Advertisements
RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Pea Fish Pie

IMG_7048

Fish and mashed potato are a lovely combination in this pie. From Save With Jamie, the recipe is great because it uses frozen fish fillets, which means you can pull the fish out of the freezer and create the dish without much pre-planning.  Everyone has potatoes on hand, and the peas are frozen too.

I made a few changes to the recipe – I cut the quantities down by half (to serve four), and used salmon fillets only instead of additional white fish and prawns. And I left out the carrots.

So this is the recipe I made, followed by Jamie’s original recipe with quantities for eight and salmon, white fish and prawns, and carrots.

And I have now had feedback that my tweaked recipe works – my friend Katrina,  recently wed,  has cooked the dish – and here is the picture to prove it! Looks yummy!

IMG_5105

Ingredients

500 g potatoes

1 lemon

20 g unsalted butter

200 g frozen peas

1 onion chopped

Olive oil

250ml semi-skimmed milk

300 g frozen salmon fillets

35 g plain flour

50 g frozen spinach

1/2 heaped teaspoon  mustard

20 g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees fan forced.

Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato, then leave to one side.

Add the chopped onion and cook in a large ovenproof pan with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the saucepan off the heat.

Stir the flour into the onion, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the  mustard and the juice from half the lemon, grate in the cheese and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until crisp on top.

IMG_7073

Jamie’s original recipe

Ingredients

1kg potatoes

1 lemon

40g unsalted butter

400g frozen peas

2 carrots

2 onions

Olive oil

500ml semi-skimmed milk

2 x 150g frozen salmon fillets, from sustainable sources

2 x 100g frozen white fish fillets, from sustainable sources

65g plain flour

100g frozen spinach

125g frozen cooked peeled prawns, from sustainable sources

1 heaped teaspoon English mustard

40g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato, then leave to one side.

Peel and chop the carrots and onions and cook them in a large ovenproof pan (roughly 30cm in diameter) with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat.

Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season to perfection. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the prawns, mustard and the juice from half the lemon, grate in the Cheddar and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until beautifully golden. Serve with a good old helping of baked beans (if you like) – delicious!

IMG_7010

Advertisements

Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

IMG_6627

I was inspired to make this recipe from The Baker’s Wardrobe blog: http://thebakerswardrobe.wordpress.com, with a few of my own tweaks.

I was surprised that the blondies rose without baking powder! They are a very sweet blondie but the raspberries cut down a little on the sweetness.

Ingredients

115 g unsalted butter

180 g white chocolate chopped

115 g caster sugar

2 free range eggs

1 tsp of vanilla paste

125 g plain flour +1 tbls flour

1 cup frozen raspberries raspberries

Method

Preheat the oven to to 180 degrees C or 170 degrees fan forced.

Grease and line a 20 cm x 20 cm  baking tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and 100g of the white chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth.

Beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla paste in a bowl until the mixture is thick.

Gently combine the the butter and white chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture.

Gently fold 1/3 of the flour into the batter and repeat twice until all the flour is all incorporated.

Mix half of the raspberries in the tablespoon of flour then gently fold the raspberries into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and place the remaining white chocolate pieces and remaining raspberries over the top of the batter.

IMG_5016

Bake for 30- 35 minutes. The blondies will have risen but will still be slightly soft in the middle.

Cool in the tin before cutting into squares.

IMG_6605

 

Spring in the Garden

Lovely spring days in my courtyard garden in Rozelle.

IMG_6539

The Quirky Cat

IMG_6510IMG_6785IMG_6781IMG_6509IMG_6788IMG_6467IMG_6551

Very Blueberry Cake with Toasted Hazelnuts

IMG_6830

I’m very keen on blueberries at the moment and they are relatively inexpensive at the markets. This cake does blueberries 4 ways! Dried blueberries and fresh blueberries in the batter, blueberry “jam” on top of the cooked cake and more fresh blueberries as a garnish. The cake has quite a nutty taste from the hazelnut meal and the toasted hazelnuts.

It’s a very moist cake too, and is great for dessert.

Ingredients

125 g softened butter

115 g  caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 free-range eggs

1 heaped tbls our cream

3/4 cup hazelnut meal

1/4 cup toasted and finely chopped  hazelnuts

3/4 cups self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 cup milk

30 g dried blueberries, soaked in 1 tblsp of orange liqueur  for a hour or so  (any liqueur will do)

200 g fresh blueberries

1/3 cup caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced. Grease a 20cm spring form tin and line base with baking paper.

Cream butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a food processor.  Add the eggs and process until the mixture is thick and creamy. Beat in the sour cream.  Sift the hazelnut meal with the chopped hazelnuts,  SR flour and bicarbonate of soda. Stir the sifted ingredients into the mixture with a spoon, then stir in the milk.

Gently fold in the soaked dried blueberries and half of the fresh blueberries.  Spoon into the cake tin using a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the remaining blueberries and caster sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved, the blueberries are slightly softened and the liquid slightly reduced. You can gently press on the blueberries with the back of spoon or the bottom of a cup to help them release their juices.

Cool the cake completely in the tin before unmolding. Pile the blueberry “jam” onto the top of the cake.

Serve with more fresh berries and a sprinkling of sugar if desired, and serve with creme fraiche or sour cream, which offsets the incredible sweetness of this cake.

IMG_6816IMG_6858

Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan with Lemon Cream

IMG_5052

My oldest  friend recently asked me to dinner. And no, she’s not 105  – I have known her the longest of all my friends – since kindy!

It was one of those serendipitous meals where everything was wonderful – lovely flavours, beautifully cooked, everything hit the right note. The wild barramundi with preserved lemon, crisp potatoes and chilli mayonnaise was amazing.

However the piece de resistance was the dessert – Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan with Lemon Cream. What was unusual about this flan was that it was more “cakey” than “tarty” with a lovely texture half way between a curd and a cake crumb. The standout flavour was the passionfruit – this was an inspired ingredient in this cake.

The recipe comes from the magazine New Idea.

IMG_5054

My friend used her own recipe for lemon curd that she has been cooking for ever, handed down from her grandmother, a wonderful cook most fondly remembered by me.

Here it is:

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

1 free-range egg

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 oz butter (28-30 g)

1 tbls cornflour ( a heaped spoon if the lemon is a big one!)

Rind and juice of 1 lemon

Method

Place all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until thickened. Cool before using.

 

IMG_5064

Serve the Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan with the lemon cream as topping and with ice cream!

IMG_5066

If you would like to see more of my friend’s recipes, (Dr Rosemary) check this post:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/03/11/breakfast-with-the-doctors/

 

 

 

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala

IMG_6749

I have just acquired Jamie’s new book Comfort Food: http://www.jamieoliver.com/comfortfood/

As a huge fan of the man, his food, his food philosophy and his ethics, I devote a lot of time to his recipes on this blog. So much of what I cook and eat at home is a Jamie recipe or Jamie inspired, so it’s only natural that I write up these food creations.

I am mightily impressed with this book: really great food, some dishes simple, some not so simple, but all really well thought out. Everything looks utterly delicious! The photography is so inviting.

What to cook first? Chicken Tikka Masala took my fancy, and I thought I had better pace myself to get ready to get stuck into the cakes and desserts. Can’t wait to try the Dreamy Marshmallow Pavlova………………….

Chicken Tikka Masala can be cooked entirely on the barbecue or on a traditional stove. I did a bit of each. I really think you need to barbecue the chicken skewers – you need that charred and smoky flavour. Jamie (as seen on the accompanying TV series) cooked over coals in a hole in the ground. My ordinary barbecue was just fine!

I also made the paratha breads to go with the curry. They were a revelation – dead simple kinda flat bread – and perfect to mop up the the lovely sauce.

I am giving this recipe straight from Jamie  – no quirky tweaks – it’s doesn’t need them!

IMG_6774

Ingredients

1 level teaspoon ground cloves

1 level teaspoon ground cumin

2 heaped teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

2 heaped teaspoons garam masala

3 lemons

6 cloves of garlic

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

6 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt

800 g skinless boneless chicken breasts

3 fresh green or yellow chillies

For the sauce:

2 onions

4 cloves of garlic

1–2 fresh red chillies

30 g fresh coriander

olive oil

1 level tablespoon ground coriander

2 level tablespoons turmeric

6 tablespoons ground almonds

2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube

2 x 400 g tins of light coconut milk

For the paratha breads:

300 g wholemeal bread flour

300 g plain flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

400 ml semi-skimmed milk

 

Method

Put the cloves, cumin and 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala into a small pan and toast for 1 minute to bring them back to life, then tip into a large bowl. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in all its juice, crush in the garlic, peel and finely grate in the ginger, and add the yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cut the chicken breasts into 5cm chunks, then massage all that flavour into the meat. Skewer up the chicken chunks, interspersing them with lemon wedges and chunks of green or yellow chilli, but don’t squash them together too much. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the sauce, peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the red chillies and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves for later). Put it all into a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat with a lug of oil and cook for around 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring regularly. Add the ground coriander, turmeric and remaining 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes, then add and toast the almonds. Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 300ml of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season to perfection.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, drizzle it with a little oil, then grill on a hot barbecue, in a screaming hot griddle pan or under a hot grill, turning until it’s very golden and gnarly on all sides. Slice the chicken off the skewers straight into the sauce, reserving the lemons. Simmer for 2 minutes while you use tongs to squeeze some jammy lemons over the curry, to taste. Swirl through some more yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, and serve with parathas or fluffy basmati rice.

Here’s a nice little game-changer – make your own paratha to enjoy with your chicken tikka. For 8 people, put 300g each of wholemeal bread flour and plain flour into a bowl with a goood pinch of sea salt. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 400ml of semi-skimmed milk, mixing until combined, then knead for a few minutes on a flour-dusted surface. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, then divide the dough into 8 and thinly roll out each piece to A4 size. One-by-one, drizzle and rub lightly with oil, roll up into a loose log, roll the log up like a Catherine wheel, then roll out with a rolling pin again to a flat round just under ½cm thick. Cook in a hot oiled frying pan on a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until nicely charred, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a board and smash together to expose the layers.

IMG_6731

Rainbow Party Cakes

IMG_5980

I have been experimenting with flavour essences for cupcakes as well as food colours, creating some pretty heady colours as well as flavours! I have created these for various young tasters but older tasters seem to like them too!

Raspberry, passionfruit and lime are flavourful and vibrant. The raspberry cakes are the most successful, I think. The lime cakes taste a little artificial.

The recipe is Nigella’s standard cupcake recipe, which I use a lot, as it’s an “everything in the food processor” recipe. The frosting is buttercream. Adding flavoured fondant creme is not strictly necessary, but adds more depth.

IMG_5940

Ingredients

Cupcakes

125g self-raising flour

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tblsp milk

A couple of drops of red, yellow or green food colouring

Buttercream Icing

125g butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

A couple of drops of raspberry, passionfruit or lime essence

A couple of drops of red, yellow or green food colouring

 

Method

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Put all the ingredients except the milk and food colouring in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Add the milk while pulsing to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture into 3 bowls and beat in food colouring to each bowl.

Spoon mixture into the cases, filling the cases equally.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top.

Take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Ice with the buttercream icing.

Buttercream Icing

In the food processor, cream together the butter and icing sugar until light an fluffy, then add flavour essence, food colour and fondant if using, whizzing continuously.

IMG_5964

 

%d bloggers like this: