Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Claypot Chicken Rice

I seem to be on an eternal search for the perfect way to organise my recipes. I used to have hand written books - one for sweet, one for savoury and I filled the back with sticky notes of lists of recipes I wanted to cook from magazines. These days I don't have time for handwriting and so many of my favourite recipes come from blogs and websites. I also end up with so many cuttings. These days so many of my recipes are on my blog, or someone elses, so I cook dinner with the laptop up on the kitchen bench (oh for an ipad!). I have folders of recipes which end up over full so now I am starting a folder of favourite recipes - those we cook over and over, the recipe below will be in this folder!

I cut this recipe out from Good Weekend in the Sydney Morning Herald a couple of years ago but only just started making it, I rediscovered it in one of my sort outs! This yummy and easy chicken is perfect asian comfort food and is loved by everyone in this house. Serve with stir fried greens or a cucumber salad.

Clay Pot Chicken Rice
serves 4
The flovour from th chinese sausage and dried mushrooms really make this dish, both are available in the asian aisle of my local Woolworths.
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced 
300g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite sized pieces
2 Chinese sausages (lup cheong), finely sliced diagonally
2 tbsp vegetable oil
100 ml light chicken stock
1 red finger chili, sliced diagonally (optional)
300 g jasmine rice, well-rinsed and drained
550ml light chicken stock

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes. Drain, cut the stems off and slice the tops.

Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine, sugar, cornflour, ginger, onion and half the spring onions, I do this in a large freezer bag sitting in a bowl. Add the chicken, sausage and mushrooms to the marinade, tightly twist the bag closed to squeeze the marinade arounda ll teh chicken and refrigerate for an hour.

Place the rice in a heavy lidded pot with 550ml stock. Bring to the boil, stirring, then put the lid on and cook over the lowest possible heat fo 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or frypan and cook the chicken mixture and its marinade for about 3 - 4 minutes until almost cooked. Add the remaining 100 ml stock and bring to the boil, stirring.

Spoon the chicken mixture on top of the rice, cover tightly and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Serve scattered with remaining spring onions.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Isabele's Lime Poppyseed Syrup Cake

I ate this cake at my friend Isabele's recently and couldn't get enough of it; its a sour cream cake, a syrup cake, a lime cake - a great combination! I have since made it myself and it wasn't as good as Isabele's, because when someone else cooks for you it always tastes better!

Lime and Poppyseed Syrup Cake
You could replace the lime with lemon or orange or some citrus combination!

¼ cup (40g) poppy seeds
½ cup (125ml) milk
250g butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated lime rind
juice of 1 or 2 limes
1¼ cups (275g) caster sugar
4 eggs
2¼ cups (335g) self-raising flour
¾ cup (110g) plain flour
1 cup (240g) sour cream
Lime Syrup
½ cup (125ml) lime juice
1 cup (250ml) water
1 cup (220g) caster sugar

Preheat oven to moderate (180°C/160°C fan-forced). Grease base and sides of deep 23cm-square cake pan.

Combine poppy seeds and milk and soak for 10 minutes.

Beat butter, rind and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions. Stir in sifted flours, cream and poppy seed mixture and lime juice, in two batches.

Spread mixture into pan and bake for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine ingredients for lime syrup in small saucepan. Stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Simmer, uncovered, without stirring, 5 minutes.

Stand cake 5 minutes, turn onto wire rack over tray. Pour hot lime syrup over hot cake.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chocolate and Coconut Macaroons

I have been making these delicious little treats for years, since 2003 to be precise. Today I pulled the recipe out (from Gourmet Traveller February 2003) and there is a photo of a much younger Gary Mehigan from MasterChef, it is his recipe back from before we all knew who he was. The macaroons are fudgy chocolatey coconut mouthfuls, a simple recipe of meringue with cocoa and coconut folded through, don't let the word macaroon scare you. The magazine make theirs all professional looking with a piping bag, I just scoop spoonfuls onto the tray.
Chocolate and Coconut Macaroons
makes 40 depending on the size you make
4 egg whites
110 g (1/2 C) caster sugar
110g icing sugar
30 g cocoa (dutch cocoa gives the best flavour)
85g desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 140C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer whisk egg whites and caster sugar until firm peaks form. Sieve icing sugar and cocoa together and fold in followed by the coconut until just combined.

Spoon tablespoons of the mixture onto the trays for rustic meringue looking macaroons, alternatively use a piping bag to pipe 2cm rounds for a more professional macaroon look.

Bakes at 140C for 15 - 20 minutes or until crisp on the outside. Cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.