Monday, 25 July 2011

Roasted garlic and pumpkin risotto

Donna's Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Risotto

Making good on my every Monday commitment, even after an internet problem that I fixed myself!! (the old turn off / turn on trick - my old IT work colleagues would be proud) is one of the first Donna's I ever made - her Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Risotto, from issue 14, page 138. I should thank Crystal for this - she made it once years ago and it has been a favourite of my family's ever since! It is super easy, the only bother is the time standing at the stove while you stir the stock in, probably about 20 minutes. And it is very open to personal touches - the last time I made this (which isn't the photo below because we ate last weeks batch before I remembered to take a photo) I added sliced swiss mushrooms about halfway through adding the stock. I had planned to saute them and stir them through at the end with the pumpkin however our stovetop was already rather full because along side this risotto I was making a, ahem, breast milk risotto for Flynn. Which by-the-by he loved! But cooking the mushrooms in with the risotto worked well anyway.

This photo does not do the taste justice!
But back to the Donna - my top tips:
  • I always throw a few extra garlic cloves into roast then the 8 she recommends because roasted garlic is LOVED in this house!
  • I normally use dried oregano because I rarely have fresh in my crisper and it's still good
  • I would recommend using a semi-decent stock rather then the powdered version/stock cube if you can, but it is still nice if you powdered is all you have. I used the new stock paste in a tube and it was good.
  • If you put the pumpkin and garlic into the oven before doing anything else, it tends to be ready just as the risotto is ready. Nice!

Let me know if this is a regular in your house, or if you try making it for the first time.

And a question - has anyone made the dark chocolate and caramel pudding the the front of the last issue's cover? If so, is it worth cooking?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Classic barbecued pork ribs - Mr C.T.Sanger

Erm hmmm, hi (sheepish).
Sorry about the HUGE delay between posts, but a small technical difficulty (where I nearly lost the photos from Flynn's first 3 months of life PANIC in the disco but luckily the lovely Che fixed it) was followed by a rather large motivation difficulty... but I hereby state (ohhh the commitment scares me so) that apart from about 3 weeks in September when I toddle off to the UK I will post at least every Monday.
Classic barbecued pork ribs alla Donna

Anyways, enough with the babble. This will be short and sweet because I didn't even cook this (what a cop out for the first post back!) the lovely Mr C.T.Sanger did. Donna's classic barbecued pork ribs from issue 45, page 112. AH-FREAKING-MAZING. Or maybe it just happened to hit the spot at the time. But it was very more-ish, easy (well.... it was for me (o: ) and didn't take too long at all. Che added a little cumin and smoked paprika to the recipe, just because he likes the spices, and he couldn't see the cider vinegar right at the front of the cupboard so used half white wine and half balsamic, and said next time he would use all balsamic. It was also too cold to bbq outside so we ovened it on .... hmmm will get Che to let you know that one in the comments or this post will never get done..... a heat, I'll guess 200/220. Anyway, it's a recipe you can play around with and it is still YUM. The pre-boiling made the pork realllyyy tender and juicy and it didn't have a fatty feel or taste to it, just mouth watering bbqy goodness, it had a smokey taste even without actually barbecuing it, though both Che and I are keen to cook this again and try it on the bbq to compare. We served it with potato wedges and mayonnaise... and that was it. So bad! But sooooo good :o)
Classic pork ribs alla Che
I hope this inspires you to cook this, as warm wintry comfort food it was arrrgghhhh (homer drool). For those on a diet...... maybe see the beautiful post previous to this one :o)
Issue 45, page 112

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Leek, Zucchini + Couscous Soup

With added Chicken
Soup, soup, a tasty soup, soup!
A spicy carrot and corriander!!
[Chilli Chowder!]
Crunchy friends in a liquid broth!
I am dispatchio, oh!
I am missala soho.
Misso misso,
Fighting in the Dojo,
Misso misso...
Oriental friends in the land of SOUP!
- The Mighty Boosh :)

↑ Donna's and Mine ↓

My first post! :)
This soup really caught my eye, I had never cooked with Israeli/pearl couscous before and I absolutely love anything with thyme.

If I make a soup in my household, I'm skating on thin ice. In my husbands words "soup is not a real dinner"! so if I make one it better be pretty tasty and hearty. So I thought I'd add chicken to mine, to beef it up, plus my Husband's all about the meat :)
The recipe says 2 leeks and one zucchini, but I did the opposite as I wanted to save my other leek for another dish, and I didn't think 1 zucchini was enough for a big soup. I put two sliced garlic's in too.

Once all ingredients were in the saucepan and brewing nicely I added my chicken breast and poached it, let it cook and then sliced it up thinly and returned it to the soup.

I put in a heap load of Thyme because if it's not bursting with flavour I'm not happy. I picked thyme and put it in and also left some on it's stem, purely because when I look at it in the pan it looks sexy and makes me happy while it's brewing away - hah! Also, the stems are quiet potent so I think it definitely infuses more flavour.
I didn't have any spinach to top it with, I don't think it really needs it. The Parmesan finishes it off nicely, also a fresh loaf of sourdough soy and linseed bread from Bourke St Bakery complimented it beautifully.

I personally found this soup really delicious and so did the rest of my family - yep, even the Husband! :)

Harper kept saying "mmm" the whole way through, and yelling "kinni (zucchini)"! Really loud with a big grin, so cute :)

From issue 56 Page 32

Maple Pear Tarte Tatin

My foodie friend and I, (whenever I write foodie friend, you should always assume I am talking about Megan!) Were drooling over these awesome looking tarte tatins the other day and lamenting that we didn't have suitable fry pans to cook them in. I remembered today, that my mother has a suitable pan, so I raced up to her house to borrow hers :)

The reason I decided to make this yummy dessert solast minute is because these beautiful beurre bosc pears, that I had as the centre piece on my dinner table, were moments away from being inedible. I noticed one had a big rotten spot on it tonight. I was surprised because fruit doesn't usually last very long in this house. I asked Sweetyboy why he hadn't eaten them before now? He said "I thought they were just for decoration!". Classic.

Flipping this bad boy onto the serving plate was amongst one of the scarier things I have attempted in the kitchen. Super hot cast iron fry pan, ready to splatter molten caramel all over me, plus I didn't want to chip or break my ceramic cake stand with the heavy frypan, and what would I do if the tart stuck?

As you can see we had success! Yay!

It really looks amazing. As for the taste, I can't say because I haven't actually eaten it yet! So, toodaloo!

Issue 32, page 114.

Holiday Food!

Roasted Cauliflower, Sage and Almond Risotto

Ahhh, I love risotto. Just thinking about risotto makes me feel all warm inside, like you have just eaten a huge bowl of... risotto.
There is nothing more delicious after a cold winters day.

The photo of this recipe in the magazine actually never appealed to me. The risotto looks watery, the food looks a little too rustic, almost comfort food (which is good), yet almost some overcooked slop of questionable origin, you might be served at a friends house, who is an equally questionable cook (which is bad).

I had a cauliflower and was looking up recipes on Donna Hay's recipe index online (which is quite helpful by the way, I'll post the link bellow).
The name of this recipe got me and when I looked it up in my mag I thought 'Augh, it's that horrible looking risotto' but I gave it a chance.
And, wow, did it impress. I am officially in love! As soon as cauliflowers drop again to a decent price I will certainly make this again!
So... tips.
I added the sherry at the end, because I didn't read the recipe right and that is what Donna usually does with her risotto recipes, but it worked fine.

If you have never made risotto before, I must mention that you basically have to stir it the whole time it is cooking. quite tiring. My friend and I took turns stirring.

Oh, and I couldn't find taleggio cheese at my local Deli, which is odd because it is a very well stocked deli. The risotto was still delicious.

We enjoyed our risotto after a long, beautiful, Autumns day at Seal Rocks, down near Forster, New South Wales.
The water was crystal clear, the breeze cool and the sun scrumptiously warm. We even went swimming (well some of us did! It takes blazing temperatures and lukewarm water to get Sweetyboy in!). There's Sweetyboy on the beach with the darling, building sand castle cars. :)

Issue 44, page 106.

Oh, Donna

So I have this friend, right, who is a nanny, and her boss's son is in the same class at school as Donna's son! Haha! Talk about 6 degrees of separation! I really am a sad case!
I have to admit, though I don't get star struck very easily, if I ever met Donna Hay, I think I might be a little excited.
So, who have you always dreamed of meeting? Ever had an awesome encounter with someone famous? Any crazy coincidental 6-degrees-of-separation type stories?

Monday, 30 May 2011

Salmon Nicoise

Ok, the above title is deceiving. I have never made the actual Salmon Nicoise recipe, I just make the dressing, which, is basically the extent of my creative dressing attempts! I mostly wanted to post this recipe because I always have trouble finding it when I need it, but now I can just look it up here!

Has anyone made the actual recipe? Where would one find quail eggs? I had pet quails as a child, there eggs are really small!

Most of these photos are just to show off the awesome Depression Glass bowl I found at an op-shop last weekend :)

Issue 12, page 164.