Tag Archives: recipe

Home Made Creme Eggs

Ever read a recipe and know that it is your destiny to try it? I saw this fantastic method for making creme eggs on food52.com and was obsessed. It is a bit more fiddly and time-intensive than most things I make but the results are impressive even if mine look nothing like the photos on the web site.

The process of making creme eggs

My ingredient list was slightly adapted for metric measurements and local supplies:

½ cup of golden syrup
85g of softened butter
Tiny pinch of salt
1tsp Vanilla essence
2⅔ cups of icing sugar
Bag of dark chocolate bits
Yellow Food Colouring
Coconut Flavouring
Toothpicks and Potatoes

It took about 3 hours from start to finish but a lot of that time was waiting for the mixture to cool down in the freezer to a workable consistency. I completely messed up tempering the chocolate, but that just makes them slightly harder to eat.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower, straight from the oven
I have been blessed (I think that is the word I want) with an abundance of cauliflower from my garden. Cauliflower is OK, but it is not the most exciting vegetable and it can be a chore to use it all up. Fortunately, I have discovered a new (to me at least) way of cooking it that is quick and tasty. This recipe works best with fresh, firm cauliflower.

Ingredients:
Cauliflower, half a head is enough for 2 side portions
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Strong cheese such as Tasty or Parmesan

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the cauliflower into rough florets. Slice the garlic thickly. Place the cauliflower into a oven safe dish and pour just enough oil over the top, but not too much. Toss the vegetables to coat with the oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper to taste.

Chuck it in the oven. After 15 minutes the edges of the cauliflower should be turning dark, gently toss the florets to turn them over.

Slice the cheese thinly – cut enough to roughly cover the cauliflower. At the 25 minute mark, take the dish out of the oven, toss again, then place the cheese slices over the cauliflower pieces. Put the dish back into the oven for a couple of minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

Serve hot.

Guava Jelly

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. Lemons are out of season but my guava tree is laden with fruit and it is easier to pick it off the tree than to deal with the purple mess when the fruit drops to the ground. Hence, guava jelly:
A small jar of guava jellyIngredients:
Guavas, lots in various stages of ripeness.
Sugar, more than you think. No, even more than that.
Pectin, don’t worry I won’t tell
A Lemon
You will also need a jelly bag or similar device.

Method
Wash the guavas and remove any stems and leaves. Put the fruit in a large pot with a little water, cover and boil gently until the fruit is all soft and split – about 20 minutes or so. Add more water if required. Make sure all the fruit has opened, you can help things along by mushing it gently with a potato masher, but don’t get too vigourous.

Let the mixture cool then pour it carefully into the jelly bag sitting in a large bowl. It is possible to use a pillow case, or even a folded tea towel for this if you don’t have a jelly bag – they do the same job. The guavas will turn anything they touch purple but the colour washes out. I wouldn’t use my best pillow cases though.

Tie up the jelly bag and hang it over the bowl in an out-of-the-way place for 12 hours. Gravity will force the juice out, leaving the pulp behind. You will feel a strong urge to squeeze the bag – resist temptation! If you force the pulp trough the bag the jelly will become gritty.

Transfer the juice to a pot and bring to the boil. Let the juice boil down a little depending on how strong you want the jelly to taste. Jellies need both sugar and pectin to set properly. Technically the fruit contains enough pectin to set the jelly if you add enough sugar but this has never worked for me. Using store bought pectin ensures a good result and allows you to use less sugar. Even with the extra pectin you still need a lot of sugar – about 3 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of juice should do the trick, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Pectin also needs an acid to work, so add the juice from the lemon.

Boil the mixture vigourously for a few minutes then boil gently to let the juice reduce for 20-30 minutes. After a while you should see the mixture start to congeal around the edges, this is a sign that the jelly is nearly ready. Use a spoon to skim off the worst of any froth that appears on top of the mixture. Let it boil some more, then pour into pre-heated jars. Hopefully the jelly will set in the follow hours. If not, boil it up some more.

Serve with dark meat or strong cheese.

Onion, Pear and Feta Pizza

People seemed to like the first pizza post, so here is another one. Something a little different this time – very simple but delicious.
A Pear and Feta Pizza

Ingredients:

Base
1 Cup Flour
Splash of Olive Oil
Cold Water
Teaspoon of Salt
Teaspoon of Baking Powder
Topping
2 Medium Pears
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Red Onion
Tiny bit of white sugar
Enough Feta
More olive oil and a knob of butter
Water

Method:
Make a dough from the flour, oil, water, salt, and baking powder and kneed well. More detailed instructions are in my last pizza post. Heat the oven (and the oven tray) to 200°

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a frying pan. Slice the onion finely and gently sauté for 5-10 minutes until the onion start to shine. Add in just a little (half a teaspoon or so) of sugar and continue to cook. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook some more, don’t let it burn. Remove the onion mixture from the pan.

Peel, core, and slice the pears into wedges, removing the pips. Add a little water to the pan that the onions were cooked it and add the pears. Let the water boil down for a while to soften the pears then add some more butter and a little sugar. Sauté for a few minutes until the wedges are soft and just starting to brown.

Take the pizza base and put it on the heated oven tray. Top with the onions, then the pears, finally crumbling feta across the top. Place in oven and wait.

Homemade Pizza Recipe

Homemade pizza sitting on a chopping block

I often make pizza from scratch, it is a great way of using up various bits and pieces I have lying around. Over the years I have tried various recipes for the base, but this is my favorite (and also the easiest). I am particularly proud of this effort because a lot of the ingredients came from my garden.

Ingredients:

Base
1 Cup Flour
Goodly splash of olive oil
Cold Water
teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Toppings
Whatever you can find in the fridge/garden, in this case:
Tomato paste
3 baby leeks chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 small Tomatoes, very thinly sliced
Red Pepper, sliced
Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
Basil Leaves
Salt/Pepper
Olive Oil

Method:
Put flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and pour in the oil (about 2-3 table spoons, maybe more). Pour in a little water and mix. If the flour is still dry, tip just a little more water in but go slowly – it is easy to make it too wet. You want a soft dough, not a cake mix. If you go too far put in some more flour.

Take the dough out and kneed it for a few minutes to complete the mixing, then wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes on the bench.

Put your heaviest (the heavier the better) cooking tray in the oven and heat to 220°C.

Take out the dough and kneed again then divide into 2 or 3 hunks. Roll out each hunk into a roughly circular shape a few millimeters thick. Put the bases on the hot cooking tray and add toppings.

Smear the top of the base with tomato paste, like you were spreading jam on toast. Next put the chopped garlic and leeks (normally I would use onion, but I just happened to have leeks). Slice the tomatoes as thinly as you can and add them along with the basil leaves. Finally slice the mozzarella and put that on top as well – it doesn’t have to cover everything.

Don’t try to heap too much on the pizza – it needs to cook quickly to get crispy.

Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle on a decent amount of olive oil. Put back in the hot oven and cook until it looks like a pizza. Serve with wine, salad, another pizza.