Friday, 25 July 2014

Shepherd's Pie

Over the last few days I've had a couple of extra mouths to feed, so I decided to make an old favourite of mine, Shepherd's Pie.
source
There are quite a few versions of Shepherd's Pie, but I like the traditional recipe the best. The recipe I use is fromTaste.com.au

 Because I like to have leftovers, I always double the quantities and 
I like to garnish the pie with grated cheese.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped
500g lamb mince
2 tablespoons plain flour
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt & freshly ground black pepper 
4 (about 200g each) Desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
40g butter
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
Melted butter

Method:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring for 5 minutes until soft.

2. Add lamb mince and cook, stirring to break up lumps for 5 minutes or until lamb browns.

3. Add the flour and cook stirring for 2 minutes or until combined.

4. Add stock, bay leaf, worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

5. Meanwhile: Cook potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender (I steamed mine). Drain well. Mash with butter and milk until smooth. Taste and season.

6. Preheat oven to 200oC. Spoon lamb mixture into a 2L capacity ovenproof dish (obviously because I doubled the recipe I used a larger dish). Top with mashed potato and use a fork to spread over lamb mixture, Brush with butter (this is where I sprinkled the top with grated cheese).

7. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown. Serve immediately.


I serve mine with corn and peas, but you could steam any vegetables to accompany this dish.

This is such a delicious recipe to have during the cold weather and the best thing is that any leftovers taste even better the next day!

xToni

* Recipe adapted from here

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Creamy Cheesecake


This recipe, given to me from a good friend, is by far the most delicious cheesecake I have ever tasted. Its light, creamy and the lemon zest in the mixture gives the cheesecake a gorgeous citrus taste sensation that is to die for!

Ingredients
250g scotch finger biscuits crushed
126g butter melted
500g cream cheese
1 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon rind
1 cup of cream whipped
Extra cream 
Nutmeg

Method
1. Lightly grease springform tin. 
2. Blend biscuit crumbs and melted butter.
3. Press mixture firmly with the back of a spoon into the base and sides of the tin. 
4. Chill shell.
5. Allow cream cheese to soften to room temperature. 
6.Beat the cream cheese until smooth. 
7.Add condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon rind to the cream cheese and beat until smooth. 
8.Carefully fold in the whipped cream. 
9.Pour into the prepared crumb crust and chill overnight. 
10.Serve with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg and your choice of fruit. 

I love passionfruit on the top of the cheesecake, but any fruit compliments this delicious recipe.

That's it! Yummy yummy!
Giulia.x

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Affogato

A really easy dessert for any dinner party is Affogato. Its deconstructed assembly on a plate, requires no cooking which is a bonus if you have other courses that are complicated or time consuming.

Ingredients
Short black espresso coffee.(good quality)
A good quality vanilla bean ice-cream
A shot of Frangelico liqueur
A small slice of Italian cake or biscuit.

My version of affogato

Arrange each of the components on a plate in individual glasses. You can be creative in your presentation. The idea is that your guests mix each of the elements in a combination of their choosing. It's a light, interesting and fun dessert thats a taste sensation.

            
 Other examples of arrangements from google images.
Giulia.x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Pure Corn Shot Canapé

Now that the weather is cooling down, you may be interested in serving this delicious soup as a canapé for guests. It can be made the day before and is served in a shot glass or even in a short black coffee cup served with a crouton balanced across the top of the cup. It looks and tastes divine!

Serves 6 portions
Ingredients

  • 6 large very fresh cobs of corn. The better quality the corn, the better the soup!
  • 1 peeled eschallot, halved.
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sea salt to taste
Equipment

  • Large stockpot
  • Large pot
  • Bar blender
  • Sieve
Method
1. Strip the kernels from corn cob and set aside in the fridge covered.
2. Put stripped cobs in a stockpot with 3 litres of cold water with one half of the eschallot (whole) and half the clove of garlic (whole).
3. Bring corn stock to the boil and skim any bubbles from the top, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 2 hours. Strain out cobs and allow to rest at room temperature.
4. Dice the remaining half of the eschallot and garlic and gently sauté in a new pot on low- medium heat, do not let it go brown. Add the corn kernels and sauté for a further 2 minutes stirring continuously. Add in strained corn stock, bring back to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
5. Ladle the corn soup into a bar blender, you may not need all the stock to get the right consistency in the soup. The ratio will be about 70% corn and the rest stock. Blend until extremely smooth and then pass the soup through a sieve.

It looks lovely served with a crouton, bread or cracker balanced across the cup.
Giulia.x

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