to try this dish!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Beef Sliders on Soft Potato Buns

I am only a new convert to the ipad (in fact I think I am probably the last person on earth who didn't have an ipad!) - so I am only just starting to embrace the world of cooking apps and magazines.  I can't say that I am overly in love with them, but by the same token, I don't hate them either.

There is the advantage of being able to have your ipad open on the bench while you are cooking, and not cluttering your complete bench top with magazines or recipe books.  But the thing that I can't embrace is the fact that I can't stand there and flip through the magazine as easily as I could with all the magazines on the bench.  As I said I am new to all of this, but trying to find the page that something is on seems a little more cumbersome, I flip through the thumbnails, only to have the one I want whiz right by.

I recently purchased the MasterChef app - only to have it not work once I had purchased it (apparently there are some bugs there that still need to be ironed out) - what the lovely people at MasterChef Magazine  did was send me a copy of the old fashioned paper version!!!

In the November edition there was an article called "Top 6 Party Plates".  One of the dishes that caught my eye was the Beef Sliders - "The Darlings" are fond of their burgers, and when I can make the mince, and the buns myself, so much the better.

I did not make the sliders exactly to the recipe, the recipe included a slaw, which I knew "The Darlings" wouldn't eat, so here is the version I made.

Beef Sliders on Soft Potato Buns
Adapted from MasterChef Magazine, November edition

Makes 20

115g packet Deb Instant Mashed Potato with Onion
60g 1(1/2 cup) finely grated colby cheese
150g (1 cup) self raising flour
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbs olive oil
1 egg yolk, whisked with 1 tbs water, for eggwash
1 tbs sesame seeds
800g beef rump steaks, trimmed, cut into 2cm cubes
4 middle bacon rashers, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 tbs whole egg mayonnaise
bread and butter pickles
roma tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 210 degrees C.  Line a large oven tray with baking paper.

To make the buns, combine the instant mashed potato, cheese and flour in a bowl (or the Thermomix).  Whisk together the mustard, oil and 220ml of water in a small bowl.  Add to the flour mixture.  Stir to form a dough. (Knead on interval function until the dough comes together.).

Divide the dough into 20 pieces.  Roll each portion into 3.5cm balls, then place on the tray and flatten slightly.  Brush with the eggwash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and risen.  Cool slightly, then cut in half horizontally.

To make the beef patties, place 200g amounts of beef and 1/4 of the bacon into the TM bowl.  Put on closed lid position and press Turbo 3 - 4 times, or until the mince is the texture you desire.  Remove from TM bowl, and set aside.  Repeat until all the meat and bacon has been processed.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Using oiled hands, shape the mixture into 20 x 5cm patties.

To cook the patties, heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.  Cook the patties for 1-2 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.  Drain on paper towel.

To assemble each bun, spread each base with a little mayonnaise, top with a pickle, meat patty, and tomato slice.  (you may also like to add a small cheese slice to the equation too!!!).  Of course some fries won't go astray either!

Now watch those puppies just slide off the plate and into all those hungry bellies!!!!

They were a little more time consuming to make than regular burgers, but I am getting repeat requests for them, so that must mean they were good!

The buns were quite different too - I will definitely make them again!