Archive for the ‘Vegetable’ Category

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Savouries

July 2, 2010


It’s been awhile since I cooked from Giada’s Kitchen – New Italian Favourites many things have contributed to that. So today I decided that along with my desire to increase the Husband’s vegetable consumption I would do a couple of vegetable muffins (perhaps not heaps healthy, but more vegetables!)

So from Giada I cooked the Garlic and Sundried Tomato Corn Muffins. They are quite rich in flavour, which was great, my concern with going savoury is that the Husband would feel like he was missing out with depth of flavour and he’s not a topping person. That’s right you heard me, no topping! He does not enjoy butter can you imagine? Or jams, or vegemite, or peanut butter or anything really!!! But really? No butter! Imagine my life with butter-less mashed potato!

Anyway back on track these were so easy to make, and quite delicious! I did have to adapt the recipe a touch, the original recipe called for “jiffy corn muffin mix” which I didn’t have so I mixed flour and polenta together.

Garlic and Sundried Tomato Corn Muffins


240g Self Raising Flour
240g Polenta
2/3 cup sundried tomato
2 cups frozen corn kernels
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 190C, insert paper liners into a tray.
In a large bowl, combine the corn, flours, garlic and tomato. Stir to combine. Mix in the buttermilk, sour cream and eggs and stir until combined.
Spoon the mix into the tins. Bake until golden on top and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

I also attempted a variation on an old savoury muffin recipe I had a sausage and vegetable muffin. They were delicious in my opinion. Unfortunately the Husband was not so keen, he really prefers his muffins to be sweet, which is what I feared……

Sausage and Vegetable Muffins


400g Flour
3 g Baking powder
2 Egg (medium size)
100 g Unsalted butter (melted)
140 g Milk
70 g Ricotta
400g Sausage (cooked and sliced)
50 g Cheddar cheese (cut into small dice)
100g Mixed Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the cupcake liners into the pans.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
Put the egg and sugar in a bowl and place the bowl over the pan of hot water.
With hand mixer beat the egg mixture until very light and fluffy.
Gently pour the milk into the egg mixture using spatula fold to combine, then add the melted butter and fold again.
Pour all the rest ingredients, fold just until they incorporate.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Crostata

May 16, 2010


The latest in my delving into Giada’s Kitchen – New Italian Favourites was the Crostata with Mushrooms and Pancetta.

A Crostata is a free-form pie or tart that can be served as either a savoury or a sweet, and since I’m trying to branch out into more savoury cooking this seemed to fit the bill!

The mushrooms I used were Shiitake & Buna Shimeji two varieties I’d seen and heard about but never eaten. So I thought since the recipe called for an assortment of mushrooms without being specific I’d do something a bit different. It was interesting to note that the Buna-Shimeji had a slightly bitter taste when it was raw that completely disappeared when it was cooked.

I also couldn’t get my hands on any Fontina cheese, which is a semi-soft cow’s milk Italian cheese. It comes only from the Valle d’Aosta in Italy, and a true fontina has an orange-brown rind. It’s meant to be a quite creamy cheese and very mild and smooth. I’m keeping my eyes out for one now to try, not having had any when in Italy and wanting to give it a go. I jumped onto trusty Google and looked for substitutes, and the suggestion was a Gruyere, which is also a semi-soft cheese, though with a texture that is a bit grainy – so not as smooth as the Fontina sounds. Though both are described as having a slightly nutty flavour, which I can attest to in the Gruyere finding that a lot easier to locate!

Crostata with Mushrooms & Pancetta


Pastry crust

1.5 cups all purpose flour
½ t salt
3 T cold unsalted butter cut into chunks
½ cup mascarpone cheese
1.5 T lemon juice
3 T ice water

Mushroom Filling

4 T olive oil
57g diced pancetta (I used bacon as its all I had on hand)
2 shallots, minced
450g assorted mushrooms
1 T chopped thyme
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
1/3 cup grated smoked, mozzarella
1/3 cup grated fontina cheese
2 T fresh grated Parmesan
1 large egg for glaze

For crust
In a food processor combine the flour and salt, and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is finely chopped and the mix looks like coarse meal. Add the mascarpone and lemon juice and pulse a few more times & then pulse in the ice water until the mix is moist and crumbly but not a ball of dough. Turn it out onto some cling wrap and press into a disk. Wrap it up and put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

For Filling
Heat 2 T of olive oil in a large pan and add the pancetta cooking until crisp. Transfer this to a small bowl and set aside. Add the rest of the olive oil and cook the shallots for about 30 seconds and then add the mushrooms. Keep them cooking over a medium heat until all the moisture evaporates (about 12 minutes). Remove from the pan and add the pancetta along with the herbs. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to about 200C and unwrap the chilled dough and place it on some baking paper. Roll out the dough to an 11 inch circle and place this on a baking tray (on the baking paper, or another baking sheet). Stir the cheeses into the cooled mushrooms mixture. Place this on the centre of the dough, spreading out to about 2 inches from the edges. Fold the dough border up and glaze with egg. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes – or until golden. Slice and serve.

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Haloumi bake

January 24, 2010


This Flavour of the Month from Nigella Biteshappened simply because I needed some comfort type food. And, funnily enough Nigella even pops this recipe in her comfort food section!

I was flipping through and pondering what to back, when I re-read the description where she speaks of almost caramelised onions and garlic and the uncompromising plain saltiness of the haloumi and I had just had to make it. The day had started out wonderfully – the Husband and I woke up at around 3am, grabbed some coffee in our travel mugs and hopped into the car to drive 45 minutes to a nearby point so that the Husband could try out his new lens and take some photos. All in practice for our impending trip he tells me, apparently one must practice with a new lens to take perfect shots with them. As you can all probably tell from my photos, me – not an avid photographer! I have a ‘fancy’ G10 – so it’s a bit more upmarket then just a standard point and shoot. And, I don’t use it on full auto, I do use it Aperture Priority, and I do change the ISO and well…I just play until the photo looks ok. I have PE7 installed so I can do some processing, but I don’t get the same enjoyment out of it that the Husband does and he has much more equipment then I do (40D, flash, 2 tripods with 2 heads, 5 different lenses (wants more), filters etc) and has a full version of Photoshop that he will spend hours using to process. Anyway, I digress, anyway the day started out wonderfully…

However, on arrival at said point, I decided that my coffee would finally be cool enough for me to consume and I tipped to take a big gulp, only to have it dribble all down my front! I investigate and the seal on my Brugo is now dead…..gone and buried, so no coffee for me. The Husband has his with milk so he’d been slowly drinking his whilst driving so he could not share with me. We had a pleasant enough time there, he took lots of photos, I took lots – his much better than mine of course and then headed off for breakfast with some friends. Coffee attempted again, this time I thought I’d try a latte, ick…weak! oh no! Good company though, even though they’d forgotten we were coming and so we had a mad dash run around getting ready before we headed out to breakfast. Thankfully they have a little near 2 yo who had them up anyway so at least we did not wake them!

On our way home we stopped so the Husband could get some new batteries for his flash, I grabbed another latte (and some raisin toast…I only had yoghurt for breakfast!) and thankfully this time it was nice! And I grabbed my sunglasses which were finally ready after 2 weeks of driving around with a squint! However, at this point my knee was aching!!! And it was HOT and I was over it! I got home and it was nearly lunch time and I decided that I needed comforting. Ergo, this recipe!

I had to adapt it a little, the Husband doesn’t like sweet potato, and I wanted to have some leftovers, so there was a bit more potato then originally called for and I didn’t have any peppers and I wasn’t willing at this point to go and get them. So next time around, I will add a red and yellow pepper to add some depth of flavour, but it worked out well without them. It just didn’t have all the good-mood colours Nigella spoke of. And I probably made the cheese a little more golden then some like, but it is as always a matter of personal preference.

Potato and Haloumi Bake


5 Desiree potatoes
1 onion
½ head of garlic
4T olive oil
Black pepper
125g Haloumi, sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 200C
Cut the potato up. Halve the onion, and then cut into 4-6 segments. Separate the cloves of garlic. Put everything into a large roasting tin and using your hands give potato and onion with olive oil. Season with black pepper. Cook for 45 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Then place the cheese on the top and grill until the cheese is melted, serve.

Original recipe calls for 1 each red and yellow pepper deseeded, and 1 large sweet potato and 1 large Desiree – so try those if you like.