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.

Monday, 10 March 2014

{indonesian spicy roast chicken with hermie}

There are many ways to roast a chicken but for some reason I seem to find ones with Asian flavour combinations appeal to me more. It's probably because growing up in a Chinese Malaysian household, spices and herbs like ginger, spring onion, coriander, turmeric and chilli were a weekly staple, bought and used in everyday dishes. My palate is less familiar with 'western' herbs such as tarragon, sage and rosemary. Having said that, one of the unexpected benefits of having Hermie is that I am being more creative and my family is eating a larger variety of food. I'm getting better at cooking western meals and am slowly discovering new flavour combinations.

Having said that, there are times that I just crave rice and a meat and a vegetable dish. The recipe below is really handy and fits into this category. It comes from an 'essential' asian cookbook that has sat on my bookshelf for a while and I've finally had time to peruse it and mark out all the recipes I want to try. First off the list is this Indonesian Spicy Roast Chicken recipe. It's great to use the whole chicken if you're entertaining friends and family, however, if you want to keep it simple, just use some chicken pieces like drumsticks instead. Enjoy!

1.5-1.6kg whole chicken
1 red chilli
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons peppercorns
5 grams brown sugar
40 grams soy sauce
2 teaspoons turmeric
20 grams lime juice
drizzle of vegetable oil (can use butter)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
2. Butterfly whole chicken and place on a roasting rack in a baking tray. Roast for 30mins.

3. Meanwhile, prepare marinade. Place chilli, garlic, peppercorns & brown sugar into TM bowl. Chop 5secs/ speed7. Scrape down sides of bowl.
4. Add in soy sauce, turmeric & lime juice (tip: squeeze lime directly onto lid with MC in to prevent pips going into bowl) and mix 3secs/ speed 4.
5. Take chicken out of oven after 30mins and pour marinade over the top. Using a basting brush, make sure it is spread out all over chicken. Drizzle over some vegetable oil over the chicken and roast for another 30-40mins until juices run clear.
6. Cut Asian style and serve with steamed rice and green vegetables (my favourite is to serve with Kang Kong stir fried with blachan, garlic and chilli).

Serves 4-6 in a shared meal.

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: To turn this into an all-in-one meal, after step 5, do not rinse the TM bowl out. Fill with 1500grams water and steam (300-400grams) rice in Hermie. This will produce a flavourful rice to go with your chicken. Cook for about 15-20mins/ varoma/ speed2. In the last 5 minutes, add some green veg, oyster sauce and sesame oil to the varoma and there you have it!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

{apricot jam in hermie}

I'm not one of those people who are lucky enough to have a large backyard to grow my own fruit and vegetables so for the whole of summer, I've been on the lookout for cheap, nearly overripe apricots. Why? Because Apricot Jam is Mr S's most favourite jam flavour and I can see why. He has grown up with amazing Auntie's that have made jam for most of his childhood and having tasted it myself, it's super tasty. It has a beautiful chunky texture (so you know there are real apricots in there) and the orange colour is vibrant and natural.

I don't have their recipe but I'm trying to do Apricot Jam justice. This is best served on a chunky piece of toast with a dollop of thick cream in the middle. Or, if you're more adventurous, make some homemade rough puff pastry and fill with jam for an Apricot Danish. Delish!

650-700 grams apricot, quartered and de-stoned
1 green apple, quartered and de-seeded
30 grams lemon juice
450grams raw sugar
150grams water (1.5 MC's)

1. Add apple to TM bowl and chop 3secs/ speed 6. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
2. Add apricot, lemon juice and sugar to bowl. Cook 80mins/ 100C/ speed2 with MC on it's side (or the TM basket on the top).
3. Pour into sterilised jars. I find using my old baby bottle steriliser the easiest way to sterilise jars. If you don't have one of these lying around, sterilise the old fashioned way either boiling or putting them in the oven (Disclaimer: make sure you read up how to do this properly!)

Bon Appetit!

Makes about 2x 400ml jars

Tip: If you want a smooth jam, wait until it has cooled for about 15mins and then blend 1min/ speed9.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

{green papaya and crab salad with hermie}

This is a traditionally a vietnamese salad and is based on Luke Nguyen's salad that can be found here. It's so easy to make with the help of the Thermomix because you can put all the dressing ingredients in Hermie to cook and then get on with the task of julienning the green papaya (or mango) and removing the crab meat from the shells. Today, we're celebrating Valentine's day and this will be served as the entree for our dinner. Enjoy!

salad Ingredients:
5 perilla leaves
5 mint leaves
5 Vietnamese mint
5 Asian basil leaves
1 green papaya (paw paw), peeled and julienned
2 blue swimmer crabs, cooked and meat removed
1 long red chilli, stem removed
1 tablespoon fried red Asian shallots
1 tablespoon fried garlic chips
1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts (optional)

nouc mam cham dipping fish sauce:
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bird’s eye chilli, stem removed
60 grams fish sauce
60 grams rice vinegar
40 grams sugar
125 grams water
40 grams lime juice

1. Place perlilla, mints and basil leaves into TM bowl. Chop 3 secs/ speed5. Set aside for later. Rinse the bowl out for step 2 (no need to dry).
2. We now proceed to the dipping sauce. Place the garlic and chilli into TM bowl and chop 3 secs/ speed6. Set aside in a bowl that you will later use to mix the rest of the dressing in. Scrape down the sides.
3. Add the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and water to the bowl and cook 6mins/ 90C/ speed1
4. Meanwhile, julienne the papaya and place in bowl with the reserved herbs from step 1. 
5. Squeeze lime juice onto lid of TM bowl (so the pips don't fall in and mix 2secs/ speed 2.
6. Store in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
7. Slice red chilli and add this and crab to bowl with papaya and herbs.
8. When ready to serve, drizzle over sauce, mix and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit xx

Serves 2

Tips: If you julienne the papaya or mango before hand, you can keep them crisp by storing them in a bowl and covered with ice water.