Friday, 27 March 2015

Bear's Bread Crisps


stale bread French stick
fine grated parmesan cheese
seasonings (see NOTES)
olive oil

Slice the bread stick into rounds 3mm - 5mm thick, lay out as tightl packed as will still lay fflat on a shallow baking tray or baking sheet, brush liberally with olive oil, sprinkle seasoning (see NOTES) over, sprinkle parmesan cheese over.

Bake in oven preheated to 180C for 10 - 20 mintes depending on your oven, until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and immediately spread out on a cooling rack or tea towel, or stacked on each other as pictured. This lets the crisps dr and develop their crispness.
(Please note this was my first batch, it really
needs the olive oil spread all the wa to the edges
in order to cook nicely. These were still okay though.)

Serve as a snack once cooled. Will keep in an open container covered loosely with a teatowel for a few day, but will go stale quickly due to the olive oil so eat ASAP. (Shouldn't be a problem %)

Seasonings can be as simple as Vegeta stock powder, or any other dry seasoning you like. I used:
1 tsp fine cooking salt
2 tbsp Vegeta powder
1 tbsp tomato powder (see below)
1 tsp celery powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp carrot powder
2 tsp basil powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
but you can vary these as you wish. The cayenne is fantastic, as is the garlic powder. Tomato powder also is good.

You can make your own tomato powder by either saving the skins and seeds of tomatoes when you make sauce, or just use whole fleshy saucing tomatoes, boil gently until most of the liquid is reduced, spread out on a drying sheet or baking sheet and either dry in the oven on low heat with the door open, or in a dehydrator if you own one. Once the tomato pulp is completely crisp dry (but not burnt) you whiz it in a blender until it's a fine powder.

Dry tomato pulp, skins, and seeds, just before going in the blender.


REAL Breakfast Crumpets

NAME: _REAL Breakfast Crumpets

2 crumpets per person
1 egg per person
grated sharp cheddar
grated parmesan
crumbled bacon bits

Melt around a tablespoon of butter in your frying pan, sprinkle a few pinches of parmesan where you'll lay the crumpets, hole side up. Drop the crumpets directly onto the parmesan, sprinkle crumbled bacon, grated cheese and some parmesan onto each crumpet, sprinkling evenly to cover. Reduce to medium heat and wait for cheese to start sweating, then add a bit more butter and flip each crumpet over and keep cooking until done, around 3 - 5 minutes. You're aiming to brown the cheese and cause some crispy crust.

Meanwhile, fry your egg (in an egg ring or a large enough ring of onion or capsicum if you prefer) using the last smidgen of butter in another pan and then assemble stacks of one crumpet, one egg, topped with a second crumpet.

Serve immediately. Two crumpets and one egg are a portion for one person.

Bacon can be omitted if you're not a bacon fan.


Friday, 6 March 2015

Beef and Yoghurt Kofte

NAME: _Meat and Yoghurt Kofte

300g minced beef (or lamb)
200ml greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
2-4 tsp dried mint
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp sugar
1 medium brown onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp powdered cardamom
2 tsp powdered coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
375ml tomato passata (or a tin of diced tomatoes)
2 tsp powdered tomato or 2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp beef, mutton, or goat dripping (or high temperature oil)

Cut onion in half lengthways. Finely chop one half, cut the other lengthways into crescents. Mince the garlic. Put chopped onion, minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp mint, both tbsp flour, and the mince into a mixing bowl and mix well, slowly adding half the yoghurt (or sour cream) until the mixture becomes sticky enough to hold together. Form the mixture into balls around 1cm - 1.5cm diameter, set aside.

Heat the fat close to smoking point, drop the kofte in a layer to cover the bottom of the pan, shake around until they're browned evenly, then lift from the oil and do the next batch, until all completed.

Pour off all but about half a tbsp of the oil in the pan, throw in the crescent onions, fry until translucent, then add the remaining spices, fry for about a minute more, then add the tomato passata to deglaze and continue to warm it. Add the remaining yoghurt, keep stirring until simmering begins, turn off heat.

Serve kofte over a bed of rice, ladle the tomato/yoghurt sauce generously over.

I made this recipe up using existing Middle Eastern recipes for a guideline, I was aiming for the sweet/yoghurt/cardamom flavour and this nails it pretty much as I remember from my childhood.



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