Monthly Archives: August 2012

Broccoli, parmesan & anchovy pasta sauce

(Recipe taken from this blog post)

Broccoli tends to cop a lot of flak for being a ‘gross veggie’ (other members of the ‘gross veggie’ family: brussel sprouts, bittergourd). But I love it. Well, not on its own, but it goes well with so many things! Almonds, olive oil & balsamic vinegar, cheese sauce, oyster sauce, garlic and sesame oil, the list goes on. So when I found this recipe on my weekly hunt, I was quite excited to give it a go. And I’m glad to say it turned out great! I do think it works better as a side dish, alongside a juicy lamb backstrap, or some other protein. You could use it as an alternative mac & cheese base and up your veggie intake. Ahh, so versatile.

Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic

1 medium stalk of broccoli, cut into florets

1/2 MC olive oil

6 anchovy fillets

1/2 a cup of good-quality Parmesan cheese

Method

  • Wash your broccoli, then place into the Thermomix rice basket. Fill the TMX bowl with water up to the 1L mark, pop your broccoli in, and steam for 15 mins/Varoma/speed 4.

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  • Discard the water set the broccoli aside. Dry your TMX bowl out with a tea towel, then add in your garlic and chop for 3 secs/speed 7.
  • Add oil and anchovies, then cook for 4 mins/100 degrees/speed 2.
  • Add the broccoli and cheese, and whizz for 5 secs/speed 10.

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Toss through your favorite pasta (I don’t play favorites but used macaroni this time) and serve with a whole lotta cracked pepper. Easy!

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Sometimes it doesn’t go so well.

I was debating whether or not to just delete the pictures I had taken when trying this recipe, chalk it up as my first really bad Thermomix experience, and then forget about it. But then I decided to share my thoughts with you guys, and let you make the call for yourself! It could definitely be just a personal thing.

I wanted to try something different than a traditional bolognese, and found this recipe for savoury mustard mince. I haven’t listed the steps and method. Even as it was cooking though, I knew from the hsmell that it wasn’t going to agree with my tastebuds. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but I think it might have to do with the combination of tomato and dijon as the base, which just wasn’t to my liking! I ended up tipping this out as the man wouldn’t go near it either, which I think i’ve only ever done once in my life with a batch of hard-as-rock coffee cupcakes.

Anyway, live and learn 🙂

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Salted caramel brownies

(Recipe adapted from this post)

I LOVE the blend of sweet and savoury. Bacon and maple syrup, prosciutto and peaches, salted caramel, and so much more. So when I stumbled across this recipe after being asked to bring dessert to a friend’s house, I was sold!

Note: I found that the amount of salt was too much for me. And I used the full amount of sugar too! A friend said that it might have to do with the fact that I used flakes rather than ground sea salt. In any case, I’d probably halve the salt content in future.

Another note: Because I was serving this to others, I was hellbent on cutting the brownie into perfect rectangles. But when I started cutting, I realised that the almonds I had scattered so artfully on the top were now proving to be very annoying because they didn’t crack easily and resulted in me having to pull them out, and re-placing them on the top after I had cut my slices! So just keep that in mind if you’re weird like me.

Ingredients

300g rapadura sugar (I couldn’t find any, so I used plain brown sugar)
70g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (didn’t have any so used vanilla essence instead)
2 tsp sea salt (refer note above)
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
60g cocoa powder
150g self raising flour
100g each macadamia nuts and pecans or pistachios (I had 150ish grams macadamias and 50ish grams almonds)
Extra nuts for topping

Method

  • Place the sugar, butter and vanilla into your Thermomix bowl and chop for 5secs/speed 6.
  • Cook for 15 mins/Varoma temp/speed 2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a square baking tin with paper.

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  • Add salt and incorporate for 30 secs/speed 4.
  • Add eggs, yolk and cocoa powder to the TMX bowl and mix for 15 secs/speed 5.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add flour and nuts, and mix for 3 secs/speed 5.

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  • Pour the mixture into your baking tin, stud with nuts, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over and pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Take it out, bang it firmly on your bench, then pop the tray back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

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  • Cut into slices, and try not to eat too quickly.

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Lemon and spinach risotto

(Recipe adapted from this post)

This is a great side dish to serve alongside some fresh seafood from the markets. I had some garlic prawns on hand, but I think that scallops would be amazing!

I added spinach to the risotto so I didn’t have to bother with a veggie side dish. Efficient, no?

Ingredients

Handful Italian parsley (I didn’t have any handy)

Zest of two lemons

60g grated Parmesan

2 cloves garlic

2 eschallots

20g olive oil

300g risotto rice

100g white wine

700g stock (I used a heaped tablespoon of vegetable stock concentrate and 700g of water)

40g lemon juice (I just used the juice from the 2 lemons I zested)

Sea salt to taste

A couple of handfuls of spinach (silverbeet could work too)

Method

  • If you have parsley, chop it in your Thermomix bowl for 3 secs/speed 7, then set aside.
  • Pop your zest (and Parmesan if you need to grate it. I had grated Parmesan in the fridge so used that instead) and mill for 8 secs/speed 8. Set aside.

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  • Place garlic, eschallots and olive oil into the TMX bowl and chop for 3 secs/speed 4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and sauté for 3 mins/Varoma/speed 1.
  • Add rice and white wine, then sauté for 2 mins/Varoma/reverse/speed 1.5. 
  • Add stock, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, give it a good stir (so the rice doesn’t stick to the base and end up burning) then cook for 16 mins/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1.5. Drop in handfuls of spinach when there is 4 minutes left on your timer.
  • Pop the risotto in your Thermoserver and stir through the Parmesan. Cover and leave for 5 minutes for the final stage of absorption.
  • Serve with seafood, enjoy.

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Meatballs and tomato sauce

(Recipe adapted from this blog)

This recipe makes soooo many meatballs! I cooked some pasta to accompany the dish and ended up with two big dinner serves as well as two office lunches.

Note: the original recipe doesn’t call for salt but I definitely think the mince needs some seasoning, so I’ve added this to the ingredient list.

Another note: It’s super handy to have a pot or dish that you can pop on an open flame to brown your meatballs, and then throw straight into the oven. I use a Bessemer dish most days, but also absolutely adore a pot that I bought at Kmart for under $30!

Ingredients

2 slices of bread (I freeze the end slices of my loaves of bread for occasions like these)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic (I used 4)
Big bunch of herbs (I used parsley)
1tsp sea salt or 1/2 tsp table salt
600g minced beef
400g tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp vegetable stock concentrate
100ml red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
Cheese for topping
Pasta to serve (I cooked half a standard pack of San Remo curly wurlies)

Method

  • Break the slices of bread into smaller pieces and throw into the Thermomix bowl. Chop for 10 secs/speed 7. Set aside.
  • Place the onion, garlic and herbs into the TMX bowl and chop for 10 secs/speed 5.image
  • Tip half of your onion/garlic/parsley mix out into a separate bowl. Add the salt and beef into the TMX bowl, then press your Turbo button a couple of times to mix all of the ingredients.image
  • Tip your mince out and place the remaining onion mixture back into the TMX bowl. Add tomatoes, stock concentrate, wine and tomato paste, and cook for 15 mins/Varoma/speed 2.
  • While the sauce is cooking, roll the mince into balls and set aside. You want to be careful not to make them too big, otherwise they take longer to cook.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.image
  • Brown your meatballs, pour the tomato sauce into your pot, top with cheese and bake for 35 mins. During this time you can wash a few dishes up, then prepare your pasta.imageimage
  • Mix in cooked pasta with your meatballs and sauce. Mix. Enjoy!image
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Bacon and capsicum mini quiches

(Recipe from the Thermovixens)

I was in a baking mood on the weekend and had some puff pastry to get rid of, so I decided to make some mini quiches to take to work for lunch during the week. This recipe takes a little bit more time to assemble than I would like, but that’s just me being lazy!

Note 1: This is a pretty flexible recipe. You can use a combination of veggies that you have lying around at home, like leek or corn, and replace the meat with ham or shredded chicken. Or even make a vegetarian version.

Note 2: I used a cup to make perfect little rounds of pastry like the recipe tells you to, but ended up wasting a lot! In future I’d cut squares of pastry out and let it stick out over the edges, which might look a bit messy but hey, people love extra pastry and you can always pull the ‘rustic look’ line out!

Note 3: The original recipe doesn’t include herbs, salt or pepper so I didn’t use any, but I think it will help the flavour (especially the pepper). Just remember that you also have a salty hit from the bacon.

Ingredients

1/2 a capsicum
100g zucchini
A small onion
200g bacon (I bought diced bacon from the supermarket deli)
Dash of olive oil
6 eggs
100g grated cheese of choice (I used parmesan)
100g cream
Dried or fresh herbs to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Place your capsicum, zucchini and onion in the Thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 4.
  • Add a dash of olive oil and saute for 3 mins/100 degrees/speed 2.Set mixture aside to cool slightly.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • Line your muffin tin with the puff pastry. As you I followed the original method for this step, but would definitely opt for my messier, less wasteful way in future (refer note 1!)image
  • Add your eggs, cream, s&p, herbs and cheese to the TMX bowl. Mix for 10 seconds/speed 5.
  • Divide your bacon/veggie mix equally into the pastry casings.image
  • Pour your egg mix over the filling. My cheese ended up at the bottom of the TMX bowl so I just scooped it out at the end and divided it equally on the top of each casing.image
  • Pop your tin in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Basically until it looks like this!image

Pop them out onto a wire rack or a plate to cool, then enjoy! For me, quiches are great but need something tangy on the side like a vinaigrette salad or tomato relish/tomato sauce to cut through the egg and cream.

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Peanut cookies take 2

(Original recipe here, I made a few changes)

After my last wonky attempt at Thermomix peanut cookies, I was determined to find a recipe that tasted better (or, rather, one that would be more foolproof!) It took me a while as Google was convinced that I was looking for peanut BUTTER cookies, but I found this recipe in the end. The dough was much easier to work with this time around.

Ingredients

250g peanuts

300g self-raising flour

250g soft butter

180g sugar (I used 150g raw sugar)

1 egg

Method

  • Put the nuts into the TMX bowl and grind for 6 seconds/speed 10.

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  • Add the self-raising flour. Mix for 10 seconds/speed 4. Set aside.
  • Pop your butter and sugar into the TMX bowl and mix for 1 min/speed 4. 
  • Add the egg in and mix for 30 seconds/speed 4.

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  • Pour in half of the flour mixture into the bowl and mix for 10 seconds/speed 3. Pour in the other half and mix for another 10 seconds/speed 3.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Roll teaspoons of dough into little balls and place them on your tray. Use a teaspoon or fork to flatten the balls slightly.

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  • Pop into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Try not to eat them too quickly.

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