Sunday, May 20, 2012

Odds and Sods Muffins

These are adapted from a recipe by Alison Holst, which is my go-to recipe for sweet muffins. We make porridge for breakfast a couple of times a week,and the kids randomly eat or leave it depending on the phase of the moon, so there are always leftovers. Which is not a big deal, it's a few cents worth of ingredients and the pigs are always happy to take care of leftovers, but as of Wednesday this week we won't have pigs and anyway I don't like waste even if it is waste which is eventually recycled into bacon. Sometimes Dylan puts leftover porridge in bread, so I tried incorporating it into muffins. You can't tell it's there at all, but it makes them lovely and moist.

1 quantity leftover porridge (can be anything up to about 1.5 cups)
2c plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2/3 cups brown sugar, sifted if you can be arsed
1 tsp cinnamon
currants (I add more or less depending on how much porridge there is)
choc chips (optional but OMG)
3/4 cup liquid
75mL bland-tasting oil
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Drain the porridge. Combine dry ingredients and stir well, then stir the porridge into it and break up any lumps. Whisk up the liquid ingredients, stir through the dry ingredients as briefly as possible, and lop into muffin trays and bake. My oven, which is non-fan forced and thus deeply idiosyncratic, cooks these best at around 200C provided I remember to swap shelves halfway so the bottoms don't burn, but if yours is fan-forced try 180C instead.

Without the choc chips these are really yummy with jam and butter or cream, like scones.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chickpeas with Chorizo and Silverbeet

This was absolutely spectacular. I entrusted it to my husband, who does everything by the letter when following a recipe, except I hadn't written down anything except a list of ingredients when I first came up with the idea. This is one of those recipes where the flavour comes from very very slowly caramelising the onions with the chorizo and grated zucchini, which in this house is usually accomplished by me forgetting about it for half an hour but in this case was deliberate. Do not skip this step (although stirring it every so often is preferable to the buggering-off-and-reading-the-internet-and-coming-back-when-you-smell-burning technique *cough*).

olive oil
3 chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
3-4 onions, finely sliced
grated zucchini (optional, although not at this time of year in my garden)
at least 1/2 bottle passata
3 cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
herbs, paprika
balsamic vinegar
1 bunch silverbeet, shredded

Halve the onions and slice into half-moons. Thinly slice the chorizos and saute them both, together with the zucchini, if using, over a low heat until the vegetables are deliciously brown and melty. Add garlic, balsamic vinegar and herbs at some point in this step. When everything is caramelised, add the rest of the ingredients except the silverbeet and simmer until the sauce is at the thickness you prefer (ours ended up fairly stiff, which leads me to suspect that Mr Bat only put in half a bottle of passata, but to be honest I can't remember because I am a slack tart and blogging this about two weeks later). The silverbeet only needs to be folded in at the end and simmered until it's just wilting into the sauce. Try not to actually have a public orgasm while eating, it's that good.

Tunisian Lentil Stew with creamy (and probably not very Tunisian) polenta

I had a recipe I was going to blog when Blogger was having its hissy fit the other week and unfortunately I neglected to write it down anywhere else. So this isn't it. It is, however, equally yummy, but slightly less kid-friendly since it only met with the approval of three out of four scroggins tonight.

It was initially going to be Tunisian Lentil Stew with couscous, but apparently I like having to make last-minute substitutions, because I neglected to check if I actually had any couscous until I was ready to serve dinner. So I picked polenta as a substitute, because we had rice last night, and a bag of polenta needing to be used up. I don't like polenta but according to the people who ate it, this was a nice iteration.

Tunisian Lentil Stew
3 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 celery sticks, diced
1 carrot, diced
2-3 cups of diced pumpkin (I had Jarrahdale)
~1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tins diced tomato
1/4 cup currants
1 cup dry red lentils
1 heaped cup cooked chickpeas
1 heaped cup cooked kidney beans
1 cup frozen peas

Creamy Polenta
3 cups water or stock
1 cup polenta
salt and pepper
1/4 c cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Serve with toasted pinenuts or slivered almonds.

Paprikash Pork Sausages and Beans

This was an unexpected success with all the smalls, although perhaps not all that unexpected because sausages and beans is one of those combinations which so far has never gone wrong. Paprikash purists will frown (and they have a point) because I wasn't working from the recipe and used a bottle of passata instead of just a bit of tomato paste for flavour as I had written, but it was still delicious.
  • 4 onions
  • 1 tray of pork chipolatas (or use better quality butcher sausages if you are less poverty-stricken)
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 1/4 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 4 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (at least - I just upended the jar and stirred in what fell out)
  • 1 can of butter beans, drained
  • passata
  • loads of sour cream (embarrassingly, I had to buy this, because we forgot to put out some of ours to sour)
Slowly saute the vegetables for at least half an hour, preferably longer, stirring occasionally and tipping in a bit of liquid if it is sticking too badly. When everything is gorgeously caramelised, add the rest of the ingredients except the sour cream. Add a couple of cups of chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer, with the lid off, until the sausages are cooked and the sauce is reduced a bit. In the meantime, steam some potatoes and mash them with plenty of butter and a bit of milk, or prepare your preferred accompaniment. Eat, to the accompaniment of busily champing jaws if it is as popular in your house as it was in ours!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Chickpea, Tofu and Walnut Burgers

2 onions, quartered
6 mushrooms
1 tub of firm tofu
1 tbsp paprika
2 cans chickpeas OR 2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
~1 cup wheatgerm
125g walnut crumbs

In a food processor, roughly chop the onions and mushrooms. Add tofu, paprika, chickpeas, Worcestershire sauce and process. Add the eggs and about half the wheatgerm with the engine running, and process until mixture has come together, but stop before it turns into a smooth paste. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and stir in the walnut crumbs and enough of the wheatgerm to make the mixture thick but not dry. Cook for about eight minutes each side, or until brown.

I made ours in our two sandwich presses and they were perfect, holding together really well but still moist and flavourful inside. This might be a good one to feed to the kids' friends or family members who are a bit dubious about meatless cooking – with the paprika tinting it pink it looks remarkably like a real meat burger and the mushroom gives it a bit of a meaty texture. Everyone in our house devoured it, including Mr I-Don't-Liiiike-That, who had seconds (hence why the first thing I did after finishing my dinner was to write down this recipe so I can reproduce it!). 

I suspect that this recipe could be made vegan fairly easily, possibly with the addition of some soy flour. It's the tofu which makes the vegetarian versions stick together, since if I make it with just the eggs they fall apart. 

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Roast pumpkin with lentils and fetta

~1kg pumpkin, diced and roasted
mixed Puy and green lentils, cooked in stock until almost dry
3 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika
grated carrot and zucchini
bunch of chard
big wodge of home made fetta cheese
pine nuts
olive oil

While the lentils are cooking, saute onions in butter over a low heat until very soft and starting to caramelise. Add garlic and spices, saute celery, grated vegetables and chard. Combine roasted pumpkin and cooked lentils with onion mixture, and add some more stock if it looks too dry. Cook down until mixture comes together. Remove from heat, toss through fetta and pine nuts and a bit of olive oil (or serve separately in small bowls so you don't waste the fetta on ungrateful children!).