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Books I have completed reading since January 2018:

1. No Man's Nightingale - Ruth Rendell
2. One Day - David Nicholls
3. The Door - Margaret Atwood
Middle Eastern Pilaf
Sunday, July 11, 2010
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cups long-grain rice
3 1/2 cups boiling stock/ water
2 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup currants/ sultanas
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 half chicken breast fillets, trimmed
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
fresh coriander leaves

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and gently fry half the onions. Cook over a moderate heat for 5-10 minutes or until soft and light golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

2. Add rice to the remaining onions and saute, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

3. Add 1 3/4 cups stock, with spices and salt. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, adding more stock as it is absorbed. Ad currants, cover and allow to plump. Turn off heat and keep covered.

4. Season the chicken. Heat remaining oil in frying pan, add the chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, turning chicken over once or twice. Sprinkle with the almonds and golden onions. Slice chicken thickly and arrange on top. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Serves 4-6.

Comment! (3) | Recommend!

Baby vegetables with Hazelnut dressing
Sunday, July 11, 2010
500g baby beetroots withleaves
400g baby carrots
300g baby green beans
8 baby (140g) zucchini with flowers
4 baby (240g) eggplants, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

Hazelnut dressing
t tbsp raspberry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp hazelnut oil

If hazelnut oil is unavailable, substitute 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Can be prepared 3 hours ahead.

1. Remove and reserve leaves from beetroot. Add beetroot to medium pan of boiling water, boil, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until tender.

2. Drain beetroot; cool, peel.

3. Boil, steam or microwave carrots and beans, separately until cool. Drain, cool.

4. Slice zucchini in half lengthways, brush zucchini an eggplants with oil.Add zucchini and eggplants, in batches, to heated, oiled griddle pan (or grill or bbq); cook until browned and tender. Combine beetroot, beetroot leaves, carrots, beans, zucchini and eggplants in large bowl; drizzle with Hazelnut Dressing.

Hazelnut Dressing: Combine ingredients in jar; shake well.

Serves 6-8 as an accompaniment.

Not suitable to freeze.

Carrots and beans suitable to microwave.

Comment! (4) | Recommend!

Braised Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Ingredients A:
50gm Japanese crabstick, shredded
50gm bamboo shoot, shredded
50gm black fungus
50gm carrot, shredded
50gm straw mushroom, shredded
50gm beancurd, shredded

500gm superior stock
20gm chicken stock
10gm sugar
200gm vinegar
10gm salt

To thicken:
Mix 1/2 tbsp cornflour with 100g water

1. Was all ingredients A with hot water.

2. Bring stock ingredients to a boil in a medium-sized pot and add all ingredients A.

3. Thicken soup with cornflour mixture.

4. Serve hot.

Comment! (3) | Recommend!

Pasta Fetta Salad
Saturday, July 10, 2010
500g packet spiral pasta
2 Lebanese cucumbers
1 red capsicum, chopped
8 spring onions, sliced
1 x 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
200g fetta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon seeded mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

1. Add pasta to a large pan of boiling water, boil, uncovered, for about 12 minutes, or until tender; drain. Rinse pasta under cold water; drain well.

2. Dressing. Combine all ingredients in a s screw-top jar; shake well.

3. Cut cucumber in half length-ways; remove seeds. Cut cucumbers into thin slices.

4. Combine cucumbers, pasta, capsicum, spring onions, tomatoes, olives and parsley in a large bowl. Add dressing: mix well. Gently stir in fetta cheese.

Serves 6.

Comment! (0) | Recommend!

Potato and corn frittani rolls
Saturday, July 10, 2010
4 tablespoons olive oil
30g butter
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn kernels
4-6 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
freshly ground pepper
white or brown bread rolls
salad greens

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, add sweet potato and potato to pan and saute over a gentle heat, until just tender and lightly coloured. Remove and set aside.

2. Heat half the remaining oil in the frying pan and pan-fry the peas and corn gently for about 1 minute, uncovered, until softened and lightly coloured. Add 1/2 cup water and cook further few minutes until tender and water has evaporated. Remove and set aside.

3. Lightly bear eggs in a large mixing bowl and add parmesan and pepper to taste. Fold in the prepared sweet potato, potatoes, corn and peas. Spoon ladles of mixture into a large heated heavy frying pan to which a little oil has been added to make small omelettes. We used egg rings to shape the mixture. Cook over moderate heat for 2 mins, carefully turn to cook the other side until light golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

4. Slit the rolls in half, lightly butter and arrange salad greens on the base of the roll. Add 1-2 frittatini, depending on appetite. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Comment! (4) | Recommend!

Cherry Sabayon
Saturday, July 10, 2010
4 egg yolks
75gm sugar
100ml white wine
50ml cherry liquor

1. Mix all the above ingredients in pot and whisk until the mixture becomes fluffy.

2. Boil a pot of water.
3. Put the container with egg mixture on top of boiling water and whisk constantly till the sabayon is cooked.

This dessert is served with fresh orange slices and topped with cherry sabayon. Then the dessert is 'grilled' under the salamander. This will achieve a crusted finishing. Alternatively, it can be served with butterscotch sauce or good quality ice cream.

Comment! (0) | Recommend!

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