Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thermomix gingerbread

I have made about four different batches of gingerbread in the last month, Christmas cut outs for teachers and ninja bread men for Sifu at Kung Fu.

Good gingerbread needs to be easy to work with, not get tough if the kids use it as playdough, not be too crumbly when packaged and be delicious at the end.

This is the winner hands down

Put in the Thermomix bowl:

125g butter
75 g dark brown sugar
175g golden syrup

Heat for 4 minutes at 50 degrees, speed 1

Add dry ingredients to bowl

450g plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon bicarb soda

Top with 1 egg beaten lightly with a fork in a cup
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Mix 10 seconds on speed 6, push down sides, .mix a further 10 seconds, push down sides mix 5 seconds

Knead 30 seconds on interval setting

Turn out onto floured board. Knead lightly, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes,
Roll out on floured board or silicon mat and cut into shape

I have a great selection of cutters - look after your cutters they are so precious. If you wash them while your biscuits bake you can pop them in the cooling oven to make sure they dry out properly.

Bake 10-12 minutes until they are just starting to change colour. Take out and cool on racks.

You can decorate with edible ball bearings before they go in the oven or royal icing (1 egg white and 1 cup icing sugar) after they come out

Give to teachers, friends, neighbours and the postman

Merry Christmas everyone!

Something with seafood

That's the Australian Christmas isn't it?

We picked up Red Spot prawns this morning so I don't have a photo but I DO have a recipe

Seafood sauce:
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 cup whole egg mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 lemon, juiced

Place all ingredients in Thermomix, press turbo, scrape down sides and repeat 2-3 times.
Store in fridge until required 

Here is a stock image from our favourite seafood supplier

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crunchy curry coleslaw

Are you all looking for interesting salads to include at mealtime over the Christmas period?

I was inspired to make this little gem by the 4 Blades Podcast episode 27 Simple Summer Salads If you aren't listening to these guys cook their hearts out while you stroll around the river of an evening then you really should give it a go. They are in hot competition with my favourite Doctor Who podcasts and that is a sad addiction I should not even mention on a cooking blog

So anyway I read Bec's ideas here as well as the show notes and the original recipe mentioned which is here

And then I made it up as I went along (which is usually what happens here at Cafe Disarray)

Take: a handful of parsley (stalks and all), some coriander (I used 4 leaves of sawtooth coriander from the garden) and 40 g green onions (I only used the tops)

Chop 4 seconds at speed 10 and scrape down the sides

Add what Bec calls the "choppy bits"

I like to put carrot and apple in the bottom because big chunks of cabbage don't bother me so much. So I put in a medium carrot in chunks and a small red apple.

 Top with 1/4 small cabbage - up to about 3/4 full. Cabbage is in chunks too like this:

Chop at speed 4 for 6-8 seconds - watch carefully and stop chopping if necessary so it is only chopped not blended

Add the other ingredients: 
80g sultanas
80g frozen peas
60g almonds (I used whole because that is what we had but slivered would be nice)
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoons curry powder (I used Keens)

Stir on reverse speed 4 for 4 - 6 seconds
That's it. Done. Have a glass of wine while the man does the barbecuing.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fairy truffles

In Australia we have "fairy bread" at birthday parties - little triangles of fresh white bread and butter with hundreds and thousands on them. Like this:

These fairy truffles were inspired by the 4 Blades Podcast Halloween episode and the original recipe is here I needed something delicious and quick to share at book club so this is what happened.

In Australia we don't have Graham crackers so I have used milk arrowroot biscuits (as the 4 blades suggested)

I didn't read the pack so brought home:

250g White chocolate buttons
375g smooth ricotta cheese 
1pack milk arrowroot biscuits
Large jar of hundreds and thousands

There will be leftovers

Grind 50g white chocolate for 7 seconds speed 7 
I used Cadbury buttons because whenever possible I boycott Nestle - for more information about the Nestle Boycott read this.

Melt chocolate for 2 minutes at 50 degrees speed 2

Add biscuits, broken in half and ricotta

This ricotta is gorgeous - really smooth and creamy

Mix 15 seconds speed 5-6 scrape down and mix again 2 secs speed 5 - 6

Scrape out into a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.I am using this time to wash the TM blog, hang washing out and google pictures of fairy bread to put on the blog for the foreigners.

Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls, place on a tray and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. I got about 20 out of this batch. That's a Chefs Toolbox slice tray - silicon is wonderful - no sticking!

Grind the rest of the chocolate for 10 seconds at speed 7
Cook for 2 minutes 50 degrees at speed 2, scrape down and cook 2 minutes 50 degrees speed 2

I went the full retro and put toothpicks in them all

Dip and twist - up to you how fussy you are - chocolate over most of the filling is good

Remember the chocolate will set around the truffle because the truffle is cold

Dip in the sprinkles, chill and serve

Oh and these bad boys are 3 Weight Watchers ProPoints each

Monday, October 7, 2013

Delicious Chilli Lime Hummus

Supposed to be going out now... this is what I made today - I didn't get progress pics but the multitudes are loving the result

Place in bowl
1 chilli deseeded and halved
1 large clove garlic
2 strips lime rind
Process at speed 8 for 5 seconds three times, scraping down sides in between

Add to bowl
can of chick peas (drained)
Juice of two limes
2 tblsp tahini
2 tblsp olive oil
large pinch of sea salt

Process at speed 4 for 2 minutes, scrape down sides and repeat until the desired texture is achieved
Taste and adjust seasoning if required

Great for parties and get togethers - serve with carrots, celery and rice crackers to keep your ProPoints low

Monday, September 16, 2013

Go to Lamb Stew from the 4 Blades (with extra wine)

Well because today was my birthday I was planning not to cook, and had gone to great lengths plotting a menu which included lots of leftovers last night. I was driving around today and listening to the 4 Blades Podcast and wouldn't you know it they were doing a recipe which sounded easy, delicious and would use up  some of the split pumpkin out in the garden as well as the exact leftover vegetables I had in my fridge. This was obviously meant to be so I bought 800g of diced lamb and came home to try out my best birthday present - a new camera with a food setting!

The recipe can be heard here or you can just read it here The only thing I really did differently was double the wine and that was because I wasn't paying attention.

This is really easy to do ahead and you could walk the dog, transport the kids or put your feet up with a gin and tonic while it cooks.

First you go out in the garden and pick a chilli and some parsley. Put them in the TM with the garlic and onion.

 Then you scrape down and fry it and the kitchen smells heavenly
Add lamb (I had 800g)
 and tomatoes and pumpkin
 and vegetables I used capsicum, broccoli, and cauliflower
and wine and stock. I was listening to another episode of the podcast and got completely distracted and put in 250 ml of wine instead of 100 ml (WHOOPS!)
As Bec says it is very full when you start
Here is where the MC sat
after 10 mins it started to smell really good
after 40 minutes it looked like this
so I took out the MC and put the basket on it to hopefully reduce it a little
And in an hour we had this and it was absolutely delicious! Sorry about the picture quality (still making friends with my camera) - there is a nice one at the original place here 

6 serves easy - and only 6 Weight Watchers Pro Points per serve so you can have bread, rice, pasta, dessert, whatever you like!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thai Beef Salad

This has become one of our favourite meals, especially since we got the Thai basil and mint well established in the garden.

so for us step one is go outside,  enjoy the sky, and pick mint, coriander, thai basil, limes and chilli.

Then come in, fill a glass and do this:

Make the salad base:
2/3 cup Thai basil
2/3 cup mint
1/3 cup chopped Thai coriander
1 bag salad leaves
1 punnet cherry tomatoes (halved) I am looking forward to picking our own again soon

mix these together using your hands in a large bowl or on a platter

Top with
1 lebanese cucumber cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
3 spring onions chopped on the diagonal
1 large red chilli de seeded and sliced

Then slice your beef into thin strips. I buy skirt steak especially for this kind of recipe as it is beautifully tender when cut right. I used 400g skirt steak

put all the meat in a bowl and top with the marinade ingredients:
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon oil (I used rice bran oil)
Mix through.  I use chopsticks to mix, as it helps build strength and dexterity when using them. All the marinade stays on the meat too, I find if you use a spoon the marinade sticks to the spoon rather than the meat.

For the dressing shake these ingredients together in a jar.
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of one lime
2 tablespoons palm sugar (chopped finely)
A shake of sesame oil

Cook the meat in batches in a fry pan or on the barbecue
this is Taff's hand, not mine
Assemble at the last minute

pile on the meat then pour on dressing then sprinkle 1/2 cup fried shallots (from an Asian supermarket) over the salad

Enjoy. This is another 6 propoint meal, if you use a Chef's toolbox pan and only brush a teaspoon of oil over it for cooking. And it's OK to go back for seconds...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lamb, pomegranate and roasted vegetables

Take 2 small sweet potatoes, a red onion and half a cauliflower.
Cut them into small pieces and place on silicon sheets to bake in the oven
Drizzle each tray with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a little chopped garlic

Bake 25-30 minutes until browning nicely, take out, combine gently and dump on a bed of baby spinach
While that is cooking roll some lamb backstraps in oregano rub
And grill or barbecue them till they are done. Slice and place on top of the salad. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and two pomegranates over the top. If you bang the pomegranate with a wooden spoon the seeds will come out and look really pretty

Enjoy! This is definitely WW friendly - only 6 ProPoints per serve based on a 400g backstrap for 4 serves

Oregano rub

Take the following:

3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 tablespoons white peppercorns
1 tablespoon sichuan pepper

Turbo 3-4 times until ground to your preferred consistency

That's it!

Makes a great rub for lamb or chicken

Put a tablespoon in a plastic bag and shake quartered baby potatoes in it then roast them

Tasty fat free goodness!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The BEST Thermomix bouillabaisse

This is just what I used to make on the stove top adapted for the TM31
We have it instead of take away as it is quicker and nicer

So on a chilly Friday you buy some good quality marinara mix and either make or buy some nice bread to go with it. Tonight I have 450g fish, scallops, mussels and prawns.
Grab your veroma and spread the fish evenly through the dish

You also need
a large onion, peeled and halved
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 red chilli, deseeded and halved
a handful of fresh basil

Place these in the TM31 and chop for 5 seconds speed 5

Then add
6 tomatoes quartered
1000 ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons stock paste
1/2 cup of white wine
pinch saffron
salt and pepper

Place veroma on top. Cook 20 minutes Veroma speed 2

While it cooks you can set a fancy table or have a relaxing drink or three with anyone else eating with you
When it is done you won't believe how little the seafood has shrunk - it's all plump, juicy and tasty
Spoon into bowls and top with the soup which is absolutely delicious

That's it. Serves 4 or 2 as a complete meal. Preparation time less than 5 minutes, Cooking time 25 including prep. Weight Watchers points 5.