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Archive for the ‘Cheese’ Category

A Few Things: Rustic Vegetable Pie, Black Bread & Roasted Pumpkin/Parsnip Puree

In Baking, Bread, Cheese, Soup on August 19, 2012 at 6:26 am

I made this pie a few days back, but sadly it ended up getting devoured  before I could finish taking photos (slices). It’s quite a funny sort of ‘pie’ – definitely something in between a rustic pie/tart and a pizza, and incorporates potatoes into it too, surprisingly. That said, I have to say, it didn’t feel overly heavy and was quite a delicious and cheap meal. The recipe came from a NZ Home and Garden Magazine, I think – and was in my old recipe book of clippings. To save myself time, I decided to scan the recipe rather than type it out. A bit sloppy, perhaps but it saves time! I would definitely like to make this again and see if I can my base to explode like theirs does in the picture (I don’t know how they do that, they must have made it in summer).

Another day I made some black bread and served it with a roasted pumpkin and parsnip puree. Originally it was going to be soup, but essentially it was just a slightly thinned out puree of roasted parsnip and pumpkin with sauteed onion and garlic, and a wee bit of stock – so call it what you will! The black bread recipe came from 101 Cookbooks and once again gave me the opportunity to use my rye meal flour and molasses. It was slightly sweeter than I was expecting, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Saffron Series III: arancine di riso

In Cheese, Egg, Main meals, Rice on August 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

 

Continuing with my saffron posts, here is a recipe for a delicious snack/main meal which is very similar to a post I made a while back about suppli, except that here we have the Sicilian variation arancine.

According to Maxine Clark; “These crisp balls, stuffed with leftover meat ragu (or in my case, cheese) are eaten as street food in Sicily. However, when made cocktail snack size, they are perfect to serve with drinks. Unlike making a true risotto, you want to overcook the rice to make it really stick together. The mixture should be very thick before it is cooled and can be made with leftover risotto.”

Ingredients:

75g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

150 ml dry white wine

275 risotto rice

900 ml vegetable or chicken stock

8 saffron threads or 1/4 tsp powdered saffron

25g parmesan cheese

1 small egg

250g meat ragu or cheese or some other filling

salt and pepper

oil, for deep frying

coating:

100g plain flour

2 large eggs, beaten

125g dired white breadcrumbs

 

deep fryer

 

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes until soft and golden but not browned. Pour in the wine and boil hard until reduced and almost disappeared. Stir in the rice and coat with the butter and wine. Add a ladle of stock and add the saffron and simmer, stirring until absorbed. Continue adding the stock until all the stock has been absorbed. The rice should be very tender, thick and golden.

Taste and season well and stir in the parmesan. Lightly whisk the egg and beat in the risotto. Spread out on a plate and let cool completely, about an hour. Take 1 tablespoon cold risotto, and with damp hands spread out onto one palm. Mound a small teaspoon of filling in the centre. Take another tablespoon of risotto and enclose filling. Roll and smooth between hands to form a perfect ball. Alternatively, make a cone shape with a rounded end. Continue until all the risotto and filling has been used.

To make coating, put the flour on a plate, the beaten egg in a shallow dish and the breadcrumbs in another. Roll the arancine in the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. At this stage, they can be covered and left in the refrigerator for up to a day.

Het up oil or fat in a deep fryer to 180 degrees. Fry a few arancine at a time until coating is golden, around 3-5 minutes (mine were a bit quicker). Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. However, I have eaten them cold and they were also fine…depends on how fussy you are!

Saffron Series II: Saffron Risotto/ risotto allo zafferano

In Cheese, Main meals, Rice on July 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

As promised, here is the second of my saffron posts. I made this for lunch today to take to share with friends at uni. The recipe came from my risotto bible, Maxine Clark’s ‘Risotto with vegetables, seafood, meat and more.’ If you are a fan of risotto and haven’t yet seen it (which I find hard to believe) then you definitely should! Risotto isn’t that hard to make if you know how to do it, and all it takes is good quality ingredients for meal for an average meal to be turned into a sumptuous risotto. Clark’s recipe for saffron risotto was very simple, but it was truly divine – especially on a wet and windy Auckland afternoon/evening!

 

Ingredients:

1 – 1.5 litres hot vegetable stock or light chicken stock

125 g butter

1 onion finely chopped

(I also always add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, or smoked garlic if I have it)

500g risotto rice (your choice, I always go with arborio)

150ml dry white wine (I just use a generous wine glass rather than measuring)

1/4 tsp ground saffron or 16 saffron threads

75g grated parmesan

salt and pepper

 

Put the stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the chopped onion and garlic, if using. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, so the onions are soft, golden and translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir until well coated with butter and heated through. Pour in the wine and stir until it had reduced down and almost disappeared.

Add the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until the liquid has almost dissolved between each addition. Add the saffron after the first ladle. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout, don’t let the rice dry out! Continue cooking until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grains are still firm to the bite.

Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining butter and add all the parmesan. Cover and let rest for a few minutes before serving, and add a little bit more stock to loosen it if you think it is necessary.

MMMMMM….

 

Cornbread with Cheese & Chillies

In Baking, Bread, Cheese on May 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Today I woke up with a craving for cornbread – or rather, I’ve had the craving for a while and today was my very delayed gratification. I also had some red chillies sitting around in my fridge drawer, so when I saw the ‘Tex Mex style’ variant on my bread book’s cornbread recipe, I was sold. I didn’t have a proper cast iron skillet to cook it (in my dreams) but I made do with my trusty black ceramic dish – which gave it a lovely round shape for cutting into delicious spicy chunks. I served mine with Olivani and tomato relish for a bit of extra bite – YUM.

30 g butter, melted

150 g fine cornmeal or maize meal

150g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp caster sugar or granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

150 ml buttermilk

150 ml milk

2 jalapeno chillies, deseeded and chopped

125 g grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius/425 Farenheit. Prepare a 23 cm skillet according to skillet instructions (or if you are me, your ceramic round dish).

Stir the cornmeal, flour. baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the centre. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and milk in a separate bowl and add melted butter.

Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients, use spatula to fold in until combined. Try not to overmix as this can make the bread heavy! Add the cheese and the chillies.

Spoon the batter into prepared skillet or dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen (I think mine needed a bit longer than this). Leave to cool briefly on a wire rack, then cut into wedges and serve warm.