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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Fresh Fig, Taleggio and Walnut Pizza on the Grill

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Another pizza on the grill using autumn produce. Figs were plentiful, relatively cheap in Sydney and delicious, during the Indian summer and early autumn.

I added my current favourite cheese, taleggio, with walnuts. Taleggio and walnuts are a match made in heaven, in ravioli, in salads, grilled on cape seed bread and of course on pizza.

The grilled pizza is my usual recipe, featured several times on this blog.

Ingredients
Dough

2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water (40.5 – 46 degrees C)
2 to 2 ½ cups bread (strong) flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Toppings

2-3 fresh figs,sliced
100-150g taleggio cheese, torn into chunks
1 tablespoon chutney or sweet onion relish, or to taste
A handful of walnut pieces, roughly chopped

Method
Pizza
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in most of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and soft, but a little sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to bowl lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil, turn to coat. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2-3 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it’s done; an indent should remain.

Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in half and shape each half into a ball. This quantity makes 2 small pizzas. Or leave as 1 ball for 1 large pizza.

Brush with more oil and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat your barbecue to very high.

Stretch and shape the ball/s of dough into a rectangle or round – or any rustic shape! Brush the top/s with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes. Place on the grill directly on the bars, oiled side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip over and grill for 1 minute longer.

Place the pizza/s on a baking tray and apply your toppings:

Scatter over fresh figs, taleggio cheese, chutney or sweet onion relish and walnut pieces.

Return to the barbecue, turn down the heat  to medium, close the cover and cook until the cheese has melted and the pears are heated through, about 5 minutes.

Serve with a scattering of greens – rocket, baby spinach or similar and fresh herbs.

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Chocolate Chunk Fudge Cookies with Raspberry and Rhubarb Jam

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Chocolate Chunk Fudge Cookies
 
This recipe was featured in the May 2014 delicious. magazine.
It originates from the Sydney cooking school BakeClub:
The cookie mixture is particularly rich because of the amount of melted chocolate stirred through it.
I used a mixture of dark and milk chocolate, although the original recipe specifies dark chocolate only.
The short cooking time plus the chocolate base give this cookie a fudgy centre. Quite delicious!

Ingredients

450g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped or a mixture of dark and milk chocolate

125g butter, softened

125g firmly packed brown sugar

2 free range eggs, at room temperature

225g  plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put 300g of the chocolate (dark) in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside, stirring occasionally until cooled to room temperature. Or alternatively melt very carefully in a microwave.

Beat the butter and sugar until well creamed.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined. Add the cooled chocolate and beat until combined.

Sift the flour and baking powder together over the cookie mixture. Add the remaining 150g of chopped dark, or dark and milk chocolate. Stir gently to combine.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to an hour or until the mixture is firm enough to roll into balls. I found the mixture firmed up after half an hour.

Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the cookie mixture into balls and place about 5cm apart on the tray. Place any remaining dough back in the fridge. Use your hands to flatten the balls slightly, to about 4cm in diameter.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until they are still slightly soft to the touch.

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely on the tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.

The cookies are great solo but also go well sandwiched with homemade raspberry and rhubarb jam.IMG_1190
Raspberry and Rhubarb Jam

Ingredients

500g frozen raspberries
150g lightly cooked rhubarb
400g sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Put the raspberries into a china or plastic basin (not metal).  Cover with the sugar and leave for several hours or overnight.

Add lemon juice and gently stir the mixture to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Add the cooked rhubarb.

Transfer to a large saucepan and boil briskly, testing for setting point regularly. When setting point* is reached – about 15  minutes, remove pan from the stove. Ladle carefully into sterilised jars and leave to cool.

Note: use a wooden spoon and do not stir vigorously so that the berries are kept mostly intact.

*Testing for setting point
While the jam is cooking, place a small saucer in the freezer to thoroughly chill (about 5 minutes). When you think the jam may have reached setting point, remove the saucer form the freezer, place a teaspoonful of jam on it, put back in the freezer for 3 or 4 minutes. If the jam has a jelly-like consistency or a crinkly skin has formed on the sample, the jam is ready.

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Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximinez – Movida Recipe

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This recipe hails from MoVida Bar de Tapas, restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney, from the cookbook MoVida: Spanish Culinary Adventures.

http://movida.com.au/slowly-braised-beef-cheeks-in-pedro-ximenez-with-cauliflower-puree-carillera-de-buey/

I cooked the beef cheeks in the oven rather than on the stove top as the original recipe suggests. The temperature needs to be low and the cooking time long.  This is slow cooking at its best!

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cookbook MoVida: Spanish Culinary Adventures
cookbook MoVida: Spanish Culinary Adventures
cookbook MoVida: Spanish Culinary Adventures

Ingredients

1.5 kg  beef cheeks
125 ml  olive oil
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 garlicky bulb, halved
1 brown onion, sliced
500 ml  Pedro Ximenez sherry
500 ml  red wine
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C or even lower if your oven is hot (like mine).

Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up and remove any sinew and silver skin. Season well.

Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based baking dish over high heat. Brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then remove from the pan.

Add the remaining olive oil, then add the carrot, garlic and onion and sauté over high heat for 12-15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the sherry, wine, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and 500 ml water.

Reduce the heat and add the beef cheeks.  Cover and place in the oven to cook for 3-4 hours, or until the cheeks are beginning to fall apart.

The sauce from the beef cheeks should by now be reduced and glaze-like. If it needs further reducing, remove the cheeks from the baking dish, cover with foil to keep them warm and simmer the sauce over high heat on the stove top until nicely reduced. Gently reheat the cheeks in the sauce if necessary.

I served the beef cheeks with slow baked yellow, orange and purple carrots, and grilled corn tortillas to soak up the sauce – mash or pappardelle or rice would also be good.

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