Friday, 29 August 2008

Slow cooker cassoulet

1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
300g chopped bacon
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
400g diced lamb
400g diced pork
2 cups haricot beans
1 cup beef stock
1 cup water
140g tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
400g can diced tomatoes
1 bouquet garni

50g butter
2 cups soft breadcrumbs
1/ cup chopped parsley to serve

Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 8-10 hours, stirring halfway through cooking if possible.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry breadcrumbs until golden.

Serve cassoulet sprinkled with parley and toasted crumbs.

Thyme Dumplings - to top a slow cooker casserole

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried thyme
25g butter
approx 1/2 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder and thyme. Melt butter and mix into flour. Add milk until a soft dough is formed. Roll mixture into balls and drop onto top of casserole. Do this about 1/2 an hour before the casserole is ready.

Slow cooker - Moroccan Hotpot with cornbread

2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
6 chicken thighs, cut in half
2 chorizo sausages, cut in 2cm slices
400g can moroccan-style tomatoes
1/2 cup water

Place onions, tomatoes, chorizo and chicken into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
Half an hour before the end of cooking, spoon corn bread topping onto the chicken mixture, spreading to cover. Turn the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for a further half hour.

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp paprika
25g melted butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Mix all dray ingredients together. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients and pour into the well. Mix well to combine.

Slow cooker Minestrone

Serves 6-8

1 c red kidney beans
2 carrots, diced
3 pieces celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 rashers bacon, de-rinded and chopped
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
1/4 c tomato paste
6 c boiling chicken stock
1 bouquet garni
1 c macaroni elbows
1/4 small cabbage, finely sliced
parmesan cheese to serve

Soak kidney beans overnight. Drain and rinse, discarding soaking water.
Alternatively, boil for 15-20 minutes, discarding cooking water.
Place the following in the slow cooker: soaked beans, carrots, celery, garlic, bacon, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and bouquet garni. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours.
Add macaroni an hour before the end as well as salt to taste. Add cabbage half and hour before ready to serve. Serve hot garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese.

***Did you know that red kidney beans, unlike other beans must be presoaked or precooked before using in the slow cooker. These beans contain aflotoxins, which are removed in the pre-soaking.
Don't be tempted to keep the soaking/precooking water you are not wasting nutrients but stopping these toxins making you sick.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Spicy Chickpea Salad

I've been trying to replicate a bought salad, I think this might come close. I've yet to try it as I don't have the ingredients on hand. I'd love your feedback if you try it before I do!

1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved (or you could use 2-3 large ones roughly chopped)
a handful of chopped parley
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together well.
Likewise toss all the salad ingredients together.
Pour dressing over salad, stir well.
leave for at least and hour for flavours to develop.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, before serving.

Makes 2 serves.

Fresh Pear Cake/s

I'm going to try this on the weekend as I have some pears laying around.

150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
150g plain flour, sifted
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 170c
Line a medium 12 cup muffin pan.
Beat together all ingredients, except pears and almonds, in a bowl with an electric mixer - until light and creamy.
Spoon mixture into each cup - lay a couple of slices of pear on top of each and sprinkle over almonds.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

This can also be baked in a greased and lined 20cm springform pan @ 180c for 45 minutes.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Apricot, white chocolate and oat muffins (updated)

These were a bit of an experiment to use up some of the remaining home preserved apricots.
I forgot the oats in the original recipe, but they are here now :)
Makes 24 medium muffins

425g tin of apricots in syrup, drained quickly (I used home preserved ones)
1&1/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup white chocolate chunks, chips or buds
extra white chocolate

Puree apricots (could also use fresh or dried ones that have been stewed).
Stir in sugar, oil and eggs.
Lightly stir in remaining ingredients until just combined.
Spoon batter into lightly greased/lined muffin tins.
Top each muffin with a piece of the remaining chocolate.
Bake 15-18 minutes in 180c /425f oven.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
These are awesome when still warm.

Old fashioned rice pudding in a slow cooker

Loosely adapted another recipe to make this - cinnamon was nice but I think next time I would use less or leave it out altogether.

3/4 cup white long grain rice
3 & 1/2 cups milk
3 tbs powered milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
3 tbs butter (I grated mine into the mix)

Grease the inside of the slow cooker.
Stir in all the other ingredients.
Cook on high for 2 &1/2 to 3 hours.
Check after the lesser time - it will also keep cooking after the slow cooker is turned turn it off when there is still a bit of liquid - it will solidify on standing.

I'm back!!!

Yes, I'll admit I haven't been around for a has been moving a long at a cracking pace and right now I am finding it hard to keep up some days!
Nothing exceptional to report - just spending more time hanging out with friends and family.
I'll post some new recipes below - at least that is one thing I am doing lots of and trying new recipes.
Enjoy and take care of you all!