Sunday, 13 July 2014

{everyday spaghetti bolognese in hermie}

There is not one person who I know that does not like spaghetti bolognese. Everyone has their own take on it but one thing that remains constant is that it is a regular in most households. It's a great combination of pasta, vegetables and meat. So, when serving it up to your family, you know they are eating a hearty, healthy, tasty meal especially when it comes to feeding the fussiest of toddlers!

It is also very versatile; the following recipe doubles as the sauce if you're going to make a lasagne (in Hermie) and when you make the full amount, there's enough for a family lasagne and a serve of bolognese as is. Who doesn't like 2 meals for the effort of 1? Enjoy xx

1 carrot (~120 grams), roughly chopped
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 brown onion, peeled & halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 celery stick, roughly chopped (optional)
50 grams olive oil
500 grams beef mince, slightly frozen in 4cm pieces
5 medium size mushrooms, sliced
3 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon TM vegetable stock concentrate (from the EDC)
salt to taste
50 grams tomato paste
800 grams chopped tomatoes (1 large tin)

1. Place carrot, zucchini, onion, garlic (& celery) into TM bowl and chop 3secs/ speed5. I find this still provides texture and the vegetables are not too fine. Scrape down sides of bowl.
2. Add olive oil and cook 5mins/ varoma/ reverse/ speed1. Scrape down sides of bowl.
3. Add mince to TM bowl. Cook 5mins/ varoma/ reverse/ speed1. Scrape down sides.
4. If using mushrooms, add them to the TM bowl. Also add bay leaves, TM stock, salt, tomato paste, and tomatoes to TM bowl. This will bring the contents near the 'max' mark on the bowl. Give the sauce a quick manual stir with the spatula and cook 15mins/ 100C/ reverse/ stir speed.
5. Check the sauce and manually stir through again. Cook for a further 25mins/ 90C/ reverse/ stir speed.
6. Serve with pasta and grated parmesan cheese.

Makes ~1.6L of sauce

Bon Appetit xx

Notes: slightly frozen mince is used as it takes longer to break down and therefore, the bolognese sauce still has the texture to it when fully cooked.

Monday, 9 June 2014

{lemon tart or tart au citron in hermie}

Last week I was supposed to go to mum's for a family dinner with my sisters. When it's a big gathering I love to offer to make dessert because it's a chance to make something different. I was going to make a lemon tart. However, I fell sick with the flu and never made it past buying the ingredients.

That being said, we had some lovely friends over for dinner this weekend and because I had the ingredients on hand, I gave the lemon tart another chance. Also, it happens to be one of Mr S's favourites and in his words "it's satisfying with just one big piece and I don't have to keep having more". These are big words for someone who doesn't normally eat sweet treats!

This tart is tangy and refreshing. I love the fact it uses the lemon juice as well as the zest and it is actually very easy to make. When you go to a cafe or restaurant next time, you'll look at the lemon tart in a different way because you'll think how expensive a slice of dessert is when it is sooo easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. On that note, Enjoy!

Sweet Short Crust Pastry
340 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
150 grams unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes
90 grams caster sugar (or icing sugar)
2 eggs

1. Place flour, salt & butter into TM bowl. Mix 5secs/ speed 5 until mixed together and it resembles a bread crumb like mixture.
2. Add sugar and mix 3secs/ speed 5.
3. Add eggs and mix 3secs/ speed 5. Then, knead 30sec/ closed lid position/ knead button.
4. 'Pour' mixture out onto baking paper or ThermoMat and bring together to form a ball. Wrap in glad wrap and put into the fridge for about 1hr to rest. Have a rest and a cup of tea :-)
5. Pre-heat oven to 190C and roll out pastry to line a 23cm round fluted tart tin. I find rolling the pastry out between 2 pieces of baking paper the easiest. Trim the edges and rest in the fridge for another 10mins.

Lemon Filling
Zest of 3 lemons
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
250 grams caster sugar
200 grams thick cream
200 grams lemon juice

1. Place lemon zest in TM bowl. Zest for 20secs/ speed 10. Scrape down sides of bowl and zest another 10 secs if required. Set aside for later.
2. Put eggs, egg yolks and sugar into TM bowl. Mix 5secs/ speed 5
3. Add cream, lemon juice and zest to TM bowl and mix a further 5secs/ speed 5.

Putting it together
1. Line the pastry shell with a piece of baking paper and blind bake using baking beads/rice/cous cous for 10 mins. Remove the beads and bake for a further 5 mins.
2. Reduce temperature to 150C and pour lemon filling into tart pan (there may be some left over) and bake for 35-40mins until filling is set.
3. Rest and cool before serving. Serve as is or with double thickened cream.

Serves 8-10

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: With the offcuts of pastry and extra lemon filling, I make a small extra tart just for Mr S :-)

Friday, 16 May 2014

{chorizo & chicken risotto in Hermie}

I have been doing Thermomix demonstrations for a number of months now and it has come that time in a Consultants life when your existing customers are sometimes coming back for more. What I mean, is that there might be a special offer for current owners so that they want to host another demonstration. And, although the demo menu is extensive, there is only so much Mushroom Risotto that people want to see. 

So, here is an alternative that I offer for such customers. It is a tweak on the Mushroom Risotto and has such a different flavour. Great for those that really enjoy a bit of meat in their meals and not a big dent in the weekly budget.

It is a real winner in my house and one of the dishes that Miss A (the fussy eater) approves of. She will eat it everytime I make it so I'm happy with that. Miss I loves it because she's not a fan of mushrooms and this has lots of flavour for her mature (4.5yr old) palette! Enjoy xx

100 grams parmesan cheese (block), cut into 2cm cubes
1 brown onion, peeled & halved
60 grams olive oil (or 30grams + 30grams butter)
1 chorizo sausage, skin removed, halved lengthways & sliced into small pieces
320 grams italian arborio rice
100 grams white wine
1 tablespoon TM vegetable stock concentrate
320-350 grams chicken thigh, cut into 3cm pieces (~ 4 small thighs)
720 grams water
100-200 grams baby spinach /rocket leaves

1. Place cheese into TM bowl and grate 20secs/ speed9. Set aside for later.
2. Rinse out bowl to ensure the cooking of the risotto does not burn later.
3. Place onion into TM bowl and chop 3secs/ speed 6. Scrape down sides of bowl.
4. Add oil and saute 3mins/ varoma/ reverse/ speed 1.
5. Meanwhile, prepare chorizo.
6. Scrape down sides of bowl and give the bottom of the TM bowl a stir to ensure no food is sticking to the bottom. Add chorizo to TM bowl and saute 2mins/ varoma/ reverse/ speed 1. Scrape down sides of bowl.
7. Add rice and manually stir through rest of the food. Saute 3mins/ varoma/ reverse/ speed 1. At the 1.5min mark, pour in wine (through the hole in the lid) and continue sautéing.
8. Add in stock concentrate, chicken & water. Note, you'll be very close to the 'max' mark in the TM bowl. Cook 15mins/ 100C/ reverse/ speed1.
9. While this is cooking, place spinach or rocket leaves into bottom of ThermoServer.
10. When risotto has finished cooking, pour into ThermoServer and sprinkle over some reserved parmesan. Rest for a further 5 mins.
11. Stir the risotto so that the leaves are throughout and serve piping hot with extra parmesan sprinkled on top.

Bon Appetit xx

Tip: I like to skin the chorizo sausage as I find it does not 'catch' on the blades. It is not 100% necessary but I think it makes for a better result.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

{banana cake in hermie}

This morning when I looked over at our fruit bowl, it looked a little sad with two nearly black bananas and a half de-zested lemon. I'm not one to waste food and thought that I should either freeze the bananas in portions for later, or make a cake. I love cake for afternoon tea and snacks so definitely chose the latter.

The recipe I have chosen to convert and tweak for the Thermomix (aka Hermie) is not an old family recipe but one from Donna Hay. I can't actually find the one that my mum used to make when we were children and ever since losing it, have been trying to find one that is just as moist, easy and tasty to make. Looking in "Off the Shelf" by Donna Hay, I think I have found it. The official taste test by Miss I and Mr S have passed so I think this one is here to stay.

P.S. bananas are a very versatile ingredient. You can freeze them to make 'ice-cream', they are a great addition to a morning smoothie, great as fritters and they make a tasty, moist cake. Enjoy!

210 grams raw sugar
60 grams brown sugar
200 grams bananas (about 2 large ones), peeled, broken into pieces
125 grams butter, cut into 1.5cm cubes (can be straight from the fridge)
3 eggs
150 grams sour cream (or yoghurt or cream)
270 grams wholemeal self raising flour (you can use normal if you prefer)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line a 22cm square cake tin with baking paper.
2. Place raw sugar in TM bowl and mill 20secs/ speed10. Scrape down sides.
3. Add brown sugar, bananas, butter, eggs and sour cream into TM bowl. Mix 5secs/ speed6.
4. Add flour and mix 3secs/ speed5. Pour into prepared cake tin & bake 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. Serve as is with a warm cup of tea. If you want icing, a beautiful cream cheese or simple vanilla buttercream would work well.

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: If you want to make it a bit naughty, then add some chocolate chips at step 4; about 150-200grams will do. This cake also freezes well so an easy snack for school/work lunches. Slice and freeze in portions to save time in the morning.