Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tuna, vegetable and tomato pasta sauce

Everything that I have made in the Thermomix so far has been based on a recipe. But last night, stuck with a motley crew of ingredients in the fridge and pantry, I decided to attempt a Let’s See What Happens Dish. Granted, you will see that what I’ve done isn’t really earth shattering, but I was totally bragging about my accomplishment to the cocker spaniel. (He was the only one that would listen.)

The best thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to suit whatever you want to use up in your kitchen. Zucchini, capsicum, leeks, silverbeet, the list goes on. I’m sure it would also taste great with shredded leftover chicken, or smoked fish. Just use my ingredient list as a guide.

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 4-5 pieces depending on your carrot size.
Clove(s) of garlic, peeled (I’m sure one clove will suffice. I just don’t have any control when it comes to garlic as you no doubt would have seen by now)
Knob of butter or some olive oil
1 jar pasta sauce (I used Leggos Chargrilled Vegetables I think)
1 MC of white wine if you have it in the fridge, otherwise water or veggie stock will work
1 large can of tuna
Half a packet of short pasta (I used Barilla fusili)
Handful spinach

Method

  • Pop your carrot (or harder veggies such as zucchini, leek or capsicum), into the Thermomix bowl along with your onion and garlic. Chop for 5 seconds/speed 7.

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  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add a knob of butter (I just cut a wedge off but if I were to guess I’d say a tablespoon’s worth) or lug of olive oil, and saute mixture for 3 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add your tomato sauce and wine, water or stock into the bowl. Cook for 15 mins/100 degrees/speed 1. You can choose to cook your pasta in the TMX when the sauce is done, but I’m very impatient and didn’t want to wait so I popped a pot of water on the stove at this point to cook my fusili.

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  • Add your tuna (or whatever protein you are using), and sturdier leafy greens such as silverbeet, and cook for a further 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.

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  • If you are adding spinach like I did, throw it in now and give it a quick stir through.

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Pour the sauce over your pasta, add chilli flakes or tabasco for a bit of heat if that’s your thing (if using fresh chilli, pop that in with the garlic, onion and hard veggies at the start), and some grated cheese if you feel like it. Done-zo! If you’re giving this a shot please let me know what ingredients you used so I can steal your idea use it as inspiration. I thought that the addition of garlic, carrot and onion to the sauce gave it a much (EWW PRETENTIOUS WORDS COMING) fuller flavour, so I’d definitely recommend having those ingredients wherever possible.

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Spinach and Parmesan Soup

(Recipe tweaked from The Kitchen Playground’s post)

With maximum temperatures hovering around the 15 degree mark, I’ve been on the lookout for different Thermomix soup recipes to tide us through winter. The fact that I can chop, cook and blend everything in the one bowl is pretty cool, I gotta say.

While trawling through the internet I came across this spinach and parmesan soup which sounded pretty good. However, it wasn’t really what I had expected. I was thinking we’d end up with a vibrant green, thick soup akin to pea and ham, but this wasn’t the case. Instead, even though I blended the mixture for longer than the recommended time, I ended up with a chunky, yet watery mix. Which then reminded me of the stir-fried spinach in broth with egg dish that is available in Chinese restaurants which I love, but the addition of parmesan weirded me out!

Anyway.

Check out the link above for the original recipe, and then my modifications below. I think this could be quite nice without the cheese, but to each their own!

Ingredients

A handful of grated Parmesan

4 cloves garlic, peeled (I used 6)

1 potato, peeled and quartered

1l chicken or vegetable stock

250g spinach

2 eggs

Method

  • Place garlic, potato and stock into the Thermomix bowl, and cook for 10 mins/100 degrees/speed 2.

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  • Add spinach to the liquid, and blend for 10 seconds/speed 6.

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  • Crack eggs into a small bowl.  Turn Thermomix on to speed 4 /30 seconds. Immediately pour in the two eggs and parmesan through the lid. Done.

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Boiled Craisin and Sultana Cake

(Recipe adapted from this post)

I had a packet of Craisins that had been languishing in my pantry since Christmas when I forgot to include it in my stuffing. I hate having random ingredients in my cupboard so I went on the hunt for a new recipe that would make good use of those damn dried cranberries. I found this boiled sultana cake recipe online and figured what the hey, i’ll just mix some dried fruit together!

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Ingredients

500g sultanas, or in my case a mix of sultanas and cranberries.
2 cups water
250g butter, cubed
3 eggs
350g sugar (I used 310g raw sugar)
350g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp almond essence (optional, I didn’t bother)

Method

  • Line a baking tin with baking paper.
  • Place dried fruit and water in the Thermomix bowl, and cook for 8 mins/90 degrees/reverse/speed soft.

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  • Pour out the water and add the butter. Heat the mixture for a further 3 mins/90 degrees/reverse/speed soft until the butter has melted. You’ll note my butter isn’t actually cubed, more halfheartedly butchered from the original 250g stick. It’s at room temperature though so I promise I was looking out for the Thermomix’s wellbeing!

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  • Pour the mixture into a separate container. Don’t bother washing the TMX bowl (woo hoo!)
  • Insert the Butterfly into the TMX bowl. Add the eggs and sugar, and mix for 4 mins/speed 3.
  • Add in flour, baking powder, essence and the sultana/butter mixture.
  • Mix for 2 mins/reverse/speed soft, until just combined.
  • Pour the mixture into your baking tin, pop it into the oven and bake it for 45-55 mins or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cake.

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Gobble.

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Pumpkin Soup (Take 2)

(Recipe from the EDC cookbook)

Winter weather is upon us in Melbourne, and when this happens soup and bread is always a good thing to look forward to after a long day at work! After trying out the In The Mix recipe a while back, I thought I’d give the EDC version a go since it seemed there would be no wastage.

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and quartered

500g pumpkin, peeled and roughly cubed (I used Kent pumpkin, with the skin and seeds removed)

1 carrot, washed and roughly chopped (As I normally do, I peeled the skin off although it doesn’t specify this in the recipe)

1 tbsp butter or oil (I used butter)

500g salt-reduced vegetable stock (I had salt-reduced chicken stock at home which I used, didn’t seem to affect the taste too much)

The recipe also calls for basil to garnish, 3 tbsp of cream and a pinch of sugar which I didn’t bother with.

Method

  • Place onion into bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 7.
  • Add butter/oil and saute for 3 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add pumpkin and carrot and chop for 15 seconds/speed 7.
  • Add stock (and sugar if you’re using), and cook for 20 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add cream (if using), and blend for 15-20 seconds by slowly going from speed 1-9.

While this recipe is a bit runnier than a normal pumpkin soup, the taste was fab (especially with a LOT of cracked pepper, which is how I normally have my pumpkin soup!). I’ve popped the batch of soup in the fridge, and have a loaf of garlic bread to accompany it mid-week after work. Next time I might reduce the amount of stock  by a third and see if that works better.

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Flake di Josie

(My first attempt here)

I’m starting to get to the point where I can play around a little bit with recipes. I felt like a Thermomix all-in-one meal, so I grabbed some flake from the markets along with some veggies.

Once I laid out my fish and potatoes though, I realised that I didn’t have enough space to place my leeks. So I just chucked it into the TMX bowl and chopped it along with the garlic. You’ll see that the sauce is a lot thicker and chunkier as a result, which I liked!

Definitely steaming potatoes more in the future.

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Kaya struggles

(Recipe from In The Mix)

I ADORE kaya. Slices of buttered bread slathered with this coconut custard/jam/spread is up there in terms of the BEST BREAKFASTS IN THE WORLD. Actually, best snacks in the world. I’m a firm believer in not restricting food types to times of day.

However, I’d never made it at home before. If you make it on the stove (the traditional way), you basically have to stay by the stove for over an hour continuously stirring the mixture. Not something that I am willing to do. So when I found this recipe for kaya in In The Mix along with a ridiculously beautiful picture of kaya on toast with a thick slab of butter, I knew I had to give this a go.

Ingredients

270g coconut milk (at least 80% coconut content)

150g caster sugar (I milled raw sugar in the TMX)

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

3 pandan (screwpine) leaves, tied in a knot.

Method

I must start off by saying that I didn’t quite get there, and I’m not entirely sure why. Comments and feedback definitely welcome here!

  • In a saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil and then set aside.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the caster sugar until it caramelises. Once caramelised, immediately remove it from the heat and pour the hot coconut milk onto the sugar. Now, mine was a rich brown colour but it did still have some crystals in it. I was concerned I’d burn the mixture so I poured the coconut milk in anyway (and yes, it steams furiously so be careful). I cooked it for a while longer so that all the crystals would dissolve.
  • Let the mixture cool to about 45 degrees. I don’t have a thermometer so I just poured the mixture into the TMX bowl, and let it sit in there until the temperature light stayed at 50 degrees for a few minutes.
  • Add the eggs and yolks, and mix for 15 seconds/speed 4.
  • Add the pandan knot, then pop the Butterfly in place. Cook for 60 minutes/80 degrees/reverse/speed soft.
  • When finished, check the consistency: the kaya is ready if it’s thick enough to gently spread with a knife. If not, cook for a further 5 minutes/80 degrees/reverse/speed soft.

I cooked the mixture for an additional 10 minutes, however mine was still very watery. I’m not sure why, but I was too scared of overcooking the kaya so I stopped at this point, hoping that the mixture would thicken once I left it to cool. But alas, while the taste was how kaya should be, the consistency certainly wasn’t! Again, any feedback here would be totally welcome. So rather than let the kaya go entirely to waste, I made a basic cake (recipe here), sliced it in half and made a bit of a butter kaya cake sandwich!

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