Recipe Mama

Gravy – with a twist June 9, 2013

Filed under: Extras & Side Dishes — obsidian @ 9:07 am

When I make a roast, I always put about 2cm of water in the bottom of the roasting dish, and baste the meat as it cooks (and I cook it for a couple of hours) – then when it’s time to put the potatoes into the roasting pan,  I pour off the water into a saucepan and use that as the base for my gravy.

Well tonight I made some really good gravy and that’s because I added something else, which will be my secret ingredient from now on!

Last night we had lasagne, and my mix was a little bit too liquidy, so I put it into a colander and drained off the extra liquid – keeping it….  The lasagne mixture was made with eggplant, zucchini, leek, mushroom, carrot, garlic, herbs & spices, a tin of lentils, a tin of tinned tomatoes, a jar of tomato puree and the mince.  So it had a lot of flavour, nd all that flavour was in the liquid I drained off.

So in tonight’s gravy I added some of that lasagne liquid.  Which gave the gravy a great flavour!

I’ve frozen the rest of the lasagne liquid in icecube trays so I can add it to other dishes as a sort of stock.

 

Bread Bowls with Vegies & Dip May 19, 2013

Filed under: Extras & Side Dishes,For Kids,Nibblies and party Snacks — obsidian @ 2:02 pm

I saw this great idea on Pintrest for individual serves of carrot/celery sticks and dip.   Great for kids because it stops people having to worry about double dipping :D  Plus there is no waste as the bowl is edible!   I’ve made it for my daughter’s school when they have had a party, and it was a great hit!

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Simply get a bread stick and cut it into pieces.  Hollow out the insides, leaving a little bit left in the bottom – to make a bowl for the dip.  Make your dip however you like (cream cheese with spinach, olives and a little milk mixed through works well), then add cut up vegetable sticks.

 

Caramel Honeycomb Cheesecake

Filed under: Cakes,Pies & Tarts - Sweet,Sweets — obsidian @ 1:13 pm
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Ingredients

  • 300mls cream
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 teaspoons gelatine
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 can of caramel “Top & fill” (or make caramel from condensed milk)
  • 1 pack biscuits (I used butternut snaps)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Honeycomb pieces/bars to decorate (I used half a bag of choc-covered honeycomb pieces, I can’t remember how big the bag was though.  I estimate you’d need about 4 “violet crumble” bars or similar)

Method:

In a food processor, grind up the biscuits until they are fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter and mix together.  Pour this into the base of a springform pan, making sure it’s not too thick.  Set this in the fridge to harden.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the boiling water and mix well to make sure it fully dissolves.

Clean out the food processor bowl (or don’t if you’re not fussed about a small bit of biscuit mixed through the cheesecake)….  Add the cream, cheese, sugar, vanilla and caramel.  Process this until just combined.  Add the gelatine+water mix and process until combined.  You don’t want to over mix this (remember you can make butter from beating cream)

Spoon the filling mixture into the biscuit base.  Clean and dry the bowl of the food processor and add the honeycomb.  Process until you have the size pieces you desire.  I think it looks good to have some small chunks and remember that if you leave it overnight, the honeycomb dissolves, so if you want chunks, they need to be a reasonable size – but you don’t want the choc coating to be too large to eat.  Sprinkle this over the top of the cheesecake.

** Note **  If you prepare this the day before you’re going to eat it, it gives the honeycomb time to soften and partially melt, which is much nicer to eat and I think it looks nicer (the freshly processed honeycomb looks dusty, where the older honeycomb looks shiny)  if you were to serve it straight away, the honeycomb would be very crunchy and might not have as nice a texture.

 

Basic Cheesecake May 18, 2013

Filed under: Pies & Tarts - Sweet — obsidian @ 2:35 pm
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With a basic cheesecake recipe you can add anything you like to it, to dress it up a little.  Top it with fruit, add some frozen berries to the mix – whatever you like

Ingredients

  • 300mls cream
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 teaspoons gelatine
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 pack biscuits (I used butternut snaps)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Method:

In a food processor, grind up the biscuits until they are fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter and mix together.  Pour this into the base of a springform pan, making sure it’s not too thick.  Set this in the fridge to harden.  Sprinkle the gelatine over the boiling water and mix well to make sure it fully dissolves.  Clean out the food processor bowl (or don’t if you’re not fussed about a small bit of biscuit mixed through the cheesecake)….  Add the cream, cheese, sugar & vanilla.  Process this until just combined.  Add the gelatine+water mix and process until combined.  You don’t want to over mix this (remember you can make butter from beating cream).  Spoon the filling mixture into the biscuit base. Refrigerate until set.

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Variations :

Lemon & Coconut cheesecake – Make the basic cheesecake, add the juice of 1 lemon to the mixture.  Top with a coconut/lemon mixture made from 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup icing sugar, the zest from 1 lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Berry Cheesecake – Make the basic cheesecake but add a handful of frozen or tinned berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc.).  If you’d like to add the juice from tinned berries, add an additional 1tsp of gelatine to make sure the mixture sets.  You can top the berry cheesecake with matching berry jelly.

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Fruit Topped – Make the basic cheesecake.  You can then make a layer of jelly to protect the top of the cheesecake or leave it plain.  Top it with slices of fresh fruit.  Here I used strawberries, kiwifruit, mango and blueberries.

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Apple & Cinnamon Cake April 19, 2013

Filed under: Cakes — obsidian @ 2:20 pm
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This makes a very moist and delicious cake!  Topped with apples and with a stewed apple centre.

Dscf7331Ingredients:
2 cups white SR flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 apple cut into slices
2 apples cut into small pieces
Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tb sugar additional

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Method:

Add the apple to a saucepan with the additional sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and enough water to cover. simmer this until the apple slices are just turning tender and carefully remove those.  Leave the other apple pieces cooking until they turn very soft and all the liquid has gone.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in 1 egg, the vanilla, half the milk and half the flour.  Add the other egg, remaining milk and flour.  Beat together until mixture is creamy.

Prepare a cake tin.  Spoon half the mixture out into the tin, then spread the stewed apple mixture over this.  Spoon on the remaining cake mixture.  Top with the slices of apple and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Bake at 180ºC for about 30- mins until the cake has cooked through.  This cake will be quite moist due to the apple filling.  So you may need to turn the heat down a bit to stop it getting too brown on top while it’s finishing cooking.

    

 

Spinach & Riocotta Lasagne Scrolls

Filed under: Pasta Dishes,Pies & Bakes - Savoury — obsidian @ 2:12 pm
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This was a recipe I saw on Pintrest.  I’ll be honest – it’s nice, but a lot of fiddly work that I’m not sure I can be bothered making again….  but here’s the recipe you can try yourself.

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Essentially it’s a bit of a fancy version of cannelloni….  The idea is that you get the lasagne sheets that are long and thin (the curly edged ones look nice), boil them until they are soft, then drain them and spread them with a mixture of spinach and riocotta – then roll them up.  You then bake these with some pasta sauce (you’ll want some on the base and top, or they will stick to the bottom)

The problems I encountered with this is that a lot of the curly edges were broken off in the pack which is annoying.  I couldn’t find a good way to let the cooked pasta drain and cool enough to handle, without it sticking together…..  it was a bit time consuming… but it was quite tasty.  I topped ours with grated tasty cheese.

An easier way to do it would be to buy the fresh pasta sheets and use those (or make your own pasta), which wouldn’t need precooking, avoiding those issues I had.

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Filed under: Meat Dishes,Pies & Bakes - Savoury — obsidian @ 1:36 pm
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Ingredients:
Puff Pastry sheets
Beef mince
Finely chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic
2 tb Gravy powder
Vegies (eg Corn, grated carrot, grated zucchini)
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 can lentils (or 1 cup cooked lentils)
Potato (enough for the mashed potato top)
Dried herbs (or fresh if you have them)
1 teaspoons Curry Powder
1 tsp Ground Cumin
Salt & pepper to taste

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Method:
Put a saucepan on the heat and add the mince (no oil). Fry this until brown. Drain off the excess oil if there is any.   Add the onion and cook until the onion softens.   Add the garlic, then add the vegies and tinned tomatoes.  Half fill the empty tomato can and add the gravy powder, mix well then add this to the mixture along with the herbs and spices.   Allow this to simmer until the vegies are soft.  Then stir in the lentils and remove from the heat.

Allow it to cool slightly (you can use it while still warm, but its best not to be hot because it melts the pastry).  You can use this time to cook the potatoes – Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes, boil these in water until soft.  (I tend to leave the skins on, because I cut the potato so small it doesn’t make much difference to the pie).  Drain and mash the potato well until it is smooth.  You can add butter and salt if you wish, or a little water or milk.  It should be a creamy consistency.

Grease your chosen pie making dish (I find the best thing to use is actually a spring form pan). Place the pastry into your dish.  Spoon the filling mix into the dish, then top with the mashed potato.  I sometimes like to run a fork over the potato to rough it up a little and brush the top with melted butter.

It should go in a hot oven (about 200C), cook until the potato is browning. Probably about 20 mins?

 

 
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