Monday, May 31, 2010

Thai Chicken Sausage Rolls

These Thai chicken sausage rolls are simple to make and the perfect savoury finger food at any shindig! I've made them multiple times for friends and even my family. In fact, my impossibly English doesn't-like-foreign-stuff (including pasta or anything he can't pronounce) Grandfather quickly pounced on the last sausage roll on the plate when the entire family was last around and proclaimed them "quite tasty".

Thai Chicken Sausage Rolls

600g chicken mince

1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
Puff pastry sheets
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 200C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl mix together the mince, breadcrumbs, ground cumin, sweet chilli sauce and coriander.

Lay out a sheet of puff pastry and cut it in half (so it's a rectangle). Take one of the halves, spread some of the mixture along one edge of the pastry sheet and roll up to conceal the filling. Brush with egg to seal the pastry closed. Repeat this process with the remainder of the mince filling.

Slice each "roll" into four or five pieces and place them on the baking trays, seam side down. Brush the rolls lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 25 minutes and serve with extra sweet chilli sauce. Oh, and be careful to let them cool before you bite into them. (Something I find difficult to do!)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Butterscotch Pudding

It's almost winter here in Australia so time to bring out lovely warm wintery puddings, stews and casseroles!

This is a very simple, fool-proof and sticky-sweet butterscotch pudding.

Butterscotch Pudding
(Serves 6)

Oil spray (for greasing)
150g self-raising flour
80g brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
60g melted butter
1 egg
2 tbsp golden syrup or treacle
100g brown sugar (extra)
3 tbsp golden syrup or treacle (extra)
1 1/4 cups boiling water

Preheat the oven to 170C and lightly grease a 1.25L oven-proof dish with the oil spray. Place it on a large, flat baking tray (just in case of any over-flow!)

Sift the flour into a large bwol and stir in the brown sugar, making sure to squash any lumpy-clumpy bits of sugar.

In a jug, whisk together the milk, melted butter, egg and golden syrup then slowly pour it into the flour/sugar mixture and beat until it is all well combined and free of lumps. Pour the mixture into the greased dish.

Sprinkle over the extra brown sugar. Then in a small jug (or bowl), stir together the extra golden syrup and boiling water. Pour this over the pudding. The brown sugar will appear to dissolve into the syrup.

Bake the pudding for 45 minutes then set aside for 10 minutes. Two reasons why - one is so the butterscotch sauce (which has gone all gooey and sunk to the bottom of the pudding) thickens and goes even gooier. The second reason is so the pudding cools slightly and the chances of burning the roof of your mouth and losing the skin there diminishes slightly!

Serve a big spoonful of the pudding with plenty of the sauce and a large mound of vanilla ice-cream or double-thick cream.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saffron risotto

This is a dumbed down version of a Milanese risotto. A traditional Milanese risotto is made with beef stock, beef bone marrow and lard (instead of butter). But to be honest, bone marrow kind of creeps me out, and I don't tend to keep lard in the fridge.

Saffron Risotto
(Serves 2, as a main meal)

3/4 cup dry white wine
Pinch of saffron
Olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
50g butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup Arborio rice
1L hot chicken stock
1/4 cup grated parmeson

Add saffron to the wine and let it infuse whilst you begin the risotto.

In a non-stick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and gently fry the onion until it has softened. Add the butter and garlic. When the butter begins to froth, add the rice. Stir well so all the rice gets covered in the butter. Add the saffron infused wine and stir the rice really well until the wine has been absorbed. This will release the starches in the rice and make the texture creamy.

Add the stock, one cup at a time. Stir often and when the stock has been absorbed, add another cup.

Once all the stock has been absorbed, season well with salt and pepper. Add the grated parmesan and stir until it has melted into the risotto.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Food Porn from the South West

Pete and I recently went on a trip around the South West of Western Australia. We stayed in Albany, Walpole and Pemberton. We had planned on going to Bridgetown and Margaret River too, but I got sick so we decided to come home early and go down to Bridgetown and Margaret River a little later in the year.

Although this is a recipe blog, I've decided to post a few "food porn" photos ala The Food Pornographer. (I'm a total die-hard TFP fan!)
This is the breakfast we had when we stayed at a place called Saltair down in Albany. This was honestly the highlight of our stay! Freshly pineapple juice, a sweet apple and walnut loaf with butter and the cereal which was divine! I'm deserate to re-create it at home - it contained bran flakes, honey toasted muesli, dried fruits, roasted almonds and a variety of seeds.

One day whilst roaming Albany we stopped for fish and chips (with a few calamari rings) at a beach-side kiosk. We decided to take advantage of the good weather and eat outside with a pretty spectacular view.

On the drive from Albany to Walpole, we stopped to spend some time in beautiful Denmark. I'd heard about the award-winning bakery so decided that we HAD to stop there for lunch. I'm SOOO glad we did!!! The bakery definitely deserves all its awards! I had a steak and mushroom pie that was so full of flavour. On a cold day, it definitely hit the spot! And Pete also loved his lamb and rosemary pie.

On our first day in Pemberton we went to Hidden River for lunch. Hidden River is a gorgeous little boutique winery/cafe. Last year I had the Malaysian laksa and just had to have it again this year! It's full of prawns, fish and boy choy in a spicy coconutty broth.

This is the grilled trout, salad and chips from the King Trout Cafe - it may not look super exciting but it tastes great - the trout was literally swimming 20 minutes before I ate it and the chips were so fresh and hot and crispy. They were the best chips I've had in ages actually....

We went to the Lavender and Berry farm and couldn't wait to eat another of their gorgeous pies like what we had last year. Sadly, the farm has changed hands. This is the chicken and corn pot pie we ate this year (with fried potato rounds and salad). It was bland, and the inside of the pie tasted a bit, well.... old! Like it had been sitting in the fridge for a few days before being served up to me.

Just for contrast, this is what we were served up last year - this pie is a proper pie, filled with a lovely Thai chicken curry with the fried potato rounds and salad. It also came with homemade tomato and basil sauce which has a flavour like nothing I've tasted before! It was great so I was definitely disappointed this year.

We saved the best til last!!! The Wine and Truffle Co in Manjimup is my favourite place to eat. A glass of wine and their toasted hazelnut bread smothered with truffle butter makes me ever so happy! :-)