Friday, April 29, 2011

Curried Lentil Dip: Gluten Free Friday

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages. It looked so good when I found it in my reader, so I diligently bookmarked it, and then remembered that I very rarely eat dip.

However, I bought a weekly meal planner the other week (not that meal planning is new for me, but having a nice, pretty meal plan on the fridge door is) and while I was trawling through my recipes, I thought WHY ON EARTH NOT.

Result? Good. I forgot how amazing Tahini is, Mum and I used it a lot making my various vegetarian dishes but I haven't had any for ages. Sesame seeds are the bomb. My dip ended up looking a little less green than the original recipe, because I didn't have any fresh herbs on hand and I didn't think dried parsley and cilantro would have the same effect. It was also a bit too spicy for my weak-ass mouth, but I still ate a darn good lot of it.



CURRIED LENTIL DIP
Makes 1 cup
Total time commitment: 10 minutes
Recipe from Adrienneats

400g cooked lentils, drained
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil

Blend everything together. BAM, done.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gluten Free Friday: Vegetarian Chilli

This is one of those recipes for days (or weeks) where you really can't be bothered cooking, but still need to get your vitamins and other goodness from vegetables. Its one of the most colourful meals I've had in a while, and in my book that also makes it one of the healthiest. 

Unless you're using blue food dye or something, then you are not healthy in my book.





VEGETARIAN CHILLI
Serves 
Total time commitment: 15 minutes active time, 20-40 minutes simmering
Recipe adapted from something The Uber-Blonde cooked me once


1 onion
3 small capsicums
2 potatoes
200g red kidney beans
150g salsa
1 cup water (see note)
Spices

1. Dice onion and cut capsicum into manageable chunks. Heat oil in a frying pan (you will want a very large pan!) and cook onion and capsicum.



2. Cut potatoes into pieces (I did eighths) and add to pan. Add kidney beans and spices.


3. Cover with salsa and water, and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.



NOTES:
The original recipe had a jar of passata, which made it a lot more flavoursome and tomatoey. I, however, am saving my pennies, so didn't buy any. I would highly recommend it, though.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

I hate hot cross buns.

You heard me.

I also hate coffee and Christmas cake. So sue me.

These were my hot cross bun substitute, and I enjoyed them very much. Thats why the photo is so unimaginative, because I was too busy eating. Facts! Enjoy them.



SWEET POTATO BISCUITS
Makes 24
Total time commitment: 15 minutes active, 15 minutes cooking
Recipe from The Kitchn

2 cups flour
85g butter, cubed
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Put flour in a bowl and cut in the cubes of butter until they are little pebbles of butter.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sweet potato and buttermilk. Add to the flour and butter mixture, and form into a ball.

3. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat out to about 2.5cm/1 inch thickness. Don't use a rolling pin or you'll RUIN EVERYTHING.

4. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or use a knife and make squares. Whatever floats your boat. If you do circles, roll up the scraps and pat out again and just keep making circles until its all gone.

5. Place the biscuits on a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes. Delicious.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Flatbread

I've had this recipe bookmarked for I don't know how long. Actually, that's a lie, I've had it bookmarked since it was published on February 15, but two months is a long time.

I went to make it shortly after I bookmarked it, but I had no bread flour.

I went to buy bread flour at the supermarket, but you can only get it in 5kg bags.

I went to the place where you bring your own containers, and tried to buy some there. They had weevils in their bread flour. I told the sales lady and she opened a new bag for me.

I took that home, but didn't have enough time for all of the rising the bread needs to do (FLATBREAD, WHY YOU NEED RISING TIME), so I left it.

I went to make it again, opened the bread flour, and it had moths. Decided never to go back to that store again.

Yesterday, was hungry, made it with regular flour. Deliciousness ensued. To think I could have avoided all that malarkey! If you eat this straight out of the oven, it will actually change your life.



FLATBREAD
Makes 9 large slices/one square sheet pan
Total time commitment: 20 minutes active, 2 hours 15 minutes resting
Recipe from The Kitchn

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 3/4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Olive Oil

1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the plain four and salt, and mix until combined. I have decided bread is my gym-less way to massive guns, you can use a dough hook on your mixer if you are so inclined.

2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes, then shape into a ball. Transfer the ball into an oiled bowl, cover, and let stand for 90 minutes. The recipe specifies to do this 'somewhere warm', Western Australia seems to have no shortage of warm at the moment.

3. HELLO. Please get your dough out of the bowl. Oil a sheet pan and put the dough on it, and spread it out to the edges. I needed a bit more kneading to get the dough to cooperate, maybe if you own a rolling pin that isn't so much of a problem. Drizzle with olive oil, and let stand for 45 minutes.

4. Preheat your oven to 200C, sprinkle the bread with salt, and bake for 20 minutes until the bottom is browned and the bread smells yummy.

5. Please eat a bit right away, it tastes lovely.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lasagne

This lasagne recipe has to be one of the easiest things ever.

And oh man, has this lasagne has got me through a tough week.

Like that time I didn't sleep enough and cried because I'd already eaten two servings and I still wanted more. Seriously, this is why I advocate going to bed early. But also why I advocate this lasagne, it is clearly delicious. I mean just look at all that cheese.



LASAGNE
Serves 6-8, you don't want to cry because you didn't eat enough
Total time commitment: 10 minutes actively doing things, 45 minutes cooking; not including actually making the bolognese and white sauce
Recipe from common sense/Mum's advice


2 quantities of bolognese sauce
1-2 quantities of white sauce, depending on your mood
Lasagne sheets
Extra cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Get a large baking dish and layer it with half of the bolognese sauce.

2. Top with lasagne sheets so you're covering the top of it.

3. Add the rest of the bolognese.

4. Add more lasagne sheets.

5. Pour the white sauce over the top. Mmm, delicious.

6. Grate extra cheese on top. Even more delicious.

7. Pop it in the oven and cook until the cheese is golden and delicious and the lasagne sheets aren't chewy any more. It will probably collapse a bit as you serve it, embrace it as the joyful mess of lasagne.

DELICIOUS JOY.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Explained Absences

Panto is over, which means I get my life back for a couple of months! Huzzah! Also, it coincides with school holidays so I'm not teaching for two weeks. So. Much. Free. Time.






Friday, April 15, 2011

Gluten Free Friday: Bolognese Sauce

This is one of my favourite staples, but somehow I managed to spend 14 months living out of home before making it. The recipe is amazingly straightforward, requires very little active cooking time, and is delicious.

Are you sold yet?

I know its a bit mean putting something you traditionally eat with spaghetti as a GFF post, but there are a bunch of other ways you could use this! I'm thinking of subbing tomatoes for salsa and basil and oregano for chilli flakes and having it on top of nachos, because that's how I roll.


BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Serves
Total time commitment: 15 minutes, plus simmering
From my mum's recipe


1 onion, diced
500g mince
1 carrot
50g tomato paste
400g can diced tomatoes
Basil and oregano, to taste

1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the onion.



2. Add mince and cook until browned.



3. Peel and dice the carrot, and add to pan. I added broccoli stalk and zucchini for extra vegetable power, what of it.



4. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and basil and oregano, and simmer until everything is cooked, the carrot/vegetables is/are tender, and it isn't overly liquidy.






Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not Your Mama's Pop Tarts

Actually, these probably would be my Mama's choice of Pop Tart, if the choice is between these and the saccharine toaster things.

The pie crust dough is definitely one of the baking basics you should remember. It was delicious and buttery and easy. I'm not actually that big on pie, but winter is coming so I've stored it just in case! In going back to get the links for the pie crust and that, I found the Smitten Kitchen pop tarts recipe. Stay tuned, fellas, because I wanted to make Nutella pop tarts anyway and I think that will be my vehicle to try them.



POP TARTS
Makes 10 small or 6 large
Total time commitment: 
Assembly idea from Chez Pim, dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
225g cold, unsalted butter
1 cup water
Filling - I used strawberry jam, but I think Nutella would be equally delicious.

1. Throw some iceblocks into your 1 cup of water. I don't know the science behind this, or why it is useful, but thats what the recipe said. Leave that to sit until you need it. If you're in WA at the moment, it will take approximately three seconds for the ice to melt because it is SO. DARN. HOT.

2. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cube the butter, add it to the dry ingredients, and mix it in with your fingertips. If you want to get all fancy, Deb uses a pastry cutter, but I find that BRUTE STRENGTH is equally easy.*

*I have never used a pastry cutter, so it probably is easier. Carry on.



3. When the butter is kind of pebbly and the size of small peas (or larger, if you're me and have neither the aforementioned brute strength or pastry cutter and a penchant for laziness), add half of the water. If the ice cubes haven't melted by now, for the love of goodness, take them out. Use a spatula to gather the dough together, and add more water a tablespoon at a time until you can get the mixture into one big, doughy lump (by this stage I had given up on the spatula and used my hands).

4. Divide the dough into two and wrap each piece in cling wrap. Chill in the fridge for two hours. I mean chill the dough, not that you personally should chill in the fridge.

5. Hello! Welcome back. Can you please put the oven on to 180C? Cool. Grab your dough from the fridge, break off a piece and roll it out to your desired thickness. As I don't have a rolling pin, I just patted it out to a fairly substantial thickness. If it's too small for your pop tart (you'll fold it in half), roll it back up and add more dough before rolling it out again. This is cooking, people, not rocket science.



5. Spread half of your dough-rectangle with filling, leaving a border around the edges so it doesn't smoodge out like in the picture. Fold the other half on top so you have a little parcel, and seal the edges by pressing down with a fork. Poke some holes in the top so it can breathe, and put it in the oven. I judged their "done-ness" by colour, and I could have probably left them in a little longer.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lunch.


Back to blogging ASAP, I promise!

And yes, I am eating microwaved potato with chilli and cheese. All of the time.

(that's gluten free, right? And its Friday)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cooking With Charlie

In the absence of any *actual* blog, because Panto and an essay on the social discourses shaping our view of the female gender and how we as a society react and respond to these discourses (still with me?) are eating my life, watch this funny video by a funny man who says almonds funny.

Levi says cashews funny though, kind of how you would pronounce "a-choo!" but "ca-shew!". In retrospect, he just places the emphasis on the second, rather than first, syllable.

Back to my essay. Tra la la.