Monday, 15 September 2014

{san choy bao in hermie}


Oh no, I've been neglecting this blog for so long that guilt is creeping in. I have been inspired in the last few months by lots of different things but finding the time to write up my latest experiments in the kitchen has been lacking. But, now I think I have my mojo back. Why? Well, in case you haven't heard, here in Australia the launch of the new TM5 has occurred just over a week ago. Having Hermie 2.0 in the kitchen is very exciting as there are some great new features... but this is not what this post is about. That will be in a separate one in the near future.

Isn't this supposed  to be how to make san choy bao using Hermie? Yes it is and I think it fits in very well with all the different ways that people are eating these days. What I'm referring to is the latest diet craze or food allergy/intolerance. Although I have never been on any dieting bandwagon, I have experienced food intolerance and allergies myself and within my little family. These include lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, nut allergies, following the FAILSAFE diet and FODMAP. I think we've pretty much got all bases covered.

So, san choy bao is one of those dishes which is Asian flavour based (which is my favourite) and ticks lots of categories including:
- gluten free
- wheat free (check the sauces you're using)
- dairy free
- grain free
- carb free
- high protein
- and most importantly delicious.

It is easily made from the staple ingredients from an Asian Pantry as well as some fresh food items. A bonus is that it is very quick to make and the kids have fun 'making' their own little lettuce cups. Enjoy!

3-4 dried shitake mushrooms
15 grams ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small-medium carrot, peeled, roughly chopped 3-4cm
450-500 grams pork mince
20 grams vegetable oil (canola, rice bran, peanut etc)
12 baby cos lettuce leaves (your cups)
big handful of beansprouts (or to taste)
1-2 spring onions, chopped to 1cm lengths
20 grams Shao XsIng wine
10 gram light soy sauce
15 grams dark soy sauce
10 grams oyster sauce
40 grams hoisin sauce

1. Place mushrooms into bowl and pour over hot water to cover and soften mushrooms
2. Place ginger, garlic & carrot into TM bowl and chop 5secs/ speed5. Scrape down sides of bowl.
3. Add pork mince and oil to TM bowl and saute 6mins/ varoma (TM5=110C)/ speed1/ reverse
4. Meanwhile, drain water from mushrooms and dice (using a knife) into 0.5cm pieces and wash the 12 lettuce leaves and beansprouts and set aside for later.
5. Scrape down sides of bowl and with spatula, stir the bottom around.
6. Add wine, soy sauce, reserved mushrooms and spring onions into TM bowl and cook 4mins/ varoma (TM5=110C)/ stir speed/ reverse
7. Scrape down sides and add in dark soy, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce. Cook 2mins/ 100C/ stir speed/ reverse.
8. Once complete, pour into thermoserver and serve by scooping into reserved lettuce cups and topped with bean sprouts.

Bon Appetit xx

Serves 2-3 depending on appetite


Note: Great for finger food. Just need to use the tiny baby cos lettuce leaves and a teaspoon of filling.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

{soya bean drink in hermie ... asian style}


I was always the soya bean drink person and my sister was the opposite with her choice being a chrysanthemum tea or the like. This was of course when my mum did the weekly grocery shop at the Asian Grocer and we asked for a yeos 'fruit box' of choice for the ride home. When you're that young, try explaining the difference in the Asian style soya bean drink and commercial western soy milk to your friends! They are very different and one mistaking the other can lead to an accidental dislike for something that is so yummy.

So, at attempt #5, I am finally able to say that I think I have mastered the making of an Asian style soya bean drink. This leads to so many things. Not only can I determine the sweetness of the drink, but if minimal or no sugar is added, using a few extra steps, we can then make tofu and also tau foo fa (the sweet Asian dessert that is soo silky and smooth). These will be hopefully my next successes but first, I'm just enjoying the yummy drink that I hope to make over and over again. Enjoy!

130 grams soya beans
water for soaking beans
60-90 grams sugar
600 grams water
400-500 grams hot water
nut bag for straining

1. Place soya beans into TM bowl. Soak for at least 6 hours or overnight if possible. If for 6 hours, I use hot water. Water must cover the beans.
2. Using the TM steaming basket, strain the excess water from the soaked beans.
3. Add 600 grams water into TM bowl. Blend 20secs/ speed 9. Scrape down sides and then add sugar (I use the whole 90 grams).
4. Cook 25mins/ varoma/ speed 3. You will find that the liquid bubbles up to the MC hole. When this occurs, decrease the temperature to 100C (by pressing the 100C button) for the remainder of the cooking time.
5. Add the remaining 400-500grams hot water and mix 3secs/ speed 3.
6. Using an extra bowl that is about 1.5L in capacity, place the nutbag over and then pour the soya bean liquid into the bag to strain. You can see after I have done this, my bag is just strung up over the bowl so it can continue to drip out.


7. If you are using a very fine material like a nutbag, feel free to squeeze out the liquid for maximum effectiveness. If your bag is not very fine, I don't recommend doing this as you will get the pulp pushed through which is not very nice to drink!
8. Taste for sweetness and adjust if required. 

Makes ~1-1.2L

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: the nutbag that I use has been so useful and easy to clean compared to a muslin cloth. A quick rinse and all the pulp is gone. I bought this one at a health food store.

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 :-)