Friday, 24 December 2010

Potato Kugel Loaf TEd Style

NAME: _Potato Kugel Loaf TEd Style

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
300g bakers plain flour
4 eggs
2 tsp instant baking yeast
2 medium brown onions
5 medium waxy potatoes (about 700g)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp EVOO
(optional)
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or whatever you like.

METHOD:
Peel and grate potatoes, using coarse side of a standard box grater. Place grated potatoes into a teatowel or other clean strong cloth, and twist the end to wring out liquid.  Save the liquid in a bowl.  Squeeze and re-arrange the grated potato a few more times to ensure it is as dry as possible.  Leave wrapped in teatowel and set aside, in a cool place or the refrigerator.

Grate the onion or cut into thin strips about the same size as the grated potato or a bit thicker, place in a bowl, sprinkle over the teaspoonful of salt and toss through.  Set aside in a cool place or the refrigerator.

Put flour in mixer bowl, add the yeast, and stir through quickly with a spoon.  Start mixer on low speed and begin adding three lightly beaten eggs.  Pour off most of the clear liquid from the potato starch and add the starch, then add the last beaten egg slowly, you want a sticky paste not totally liquid but not dry either.

Once the mixer has kneaded this mixture for about three minutes, use half a tablespoon of olive oil to grease a bowl, place the douhg in it and cover with a teatowel.  Leave in a warm place for half an hour to an hour, until it's definitely risen.

Push a hollow into the dough ball, put the grated potato in.  Use the teatowel to similarly squeeze liquid from the onions, be gentle to avoid crushing the onion.  Discard the liquid, add the dried onion to the bowl.  Add a tablespoonful of olive oil, and mix together all with the dough.  The dough will have developed a strong gluten by now, be careful, try and mix the grated ingredients in with minimal disturbance to the cohesiveness of the dough.

Use the remaining half tablespoonful of EVOO to grease a loaf tin that the dough will fill to around 1/4 to 1/3, and put the dough mixture in and level it out.  Cover with a teatowel again and let rise a second time, half an hour to an hour.

Put in preheated oven (180C) and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.  If you are using the grated cheese, then sprinkle this in a thick layer over the risen dough just before placing in the oven.  At the end of baking time, the top should be golden to brown, and the loaf should have risen to the height of the bread pan. Slide a knife or spatula all the way around, and gently turn out onto a biscuit rack.

SERVING:
Server hot or cold, sliced into 2cm slices.  Excellent as a side to dishes with gravy.  Can also be served by itself with a cheese sauce.

NOTES:
Polish and Russian people in particular have "potato kugel" recipes.  Jewish people have a version of it.  The word "kugel" just means a ball, and that's how it's generally baked.  But.  Oh!.  All traditional recipes don't have a leavening agent and this comes out like a heavy dough and potato dumpling.  I've seen recipes where baking powder raising agent is added, but it was still not what I wanted.

The yeast transforms this from a dumpling to a loaf, with a dense but open crumb and a GREAT flavour combination of yeast dough, potato, and the salting of the onion changes the flavour of the onion from sharp to mellow and rounded.  I eat this by itself instead of bread, it just needs buttering and is a complete meal.  It's YUMMY.  'Nuff said.



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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Find Restaurant Deliveries In Your Area

I don't normally.  No, really - I don't.  It's very rare that I plug a service on my blogs.  And it's even more rare for me to do it for free and gratis.  But in this case, I had to.  I've often wished I had the smarts to set up a variety of online services, and this was one of them.  I'm extremely pleased to see that not only has someone had the same idea and implemented it, but they've done so extremely well from what I've seen.
 

Menulog finds restaurants in your postcode that deliver, lets you order online and then pay on delivery.  It's brilliant.  If I say so myself.  And they are offering $10 off the first order to TEdAMENU Tuckertime readers!  Discount code and details are down the bottom, and I wish you a very enjoyable dinner out, (brought in,) in the future.
 

"Aha!" say you, "he does get something out of it!  A $10 discount voucher for himself!  Not free and gratis after all!  Foul!  Foul!"
 

But in actual fact, in my area code, 6244... - well, you check it out.  I'm 100km from the nearest larger population center...  However, I know quite a few of you are in cities and large towns, and you'll have no trouble finding some fine quality tucker out there.  Bon Appetit, folks!


Order home delivery online, get instant confirmation.
 
1000 restaurants around Australia, 2000 specials, no markup.
 
Get $10 off your first order with this code at checkout: 25E47D
 
Details: Available for a customer’s first order only, at participating
restaurants only (which display the “accepts vouchers”) sign,
expires March 31, 2011, min order $20.




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Sunday, 27 June 2010

Cheap-Ass Ham And Cheese Tortellini

NAME: _Cheap-Ass Ham And Cheese Tortellini
(See Notes)

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
TORTELLINI
30 - 40 Tortellini wrappers (or square wonton wrappers from the shop)
(200g flour, 2 eggs, a drop of olive oil, few drops of water, roll out to 9)
50g - 100g ham
50g - 100g cheap cheddar
5g - 10g blue cheese
cabbage or kale leaves
SAUCE
10g - 50g ham
500ml water
1/2 an onion
1 clove garlic
50g butter
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
1 - 2 tbsp flour
250ml milk
chicken stock cube
salt, pepper
cabbage or kale leaves left over from above, or some fresh parsley.

METHOD:
I'll assume you know how to make pasta dough, or got wonton wrappers.  Just make sure the pasta doesn't dry out while you're making this.

Wilt the green leaves in a steamer or a pot of boiling water, dry the leaves.  Chop 2/3 (about 100g) of the leaves into quite small shreds, the rest (about 50g) into larger strips.  Set both aside.

Grate the cheddar into a bowl, and either finely dice the ham or freeze it and grate it also, add to the bowl.  Add the finely chopped green leaves, and freeze the blue cheese and crumble it finely or grate it, add that to the bowl also.  Stir to mix the filling ingredients, leave to get warm, stir again.  The filling needs to have cohesion from the cheddar, which is why it needs to be room temperature.

Now finely chop the onion, garlic, and the remaining ham, put in a saucepan with the olive oil over medium heat, and cook to glassy onion stage.  Season with the pepper to taste.  Add the butter, and when it melts, add the flour, stirring constantly.  Now begin to add the water, stopping at the quite thick paste stage.  Add the milk, and then add water until the sauce is rich and creamy.   Add the crumbled chicken stock cube, then adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a few litres of salted water to the boil, drop in half the tortellini, and allow to come back up to the boil for about a minute, or until the required doneness is reached, drain. When all the pasta is cooked and drained,  warm the sauce through again, add the remaining shredded green leaves or parsley, and serve.

SERVING:
You can either coat the pasta in the sauce and serve, or serve pasta on a bed of sauce, or pasta first sauce on top, I don't think this matters except from the presentation point of view.  I use the coat and serve method myself.

Top with a few crumbs of cheese and/or parsley.

NOTES:Watching Master Chef a few weeks back - and specifically, an invention test to make something with household type ingredients, and a much fairer invention test suggested itself: Consequently, this dish was born.  The challenge?  Take whatever I actually really truly had in my kitchen, as a pensioner, and produce a tasty and quality dish from it.

Now I'd just paid $5 for a 7 kilo ham, so that was obviously a "quality" start to the dish.  That's almost 30c a pound, in the old measurements, and that has to represent the budgetest budget cut, right?  I also had some Coles medium cheddar, local dairy milk, local eggs, a kilo of plain flour, and (jewel of my collection) about 10g of the last of a piece of supermarket Danish Blue cheese.  The challenge was on!  I have to say that for the ingredients, I managed to make something that had a lot of complex flavouring, was of reasonable quality, and which, I'm sad to say, was actually better than many similar meals I've had at restaurants...

The Danish Blue adds a very slight tang to the cheddar and lifts it from ordinary to something a bit harder to define by taste.  As the cheap ham is quite salty, that adds all the seasoning the tortellini need, and the steamed kale modifies the saltiness and smooths flavours out again.

So on to the tips and tricks: Tortellini is the easiest shaped filled pasta to make, start with a square, add a dollop of filling, form a triangle, seal the edges, take the two opposite corners and form into a ring, seal, done.  Bonus: more pasta to filling ratio, so you can make an economy portion of filling go a long way.

Crumbling slightly moist blue cheese is always easier if you drop it into the deep freezer for an hour beforehand, then you can grate it or finely chop it without it sticking back together.  Actually, with "high quality" ham like I had, that would probably have been good advice for that, as well.



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Friday, 18 June 2010

Sweet Potato and Turmeric Cannelloni

NAME: _Sweet Potato and Turmeric Cannelloni

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
8 - 12 canneloni tubes, the hard store bought pasta kind
250g minced meat (beef)
100g sweet potato
100g sweet pumpkin such as butternut
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp tinned diced tomato
one small onion
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1 level tsp turmeric
1 level tsp paprika
1 medium carrot
2 stalks celery
bunch parsley
approx 100g cheese for grating
chicken stock powder
beef stock powder

METHOD:
Seperate the meat into two lots, one approximately 100g, the other 150g. Place in two small saucepans, place over very low heat to start.  Grate the carrot, finely dice the celery stalks.  Divide the piles in half.  Finely dice the onion, and crush the garlic.  Finely chop the parsley.  Peel and small dice the sweet potato and pumpkin, place in a third small saucepan, also over low heat.

The 100g of mince will become the filling for half the cannelloni - add one half each of the carrot and celery to this saucepan, add the paprika, add two tbsp of the diced tomato.  Add approximately one quarter of the chopped parsley.  Bring to a simmer, season salt to taste, and then set aside to cool.  Add the turmeric and 1/3 of the crushed garlic to the sweet potato and pumpkin, add the remaining 2 tbsp diced tomato and a level teaspoon of chicken stock powder.  Simmer until potato and pumpkin are soft, and roughly mash together with a wooden spoon. Salt to taste and set aside to cool.  (Both fillings use as little water as possible, just the bare minimum to prevent burning.)

Add remaining carrot and celery, chopped onion, and crushed garlic to the 150g of meat.  Add the 2 tbsp of tomato paste, 2/3 of the remaining chopped parsley, and some water to produce a bolognese sauce consistency, leave simmering while you prepare the cannelloni.  The water content of this sauce will be absorbed by the cannelloni tubes, softening them.

Fill half the tubes with the now cool meat mixture.  Grate approximately one third of the cheese onto the sweet potato filling and fold in.  Fill the other tubes with this mixture. Lay the tubes in a baking dish, I cut thin slices of pumpkin to layer the bottom of the dish so the pasta doesn't stick, your call - you could also use thinly sliced onion for extra flavour.  Pour the hot sauce over making sure it gets in all the spaces between tubes and slightly covers the tubes.

Grate the remaining cheese over the top and place in a 350 degree oven for around 45 minutes.  The cheese should start getting a tinge of colour and be well melted.

SERVING:
Serve with a crispy tart side salad, serve up one of each kind of cannelloni per plate.  Sprinkle the remaining chopped parsley over each serving.

NOTES:
I could have made the tubes myself but then they'd be soft and hard to fill, especially with a filling I left deliberately rough textured.  The flavours are all slightly tied together by key ingredients, but widely varied.  The cannelloni tubes serve to keep those flavours separate until you plate up, which is why they need to be packed close side by side and end to end in the baking dish.

Using powdered stock is a decision made because you don't want either filling to be sloppy, and if you wait for normal stock to reduce you'll overcook the fillings.  Also, normal stock won't pack enough flavour punch. Unless you make your own stocks and reduce them to almost pan glazes.

The flavour of the sweet potato filling is quite heavy on turmeric and tomato and garlic, because I find that vegetarian type food (yes I know chicken stock isn't vegetarian, but use one of the meatless ones if you like) is always a little bit bland.  With the added flavours, it's strong.  The beef filling is also quite heavy on paprika and the parsley which gives that it's flavour. And the sauce has garlic, onion, and tomato paste to keep it flavoursome.




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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Chorizo Ravioli

NAME: _Chorizo Ravioli

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
PASTA
200g OO flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp olive oil
FILLING
1 Chorizo
roughly equal quantity of minced beef
1/2 onion
2 tsp tomato paste
several leaves cabbage or kale
SAUCE
1 can diced tomato
1 tbsp tomato paste
bunch parsley

METHOD:
Make the pasta dough an hour or so ahead of time.  Put the flour in a bowl, add the eggs and other ingredients in a well in the center, mix together with an implement like a fork or spoon, then take from bowl and knead for five minutes or more.  Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside.  Retain the bowl, no need to wash.

Take the skin from the chorizo and slice and finely chop it.  Finely chop the onion and greens.  Mix the meats, chopped vegetables, and tomato paste in the bowl, then transfer to a saucepan and place over low heat and stir until liquid forms, allow to simmer until it thickens again.  Set aside to cool - I usually spread it in a thin layer on a cold dinner plate and that cools it very rapidly.  Retain the saucepan, no need to wash.

Chop the parsley and put in the saucepan. Put 2/3 of the tin of diced tomato and the tomato paste in the saucepan, heat over low heat until gently simmering.  Set aside.

Now's the time to laminate the pasta. Roll the pasta roughly into a long thin slab, cut into two lengths. Get the pastabike roller out and roll the pasta once on each setting until you get to 6.  (I gather all pasta rollers are similar in this scale, a bit over halfway to the thinnest setting is fine. Do this for both pieces of pasta.

Oil a ravioli pan and lay half of one layer of pasta over it.  Lightly press the pasta into the hollows, then spoon a small - a tiny - quantity of the chorizo filling into each depression.  Press it in lightly.  Work quickly before the thin pasta sheets dry.  You may want to wet a finger and run it between the filling islands if the surface feels or looks too dry.  Fold the sheet of pasta over the top, and use the rolling pin to trim the dough and seal the edges.  200g of dough should make enough to cover the pan twice, so about 4 dozen ravioli.

Remove the ravioli from the pan and let them rest while you bring a pot of water to the boil.  Drop in enough ravioli at one time to cover the bottom, and wait until they float up, wait about one minute more, and scoop them out into a colander or draining tray.  Reheat the sauce at the same time.

SERVING:
Serve immediately with the sauce and some freshly grated or shaved cheese.

NOTES: I made pasta for the first time to make these. The filling of chorizo and beef was an experiment that worked out very well, it's a nice flavour.  And if I can make these then anyone can.  %)


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Monday, 3 May 2010

FrittaTEd

NAME: _FrittaTEd

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
3-4 eggs
3-4 rashers middle bacon
3-4 spring onions
1 medium brown onion
1 clove garlic
1 large carrot
1 tbsp tomato sauce
2 dozen cherry tomatoes
100g butter
200g cheddar cheese
around half a loaf of bread (see notes)
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp herb such as sage or marjoram

METHOD:
Chop the spring onion into 5mm slices, cut the bacon into similar squares, finely knife-chop the garlic, sweat all three in half the butter in a frypan over low heat, for around 7 minutes.  Meanwhile slice your bread (see notes) into 1cm slices and toast to dark brown. Line a ceramic or glass baking dish with these toast slices.  Trim if necessary to get even coverage of the bottom and up the sides.

Once the bacon and onion have softened, spoon the mixture over the bread, ensuring you get a thin even layer over the bread.  Allow the butter to transfer with all the other pan juices and soak the bread.  Slice the carrot and the brown onion into 3mm-5mm slices, fry over medium heat with the remaining butter.  When the ingredients show slight colour, stir in the tomato sauce and half the herbs, allow to finish cooking in the heat of the pan while you roughly quarter the cherry tomatoes and layer these over the bacon mixture in the baking dish.  Spoon the carrot and onion mixture over in an even layer.

Break the eggs into a bowl, and while whisking, sift in the cornflour. When mixed, add the milk, the remaining herbs, and the salt, whisking all the while.  Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the dish.  Cut the cheese into small cubes also around 5mm, sprinkle over the egg mixture.  By now the egg mixture should have almost soaked away anyway.  Place low down in oven at 190C (380F) for about 20 minutes, uncovered, then increase the heat to 210C (410F) for 10 more minutes.

There's a knack to finding the right point to remove it.  The butter soaks through the bread and along with the juices and tomato liquid, forms a caramelised crust of the outer layer of the toasted bread.  That's why it has to be toasted dark brown, to start the reaction.  The cheese should melt down around the edges and be starting to brown on top.

SERVING:
This will serve four people with a green leafy salad on the side.  Serve it up hot from the oven, making sure everyone gets a share of the caramelised crust and edges.  They're da bomb!

NOTES:
The bread can be white sliced but a firmer textured bread is better.  You can use French or Italian style breads.

I find that using a glass casserole or baking dish allows me to see the state of caramelisation of the bread, and it's important that the bread and cheese almost start to burn.  Your nose will tell you when that point is reached, but then you have to be sprightly to get it out right there and then or things will progress to black and overly hard in only a few minutes.

As Matt Preston would say, the caramelised crust is the hero of this dish, and the herbs and bacon form the nice surprise flavour.  It's just a basic egg frittata that I've added the idea of a soaked bread crust to, and to my surprise it performs really well.


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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Chump Chop Curry

NAME: _Chump Chop Curry

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
4 to 6 lamb chump chops
3 or 4 medium white potatoes
3 or 4 medium brown onions
1 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp curry powder (mild or hot depending on your preference)
1 tbsp baharat (www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Baharat-Spice-Blend-224763)
1 tsp salt per preference
1 tsp cayenne pepper per preference
1 tbsp flour
1 litre water

METHOD:
Cut onions into lengthways crescents, trim fat from chump chops.  Put oil into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle heat, add the onions in a layer, then place the chops atop the onions.  Sprinkle half the spices over the chops and onions, leave to braise.

After about ten minutes turn the mixture over so the chops are on the bottom, sprinkle remaining spices over. Leave for another ten to fifteen minutes.

Add enough water to cover, and if your chickpeas are dry and have not been cooked, add them at this point as well, so they will soften in time.  Allow to simmer gently for 45 minutes.  Resist the urge to eat it now!

Peel and dice the potatoes in about 2cm cubes, add to the pot and add enough water to make the sauce liquid again and cover about 3/4.  Add chickpeas at this stage if they are precooked.  Allow to simmer for another half hour.

Adjust seasoning at this point, and mix the flour with a few tablespoons of water.  Drizzle the flour/water into the pot, stirring all the time, and waiting to see how much the sauce thickens.  Adjust to preference.

SERVING:
Serve over a bed of Basmati rice, with a garlic and chilli type pickle/relish on the side.  (These are usually reddish-orange coloured, spicy hot, with a nice fermented taste, available at Asian and Indian specialty stores.)

NOTES:
The herbs in the curry and baharat penetrate the meat during the simmering, and produce the trademark "falls off the bones" tenderness of the meat.  It should have a curry bite without being scorching.





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Bullets For My Chicken

NAME: _Bullets For My Chicken

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:

100g - 200g chicken or turkey mince
1 tbsp polenta fine
1 tbsp bourghal fine
1 tbsp psyllum husk
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp chicken stock powder (or replace water, below, with strong chicken stock)
1 tsp salt (more or less, season to taste)
1 egg
2 tbsp water (roughly - adjust to make mixture slightly soft to begin with)
Rice bran oil or grapeseed oil to fry.

If crumbing as well:
1 egg
flour (wheat or corn meal flour)
breadcrumbs


METHOD:
Mix everything except the water in a bowl, really well.  Add water (or chicken stock) bit by bit until you get a stiff paste. Mix really well to develop some stickiness and set aside for a while.  An hour at least.  That allows the grains of polenta and bourghal to absorb moisture and become softened.

Roll out in long cylinders about the thickness of a Sharpie (5mm - 10mm) and cut into 2cm lengths.  If you're crumbing them, do it now, roll in flour, egg, and then crumbs.

Your choice of deep or shallow frying - just make sure they get golden to brown in colour.

SERVING:
These are just part of a meal, you can try them in a variety of ways:
- Crumbed, with a side of vegies in a creamy sauce, served immediately.
- Tossed with pasta and Italian red sauce.
- On a bed of rice drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce.
- Cold, in a salad or as a finger food snack

NOTES:
You can replace the polenta and bourghal with plain bread crumbs if you don't have them, use a touch less water/stock if you do.

Also crushed cheese crackers will work.  (It's just to break up the tight meat texture, and I often use cheese Jatz, some finely grated cheese, and crumb them with more cheese Jatz crumbs instead of breadcrumbs to makeTed's Famous Fowl Cheesy Balls.) Psyllum husk is dietary fibre, and also helps bind the mixture.

Why I use RBO or GSO to fry rather than olive oil is simple - olive oil is not a high temperature oil.  It's mainly for salads and for adding to cooking at a later, lower temperature, stage. I also prefer to shallow fry and control how much oil I end up eating.  (Although, these bullets don't soak up much oil thanks to the psyllum husk, anyway.)



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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Free Cooking Videos

http://www.guidetoculinaryschools.com/tips-and-tools/cooking-videos

Someone just passed this link on to me, I thought I'd share it here. It seems to have links to a cooking schools and resources so it's commercial, but that's not wrong.  Also, this is a few more resources for you.  I like the pork confit recipe already...


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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Sometimes, Taste Buds Aren't.

Funniest thing I've seen in months:

Went to a friend's place for a chat and a cuppa, they berated me for letting the water boil in the kettle because "it de-oxygenates the water and makes the tea taste off" then they emptied the jug and refilled it from the tap before bringing that lot of water carefully to just below boiling point and making the tea with that...


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Monday, 18 January 2010

AgBASE Directory of Zen

Would you like to order quite a wide range of foods online?  For instance, buy california wine online or pretty much any of a wide range of produce - direct from the place that makes it.  Those of you who regularly follow my other blogs TEdALOG Lite II and The Zen Cookbook Blog would already know that I'm all for anything that makes food more accountable and sustainable.

Something about AgBASE makes me happy.  Maybe it's the way they use only one lowercase letter, the same as I do.  But I also think that the site, which amounts to being a huge directory of food and garden greening, may be onto something, when it covers headings such as Biofuel and Biolubricant, Garden Supplies, Kosher Food, Fish and Seafood, Specialty Foods, Organic Vegetables, Berries, and so much more.  The Internet needs more sites like AgBASE.  The nearest thing we have in Australia is Aussieweb, but it just opens its doors to any commercial entity rather than focusing on greener and more sustainable businesses.


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