Eat.Drink.Blog. – Australian Food Blogger’s Conference 2013

What happens when you get 80 food bloggers together in a room?
Answer: they grab their cameras and start taking photos of the nearest food of course!

And that pretty well describes the 4th Eat.Drink.Blog. conference held in Perth on November 9th and 10th, 2013. It was an brilliant conference full of fascinating speakers and panels, delicious food (thanks sponsors!) and really lovely people.

I learned that food bloggers are very interesting and that I don’t ever want to play sushi roulette (think Russian roulette with wasabi). I also learned that we are all passionate about food in many different ways – some like to cook, some like to garden, some even review but all like to eat!

Huge thanks go to the volunteer organisers for their hard work to bring it all together. From the interesting topics through to the pop up dinner at City Farm it was all an experience to be savoured.

I particularly resonated with the session about eating locally and loved, loved, loved my French pastry masterclass with Emmanuel Mollois on Sunday.

The event was so amazing that I’ve run out of superlatives to describe the experience. Here are some photos so you can see for yourself…

Eat.Drink.Blog. 2013

breakfast

group   morning_tea

locavore

pop_up_dinner

escoffier   sunday_choux

 

Posted in Photography | 1 Comment

Roasted spicy broad beans

I have to confess that I’m not a great fan of broad beans. My sister recently reminded me that we used to hide them under the mashed potato so we could throw them away without mum knowing!

So, when my lovely neighbour brought over a large bag of broad beans, I was in two minds. My thrifty, economical side wanted to accept the gift but my inner foodie said “yech!”. Of course I took the broad beans – I had an idea! I’d roast them in spices to create a perfect beer snack.

Spicy roasted broad beans

My husband, who also is not a fan of broad beans is now hooked. These beans are delicious and very morish. I dare you to cook this recipe and stop after just one broad bean!

This recipe is very loose because I want to focus on the technique rather than the ingredients. So, you’ll need:

some broad beans (I had a whole bag full!)
spice mix/your favourite spices
rice flour
oil

The first thing to do is double peel the broad beans. Remove them from the pod first and then peel the inside skin.

Cut them in half while you’re peeling. I ended up with a nice big bowl of broad beans in varying shades of green and cream.

Peeled broad beans

The beans need to be par cooked before roasting. I added them to a microwave dish with about 1cm of water on the bottom, covered them with microwave wrap and cooked them for 4 minutes. It’s not about the time but rather you need to make sure that the beans are tender when you stab them with a fork.

When they are cooked, drain the water and cool the beans. They need to be dry before you can add the spices and roast them.

Preheat your oven to around 180C. You don’t want it too hot or the beans may burn.

Add the broad beans to a bowl with your spices and rice flour mixture. I used a shop bought cajun spice mix and added an equal amount of rice flour, for the crunch factor.

Cooked beans with spicesI sprinkled olive oil into the bowl and mixed the beans thoroughly with the spices and flour. The idea is to coat the beans rather than drowning them in oil!

Coated beansLooking good already!

Spread the beans in a single layer on a tray covered with baking paper.

Broad beans on tray

Cook the beans for around 30 minutes. Half way through, turn them over so they cook evenly.

The beans are done when they darken and go crispy. Yum!

Roasted broad beansThese were quite spicy because I used a fair bit of cajun seasoning. But they were good!!

Here’s a printable recipe for you.

Roasted spicy broad beans
 
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Enjoy these crunchy broad beans with a beer by the pool in summer!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack food
Cuisine: Delicious
Serves: Lots

Ingredients
  • broad beans
  • spice mix/your favourite spices
  • rice flour
  • oil

Instructions
  1. Double peel the broad beans, making sure you remove the inside skin.
  2. Cut each bean in half whilst peeling.
  3. Add the beans to a microwave bowl with a 1 cm water along the bottom.
  4. Cover the dish with microwave film and cook on high until tender, probably 3-4 minutes.
  5. Drain the beans and allow to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. Add the beans to a mixing bowl with the spices and an equal amount of rice flour.
  8. Sprinkle with oil and mix together well.
  9. Spread the broad beans in a single layer on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  10. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, turning half way through, until the beans are crunchy.
  11. Allow to cool and serve with cold beer!

 

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Jam roly poly

If you grew up in the UK like I did, chances are you’ll have heard of jam roly poly. It’s the quintessential English child’s comfort food. It is sweet and carby and works really well served hot with custard.

jam roly poly and custard

I recently reprised this childhood favourite for my son and he has voted it the best dessert ever. Jam roly poly is normally made with suet but I left that out because suet is hard to get here; so I’ve used a basic shortcrust recipe. Apologies in advance to any jam roly poly enthusiasts.

You can use any type of jam in this dessert. We’ve recently tried mulberry jam and strawberry jam and both work well. You can use store bought jam or make your own.

To serve 6 people, you’ll need the following.

2 cups self raising flour
125g cold butter cut into cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
50ml milk
50ml water
1/2 cup jam
milk for painting the dough
sugar for sprinkling

Start by making the dough. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the butter cubes. Make sure the butter is really cold.

Jam roly poly

This is where it gets messy. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. See, breadcrumbs!

jam roly poly

Stir in the sugar.

Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the milk and water and mix together until a dough forms. It doesn’t matter if it looks a little crumbly.

Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

jam roly poly

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Roll out the dough into a rough square shape. You might have to cut off the uneven edges to patch the dough and get a good basic shape.

jam roly poly

Spread the dough thickly with jam, leaving about 2cm on each edge. We used some mulberry jam this time. It was really chunky and a little runny but unbelievably delicious!

jam roly poly

Carefully roll the dough into a log. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit crumbly.

jam roly poly

Pinch the ends together and paint the outside of the dough with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. You can see that my jam oozed out a bit. Looks messy but will still taste amazing!

jam roly poly

Bake for 25-30 mins until the dough is browned then cut into slices and serve warm with custard. Enjoy!

You’ll be surprised at how clean the plate will be scraped!!

jam roly poly

Here’s a printable recipe.

Jam roly poly
 
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A delicious comfort food dessert perfect for a cold winter’s night.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 125g cold butter cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 50ml milk
  • 50ml water
  • ½ cup jam
  • milk for painting the dough
  • sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
  1. To make the dough, sift the flour into a bowl and add the butter cubes.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the milk and water.
  5. Mix together until a dough forms.
  6. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  8. Roll out the dough into a square shape.
  9. Spread the dough with jam, leaving about 2cm on each edge.
  10. Carefully roll the dough into a log.
  11. Pinch the ends together and paint the outside of the dough with milk.
  12. Sprinkle with sugar.
  13. Bake for 25-30 mins until the dough is browned.
  14. Cut into slices and serve warm with custard.

 

Posted in Baking, Dessert, Egg free, Kid friendly, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Easy strawberry jam

Where we live, the strawberries are magnificent at the moment and very, very cheap. So now’s the time to make lots of delicious strawberry jam for the times when they are not so plentiful.  We now have a fridge full of jam and plenty more jars put away for later. It’s luscious, red, sticky and sweet!

strawberry jam

Here’s my favourite strawberry jam recipe. It doesn’t contain pectin so it creates a lovely soft European style jam. If you have different berries, you can substitute those. In fact, I also made a lovely mulberry jam with this recipe.

Before we get started, a couple of points to note. Using 4 cups of sugar will give you a lovely jam but if you prefer your jam a little less sweet, you can easily use just 3 cups of jam. After all your hard work, you’ll end up with about 3 x 300ml jars of jam.

Here’s what you need.

1kg strawberries
4 tablespoons (80ml) lemon juice
3-4 cups white sugar

This jam will easily keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge but if you want to keep if for a year or so, you’ll need to sterilise the jars and follow your usual preserving instructions.

So, this is how you make the jam.

Chop the strawberries into pieces. I like my jam chunky so I cut the strawberries into big pieces if you like yours more refined, cut them finer!

Strawberry jam

Add the strawberries to the saucepan with the other ingredients and mix together. It looks great now, even before it’s cooked.

strawberry jam

Cook the mixture on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Turn the heat up to a boil and then adjust so the mixture is simmering.

strawberry jam - first boil

Cook the jam for about 30 minutes skimming the surface regularly. Some people prefer to skim at the end, so you can do that if you’d rather. Here’s my jam almost finished.

strawberry jam

The jam is ready when a thermometer reaches 100 – 105C or you can see that it has thickened a little. It will thicken more as it cools so make sure it’s still a bit runny when you finish.

Pour the cooked jam into sterilised jars or into a clean bowl. I always set aside a little to eat right now!

strawberry jam

Spread on a slice of crusty bread or croissants and enjoy!

Here’s a recipe to print out.

Easy strawberry jam
 
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A soft style European jam without preservatives or pectin
Author:
Recipe type: Jam
Cuisine: Condiments
Serves: 3 jars

Ingredients
  • 1kg strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons (80ml) lemon juice
  • 3-4 cups white sugar

Instructions
  1. Chop the strawberries into pieces.
  2. Add them to the saucepan with the other ingredients and mix together.
  3. Cook on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Turn up to the boil and then down to a simmer.
  5. Cook for about 30 minutes skimming the surface regularly.
  6. The jam is ready when a thermometer reaches 100 – 105C or the jam has thickened a little. It will thicken more as it cools.
  7. Pour the jam into sterilised jars or into a clean bowl.
  8. Spread on crusty bread or croissants and enjoy!

 

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Lebanese Chicken and Rice

I love the flavours of Lebanese cooking. We recently went to our favourite Lebanese restaurant and had a delicious spicy rice dish with chicken and rice. My little boy loved it so I’ve been on the hunt ever since! I found this recipe for Lebanese Chicken and Rice so decided to modify a bit and make it for my family.

Lebanese chicken and rice

It was a success!

To make this delicious family dish, you’ll need.

500g chicken breast
1 litre chicken stock
40g butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
400g lamb mince
1.5 cups long grain rice
100g pine nuts
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon plus a pinch
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Before you start cooking, soak the rice in a bowl for a couple of hours. Apparently, this makes the grains separate beautifully!

Mix together all of the spices in a bowl. Don’t they look lovely?

Lebanese chicken and rice

Toast the pine nuts in dry frying pan over a medium heat until they are slightly browned and shiny.

Lebanese chicken rice

Place the cinnamon and chicken stock in a medium sized saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil. Add the chicken breasts and turn down the heat to a simmer. Poach them for around 10 minutes. They should be almost cooked and they will cook on in the stock.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken breasts in the poaching liquid for about 10 minutes until cooked through. If you have very thick chicken breasts, you may want to leave them for a bit longer.

Remove the chicken from the liquid and allow it to cool. Keep the stock because you’re going to use it for the rice mixture.

Lebanese chicken and rice

When the chicken is cooled, coarsely shred it with a fork. Set it aside for later. It’s going to be placed cold on top of the rice!

Lebanese chicken and rice

Add the butter to a large saucepan and place it on a medium heat.

When the butter has melted, add the chopped garlic and onion and cook until the onion is transparent, around 5 minutes.

Add the lamb mince to the pan.

Lebanese chicken and rice

Cook through until the mince is browned. This should take about 10 minutes.

Stir in the rice and mixed spices and cook for 2 minutes, making sure the rice is coated with the spices. It will look a little strange at this stage but don’t worry, you’re right on track!

Lebanese chicken and rice

Add salt and pepper to taste and then the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the stock. This should take about 12 minutes.

Lebanese chicken and rice

I think it would be nice to stir through some chopped flat leaf parsley at this stage. Unfortunately for us, a certain 6 year old has an aversion to “green bits” in his food so I left it out this time. Hopefully, I’ll be able to train him sometime soon!

Spoon the rice mixture onto a plate and top with the shredded chicken and pine nuts.

Lebanese chicken and rice

Enjoy!

Here is a recipe for you to print out.

Lebanese Chicken and Rice
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main meal
Cuisine: Lebanese
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 500g chicken breast
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 40g butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 400g lamb mince
  • 1.5 cups long grain rice
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon plus a pinch
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

Instructions
  1. Mix all of the spices together in a bowl.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in dry frying pan until they are slightly browned and shiny.
  3. Place the chicken stock in a medium sized saucepan with a pinch of cinnamon and bring it to the boil.
  4. Add the chicken breasts and poach on a simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken in the poaching liquid for a further 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow it to cool. Keep the stock for the rice mixture.
  7. When the chicken is cooled, coarsely shred it and place it in the fridge.
  8. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat.
  9. Add the butter, chopped garlic and onion and cook until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.
  10. Add the lamb mince and cook until browned, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
  11. Stir in the rice and mixed spices and cook for another 2 minutes, making sure the rice is well coated with the mixture.
  12. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil.
  13. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 12 minutes.
  14. When the rice is cooked, place it on a plate and top with the shredded chicken and pine nuts.

 

 

Posted in Recipes | 3 Comments

Easy fresh lemonade

There are lemons everywhere at the moment – it’s lemon season and they are being given away by the bucketful! We’ve juiced them, frozen ice cubes of juice for later, squeezed the juice on our salads and we’re starting to run out of ideas about what to do with the rest.

Fresh lemonade

In Australia, fresh lemonade isn’t common but I’ve seen it on American web sites. My little boy tasted some when our Italian au pair was living with us and has been pestering me to make it ever since, so we did!

We took:

5 large lemons (310ml of lemon juice or 1.25 Australian cups)
1 cup of water (250ml)
1 cup sugar
1L cold water to top up

We juiced the lemons and set aside the juice.

Lemonade - juice

(It would have been easier if our electric juicer wasn’t packed away!)

Lemonade - juicing

We added 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a saucepan and brought it to the boil to make a simple syrup.

We mixed the syrup, lemon juice and cold water together and put it in the fridge the cool.

My little boy kept popping to the fridge to “test” the lemonade and make sure it was OK. Luckily for us, it was fine!

When the lemonade was cooled, we poured it into glasses. My little man had 2 glasses because it was so delicious!

Lemonade

We’ll be making this on a regular basis during lemon season.

If you like your lemonade a bit less tangy, you might want to reduce the amount of juice. You can also reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup to cut the sweet taste.

Here’s a recipe to print out.

Easy fresh lemonade
 
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Quick and easy to make, this recipe is great for using up your excess lemons.
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 5 large lemons (310ml of lemon juice or 1.25 Australian cups)
  • 1 cup of water (250ml)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1L cold water to top up

Instructions
  1. Juice the lemons and set the juice. You’ll need about 310ml.
  2. Add the sugar and 1 cup of water to a saucepan and bring it to the boil to make simple syrup.
  3. Mix the lemon juice, syrup and cold water (1L) together.
  4. Place in the fridge to cool.

 

Posted in Beverages, Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A foodie’s dilemma!

There’s something a bit different in today’s blog post. No recipes or reviews. Today I’m waxing lyrical about an issue that is perplexing me. I’m conflicted and I’d love your input. Please tell me what you’d do in this situation.

I love food! I love to write about it, cook it, eat it and share it with friends and family. Food is something that nurtures both my body and my soul. I use my cooking to show people how I care – every bite guaranteed to contain that most special of ingredients LURVE. As you may have noticed, I am somewhat preoccupied with food!

But that’s not all. I also love the environment. I want to minimise any negative impacts on it and make sure our planet is left in a good condition for my young son and his (hopefully) eventual offspring. I read a lot about good environmental choices and try to implement them in my family’s daily life.

We try to abide by the sustainable mantra of eating local food that’s available seasonally. We try to live so as to minimise our carbon footprint.We’re still learning what this means for us and our lifestyle, but we’re getting there.

Consequently, we’ve just moved to a large block in a rural area to follow our dream of a better quality of life. We are trying to grow our own fruit and veggies where possible, feed our scraps to our worms and waste as little as we can. We’re about to get some chickens and ducks to recycle even more – we give them scraps; they give us eggs and poo – magical. And we’re toying with some alternative energy sources to feed our appetite for electricity. Our friends think we are modern day hippies!

And here’s the problem. What happens when you want to buy food that isn’t a sustainable choice? The dilemma in question is cherries!

What’s an environmentalist foodie to do when a major supermarket has the most amazing cherries, incredibly cheap, but sourced from overseas? They’re clearly not a sustainable choice – they are out of season and were sent on a plane from America. But the taste is fabulous – firm, sweet, delectably mouthwatering.

We normally have cherries at Christmas time, spending around $25 per kilogram on local cherries as a special treat for the whole family. It’s now August but the American cherries are here and will cost less than half that price. Should I buy them?

My 6 year old son is salivating as he asks me to buy a big bag to take home for him to eat. The mother in me wants to say yes to him. Cherries are a great choice for a snack for my son. I can put a few in his lunchbox each day and be assured that I’ve provided something healthy.

The foodie in me wants to say yes. We can gorge ourselves on cherries; eat them until the juice is staining our fingers and lips; revel in the freshness, the firmness and the delicious flavours. We don’t know when cherries will be this cheap again.

The responsible environmentalist in me says no. Think of the other costs associated with those cherries: the jet fuel and emissions from transporting them half way across the world by plane; the cost to the local producers of the fruit that people aren’t buying from them this week.

We are about to plant cherry trees in our brand new orchard, the environmentalist reminds me. We will be able to eat fresh cherries from our own garden very soon, in season.

The foodie answers that it will be at least 3 years before we can expect our first harvest. These American cherries are in front of me now! What to do?

In the end, I buy the cherries. The foodie mother wins and the failed environmentalist slinks off in disgust. The lure of those cheap cherries is too much for a dedicated foodie to bear. It’s clear I have no willpower and my greed for cherries and desire to please my son wins out over my love of the planet.

Now I have to justify my decision to myself. Cherries contain lots of vitamins and will be a healthy choice for my son. We will have some delicious fresh fruit in the fridge for snacks. It’s a special treat and I don’t buy out of season very often. These cherries are the cheapest I’ve seen them. Blah, blah, blah.

In the end, my justifications are irrelevant. My inner environmentalist is not happy with the choice and I suffer minor imported cherry guilt as I chomp my way through their delectable deliciousness. It’s not enough to spoil the flavour and predictably we are in cherry heaven as we make our way through a big bag and banish the environmentalist from the room.

Nevertheless, it’s a dilemma. I will probably do the same thing again when imported cherries are cheap in the local supermarket. But I will also remain a conflicted environmentalist foodie (albeit one full of delicious cherries).

So tell me, what would you have done in this situation?

Posted in Recipes | 8 Comments

Food styling workshop with Billy Law

For me, photographing food isn’t as much about the photos as it is about demonstrating an aspect of the cooking I’m blogging about. Mostly, my photos are taken on the fly while I’m in the middle of cooking something so I don’t have the luxury of posing the shot and adding props. It’s more a question of clicking the shutter at exactly the right moment and using a camera that won’t be damaged if I drop it in my soup!

But I would like the opportunity to combine my love of photography more with my love of food. While I can take a half way decent shot, I knew NOTHING about styling food. So, when I got the chance to do this food styling workshop with Billy Law, I jumped at it! See, that’s me jumping at it with the other participants.

Food styling workshop

PS. If you were one of the participants, I lost the sheet with your email addresses on it (doh!) so that’s why I didn’t email you!

We got to try out composing and taking shots as well as discussing aspects of food photography from a theoretical basis. We saw plenty of examples of what to do and what not to do. It was a great opportunity to meet other foodies who love to take photos.

Here are a couple of the photos I took to practice my food styling + photography.

Food styling workshop

plates_cutlery

Overall, the workshop was great. As well as learning some of the theory , Billy showed us his process for setting up a photo and gave us some invaluable tips. Can’t tell you all of them (go along to one of Billy’s workshops to find out for yourself), but here are some of the main things that I learned.

  1. Lightroom rocks – use it for all of your photo editing
  2. Get a tripod with a swivel head so you can shoot straight down onto the food and avoid a parallax problem
  3. Shoot in natural light by a window
  4. Collect props for your photos – lots of material of different types is probably good
  5. Shoot in portrait mode if you’re going to be creating print shots

All of this with a delicious 3 course meal and plenty of wine (and more practice at taking photos)!

Food styling workshop

dessert

If you’re interested in improving your food photography and having a fun day out, I can highly recommend that you attend one of Billy’s workshops!

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Baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce

Coconut milk is such a versatile ingredient and when mixed with chicken, creates the perfect Asian-inspired meal! This baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce comes from Sea Salt with Food, is simple to make, very tasty and gluten free to boot. It’s perfect served on a bed of fried rice. Doesn’t it look delicious?

Chicken in coconut milk

I’ve tweaked the coconut milk sauce to suit my family’s tastes. Feel free to reduce the amount of chillis if your family prefers milder food.

For a family of 4, you’ll need the following ingredients.

1 brown onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground star anise
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 dried birdseye chillis, chopped
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
8 chicken pieces
400ml coconut milk (not coconut cream)
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

This is what you’ll do.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Chop the white part of the lemongrass finely and add it to a bowl with the coriander, cumin, star anise, turmeric and chopped chillis.

Baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce - spices

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and fry until the onion is golden brown.

coconut chicken - frying onions

Add the spice mix and cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant.

Coconut chicken - frying spices

Add the coconut milk, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.

Simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken the sauce and blend the flavours together. The flavours in the kitchen should be driving you wild about now!

Make sure you taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.

Baked chicken in coconut milk - sauce

Lay out the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish and coat with the sauce.

Baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce

It doesn’t matter is not all of the chicken is covered – you’ll be able to eat crunchy chicken skin as well!

Cook the chicken for 35-40 minutes in the oven. It should be golden brown and cooked through when you remove it from the oven.

Baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce

Remove and serve with fried rice or a crunchy salad. Delicious!!

Baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce

Here is a printable recipe for you.

Baked chicken with a coconut milk sauce
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

A version of a delicious spicy chicken meal from Sea Salt with Food.
Author:
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground star anise
  • 2 dried birdseye chillis, chopped
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 400ml coconut milk (not coconut cream)
  • 8 chicken pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

Instructions
  1. Chop the white part of the lemongrass finely and add it to a bowl with the coriander, cumin, star anise, turmeric and chopped chillis.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onions and garlic and fry until the onion is golden brown.
  4. Add the spice mix and cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Add the coconut milk, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.
  6. Simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken the sauce and blend the flavours together.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Lay out the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish and coat with the sauce.
  9. Cook the chicken for 35-40 minutes in the oven. It should be golden brown and cooked through when you remove it from the oven.

 

Posted in Asian food, Gluten free, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easy cherry and pistachio nougat

Nougat is great – chewy (or crunchy depending on your preference), sweet, stuffed full of nuts and dried fruit – all with that great taste of rose water. My husband loves it and has been know to devour large amounts in one sitting (what’s new with that?) I think it goes back to his love of pistachios!

pistachio and cherry nougat

So this is my go-to recipe for nougat, and it’s quite time consuming, messy but relatively easy. I’m not sure exactly where this one came from, so if you know, or it’s yours, I’d be happy to add your name. Disclaimer here: if you’re not used to working with hot sugar, you may find the recipe relatively hard!
For a 15cm x 15cm baking tin of nougat, you’ll need the following ingredients.

Rice paper – 6-8 sheets depending on the size
570g caster sugar
120ml honey
120ml glucose syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 egg whites
30ml rosewater
200g glace cherries
200g pistachios

And this is what you do.

Line the baking tin with rice paper.

Add the sugar, honey and glucose to a saucepan and cook over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. It’s a good idea to have a glass of water and a pastry brush handy to remove any sugar crystals from the side during cooking.

Nougat - stirring mixture

Once dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 150C. I have this great sugar thermometer that I leave in the saucepan.

Nougat - checking temperature

If you like your nougat crunchy, you can take the sugar mixture to a temperature of 160C instead.

While the mixture is boiling, add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer beat until firm peaks form. Add the rosewater to the egg whites and mix through.

While you’re waiting, chop the cherries and pistachio nuts coarsely. At this point, I usually have trouble keeping my husband away from the glace cherries!

Nougat - glace cherries

One the syrup reaches the correct temperature, remove it from the heat.

With the mixer’s motor running, pour the syrup into the bowl in a thin stream.

Nougat - adding syrup

Don’t worry if the mixture isn’t white – it will lighten up as you whip it more.

Mix until the contents are fully combined and the colour has lightened.

Add the pistachio nuts and glace cherries and combine with a metal spoon. The mixture will probably be quite stiff so you’ll need to be strong at this point!

Nougat - adding cherries and nuts

Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and press down firmly. This is quite tricky as the mixture is very stiff and sticky. One option is to oil your hands and use them to spread out the mixture.

nougat - without paper on top

Top the mixture with rice paper and set aside to cool. It doesn’t matter if the rice paper overlaps a little – it will be stuck together by the end of the process!

Nougat - covered with rice paper

Leave the nougat the fridge overnight and then cut into slices. Sorry, I don’t have a photo of this step as my husband raided the fridge and took the nougat to work! I guess it must taste pretty good.

The nougat will keep in the fridge for about a month – if it lasts that long!

Here’s a printable recipe for you.

Easy cherry and pistachio nougat
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

A tasty, traditional style nougat full of cherries and pistachios
Author:
Cuisine: Confectionary
Serves: Lots

Ingredients
  • Rice paper – 6-8 sheets depending on the size
  • 570g caster sugar
  • 120ml honey
  • 120ml glucose syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 30ml rosewater
  • 200g glace cherries
  • 200g pistachios

Instructions
  1. Line the baking tin with rice paper.
  2. Add the sugar, honey and glucose to a saucepan and cook over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Once dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 150C.
  4. While the mixture is boiling, beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
  5. Add the rosewater to the egg whites and mix through.
  6. Chop the cherries and pistachio nuts coarsely.
  7. One the syrup reaches the correct temperature, remove it from the heat.
  8. With the mixer’s motor running, pour the syrup into the bowl in a thin stream.
  9. Mix until the contents are fully combined.
  10. Add the pistachio nuts and glace cherries and combine with a metal spoon.
  11. Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and press down firmly.
  12. Top with rice paper and set aside to cool.
  13. Leave in the fridge overnight and then cut into slices.

 

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