Posts Tagged 'Food'

experiments with milk – ricotta recipe…

I googled whole milk ricotta and blow me over with a feather the decent sounding recipes all called for ‘gallons’ and ‘quarts’. What universe are we in again? I tried an online converter but the resulting ml quantities, well they just sounded downright wrong.

So, an experiment, which appears to have worked 😀  My ‘straight out of the oven’ taste test (so to speak) was a light, soft ricotta with a little tiny sweet hint of a tang. Mmmmmmm

 

Ingredients

Continue reading ‘experiments with milk – ricotta recipe…’

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apple pie roses…

apple pie roseThese are so easy to make, look amazing, and are delicious with a smear of jam along the pastry strip before adding the apple slices. You could try a little chocolate spread instead for a naughty treat.

The recipe doesn’t say what to do with the sugar. I had some cinnamon sugar mix left from a previous recipe – just sprinkle over the apple before folding over the pastry, and add a little sprinkle on top before baking. The recipe also neglects to mention to cut the pastry sheet into four strips – a pretty important step! Check out the video, cleverly done and shows everything you need to know.

Wonderful served with a side of cream or a scoop of icecream. Mmmmmmmm!

weird food experiment: vegetable spaghetti…

In the fruit and veg shop today I felt determined to gather a reasonable stock of veg to keep things going and have leftovers for work (for a change). I spotted a largish squash or marrow type item curiously titled “vegetable spaghetti“. Having recently eaten zucchini spaghetti at a cafe (tasty, essentially just zuccini sliced long and thin), I was curious to test it out.

Without suitable ingredients for spaghetti sauce, I decided to use it in a nutrient packed vegetarian stir fry. Here’s how it went!

vegetable spaghetti OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“VEGETARIAN SPAGHETTI” STIR FRY RECIPE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 “vegetable spaghetti”
  • large handful of green beans, sliced into 4-5cm lengths
  • large handful of sugar snap peas (whole or slice in half)
  • approx. a quarter of a broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 5 button mushrooms, quartered
  • approx. 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • large handful chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • chopped slices of jalapeno chilli to taste

vegetable spaghetti floats!METHOD

Put the vegetable spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked – test with a skewer (you’ll have fun trying to do that believe me).

While it’s boiling, put the sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, honey, dash of water and jalapeno chilli in a jar/bowl/measuring jug. Stir well to combine and set aside for later.

my beautiful orchidAt this point I took a moment to water my beautiful orchid. How are your plants doing? You have time now to go water them if you want 🙂

vegetables and saucesThis is also a good time to chop up the other vegetables.

Once the vegetable spaghetti has cooked and cooled off enough to handle, sever the end where it used to attach to the vine, then slice it in half down the middle lengthwise.

cooked vegetable spaghettiScoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. Then scrape/scoop out the flesh across each half (not lengthwise) – it will come away in strings. You may have to break up chunks, but it’s easy to do.

I found one side wasn’t cooked enough. Perhaps steaming would provide a more even result.

It tastes similar to zucchini, with possibly a tad more flavour.

vegetable spaghetti strings vegetable spaghetti strings close up

Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok. Add the mushrooms and cook until slightly coloured. Add the beans and broccoli, stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sauce mix and tarragon, cook another 3 minutes (more or less). Sprinkle over and stir through a tablespoon of cornflour to turn remaining liquid into a glaze.

Add the chopped spinach and sugar snap peas, cook until the spinach wilts. Add about half the vegetable spaghetti and stir through.

vegetable spaghetti stir fry final result :-(Unfortunately the final result looked like a dogs breakfast (but not this one). The good news is the meal tasted more than decent and the “spaghetti” held its texture. It functions similar to rice vermicelli. Maybe I should have left it out of the stir fry and used it as a bed of “noodles” for the stir fry to go on. Next time.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  • This recipe is definitely not for serving to guests, unless you don’t like them much or they need you badly for something.
  • Beware the tarragon. Too much and its aniseed edge will overpower the other flavours.
  • You could add some chopped onion or shallots with the mushrooms if you like.
  • The unused vegetarian spaghetti should keep well in the fridge apparently.

Happy cooking 🙂

what a cool idea…

I won these as part of a sustainability prize pack. Designed to look like a little LED light bulb, they are a promo by an electricity retailer. They contain a flat dried pellet that turns into soil when soaked. The cardboard ‘stakes’ have some seeds attached. Simply push into the soil, keep moist in a sunny spot and a few days later you’re on the way to lettuce! Neat. And re-usable (byo soil and seeds). Double neat.

lettuce shoots 1 lettuce shoots 1

Kangaroo bolognese recipe

Who would have thought kangaroo mince would be sooooo much cheaper than premium beef? 1kg of Macro Meat’s kangaroo mince was only $7.85 at Coles – very low in fats, a source of omega 3, iron and B-group vitamins, free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Great for ‘almost’ vegetarians as the animals are not farmed, they live wild and are ‘harvested’ (ie culled) from primary producer properties where they are considered to be pests. Read more about the kangaroo industry

This recipe serves 4.

INGREDIENTS Continue reading ‘Kangaroo bolognese recipe’

bread for beginners…

Today as lunchtime loomed I was feeling both hungry and lazy, so, somewhat counter-intuitively, decided to make bread rather than go buy some. I’ve joyously made bread before (thanks Jamie Oliver) but it was a while ago so I thought best go back to basics!

Being lazy I used what was in the cupboard – normal plain flour. The recipe book (Knead by Carol Tennant) kindly described the differences between strong plain, plain and self-raising, but I didn’t bother to read them properly until too late. While my bread was baking my mother said the loaves would probably turn out more like cake because I didn’t use strong plain flour, the higher gluten content of which gives bread its springy texture. I can happily report, however, that using plain flour produced an excellent approximation of bread I would happily pass off as the real thing to guests!

Another lesson learnt is the value of a good recipe. I was just 75g short of the required quantity of flour, adjusted the liquid a little, but waddayano after the allocated kneading time it was not ‘no longer sticky’. So lazy me had to go to the shops after all. Surprisingly it only took that missing 75g to get it all together, a cute example of how it’s often the small stuff that really counts in life.

One final point to note, the recipe says to cook for 35 minutes, take the loaves out of the tins then put them back in the oven to ‘crisp’ for 5 minutes. My loaves were definitely crisp enough without the extra time, in fact the crust was a little thicker than I’d prefer. Use your own judgement, you know your oven.

BASIC WHITE LOAF

INGREDIENTS

Continue reading ‘bread for beginners…’


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