Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - February 26

It may be Tuesday already. But never mind, the food looks good this week.

Chicken and pumpkin risotto
Lasagne (from the freezer)
Chicken couscous salad
Thai steamed fish
Beef curry and dhal
Chicken noodle soup

Have a good week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Peking Duck Salad. Sort of.

Even really good blokes occasionally have shopping glitches. It's something to do with how boys are programmed, I think. But this may not be entirely Ryan's fault:
Act 1:
Setting - Chinese Barbecue Place
Ryan (pointing at hanging Duck): Can I get a barbecue duck, please.
Counter person: A duck?
Ryan: Yes, a duck.
Counter person stuffs something in a bag. Ryan pays, takes bag and leaves.
Act 2:
Setting - kazari's tiny orange kitchen
Ryan(handing over shopping bag): Here's the duck.
Kazari opens bag and starts dismembering.
Kazari: This doesn't look very duck-like. The meat isn't very dark, and it's kind of the wrong shape...
Ryan: Let me look at that. Oh. I think it's a chicken.
Anyway, this was a great looking recipe in 'the seasonal produce diary', for a duck salad. I made it with chicken, and it was awesome. But next time I hope to make it with duck.
salad of peking duck with chilli, coriander and mint
1/2 Chinese cabbage, shredded
a handful of bean sprouts
4 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup roasted cashews
2 small red chillies, sliced
1 cup corander leaves
1/2 cup Vietnamese mint
all the meat removed from 1 Peking duck.
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice.
Does this really need instructions? Mix everything together in a big bowl, and share.
Many thanks to the lovely J, who gave me the diary for Christmas.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Valentines Day Cheesecake

I was having a grumpy Valentine's Day, because my Valentine was away all week. So I planned a great dinner for us for Friday night. Some nice nibbles, lamb shanks with lemon and thyme and green beans, followed by individual berry cheese cakes for dessert.
The berry cheese cakes were inspired by some leftover berry syrup in the freezer. I wanted to make something pink for Valentine's Day, and this seemed perfect. It also seemed like a good fit for this week's romantic Leftover Tuesday!
Your basic mini-cheesecake recipe goes like this:
Cream 1 packet cream cheese with two eggs and some sugar. . Make a base out of biscuit crumbs and butter (or slices of cake, or vanilla wafers). Put base on the bottom of your greased patty tins, and top with cheesy stuff. Bake in oven at 170 for 10 minutes, then allow to cool before removing from pans. Easy.
I creamed all the first stuff, and then decided to split the mix. In the first half I added a good slosh of Baileys and a quarter cup of brown sugar. In the second, I added two tablespoons of icing sugar and half a cup of the berry syrup. I think it was a bit too much syrup, because the mix was very runny, and pieces of the biscuit base floated to the top.
In the end, they weren't very pretty, but they tasted very, very good. And to top it off, just as I pulled them out of the oven - Ryan arrived! A whole day early!
I hope you had a good Valentine's day too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - February 18

I've got lots of great recipes to cook this week. I'm trying to stock the freezer with more lunches, so that requires some bigger batch cooking. Here's the list:
- roast chicken and veggies
- mini-quiches - picnic at tropfest
- home-made pizza (chicken and ham and pineapple, probably)
- veggie lasagne (i have to post this recipe, it's awesome)
- chicken and sweet potato salad
- beef curry and dhal
- laksa

Hope you have a great week ahead of you : )

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roast Pumpkin Soup Redux

I've posted this basic recipe before, but it's the kind of week where I desperately need comfort food. It's also a great recipe to mess with, so this version it has less pumpkin and lots of carrots.
I apologise for the photo - the resident photographer is in Darwin. After I took the photo, I remembered about Lisa's No Croutons Required event. I thought it fit quite nicely.
Roast Pumpkin Soup with Garlic and Rosemary
Half a butternut pumpkin
4 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 brown onion
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 litre vegetable stock
Chop and peel everything but the stock. Combine on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a hot oven for 45 minutes. The vegetables have to be really soft. Put everything in a saucepan, whizz with the hand blender, and heat through. I like serving this with a big dollop of sour cream.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - February 4

After lots of experiments last week, we are sticking to tried and true:

Aussie Meat Pie
Veggie Couscous
Fish Parcels
Vegetarian Curries

And my brother is coming to visit, so we are going out for dinner!

Happy Monday : )

Fish Pie

It turns out that my friend's photo server is moving house. So this blog will be without illustrations for a while. Maybe this is a good excuse for some of those really un-photogenic recipes...
I thought Fish Pie was brilliant comfort food, and so does Jamie Oliver, but going from the weird looks I got at work, maybe not everyone agrees. I'm going to post my simple recipe, but feel free to go all Jamie if you'd like something fancier. I'd happily eat this every week.
Fish Pie
Poach, steam or microwave some firm, white fish - I used left-over barbecued snapper, but anything will do. Then make a white sauce (with skim milk, if you're being good). Finely chop some colourful veggies (carrot, red capsicum and peas, are a good combination). Flake the fish with a fork, and stir all the fish and veggies into the white sauce. Divide the sauce between oven proof ramekins, and top with puff pastry. Cook in a 180 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is properly puffed.
Serve with green beans.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Technologically Challenged

I have spent the last week cursing and grumbling at my photo uploading software - only to realise that it's the website that HOSTS my photos that is broken. Doh!
So there are no pretty pictures on my blog. And I've been a bit distracted from posting anything else...
Anyway, I should have it figured out soon.
Just thought I'd let you know : )