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Archive for the ‘Egg’ Category

A little bit of gluten free…

In Egg, Pasta on February 2, 2013 at 8:50 am

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I know, I know. I’ve been away. I’ve been lazy, and this blog seems to be dying a slow and painful death. But I’ve also had a lot on my plate! My grandmother is still in hospital, I’ve still been without kitchen for the most part and not been cooking much. Yet this is an overdue post. In early December, I became interested in gluten free cooking. Now, I’ll admit I don’t have any reason to go gluten free….and I used to laugh at all those people who did it voluntarily without a doctor’s recommendation – yet I’ll admit, I was curious to find out what the hype was all about and to see if I would, in fact, feel much better on a gluten free diet as many of the gluten free advocates claim.

Last week I made gluten free pizza (base seen in first photo) and a few days back I attempted fresh gluten free pasta for the first time. Before that, I did some research and outfitted myself with gluten free flours – the standard ones (cornflour, rice flour) and some less commonplace ones – sorghum flour, tapioca flour and potato flour. I retrieved recipes for a gluten free pizza base and gluten free fresh pasta from Jim Boswell’s New Zealand Gluten-Free Cookbook, which was kindly lent to me by a friend. I expect to make both again and will post with the recipes, as I don’t have the book with me currently. But I can assure you, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make both the pasta and the pizza base. Making fresh gluten free pasta took HALF the time than making normal fresh pasta….true it made a smaller portion, but let’s not quibble, ok?

You’ll be hearing more soon. I didn’t have enough interesting ingredients to make a pretty pasta sauce or toppings, but I’ll make it to the supermarket eventually!

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Mini Silverbeet, Egg & Ricotta Pies

In Baking, Egg, Pastry, Pie on September 5, 2012 at 6:49 am

 

 

I’ve had a pie craving all winter (especially since I discovered this new pastry method) yet I just haven’t had the time or occasion to make all the pies I wanted to. However, a small series of events (visiting my parents, a shared lunch) meant that I finally got my chance. I made a batch of this ricotta using raw milk from my parents’ farm with an idea in mind of making spinach and ricotta pie. Once I’d made the ricotta, returned to Auckland and actually got around to cooking, I decided that making numerous small pies would be an infinitely better idea, especially for a shared lunch! I also figured that silverbeet would made a good substitute for spinach, seeing as I still have lots of silverbeet in my garden. And then, top it all off, I saw a recipe that included whole egg yolks with the ricotta and spinach which made me think of Italian Easter Pie, similar to this improvised version I made a while back.

I was really pleased with the end result – though definitely was a bit short on the silverbeet filling. I still have some pastry left, so may even make a couple more pies tonight!

If you are keen on making these, the method is quite simple.

Make pastry using this method and recipe, or else use bought pastry (Ek!)

Set pastry aside.

Take a head of fresh spinach or silverbeet (or use equivalent frozen), rinse and steam briefly for a few minutes until wilted. Drain and squeeze out excess moisture. Chop with kitchen scissors or a knife. Set aside.

Peel and chop 1 green onion and a garlic clove. Sautee until softened in a little olive oil. Add silverbeet to pan, along with some salt and pepper, chopped herbs (I just used parsley) as well as a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool slightly and beat in 1 egg. Mix ricotta (around 300-400 g, depending on your ricotta – mine is super thick) with some chopped herbs, salt and an egg.

Oil some ramekins (I used 3 around 11 x 6 cm in size) using a small bowl of oil and a pastry brush. Divide pastry dough into small balls to match size and number of ramekins –  it’s likely there will be some leftover pastry, so store in the fridge or freeze or for later use. Roll out on a floured bench until thin. Line ramekin with pastry, trimming off any excess. Fill with a layer of silverbeet, then ricotta, then silverbeet again. Make a small well in top of silverbeet. Separate an egg and place egg yolk in well. Roll out enough pastry to make a lid for the pie. Crimp edges together and brush with olive oil. Do the same for the remaining ramekins.

Cook for roughly 45 minutes in a preheated 180 degrees oven. Eat and enjoy!

 

Buttery Brioche!

In Baking, Bread, Cake, Egg on August 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

Would you believe I starting making this at 4 am? Well I was awake because I had been watching the last of the gymnastics at the Olympics (yup, us New Zealanders have to stay awake to 3 am to be able to watch the gymnastics) though nevertheless I was pretty impressed with how this brioche came together. I didn’t have any brioche tins (a minor setback!) and had thought to use texas muffin tins, but I only had one tray of those so in the end opted for a loaf option. Why was I so determined to make brioche at this hour of the morning, you might wonder? Well it was not only my brother’s birthday, but he was returning from overseas after a long time and my parents were coming down to my city especially to pick him up, plus it had been my mother’s birthday recently as well….and she had requested brioche especially. And unfortunately, their eta at my house was 7 am, so….hence why staying awake for the gymnastics was a blessing.

Anyway, I definitely did look around at various brioche recipes, especially because I was looking for an alternative to brioche tins. In the end, I went with my trusted (and tired now, at least on this blog) bread book by Treuille and Ferrigno which OF COURSE had a brioche recipe. Using a loaf pan was one of their variants:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tsp dried yeast

2 tbsp water

375 g white four

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

5 eggs, beaten

15 g butter, melted

175g butter, softened

egg glaze, made with 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp water

1. Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.

2. Make a well in the centre and add the yeasted water and beaten eggs,. Mix in the flour to form a soft, moist but manageable dough.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic, about 10 minutes. (I had to add a bit more flour here because the dough was quite wet, and it was ok.)

4. Grease the large bowl, with the melted butter. Place the dough in the bowl; turn to coat it evenly. Cover it evenly. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1.5 hours. Knock back and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

5. Use your hand to incorporate the softened butter into the dough.

6. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until the butter is distributed throughout, 5 minutes, then 5 minutes more. Grease a 1 kg loaf tin and then shape dough to suit a loaf tin. Put the dough in the prepared tin, cover the tin with a tea towel and leave to prove until the dough rises until 1 cm below the top of the tin – about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

7. Brush with egg glaze and bake for 35 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Turn onto wire rack to cool.

As usual, shitty pictures! What can I say, I am a bit embarassed about photographing my food in front of guests and hungry family members? But I’m pretty sure that anyone that ate this brioche could vouch for its good brioche-like consistency and flavour! I do definitely want to make this again, and I do want to try a more traditional type of brioche with tins, if I ever get my hands on them. I promise I will take better photos, ok?

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!