Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pasta with Tuna & Tomato Sauce

Some Facts About Tuna:

EASE: 4.5/5. Few ingredients and two saucepans used.
Prep time: 5mins.To dice onion, peel and slice mushrooms, boil water and get ingredients ready.
Cooking time: 15mins. To cook pasta and sauce.
TOTAL: 20mins. Very quick dish with minimal active cooking.

TASTE: 3/5.
Not bad, a little bland and watery.

Would I make again: No.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Grated Potato, thyme and Gruyere Gratin

Some Facts About POTATO:
  • Potato is the world's most widely grown tuber crop, and the fourth largest food crop in terms of fresh produce — after rice, wheat, and maize (corn).
  • There are about five thousand potato varieties world wide
  • A medium potato (150g/5.3 oz) with the skin provides 27 mg vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)), 620 mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc.
EASE: 3.5/5. Few ingredients and only one bowl, a spoon, a grater and a peeler needed.
Prep time: 10mins. To peel and grate potatoes, grate cheese and combine all ingredients.
Cooking time:40mins.

TASTE: 3/5.
The dish was unevenly cooked - I used 1tsp dried thyme which was the main flavour. It was ok but I much prefer the taste and texture of a sliced potato gratin with just cheese and cream.

Would I make again? No.


Caramel Bananas on Brioche

After a successful furniture shopping day another Sunday Brunch was in order.

Some Facts About PECANS:
  • Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats.
  • They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts but also in some savory dishes.
  • In addition to the pecan nut, the wood is also used in making furniture, in hardwood flooring, as well as flavoring fuel for smoking meats.

EASE: 3/5. You have a few things going at a time.
Prep time: 5mins. To slice bread and bananas, toast pecans and get ingredients ready.
Cooking time: 5mins. The bananas, caramel mixture and brioche take 5mins each - I had them on at the same time.
TOTAL: 10mins. Pretty quick and easy. A lot of washing up though.

TASTE: 3.5/5.
Very heavy, rich and sweet. The caramel sauce and pecans were lovely I found the banana a little mushy though and would probably not bother frying it next time. The brioche was sweet worked well. I originally used two slices but one is definitely enough. Would use less pecans and banana next time. I bought a large brioche from Laurent Patisserie. I didn't serve it with cream or yoghurt but might next time to cut through the sweetness.

Would I make it again: Probably.
Very rich though - need to be super hungry.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chicken with Sauteed Thyme Mushrooms & Cheese Polenta

How gorgeous was the weather today? After we finished work we took Yoshi down to the milkbar to buy some ice creams to eat on our back porch. I appreciate sunny days in Winter the most as they are unexpected. I am however very much looking forward to Summer when everyday is ice cream weather.

Some Facts About POLENTA:
  • Polenta is a dish made from boiled conrmeal.
  • Polenta was originally a peasant food.
EASE: 3.5/5. Pretty quick and easy.Prep time: 5mins. To peel and slice mushrooms and get ingredients ready.Cooking time: 15mins. 10mins for the chicken and polenta cooked simultaneously, and 5mins for the mushrooms.TOTAL: 20mins. You just put everything in and cook away. Polenta is the most time consuming to cook. I used a saucepan for that and one large fry pan for the chicken, then the mushrooms.
TASTE: 2.5/5.
I'm not sure if it's because of the medication I am on but I didn't enjoy this - Ryan on the other hand didn't think it was that bad. The polenta was a little mushy and bland, but the mushrooms were decent. I used chicken breasts rather than thighs. I halved the recipe and it worked out well for 2 people.
Would I make again: No.
Didn't really enjoy it.
& http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/1841/creamy+cheese+polenta

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cashew and lentil patties

Some Facts About Lentils(legumes):
  • A legume fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides.
  • India is both the world's largest producer and the world's largest importer of pulses.
  • Pulses are important food crops due to their high protein and essential amino acid content. Like many leguminous crops, pulses play a key role in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen.

EASE: 4/5.5.
You just put everything into a mixer and whizz it all up. Then you form the patties, refrigerate and fry in a pan.
Prep time: 20mins. 5mins to get everything out and whizzed up. 15mins to refrigerate.
Cooking time: 6mins. About 1.5 mins each side. They brown very quickly.
TOTAL: 26mins. Very quick dinner. All on the table in under 30mins. I made the salad and yoghurt dressing whilst the patties were in the fridge.

TASTE: 3/5.
These were rather sweet with a peanut-buttery texture. The strongest taste was the cashews followed by the lentils. I halved the recipe and it made 8 patties.
WOULD I MAKE AGAIN: Probably not.
I would prefer these as a snack rather than as the main component of a meal. I served them with a yoghurt and honey chilli sauce and an avocado, walnut & spinach salad with lemon. You need something to cut through the sweetness. I will probably make them in the future if my children won't eat lentils.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter

Lavish Sunday Morning Breakfast's have started to become routine. As Sunday is my day off, I have plenty of time to cook up something a little special. Today I wanted to use up a container of ricotta which was never used for a recipe I decided I didn't want to make. I did a quick search and thought this one sounded the best. It's a recipe by Sydney's celebrity chef Bill.

Some Facts About HONEYCOMB:
  • A honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal wax cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen.
  • Fresh, new comb is sometimes sold and used intact as comb honey, especially if the honey is being spread on bread rather than used in cooking or to sweeten tea. Honeycomb is edible all by itself, and has been called "the beekeeper's lunch".

EASE: 3/5. Not hard but a little more time consuming than a normal pancake recipe.
Prep time: 15mins. 5mins to mix most ingredients and 5mins to beat egg whites and then fold through. 5mins to make the honeycomb butter (you have to let the butter come to room temperature so take out at least 20mins before starting.
Cooking time: 12mins. To make 6 pancakes. You have to be gentle when flipping as they tend to break easier.
TOTAL: 17mins.

TASTE: 3.5/5.
The pancakes themselves are probably a 3. As there is no added sugar they can be served with either savour or sweet accompaniments. Ryan found that they were a little too fluffy to his liking. The honeycomb butter was gorgeous though - would give that a 4/5. I used organic butter and actual honeycomb (as in honey from the hive). I used about 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4cup of honey.

for the pancakes. Yes for the butter.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Avocado & Warm Goat's Cheese Salad with Rocket

Some Facts About ROCKET:
  • also known as arugula.
  • It is used as a leaf vegetable, which looks like a longer leaved and open lettuce. It is rich in vitamin C and potassium.
  • It has a rich, peppery taste, and is exceptionally strongly flavoured for a leafy green

EASE: 3/5. A little time consuming for a salad.
Prep time: 5mins. You have to melt the butter and pour it over the cubed cheese and then toss in breadcrumbs to refridgerate.
Cooking time: 10mins. To cook the cheese and bacon (did not do). Then you assemble everything.
TOTAL: 15mins.

TASTE: 3/5.
The goats cheese was a little overpowering. A mellow, softer tasting cheese would have melded better. Otherwise the flavours worked well.

Ryan didn't like the goats cheese and it was little long for a simple salad. Would probably prefer it with spinach as well.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chicken, mushroom & avocado fettuccine

Some Facts About AVOCADO:
  • Avocado is popular in chicken dishes and as a spread on toast, served with salt and pepper.
  • A whole medium avocado contains approximately 21 grams of fat, though most of it is monounsaturated fat. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. They have the highest fiber content of any fruit - including 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber.
EASE: 2.5/5. Lots of prep and active cooking.
Prep time: 15mins. The peeling and slicing of the mushrooms is the most time consuming. You also have to slice the avocado and chicken. Getting all of the ingredients ready and boiling the water also takes time.
Cooking time: 30mins. 10mins to cook pasta and chicken, and 20mins to cook the sauce and combine with the pasta.
TOTAL: 45mins.

TASTE: 4/5.
I enjoyed it - I varied some of the amounts. Due to 1 dodgy avocado I only used 1 avocado, which Ryan said wasn't enough. I used 250g of egg fettuccine which made enough for 3.5 people. I used 250g of double cream, 200g mushrooms and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. I kept all other ingredients the same except I used a little sprinkling of dried dill rather than 2tbs fresh. I would add more mushrooms next time. I also sprinkled a little Parmesan on the top.

Would I make again: Yes.
Nice pasta dish with lots of veg and protein. Nice without the chicken also.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Cavalo Nero Gratin

Also known as Tuscan Kale, Dinosaur Kale or the english translation, Black Cabbage. I had never heard of this vegetable before, and was intrigued to try it due to its huge amount of vitamins and minerals. As I am unsure as to what it tastes like, I thought this Gratin recipe would be a good first introduction as the cheese will probably make it edible for Ryan regardless of its taste.

Some Facts About KALE
  • Kale or Borecole is a form of cabage, green in color, in which the central leaves do not form a head.
  • Kale is the most robust cabbage type - indeed the hardiness of kale is unmatched by any other vegetable.
  • Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory.
EASE: 2.5/5. The annoying part is that you boil, fry and bake the kale.
Prep time: 5mins. To cut and wash the kale and get ingredients prepared and water boiled.
Cooking Time: 40mins. 5mins to boil and drain the kale. 15mins for the frying and then 20mins in the oven.
TOTAL: 45mins.

TASTE: 4/5. Both Ryan and I enjoyed this. The taste was similar to spinach but sweeter and with a nicer texture. I have a feeling the onion (it was quite large) may have largely contributed to the sweetness and the cheese probably masked the true flavour of the kale, so this recipe isn't the best way to taste kale. But it tasted great - I increased the amount of cheese topping - I also used mozarella, grana padano, parmesan and cheddar. I would probably only use the parmesan and maybe the gruyere next time as it congealed together and became a little chewy.

Would I make again: Yes.
It's a good side dish. I served this with a steak which I cooked while it was in the oven.

Recipe: http://www.cuisine.com.au/recipe/cavolo-nero-gratin

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Roast Celeriac & Parmesan Tartlet

This recipe originally called for Gruyere cheese, which is a little too expensive to grate on top of a tart, so I substituted it for Parmesan.

EASE: 4/5. Fairly quick and there's few ingredients.
Prep time: 5mins. Slicing and seasoning the celeriac takes the most time. The other ingredients you just mix in a bowl while the celeriac is in the oven. I used PAMPAS shortcut pastry - which is a sweet one, so I sprinkled it with a little salt.
Cooking time: 50mins. 25mins for the celeriac and 25mins for the assembled tart
TOTAL:1 hour. Add 5mins cooling time for the celeriac before adding it to the pastry. I used a large fluted tart pan.

TASTE: 2/5.
The celeriac looked like potato therefore I was expecting to taste potato so the texture and flavour just didn't add up for me - would have much rathered it was potato as the egg mixture was yum.

Would I make it again:No.
Prefer other egg tarts. I served this for Ryan with a Pepper Scotch Fillet Steak.