Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Leftovers

*Youtube is a great resource for learning to cook International cuisines. I made cookingwithdiog's yakisoba noodles and I really liked them.

*I made Nigel Salter's onion soup to use up some Gruyere, I think I prefer a onion soup with more onion.

*The Accountant loved this chickpea salad from Gordon Ramsay. So I made it too. It's very nicely balanced and delicious with some finely slices medium-rare lamb steak mixed through.

*I've been trying to eat more fish, we had teriyaki salmon with pickled vegetable salad. I liked the salad a lot, but I wasn't convinced by the salmon - it's probably better pan fried to achieve some different textures.

*I made these blueberry pancakes, but used all yoghurt instead of butter milk. They were great, but it's uncommon to go terribly wrong with a pancake recipe.

*Nigel Slater's oven method for rice pudding got well-tested this month, but I still haven't decided on the optimal amount of sugar, and the timing is off too. Letting the pudding cook slowly in the oven is much more convenient that the stove top method.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Barley, Beans, and Greens

A simple vegetable soup, with lots of greens. Season well or it's slightly bland.

Barley, Bean and Vegetable Soup
Serves 4
Adapted from Bill Granger, delicious March 2009

115 g barley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small bunch silverbeet (about 700g), finely shredded
2 red skinned potatoes, cut into 2 cm cubes
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
400 g cooked cannellini beans
2 zucchini, cut into 2 cm pieces200 g green beans
85 g peas
Grated parmesan to serve

Place the barley in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 45 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add garlic, silverbeet and potato, and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the silverbeet has melted.

Add the stock and 1 litre of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add cooked barley, zucchini, green beans and peas and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Season, then serve topped with grated parmesan.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Portuguese BBQ

The Portuguese have a popular charcoal grilled sardine dish called sardinhas assadas; I recreated it using whole blue mackerel to great success. The traditional accompaniment, a salad of roasted capsicums, tomatoes and onions, cut through the oily fish beautifully.

To finish we had arroz doce, or rice pudding, flavoured with lemon peel and cinnamon. Next time I may try to make this in the Webber too.

Salt Grilled Blue Mackerel with Portuguese Salad
Serves 4
Adapted from Jill Dupleix, delicious November 2008

2 large potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm rounds
2 tbsp olive oil1 tbsp hot smoked paprika
1 red capsicum
1 green capsicum
2 tomatoes
1 red onion
Handful coriander or parsley
4 blue mackerel
1 lemon quartered

Parboil the potatoes, when cool slice into rounds 1 cm thick, coat with oil and paprika and bake in the barbecue over indirect heat with all vents open for 45 minutes.

Cook the capsicums over the coals until blistered, then put them in a bowl and cover it with cling film. Peel the capsicums when cool and slice into strips. Finely slice the tomatoes and onion and mix into the capsicums, add the herbs. Dress with a little vegetable oil if not serving immediately.

Salt the cavity of the fish and the outside, cook over indirect heat for 10 minutes a side, or until the flesh comes away from the bone easily. Serve the grilled  fish with lemon quarters, the roasted potato slices and capsicum salad.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lebanese BBQ

Tonight we had a Lebanese inspired barbecue. I grilled the lamb kafta and served them with a fattoush salad with Shepard avocado. An appetising, light, end of summer meal.

Kafka Mikli
Serves 2-3
Adapted from New Flavours of the Lebanese Table by Nada Saleh

1 onion
Large handful of parsley or thyme
8-10 mint leaves
450 g lamb mince
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Place the onion and herbs in a food processor and blend until smooth. Mix with the mince, spices and salt. Divide into six even amounts and shape each around a long soaked bamboo skewer.

Cook over direct heat in a kettle BBQ with all vents wide open for fifteen minutes, then turn and leave for a further ten minutes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

My current favourite pizza sauce is so simple and delicious that you should make it for your next pizza night. Char-grill some red capsicums and peel them. Blend the peeled capsicum with some olive oil, about 1 tablespoon of oil for every 100 grams of capsicum, the spread over your pizza base as you would a tomato sauce.

I often buy lots of red capsicums when they're cheap; they freeze well after roasting and the roasted peppers make a great addition to soups and home made baked beans.