emsk: (Default)

Toby asked for broccoli cheese soup last night. It’s so unusual for him to voluntarily eat anything green that I went home via the vege shop for two heads of broccoli.

I winged the recipe, but it was something like this.

Chop & fry a couple hundred grams of bacon (six-eight middle rashers). In the bacon fat, fry a chopped red onion. When you get to the point where you need more grease so you can sweat the onions properly, add 75g butter.

Let that simmer for a bit, until the onion is translucent. Stir in a 1/4 cup of flour (you’re making a weird bacony roux here). Once that’s mixed, quickly pour in a bottle of beer or cider (we had cider on hand so I used that).

While this is going on, chop your broccoli heads (I had two), and nuke them to speed up cooking time.

Once you have your alcoholic roux going on, add in about 100g of grated cheddar, stir. Add three cups of milk, and the broccoli.

Add cracked pepper, 1/2tsp of paprika, some sage, celery seeds. Simmer gently for half an hour until the broccoli is squishy.

Makes five or six bowls, depending on hunger of consumers.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

Last night took me from “I have no idea what dinner’s going to be” to “pasta with bacon and gouda / blue brie sauce” inside of about 40 minutes.

Here’s how it went down:

Remove bacon from freezer, nuke enough it can be chopped.

Pasta spirals + water + cast iron pan + stove.

Cast iron frypan + butter + olive oil + stove.

Chop bacon, apply to pan.

Rummage fridge for further ideas. Apply onion to pan.

Decide on cheese sauce, realise no milk, add white wine to pan. Add red wine to self, from last night’s open bottle. Add parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, celery seeds. Add 50g butter and potato flakes to thicken. Add large dollop of sour cream (see: no milk). Add water to thin sauce somewhat.

Rummage cheese drawer, find end of gouda and half a blue brie wheel. Chop both (after removing white rind from brie), add to pan. Add heaping tablespoon of tomato paste.

Rummage fridge further, find tupperware with leftover misc veges. Chop finely, add to sauce as pretence that we are civilised adults that eat our veges.

Discover that by some miracle, you have cooked four servings of dinner on an evening when you are feeding four adults.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

I experimented with cheesecake last night. I’ve never enjoyed doing the painful crush-biscuits-with-butter exercise for a cheesecake base, especially as we don’t /buy/ biscuits so I have to make them and THEN crush them and ugh.

So, experiment.
200g butter, melted
1c flour
1c sugar
three or four? cups of fine dessicated coconut.
Mixed all of the above with a little cinnamon spice mix until it was the appropriate melted-butter-squashable texture that a cheesecake base should be. Squished into a springform tin, then baked for 20 mins in a 180c oven to brown and crisp it up some. (With less butter, this is my apple crumble topping mixture.)

While that was baking, beat together 1kg of cream cheese, 2 tins of sweetened condensed milk, about 1/4 c lemon juice, a slosh of brandy. When the base came out the oven, I added gelatine to the cheesecake mix (it’ll firm up without it, but I like the risk being removed). Poured the cheesecake over the base, allowed to set.

Once that layer set, I threw mixed berries, water, mixed berry sauce from the fridge, and more gelatine in a saucepan, turned it into sauce, and poured over the top. Obviously this layer could be anything (I considered banana nut jam as an option too, and didn’t have enough passionfruit).

Yum yum yum. (Image recycled, as I broke into the cheesecake to eat it before taking pictures.)
cheesecake2

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

One of my missions in life is to find vegetarian dishes that my husband will eat, without asking where the meat in the meal is.

For whatever reason, it occurred to me on Saturday that I’d never made felafel before. As I have a bunch of chickpeas in the freezer – I soak/boil beans and chickpeas etc in bulk then freeze – why not?

Approx 600g of frozen chickpeas
1 bunch frozen parsley (or dried equiv)
~4 tbsp coriander
1c chopped onion
~3tbsp ground cumin
~3tbsp paprika
Slosh sweet chilli sauce
1/2tsp celery seeds
One or two eggs
Breadcrumbs
Wholemeal flour

Whizz chickpeas and onion through blender. Add spices. Mix until approximately meatballs consistency, adding egg / breadcrumbs / flour as required.

Leave in fridge for an hour to soak.

Add more flour now if required.

Shallow fry in 1/8 cup balls, in a mix of something+sesame oil.

They were utterly utterly delicious, served in tortillas with salsa, spinach, carrot, capsicum, and sour cream.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

I’ve had vague plans for a bread for some time, and attempted same today.

Standard white dough mix – 300ml milk, 1 egg, four cups flour, 4 tsp bread-improver-yeast-mix, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt – added a cup of mozz & some cracked pepper while the dough was kneaded (breadmaker FTW).

Broke the dough into small chunks, dunked each in pear/balsamic sauce, crammed the whole lot into a well greased roasting dish, sprinkled another 1/2 cup of mozz over the top. Let it rise for another 15 mins while the oven pre-heated, baked for ~20 mins. Served with chicken in tomato-basil sauce as dinner.

Forgot to take photos. Household report problems of insufficient digestive capacity to finish eating entire loaf.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

It’s well established that my mother doesn’t cook. It’s not that she can’t – she’s a functional adult and perfectly capable of putting meals together. Just that where possible, she avoids it.

As such, my cooking instruction as a child extended to the basics of “how not to hurt yourself in a kitchen”, being pointed at the recipe books, given stern instructions to clean up after myself, and left to go nuts and learn.

So on the one hand, I LOVE cooking. I really do. On the other, a child’s approach to recipes is very “right, I’ve read it, now I’ll do my own thing”, which occasionally doesn’t work.

It especially doesn’t work for baking, which is a science. Cooking is art, so I can get away with it.

As an adult, my approach is also instinct + occasional recipe glances + “I wonder what happens if?” Mostly this results in food, because my instincts are good.

We’ll use today’s chicken, corn, and noodle soup as a prime example of how this process works.
Yesterday: two chicken carcasses + crockpot + water + long, slow cooking = several litres of chicken stock. Two liters got frozen, I was left with two-odd litres of stock, in delicious delicious refrigerated gel form.

Today: “Hmmm, I feel like soup.”

Picked the chicken carcasses for bones. Chopped up two small onions, sweated them in 50g of butter (yes, lots), with the picked off chicken (a bowlful before I gave up and threw the rest of the carcasses away). Added salt and pepper. Added celery seeds. Prodded it a bit. Added parsley. Prodded more, added italian herb mix.

Added half the stock, raided the freezer for veges, could not find mixed veges was looking for, found corn, decided corn was good enough. Added 2c of corn (very, very approx).

Returned to stove, prodded soup with spoon some more.

Pondered addition of noodles. Didn’t really want to use instant noodles. Looked at spaghetti thoughtfully. Took serving of spaghetti, broke into small (~1 inch pieces), dumped in pan.

Prodded soup with spoon some more.

Made cornflour slurry, added that. Added dried potato flakes.

Wandered away from stove while stock reduced and spaghetti cooked.

Wandered back, ran out of patience, served soup to self.

Three cups of soup later, I have determined that a) this is delicious soup and b) I really should put the rest in the fridge now before I explode.

ChickenCornNoodleSoup

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

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