Recipe & Food ideas from our kitchen...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chilli Prawns...

Chilli Prawns...
300g peeled prawns
3 heaped Tbsp corn flour
4-5 Tbsp water to make the batter (you may need more)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder or crushed garlic
Enough Rice bran oil or other suitable oil for frying
1 small capsicum, diced
1 chilli, diced finely (more if you want)
1 green/spring onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 Tbsp Chinese rice wine

  • Add flour, salt, pepper, powdered/crushed garlic, & then a little water at a time to make a thin batter
  • Add prawns & mix then let sit until oil is ready
  • Heat oil in wok/pan to a medium temp. Test the oil by adding a few "drips" of the batter into it.
  • Cook 4-6 prawns at a time then remove & drain on paper towel or on rack until all cooked
  • Remove oil from wok/pan CAREFULLY...  I pour it into a saucepan to cool down before bottling if for use later..
  • Heat wok/pan & stir-fry the the capsicum, chilli, onion, diced garlic for 60 seconds
  • Add the prawns back in then add the rice wine
  • Stir-fry for another 30 seconds then serve...

This is a quick & tasty dish that has become a favourite spare of the moment meal..

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fruit Seed & Nut Balls...

Just a quick post on a treat that has become a staple treat here... 

Fruit, Seed & Nut Balls...
1¼ cup of almonds
¼ cup sunflower seed
¼ cup pumpkin seed
¼ cup chia seed
¼ cup desiccated coconut
¼ cup cocoa
75g dried dates
75g dried apricot
½ cup of tahini
¼ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla essence
Extra coconut to roll the balls in...
  • Process the almonds, seeds, coconut, cocoa & dried fruit until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  • Add all the liquid ingredients, process again until combined.
  • roll into balls then roll in extra coconut.
As easy as that & very VERY tasty..
Have a great one...
: )»

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lemon Herb Chicken..

Decided to whip up a dish I saw on a You Tube channel I subscribe to called "Cooking with Karma".. Karma follows a theme every week  posting clip's Mondays & Fridays...
This week is lemons with Mondays recipe being Lemon Herb Chicken... Rather fond of pairing lemon & chicken so I thought I would give it a whirl after a few adjustments of course (just can't help myself)...

Lemon & Herb Chicken...

1/3 cup of oil
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
6 or so sage leaves
2 cloves of garlic, chipped finely
1 Tbsp honey
Rind & juice of a lemon
2Tbsp of Dijon or favourite mustard
1Tbsp whole seed mustard
1 kg (6) boneless chicken thighs
¼ cup of sliced Kalamata olives

  • Strip the leaves of the herbs from their stem..
  • Add the leaves, garlic & a little oil into a mortar then bruise with pestle.. If you don't have a mortar & pestle you could use the back of a large spoon to crush the mix on the inside edge of a bowl as we did before purchasing a set..
  • Add the remaining oil, honey, mustards, lemon rind/juice then mix well & season with pepper to taste..
  • Trim excess fat from thighs then marinate in tray they are to be cooked in making sure to cover them thoroughly in the herb & lemony goodness..
  • Cover & marinate for 4 + hours..
  • Pre heat oven to 180°c
  • Give the thighs a quick turn in the dish then place in the oven for 40-50 minutes coming back every 15 min to turn & baste the chicken..
  • Add the olives on the second turn allowing then just to warm through without drying out & shrivelling up...
 It was a most excellent dish & one that will be cooked on many more occasions... We served it up with a stir fry made from,
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced finely
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into thirds
  • ½ medium capsicum, diced
  • Large handful of beans, cut into thirds
  • 1 medium white eggplant, diced
The onion, garlic & eggplant were stir fried  until the onions were softened..
The rest of the veggies were added & fried until ready...

Hope you enjoy it if you try it & remember to check out Cooking with Karma's channel..
Have a great one...
: )»

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday in the kitchen...

Was a tad wet to get stuck into the garden (well it was in the morning) so decided to play with the Thermomix (TM) instead...

Vanilla Sugar Xylitol & Extract..
While we are ultimately trying to dramatically cut down our already low sugar consumption we find that Vanilla sugar is one of those things that does get used a bit.. We have just gone halves with a family member on a 500g (17½ Oz) of Madagascan vanilla beans that cost us $70 AU.. 3 beans make up 10g so there would be roughly 150 beans costing about 46 cents AU each.. When I searched a popular Australian Stoopidmarket chain I found their price to be $8.59 for 5grams (2 beans I would think) of beans which works out to be,
 hope your sitting,
$1718 per Kg!!!
I shall say no more other than I would love to farm these guys when we eventually get some land to farm ...
The last batch of vanilla beans we purchased (over 18 months ago) have been gifted, used & reused with only a dozen or so left to make 1 last batch of vanilla xylitol.. The new batch of beans will be used to make a mega batch of essence, like the bottle shown in the clip below, as well as a batch of Vanilla bean paste..
I think is best to let the mix sit for at least 2 week before using once it has been processed just to let the "minced" up bean impart more oil into the sugar (unless you are impatient like I)..

Condensed Milk with a Vanilla twist...

This was a fairly easy recipe to make up & one my Sister recommended to me... The original comes from the Down To Earth Blog published by Rhonda Hetzel...
Her recipe an be found on her Homemade from the cupboard entry...

I made it using slightly differently quantities..
1¼ cup milk powder
½ cup vanilla sugar
2 dessert spoons of butter
1/3 cup of boiling water...
  • Place all in blender/food processor & mix until combined. You will need to scrape the sides a few time just so all ingredients get combined..

Real easy to make & will be trying it with the vanilla xylitol when it is ready...

Lemon & Lime Cheesecake with a Nutty base...
This was the goal for Sunday as I have never made a cheesecake before & was chuffed I could make one with ingredients all made from scratch... The Labneh cheese is so easy anyone can make it as long as you have some cheese cloth or a new, preferably washed, Chux style cloth.. (There is a clip on the post before this if interested.)  The above posted condensed milk recipe is just the right amount for this recipe.. The ginger & toasted nuts really set off the sweet tangy filling wonderfully..

3/4 cup of dates, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes
100g/3.5oz Macadamia nuts, toasted
150g/5.3oz Almonds, toasted
¼ cup shredded or desiccated coconut
2tsp of fresh grated Ginger or ½tsp powdered  (I used 3 pieces of candied ginger as we were out of fresh)

  • Add all ingredients to blender/processor/TM & process until you end up with a grainy paste..
  • Press base into 20cm/8" spring form style tin. There will be enough oil released from the nut's so greasing base of tin shouldn't be needed..
250g/8.8oz  Labneh or Philly cheese
1 batch of the above Condensed milk or a 395g/14oz Tin
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Lime juice
Zest from 1 lime (1tsp)

  • Add all ingredients together & combine in blender/processor/TM scraping down sides regularly.
  • Spread mixture over top of base & smooth out top.
  • refrigerate 1-2 hours or until set..

Hope you like these if you give them a whirl... I enjoyed making them... My next cheesecake will be a "Raw" version so shall be posting that soon...

Just like to add that I really like the Thermomix style of unit whether it be a Thermochef, Belini version or any other unit that allows you to eat more healthy, unprocessed foods... I like that we can use each others recipes interchangeably with minor tweaking here & there..
Have a great one all....
: )»

Friday, March 16, 2012

New You Tube Channel & Toy...

A month ago we decided to buy a Thermomix (TM) as we see an all in one unit like this as a real bonus to the kitchen.. After contemplating our diet for a while we have decided to reduce the majority of processed/packaged food.. The TM will enable us to prepare some ingredients from scratch which will help boost the nutrient content of the foods we prepare..  We will be able to mill our own flours, make tahini from scratch as well as various nut butters, nut milks, fresh fruit sorbets, jams & the list goes on... I know a few of the above listed foods can be made in other appliances but that is one of the great things about the TM, we can now get rid of the food processor, rice cooker (which I never liked using BTW **checks over shoulder for Bianca**), ice shaver, microwave steaming pots, Kenwood chef, hand held processor & when the bread machine finally packs it in, that as well...
Pineapple & Mango Sorbet  is the favourite so far..
 In the 2 weeks we have had the TM we have made  pizza dough, Thai red curry paste, beef Rendang, herb & olive chicken, curried pumpkin & sweet potato soup, garlic quinoa salad, a few broccoli salads, herb cheese dip, Green/fruit smoothies, 6 or 7 fresh fruit sorbets, frozen fruit yoghurt, some "Ice Magic" style topping, besan flour, icing sugar, 6 or so batches of worm food smoothies & some other things I am sure I will remember later...
The only "failure" we have had so far is the when I made some broccoli salad on speed 7 for 5 seconds by accident... The outcome was a rather mushy green salad that was set aside & used for the next days breakfast smoothie so wasn't wasted..
   While searching the net for information on the TM I cam across many blogs & groups on the TM so will not be dedicating this blog solely to the TM but will include recipes for it with a conventional version as well for stove top cooking when relevant..
Here is the 1st recipe that I tried from scratch in the TM (pinched from a post I made elsewhere this week ; )» )

Herb & Olive Chicken
3 Tomatoes
4 clove Garlic
1 tbsp Olive oil
600g chicken breast/thigh, diced
1 Onion cut into bit size pieces
6 Sweet Basil leaves
6 sprigs Thyme
4 tips of Sage
2 large Mushrooms, diced
½ medium Capsicum, diced
Large handful snow peas, cut in thirds
1 bunch Asparagus, quartered
Juice of ½ Lemon or 1 Tbsp of juice
½ cup Kalamata Olives, sliced in half
Thinly sliced Chilli for garnishing
  • Chop Tomatoes... speed 4 for 5 seconds then put into bowl for later then rinse out TM bowl
  • Chop Garlic... speed 8 for 5 seconds
  • Add oil then sauté... Varoma for 3 min
  • Place Butterfly into bowl & add Chicken, onions & herbs... Varoma for 5 min on reverse speed 1
  • Add Tomato & Mushroom... Varoma for 7.5 min on reverse speed 1
  • Add Lemon juice, Capsicum, Snowpeas, Asparagus, & Olives.. 100°C for 5 min on reverse speed 1
  • Served garnished with Chilli & enjoy....
As this was a first attempt & I am still getting used to the TM there are a few things I would do differently.
  1. Only use 1 chopped tomato & add it after the onion was sautéed with 1/3rd cup of Tomato paste (yet to make my own but on the list to do)
  2. Add the Snowpeas in the last 2 min as I like mine bright green & crunchy
  3. Add 1/8th cup White wine as I think it would lift the flavour a bit more
  4. Not use Butterfly attachment just to see how it goes.. It was recommended on a blog I saw to use it when the bowl was full but was later told by a TM demonstrator  (tar Frogdancer) that it wasn't required at all..
Non Thermomix version...
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion cut into bit size pieces
4 clove Garlic, crushed
600g chicken breast/thigh, diced
1 Tomato, Diced
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/8th cup White wine
6 Sweet Basil leaves, torn
6 sprigs Thyme, stripped
4 tips of Sage, torn
2 large Mushrooms, diced
1 bunch Asparagus, quartered
Juice of ½ Lemon or 1 Tbsp of juice
½ medium Capsicum, diced
Large handful snow peas, cut in thirds
½ cup Kalamata Olives, sliced in half
Thinly sliced Chilli for garnishing
  • Sauté Onions & Garlic in oil for 2-3 min
  • Add Chicken, herbs, Tomato, Asparagus & Mushroom, cook 5 min on medium high heat
  • Add Lemon juice, Capsicum, Snowpeas & Olives, cook for further 3-4 min
  • Served garnished with Chilli & enjoy...

RBs Kitchen...

The Girls & I decided to start up a separate channel on You Tube to upload cooking & other around the house clips to.. So far we have posted 3 recipes from the Bits out the back Channel as well as a bread making clip using whey from Labne Cheese making  & an up to date clip on  how we make Probiotic Yoghurt... Hopefully we will have a Labne Cheese clip up in the next day or so...
Hope you enjoy the clips & get something from them.. Feel free to comment as I am by no means an expert on cooking but do enjoy learning from others...

 Thanks for reading this far (if you made it :D») & have a great day...
: )»