Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas is here!

I have been very lazy with my blog over the last two weeks, which is sad because I keep saying to myself "you should post!!".  Part of the reason is that I received a recipe from a friend and have been waiting for permission to give it out.  What have I been doing while I've not been blogging?

Well, of course today I've been baking and cooking.  We've made mini (and by mini i mean huge individual ones!) pavlovas, prawns crumbed in panko and dukkah, chocolate truffles, and salad bowls.  I'll talk about that more in its own post once I can think about looking at the photos I took...  SO FULL.

Yesterday I dropped off the Christmas 'plum' pudding Mum and I made on Thursday (I mixed, she supervised the steaming) to my friend's house, and then got my hair cut (after a full year without cutting, it was horrible, but now it's supercute).  On Thursday the Landlord came around to fix the pump.  It had been going almost nonstop for two days and we were scared we had a leak - but apparently they have a bladder in them that is supposed to be pumped up every six months.  Three years later...  Anyhow, Wednesday I met a friend for coffee, and Tuesday I had a friend over for dinner.  I made German Onion Cake and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes (sans the chilli) for dinner.  Of course I'll post about that later too.  On Monday...  In fact, I can't remember what I've been doing before that.

No plans for the foreseeable future, except having the obligatory look at the Boxing Day Sales tomorrow, and taking back the $10 of chicken pieces that was off when we opened it today.  I hate supermarkets.  More about that in the Christmas food post.

Happy Christmas/Winter-or-Summer-festival-of-your-choice from Kim <3

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This appeals to the archaeologist and the cook in me

In China, under the site of a planned airport, was found a container of food that is 2,400 years old.  A short article about this find is at the BBC website.  They're doing tests to find out what was in it - I wonder what tests.  This is the thing with non-academic articles when you know something about (or have done 5 years worth of study on...) a subject.  I will have to keep on eye out for any other posts about it to find out more!

And on further inspection, io9 has done an article on this, that I will read tomorrow.  Here's the link though.

Blogs and Websites for Recipes pt 2

Continuing from the last post about internet resources for finding great recipes.

How could a list of places to find recipes be complete without the ubiquitous Martha?  For some reason, we don't have her show on free-to-air tv (or not any channel we get at my house) anymore, but her website is still there to educate and inspire.  Also, having access to the suggestions and recipes (as well as the crafty projects) without having to watch the interviews of people I haven't heard of (granted, often they are quite famous) and then the spectacle of making them cook/craft when they have no skill/interest in what they are doing..  well that's invaluable.  There are videos available if you need that kind of step-by-step visual, which I sometimes do.  She also has a newsletter, but unless you don't mind getting many adjacent emails to get to the interesting stuff, just use the search function on her site.

Totally self-explanatory.  Everything and anything cupcake - recipes are a little scarce, but, like my own blog, they link to a lot of places where you can find the recipes.  But the main draw is the pictures.  I subscribe to their feed and every time I open a new notification, there is a beautiful large picture of an incredibly beautiful cupcake.  This isn't just about yummy, it's about art.

Bakerella's main claim to fame (and it's a substantial one!) is the invention of cake pops.  What do you get if you combine a cake, shredded into crumbs, cream cheese, a lollipop stick, and some creative decorating?  These beautiful and quirky truffles.  The simple cake balls are on my list for Christmas sweets, but Mum's taking a bit of convincing - they do look impossibly rich, but whoever said that was a bad thing?  Bakerella isn't a one-hit-wonder, though - she has many other recipes that I haven't yet explored.  Well worth a look.


This website has SO many recipes, I doubt one could ever run out of new things to try.  These recipes are also accompanied by a history of the yummy and at least one picture of the finished product.  I have the black and whites, chocolate-craisen biscotti, and the candy cane cookies on my list to make.

After all of the baking, you might like to try one of Kalyn's Kitchen's recipes.  These are really healthy really really delicious-looking recipes.  Some vegetarian and meat recipes, all with a concerted effort to keep the GI values low and the nutrition value high.  Although there's a focus on the South Beach Diet, you don't need to follow it to enjoy the hearty recipes here.

There will be a third part and a bonus round for blogs/sites that are "closer to home".  They should be along in the next few days!

Pavlova

Everyone knows it's not Christmas without a pavlova.  But what's the best recipe?  I was under the impression there really was only one; the Edmond's Cook Book (30th ed) recipe:

3 egg whites
3 Tblsp cold water
1 c caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tsp cornflour
Beat egg whites until stiff, add cold water and beat again.  Add caster sugar very gradually while still beating.  Slow beater and add vinegar, vanilla, and cornflour.  Place on greased paper on a greased trayand bake at 150C (300 F) for 45 minutes, then leave to cool in the oven.

BUT, on Campbell Live last night, they showed the judging of a pavlova competition (noone asked me if I wanted to enter, where was this advertised?!) and the winning recipe was begrudgingly released to the media.  This is what the Campbell Live website said:

Heather Hamilton from St John’s, Auckland, is the proud winner of the second annual Nosh Pavlova Competition.

She has been using this pavlova recipe for over 40 years - her tried and true and family-famous recipe that she swears by – with a few crucial tips to ensure success!
Ingredients:
350g egg whites (approx. 8-9 eggs depending on size)
35g hot water
400g-450g sugar – depending on the weather
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Method:
• Put egg whites in bowl and add hot water
• Begin beating, gradually adding sugar while beating
• Add vinegar and vanilla towards the end of the sugar, and finish beating in the remaining sugar
• Ensure mixture is thoroughly whisked before piling onto oven tray
• Bake at between 160-180 – depending on your over

Heather’s success secrets:
• Sugar quantity is subjective – I use less sugar in my pav which makes it marshmallowier, however you won’t get a very crusty edge which some people prefer
• Know your oven – every oven is different and you have to adapt to your oven to make a pav work. If the pav starts ballooning it means the oven is too hot – and what goes up must come down!
• Avoid cooking pavlova when humid
• It’s best to beat the egg whites when at room temperature – which is why the hot water helps

I chose to reproduce the article here because as the Campbell Live site is not a cooking site, I don't know how long this will be up.  I'm not too trusting in their archiving procedures.

Nigella has a couple of pavlova recipes, here, here, and here, as well as a 'toffee pavlova cake'.

Food in a Minute has one too.  An Australian recipe in the comments of Chocolate and Zucchini, here.  Foodlovers.co.nz has a few here too.  Even epicurious has 13, and Martha has more than 10!

Most of the differences between these pavlova recipes seem to be in either the topping (traditional cream, kiwi fruit, strawberry, and passionfruit, or exotic pomegranate, topped with white chocolate, or maple caramelised plums), or in an effort to flavour the pavlova itself (like with cocoa to make it chocolate), however, there do seem to be a few small variations in the ratios, and some substitutions in the ingredients.  I guess it's all about experimenting to find the one you like.

However, I know which one I like best already without even trying the rest - my Mum's!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cupcakes

I made some cupcakes!  I'm so pleased with how they turned out.  I got the recipe from one of Nigella's dvds.  I'd tell you which one, but Mum returned it to the library before I could write down the title, and also before I could get any of the recipes I liked the look of written down.  Luckily, her website has the recipe here.  Unfortunately, the website didn't have the recipe for royal icing that she used in the dvd to top the cupcakes.  Luckily I found pretty much the exact same recipe here.  These cupcakes were really insanely easy and they are also amazingly good.  And, as promised, here are some photos!!


Right out of the oven and cooling:


And then generously iced:
You can't really tell, but the icing is a lovely shade of lavender.  I added a little red and a little blue food colouring.  Half of them have coconut on top too.  We have this awesome dessicated coconut that's not those little shredded pieces that get stuck in my teeth, but instead are long threads of pretty yumminess.  I'll work on the photos - now you can see why I don't publish my photos!

Yummy warm noodle salad

As I will talk about soon, I've been watching two series of Nigella's tv shows on dvd.  Last night just as we were about to make dinner, Nigella was making a shrimp noodle salad (I think...) and we had just been saying we have noodles and left over chicken to eat.  I decided to make a noodle salad with whatever there was handy, and this is what we ended up with.

Chicken
Noodles (wide Asian-style)
Capsicum
Broccoli
Spinach
Cabbage (green)
Cashews
Sunflower Seeds
Cumin Seeds
Soy sauce
Honey
Turmeric
Little oil

Cook the noodles, drain, toss with some oil, set aside.  Boil half of the spinach for about 2 minutes and then douse with cold water.  Rip up the rest of the leaves into mixable pieces.  Cook the broccoli so that it's just softened.  Cook the cabbage in the usual way with butter and pepper.  Heat a frying pan, add cashews, sunflower and cumin seeds and dry roast them (or in my case almost burn them) then add a little soy sauce and a pinch of tumeric, then a squeeze of honey and mix all together and turn off the heat.  Lazily shred the chicken.  Toss all ingredients together.  By the time you do all of it, the hot stuff will be warm, the cold stuff will be at room temperature and you will end up with a slightly warm salad that is really yummy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Title

It occurs to me that the title of this blog is the user name I use for most everything on the internet except facebook and hotmail where I use my name.  It doesn't cry out as the title of a food blog, now does it?  Perhaps I would receive more traffic with food-inspired title.  Obviously, traffic isn't the reason I turned this blog foody, it was totally about getting excited and making things.   So I'm thinking about making another blog (which I will probably never use) using this name, and giving this blog a much more appropriate title.  That is, if I can do that at all...  I haven't even tried.  Anyway, suggestions please.  Double points if it related to the title page picture and/or forensic anthropology as well as cooking!

Blogs and Websites for Recipes pt 1

I've been collecting cooking websites and blogs that I read every time there's a new post.  So, because so many of them are linked here when I try the recipes or promise myself I will eventually try them, I thought I would do a roll-call in its own post. posts.  This will be part one of a few posts because I really had no idea how many sites I go to!  Part two will hopefully be up tomorrow.

I found this website through the book, though I'm sure I knew of the blog when I first saw the book, and that's what made me pick it up in the library.  Clotilde Dusoulier is French, but has spent many years living in America, so her English is superb, as are her recipes.  You may remember that I tried a few of the recipes from the book - the yoghurt cake, the chocolate and berry cake, and the chocolate and caramel pie.  This is also where the chocolate starter bread recipe came from (notice the trend here?) and also the sourdough baguettes.

Yes, I know, she needs no introduction.  But who knew that one could access a large number of her recipes at her website?  She also has a twitter feed that only posts three-ish times a day - one recipe link, one query answer, and sometimes a promotional thing for a book or tv show.

I love the name of this site, so so pretty, I wish I could steal it.   The site is also very pretty - so clean and simple.  I haven't been following this feed for very long, but have already starred three recipes - grape focaccia with rosemary, apple latkes, and upside-down cranberry cake.  The former two I will be making, hopefully while Mum has two weeks off over Christmas-New-Year, but the latter I'm not sure about.  I really want to make it, but I have no idea if we can get fresh cranberries or even tinned cranberries in NZ, even when they would be in season.  Still love the fresh and very home-made recipes at this site.

I tried the overnight sourdough from this site and failed miserably.  The mix was very very dry when I first mixed it, and I decided to add more water.  That would have been fine, but I thought I had better add a bit more starter to make up for the additional water.  As soon as I had done it I realised I'd made a mistake.  And the bread was totally inedible!  Mum wouldn't even feed it to the birds...  Anyhow, I don't blame the recipe - I should be used to the fact that NZ flour (or the brand I buy anyway [which is just usually the cheapest at the supermarket that day]) tends to need additional moisture.  There are a few recipes here I would like to try, not least of all the soft pretzels.

Where do I find these sites?  It usually starts with a book/tv show, or my googling a specific recipe.  Once I've had an explore at the website and decide I like what they're up to, I bookmark it or subscribe to the rss feed or to emails.  Then they will mention a site and I will go and have a look, and so on.  I even picked one up today on twitter (from a geek/actor twitterer rather than a food twitterer).  That's what I'd love for anyone who reads this to get out of it too - not so much a place to look at what I've been cooking, but as a place to reference the awesome places I find my recipes.

Christmas time

This year we have decided to go really really easy on the presents and instead focus on yummy things to eat.  Yesterday we finally came up with, well not a theme exactly, but a type (?) of food for our Christmas lunch.  We're doing finger food!  We'll be doing mini savoury muffins, empanadas (if I can find a good recipe), mini savory vege tarts, homemade crustini (with the sourdough baguettes), haloumi, and some chicken nuggets ah la Nigella.  For sweet/desserts we'll have candycane biscuits, forgotten cookies, and hopefully some Christmas cupcakes that look like this, this, this, or this (or?  perhaps and is more appropriate), and individual pavlovas.  I'm semi-obsessed with cupcakes this weekend.  I can't be bothered cooking (I know, that's a bit unlike me), I think because of the effort I've put in the last couple of weekends for the starter breads I've tried, and because my energy is being used elsewhere (if you could see the junk covering the floor and table in our dining room you'd see where), but I'm still reading and looking at pretty pictures and have added a few more food blogs/sites to my feeds.  I've also realised I should be illustrating this blog, but I've been far too happy with my creations to remember to take photos.  So I will add them as I remake things, and get my a- into g- to put the photos I do have up on here.  But for now, enjoy the promise of pretty things for the future.

(PS:  Honourable mention goes to these cupcakes, for their unabashed geekiness, and to these for their gorgeousness [and also because Kellie has to love them])

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chocolate Starter Bread

This weekend I finally made the bread that started my whole adventure into sourdough starters - Chocolate and Zucchini's Chocolate Starter Bread.  It was really nice (and by was, yes I mean it's gone - except for the loaf I put in the freezer).  However, I made the loaves with Whittaker's Dark Ghana (72%), which didn't supply much sweetness.  The loaf has cocoa and no sugar, so it needs the sweetness from the chocolate.  Next time I will try it with the 62% and see what happens.  I loved the texture - the crust is rock hard wonderfully crunchy, and the crumb was on the cakey side of bread (that is bready but dense).  We ate it with butter(y spread) when it was warm, and plum/raspberry/strawberry jam when cooler.  I think it was slightly better when cold.  Anyhow, much better than a cake on the sugar front, so definitely a must-try if you have a starter.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I Want This, Yesterday!

I want this SO bad.  I know it's not strictly food-related, but imagine storing your recipes on this and touching just a few buttons to display them!  Plus, the Star Trek geek in me (or, rather, that is me) will find any excuse to share this with as many people as possible!  One day it will be mine!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starter Update

So, I tried a loaf of bread the weekend before last (6/7th), but because I had never made bread before and the 'recipe' was actually just a formula of ingredients with no instructions, I think I over-proofed it.  It was edible, but I really didn't like the texture, so it's in the freezer to be used as breadcrumbs.  This weekend just been I made English muffins and baguettes.  Both turned out fabulously!!  I'm so happy about both of them.  The English muffins were really really easy - a matter of mixing some of the ingredients and leaving it overnight then adding the additional ingredients (and a whole lot of extra flour because I really think NZ flour absorbs less moisture), roll it out, cut it into rounds, and dry fry.  Lovely, even Mum says we shouldn't buy them any more.  Very happy!  Baguettes tasted great, especially right out of the oven.  Much more work required for these, with two or three wet kneads the night before.  I need more practice in shaping them because they came out much thinner than I had expected - they didn't really change size after they went into the oven either.  They seemed to be much smaller than the photographs on the website.  Recipes to come.

This Blog

I've just deleted all of the non-recipe, non-cooking posts on this blog because a cooking/recipe book blog seems to be working for me right now and looking back on my earlier posts they were boring and embarrassing.  So they're saved on my hard drive.  Now, back to our regularly scheduled recipe posts!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Starter

So my starter actually worked!  Third time IS lucky!  I finally posted at the Fresh Loaf to get some advice and the advice was - wait and see.  So I did.  And although it didn't go EXACTLY as it did in the instructions, I have actually made a loaf of bread with the starter and it worked.  Well...  by worked I mean it rose and I baked it and it was edible.  But, it wasn't very nice.  Not very sour, and I think I may have 'over proofed' it.  I think this means letting it rise too much.  It has very few bubbles, but you know what?  Who cares, I made bread!  And it didn't taste all yeasty like it does when I make it with dried yeast.  So that's a win in my book.  Speaking of books, I have a book on hold at the library about bread making, so Mum will most likely bring that home for me tomorrow (she's got a headache so stayed home today).  Also, on Friday she brought home a new Nigella book - Kitchen.  I made the last recipe in the book last night for dinner - Italian pasta soup.  It was yum, just tomatoes, onions, a little tiny bit of garlic, and pasta, and some of the pasta water (she cooked the pasta in the soup, but we screwed that bit up).  It was nice and light and summery, but still filling.  I will try it again and follow the instructions next time!  A few more recipes look good, and I'll note them here when I make them.  I think I am over Indian and even Asian food to some extent, on to a new theme - European.  I haven't been into European and English food in ages, since before I started cooking dinners, so it's time to learn to make things like fish pie (my favourite!).  I think Nigella's books will help me here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fruit

Tonight on Campbell Live they had an article about fresh fruit and veges and how few of us consume the minimum recommended daily allowance.  I doubt day to day I do, but I know over the course of a week we average more than the minimum, so I'm assuming we're okay.  But here are two recipes I've found that are totally decadent, but as they use fruit you can feel a bit better making them!


Seems that the second link doesn't work any more and because of my slack record keeping, I have no idea what it was.  I will endeavour to find this out though!  12/12/10

Well that didn't take long to find, here's the real link:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chocolate chocolate chocolate!

I made the chocolate gataux from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook and it's... nice.  I was expecting, with four eggs and very little flour but a whole lot of butter and chocolate, to get something moist, flavourful, but still kind of light.  But because the eggs are simply stirred into the chocolate and butter and not whipped into a frenzy, it turned out more like a chocolate hedgehog slice with berries in the place of biscuit pieces.  Which is to say, still nice, but not what I was expecting.  Again.  Either I chose recipes from that cookbook that were just destined to be not what I expected, or I did them all wrong, or it was simply a difference in the quality or nature of the ingredients between what we get in NZ and what the author had available in France.  Maybe when I finally go to France I will find out by making these recipes there!

Because we ran out of broadband internet quota a LONG time ago and our month starts either (later) today or tomorrow, I have a billion pages open waiting to be loaded and read, mostly articles on steampunk and science fiction book reviews or new releases, essays, or short stories.  But I found that I had a link to chocolate biscoti open from the Cook Yourself Thin website.  So, in an attempt to keep a record of things I want to make, I am adding another link:  

Looks fabulouso!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quesadilla

Today was a day of making up stuff that I've had before but never looked for a recipe for.  For lunch we had quesadillas.  We have no bread or anything much in the house, so I went looking through the freezer and found some tortillas/burritos.  Also found some pizza sauce.  And there was mozzarella in the fridge.  So I added some ground cumin, some chilli, cinnamon, and dry coriander to the sauce.  In the bench-top oven for a while, yum yum yum!

My own satay

I am so stoked!  I made the best satay sauce ever tonight.

1T honey
1T smooth peanut butter
1T chunky peanut butter (100%Nutz)
Squeeze of soy sauce
1t tumeric
2t cumin seeds
Some chilli
Little water to make it into a sauce

Then I just slathered it all over some chicken, popped them in the frying pan, then added some coconut milk to the left over sauce and poured it into the pan with the chicken once it had browned on both sides, added some carrots and broccoli and covered it.  Then after a while we added some coconut milk because it was getting dry.  It was YUM.  YUM YUM yum, and even Mum liked it.  :-)

Smitten Kitchen

I refound this site while organising the links that have been piling up on my bookmarks toolbar.  And right away I signed up for the RSS (I've only just downloaded an RSS reader, which started this bookmark clearing exercise) because the recipes and the site look lovely.  First thing I found that I really want to try is Grape Focaccia with Roemary, but we don't have any grapes at the moment.  Hopefully next weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cook Yourself Thin

I've been watching this show on and off this year.  The only reason for the 'off' is because of the stupid time and day it's on - not at prime time (like the repeats of the Simpsons and Fresh Prince and Friends... etc etc) and not during the week.  So I decided to go have a look at the website.  It has all sorts of yummy recipes, but more importantly, it has a lot of ideas for how to replace certain ingredients with other, healthier, calorie-reduced ingredients to make food that is yummier because you know it's better for you.  The first recipes I'm planning on trying are Red Velvet Cupcakes and Sweet and Sour Pork Chops.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tarte Chocolat Caramel

From Chocolate and Zucchini (book).

Caramel Filling:
90g brown sugar
1T honey
1/2t salt [we didn't use this, as usual]
80g crème fraîche or double cream [we used regular cream and it didn't work]
30g unsalted butter [we used regular butter, and didn't put in the salt]

Ganache:
280g bittersweet chocolate
240g crème fraîche or double cream

Refrigerate base (sweet pastry) for at least 30 mins, then bake for 20-25 mins at 180C until golden.  Cool on a rack.

Put brown sugar and a tablespoon of water in a small heavy-bottomed pot, and melt the sugar slowly over medium-low heat.  Move the pan around to ensure even melting, but don't stir.   When it turns light amber (avoid overcooking as this will result in a bitter taste) [this is where Mum thinks I went wrong - I really did add the honey the moment I saw amber, because I was scared of overcooking it, though I maintain it was using regular cream] add the honey and mix.  Add salt and cream, stir til blended, remove from heat, add butter, and stir to combine.  Pour the hot caramel into the pie crust evenly [I tilted the pan around so that it went up the sides as well].  Refrigerate for 40 mins [at the very least].

Make ganache by pouring the boiling cream over the chocolate half at a time, leaving to stand and then mixing after each addition.  Pour the ganache over the caramel and put back in the fridge for an hour [we left it over night because after a few hours it was still too sticky to cut].

Chocolate and Zucchini - Book

Chocolate and Zucchini, by Clotilde Dusoulier, is based on her food blog.  I think the blog is better, but it's nice to have a book in your hands to cook from, rather than running back and forward to the computer or having a piece of A4 printing paper that always seems to get wet, dirty, and smudged.  We've tried two recipes from it:  the Gâteau au Yaourt and Tarte Chocolat Caramel.  Before the book goes back to the library (which is any day now because it's either due or coming up due and it's already been renewed!), we're going to try the Gâteau Chocolat Framboise too.  The yoghurt cake was really yummy, not as yoghurty as I had expected or hoped for, but it was dense, rich, moist, and sweet.  The chocolate caramel tart didn't go so well.  I think this is because Mum convinced me that our regular cream is the same as double cream for Americans/Europeans.  This is not the case I think.  So the caramel didn't set, and the chocolate ganache only just did after a night in the fridge.  I think I screwed up the ganache because I didn't let the cream boil, but I'm always scared to let milky things catch.  The pastry tasted good and was really crispy, but it flaked a bit too much and was a little hard around the edges (from being in the fridge?), meaning a lot of it ended up staying in the pie dish stuck to the sides.  I really want to try it again, and get it right by using crème fraîche for the caramel (I've never used this ingredient, so we'll see how it goes) and boiling the cream like I'm supposed to for the ganache.

Chocolate and Zucchini blog can be found here.

Starter

Today I am going to restart my starter.  For a while there I was going okay, following the instructions, feeling confident as I watched the 'little yeasty beasties' grow and bubble away happily.  And then I thought "Oh..  did I actually let that double as I was supposed to?"  And I started having doubts.  I had been measuring the volume from the side of the measuring cup I was using for holding the growing baby, but suddenly doubted that I had recalled the level from the previous day correctly.  "So," I thought, "let's carry on as if I did it right, and see how it goes".  But before I could, I noticed some pink gathering around the sides of the cup where little bits of starter had been left from mixing, and my heart sank - the one thing they said on the website about starters was that if it got pink stuff on it, it was a goner.  So, I have thrown it away, two days before I could have used it.  Today I am starting again.  This time it will work, I know it.  I am keeping it away from the light from the window and from the extra heat from the microwave and bench-top oven, because it may have been that that tipped the balance of power from yeast to bacteria.  The recipe is below, from The Fresh Loaf.

Day One:  1/3c rye flour, 1/4c water
Day Two:  1/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/8c water (add)
Day Three:   1/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/8c water (throw out half then add)
Day Four (or when starter has doubled, whichever comes LAST):  1/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/8c water (throw out half then add)
Day Five (when starter has doubled):  1/4c starter, 3/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/2c water (put into new container)
Day Six, and beyond:  See website above

This tutorial is great because it has pictures and it's main vibe is "Don't Panic".  The starter was going really well, so I'm 99.9% certain that it was chance/me that made the thing fail, and not this cool recipe.  I got the flours from Bin Inn, because that way I didn't have to buy a huge bag of rye flour just to use only a small amount.  In fact I think I will be getting stuff from Bin Inn more now because you can choose how much you want to buy, so things wont go stale/off before you use them all up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicken Pilaf

Cooked Fri 15 Oct, 2010, for Julie-Anne

From Healthy Food Guide Magazine, Oct 2010

2 Spring onions
2T grated fresh ginger (we used about 2t mashed from a jar)
1T soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (we used about 2t mashed from a jar)
750g chicken thighs (we used about 600g, and it seemed to be about the right ratio chicken:rice for our taste)
[we didn't use mushrooms, but it says 500g, thickly sliced]
1c long-grain rice
3c chicken stock (that's two of the small boxes - we only had one and topped it up with water, and it was fine)
2T sweet chilli sauce (we didn't have this, so I put in a squeeze of chilli and about a t of sugar)
1T fish sauce
1c frozen peas

Chop spring onions and cut chicken into chunks. Mix chicken, spring onions, soy sauce, garlic, ginger to coat, then brown in a pan (a big sauce pan is good, we used the electric frying pan and it was too big, especially as we didn't eat it the second it was ready - it would have started to dry out, but we added a little water and then piled it up on one side of the frying pan and turned the heat way down). Take the chicken out put the rice, stock (and/or water), fish and chilli sauces, bring to the boil, covered, then simmer for 10mins. Put the chicken back in and cook again for 8-10 mins (we didn't need this much time as the chicken and the rice cooked faster). Add the peas and let them warm up.

Chicken and broccoli

300g chicken
2t red curry paste
350g broccoli
1/4c water
1/2c coconut milk
4 spring onions
1t soy sauce

Heat oil in a sauce pan, add chicken and paste. If the paste sticks, don't worry, it will lift when the liquid is added. Add water and coconut milk once the paste has become fragrant, then simmer 2mins. Add broccoli, cook 3-4mins, til broccoli starts to soften. Add spring onion and soy sauce before cooking for another minute. Serve with rice, could possibly serve with noodles too.

We don't have this healthy food guide in hard copy, we got it from the website. Trying tonight with just veges, so adding cauliflower and carrots instead of chicken.

AMENDED:   Not including the chicken seems to make the sauce hotter, perhaps the chicken absorbs some of the spices?  So if looking to keep the same heat, add less curry paste.

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