Sunday, 24 August 2014

Slow Roast Tomatoes

Yesterday I went to Newcastle's Farmers Markets and bought these beautiful tomatoes.
I also bought some sour dough bread and plenty of pumpkin to make soup.


I decided to Slow Roast the Tomatoes for dinner.
Firstly I halved the tomatoes horizontally and placed them skin down on a baking tray. I added a few slices of garlic to each tomato and sprinkled with brown sugar. Next I drizzled the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and put into a slow oven.

After about an hour in the oven the tomatoes are soft and lightly charred. Set aside to cool.

The next thing to do would be to sprinkle with basil, but I didn't have any, so I grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Toast some sour dough and place tomato on top.

 Smash the tomato onto the toast.

It is a perfect accompaniment for the soup. I promise there won't be any leftovers!

Enjoy,

xToni

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Homemade Gnocchi

I love teaching my daughter how to cook. Especially the recipes I was brought up on as a child growing up in an Italian family. Homemade Gnocchi was one of my favourites. Last weekend,  Livvy had one of her friends stay over and with the cold weather upon us, the scene was set for a cook off!

Ingredients
3/4 cup of good quality plain flour.
1 kg of Desiree potatoes
I teaspoon salt
2 egg yokes

Method
Boil potatoes with their skin on until soft. Use a skewer to pierce the potatoes to check if they are ready.
Allow them to cool. Peel the skins off and then press the potatoes through a sieve.

In a bowl add the flour, salt and yokes and turn the potatoes through the mixture.
Onto a floured bench fold and gently knead the mixture. If the mixture feels sticky add sprinkles of flour while kneading until it feels smooth.

Cut the dough into quarters and roll the dough into long sausages about 2 cm in diameter. Cut the sausage into approximately 1-2 cm in length and place onto a floured tray. Use a fork to press lightly onto each gnocchi leaving shallow lines or alternatively lightly press small indents into each one with your finger. This allows the sauce to stick to the gnocchi. 


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and in about 3 batches gently place the gnocchi into the water to cook. As soon as the gnocchi floats to the surface it is ready. Remove the gnocchi and spoon on your favourite Italian sauce and sprinkle generous amounts of Parmesan cheese on the top.
                                        
This recipe feeds about 6.

Giulia x

Monday, 28 July 2014

Baked Rice Pudding

Last weekend I made this delicious Baked Rice Pudding, based on Donna Hay's Recipe.


I'll share her recipe with you, then give you the changes I made.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 Litre milk
1 vanilla bean, spilt and seeds scraped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
4 pieces lemon peel
20g butter, chopped
1 tablespoon caster sugar (extra)
double thick cream, to serve

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
2. Place the rice in the base of a 7 cup- capacity shallow overproof dish.
3. Combine the milk, vanilla bean and seeds, sugar and lemon peel, pour over rice and stir to combine.
4. Cover with Aluminium foil and place on a baking try.
5. Bake for 1 hour, remove the foil and stir.
6. Bake, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes.
7. Top with the butter, sprinkle with extra sugar and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden.
8. Serve with cream


I do a couple of things differently.
Firstly, I don't include the lemon peel, just a personal thing because we like ours sweet. At the end of the cooking process, I stir in cream through the pudding and then serve with  extra cream. 
I think that stirring the cream through the pudding before serving makes the recipe even more decadent. 
Finally, I always double the recipe because I have some big eaters in my family!

xToni

*Recipe from Here

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

Link within

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