Cauliflower and fennel mash #mash #carbfree

Who needs potatoes, when you can have this delicious fennel flavoured silky cauliflower and fennel mash?

Easy as boiling the white part of the fennel for about 10 minutes, adding cauliflower florets and boiling until tender, drain, then whizz with a stick blender, add a touch of butter and salt the serve up.

Delicious with roast pork. I roast a few slices of cauliflower in the pork fat towards the end of the roasting time to top the mash with crispy cauliflower for texture.

Cauliflower and fennel mash alongside roast pork and green beans with fennel tops.
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#Zuchinni and corn #fritters #spicy #lowcarb

These fritters turned out light and fluffy and are quite filling. I spiced them up with the addition of chilli powder and cummin, but you could skip that if you like.

I also threw in some finely chopped coriander and this could be replaced by parsley or skipped altogether.

Also if you want to make these really low carb then increase the amount of almond meal.

Great for an easy dinner for 2 – lovely with avocado salad – with lots leftover for breakfast the next day or to share with friends at the office as I did.

Ingredients:

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup almond meal

2 eggs beaten

3 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped

2 Zuchinni grated finely

1 can (400g) sweet corn kernels drained

1/2 cup grated cheddar

1 cup of milk

1/4 cup melted butter

Handful of parsley or coriander finely chopped

1/3 teaspoon chilli powder or paprika

1/2 teaspoon cummin powder

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper

Oil for pan frying

Method

1. Grate Zuchinni, drain corn kernels, finely chop coriander and spring onion

Mix flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, cummin and chilli powder in a large bowl

2. In a seperate bowl beat eggs, add Zuchinni, cheese, corn, coriander, spring onions and mix through, add milk and melted butter and mix through.

3. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan and add 1.1.5 tablespoons of mixture and spread a little. Cook over medium high heat until sealed and golden brown on bottom side, flip carefully to cook on other side and cooked through. Allow to cool, Darin on kitchen paper towel.

Serve with avocado salad or guacamole.

Catalan #Chickpeas with #spinach and #raisins

These chickpeas are great as a side salad or as part of a tapas spread. A traditional Catalan dish, it is often a feature on Barcelona tapas or pinxtos menus. It appears the trick is to boil them until much softer than normal, even boil canned chickpeas which allows them to absorb more of the flavours from the dressing and gives a velvety smoothness to the dish.

Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas

2 bags of baby spinach leaves

1 red onion finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup of sultanas or raisins

1 red chilli finely chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon paprika for sprinkling(optional)

Handful of parsley chopped

Method:

Boil canned chickpeas in 3 cups of water Until soft but not falling apart about 10 minutes, drain and set aside

Heat olive oil in a seperate pan over medium heat, then cook onions, chilli and crushed garlic until transparent and aromatic.

add raisins and spinach leaves and white wine to onion mixture and simmer until spinach wilts slightly

Toast pine nuts in seperate pan until golden

Mix through spinach mixture and chickpeas, sprinkle with paprika and pine nuts and serve.

Eggplant, anchovy and capsicum #pizza with #basil #veggies

Haven’t made pizza for ages but was inspired by my visit to the Entertainment Quarter markets in Centennial Park in Sydney this morning.

Brought home a beautiful haul of fresh, organic vegetables and thought an (almost) vegetarian pizza as a unique take for football finals food would be a nice addition to the usual sausage rolls and meat pies served at this time of the year at parties around the country. Still pizza though so figure it fits into the genre!

My basket of goodies from the markets this morning.

I started with the pizza dough for the base so it could “prove” for an hour while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.

Pizza is fun to make and is so good when you make it all from scratch.

Prep time: 1 hour cooking time: 15 minutes

Pizza base

Ingredients:

2 and 2/3 cups of plain flour

1 cup lukewarm water

7g (1 sachet) dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1.5 tsps salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Whisk yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes until yeast begins to froth.

Mix flour and salt and place in a mixing bowl.

Make a well in the centre of the flour, add frothy yeast mixture, and oil and mix using a cutting motion using a round edge knife or metal spatula.

When mixture starts to come together, quickly knead on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes. Should be a lovely smooth blob with a slight elasticity to it.

Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in it, cover with glad wrap/cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour to “prove” and double in size.

Sauce for base

ingredients

2 small ripe tomatoes finely diced

1/2 onion diced finely

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

2 tablespoons tomato sauce (I used an equal mix of tomato and sriracha sauce)

1 cup water

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat oil in pan over medium heat and add garlic and sauté until just fragrant, add onions and cook gently until transparent, then add mixed herbs, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, chilli flakes and white wine and simmer about 5 minutes until wine evaporates, then add water and simmer about 20 minutes until sauce is thickened and tomatoes have softened and created a nice sauce, add more water if necessary to cook more for tomatoes to break up. set aside to cool.

Topping

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant

1 whole red capsicum

4 anchovy fillets

1/2 onion sliced very thinly

8-10 small marinated green olives

Grated mozzarella

Cherry size bocconcini balls

Preparation

Capsicum

Turn on your grill/oven to 250 degrees Celsius on the grill setting. Line a small baking tray with baking paper, prick the capsicum with a fork in a few spots to allow air to escape, place on baking tray and roast in oven until skin is totally blackened…about 25 minutes or so. Remove from oven and immediately place in a plastic bag and knot the top. Set aside to cool, the skin will easily peel off when you are ready. Peel off skin, remove core and seeds, slice into thin strips and set aside.

Eggplant

Slice eggplant thinly and cover with salt and rest for 30 minutes or so, this will remove he moisture and stop the eggplant form discolouring. After minutes, drain away liquid, pat dry and pan fry with olive oil until golden brown, place on kitchen paper towel to drain off excess oil and set aside.

Olives

Slice into smaller pieces, removing pits if necessary.

Onion

Slice thinly and set aside.

Bocconcini

Slice 6 cherry bocconcini balls into 4 rounds and set aside

TURN ON OVEN TO PRE-HEAT GRILL to 250 degrees Celsius

ASSEMBLY:

Roll out half the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to your desired size and thickness. Remember the dough will rise a bit in the oven. Lightly flour your pizza pan or baking tray and place your pizza base on that. (You can freeze the other half to use another time)

Spread your cooled tomato sauce over the base.

Sprinkle a layer of grated mozzarella sparsely or not so sparsely (up to you) over the tomato sauce, then place eggplant slices evenly around the base, add s shreds of the anchovy fillets, capsicum, raw sliced onion, olives and bocconcini over the base. Add another very light sprinkle of mozzarella.

Cook under 250 degree grill, lowering heat slightly if top looks like burning, lightly cover with foil if necessary to low base to cook and crisp up.

Remove from oven after 15 minutes, scatter with fresh basil leaves and allow to sit for a few minutes. Ready for devouring!

#Crepes with fresh #strawberries and strawberry rum sauce #delicious

Cooked a bit of a retro dinner last night starting with Pumpkin Soup, then individual beef Wellington’s and finished with these crepes.

I hadn’t made crepes for a long time and had forgotten how easy it is and how perfect they are for entertaining because you can make them ahead and just reheat in the microwave before serving.

I used Martha Stewart’s crepe recipe which is super easy because it’s made in a blender. Thanks Martha! https://www.marthastewart.com/921813/how-make-crepes?slide=3380816

The strawberry rum sauce is absolutely delicious!!

And both make fabulous leftovers for breakfast or brunch the next morning.

We had Messina passionfruit gelato and fresh strawberries but you can add whatever toppings you like. Fresh cream of course is the classic friend for this dish.

Preparation time: 45 minutes incl 15 minutes to rest batter

Crepes

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Method:

Put all the ingredients in the blender.

Blend until smooth for 2-3 minutes and bubbles form at the top.

Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat, coat with a film of butter. I use kitchen paper dipped in melted butter to coat the pan.

Using a ladle, scoop batter into pan, just enough to cover the bottom. Cook until golden on the underside, then flip to cook the other side, maybe 30 seconds.

Repeat until batter is finished. Makes about 15 crepes depending on size of your pan.

Strawberry Rum Sauce

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small carton of strawberries, about 10 strawberries
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1.5 tablespoons dark or white rum
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

Blend strawberries until smooth

Place water and sugar in pan and bring to a boil, simmer until just clear

Add strawberry pulp, zest, salt and rum, bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes or longer to thicken to a sauce consistency.

Will keep in fridge or freeze well.

Reheat crepes in microwave, add fresh strawberries, topping of choice – ice cream, fresh cream, and strawberry rum sauce! Serve and enjoy!

Indian #Thali and Sweets at #Maya Indian Sweets, #Sydney

Indian vegetarian Thali at Maya Indian Sweets on Cleveland St, Surry Hills has been a favourite comfort food spot for our family for years. As well as the famous Indian Sweets on offer, Maya offers dhosas and Thalis.

A few weeks ago on an unseasonably chilly day, when the “kids” were visiting us from Canberra, we went for Sunday lunch.

Thali means “chain” and refer to the chain of small dishes served on a tray with rice, bread, pickle and papadums. The restaurant is primarily an Indian take-away sweet shop but eating in is cheap and cheerful.

They also have traditional Indian street food snacks such as samosas, aloo boonda, chaat and vhada as starters.

At Maya Sweets you can choose from a number of Thali versions including either a South Indian or Punjabi version…the first comes with Rasam (South Indian tamarinds and pepper water soup) and Poori bread and the second with a bean dhal and naan bread.

Both are just as satisfying the variety of vegetable curries and dhals that are on offer depends on the season. They are consistently good and very filling.

This visit we also shared the Vhada which are fluffy Urad Dhal fritters served with coconut chutney and a tangy sambar on the side which were delicious.

Finishing the meal with an Indian sweet is always tempting and there is a very wide range to choose from….but we managed to resist.

Consistently good food. Doesn’t open until midday so brunch is sadly not an option. There a number of other more formal Maya restaurants including a vegetarian restaurant next door and a non-veg across the road. So make sure you fo to the right one if you are looking for the street food and Thalis.

Maya Indian Sweets

468-472 Cleveland St