Monthly Archives: February 2015

Creamy Kale & Bacon Pasta

Comfort food time

[This dish serves 4]

What you will need:

3 rashes of streaky bacon

1 cup of Kale

300ml cream

2 garlic cloves finely grated

½ an onion finely diced

½ cup of white wine

½ cup of grated tasty cheese

1 packet of spaghetti

Parmesan cheese to serve

In a non stick pan sauté your onion with the bacon until crispy.  Add garlic, stir for half a minute and then add wine, cream, kale and tasty cheese.  Turn down heat to low and stir every now and then until thickened, season with salt and pepper.  Cook ¾ packet of spaghetti to your liking. Combine cooked drained pasta with sauce, leave for a few minutes for the pasta to soak up the sauce and serve with parmesan cheese.

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Banana Cake

Banana Cake

125g butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

2 large bananas (mashed)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

100ml milk

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Cream cheese frosting

125g cream cheese, at room temperature

50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture

1 1/2 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and side of the pan with non-stick baking paper.

Place the butter, sugar, banana, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor, and process for 2 minutes or until well combined. Add the milk and process until combined.

Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and process until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Shake the pan to settle the mixture. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool slightly, before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Add the milk and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Place the cake on a serving plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake.

(as you can see from the photo in this instance I used 2 round pans and halved the cooking time to make a sandwiched cake – if you do it this way double the icing ingredients so you can ice in between the cakes).

Cheats Lemon Meringue Pie

This is a quick version of this most decadent desert. What you will need:

Base

Approx 12 milk arrowroot biscuits

80g butter, melted

Filling

1 can sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

½ cup lemon juice

Zest from one lemon

Meringue

3 egg whites

½ cup caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 180°C (150°C if fan forced.)  Blitz in the food processor (or bash with rolling pin in a zip lock bag) your milk arrowroots until crumbly. Add your melted butter and combine with biscuit crumbs. Press into greased pie tin and store in the fridge.

In a bowl, combine the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest. Wisk together until well combined and then pour over the biscuit base.

Put in the oven for 10-15 mins, there should be a skin on the mixture when you take it out.

Meanwhile, whilst the pie is baking, whisk eggs with an electric beater on highest setting until it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat until you have achieved firm peaks.

Pour the meringue mixture on pie and then spread to the sides with a spatula, make peaks with the spatula.

Put back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes (keep an eye on it) until the meringue turns a light golden brown on top.

Blueberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake

This is a recipe I have adapted from my mother in law and its so very good, best to make it the day before.

You’ll need:

1 ¼ packet of sweet biscuits (I use Nice)

80g of butter

2 packets of cream cheese at room temperature (250g each)

1 tin of condensed milk

1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice

1 heaped tablespoon of gelatine

3 tablespoons of hot water

3/4 cup of frozen blueberries (or any berries you prefer)

1/2 cup of cream

1/3 block of white chocolate

Crush biscuits in food processor.  Melt butter and add to crushed biscuits.  Push biscuit mixture into greased spring form tin.  Refrigerate.  Rinse food processor bowl and blade and add blueberries.  Blitz and set aside

Beat together cream cheese until smooth.  Add condensed milk and lemon juice and beat until smooth.  Melt chocolate in microwave in a heatproof bowl at medium heat until smooth  and once some of the heat has subsided (but before it sets) add to cream cheese mixture along with cream.  Mix until combined and add the gelatine to a glass of hot water (approximately 3 tablespoons of hot water) one combined add this to cream cheese mix, beat again until combined.  Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into your blueberries and blitz to combine.

Pour blueberry cheesecake mix into prepared biscuit base and then carefully top with the other mix.  Refrigerate overnight for best results and top with grated white chocolate.

Lamb & Feta Pasties

Using left over lamb shoulder from my previous recipe – try this little gem!

3 sheets of puff pastry

left over lamb

50g danish feta cheese

1 tablespoon of milk

handful of sesame seeds

Cut each pastry sheets into 4 triangles.  On one side of each triangle place lamb and sprinkle of feta cheese, wrap other side of pastry triangle over the top and push down the open edges to seal.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Cook in 200 degree oven for around 1/2 hour, keep an eye of them.

Lamb Shoulder

When you have the time, try this fantastic lamb dish

1 lamb shoulder

5 cloves of garlic

Fresh rosemary sprigs or 1 tsp of dried rosemary

1/2 litre of chicken stock

1 glass of red wine

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Season lamb with salt & pepper and seal in hot pan with olive oil.  Transfer lamb to heavy based pot.  Add wine to pan you cooked the lamb in to deglaze.  Add to lamb along with stock and rosemary and garlic cloves.  Put in pre-heated 200 degree oven for 20 minutes and the reduce heat to 160 and cook for 3 to 4 hours, basting every hour or so.

(photo supplied)

Russian Fudge

A sweet treat……

½ cup of butter

2 cups of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or golden syrup if you have that)

1 tin of condensed milk

Add all ingredients to heavy based pan and melt at low heat. Once sugar is dissolved bring to the boil stirring constantly.  Once it’s a nice golden brown colour – take it off the heat and leave for a few minutes for the bubbles to subside.  Pour into 20cm x 20cm pan (well greased and lined with baking paper – grease the baking paper as well).  Once cold slice.

Smoked Salmon and Camembert Quiche

This is special dish that takes a little time but is well worth it.  You could also make small tartlets for parties this way.

3/4 cup pouring cream

3 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

100g sliced smoked salmon

100g chilled camembert, thinly sliced

Shortcrust pastry

1 1/2 cups plain flour

150g butter, at room temperature, chopped

2-3 tablespoons iced water

To make the pastry, sift the flour into a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until the mixture begins to hold together. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.

Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and use your fingertips to gently knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to a 28cm disc. Line a 22cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with the pastry and trim any excess. Use a fork to lightly prick the base all over. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.

Preheat oven to 190°C. Place the tart tin on a baking tray. Cover the pastry base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 180°C.

Whisk together the cream, eggs and dill in a large jug. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the smoked salmon and camembert evenly over the base of the quiche. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the quiche shell. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until the filling is golden and just set in the centre.

Recipe from taste.com.au