Monday, August 22, 2011

Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long: Edition 2

Last week's Cook-A-Long was healthy and nutritious.  This week's is not.  Really not.  It is however incredibly delicious and crazily quick and simple.  I apologise to those who are nut/dairy free or vegan - this is not the week for you....

Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce

(adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe)


*  175g pure cream
*  100g dark cooking chocolate
*  100g peanut butter (home made in your TMX, of course!)
*  75g golden syrup


1.  Put chocolate in TMX bowl and grate for 10-15 seconds on speed 8.

2.  Add everything else in to TMX bowl.  Cook for 3 minutes at 90º on speed 3.

3.  Let the sauce sit for a couple of minutes to thicken up and then serve it over ice cream (we had the vanilla ice cream from the Everyday Cookbook) and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.


What's Cooking This Week

As usual this week's calendar is full to the brim with things to do and not enough time to get them all done!  Dinner time is often the only time we all have together as a family during the day, so it's important to me that I have a clear idea of what I'm cooking each night so I don't waste that precious time.

This week we're having Salmon with Salmon mousse stuffing (from the Full Steam Ahead Varoma cookbook) and Mango rice.  This usually results in some leftover salmon mousse which I roll up like sausages in cling wrap and steam in the varoma resulting in a sort of salmon mousse sausage (think boudin blanc but with salmon).  It's not the most visually appealing result, but the boys love them!

A couple of friends have been raving about the Beef Rendang from the Everyday Cookbook, so we're giving that a go this week too, along with some perennial favourites - Minestrone and the Tomato & Lentil Dahl.

I'm also doing some veggie spirals and cheesecakes for a party we're going to this weekend, plus the usual assortment of bread, salads and lunchbox fillers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken & Radish with Rice

This has been our first successful season of vegetable growing.  I've taken such enormous pleasure in watching the vegie garden grow and seeing how excited my boys have been at growing their own produce. 

They aren't huge salad eaters (though my youngest will at least now have lettuce on his sandwiches, as long as it's "our" lettuce) so I needed to come up with a non-salad dish that used some of the gorgeous radishes we harvested yesterday.  This dinner was what I came up with, after reading a couple of korean style recipes.  The radish really takes on the flavours of the sauce and is quite delicious!

Chicken & Radish with Rice


*  1 medium daikon radish - peeled and chopped into 1.5cm wide half moons
*  500g chicken thighs - diced into 2cm cubes
*  1/4 tsp dried chilli
*  1 tbs peanut oil
*  2 garlic cloves
*  400g basmati rice
*  Broccoli & Zucchini - chopped into smallish pieces
*  1 tsp sesame oil
*  2 tsp fried shallotts


*  900g water
*  2 tbs vegetable stock concentrate
*  100g soy sauce
*  60g sake
*  2 tbs rapadura sugar
*  2 tbs honey


*  Place garlic in TMX bowl and chop for 2-3 seconds on speed 5.

*  Add chopped radish, chilli and peanut oil.  Saute for 3 minutes at 100º on speed 1.

*  Add all the sauce ingredients.

*  Add rice to TMX basket and insert into bowl.  Lock lid onto bowl.

*  Add chicken to both layers of Varoma, ensuring plenty of holes are exposed to allow steam to flow through.  Place on top of the TMX bowl.  Cook for 20 minutes at Varoma temp on reverse & speed 4.

*  Remove rice.  Transfer the chicken from the top tray of the Varoma into the bottom tray and give that chicken a good stir to move all the pieces around and ensure that steam can still flow through.  Wipe the top tray down with a paper towel and then add greens to it. 

*  Check the liquid in the bowl - the daikon should still just be covered.  Cook for a further 5-10 minutes at Varoma temp on reverse & speed 4.

Serve chicken with rice and greens on the side.  Drizzle chicken with sesame oil, a little more honey and scatter with shallots.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long : Edition 1

Welcome everyone to the first week of Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long.  My aim with this idea is simply to encourage everyone to try a new recipe in the Thermomix, so that new owners can increase their repertoire of simple, hearty meals.

This first recipe is one of my favourite soups.  It looks like soup weather might fast be coming to a close here in Brisbane, so I'm making the most of it while it lasts.  It's such a simple, quick and yummy way of getting heaps of vegetables into the day and takes my youngest son far less time to eat than a normal dinner does!

Sweet Potato & Spinach Soup

(converted from the 123 Cooking Light Recipe Collection)


*  1 onion - peeled and halved
*  1 tbs olive oil
*  650-800g sweet potato - peeled and chopped into chunks
*  1 tbs vegetable stock concentrate
*  500g water
*  75g spinach leaves
*  1/2 cup cream or coconut cream


1.  Chop the onion on speed 7 for 3 seconds.

2.  Add the oil and saute for 2 minutes at 100º on speed 1.

3.  Add the sweet potato and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7.

4.  Add the vegetable stock concentrate and water.  Cook for 15 minutes at 100º on speed 1.  Walk away and enjoy a glass of wine, play with the kids, read the paper, etc. etc. etc.

5.  Add spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes at 100º on speed 1.

6.  Blend the soup by slowly turning the speed from position 1 to 9. Take about 30 seconds to do this and then spend a further 15 seconds on speed 9 once you get there.

7.  Add cream (or coconut cream) and blend for 5 seconds on speed 3.


*  This is quite a thin soup.  If you like your soup a bit thicker then, before starting the soup, mill about 70g of brown rice on Speed 9 for 1 minute.  Remove the rice flour and set it aside until step 3.  Add it in with the rest of the ingredients and you'll get a thicker result.

Pour into bowls and serve with bread of your choice.  The Tang Zhong bread is fabulous with it because it's so sweet and fluffy, so go ahead and try that one too!

I'd love to hear your feedback - either leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook and let me know how you go.  Next week will be something sweet and luscious I promise, I just thought it prudent to at least start with something healthy! 


August Newsletter

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Salted Caramel Meringue Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Maple Ice Cream

I've been tweaking the salted caramel meringue cheesecake and the recipe isn't quite ready, but I feel the need to share this ice cream recipe straight away so that everyone can make it as soon as they possibly can!  This is perhaps the smoothest, most delicious and ice cream I've ever come across.  It comes to us from the ever trusty Thermomix Forum and I promise that you'll be very happy to have made it.

Salted Caramel Maple Ice Cream


300g raw sugar
50g 100% maple syrup
50g unsalted butter
2 generous tsp natural vanilla extract
2 tsp sea salt
100g full cream milk
500g cream
4 eggs
150g dark chocolate chopped (optional - I didn't use it because I wanted a smooth finish)

1.  Place sugar into TM bowl and pulverise for 15 seconds on speed 9.
2.  Add maple syrup, butter and vanilla and cook for 15 minutes at Varoma temp on speed 1.
3.  Add salt, cream, milk and whisk together for 30 seconds on speed 5.
4.  Reduce to speed 4 and add eggs one at a time.
5.  Cook a further 5 minutes on 100 degrees at speed 4.

Pour into cold metal tin (or plastic) and freeze.

After 3-4 hours when partially frozen, remix for 1 minute on speed 5 to give a creamier consistency.

Fold through chocolate chunks (if using) after remixing on Reverse + speed 1 for a few seconds.

Pour into cold tin and freeze for up to 12 hours.

Enjoy this one and stay tuned for the cheesecake recipe when it's finished...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Strawberry Season

The strawberries at the market yesterday looked absolutely gorgeous and I needed something super quick to make for dessert, so this strawberry tart fit the bill.  It took no time at all to put together and was completely delicious.  It's hardly a technical affair, but sometimes that's okay!

Super Quick Strawberry Tart



*  250g sweet biscuits (I used digestives, but Butternut Snaps would be fabulous)
*  125g melted butter


*  1/2 vanilla pod
*  100g sugar
*  30g cornflour
*  3 eggs
*  500g full cream milk

Strawberry Topping

*  Strawberries
*  Strawberry jam
*  1 tbs cointreau



*  Put biscuits into TMX, crush on Speed 9 for 20 seconds until fine.
*  Add melted butter, mix on Speed 5 for 10 seconds.
*  Press into a greased bottomless tart pan (mine was 24cm) and refrigerate.


*  Put vanilla pod, sugar & cornflour into TMX, grind on Speed 10 for 20 seconds.
*  Add eggs and milk, cook for 7 minutes on 90º on Speed 4.
*  Pour custard over tart base and refrigerate for an hour (or more).


*  Slice strawberries and arrange over the top of the custard.
*  Heat jam & cointreau and brush over the strawberries.
*  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Slice, serve and enjoy!