Monthly Archives: March 2012

Macaroni and Cheese

(Recipe adapted fromA Taste of VegetarianTMX cookbook)

I’m planning a trip to New York next month (first time and I’m ridiculously excited about everything I’m going to see, but that’s another story) and after practically memorising my food itinerary I suddenly got a massive craving for mac and cheese. I thought this would be the perfect time to test cooking pasta in the Thermomix.

Please note that I omitted some leek, celery and Italian parsley from the original recipe, and upped the quantity of onion, only because I didn’t have the veggies and parsley at home.

But I did have some frozen wholemeal bread that I wanted to get rid of, so I made a cheesy crust that’s not part of the recipe.

Ingredients

6 slices of frozen wholemeal bread (optional)

400g cheddar cheese, cubed (I had a combination of grated tasty, herbed and Monterey Jack cheese in the fridge so I used that)

Handful Italian parsley (didn’t bother)

50g olive oil

1 small brown onion

600g water

600g milk

1 bay leaf (I used dried)

400g short pasta

1/4 tsp nutmeg

salt to taste

pepper and paprika to taste

Method

  • Break bread slices into pieces, then pop in the Thermomix bowl and mill  for 10 seconds/speed 8. Set aside. If you don’t have the bread, just grate your cheese for 10 seconds/speed 8, do 150g of cheese at a time and set aside.

  • Add the oil and onion to the bowl, chop for 5 seconds/speed 6 and then saute for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add the water, milk and bay leaf, and cook for 12 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  • Add the pasta and nutmeg and cook for 10 minutes/90 degrees/reverse/speed 1. Taste and add salt as necessary. (Note, I felt that my pasta ended up a lot softer than how I normally like it. I think I’m going to try 6 minutes the next time, and then check the pasta consistency at that point)

  • Pour pasta into a casserole dish/baking tin. Add 250g of cheese and stir to incorporate.

  • If you’re not popping the crust on, just sprinkle the remainder of your cheese on top. I topped the pasta with my cheesy crust mix.

  • Sprinkle some pepper and paprika on top, and bake for 25 minutes or until your top is golden brown and bubbling.

My mac and cheese definitely hit the spot in terms of comfort food, and was great reheated the following day at work too. But there’s definitely some work that needs to be done in terms of pasta cooking time. Also, I personally think you can go up to about 550g of cheese, but I’m pretty sure that’s taking it a bit far health wise!

Tagged , ,

Banana Muffins

(Recipe from this blog post)

A couple of bananas with rapidly blackening skin were staring balefully at me over the weekend, plus I kept thinking about how I could use up that massive jar of golden syrup I’d ended up acquiring. So I googled ‘thermomix banana golden syrup’ and huzzah! Recipe scored. (Thank God for Google.)

I haven’t actually bought a loaf tin yet, so I ended up making muffins instead.

Ingredients

160g wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder (store-bought)

150g brown sugar (I reduced this to 90g and the muffins still ended up fairly sweet)

1 egg

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 ripe bananas

40g walnuts (didn’t have this so didn’t bother)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celcius, and get your muffin pan ready (I didn’t grease my pan but it was fine).
  • Place flour, baking powder, sugar and golden syrup into Thermomix bowl and mix for 15 seconds/speed 4, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  • Add the bananas (and walnuts if you have them), and mix for 2 minutes/speed 6 or until the mixture is well combined and pale.

  • Pop your mixture into the muffin tin (I only had enough mixture for 8 muffins), and bake for 20-25 minutes. Dunzo.

I reckon I’ll try it with 80g of sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of golden syrup next time, but it was yummy all the same!

Tagged , , ,

Guinness Chocolate Cake

(Recipe taken from this blog)

My best friend visiting Melbourne coupled with the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival resulted in me needing an entire week to recover. No, seriously. Instead of blogging or doing anything remotely constructive, I’ve spent the last 4 nights falling asleep whilst watching Friends reruns.

At 8.30pm.

Anyway, I’d made this last week for a colleague’s birthday. That’s the beauty of the Thermomix, the ability to whip up a cake batter in literally 5 minutes.

Ingredients

250g Guinness or stout (this was mildly irritating, as the smallest can I could find was much more than 250g and we don’t drink stout, so the remainder went to waste)

250g unsalted butter, diced

60g cocoa

400g caster sugar (I used 300g raw sugar, had it at home)

140g sour cream or creme fraiche (I used sour cream)

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla essence

280g plain flour

2 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda

Method

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees. Line a square cake tin with baking paper.
  • Pour Guinness into TM bowl and add butter. Heat for 3 minutes/80 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add cocoa, sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Mix for 20 seconds/speed 3.
  • Add flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix for another 20 seconds/speed 3.
  • Pour mixture into your cake tin, pop in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

It is an incredibly dense cake and can be eaten on its own. But because it was serving as a birthday cake, I melted some chocolate buttons and added some cream to make a quick ganache. I didn’t really measure anything, just added the cream in little by little, stirring until it resembled something I’d happily bury my face in.

I turned the cake upside down so it would be easier to spread the ganache over the top. I also had a few strawberries left, so I decorated the edges. Completely unnecessary, but fun all the same!

Tagged , , ,

Tardy

Apologies for the non-posting! It’s been a hectic week with the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival closing and the Grand Prix. But I’ve got an addictive mac & cheese and even more addictive Guinness chocolate cake recipes to share soon, and I’m also trying an all-in-one salmon tikka dinner and a bacon cabbage dish in the next couple of days. Stay tuned, and have a lovely day ahead!

S

Milo Coconut Rock Cookies

(recipe taken from this blog)

Each time the in-laws are over for a stay, they buy a tin of Milo. Just before they arrive roughly 12 months later, I throw the half-finished, expired old tin of Milo away. And then they buy another tin. The cycle continues.

So this time I thought to myself, dang nammit, I’m going to find a way to use it up!

Yes. I know you can just make hot/cold Milo. We don’t do that.

So I googled “thermomix mil0” to see what would pop up, and voila! Milo cookies! I did feel the need to call it Milo Coconut Rock Cookies though as I think that’s a more apt explanation of how mine turned out.

Ingredients

100g butter

75g golden syrup (my plan to use  up stuff came unstuck here. Now I have a near-full jar of golden syrup. Sigh.)

50g brown sugar (I had demerara sugar in the pantry)

60g water

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

110g Milo

90g rolled oats

80g plain flour

80g wholemeal plain flour

90g desiccated coconut

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a couple of trays with baking paper.
  • Place the butter, golden syrup, sugar and water into the Thermomix bowl and cook for 3 minutes/80 degrees/speed 1.
  • Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and mix for 10 seconds/speed 3.
  • Add Milo, oats, flour and coconut, and mix for approximately 30 seconds/speed 4/reverse until combined.
  • Roll mixture into balls 3-4cm in diameter and place on a tray (our balls were probably around the 1.5cm diameter mark.
  • Flatten gently with a fork.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm.

You’ll see that clearly, mine doesn’t look like the picture in the blog. But it was yummy all the same! I might have left it in the oven a little long though, hence the “rock cookie” renaming. Next time, will make sure I avoid the same mistake.

Tagged , , ,

Pumpkin Soup

(Recipe from In The Mix)

The recipe in the cookbook also teaches you how to make a virtual bacon dust which I’m keen to try, but I didn’t have any sesame seeds or dashi powder on hand. Next time!

Ingredients

500g butternut pumpkin (cut into large chunks)

700g chicken or vegetable stock

200g milk

100g butter

100g cream

Salt to taste

Method

  • Place pumpkin into the Thermomix bowl and grate for 2 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down the sides and repeat if any large chunks remain (2 seconds was fine for me)
  • Rinse the TM bowl, and add the chicken stock, milk and butter. Heat for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add the grated pumpkin and cook for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Over a bowl, strain the soup, reserving the liquid. Return the pumpkin solids back into the bowl and blitz for 4 minutes/100 degrees/speed 10.
  • Add 200g of the reserved liquid and cream into the TM bowl. Blitz for a further 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 10. Adjust the consistency of the soup with the remaining stock and season to taste with salt.

I didn’t have to add any stock to the above, but I did feel that it was a bit of a waste considering there was almost 500g worth of liquid remaining and I didn’t really know what else you could do with a milk/butter/stock/pumpkin mixture. But apart from that, soup was goooood. While Melbourne’s summer has actually been really good this year, we’ve now gone into a bit of a rainy period so a big bowl of steaming soup and bread is doing wonders!

Tagged , , , ,

EDC Bolognaise

(Recipe taken from Everyday Cooking for Every Family)

The quest to find my perfect bolognaise continues. After trying Dani Valent’s recipe I realised that I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to spagbol, the orange and star anise flavours in her recipe threw me a little bit. I decided to give the EDC cookbook version a go, but I’m not giving up on the former yet.

Ingredients

1 onion, quartered

1 clove garlic

1 carrot, roughly chopped

80g celery

50g pancetta/bacon (I had bacon in the freezer)

50g oil

400g beef, minced in the Thermomix

50g red wine

350g tomato puree

2 tbsp tomato paste (optional, I’d definitely recommend it though)

S&P to taste.

Method

  • First things first. I bought some beef topside cubes from the butcher, and froze the meat for about 20 minutes (during this time I prepped my vegetables, it all ties in rather neatly!)
  • I popped the slightly frozen meat in the TMX bowl and minced it for about 10 seconds/speed 7. I wanted my meat a bit chunky so I stopped here, but you can always check and see whether you’d like a finer mince.
  • Place onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bacon into the TM bowl, and chop for 5 seconds/speed 6. I actually had diced bacon, so I added this in after chopping the veggies.
  • Add oil and saute for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add mince and cook for 10 minutes/Varoma/Reverse/Speed Soft (add red wine at 5 minutes).
  • Add tomato puree, paste, salt & pepper. Cook for 15 minutes/Varoma/Reverse/Speed Soft. Leave the MC in lid in an inclined position to prevent the sauce from spitting. I also put a paper towel over the cover to catch any splashes.
  • As usual, I made this sauce on a weekend and left it in the fridge for a couple of days for the flavour to develop. I realised that this sauce was a lot drier than the other recipe, so I retained a bit more salted water from cooking the pasta to mix in.
  • All in all I felt that this recipe suited my palate better, however I’m definitely aiming to make a few tweaks to Dani’s recipe, as I felt that overall the sauce was much richer than this one and could be ideal for me without the orange and star anise.

Tagged , , ,

Mushroom Soup

(Recipe taken from Everyday Cooking for Every Family)

I was watching a Friends marathon while making this, and completely forgot to take any photos of the process until the end. And we all know mushroom soup tastes awesome, but doesn’t look too crash hot (the term ‘grey gloop’ comes to mind). So apologies in advance for the wordy text, and I hope you don’t judge the soup by it’s picture. It really did taste great! Although having said that my version looked NOTHING like the picture in the cookbook…

Ingredients

500g mushrooms

1 small onion, peeled and halved

50g butter

Juice of 1/2 a lemon (I didn’t have any lemon so didn’t bother)

600g water + 2 tbsp Vegetable Stock Concentrate

15-30g cornflour or rice flour (I used 20g)

S&P

30g parsley (didn’t bother)

1/2 MC cream

Method

  • Cut 3-4 mushrooms into thin slices and set aside (confession: it was the episode when Ross and Rachel first get together, so I was SLIGHTLY lazy and skipped this step)
  • Place onion into Thermomix bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 7.
  • Add butter and saute for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add mushrooms and saute for 1 minute/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Except for mushroom slices and cream, add everything else and mix for 10 seconds/speed 9.
  • Cook for 8 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Blend for a few seconds by slowly going from speed 1-speed 8.
  • Lift the MC, add sliced mushrooms and cream, replace the MC and cook for a further 4 minutes/90 degrees/speed 1.
  • Enjoy with some yummy garlic bread.

Tagged , , ,

Rosemary and Cheese Biscuits

(Recipe adapted from Steph Berg’s blog)

Someone at work brought in a ridiculously big bag of rosemary sprigs and left them in the kitchen. Far be it from me to leave perfectly good herbs just lying around, so I grabbed a handful with the full intention of making roast potatoes that night.

That didn’t happen.

But I did have a lot of cheese left over from a party the weekend before.

Cheese biccies it was.

Ingredients

4 sprigs rosemary

60g tasty cheese (I used a spicy cheddar, the pale one on the bottom of the picture)

120g plain flour

100g rice flour (white rice milled for 2 minutes/speed 9)

1 1/2 tsp salt (only if using unsalted butter, I didn’t bother)

A shake of cayenne pepper (as I had the chilli flakes in the cheddar I didn’t bother)

80g butter

120ml milk

Method

  • The blog tells you to pre-heat the oven first to 180 degrees celcius. But considering how much of a slowpoke I am shaping biscuits, I held off until I actually had the dough ready.
  • Chop the rosemary and cheese for 4-5 seconds/speed 6. Set aside.
  • Pop the flour, salt and cayenne into the Thermomix bowl, and pulse on turbo a couple of times until well mixed. Because I didn’t add the cayenne pepper or salt, I just threw the flour in and went to the next step.
  • Add the butter and mix for 4-6 seconds/speed 6. It should resemble breadcrumbs.
  • Add the cheese and rosemary, and mix for 60 seconds/reverse/speed 3. Slowly drizzle in the milk during this time, until the mixture starts to form a ball. Mine didn’t really get to the ball stage, it looked more like this. Also I turned on the oven at this point!
  • Roll the mixture into balls (approx 1 tsp of dough each) and place on a lined baking tray, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese goes golden.
  • Done-ski.

Tagged , ,

Capsicum and Sundried Tomato Dip

(Recipe from Everyday Cooking for Every Family)

The base ingredients and how I made this dip is essentially the same as the basil pesto I made a while back.

Ingredients


1 clove garlic

150g drained sundried or semi-sundried tomatoes (I used semi-sundried)

1 red capsicum, roughly cut into quarters

160g unsalted cashews (you remember that slight disaster I had with the butter chicken? Well, the cashews I had planned for that recipe went here instead!)

40g olive oil

40g white vinegar

2 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated first in the Thermomix, otherwise you can use pre-shredded parmesan)

Method

  • Place all the ingredients into the TMX bowl and set dial to closed lid position.
  • Pulse the turbo button for 5-1o seconds (about 4 pulses) so that you have a chunky but even mixture.

Tagged , , , ,