Wednesday 30 October 2013

Tacos with Mushrooms

From Mexican Food Made Simple, Thomasina Miers, Hodder & Stoughton, 2010.
Getting into Mexican corncobs I thought I might just as well keep on with the Mexican theme.

I placed a mixture of butter and olive oil in a hot pan and added some sliced mushrooms. When they had almost cooked and the moisture mostly gone a chopped garlic clove and half a chopped red onion were added. Also into the pan went a little more butter and about a tablespoon of truffle oil. Cooking continued until the mushrooms were done. Chopped tarragon was added and the mixture was ready. It was placed into a dish and some shaved Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
This was served with a fresh tomato salsa and hot tortillas.
These were really juicy tacos and, as usual with Mexican food, I managed to make a total mess of myself while indulging—all totally worth it.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Monday 28 October 2013

Smoky Grilled Corn Cob

From Mexican Food Made Simple, Thomasina Miers, Hodder & Stoughton, 2010.
Corn is wonderful at the moment—and very cheap. Time to eat lots of corn on the cob.

I peeled back the husks from the corn and picked out all of the silky strands that I could. I then folded back the husks into place. They were then wet under the tap and placed on a very hot grill, turning occasionally so that all sides were cooked.

Meanwhile the butter sauce was prepared. About 30g butter was melted in a pan and a chopped garlic clove added. Also in the pan went a tablespoon of chopped chipotles in adobo, and a little salt and black pepper.
Once the corn was cooked the husks were stripped off, the corn placed on serving plates, and a good squeeze of lime juice added to the butter mixture before it was poured over.
A wonderful way to eat corn rather than just having it with plain butter. The corn had a slight smokiness to it and the chipotle butter was quite excellent.
Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔

Sunday 27 October 2013

Adele’s Crostoli with Ricotta Cream

From MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook Volume Two, HarperCollins, 2010.
I began this recipe with the intention of making the crostoli but became side tracked and ended up purchasing some ready made. I just made the ricotta cream.

I put 250g ricotta and 75g caster sugar with the zest of an orange into a mixer and beat them until well combined and smooth. Then in went 300ml cream and it was whipped until it had firmed up. Now I folded in 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate and 2 tablespoons chopped preserved ginger. Orange zest was called for but I liked the idea of using ginger. Now a tablespoon Grand Marnier was stirred in.
The crostoli were served with the ricotta cream. While this was a reasonable dessert I would have to say that I didn’t enjoy it over much. The crostoli were fine but the ricotta cream was over rich and somewhat sickly. I didn’t make the crostoli so I wouldn’t rate them but the cream did not go down well with me.
Taste: ✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔ 

Thursday 3 October 2013

Sundried Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Tart

From The Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.
I always enjoy making pies or tarts and these simple tarts appealed to me.

I made a short pastry, lined some 7cm flan cases and blind baked them for about 15 mins. They were then taken out, the pie bean weights taken out and the flans returned for another 5 mins to crisp up the bottoms a little more.

The filling was made from finely chopping about 12 sun-dried tomatoes, and mixing them with 250g grated mozzarella and about 20 basil leaves which I tore into smaller pieces. This mixture was piled into the pastry cases, a dribble of cream added and they went into the oven until the cheese had melted and begun to brown a little.
I served these with a rocket, walnut, goat’s cheese and nashi pear salad. Tasty and refreshing, leaving you satisfied but not feeling bloated.
Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔