Saturday, 31 December 2011

Vegetable Freezing Chart


Vegetable Freezing Chart 


Vegetable Freezing Outline

Blanching time is in boiling water. Unless otherwise noted, chilling time in ice water should be the same as blanching time.
Vegetable
Preparation
Blanching Time/ Chilling Time
Asparagus
Wash and sort stalks according to size, discarding blemished stalks. Break off ends. Stalks may be left whole or cut into 30-50mm long pieces.
average diameter stalks - 3 minutes thicker stalks - 4 minutes.
Green Beans
Snap off tips. Rinse, then cut or break into desired sizes or freeze smaller beans whole.
3-1/2 minutes.
Italian Snap Beans
Wash, snap off ends and slice into 1" to 1-1/2" pieces.
3-1/2 minutes.
Beets
For young, tender beets-
Remove tops and cook until tender. Chill, then remove skins. Leave small beets whole. For medium to large beets, slice or cut into pieces. Pack into freezer boxes or bags.
not applicable
Broccoli
Remove leaves and tough ends. Cut through stalks lengthwise, leaving stems with 1" to 1-1/2" diameter heads, or cut into pieces. Soak in salt water (2 tablespoons salt to 1 quart water) to remove any insects and larvae. Rinse with tap water and drain.
pieces - 4 minutes
stems - 5 minutes.
Brussels Sprouts
Wash and trim any tough outer leaves. Soak in salt water (2 tablespoons salt to 1 quart water) to remove any insects and larvae. Rinse with tap water and drain.
medium sprouts - 4 minutes
large sprouts - 5 minutes.
Carrots
Remove tops, peel, and wash. Cut into 1/4" thick slices.
3-1/2 minutes.
Cauliflower
Remove leaves, trim and wash. Split into individual 1" to 1-1/2" pieces. Soak in salt water (2 tablespoons salt to 1 quart water) to remove any insects and larvae. Rinse with tap water and drain.
4 minutes.
Corn-on-the-Cob
Husk, remove silk and trim off ends. Blanch in a large stockpot with 10 - 12 quarts of boiling water.
24 small ears, under 1-1/4" diameter - 8 minutes
14 medium ears, 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" diameter - 8 minutes
10 large ears, over 1-1/2" diameter - 11 minutes
Chilling time in ice water should be twice as long as blanching time
Corn - Cut from cob
Husk, remove silk and trim off ends. Use a corn cob cutter or a curved grapefruit knife to remove kernels from cob.
4-1/2 minutes
Kohlrabi
Remove tops, wash, peel and cut into 1/2" cubes.
2-1/2 minutes.
Mushrooms
Wash and remove stems. Freeze smaller mushrooms whole
Cut medium and large mushrooms into 1/4" slices.
To prevent browning, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of blanching water.
small whole mushrooms - 4 minutes
sliced mushrooms - 3 minutes.
Onions
Chopped onions can be packed and frozen without blanching To freeze larger pieces of onions or small whole onions - Peel onions, wash, and cut into quarter sections (except very small whole onions).
1-1/2 minutes
Green Peas, shelled
Wash and shell peas.
1-1/2 to 2 minutes
Sugar Peas or Edible Pod Peas
Wash; Remove stems and blossom ends; Leave whole.
2-1/2 to 3 minutes
Peppers
Chopped bell peppers can be packed and frozen without blanching.
For pepper halves or slices...Wash, remove stem and seeds. Cut in halves or slices
halves - 3 minutes
slices - 2 minutes.
Pumpkin
Cut; scoop out seeds; peel; and cut into pieces. Bake or steam until tender. Cool, then strain in a ricer, food mill or process in a food processor until smooth. Pack into containers and freeze.
not applicable
Spinach
Sort; remove any blemished leaves and tough stems; Wash.
1-1/2 to 2 minutes
Zucchini
Select 5" to 7" long, tender zucchini. Wash, peel and cut into 1/4" to 1/2" slices.
1/4" slices - 3 minutes
1/2" slices - 4 minutes



Thursday, 17 November 2011

Chicken with Honey and Curry


Ingredients

1              Chicken Large (Size 18 or 24)
4              Tablespoon. Honey (1/3 cup)
1              Whole onion, peeled
2              Whole cloves
1              Tablespoon. Curry powder
Salt and pepper

Directions

Wash the chicken, pat dry and then salt and pepper the bird inside and out. Stick the whole cloves into the onion and insert into the cavity. Preheat oven to 175C. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, and then baste the chicken with honey-curry mixture every 10 min. for another 40-60 minutes, or until done.

Tastes Divine BBQ Boned Lamb with Herbs and Garlic





I love using Tastes Divine BBQ Glaze. It adds great BBQ flavour to the lamb and is great to entertain friends on a sunny day. Its also great for festive occasions.







Ingredients

2kg boned leg of lamb
4 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
2      teaspoons of Tastes Divine BBQ Glaze
1 cup dry red wine
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
5 sprigs (4-6cm. long) fresh rosemary
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Directions

www.tastesdivine.co.nz 
Cut slits about ½. wide and deep into lamb and insert slivers of garlic.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the BBQ Glaze on the top and bottom of the lamb. Make sure to sprinkle it evenly. Cover and rest the lamb for at least 1 hour in the fridge. In a medium-large baking dish, mix wine, olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove the lamb from the fridge and add and turn to completely coat with the wet marinade. Cover and chill, turning occasionally for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better).

Prepare your BBQ and heat to a medium level. You need an even medium heat to cook the lamb. You don't want it too hot.

Cook lamb, turning once, until cooked to your desired rareness, for medium rare (25-35 minutes). Transfer meat to cutting board or platter, cover lightly with foil to keep warm. Let stand 10-15 minutes before carving.

Serves 8


Italian Sausage Cacciatore (slow cooker)


Cacciatore in Italian means "hunter". In cuisine, "alla cacciatora" refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, bell pepper as well as some wine.

In the old days hunters used to take cured sausages with them and usually with one pot cast iron pot make a meal in the hunters style. This is a form of cooking that I love and the soft, mild flavour of Otello’s Sicilian Sausage make a great slow cooker recipe. This recipe can easily be expanded to serve more.


Ingredients

1 kg Italian Pork Sausages
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium Cloves Garlic, minced
200 grams small button mushrooms cut in half
2 large Green Peppers, sliced
1 large Onion, sliced
1 cup Red Wine
2 teaspoon(s) Italian Seasoning (Recipe below)
800 grams Italian (Roma) diced tomatoes (2 400g tins)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method

Heat oil in a heavy based fry-pan on a medium to high heat so the oil is hot but not smoking. Brown Sausages 4 - 5 minutes then cut the Sausage into pieces and transfer to slow cooker. Discard all but 1 Tbsp oil.

Add garlic, mushrooms, peppers and onions to fry-pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables soften slightly. Add wine and cook 1 - 2 minutes.

Now add the Italian seasoning and tomatos and stir together, season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and remove from heat.

Add sauce mixture carefully to slow cooker. Cover and cook 3 - 4 hours on HIGH or 6 - 7 hours on LOW.

Italian Seasoning

2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried sage

Method
Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Gourmet lamb Meatloaf Stuffed with Mushrooms, Herbs and Mozzarella


This easy to follow meatloaf recipe makes a perfect main dish for a traditional family meal or an informal dinner party. Although I prefer lamb mince you can use the combination of beef and pork mince, you can substitute other meats or poultry of your choice.

Any meatloaf that is left over can be refrigerated and later used to make a light snack or tasty gluten free sandwich filling. The same recipe can also be used to make some wonderful meatballs which are perfect served on a bed of freshly cooked pasta with a homemade tomato sauce.

Ingredients serves 6

For the meat loaf

2              Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
120g        finely chopped onion
2              garlic cloves minced or finely chopped
1              small red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1.5kg       lean lamb mince
120g        Taste Divines Mixed Herb Coating
2              large eggs, lightly beaten
               salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the filling

2-3           Tablespoonp extra virgin olive oil
100g        washed and sliced button mushrooms
1              cup mozzarella, sliced
2              Tablespoons chopped fresh basil and Italian flat leaf parsley
                salt & freshly milled black pepper

For the topping

400g        can chopped Italian (Roma) tomatoes
60g          grated fresh Parmesan cheese
30g          Taste Divines Mixed Herb Coating

Directions


Preheated oven to 175°C

The first stage in this meatloaf recipe is to prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is almost smoking add the sliced mushrooms and sautée for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl or basin. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Now to make the meatloaf. Discard any mushroom juices from the frying pan and add the olive oil. Once hot add the onion, garlic and diced pepper and sautée until lightly colored. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.

To the mixing bowl add the mince, Taste Divines Mixed Herb Coating and beaten eggs. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

Lightly oil a loaf tin. Place half of the meatloaf into the tin and pat into shape. Form a hollowed section in the loaf to take the filling.


Spread the mushroom and garlic filling into the hollowed out section and then place the mozzarella slices over. Carefully pat the remaining meatloaf over the top. Press down lightly to seal it fully.

Bake in the oven preheated to 175°C for 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and pour the drained chopped tomatoes over it. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over followed by the Parmesan. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, allow the meatloaf to stand for 10 minutes before turning out.

Leg Of Spring Lamb With Coloured Pepper Salsa.





This post is for my old school friend Mark who I have just make contact with after some 35 years. As a chef he will appreciate the value of tender spring lamb. Its the best lamb in my view. I also love spring lamb spare ribs. Thats another post to come...







Ingredients

For the lamb

1.8kg       waxy potatoes finely sliced
1              onion, sliced and blanched in boiling water for 2 mins
600ml       vegetable stock
5              garlic cloves, crushed
3              Tablespoonp finely chopped mint
2              Tablespoonp finely chopped rosemary
100g        butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease
1              leg of lamb, weighing around 2 to 2.5kg

For the pepper salsa

1              each red, green and yellow peppers
A little EV olive oil
1              small red onion, finely sliced
Juice        of ½ lemon
1-2           Tablespoonp baby capers, rinsed
2              Tablespoonp extra-virgin olive oil
5              mint leaves, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 200°C . Butter a 4.5 litre roasting tin. Layer potatoes and onion, seasoning well as you go. Pour the stock over and roast for 30 mins.

Put the garlic, herbs and butter in a bowl and mix everything together. Season well then place the lamb on a board and trim away any excess fat, but leave some fat on for that fatty sweetness that lamb fat delivers. Make about six or seven deep cuts all over.

Use a teaspoon to push the butter mixture into the cuts, then smear the rest all over the leg. Put on a roasting rack and rest over the potatoes. Roast for 1 hour 40 mins or 20 mins per 500g – this is perfect for a medium roast.

As its roasting make the pepper salsa. Put the peppers on a roasting tray, drizzle with a little oil and roast in the oven with the lamb for about 30-40 mins or until skins are slightly charred. Put in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool.

Put the red onion in a bowl, add the lemon juice, season with salt and leave to marinate. When cool peel the peppers of their skins, slice the flesh and put in a bowl with any juice. Add the capers, olive oil and mint. Season well then stir everything together.

Put the roasted lamb on a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 10-15 mins. Leave the potatoes in the oven to keep hot while you carve the lamb.

Serve the sliced meat with the cooked potatoes and pepper salsa.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Lamb and Vegetable Stew (Slow cooker)


I love my slow cooker. In winter its always on the bench with something on the bubble. This can be anything from a tomato sauce to a complete dinner for when my wife gets home from work.

Ingredients

1              kg cubed lean boneless lamb
2              medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded, chopped
1              summer squash
1              zucchini
2              to 3 medium potatoes
10            mushrooms, sliced
1/2           cup bell peppers, chopped
1              cup onions, chopped
2              teaspoons salt
1              garlic clove, crushed
1/2           teaspoon thyme leaves
1              bay leaf
2              cups chicken stock
2              tablespoons butter
2              tablespoons gluten free flour

Directions:

Slice summer squash and zucchini. Dice potatoes.

Place lamb and vegetables in slow cooker. Mix salt, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf into stock; pour over lamb and vegetables. Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours, until lamb and vegetables are tender.

Turn to high setting. Blend flour and butter, then shape into small balls. Drop into stew and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.

Serve over hot cooked brown rice.

Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks


Lamb shanks that are slowly simmered with fresh rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine. Great served with polenta, or my family's favorite roasted garlic mashed potatoes, as you need something to soak up the wonderful sauce that is created with these. A fantastic dish for company, as all the prep work is done at the beginning, and then you just have to wait."

Ingredients


4-6           lamb shanks, trimmed of end knuckle
4              Tablespoons GF flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1              tsp paprika
2              Tablespoons oil
2              onions, peeled and chopped to a medium size
2              tsp chopped fresh garlic
2              cups chicken stock
1              cup orange juice
                Grated rind 1 orange
1              Tablespoonp chopped fresh rosemary

Directions

Mix the seasoned flour and paprika in a plastic bag, add the lamb shanks and toss to coat. Reserve any remaining flour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb shanks, a few at a time. Set aside. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour and cook a further minute.

Stir in the beef stock and orange juice and, once a sauce is formed, add the rosemary. Return the lamb shanks to the casserole or transfer to one. Cover and bake at 160C for at least 2-2½ hours or until the meat is tender.

Season with salt and pepper if wished before serving.

Served on a bed of creamy mashed potato is just right for me.

Lamb Meatballs with a Cheese Surprise


I love to use lamb mince as it takes on the flavours of the herbs, especially the garlic and rosemary. In my view better than beef or pork. Also it tends to have less fat in it than other minced meats. This recipe is almost the same base as I use for my lamb paddies which is another old time favorite for me. People love to come for dinner when I am cooking wither of these. They are basic to prepare but taste so good.

Ingredients

600          grams lean lamb mince
½            onion chopped finely
1              egg, lightly beaten
1/2           cup GF bread crumbs
1              tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1              tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2              tablespoons grated carrot
1              tablespoon fresh chopped basil
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
2 -3          tablespoons olive oil
200          grams mozzarella, the dryer the better, diced into small chunks

Directions
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the oil. Using your hands, mix throughout, but gently.  I use my thumb when I am mixing as it allows me to push the ingredients into the mix to make sure its all mixed evenly. Do not over mix.  Lightly oil the palms of the hands, and shape into medium sized, 2cm meatballs.  Push back any mozzarella pieces that poke through the meat - they will melt and burn.

Heat a medium sized frying pan large enough to hold the meatballs.  If this is not available, work in batches.  Sauté meatballs over medium-high heat, turning as you cook, to brown all sides.  When browned, lower heat and cook, covered, for ten minutes.

Uncover, turn meatballs to the other side and recover.  Cook for another ten minutes    There should be enough fat released from the meatballs, but if the pan gets dry, add a little oil.

Lamb Rissoles (paddies)




These are great to cook on the BBQ as well as cooked under a grilled in the oven on a rack over a tray to catch the fluids as they cook and flavour vegetables roasting under them. They are very moist and have a great taste especially the garlic and rosemary. Take care not to add too much carrot as this will make them too moist and they will fall apart. If this happens you can add some more bread crumbs when you are mixing in the bowl. They are basic to prepare but taste so good..





Ingredients

600          grams lean New Zealand lamb mince
½            onion chopped finely
1              egg, lightly beaten
1/2           Gluten Free cup bread crumbs
1              tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1              tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2              tablespoons grated carrot
1              tablespoon fresh chopped basil
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
2 -3          tablespoons olive oil
100          grams taste cheese, grated finely (optional)
                Gluten Free flour to coat for cooking
1              tablespoon finely chopped smoky bacon
                (This gives the rissoles a slightly smoky flavour) (Optional)
             
Directions

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the oil. Using your hands, mix throughout, but gently.  I use my thumb when I am mixing as it allows me to push the ingredients into the mix to make sure its all distributed evenly. Do not over mix.

Lightly oil the palms of your hands, and shape the mixture into one large ball. Turn out onto a chopping board and cut the ball in half. Mould the two halves into balls and halve each again. Keep rolling each one into a ball and halving them till you have 8 medium or 16 small balls.

Put half a cup of flour in a bowl and coat the balls evenly. Using the palm of your hand flatten each one out so they are even in shape and about 1cm thick. Tip. I use an egg ring for shaping the rissoles to get an even depth and round shape.

Heat a frying pan large enough to hold the several rissoles and seal them lightly on both sides before putting on the BBQ or in an oven pre-heated to 180C to finish cooking.

Spring Lamb with Asparagus


Here's a fairly simple dish that brings together in my view two of spring's best ingredients lamb and asparagus. Lamb and asparagus both cook quickly on the grill. Watch them closely so you don't overcook them. Lamb is best served medium rare.

Ingredients

(Mustard Aioli)

1/2           cup mayonnaise
1/2           tablespoon Dijon mustard
1              teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3              large cloves garlic, finely chopped

(Asparagus and Lamb)

750g        lamb sirloin, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
500g        asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
olive oil
salt
black pepper

Directions

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic. Reserve.

Thread lamb and asparagus onto skewers. Brush lightly with oil, then salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until lamb is just firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Season with black pepper.

Serve with aioli.

Makes 6 servings.

Lamb Cacciatore


Ingredients

1.5kg       boneless leg of lamb or shoulder well trimmed of fat and cut into 3.5cm chunks
¼            cup dry white wine
2              large garlic cloves
6              tablespoon olive oil, divided
2              tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1              tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1              tablespooN chopped fresh mint
150g        baby arugula, torn
2              lemons, cut into wedges

Directions

Place lamb in glass dish. Drizzle with wine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Press garlic into small bowl, add 4 tablespoon olive oil, all herbs and stir mixture into lamb. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day, my choice).

Toss arugula and 2 tablespoon oil in large bowl. Arrange on platter as a bed for lamb. sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Prepare skewers made of the lamb and grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or cook in sauté pan in oil until brown and then place in a preheated oven at 150C to keep warm while sautéing rest of lamb skewers. Serve lamb over arugula (Rocket) with lemon wedges.

Roasted Lamb with Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin


Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1              bone-in leg of lamb (1.5-2kg)
6              cloves garlic (1 split, the rest copped)
1kg          russet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1              tablespoon, fresh thyme
2              large onions, very thinly sliced
5              medium tomatoes (500g), cored and thinly sliced
2/3           cup dry white wine
1/3           cup olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 200C. Rub bottom of a large gratin dish with split garlic clove. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer.
Season with salt, pepper and some of the thyme and chopped garlic. Layer sliced onions on top; repeat the seasonings. Layer tomatoes on top and season with salt, pepper and remaining garlic and thyme.

Drizzle top with wine and then the oil. Trim thicker portions of fat from the leg of lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Place lamb on a sturdy cake or oven rack directly on top of the gratin dish. Roast, uncovered, for about 1 hour (for rare lamb).

Turn lamb every 15 minutes, basting with liquid from the dish underneath. Remove from oven and let lamb sit 20 minutes before carving.

To serve, carve lamb into thin slices and arrange on a serving platter, with vegetable gratin alongside.

Lamb Meatballs with Button Mushrooms Gluten Free



I love to use lamb mince as it takes on the flavours of the herbs, especially the garlic and rosemary. In my view better than beef or pork. Also it tends to have less fat in it than other minced meats.

This recipe is the same base as I use for my lamb paddies which is another old time favorite for me. People love to come for dinner when I am cooking either of these. They are basic to prepare but taste so good.

Ingredients

600          grams lean lamb mince
500          grams of small button mushrooms, whole
½            onion chopped finely
1              egg, lightly beaten
1/2           cup GF bread crumbs
1              tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1              tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2              tablespoons grated carrot
1              tablespoon fresh chopped basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 -3          tablespoons olive oil
                3-4 cups of my Sicilian Tomato Sauce

Directions

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the oil and the mushrooms. Using your hands, mix throughout, but gently.  I use my thumb when I am mixing as it allows me to push the ingredients into the mix to make sure its all mixed evenly. Do not over mix.  Lightly oil the palms of the hands, and shape into medium sized, 2cm meatballs.

Pre-heat oven to 170C or turn slow cooker to low


Heat a medium sized frying pan large enough to hold the meatballs.  If this is not available, work in batches.  Sauté meatballs over medium-high heat, turning as you cook, to brown all sides.  When browned remove and place into a baking dish with the button mushrooms.

I use my Sicilian Tomato Sauce and cover the meatballs and mushrooms and bake in the oven for 1-1/2 hours. I do not like to cook these to fast

Slow Cooker Option

Once the meatball have been browned place in a slow cooker with the mushrooms and sauce and cook on low for 6-8 hours. The meatballs can be prepared the night before and just brown them off in the morning and into the slow cooker they go. You will come home to a house smelling like a Sicilian kitchen on a Sunday.

Chicken Stock


You will often find chicken carcasses in the meat section at your supermarket. I usually purchase 3-4 at a time and if I am not going to make stock that day I will freeze them so I have them at hand for when I do need to make it. You can take the carcasses straight from the freezer and place in simmering water.

I quite often make chicken stock after roasting a chicken. I will use the carcasses that I have roasted and add 1 kg of fresh chicken wings which I usually purchase when on special and freeze them for this occasion. On special you can usually pick-op the chicken wings for about $5.00-$6.00 per/kg.

Ingredients

2-3           chicken carcasses
6              garlic cloves cut in half
1              teaspoon whole pepper corns (about 6-8)
1              onion cut in half
4              celery sticks cut into chunky pieces
2              large carrots chopped into chunky pieces
4              bay fresh leaves
3              sprigs of fresh rosemary
4              sprigs of fresh parsley
3              sprigs of fresh thyme
3-5lts       cold water
salt to taste

Directions

Place the chicken carcasses, garlic, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns in a large soup or stock saucepan. Add the cold water and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling turn down to a simmer.

Continue to simmer gentle heat for 3-4 hours, skimming the oils off the top as necessary. When the stock has been simmering for 3-4 hours turn off the heat then pass the stock through a fine sieve or several layers of mutton cloth to remove the ingredients.

Allow to cool for about 2 hours, then refrigerate. Once the stock is cold it should look clear and slightly amber in colour. At this point I skim off any fats and oils that have solidified on the top. I usually divide it into small plastic containers at this point and freeze it. It will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Beef Stock


This stock recipe is a combination of recipes from many years of making beef stocks. It has a rich and delicious flavour and will add incomparable depth to any soup or stew recipe and wow, does it make divine gravy with the addition of roast juices. While it takes a while it does produce a stock that people will remark about time and time again.

Ingredients

1              kg meaty beef bones (shank, short ribs, shin bones)
1              kg cracked beef bones (knuckle I find is best and your butcher can crack them for you)
2              carrots, chopped
2              celery stalks with leaves, cut into 5cm lengths
2              onions, cut in half
3-5           litres cold water
1              large can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/2       tsp. salt
1/2           cup chopped fresh parsley
6-8           whole peppercorns
4              dried bay leaves

Directions

Place all bones in a large roasting pan and roast at 200 degrees C for 30 minutes. Turn well then add carrots, celery and onions and roast for 45-60 minutes longer, until bones are very deep brown, stirring mixture occasionally.

Place roasted ingredients into a large stockpot. Spoon off fat from liquid in the roasting pan, then add 2 cups water to the drippings in roasting pan and heat and scrape to loosen any browned drippings. Add to pot along with remaining water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 1/2 hour. Skim off any residue (fats and oils) that rises to the surface. Add remaining ingredients and simmer partially covered for 3-5 hours.

Remove bones. Strain the stock and discard the ingredients and add more salt to season if needed. Cool uncovered in refrigerator. Skim fat from stock before using. This stock will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or will freeze up to 3-4 months. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, then pop out of the trays and store in a ziplock freezer bag.

Vegetable Stock


Ingredients

2              large potatoes, thickly sliced
2 - 3         onions, quartered
4              cloves of garlic whole
3 - 4         carrots, thickly sliced
1              celery stalk, chopped
1              apple or pea, quartered
1 or 2       bay leaves
½            cup of fresh parsley
6-8           peppercorns
10            cups (2.5 litres) cold water
Directions

Scrub the unpeeled vegetables and cut into chunks. Place in a stockpot with the rest of the ingredients cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1-2 hours.

Strain the stock through a colander or cloth, pressing out the liquid from the vegetables. (The remaining solid vegetables make good compost material.)

The stock will keep refrigerated for 3 to 4 days, or may be frozen for 3-4 months.

Note: Vegetables should be rinsed, but there is no need to peel them. Avoid such strongly flavored vegetables as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, and turnips.

Zucchini and Tomato Stringy Cheese Pie


What you need


3 medium zucchini
Sea salt, as needed
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or diced finely
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
200 grams mozzarella, sliced thin so it can be layered. Best to slice when taken straight from the fridge
3 medium plum (Italian) tomatoes or 1 can of diced plum tomatoes
Fresh chopped basil, to taste
1 cup of Venerdi Gluten Free Bread Crumbs or your
favorite crumbs tossed in olive oil and Italian herbs

First preheat the oven to 175C.

Trim both ends of each zucchini. Cut them in half then slice lengthwise into thin flat strips about 3-5mm wide. Place in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside for ten minutes or so to soak. Press with dry towels to extract some of the moisture.

In a 20cm, 8-inch pie plate (or gratin pan or baking dish) layer the zucchini strips in an overlapping pattern. Season with pepper and garlic.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil Then layer the mozzarella slices.

Slice the tomatoes about 5mm thick and place them on top of the mozzarella. Season the tomatoes with sea salt, pepper and basil.

Top with the Venerdi Gluten Free Bread Crumbs.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the zucchini is fork-tender and the topping is golden brown. Set aside for five minutes before cutting and serving.

Stuffed Mushrooms


Ingredients

8              flat mushrooms
1              small onion finely chopped
1-2           clove garlic chopped
olive oil
1/2           cup pine nuts lightly toasted
1/2           up chopped Italian parsley
1              tablespoons chopped oregano
120g        Brie cheese cut into 5mm cubes
Balsamic Vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Washed cabbage leaves
Directions

Preheat oven to 200 C. Remove stems from mushrooms and chop, sauté stems with onion
and garlic in olive oil until onion has softened. Add pine nuts, parsley and oregano and set aside to cool. Once cool, mix in cheese and season to taste.

Stuff mushroom caps with the filling and place in a lightly butter greases baking dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar and cover with oiled cabbage leaves.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes and serve on cabbage leaves.

Ratatouille Salad


In our house we love the film Ratatouille and this is a great one to prepare when we know we are going to watch the film for the “I don’t know how many-ish time”. Like in the film, food should be about the taste and what tastes good to you.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1              small eggplant
2              medium tomatoes, chopped
1              medium zucchini, sliced thin
1              small onion, sliced
1              small green pepper, chopped
1/3           cup parsley

Basil Dressing

1/3           cup olive or vegetable oil
2              Tablespoonp. lemon juice
1              tsp. salt
½            tsp dried basil leaves
½            tsp. dry mustard
1/8           tsp. pepper

Directions

Wash eggplant and cut into ½ inch cubes. Add eggplant to boiling salted water . Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat and boil for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool.

Combine eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, green pepper, and parsley. Add Basil dressing
and toss. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Roast Vegetable Salad


Ingredients (serves 4)

1              small kumara (orange sweet potato), chopped
160g        pumpkin, chopped
2              small desiree potatoes, peeled and chopped
1              medium carrot, peeled and sliced
2              small onions, sliced
2              cloves garlic, crushed
1              tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1              tablespoon olive oil
420g        can Four Bean Mix, drained
1              tablespoon balsamic vinegar
rosemary, to garnish
crusty toasted bread, to serve

Directions

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.  Combine kumara, pumpkin, potatoes, carrot, onions, garlic, rosemary and oil in a large bowl. Mix until vegetables are evenly coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place vegetables in a single layer in a large baking dish. Roast for 35 minutes.

Place vegetables into a large bowl and stir in beans and vinegar. Garnish with rosemary.

Serve with toasted GF bread.

Greek Salad


Ingredients (serves 8)

6              firm ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3              Lebanese cucumbers, coarsely chopped
1              red onion, sliced into rings
1              red capsicum, halved, deseeded, coarsely chopped
200g        marinated Greek olives
220g        marinated feta, coarsely chopped
1 tsp        dried Greek oregano
1              tsp salt
125ml       (1/2 cup) olive oil
60ml         (1/4 cup) white vinegar

Directions

Combine tomato, cucumber, onion, capsicum, olives and feta in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with oregano and salt. Whisk together the oil and vinegar in a jug. Drizzle the salad with dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Eggplant Rollatine


This is a very taste dish that is great as a main or as a side dish

Ingredients

1              500g eggplant
1              egg
1/4           cup milk
1              cup Gluten Free fresh bread crumbs
Olive oil
400ml       Italian tomato sauce
2              tsp. sugar
1/4           tsp. pepper
1              tsp. oregano
400g        Mozzarella cheese
1              cup Riccota

Directions

Cut eggplant ¼ inch thick, lengthwise. Combine and beat milk and egg. Dip eggplant in milk then dip and cover in bread crumbs. Place on a flat baking tray oiled with olive oil and grill on both sides for 6 minutes.

Combine ricotta, pepper, sugar, and oregano. Put 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture on each slice of eggplant and then roll up. Pour some of the tomato sauce into a baking dish. Place eggplants, seam side down, into the pan. Top with remaining sauce and bake at 160C for 30 minutes. Top with Mozzarella and melt.

Parmigiano Baked Parsnips


I just love parsnips. I remember as a kid having mashed parsnips and carrots, yum. This recipe I love just as much as when the parsnips are cooked they have a golden, baked tecture.

Ingredients serves 8

1.5kg       parsnips, peeled and topped
60g          Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
90g          gluten free plain flour
1              level teaspoon of English mustard powder
                olive oil
               salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine together the flour, mustard powder, grated Parmigiano, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut the parsnips into quarters, or 8 if they are large. If the centers are woody, cut them out.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the parsnips and then boil them for 3 minutes before draining in a colander. Using a pair of tongs (as the parsnips will still be hot), drop a few pieces in the flour and cheese mix. Move around until coated and then transfer to an tray. Repeat the process until all of the parsnips have been coated.

The beauty of this easy vegetable recipe is that the above steps can be completed the day before if you wish. Once cool, simply refrigerate the tray of parsnips overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Pour just enough olive oil into a roasting tin to cover the bottom and pop it into the oven to preheat.

Take the roasting tin from the oven and place directly over a low heat. Now carefully add the parsnips taking care not to splash yourself with hot oil. Once all of the parsnips are in the hot oil, turn them over so that they are well coated. Return the roasting tin to the oven and bake the parsnips for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and once again turn the parsnips in the hot oil before carefully removing the surplus oil by tilting the pan and using a spoon.  Return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes until really crisp and golden.

Remove the parsnips to a warmed serving dish, and serve immediately.

Potato and Vegetable au Gratin


This extremely easy potato recipe makes a truly perfect side dish for almost any dinner party entrée. It takes very little time to prepare yet is absolutely delicious! It can either be served directly from the baking dish or alternatively cut into slices or rounds using a pastry cutter. It also makes an excellent base for serving a classic meat, poultry or fish dish sliced and placed directly on top.

Ingredients Serves 4

350g        peeled potatoes
150g        peeled butternut squash
1              garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed (optional)
80g          finely sliced leek
                salt & freshly ground black pepper
80ml         heavy (double) cream
30g          melted butter

Directions

For this quick and easy recipe you will need a medium size ovenproof baking or casserole dish.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Finely slice the potato & butternut squash.

In a large bowl, mix together the cream, garlic, melted butter and seasoning. Then add all of the sliced vegetables and combine well.

Transfer the ingredients to the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and firm.
For an added touch of flavour, I sometimes sprinkle some grated cheese over the potato mix before baking.

Rosemary Potatoes



These easy to make Rosemary Potatoes go well with Lamb recipe or any other meat and chicken recipe. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region and compliments oily foods such as fish or lamb. As far as Italian cuisine is concerned, lamb is rarely made without using rosemary. This aromatic herb can also be used to flavour oils, vinegars and vegetables. Most of all, rosemary is great with potatoes and sweet potatos.




Ingredients


6              small to medium red potatoes or small new white potatoes, sliced in half
1              small onion
1              Tbls of dried rosemary or 2 healthy sprigs of fresh rosemary
3              Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
1              Tbls of butter
1/2           tsp salt
1/2           tsp of freshly ground black pepper
Directions


Steam the potatoes for about 10 minutes in a steamer or par boil. Do not over cook.

Heat the butter and the oil in a fry-pan and arrange the potatoes flesh side down in the pan. Add onions and rosemary

Cover and sauté the potatoes for about 5 to 10 minutes until onions are soft and potatoes are browned. Stir halfway through. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Eggplant with Zucchini and Rice


As I have mentioned before Eggplant is a staple of Sicilian cooking. Some over there say that it even comes ahead of pasta.

During the Arab domination of Sicily (827-1060), agriculture was greatly developed and Rice was grow widely and it became a part of Sicilian cooking. It took over 300 years to move into the mainland and then expended throughout Europe.

When times were tough for many families the main meal of the day was rice cooked with no salt with a drizzle of olive oil to finish. This is a great low acid meal and was used when people were not well.

Adding golden fryed Eggplant to a simple boiled rice makes an easy dish to prepare and a wonderful meal by itself or as a salad to go with other mains.

Ingredients

250 gm boiled brown (long grain) rice. Cooked and then drained and cooled to room temperature
500 gm eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant)
3-4 smallish zucchini, halved down the centre, grilled, and then chopped into 10mm dices
1 tbsp capers, washed
¼ cup fresh mint
2 tbsp EV olive oil
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper to season
About 150-200gm of cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh basil chopped (optional) added to the zucchini when its being grilled
Salt and ground pepper to taste added to the zucchini when grilling as well as the Eggplant when its being fryed

Directions

Peel the eggplant and dice it into cubes then sprinkle with salt and let it stand for 30-45 min to let the bitterness drain away. Rinse in fresh water then pat the Eggplant cubes dry with paper towels.

You can cook the rice while the Eggplant is sitting and grill the zucchini.

Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the eggplant over a medium heat, cooking till the Eggplant is golden in colour.
In a bowl, combine the rice, fried eggplant, mint, olive oil, cheery tomatoes and the capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Asparagus Dip (Guacamole Style)


This is a fantastic dip for raw veggies, GF bread wedges or it can be spread on a sandwich maybe a piece of fried bacon or thin chicken breast grilled as a brunch. It tastes similar to avocado guacamole, but is fat-free!

Makes: approximately 2 cups

Ingredients

1              bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed away, spears cut into 2-inch lengths
Juice of ½ large lemon
2 -3          tablespoons fat-free, plain yogurt (depending on desired creaminess)
2              tablespoons fresh chives or green onions, finely chop
¼            teaspoon sea salt
1              clove garlic, minced or pressed
1              teaspoon ground cumin
2              teaspoons jalapeno pepper, top and seeds removed and finely chop

Directions

Fill a large sauté pan with 25mm/1 inch of water and bring to the boil. Add trimmed asparagus in a single layer (or overlapping just a bit) and cook, uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes until the asparagus is soft, but still bright green. It should be slightly softer then you would normally eat it.

Remove from the pan and place the cooked asparagus into a bowl or pan full of ice water. This is called “shocking” the vegetables and will stop the cooking process. Once the asparagus is cooled completely, remove from ice water and dry well.

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just combined and asparagus is smooth. It should be the consistency of guacamole. Taste to adjust seasoning to required taste. Keep stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta Recipe



This recipe will take you about 20min to make. It’s a great GF substitute and being ½ Italian it meets my needs for a GF pasta that I can have whenever I want.

Ingredients
225g        amaranth flour
125g        tapioca flour
1              egg
1              Tablespoonp walnut Oil
1-2           tablespoons water

Directions

Sift together the flours into a large mixing bowl then make a well in the centre then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover with cling film and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out thinly and form into whatever pasta shape your recipe calls for. Cook as you would for any fresh pasta in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

Gluten Free Plain Flour Mix


This recipe works best if measured by volume rather than weight. Use the same measuring implement such as a teacup or mug to measure each ingredient. This also makes it easy to scale up, double or triple depending on what you need.

Ingredients:

2              part of white rice flour
1-1/2       part of potato starch
1              part of corn flour
1/3           part of potato flour

To try this initially make 1 part equal 1 cup.

2              cups of white rice flour
1-1/2       cups of potato starch
1              cup of corn flour
1/3           of a cup of potato flour

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Store in an airtight container and re-mix well before using.

Gluten Free Pitta Dough Mix


This recipe makes 8 and takes about 35 minutes to make.

Ingredients

2              eggs
240ml       cold water
1              level teaspoon gluten free baking powder
350g        gluten free flour mix  (from the recipe above)
50g          gluten free flour mix for rolling

Directions

Place the eggs, water and baking powder in a large bowl and beat until it becomes frothy.
Then you add the flour and mix to form a dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, about 4-5min. You can now divide the mixture into 8 pieces and roll each portion thinly into an oval shape. Heat a heavy frying pan until hot then dry cook the pitas for 3-5 minutes, turning once. If you cover the pan during cooking they will come out softer.

Once cooked they can be reheated so if you are entertaining and they are part of the dinner, prepare a few hours in advance.

Pizza Crust Recipe


Again the Sicilian comes out in me. How could I not have my pizza. For a couple of years I went without and when I started using this base from a family member I realised that I had been missing out. I use this pizza base for many things and sometimes use a cookie cutter to cat 5cm rounds that I use for starters abd This recipe will makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

 3             cups of the GF plain flour mix
1/4           cup sugar
3 1/2        tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2        tsp. salt
1 1/2        Tbs. yeast
1 3/4        cups warm water
1/4           cup olive oil
1              tsp. rice vinegar
3              eggs
1              tsp. garlic salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 200°.

Mix flour mix, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixture. Dump yeast on top of dry ingredients, but do not mix it in. Combine water, oil, and vinegar in a separate bowl. Pour on top of yeast, and let sit 3 minutes. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together on low speed. Add eggs and garlic salt. Beat on high speed for 3-5 minutes.

Grease pizza pan well with butter. Spread batter into thin circles on your pizza pan or cookie sheets.

Bake immediately for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and either freeze the crusts or top them with your favorite topping and return to the over for 20-25 more minutes.

Gluten Free Pie Crust


I love my pies. Bacon and egg pie in the summer is just great served with a fresh salad. This piecrust tastes good...and cannot go wrong! Fill it with your favorite gluten-free pie, fruit, torte, crisp or cheesecake!

Ingredients

1 ½         cup white rice flour
½            cup tapioca flour
1              teaspoon baking powder
1              teaspoon xanthan gum
1              cup melted margarine
½            cup ricotta cheese
½            cup sour cream

Directions

Sift together the dry ingredients.  Mix together the margarine, cheese, and sour cream.  Stir in dry ingredients. Chill for at least 2 hours, or until dough is easy to handle.

Roll out dough on rice-floured plastic as it may be sticky. Note: Using a second piece of plastic keeps it from sticking to the rolling pin.

Transfer to your pie pan/plate and flute the edges.

Note: The edges tend to cook fast. To avoid burning the pie crust, gentlly wrap the edges in foil before baking.

Bake at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and allow pie crust to cool before filling.

Gluten Free Tortillas


Ingredients

2              cups of the GF Plain Flour mix
1 1/2        tsp. Xanthan gum
2 tsp        Sugar
1              tsp salt
½            cup sour cream
1/2           cup warm water

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and then make a well in the centre.

Mix the hot water and the sour cream together and then add to dry ingredients. Mix for 1 minute.

The dough will be slightly sticky - more sticky than playdough, but less sticky than cookie dough. Roll out in between waxed paper wrap. If the dough is too sticky, dust it with some of the GF flour to keep it from sticking. Cook on a hot pan about 1 minute per side.

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls


This recipe makes 7-10 servings.

Ingredients

4              Tablespoonp shortening
3              Tablespoonp honey
2              eggs
1              pkt active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
1              cup sour cream
1/2           cup potato starch
1              cup cornflour
1/2           tsp baking soda
1              Tablespoonp GF baking powder
2              tsp Xanthan gum
3/4           tsp salt
3/4           tsp vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine all ingredients and mix until well blend. The dough will be quite wet so you will need to
handle the dough with wetish hands. Take about 1/4 cup of dough at a time and shape into a ball until all the dough is shaped.

Place the balls onto a greased baking tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. I find the best test is when a toothpick is inserted into the middle of the roll and it comes out clean, there ready. When they are ready remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack or they can be searved straight away. I usually make them ahead that say and give them a quick warm up in a moderate oven, 160-170C for a few min. I like them warm but not when I serve them.

Tomato Focaccia Gluten Free Bread


Makes 1 - 30cm



Ingredients

15g          Active Dry Yeast
180ml       Warm Water
350g        GF Plain Flour
1              teasp Salt
10            Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
6              Large Fresh Basil Leaves, shredded
6              tbsp Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt

Directions

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in 120ml of the warm water, and set aside for 10 minutes until frothy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour,  salt, yeast mixture and remaining water and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Bring the dough together with your hands then transfer to a floured work surface and knead well for a few minutes  until smooth and elastic.

Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and place in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220C and lightly oil a baking tray.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, punch down and knead for a few minutes.

Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet, pulling it into an oval or circle.

Dimple the top surface with your finger tips or knuckles, then space the tomato halves across the surface and sprinkle the shredded basil leaves over the top.

Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Honey Glazed Lamb Meatballs














Ingredients

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 cup Gluten Free bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
1kg lamb mince
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce substitute

Directions

In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add the bread crumbs, onion and salt. Crumble lamb mince over mixture and mix well. Shape into 25mm (1-inch) balls.

Place on greased racks in shallow baking pans then bake, uncovered, at 200°C for 12-15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the honey and soy sauce substitute. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain meatballs and add to sauce. Carefully stir the meatballs to evenly coat them and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.

Soy Sauce Substitute Recipe

This recipe will make about 330ml and only takes a few min to prepare.

Ingredients

240ml molasses
90ml balsamic vinegar
sugar to taste

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.

Chicken Alfredo


An old classic and a goodie.

Ingredients serves 3 to 4

2              boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
3              tablespoons olive oil
               salt & freshly milled black pepper

For the Sauce:

2              tablespoons olive oil
50g          butter
100g        button mushrooms, quartered
2              garlic clove, finely chopped or minced
225ml      dry white wine
350ml      fresh cream
75g          Parmigiano Reggiano
                salt & freshly ground black pepper
                fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions

Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based frying pan. Once hot, add the chicken breast and season with salt & freshly milled black pepper. Sauté gently over a medium heat turning frequently until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and butter to a saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and fry for about a minute until just softened. Now add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine to the mushrooms and bring to the boil. Simmer gently over a medium heat (uncovered) until the liquid is reduced by half.

In a separate saucepan, add the cream and parmesan and place over a gentle heat. Stir frequently. Allow it to heat through, but do not boil.

Finally combine the chicken with the cream sauce, mushrooms and just enough of the reduced white wine to achieve the right consistency. Season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Tiramisu





Now this is what we are talking about when it comes to a dessert for me. I make my GF sponge recipe for this one. If you want to make Ladyfingers and present the Tiramisu in individual dishes the sponge works well for this.




Serves 4      

Ingredients

150ml       Strong Black Coffee
3              tbsp Marsala or Dry Sherry
2              tbsp Brandy
6              Trifle Small Sponges
225g        Mascarpone Cheese
270ml       Double Cream
4              level tbsp Icing Sugar, sifted
25g          Cocoa Powder

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the coffee, Marsala or sherry and brandy. Place half the sponges in a large serving dish (preferably glass) and pour over half the coffee mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly whip the cream then add the mascarpone and icing sugar. Mix until well combined then spoon half the mixture over the trifle sponges.

Place the remaining sponges on top and pour over the remaining coffee.  Top with the remaining mascarpone mixture and smooth the surface.
         
Sift the cocoa powder over the top and if possible, chill before serving.


Sponge Cake

Like any sponge it can be used for many things. Its great to used to make a layered cake for s kids party. I cant tell the difference and I am sure they wont either.

I love my Terismu and use this recipe as an alternative for when I can not find GF Lady Fingers.

Ingredients

3/4           cup cornflour
1              tsp baking powder
1/8           tsp salt
3              egg whites
3              egg yolks
1/2           cup sugar

Directions
Sift corn flour, baking powder and salt together. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and then beat in egg yolks. Add in sugar gradually and beat until mixture forms a figure 8.

Sift and fold in the dry ingredients and mix until well blend. Pour the batter equally into 2 greased 20cm (8") sandwich pans.

Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.

Chocolate-fudge brownie


If you are entertaining these Brownies can be made 2-3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.

Makes 12

Ingredients

1/2           cup rice flour
1/2           cup plain gluten-free flour
1/4           teaspoon baking powder
1/3           cup cocoa powder
1 1/4        cups caster sugar
2              eggs, lightly beaten
150g        butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 4cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) slab pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends. Sift flours, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl. Add sugar. Stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. Add eggs and melted butter to flour mixture. Using a metal spoon, mix until just smooth.

Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with crumbs clinging.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool in pan. Lift from pan. Cut into squares.

Pan-fried Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce


This is a great one dish recipe. The entire dish is cooked in the one pan. To test the chicken for doneness, press gently on the thickest part. It will give if there is more cooking to be done, and spring back if cooked - when in doubt, cut into a piece and check.

Ingredients

1              Tablespoonp olive oil
1              Tablespoonp butter
8              chicken pieces
4              rashers rindless bacon, chopped into small pieces
1              onion, halved and finely sliced
250g        small button mushrooms, finely sliced
1              Tablespoonp thyme leaves
100ml       dry white wine
2              bay leaves
250 ml      chicken stock
1              Tablespoonp Dijon mustard
2              Tablespoonp sour cream
sea salt and pepper
50g          baby spinach
1 tsp        paprika
Directions


Melt the butter and oil in a strong frying pan and fry the chicken for 5 minutes on each side until golden. Remove to a warm plate, and add the bacon and onion to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms and thyme, tossing well, then add the wine and bay leaves. Boil for 2 minutes, then return the chicken to the pan and add the stock. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

If you find it too soupy, simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. Just before serving, remove the chicken to a warm plate and disguard the bay leaf. Whisk the cream and mustard, salt and pepper into the mushrooms over gentle heat. Return the chicken to the pan, scatter with baby spinach and heat through. Dust with paprika and serve.

Serves 4

Chicken and Balsamic Peppers


This is another great dish to make-ahead when you are entertaining. Assemble it, cover with foil, and chill until you are ready to bake it (and add extra time to the baking- 10 to 15 minutes if chilled).

Ingredients

4              large ripe bell peppers: red, green, orange, yellow;     cored and sliced thin
1              large sweet onion, sliced thin
1/3           cup balsamic vinegar
2              tablespoons GF Worcestershire Sauce
1/4           cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4           cup or so chicken broth
6              fresh cloves of garlic, chopped
1              tablespoon dried basil
1/2           teaspoon thyme
½            teaspoon rosemary
4              chicken breasts split in half, rinsed and patted dry
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 175C.

Toss the pepper and onion slices in a large bowl. In a large measuring cup, fork-stir your sauce using: balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, olive oil, broth, chopped garlic, and herbs. Pour the sauce over the sliced peppers and onions and toss well to coat.

Place the split chicken breasts in the bottom of a baking pan greased with olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour the balsamic pepper mixture over the chicken and arrange them evenly. Use every last drop of sauce.

Loosely cover the pan with a piece of foil and place in the center of a pre-heated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or so (depending upon the thickness of the chicken, and the size of your pepper strips). You want the chicken to be cooked through (no longer pink inside) and the peppers to be limp and soft.

I checked the chicken after 40 minutes, and spooned the sauce all over the peppers and chicken breasts to keep it moist and continued to bake it until everything was melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Serve with a side dish of creamy mashed potatoes, and crisp baby greens on the side.

Chicken Parmesan




This Chicken Parmesan recipe, served with the Fresh Sicilian Tomato Sauce in the Sauces section and makes a truly superb dinner party entrée. It requires very little last minute preparation time as most of the dish can be made well in advance.

Ingredients serves 4

4              skinless chicken breasts
60g          plain flour
2              eggs
1              tablespoon Dijon mustard
120g        fresh white breadcrumbs
60g          finely grated parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano if you can get it)
                salt and freshly milled black pepper
3              tablespoons olive oil and a knob of butter for frying
                chopped fresh parsley or basil
300ml       fresh tomato sauce
                Gluten Free Pasta of your choice

Directions

Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthways. Then lay them side by side on a cutting board and cover with a piece of cling wrap. Using a flat meat mallet (or rolling pin if you don't have one), pound them until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Beat together in a bowl the eggs and Dijon mustard. In another bowl mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Put the flour seasoned with salt & freshly milled black pepper in a third bowl.

Now make an "assembly line" beginning with the chicken breasts at one end, then the seasoned flour, then the beaten eggs, and finally the breadcrumb mix. Then take 1 chicken fillet and dip it first in the flour. Shake off the excess. Then dip it in the egg and finally the breadcrumb mix. Ensure the fillet is well coated and pat the coating lightly to firm up. Repeat this process for all fillets.

The above stages of this chicken parmesan recipe can be completed up to 24 hours in advance as long as the fillets are laid flat in 1 layer on a tray, covered and refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 230C. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add a knob of butter. Add the chicken to the pan (depending on how many fillets and the size of pan, you may need to do this in 2 batches). Fry for 3 or 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer the fillets to a baking tray. Place the baking tray into the hot oven and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes turning them over once half way through.

During the last few minutes of baking, cook the spaghetti and reheat the fresh tomato sauce. Combine the cooked spaghetti and hot tomato sauce. Pile this onto a warm serving plate and place the crispy parmesan chicken fillets on top. Sprinkle a little of the chopped herbs over, and serve a separate dish of freshly grated parmesan. I like to serve this with a big bowl of fresh, crisp salad.

Chicken Marsala


Chicken Marsala is a simple, but delicious old Italian favorite, that is always appreciated.


2              chicken breasts, pounded thin
flour, spread on a plate
1/4           cup olive oil
500g        of button mushrooms
1/2           cup Marsala wine
2              tablespoons of butter
1/2           cup chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, dredge both sides of the chicken breasts in flour, shake off excess flour and place in pan. Saute chicken, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate.

Drain all but a little bit of the oil and add mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until they begin to release their juices. Mushrooms have a lot of water in them so there is no need to add any liquid at this stage. Add the Marsala wine, and scrape loose with a wooden spoon all browning residues on the bottom and sides of the pan. This is very important as there is a huge amount of taste captured in the residue.

Add butter, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, approximately 5 minutes. Place the chicken breasts back in the pan and cook until heated through. Transfer the chicken breasts to warm serving plates, pour sauce over them and serve.