Monthly Archives: January 2012

Peanut cookies (note – presentation fail)

(Recipe taken from this blogpost)

We’re currently in the midst of Chinese New Year and unfortunately, we haven’t gotten into the spirit this year. Apart from a good clean of the house and yee sang on the eve, we’ve gone about our lives in a distinctly non-Chinese fashion. Which is absolutely fine. Until you see other people’s Facebook photos showcasing their my-dining-table-is-going-to-collapse-with-the-weight-of-all-this-food festive feasts.

Anyway. I was trawling for recipes on the weekend, and stumbled across a recipe for peanut cookies in the TMX. Peanut cookies, along with pineapple jam tarts, are two of the best things about Chinese New Year! And after a quick glance at the ingredients and process, it looked way too easy to not give it a go.

Ingredients

300g toasted peanuts

250g raw sugar (I used 180g)

150g peanut oil or other vegetable oil (I used a vegetable oil blend I had in the cupboard)

250g plain flour

1 tsp fine salt

Before we go into the steps, I should tell you that while the taste was more or less right, my batter came out way too sticky to mould into nice little round balls, even after I added a fair amount of extra flour. You’ll soon see that my shapes look NOTHING like the picture in the recipe link! Could the reduction in sugar have had something to do with it? And for some reason, the taste of oil was fairly strong in the cookie. I wonder if using peanut oil would have been better? Questions, questions.

Method

  • Toast peanuts in a dry frying pan without oil, then grind it in the TMX bowl for 5-6 seconds/speed 9.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  • Add sugar, flour and salt to ground peanuts. Mix for 3-4 seconds/speed 6 until well combined.
  • Reduce to speed 3,  then slowly drizzle oil through opening until the cookie dough looks pliable but not sticky. (Maybe this is where I went wrong!)

Yes, yes, I know. Metal spoon in TMX bowl? DEADLY SIN. I realised as soon as I took the photo, and used a spatula instead.

Now, here’s where you need to pop spoonfuls of mixture in your palms, and then deftly roll said mixture into fancy, equal shaped balls that you place on a greased baking tray.

No matter what I did, the mixture would just not stay in a fancy, equal shaped ball! So I popped what I could do into the oven for 20 minutes (a bit too long, 15 minutes would have been better.)

I present to you…

Mini peanut pancake cookies.

Clearly, further practice is required.

Tasted good, though!

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

Dani Valent’s Spaghetti Bolognaise

This is the first recipe I’ve attempted from Dani Valent’s Thermomix cookbook, In The Mix. Now, everyone that cooks has their own version of a bolognaise sauce that they love, and find it hard to deviate from their own recipe. Same here. But I thought since I was laughing in the face of my stove-made bolognaise by giving it a crack in the TMX, I might as well go nuts with a new recipe.

Plus, the bolognaise was one of the very few recipes in the cookbook that actually looked achievable.

Two things from my perspective. Firstly, I was lazy and used pre-minced meat, which resulted in a very fine sauce. Which may be what you like, but I definitely like a bit of chunkiness in my bolognaise so I’ll definitely mince my meat in the TMX next time. Secondly, while I didn’t find the addition of orange rind and star anise bad, some flavour combinations just WOW you like bacon, chocolate and maple syrup. Or rock lobster and lychee. Or watermelon, fetta and mint.) The flavour these two ingredients added to the sauce was more “Hmm. okay. I see where this is going. I guess.”

To cut my rambling short, in future for me, no orange rind. no star anise. no pre-minced meat. BUT, you should give the orange and star anise combo a shot, because you might end up loving this bolognaise more than your own!

Ingredients

300g rump steak, fat trimmed

200g pork fillet, fat trimmed

3 garlic cloves, peeled (you will see very clearly later that I didn’t stick to 3.)

1 onion, peeled and halved

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3 pieces

1 zucchini, cut into 3 pieces

50g olive oil

2 star anise

Rind of 1/2 an orange, finely grated (I did this first in the TMX, then added everything in as per the steps below)

S&P to taste

100g red wine

100g tomato paste

Approximately 650g tomato passata

100g milk

Method

  • Roughly cut the rump steak and pork fillet into 2cm cubes and freeze for 45 minutes.
  • Put 250g of meat into the TMX bowl and mince for 2 seconds/speed 7. Set aside and repeat with the second batch. (I bought 500g of pork and veal mince so skipped this step.)
  • While this isn’t actually part of the steps in the book, probably because Dani Valent is a lot more organise than I’ll ever be, I started off by popping the orange rind into the TMX and grating it for about 7 seconds/speed 7. Perhaps this resulted in a stronger than normal orange flavour? Not sure. I left the rind in the bowl and went on to the next step.

  • Place the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and zucchini in the TMX bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 7. Scrape down and chop for another second if any large chunks remain. Add the olive oil, star anise and orange rind, as well as s&p to taste. Cook for 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.
  • Add the minced meat and cook for a further 5 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/speed 1/MC off. Use the spatula to get it moving, so that the meat browns evenly.
  • Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/speed 1, then add the tomato paste and passata. Make sure the contents don’t surpass the 2L mark n the bowl.
  • Cook for 20 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/speed 1. I leave the MC tilted against the hole to avoid too much bubbling.
  • Add milk and cook for 10 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/speed 1. 
  • Serve with pasta and shaved parmesan. Compare to own bolognaise recipe. Done.

Tagged ,

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

(Recipe taken from the A Taste of Vegetarian TMX cookbook)

I LOVE blue cheese. I know it’s an acquired taste, but if you gave me a bucket of buffalo wings and a tub of blue cheese sauce I’d die a happy woman.

I really enjoyed this soup, although the salt factor was pretty high because of the blue cheese/stock double whammy. Next time I make the veggie stock concentrate, I think I’m definitely going to reduce the salt content by half so that I can use the recommended concentrate amounts without worrying.

Ingredients

Small bunch broccoli, cut into florets

300g water

2 tbsp TM vegetable stock concentrate (if you don’t have this, then replace the 300g of water with 300g of stock).

Salt to taste (I didn’t add any)

300g milk

1 tbsp plain flour (substitute with cornflour for a gluten free alternative)

50g crumbled blue cheese (100g for a stronger taste)

50g cheese, grated in TM (I found this a bit vague so I just used the 100g of blue cheese)

Method

  • Place broccoli into TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. This is what it looks like:
  • Add water, stock and salt. Cook for 10 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add milk and flour and blend for 15 seconds on speed 6.
  • Add blue cheese and grated cheese, and cook for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Blend for a further 5 seconds on speed 6. Done. A soup this green MUST be good for you.

Tagged , ,

Beef Stroganoff

(Recipe taken from the Everyday Cooking for Every Family TMX cookbook)

So… I wasn’t TOO impressed with this recipe. Again, because there’s not that much time for the meat or the mushrooms to absorb the flavour of the sauce, it wasn’t as full-bodied in taste as you would hope (I was trying really hard to find another word to use than the totally wanky FULL-BODIED but somehow my brain’s just not functioning). I had leftovers the next day and it was still fairly bland.

You can certainly use lamb here if you prefer, go for a cheap cut (as you would with all stews and braises).

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and halved

30g butter

500g tenderloin fillet cut into 2.5cm strips (I bought small cubes of tenderloin from the butcher)

120g mushrooms, washed and halved (I don’t know about you, but washing mushrooms just feels weird to me. I used field mushrooms, peeled the outer layer off and cut the top off the stem)

2 tbsp tomato paste

100g white wine

100g water plus 1 tbsp TM vegetable stock concentrate

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp dijon mustard

120g sour cream

1 tbsp paprika (I used sweet paprika)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

Fresh parsley to garnish (I didn’t bother)

Method

  • Place onion into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7.
  • Add butter and cook for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Place remaining ingredients (except parsley) into TM bowl and cook for 20 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/Speed Soft.
  • Garnish with parsley (if you have this) and serve with pasta or some mashed potato.

Tagged , ,

Mashed Potato

First thing I thought of when I popped the lid open at the end?

KFC’s whipped potato.

But first thing’s first.

Ingredients

50g Parmesan cheese

250g milk

Salt to taste

1kg potatoes, peeled and cubed in 2cm pieces

30g butter

Method

  • Place the Parmesan cheese into the TMX bowl and grate for 10-15 seconds on speed 8. Set aside.
  • Place, milk, salt and chopped potatoes into the bowl.

  • Cook for 20-25 minutes at 100 degrees celcius on speed 1. The potatoes should break apart quite easily when prodded.
  • Insert the butterfly. Add the butter and Parmesan cheese. Mash for 20-30 seconds on speed 3-4.
  • This is what it looked like at the end..

KFC-mashed-potato-esque don’t you think? I would have liked my mash potatoes thicker, this was much sloppier than I was used to. I think I’ll reduce the milk to 200g and see how we go next time.

Tagged ,

Italian Breadcrumbs

(Recipe adapted from the Everyday Cooking for Every Family TMX cookbook)

Making my own basic breadcrumbs in the TMX is great and all, but I got REALLY excited (Ask everyone that knows me. You mention anything remotely edible and I spin off on my own food axis. It’s a bid sad.) when I saw a recipe for spaghetti with lemon cauliflower and pangrattato  and realised I could  whip my very own Italian breadcrumbs up at home thank-you-very-much!

Ingredients

1 clove garlic (I can’t remember what I ended up using but you can bet your ass it wasn’t just one)

A small bunch of continental parsley

30g whole black pepper

300g stale bread broken into pieces (I used some frozen bread I had in the freezer)

110g parmesan cheese (I had some grated parmesan in the fridge, so I used this rather than a block)

Rind of one lemon (this isn’t actually in the recipe, but it features in other pangrattato recipes I’ve seen and I had a spare lemon so why not)

Method

  • Place garlic, parsley, pepper (and lemon) into the TMX bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7.
  • Add the bread and cheese, and pulverise for 1 minute on speed 7 (because I had the grated cheese, I did the bread for 40 seconds, then added the cheese and blasted the mix for another 20 seconds). Done-zo.

I must say, the smell is AMAZING (largely due to the lemon rind). I’ve frozen most of it and will probably use it to coat some chicken thighs or fish down the line. The same day I made this, I squeezed the juice from the lemon used in the recipe over some cauliflower florets along with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and popped it into the oven for about 40 minutes (shaking the pan every 15 minutes to avoid too much burning on the top.

While that was happening I fried up some pancetta and a bit more garlic in a good lug of olive oil, before dumping a generous lot of breadcrumbs into the pan and left it in there until it started to crisp up. Toss in some cooked spaghetti, the cauliflower and another squeeze of lemon juice (as well as chilli flakes if that’s your thing), and settled down to a damn satisfying meal.

Tagged , , ,

Mushroom Risotto

(Recipe taken from the Everyday Cooking for Every Family TMX cookbook)

A quick one before we crack on to this recipe. I’m not sure if this has happened to you, but I’ve made risotto in my TMX bowl twice now, and both times some rice has gotten stuck onto the bottom and ended up burning. If anyone knows how I can avoid this in the future, would love to hear from you! Also, I’ve used a bicarbonate of soda paste to get rid of the burn stain, but it’s not getting it out COMPLETELY. Argh. Again, would love to hear of any other remedies. On the plus side, my right bicep is turning out to be a lot more defined than my left due to all that bicarbonate-paste-rubbing.

Ingredients

5og parmesan cheese, cubed (don’t be lazy and pop a whole chunk in, it gets caught up in the blades.

1/2 medium onion

1 clove garlic (surprise surprise, I used 4)

Handful parsley (optional, I didn’t bother)

50g olive oil

350-400g Arborio rice (I used 350 and made enough risotto to feed 2 at dinner, two packed lunches and another bowl left over)

100g white wine

2-3 tbsp TM vegetable stock concentrate (recipe here)

200g fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used field mushrooms. Next time I might try a 75% field, 25% porcini mix)

1100g water

20g butter (optional, I didn’t bother).

Method

  • Pop the Parmesan in the TMX bowl and pulverise for 10 seconds on speed 9. Set aside.
  • Place onion, garlic and parsley (if using) and chop for 2-3 seconds on speed 6-7.
  • It doesn’t tell you in the book, but scrape down the sides of the bowl before the next step.
  • Add oil and saute for 2 minutes at 100 degrees celcius on Reverse + speed soft., without the MC on.
  • Add rice and wine, and saute for 2 minutes at 100 degrees celcius on Reverse + speed 1-2.
  • Add stock, mushrooms and water, and cook for 16-17 minutes at 100 degrees celcius on Reverse + speed soft. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into ThermoServer, stir through cheese and butter (I just used the grated Parmesan)
  • As you can see, the risotto’s still a little wet. Pop the lid on the ThermoServer and leave it for 5 minutes or so for the final stage of absorption. Done.

It would have been nice to get a little bit more flavour in the mushrooms. Although I suppose with less than 20 minutes of cooking time, there isn’t much you can do about it. It tasted a lot better the next day though, I wonder if cooking the mushroom with some pancetta, salt and pepper in the TMX bowl for a couple of minutes (and removing) before chopping and sweating the onions and garlic would help. I’m sure some shaved truffles or a lug of truffle oil wouldn’t go astray either! Oh, and if you’re not keen on having yet another bowl of risotto the next day, you could potentially make arancini balls with the leftovers and your awesome 10 second homemade breadcrumbs!

Tagged ,

Veal Pizzaiola

(Recipe from the Everyday Cooking for Every Family TMX cookbook)

Considering my immense love of one-pot meals, the fact that I can make a meat dish, a side of veggies AND  a sauce in one hit makes me think I may just love the TMX more than my husband.

Although, I must admit to finding the recipe in the book a bit strange, so I jumped on the interweb and realised that there were some errors in the step-by-step process. Tsk tsk, editors.

Ingredients

500g lean veal, cut into thin medallions (I bought veal schnitzel from the butchers)

40g olive oil

Salt to taste

Fresh or dried oregano (I used dried)

Broccoli, broken into florets (or other veggies of your choice. I also used a red capsicum and mushrooms).

2 potatoes, thinly sliced (I overloaded on the veggies, so didn’t bother with the carbs).

1 clove garlic (if you’ve read more than 3-4 entries on this blog you will know that 1 clove really means 4 cloves in my book)

400g tomato puree or a can of diced tomatoes (I got puree)

Pitted black olives (optional, I didn’t bother)

Method

  • Marinate the meat in the oil, salt and oregano for 10 minutes. If you’re following the recipe in the cookbook step by step, you’re likely to use all 40gs of oil here. Don’t. Go with the standard amount you would use to marinate meat. The cookbook doesn’t state the oil split, and you’ll realise later on that you actually need more.
  • Place the veggies (and potatoes if you’re using them) in the Varoma dish (the deep one, for the newbies).

  • Place the marinated meat on the Varoma tray and set aside. (I didn’t follow this step, I didn’t want the oil dripping all over the veggies)
  • Place garlic into the bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.
  • At this point you’ll realise you need more oil. I used about 30gs.
  • Add the oil to the bowl and saute for 2 minutes at 100 degrees celcius on speed 1.
  • Add the tomato puree, plus salt and olives to taste. Then – while the recipe doesn’t say so – this is the time where you need to place the dish of veggies and tray of meat on top.

  •  Cook for 20-25 minutes at Varoma temperature on Reverse + Speed Soft. 
  • Done.


Side notes – while the sauce was okay, it could have packed a bit more punch. Perhaps adding some chopped capsicum and red onion/shallots to the garlic may have helped? Some fresh chilli? Anchovies? Will experiment a bit more the next time!

Also, while this dish is pretty healthy and tasty, it’s not the most exciting looking dish in the world. So I’d personally avoid serving this to guests, and your family should be kissing your feet because you made something so wholesome and quick just for them rather than worrying about how it looks. Or give them a lecture about how beauty is not just about what’s on the outside, OKAY?

Tagged , , ,

Coconut Rice (Nasi Lemak)

(Recipe taken from the Taste of Asia TMX cookbook)

Nasi lemak can consist of many different elements – the sambal (TMX recipe here), a boiled or fried egg, ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and peanuts, fried chicken, curries, seafood cooked in sambal, the list goes on. But it doesn’t matter how good your accompaniments are, they just won’t taste right without the coconut rice. I made nasi lemak for dinner last night and served it with the sambal, fried eggs, cucumber slices, beef rendang, and prawn sambal. Unfortunately I got too caught up with my wine once my friends arrived that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but it tasted gooood!

Ingredients

200g coconut milk

700g water

2 tsp salt (I only used one)

3 pandan leaves, cut into 10cm lengths (I tied them up into 3 knots)

400g rice, washed

Method

  • Place coconut milk, water and salt into the TMC bowl.
  • Place pandan leaves and washed rice into the basket and pop it in the bowl.

  • Cook for 16 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4. Done!
Tagged , ,

Torta Caprese (Flourless Almond Cake)

Can I just say, you won’t regret making this, but HOLY CRAP it’s rich! I’m pretty good at shovelling down my desserts, but even I had to stop after a tiny slice. Hmm, okay, maybe not TINY… let’s go with “smaller-than-usual”. The salted caramel topping I added may or may not have contributed to the sinfulness that is the torta caprese.

Ingredients

250g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Nestle dark chocolate buttons, any good quality cooking chocolate will do)

250g almonds

250g sugar (I brought it down to 170g, you can use caster, raw, or white depending on what’s in your pantry)

150g butter, room temperature, cubed

6 eggs (that’s right. Six.)

1 tbsp baking powder

1tbsp cocoa

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  • Place chocolate into the TMX bowl and grate for 5-10 seconds on speed 8. Set aside.
  • Place almonds into the TMX bowl and mix for 4-6 seconds on speed 6. Add to chocolate.

  • Place remaining ingredients into the TMX bowl and mix for 20 seconds on speed 7.

  • Add chocolate and almonds, continue to mix for 30 seconds on speed 6.
  • Pour mixture into a lightly greased 22-24cm tin (or large spring-form pan), lined with baking paper on the bottom.

  • Bake for approx. 1 hour. Done. I actually had some salted caramel spread from Christmas, so I popped some on top of the cake. A dark chocolate ganache would be pretty yummy too!

Tagged , ,