Sunday, August 29, 2010

banana fritters

i couldn't resist buying a box of bananas, but i knew i couldn't make another banana cake or five, so i needed a way to use them up deliciously. banana fritters. my fritter batter of preference is self raising flour mixed with cornflour and soda water - it's crisp and light. i use about equal parts of each flour and enough soda to make a batter similar to cream in consistency. i don't bother flouring the bananas and just dunk them in the batter and gently lower them into hot rice bran oil to deep fry. i have my oil not too hot, but hot enough to make sure the bananas bubble away - about 180 degrees celcius. i like cooking my bananas slowly for a longer length of time so they are nice and soft; you do yours the way you like to have them. if you want a sugar hit, sprinkle with castor or icing sugar!

Monday, August 9, 2010

sorrell from the garden and bread from the oven

just lately, i've been eating a fair bit of sorrell, which i have growing in a trough on the balcony. it's been going for about a year now and it's nice to have something salady at hand.

the sandwich of the moment for me is prawns, mayonnaise, sorrel and continental parsley with my homemade bread rolls. i buy just a few big prawns (easier to peel) which are already cooked, spread on the mayo, shred the sorrell and parsley roughly and grind on some pepper. very easy and fresh, and a lovely gourmet treat. i never find a bought prawn sandwich as satisying because there tends to be a lack of prawn flavour.

Friday, August 6, 2010

szechuan noodles

this is a favourite from ina garten, the barefoot contessa. i started making this way back in 2000 and found the sauce very versatile. it makes a generous quantity which i keep in the fridge for cold cuts and as a salad and vegetable dressing.

converted for the thermomix from the barefoot contessa cookbook

6 garlic cloves,
60 grams fresh ginger, peeled
70 grams extra virgin olive oil
100 grams sesame paste (from asian grocery stores)
100 grams smooth peanut butter
100 soy sauce
60 grams dry sherry
60 grams sherry vinegar
60 grams honey
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
500 grams spaghetti
1 red capsicum, julienned
1 yellow capsicum, julienned
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally

place the garlic and ginger in the thermomix bowl and chop on speed 9 for 10 seconds. add the vegetable oil, sesame paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, sherry vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, and ground peppers. mix for 20 seconds on speed 4.

cook the spaghetti al dente in boiling salted water. drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. whilst still warm, toss with some of the sauce. add the red and yellow capsicums and spring onions; toss well. serve warm or at room temperature. the remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.

keep any leftover sauce in the fridge for later use.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

cauliflower au gratin

this is one of my favourite versions of cauliflower cheese. i think it's the addition of horseradish, shallot and garlic - it makes it just that little bit exciting.

this is all perfectly do-able without a thermomix, but when i was converting it to a thermomix friendly recipe, i decided i didn't want to make this without a thermomix anymore - the thermomix makes it all too easy...such is my dependence...oh, woe is me (not really)...i'm a junkie...

1 cauliflower
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
250 grams water
1 teaspoon stock concentrate
250 grams cream
1 to 2 tablespoons horseradish, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
60 grams gruyere cheese

preheat the oven to 220°C. cut the cauliflower into small florets. reserve the stems. place the florets in varoma and set aside.

place the reserved cauliflower stems, shallot, and garlic into the thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5. add the butter and saute for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. pour in the water and stock concentrate. set the cauliflower filled varoma on the thermomix bowl. cook on varoma temperature for 10 minutes on speed 4. most of the liquid will have evaporated.

remove the varoma and set aside.

add the cream, horseradish, salt, and pepper to the thermomix bowl, and puree the contents on speed 8 for 15 seconds.

gently coat the cauliflower florets with the cream mixture in an ovenproof terrine or casserole.

place the cheese into the cleaned thermomix bowl and grate on speed 8 for 10 seconds.

top the cauliflower with the cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, August 2, 2010

pink lemonade...naturally...

a few weeks ago, tenina came to sydney to promote the thermomix in sydney with cyndi o'meara. we were treated to a lovely pink lemonade as part of the healthy repertoire. essentially, it is the lemonade recipe from the thermomix everyday cookbook with a tamarillo in it.

i made mine this morning a bit differently.

100g sugar
1 lemon (i plucked mine off the tree just moments before making)
1 tamarillo
1 tray ice cubes
1000g still or sparkling water

place the sugar and quartered fruit into the thermomix bowl and blitz for 10 seconds on speed 10.

add the ice cubes and blitz for 5 seconds on speed 10.

pour into serving jug and dilute with water.

if you don't like the bits in your lemonade, pour the water into the thermomix bowl and strain before pouring the lemonade into the jug, but think of the fibre you're missing out on.