Tuesday, May 18, 2010

one pot rice cooker meal

tonight, when miss c called, i suggested another easy meal option. this is something easy to make if you have a rice cooker.

measure the rice and water into the rice pot as usual. season some chicken or pork (or your preferred meat...or no meat at all) with salt and pepper (and whatever other seasonings you fancy - herbs...or you can use asian seasonings - sesame oil, xiao xing wine, ginger...) and place this on top of the rice. top this with some vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, peas, asian greens) and set the rice cooker to cook the rice.

there you go - an easy pot pot rice cooker meal. if you have leftovers, make a soup with the leftovers by adding some stock or water to the pot the next day. the rice will thicken the liquid, and if you want the soup to be more substantial, add an egg (or some eggs) to poach in the soup.

Monday, May 17, 2010

what to do with care package 1: southern fried chicken

southern fried chicken is easy with seasoned flour.

dredge chicken with the flour and shallow fry the chicken until done. try and have the pan over a medium low heat so the coating becomes golden evenly. this will also ensure the chicken cooks through.

if you have time, soak the chicken in buttermilk for an hour before dredging to tenderise the meat.

after frying the chicken, the flour at the bottom of the pan can be used to make gravy. drain off any excess oil and add stock or milk to the pan stirring the whole time until the consistency of the gravy is to your liking. this has no nutritional value whatsoever, but my brother in law, the golden one, loves it.

by the way, if chicken fried steak takes your fancy, replace the chicken with beef schitzel steaks....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

care package 1: seasoned flour

miss c, having finished school, has left home and is now living in canberra. and while i miss her, i know she has to leave home at some stage. miss c never learnt how to cook before she went on her merry way, but now, a few months down the track, is bulding up a respectable repertoire, and quite a healthy one at that. to junky things up, on one trip back to canberra, i gave her a bag of my homemade seasoned flour so she could have southern fried chicken or chicken fried steak (shock horror)! i figured if she felt like something junky, it would be better homemade.

1 cup plain flour
1 cup maize cornflour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (yes...seasoned salt)

mix this throughly and store in an airtight jar until needed.

i'll give instructions on what to do with this in my next post.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

thermomix focaccia

last night i made the focaccia from the thermomix everyday cookbook, and it ain't half bad. the dough has a higher proportion of water compared to the basic bread recipe, so the dough is stickier, but it makes for a lighter bread. the outside is crisp, and the inside is light and fluffy. the next day, it's chewier, but still good (i quite like some of my breads chewy).

my tip when making this dough would be to make sure the thermomix bread mat is floured before tipping the dough onto it, and a little more flour sprinkled over the dough so as to prevent it from sticking. after proving, just tip the dough onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. you'll find the dough very easy to press out to cover the baking sheet. once that's done, scatter the salt and herbs over the top and drizzle with olive oil. if you chose to bake the focaccia immediately, the bread will be denser, and to my taste, more traditional italian in texture. left for a longer prove, lighter and fluffier!

i can see this dough would make lovely, light grissini and bacon and cheese rolls not unlike those from bakers' delight.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

inspiration from masterchef

this season's masterchef seems to be using the sous vide technique a bit more than the last season.....george's meatloaf burger, peter gilmore's poached chicken and truffles...while the thermomix hasn't got the capacity of a commercial immersion water bath (it is a domestic machine after all), one can enjoy restaurant quality sous vide with a bit of imagination. i figured that i'm going to try george's meatloaf burger, but mine will be more like scotch eggs, and i'll make peter's chicken much the same way - they'll be chicken balls. there's a definite plus there - the chicken skin won't have to be so big because my parcels will be smaller.
i remember when i got my thermomix, i really wanted it because it could cook and stir. little did i know i was going to get so many bonus appliances.....and that i would use it so many times a day....much better to get bonuses rather than be dissappointed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

vegetable medley

one of my favourite ways of cooking vegetables is to "steam" them in the pot. rather then boil them in a large pot of water, i prepare the vegetables, place them in a saucepan, add half a cup of salted water and a knob of butter. let the vegetables half poach and half steam on full boil.

to serve, add some freshly chopped herbs. use any combination of vegetables you like - i like carrots, zuchinni, squash, asparagus, beans, brocolli, cauliflower.....and a knob of butter, if you like!