Friday, June 10, 2005

Especially for you.

White chocolate and raspberry muffins and chocolate chip cookies courtesy of Bill Granger via The Red Kitchen.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Bill Granger's Sydney Food)

125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate bits (sometimes I use a combination of milk, dark and white)

Preheat oven to 180c (350F) Place butter and sugar iin a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add vanilla and egg and stir to combine. Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Fold through chocoate chips.

Place spoonfuls of cookie mixture on a greased and lined baking tray, allowing room for spreading. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until they turn pale gold. (Less in a hot oven like mine!)

Allow to cool on the tray for 15 minutes before placing biscuits on a wire rack to cool further. Makes 16 though I double the recipe and appear to make about 40 or so (minus the warm ones which get eaten straight away and any dark coloured batches I think should not appear with the rest!)

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins
2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon
90g. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup white choc chips
150g. frozen raspberries (1/2 box)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg.C.
Grease a muffin tin well with butter or spray oil.
2. Sift flour into a large bowl and stir in the sugars to mix evenly.
In another bowl mix together the egg, lemon zest, butter, buttermilk, milk and choc chips and add to the flour mixture with the raspberries.

Spoon into muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes (less for mini muffins) or until golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 big/24 mini muffins.

Lentil and vegetable soup topped with yoghurt and dairy-free pesto.

Brown lentil and vegetable soup topped with yoghurt and pesto (no dairy)
2 cups of brown lentils soaked overnight
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
4 cm piece ginger
4 sticks of celery
2 carrots
piece of broccoli (200 grams)
1 large zucchini
1 litre vegetable stock

Rinse (about 4 times and pick out any rubbishy looking stuff) then soak the lentils overnight. The next day drain off the water. Put lentils in a large saucepan and cover with water and simmer till lentils soften approximately 30 minutes (not too sure about that time I think it would be wise to keep checking every 10 minutes??)*

In a heavy-bottomed pan, saute finely diced onion, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes. Finely dice the celery, carrots and zucchini then add to onions and stir briefly. Add the lentils from the other pan (don’t discard the water) Add the stock to top up and season with freshly ground pepper and some sea salt.

Cook for 10 more minutes on a gentle simmer so that vegetables become tender but not mushy. Add the broccoli cut into small flowerlets,

Serve in a bowl topped with plain yoghurt and .................

My dairy-free pesto

In a mortar grind 2 cloves of garlic a pinch of salt some cracked pepper and 30 grams of pine nuts with two big handfuls of fresh basil. Drizzle in some olive oil a bit at a time until it reaches a nice paste but the overall texture should still be fairly rough.

You can keep the pesto in a container for up to a week. The yoghurt combined with the pesto also makes a lovely salad dressing

* What I have learned about lentils, brown lentils hold their shape unlike red lentils, which soften quickly and lose that lovely red colour.

I like to use curry powders with the red lentil soups and have the brown lentils with lots of green vegetables. I think I added some frozen spinach to this soup which made it look even healthier.

If you don’t add the ginger to the soup first up, it is also good if you grate some fresh ginger over the top of the soup once you have served it up then topp it with the yoghurt.

Herb omlette with soy cream cheese, baby spinach on pumpkin and corn spelt fritters.

Posts to follow - I am hoping this will be impetus for me to actually do something this long weekend.

Blueberry Buckwheat mini muffins
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup rice flour
1/2 box of blueberries
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Into a bowl mix flours, sugar, cream of tartar & baking soda. Mix milk & egg, add dry ingredients and blueberries, mix until just combined.

Fill greased muffin cups 3/4ths full and bake at 180 deg C, for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Slow cooked lamb shanks with mashed dutch cream potatoes and zucchinis sauteed in butter, garlic and lemon zest.

Sunday night comfort food

It has finely been cool enough to make me want to reach for my Le Cruset Dutch Oven and makes some comfort food – and enjoy once again some of the food groups I have been depriving myself of.

I have been cooking these lamb shanks since Elliot was a toddler. It is one of my favourite recipes and I have the River Café Cook book to thank for it. It is due to the same cook book I have the highest regard for the humble zucchini.

Unfortunately it is also the very same cookbook that I will forever associate Ossobucco in Bianco ( ossobucco which omits tomatoes and includes anchovies) with one of my handful of migranes. I think I will tempt fate after all these years and try this recipe this weekend.

Back to the recipe for the slow-cooked lamb shanks.

Shinco di Agnello
6 small lamb shanks
plain flour for dusting
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
a handful of chopped rosemary leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
175ml (6fl oz) balsamic vinegar
300ml (10 fl oz) red wine

Preheat the oven to 200c/400f (or you can cook on the stove)

Dust the lamb shanks with seasoned flour.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, heat the oil and brown the shanks on all sides then remove. Lower the heat, add the onions and cook for about 10-15 minutes until light brown. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Raise the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and the wine. Reduce for a couple of minutes
Return the shanks to the pan reduce the heat and cover with a piece of moistened greaseproof paper and lid. Cook in the oven for about 2-21/2 hours or alternatively on top of the stove.

Check the shanks from time to time, basting with the juices or adding more wine if they look too dry. Serve whole, with the juices.

My notes on recipe variations:

You can actually use 8 lamb shanks and extra red onions.

You can top up with beef stock for extra juice as well.

Skim off fat from top before serving

Add some cannellini beans to juices just prior to serving.

My sauteed zucchinis

Using a mandolin thinly slice zucchinis. In a frypan add a dash of olive oil and one finely diced garlic and saute for one minute add zucchini, dash of vegetable stock, cracked pepper and zest of one lemon. Heat for 3 minutes and serve on the side of lamb shanks.

About Me

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.