Friday, December 30, 2011

Cheapo mojito

What do you do if you're throwing a Cuban BBQ and the price of limes is astronomical? Improvise!

Make a lime simple syrup with the zest from your limes; use 1 lime for each cup of sugar.

Makes 1 drink

Mint leaves
Lime wedges (1/6 of a lime each)
Raw sugar
White rum
Lime simple syrup
Soda water

Muddle 6 mint leaves and a lime wedge with a hint of raw sugar. Add two shots of rum and 1/2 shot (15 mL) of sugar syrup.

Grind a handful of ice and add to the minty rum mixture then top-up with soda. Stir before serving.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby turnips

Mid-October baby turnips start appearing at the market; which means that there are a few weeks for me to make on of my favourite curries.

Moghul Lamb with Turnips
Serves 4
Adapted from Food of India by Priya Wickramasinghe

2 brown onions
4 cloves of garlic
5 cm piece of ginger
2 green chillies
1/4 cup oil
2 cassia (Indian bay) leaves
1 kg boneless lamb shoulder or leg chopped into a 2.5 cm dice
Pinch asafoetida
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp thick plain yoghurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
450 g baby turnips, halved

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and process in to a paste.

Heat the oil in a large shallow pan and add the onion mixture and the cassia leaves. Fry until golden then add the meat and stir until everything is thoroughly coated. Fry for a further 15 minutes until the oil begins to separate from the meat.

Add the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomato paste and yoghurt and fry for another minute. Add the salt and pepper then pour in  2 sups of water a little at a time stirring after each addition. When the sauce is thick cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the turnips and allow to simmer for a further 45 minutes or both the lamb and turnips are soft.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Webber returns - Mexican BBQ

After a wet and almost barbecue-less summer in 2010-11, the gorgeous spring weather in Canberra inspired me to get the Webber out. Since the citrus season is in full swing, this Mexican recipe adaptation makes use of oranges and tamarind to produce a scrumptious caramelised roast pork.

I served this with a potato salad with blanched green beans, charred corn and capsicums, garlic, lemon juice and scallion oil.

Chicken with tamarind orange glaze

Adapted from Mexconnect

2kg chicken

Zest from two oranges

1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper

For the glaze:
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon orange zest

Zest 2 oranges and juice them, this should provide 1/2 a cup of juice. Butterfly the chicken and rub with zest, pour the orange juice over and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours.

Combine all glaze ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil then lower heat and cook until the glaze reduced to 3/4 cup and is quite sticky. This reduction takes a while, so get it started right after setting up the chicken marinade.

Grill he chicken in the Webber with all vents open; glaze the skin after 45 minutes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Apple and raisin bars

These are quite tasty bars, but they're too a bit too rich for snacking that doesn't follow mountain climbing.

Oat and raisin Bars
Makes 16 bars
Modified from Everyday Food via shutterbean

170 g unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup plain flour
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1 green apple, grated

Preheat oven to 180°C, then line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour, oats, and raisins; fold in just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.

Leave to cool completely in pan then cut in to bars.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Another from the archives of delicious meals past. This peanut sauce is quite spicy, so if you're a thinker you may want to water-down some sauce with coconut for guests who can't handle heat.... Also this recipe it fine without shrimp paste, just add more salt.

Peanut sauce for gado gado
Makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce
Adapted from South East Asian Food by Rosemary Brissenden

1 1/2 cups small raw peanuts
1 tbsp vegetable oil + more for deep-frying
7 chillies, seeded and sliced
2 small cloves of garlic
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp palm sugar
salt to taste
water as necessary
lime juice or white vinegar to taste

Deep fry the peanuts in batches until golden, once they have cooled remove the skins and then grind them into a coarse powder.

Grind the chillies, garlic and shrimp paste in to a paste, then heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the spices until fragrant. Mix the peanuts, fried spices, coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan, bring the mixture to the boil and cook until the sauce thickens. Add salt to taste and water to bring the paste to a pouring consistency; then remove from the heat. Add lime juice or vinegar to balance the sauce and allow to cool before serving.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Historic cake

I must have last eaten this cake in the early 1990s; it's still great. My mum always made it as a loaf, but it actually holds together as a square.

Apple and Pecan Nut Cake
Makes 1 20 cm square cake

2 cooking apples
½ cup of sugar
1 ½ cups plain wholemeal flour
1 level tsp bicarb of soda
2 tsps cinnamon
2 Tsps allspice
1 cup roughly chopped pecan nuts
1 egg
125g butter, melted

Peel, core cut apples in chunks, and mix with sugar. Set aside. Shift flour, bicarb, spices and mix in chopped pecan nuts, beat egg into cooled butter. Add apples, lightly mix in flour- nut mixture and spoon into a greased 20 cm square tin. Bake at 180°C for 45-55 mins.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


They don't photograph well, they were golden and delicious. Yum!

A Dutch New Year's tradition, made January 1 2011 (it's been a bit like that this year).

Makes enough for 6 hungry people
Adapted from Dutch Cooking by H. Halverhout

3 cups plain flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups currants and raisins
50 g glacĂ© ginger
2 small pink lady apples, peeled and diced
1 egg
1 cup milk
Icing sugar
Oil for deep frying

Mix everything together in a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.

Heat the oil to 190°C, use two spoons to shape the batter in to balls and drop them in to the oil.Fry them a few at a time, until golden brown (~8 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, then pile high and cover with icing sugar.