Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Moroccan Lamb Tagine
Lamb is one of Mr MLT's favourite dishes.  It doesn't really matter what form it comes in, as long as it's lamb.  It took me a couple of times to get the balance right before I was happy to post this recipe, so at one point he had lamb for lunch and dinner 5 times during a 3 day period.  I think even he would like a break from it now!

I played around with a couple of different cuts of meat - lamb shanks, lamb neck and then lamb shoulder chops.  Both the shanks and the neck were just too fatty for my liking - the end result was far too oily.  The shoulder chops are a good in between option.

This does make a lot, so it's a great meal if you're feeding a couple of extra mouths.  I find it really handy to have during the week - I can make it in the morning and put it into the fridge.  Then I just pop it into the oven 2 hours before we're ready for dinner.  There's generally enough for leftovers for all of us the next night and the flavours are even better the day after (just ask Paul!).

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

(Adapted from a Bill Granger recipe)


*  800g-1kg lamb shoulder chops
*  1 spanish onion - peeled and halved
*  2 cloves garlic
*  15g peeled ginger
*  2 long red chillies - deseeded and chopped in halves
*  20g olive oil
*  1 tsp tumeric
*  1 tsp ground cumin
*  1 tsp cardamom pods
*  1 cinnamon stick
*  60g palm sugar
*  30g fish sauce
*  4 large ripe tomatoes - roughly chopped
*  4 kaffir lime leaves (or 2 bay leaves and a dash of lime juice)
*  400g water
*  4 tsp vegetable stock concentrate
*  85g prunes
*  30g cranberries
*  400g chick peas - drained (or 1 cup dried chick peas soaked overnight and rinsed)
*  1 large potato - washed, (unpeeled) and roughly chopped into cubes
*  1 sweet potato - washed, (unpeeled) and roughly chopped into cubes
*  130g cous cous


1.  Brown lamb in a large saute pan for 2 minutes either side.  (Do this in at least 2 batches - if you crowd your pan the meat will stew, rather than brown.)

Whislt the lamb is browning, start the sauce in your Thermomix. 

2.  Add onion, garlic, ginger & chilli to TM bowl.  Chop for 3 seconds on speed 5.

4.  Add olive oil and saute for 3 minutes at 100° on speed 1.

5.  Add cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and tumeric.  Saute on reverse for a further 3 minutes at 100° on speed 1.

6.  Add palm sugar, fish sauce, tomatoes, lime leaves, water, stock, prunes and cranberries.  Cook on reverse for 6 minutes at 100° on speed 1.

7.  Once the meat is finished browning, wipe away any excess fat from the saute pan.  Return the meat to the pan and add in chick peas, potato and sweet potato.  Pour the sauce over the top and cover.  (It's best to use a pan which has an accompanying lid, but if you don't have one just tightly cover with alfoil.)

Ready for the oven
8.  Place into a preheated 160° oven and bake for 2 hours.

9.  About 15 minutes before serving, boil some water and pour over the cous cous.  Soak for about 5 minutes.  Spray a piece of baking paper with water and lay it over the Varoma tray.  Spread the cous cous out over the baking paper, sit the tray on top of Varoma receptacle and cover with the lid. 

10.  Cook the cous cous for 10 minutes at Varoma Temp on speed 1.  When finished, lightly fluff the cous cous with a fork and a touch of butter.

Serve cous cous with tagine and prepare yourself to be adored by any lamb-loving male in the vicinity.


Monday, February 27, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

Garlic & Prawn Risotto (and chicken stock paste)
It's been a really busy couple of weeks in our house, so the blog hasn't had a lot of love!  I have been busy tweaking a couple of recipes getting them ready to go, so hopefully they'll make an appearance this week.

At least one recipe will not make it onto the blog though.  Last night I made a grain-free, sugar-free upside down pineapple cake.  The chickens are enjoying it immensely, which is probably a good indication of the fact that no one at the dinner table did.  You win some, you lose some!

So, here's what's on our menu this week:-

Monday:  Today would usually be "bake up a storm day" but I've got a huge amount of paperwork to do for Thermomix and school, so baking is being postponed until later in the week.  I am however making the Spelt & Chicken Salad from Full Steam Ahead to take to tonight's team meeting.  We're having pork cutlets with stuffed apples and cider sauce for dinner, with Thermomix potatoes on the side.

Tuesday:  I'm going to do the 3rd and final run of the Lamb Tagine I've been playing around with, before I blog the recipe.  The flavours are bang on and it's really delicious, perfect comfort food with all the rainy weather we've been having in Brisbane.

Apricot & Oatmeal Cookies
Wednesday:  Baking Day!  Bread, Apricot & Oatmeal cookies, bliss balls and a final run on the coconut bars I've been converting.  For dinner we'll be having leftover tagine.

Thursday:  Thursday is Jack's swimming carnival day.  Co-ordination is not gorgeous Jackie's strong point, but what he lacks in skill though he makes up for tenfold in enthusiasm.  He's swimming in 3 races and, after sitting outside all day and cheering on his friends, I suspect he will be shattered on Thursday night.  So, we're going very quick and simple for dinner, with something that he's guaranteed to just inhale.  Our favourite risotto is from Full Little Tummie's - Garlic & Prawn Risotto and will fit the bill perfectly!

Friday:  We're having a chicken meatball soup which I saw and wanted to try instantly.  I love when you look at a recipe and your mouth waters just reading the ingredients and imagining how it will all taste when it's together.

Saturday:  I've got an afternoon Varoma demo on Saturday which means Paul will be in charge of dinner.   He would usually go for omlettes (he makes a very good omlette and the boys love them!) but given I used 18 eggs last night in the failed pineapple cake, the chickens may not have replenished the basket quite enough by then (we go through a lot of eggs on a daily basis - two every morning in smoothies, plus baking during the week etc.).  His stand-by quick Thermomix meal is actually the Ragu from the Everyday Cookbook, so I suspect that will be what we end up having.

Now, off to tackle some of the paperwork!  Enjoy your week and whatever it is on your menus!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February News!

The My Little Thermomix February Newsletter is out, with details of the February Thermomix offer and cooking classes.


Turkish Delight & White Chocolate Panna Cotta

Turkish Delight & White Chocolate Panna Cotta

This recipe is the blending of Nico Moretti's recipe for White Chocolate Panna Cotta and the memory of a dessert I had at Azafran last year, which has been on my "try to recreate this" list for awhile and Valentines' Day seemed like the perfect opportunity.

The version I tried was slightly too heavy on the rose for my liking.  It started spectacularly, but by the end was pretty sweet.  So, I thought I'd go gently with the rosewater and the turkish delight.  I was pretty happy with the result but if you wanted a stronger rose flavour, just up the quantities a little.

This is a great dessert to make because it can all be done (and, in fact, should be done!) the day before.  A couple of minutes prep before serving and voila! instant after-dinner deliciousness!

Turkish Delight & White Chocolate Panna Cotta

(adapted from Nico Moretti's White Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe)


Panna Cotta:

*  100g full cream milk
*  1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
*  2 tsp rosewater
*  60g rose turkish delight, chopped
*  300g whipping cream
*  150g white chocolate, chopped
*  2 gelatine leaves (gold strength)
*  30g raw sugar

Raspberry & Rose Coulis:

200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
*  100g sugar
*  1 tsp rosewater

To Serve:
*  Persian Fairy Floss & dried rose petals


Panna Cotta:

1.  Place milk, vanilla bean paste, rosewater, turkish delight and 150ml of cream into TM bowl.  Cook for 8 minutes at 80° on speed 3.

2.  Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 3 minutes.  While soaking, add white chocolate to TM bowl and cook for 2 minutes at 80° on speed 3.

3.  Drain the gelatine leaves and add to TM bowl.  Mix for 20 seconds on speed 5.

Remove and set aside into a stainless steel bowl.  Place in the fridge and cool for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  The mixture is ready when it coats the back of your spoon.

4.  Once your chocolate mixture is cool, place raw sugar into TM bowl and mill for 20 seconds on speed 8.   

5.  Insert butterfly and add remaining 150ml cream into TM bowl.  Mix for 20 seconds on speed 4 (do not overwhip - you want it to just hold stiff peaks).

6.  Pour cooled mixture into the whipped cream.  Mix for 20 seconds on speed 3, scraping down sides if necessary.

 7.  Pour the mixture into 4 lightly greased dariole moulds (I brushed mine with a little coconut oil).  In case you don't know what a dariole mould looks like, this is one here.)

8.  Place in an air tight container in the fridge and chill for 24 hours.  (This was the last line of the recipe and I didn't read it until about 2pm in the afternoon that I was serving the panna cotta.  Mine turned out fine, but were better the next night, so if you can chill them for the longer time, do so.)


1.  Add all ingredients to the TM bowl and cook for 4 minutes at 90° on speed 4.

2.  Strain (if you are concerned about the seeds) and store in fridge.

To Serve:

1.  Get your plate ready before you un-mould your panna cotta, dribble your coulis & scatter your rose petals.  Have the fairy floss on hand, ready for action.

2.  Dip each dariole mould into boiling hot water for 1-2 seconds (be careful not to get any water inside the mould).  Turn upside down and panna cotta should slide out onto the plate (it may take a few seconds - avoid re-dipping in hot water, or your panna cotta will start to melt). 

3.  Top with persian fairy floss and a few more rose petals.


Banana Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Banana & Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
These pancakes are my boys' breakfast of choice for special occassions.  They are incredibly light and fluffy and, quite frankly, they're just really delicious!

This was the first time I've made them with kefir, rather than buttermilk.  I think, not coincidentally, they were also the best batch I've ever made.  I will sometimes use organic unbleached bakers flour and other times use spelt flour (depending on what's closest, usually).  The bakers flour gives a lighter result, but even with spelt flour they're still nice and fluffy, due to the buttermilk.

The recipe yields about 10 fairly big (15cm wide) pancakes and they're quite filling, so make sure you have plenty of hungry tummies to fill!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Palm Sugar Butter

(adapted from an old delicious magazine recipe)


*  35g palm sugar
*  100g butter, softened
*  1 egg
*  600g buttermilk (or kefir)
*  1 tbs coconut oil
*  200g sliced banana/blueberries
*  450g bakers flour/spelt flour
*  1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
*  1 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda


1.  Place palm sugar in the TM bowl and grate on speed 8 for 5 seconds.

2.  Add butter and mix on speed 6 for 4 seconds.

Set aside.

3.  Add flour, bi-carb and sugar to bowl.  Mix on speed 5 for 3 seconds.

4.  Add egg, buttermilk and coconut oil.  Mix on speed 5 for 5 seconds.  Scrape the sides down and repeat.

5.  Add banana and blueberries.  Mix on reverse on speed 3 for 10 seconds.

Lightly fry 1/3rd - 1/2 cup of batter in a non-stick pan (or slightly coat pan with coconut oil) and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Serve with extra fruit, palm sugar butter and maple syrup.


If you want your banana pieces to stay completely intact, rather than mix them through in Step 5, just add them to the bowl and mix through by hand using the spatula.

If you happen to have any raspberry coulis on hand, it's also super delicious served with the pancakes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

Chicken & Vegetable Pie
I'm a pretty lucky Mum - both of my kids are good eaters and are generally not particularly fussy.  Sam is however quite adamant about 3 things he won't eat: tomatoes, mushrooms and "leaves".  His objection to leaves (spinach, kale, lettuce, pretty much anything that is green and leafy) is made on the basis that "koalas eat leaves and we are not koalas". 

I very much believe that his issue with all 3 foods is purely textural, rather than a taste objection.  So, when I have a recipe that I know I can hide them in, I throw them in there and he is none the wiser.  Tonight's dinner, Lentil Bolognaise, was such a dish - I added mushrooms, spinach and capsicum (which sometimes makes an appearance on his hit list, depending on his mood).   I hadn't made it before but a friend raved about it last week so I thought we'd give it a go.  Delicious!

It comes from fabulous Jo Whitton's Quirky Cooking blog, which houses a vast array of delicious recipes and is also the place to find lots of menu planning posts each week.  Be sure to check out this week's contributions and let Jo know what you're cooking on Valentines' Day, to go into the draw to win what is possibly THE cutest knife ever!!!

Here's what we're chowing down on this week:-

Cheese Puffs
Monday:  Baking:  bread, cheese puffs, lemon poppyseed biscuits and Spicy Spelt Buns (from Alyce Alexandra's book, Quick Fix In The Thermomix).  Dinner:  Jo's lentil bolognaise, which was absolutely delicious!

Tuesday:  I love Valentines' Day.  I know it's crazily commercial, but I'm such a sop I love it anyway.  Tuesday is our craziest day of the week though and we don't get home until late, so it will be leftover lentil bolognaise for the boys.  Mr MLT & I are going to sit down after they're in bed for le dîner pour deux - Roast Lamb with Gusto Pesto (from Tenina's new book, For Food's Sake), creamy mashed potatoes and greens, followed by Turkish Delight Panacotta with raspberry rose coulis.

Wednesday:  Chicken & Vegetable pie (It was cold and rainy when I menu planned for this week, let's hope it stays that way or there might be some menu changes!)

Thursday:  Navy Bean, Potato & Ham soup.  This is a new recipe which I'm converting and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  We're mopping it up with mini French Baguettes which will be my first attempt at steaming bread in the Varoma before baking it.

Friday:  Leftovers.  There's always a couple of slices left of the pie and I'm assuming there'll be ample soup, so tonight will be the "clean out the fridge" night.

Saturday:  Chermoula salmon & cous cous.

SundaySilverbeet and Feta pie (I love using the silverbeet the same day that I get it from the market - it always looks so fresh & delicious).

So, that's what on the menu here this week.  Hope you have a great week!

Happy Mixing!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Silverbeet and Feta Pie

Silverbeet & Feta Pie
This is an old recipe that I've been using for years - it's tried and true and I love it. 

 I don't always make one big pie, often I'll do smallers ones (particularly if I want to use the pies for lunchboxes) but they are a bit fiddly because you need to cut the filo squares down to size before starting. 

You don't need to use silverbeet.  I've swapped it many times for spinach or chard and it works just as well.

The pie itself though is super quick and easy and a great one to make ahead because it's just as tasty cold as it is warm.

Silverbeet and Feta Pie

(from Cook Some More by Tupperware)


*  1 bunch silverbeet, roughly chopped
*  1 red onion
*  2 cloves garlic
*  30g butter
*  200g feta
*  100g cheddar, cubed
*  5 eggs
*  1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
*  2 tsp vege stock concentrate
*  8 sheets filo pastry
*  3 tbs coconut oil
*  2 slices bread
*  1/2 red capsicum, finely sliced


1.  Wash silverbeet/spinach/chard thoroughly.  Remove the white stalks and chop the remainder, roughly. 

2.  Make breadcrumbs from your bread by grating on Speed 6 for 3-4 seconds.

3.  Grate cheddar cheese on Speed 8 for 5-6 seconds.

4.  Lightly grease a large flan tin or form (mine is 27cm).

5.  Preheat oven to 190°C.


1.  Place onion and garlic into TMX bowl.  Chop on Speed 5 for 2-3 seconds.

2.  Add butter and saute on 100° for 2 minutes on speed 1.

3.  Add silverbeet and saute on reverse, 100° for 3 minutes on speed 1.

4.  Add cheeses, eggs, nutmeg and stock.  Mix on reverse for 10 seconds on speed 4.

5.  Lay 2 sheets of filo onto your flan tin, allowing the sides to overhang.  Lightly brush with coconut oil and scatter with some of the breadcrumbs.  Repeat with the remaining sheets of pastry, oil and breadcrumbs.  (I slightly change the position of each layer, so that in the end the overhanging filo completely makes a circle around the flan.)

6.  Pour the filling onto the filo.  Fold the filo pastry edges back over the filling.

7.  Garnish with capsicum strips and place into oven.  Cook for approximately 40 minutes, or until firm in the centre.  Stand for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate.


Soutzoukakia with Rice

Soutzoukakia with Rice

Sometimes a recipe doesn't suit your tastebuds or just doesn't quite work.  When that happens, it's hard to know whether to bother with it again or not.  A friend of mine tried this recipe and it didn't work for her, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Indeed, the recipe as printed in Meat on the Menu doesn't seem quite right, as per the comments on the Forum.  I personally also found the meatballs a little bland, but the sauce was a winner.  There was also far too much rice for 4 people, so I've reduced the quanitity.  The boys ate their dinner like there was no tomorrow and really loved it, so I imagine we'll be having it again when the weather's a little cooler.

The disclaimer I need to add at this point though is that I am not Greek.  (Although, a few years ago though we went to our friend's daughter's Greek Orthodox baptism and, after the amazing lunch that followed, I came home wishing I was!)  I have no idea if this recipe actually still resembles soutzoukakia or if it's now just tasty meatballs.  So, with due respect to the original recipe, here's my version. 

Soutzoukakia with Rice

(adapted from Meat on the Menu)


*  2 slices bread
*  3 cloves garlic
*  Handful parsley
*  1 tsp ground cumin
*  1/2 onion
*  1 tbs vege stock
*  40g white wine
*  50g olive oil
*  500g beef or lamb, cubed
*  200g medium grain rice


50g olive oil
*  2 cloves garlic
*  1/2 onion
*  400g fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
*  40g white wine
*  2 tbs vege stock
*  300g passata
*  1 tbs plain flour
*  Water to top up


1.  Soak the rice for 4-6 hours.  Rinse and drain.

2.  If your meat is frozen, allow it 5-10 minutes to defrost.  If your meat is fresh, pop it into the freezer for about 20 minutes.

3.  You can make the meatballs in advance.  I did them first thing in the morning and sat the Varoma in the fridge, ready to pop on when we got home and I started the sauce.



1.  Place meat into TMX and mince by pressing Turbo button for 1 second.  Repeat 3-4 times until the meat resembles the texture you like.  (The general tip is that if the machine stops shuddering when you press turbo, it's done.)  Set the mince aside.

2.  Place bread, parsley, garlic, cumin & onion into TMX bowl.  Chop for 6 seconds on Speed 6.

3.  Add vege stock, wine, oil and mince.  Combine, on reverse, for 10 seconds on speed 7.

4.  Shape beef into patties in a small sausage shape and place into Varoma dish & tray.


1.  Place onion and garlic into TMX bowl and chop for 2-3 seconds on speed 5.

2.  Add olive oil and saute on 100° for 2 minutes on speed 1 with MC removed.

3.  Add wine, tomatoes, passata and stock.  Add enough water to ensure sauce ingredients reach just above the 1L mark in the bowl.

4.  Place soaked, rinsed and drained rice into the basket.  Place basked into the TMX bowl and set the Varoma into position.  Cook on Varoma temp for 30 minutes on speed 4.

5.  Remove meat from Varoma dish and place into Thermoserver to keep warm.  Remove basket, give rice and stir and test how well it is cooked (this will vary, depending on the type of rice you've used).  If necessary, add about another 150g of water to the sauce, to allow for further cooking of the rice.

6.  Replace rice basket back into TMX bowl and continue to cook on Varoma temp for 6-10 minutes on speed 4.  (At this stage, if you have greens you wish to serve with your dish, you can pop them in the Varoma and steam them while the rice is finishing off.)

7.  Remove rice.  Add flour to sauce and blend for 20 seconds on speed 6.  Cook, with the MC removed, on 100° for 2 minutes on speed 1.

To serve:-

Serve rice with patties and extra sauce spooned over the top.


*  The sauce does stain the rice red.  It isn't the prettiest dish you'll ever make, but it is tasty.

*  The cooking time of the rice will vary depending on the type and quality of your rice.  I use organic basmati (it's the only white rice I keep in the house other than aborio and I couldn't be bothered buying rice in specially - it may not "go", but it tasted fine.). 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

Barley & Roast Pumpkin Risotto
Funny how all of a sudden it's the beginning of the week again!  We had a fabulously lazy weekend and are all feeling very chilled and relaxed at the moment. 

On Saturday night some friends came over for dinner and I did a slow cooked Five Spice Pork Belly for the first time.  It was pretty sensational, if I do say so myself.  It was also one of the first things I've made in ages without using the Thermomix, though we did serve it with Thermie mash, of course.

For dessert we had an almond & lime cake which was filled with chocolate, fig & ricotta.  It was a recipe that I printed off sometime from somewhere and have stored in my "to do" pile.  In the end, it didn't work out so well - it wasn't awful, but it wasn't sensational.  I was glad to have tried it though - the pastry was a good flavour combination which I'll definitely use again. 

Which leads me to my point about what I'm loving about Quirky Cooking's menu link up each week.  It's fabulous getting to see what everyone else is having and drawing from their ideas.  It's given me a chance to include items like Jo's beautiful Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic and Carla's Tomato Sauce into our menu (both of which were absolute winners, by the way).  I love that we're sharing the ideas and recipes - it's just another resource to get the maximum out of your Thermie!

So, here's what we're having this week.  Check the link up out and let me know if you include any of the dishes into your menu and how they go!

Monday:  Baking: bread, pear & raspberry muffins.  Dinner:  French Onion Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Greens.  (My Mum used to make french onion steak when we were little and I loved it.  I'm going to attempt to recreate it using fresh onion, garlic & umami paste.)

Tuesday:  We're having soutzoukakia from the Meat on the Menu cookbook.  A friend made it recently and it didn't quite go to plan, so I thought I should check the recipe out.

Wednesday:  Chicken Korma, with Naan and my first attempt at homemade Mango Chutney.

Thursday:  Seafood Stew from the Thermomix app.

Friday:  Baking:  Pineapple Upside Down Cake (I'm still working on the recipe, trying to get it right - Mr MLT's workmates are the lucky recipients of this week's attempt.)  For dinner we're out at Sammie's Welcome to School BBQ, so Thermie gets a rest.

Saturday:  Barley Risotto, with roasted pumpkin and pinenuts.

Sunday:  Vegetarian meatballs from the RoboGourmet App.

Happy Mixing!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Barley & Roast Pumpkin Risotto

Barley & Roast Pumpkin Risotto
One of the things I absolutely love about having a Thermomix is that it feels like there's a never ending source of recipes on the internet to sift through and discover. 

One of my favourite sources of tried and true recipes is Steph Berg's blog, which is where I came across a Barley Risotto by Kim Smith, which formed the basis for this recipe.

I love pearl barley.  It's got a nuttiness and chewiness to it that, for me, rice just lacks.  It is packed full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (and it tastes good too!). 

It is best if you can soak it overnight or for 4-6 hours, at least.  The risotto appears very liquid at first - make sure you give it time in the Thermoserver before serving, as indicated below. 

Barley & Roast Pumpkin Risotto


*  350g pearl barley (soaked overnight, rinsed and drained)
*  1 onion
*  1 bunch parsley
*  20g extra virgin olive oil
*  2 tbs chicken stock concentrate
*  800g water
*  100g white wine
*  500g pumpkin - cubed into 2cm squares
*  1 tbs coconut oil
*  1 tbs maple syrup
*  2 tbs pine nuts
*  Few slice of pancetta
*  50g parmesan
*  Marscapone, to serve


Preheat oven to 200C.

1.  Toss pumpkin in coconut oil and maple syrup.  Spread onto a baking sheet and bake in oven for 40 minutes.

2.  Place parmesan into TMX bowl and grate for 8 seconds on speed 8.  Set aside.

3.  Place onion and parsley into bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5.

4.  Add EVOO.  Saute for 2 minutes at 100° on speed 2 with the MC removed.

5.  Insert butterfly.  Add wine and barley and saute on reverse for 2 minutes at 100° on speed 2.

6.  Add stock and water.  Cook on reverse for 25 minutes at 100° on speed 2.

7.  While risotto is cooking, toast pine nuts and pancetta in oven.  Break crispy pancetta into pieces.  Set aside until risotto and pumpkin are done.

8.  Pour risotto into Thermoserver and leave for 10 minutes to absorb remaining liquid.

To serve:-

1.  Place a couple of large spoonfulls of the risotto onto each plate, top with roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, pancetta and a dollop of marscapone.

2.  Serve with grated parmesan.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chicken & Almond Quiche

Chicken & Almond Quiche
This is possibly the best quiche in the world.  No, really, it is.  I took it to a party on the weekend and it took mere seconds before it had vanished and people were asking for the recipe.  It's that good!

The pastry comes from Maggie Beer and is super quick and easy and just melts in your mouth. 

The filling came to me from a gorgeous friend who has made mini versions of this quiche for almost every party we've had in the past 8 years. 

It's a winner of a quiche, truly.  The almonds add a really lovely texture, but if you've got a nut allergy you can easily just omit them.  I've made multiple versions of this:  bacon, smoked salmon and mushrooms, but the smoked chicken is still the best!

Chicken & Almond Quiche


*  200g cold unsalted butter, roughly chopped
*  250g plain flour
*  120g sour cream

*  2 spring onions
*  250g cream cheese
*  2 tbs vegetable stock
*  320g milk
*  2 eggs
*  1/2 cup flaked almonds
*  1 & 1/2 smoked chicken breasts - diced into 1cm cubes


Preheat oven to 180C and grease a flan tin.  I use a 24cm loose bottom flan tin and have enough for about 4 large mini versions as well which I save for lunchboxes.


1.  Place flour and butter in TMX bowl and mix on speed 6 for 5 seconds.

2.  Add sour cream and incorporate on speed 5 for 5-6 seconds until it all comes together.  Don't overmix.

Tip out onto cling film and press out into one round circle.  Wrap and place in fridge while you make the filling.


1.  Place shallots in TMX bowl and chop on speed 7 for 3-4 seconds.

2.  Add cream cheese and blend on speed 5 for 10 seconds.

3.  Add stock and milk and mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds.

4.  With the machine running on speed 4, add eggs one at a time and incorporate.


1.  Roll out pastry to cover your tin.

2.  Cover pastry base with about half of the flaked almonds and the chopped chicken.

3.  Pour filling over and top with remaining almonds.

4.  Bake in oven for approximately 50 minutes, until golden and firm to touch.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bill Granger's Coconut Bread

Coconut Bread
I first had gorgeous Bill Granger's Coconut Bread at bills in 2009 while we were in Sydney after our first family trip to the snow.  I clearly remember being torn about what to order and, at the waitress' suggestion, ordered Coconut Bread.  One bite and we were all hooked!

For reasons that escape me, we'd left it until we only had 3 days left before we headed back to Brisbane.  So we returned for breakfast for the next 3 days straight and ordered Coconut Bread and Ricotta HotCakes to share each day. 

It is sweet, but not sickly and absolutely delicious toasted and then adorned with palm sugar butter and lime marmalade. 

It's apparently marked "Never To Be Replaced" on the menu and with good reason. 

Coconut Bread

(adapted from bills sydney food)


*  2 eggs
*  300g milk
*  1 tsp vanilla essence
*  340g flour (I use organic cake flour, otherwise plain flour)
*  2 tsp baking powder
*  2 tsp ground cinnamon
*  230g raw sugar (or 200g rapadura)
*  150g shredded coconut
*  75g butter - melted


Grease a 21x10cm loaf tin and preheat oven to 180C.

If using TMX to melt butter, do so and set aside.

1.  Place sugar in the TMX bowl and mill on speed 8 for 4 seconds.

2.  Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and coconut.  Mix on reverse on speed 4 for 5 seconds.

3.  Add milk and eggs.   Mix on reverse on speed 4 for 5 seconds.

4.  Add butter and mix on reverse on speed 4 for 5 seconds.

Pour into tin and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out cleanly.