Saturday, June 25, 2011

Passionfruit Self-saucing Pudding

The Good Living section of the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday this week had a selection of passionfruit recipes by Jane and Jeremy Strode. I couldn't resist the self-saucing pudding, especially as I had passionfruits in the fruit bowl. The recipe is just like lemon delicious - a light spongey self-saucing pudding that I love but possibly even better! We all devoured it and I am going to have to make it again soon.

You can find the recipe here at I followed the recipe exactly but stretched it to 3 larger and 2 smaller serves.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Babi Kecap Pork in the SC - Slow Braised Malaysian Pork with Ginger, Chilli and Sweet Soy Sauce

We just had a lovely long weekend at home with my sister and her fiance staying. My sister introduced me to the Almost Bourdain blog which sadly finished recently. We found this recipe for Babi Kecap Pork which not only looked delicious but had the great advantage of using kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and tamarind water, both of which I have quite a bit of and don't use much, as well as pork shoulder which I had in the freezer.

I cooked it all day in the slow cooker and it was fantastic, we ate all of it between the 4 of us. There was no way the kids would have eaten it (they had two minute noodles which they were thrilled about:) but I will try it again without the chilli and I think they will enjoy the sweet salty sauce (and I will add chilli flakes to my serve!).

We followed it up with a delicous apple pie cooked by Amelia and Adam - I love guests who cook us delicious food (and are great company) - thanks for the pie, pancakes, caesar salad, hamburgers and guacamole!

Babi Kecap in the Slow Cooker - Slow Braised Pork with Ginger, Chilli and Sweet Soy Sauce
recipe adapted for the slow cooker from Almost Bourdain who adapted it from Rick Stein's Far East Odyssey
I used the last of the summer's chillis from my garden - one long red and two jalapenos chopped seeds and all - it was the perfect spiciness.
serves 6

2 tbsp vegetable oil
100 g shallots, thinly sliced
50 g garlic, crushed
25 g peeled ginger, finely grated
1.25 kg lean pork shoulder, in 3cm chunks
4 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp Tamarind water
1/2 tsp pepper
3-4 medium-hot chillies, seeded and chopped
4 red bird's eye chillies, left whole
500 ml asian chicken stock
Crisp fried shallots, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry until they are soft and richly golden. Add the crushed garlic, ginger and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 1 minute. Add to the slow cooker, or set aside.

Add the pork to the pan and fry for 2 minutes until lightly coloured. Put in the slow cooker. Add the kecap manis, dark soy sauce, tamarind water, pepper, chopped and whole chillies and stock (only enough to almost cover the meat). Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or on the stove leave to simmer, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring now and then towards the end of cooking, until the pork is tender.

Lift the pork out of the sauce with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Boil the cooking liquid until it has reduced to a well-flavoured, slightly thicken, shiny, dark brown sauce. Season to taste with salt, return the pork to the pan and stir in. Spoon the pork onto a warmed serving plate, scatter with the crisp fried shallots and serve.

Serve with rice and greens.

Green Eggs and Ham Pasta (Carbonara with zucchini)

Green Eggs and Ham Pasta is what we decided this version of spaghetti carbonara should be called, after the kids discovered they had just eaten and liked zucchini hidden in the sauce.

As part of my continuing effort to include vegies I have tried grating zucchini into the sauce before but the kids can see the pieces. This time I cooked then pureed the zucchini and mixed it back through the sauce. It tasted good and the kids loved the green sauce. I also included peas in the sauce so they knew they were eating some vegies - can't rely entirely on subterfuge or they will never learn!

Spaghetti Carbonara with Zucchini and Peas
serves 2 adults + 2 small kids
A delicious and nutritious version of carbonara, for the more traditional version (with cream, I know this isn't traditional but I like it that way) leave out the peas and zucchini.

250g spaghetti or other pasta shape of your choice
1/2 C frozen peas
olive oil
2 zucchini, grated
5 bacon rashers, diced
1/2 C cream
3 eggs, beaten
100g parmesan, grated

Cook the spaghetti in lots of boiling water until al dente, add peas for the last few minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat and fry zucchini in a little olive oil until softened. Remove from pan and puree (I used my bamix).

In the same pan cook the bacon until lightly browned. Add pureed zucchini and cream and heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat.

Beat eggs in a bowl then stir in parmesan.

As soon as the spaghetti is cooked add it to the bacon and cream mix. Stir through. Then add the eggs and parmesan. Quickly mix and serve (you don't want to scramble the eggs, just warm through).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chocolate Ripple Cake

This would have to be the easiest dessert in the world, but anyone who eats it thinks you have gone to a lot of trouble. I have been making it since childhood and my husband has now adopted it as his own. It is best made the day before so the biscuits really soften.

Chocolate Ripple Cake
serves 6 (but I could happily eat more!)
For an adults only version dip the biscuits in liqueur of your choice before layering with cream - I like Baileys!

600ml thickened cream
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 x 250g packet Arnott’s Choc Ripple Biscuits
1 x Peppermint Crisp bar, finely chopped

Place cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat using an electric beater until stiff.

Spread one biscuit with a blob of cream then sandwich with another biscuit. Top with another blob of cream then place biscuits on their side onto the serving plate, at a slant. Repeat until all biscuits have been used and form a log. Unless you have a very long plate you might need to make two logs side by side.

Spread remaining cream over log to cover entirely. Cover loosely with foil, then place in refrigerator overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours to soften. If you are in a hurry you can quickly dip the biscuits in milk before layering with cream, but this isn't as good as the slow way!

Just before serving, sprinkle with peppermint crisp. Serve.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rice with Egg and Japanese Seasoning - Quick and Easy Dinner

This is a favourite standby meal in this house. The kids love theirs with a soft boiled egg, I prefer mine fried with a runny yolk and crispy bits. I love the yolk running over the rice mixed with soy sauce and the salty and sweet seasoning.

I serve the kids with frozen peas or corn or vegie sticks.

Japanese Rice Seasoning are available at asian supermarkets - I buy the simple one with sesame seeds, seaweed, salt and sugar, but there are lots of other more exotic versions. I also like the Japanese chilli seasoning.

Rice with Egg and Japanese Seasoning
More a list of ingredients than a recipe
Medium grain rice, cooked (I use this for all my Japanese recipes)
Eggs - soft boiled for 3-4 minutes or fried sunny side up
Japanese Rice Seasoning (or make up a mixture of sesame seeds, crushed sushi seaweed/nori, salt and sugar)
Soy Sauce

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pork and Capsicum Hotpot in the Slow Cooker

I have been trawling the internet looking for new slow cooker recipes to try now winter has well and truly hit! I printed off a whole lot. The first one I tried was this yummy recipe, Pork and Capsicum Hotpot from the great blog Cate Can Cook , So Can You!
The recipe recommends pork scotch fillet, I used pork shoulder which I diced into chunky pieces, it was tender and falling apart. Besides that I just followed the recipe with great success.

Next on the list is Chicken with Almonds...