Monthly Archives: May 2014

SATURDAY COOKING: PUMKIN, CHORIZO AND KALE FRITTATA

This recipe is from Donna Hay’s “The New Classics”. This cookbook was one of my gift to myself at Xmas, and I have to say, I haven’t had a chance to look at it properly yet. It’s HUGE (425 pages) but now that I’ve opened it, I will spend some more time reading it.
I bought kale a couple of weeks ago and I was looking through my collection to find a recipe with this ingredient in it. This was perfect and very easy to make.

PUMPKIN, CHORIZO AND KALE FRITTATA

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1kg Kent pumpkin (squash), peeled and chopped
4 fresh chorizo, cases removed and torn (the chorizo that is, not the casing…)
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper
100g kale, stems removed and torn
150g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup (95g) store-bought caramelised onion relish
8 eggs
1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220C (425F).
  2. Place the pumpkin and chorizo in a 30cm heavy-based shallow pan or baking dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is light golden and just tender.
  3. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 200C (400F).
  4. Add the kale, goat’s cheese and caramelised onion to the dish and mix gently.
  5. Place the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over the vegetables and cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  6. Eat!

I used a big rectangle glass dish (from Ikea) which was just the right size. I only used 2 chorizos because that’s all I had and it was enough.
There will be a bit of juice when you roast the pumpkin and chorizo. I left it but the bottom of the frittata was a bit soggy (which I didn’t mind). So you may want to drain it before adding the other ingredients (but then you won’t get the softness).
I didn’t have soft goat’s cheese, so I used a goat feta which was fine. And I used my red onion chutney (the same I used for the cheese and onion pull-apart bread).
Also, 8 eggs and a cup of cream may seem a lot but if you cut the frittata in 8, it’s not much at all. The recipe says it serves 4-6 which would be very generous portions. I had it with a salad on the side and it was yummy!

Monday Lifelines

From Kaz Cooke’s The little book of diet and exercise” (it really makes me laugh…):

The best exercise program to rid the body of cellulite includes trampolining. This is because the fat cells don’t know which way is up any more, so they immediately expel their contents into the air.

Why not pole vault to work? It’s great for the arms.

For a great resistance exercise, tie your legs together with a dressing-gown cord and try to do the splits.

SATURDAY COOKING: SPANISH CAPSICUM AND TOMATO SOUP

SPANISH CAPSICUM AND TOMATO SOUP from “The Slow Cookbook” by Heather Whinney (DK Collection, a fabulous book, full of really good recipes).

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1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeld and chopped
pinch of dried chilli flakes
pinch of paprika ( I used smoked paprika)
6 red capsicums, deseeded and roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1.4 litres vegetable stock

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper, add the celery, garlic, and carrot, and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir through the chilli flakes and paprika and cook for a minute, then add the capsicums and tomatoes. Cook on very low heat about 20 minutes, stirring so they don’t stick. Pour in half of the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover with the lid, and cook on a low heat for 45-60 minutes, topping up with the reserved stock as the cooking liquid reduces.
  3. Use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth, or transfer in batches to a liquidiser and blend. Add a ladleful of hot water if too thick. Pour the soup into a clean pan, taste and season as needed and heat through.
  4. Eat!

It seems a long time to cook a soup . But the end result is very nice!
If you have time and feel like a Michelin-star chef, pass the soup through a sieve so you won’t get the skins of the capsicums and tomatoes and end up with a velvety texture. For extra flavour, you could also roast the capsicums before.
Serve with feta cheese, and some bread (like the caramelised onion and cheddar pull-apart bread).

SATURDAY COOKING: CARAMELISED ONION AND VINTAGE CHEDDAR PULL-APART BREAD

The weather has finally cooled down here in Perth and it’s time for slow cooks, soups and yummy breads.
A couple of recipe this week, going hand in hand, starting with a CARAMELISED ONION AND VINTAGE CHEDDAR PULL-APART BREAD (recipe from “Farm House Cooking” from the Australian Women’s Weekly).

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3 cups (450g) self-raising flour
1 cup (160g) wholemeal self-raising flour
100g cold butter, chopped
1 cup (120g) coarsely grated vintage cheddar cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 1/4 cup (310ml) buttermilk, approximately

caramelised onions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium white onions (300g), sliced thinly
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons water

Method:

  1. Make caramelised onions. Heat oil in a large frying pan; cook onions, stirring, over medium heat until soft. Add remaining ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until onions are caramelised. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.
  3. Sift flours into a large bowl, add husks to bowl; rub in butter. Stir in half the cheese and half the chives. Add egg and enough buttermilk to mix to a soft sticky dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead gently until smooth.
  4. Roll dough between sheets of baking paper into a 30cm*40cm rectangle. Spread caramelised onions over dough leaving a 2cm border along the far side; sprinkle with remaining cheese and chives over onions. Roll up firmly from long side; transfer to tray.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into eight slices, without cutting all the way through. Gently push slices to the left and right. Brush with a little extra buttermilk.
  6. Bake bread about 40 minutes. Stand on tray 20 minutes before serving.
  7. Eat!

If you haven’t got the time to make the caramelised onions, any good onion chutney will do. I used my red onion chutney.
I cut the bread in 2 before putting it on the baking tray, it’s a bit big otherwise.
Have all the ingredients prepared before hand, it helps when it comes to add the grated cheese and chives.
I made 4 small incisions on each of the bread. From past experience, cutting the dough into slices made it messy: the filling came out and the bread was all over the place.
It’s best eaten on the day. If you can’t have it all at once, keep in the fridge and reheat in the oven or microwave.
Very nice with soup, or as the cookbook suggests, with bread and butter pickle, sliced leg of ham, tomatoes and sliced vintage cheddar cheese.