Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

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.”


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


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!

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.

Herbed Mini Muffins

In Baking, Cheese, Egg, Garden, Muffins, Snacks on April 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

The other day I was asked to provide some baking for a shared lunch and was in a bit of a pickle about what to bring. I already had some sweet biscuits prepared – my 100s & 1000s (which I feared were too juvenile) and some classic shortbread. In the end, I decided to opt for something savoury – and decided that one can’t go wrong with savoury muffins. Why are savoury muffins so much rarer than sweet ones? (At least, that has been my experience) These are gorgeous mini muffins that you can make with basic pantry ingredients and I can vouch for their delectability! Sadly the mini size makes you want to eat heaps of them – but then, because they are mini, there’s no need to feel guilty about doing so!

I found the recipe in my trusty ‘Dishes without Red Meat’ – from good old Alison and Simon Holst.

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup grated cheese

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs

1 spring onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup

Measure together in a large bowl the first nine ingredients. Use the fresh herbs you like best or which best suit what you plan to eat with the muffins. Toss well to mix.

In another bowl, beat the egg and the milk together with a fork or whisk. Tip the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together, stirring just enough to dampen the flour. Do not overmix!

Spoon mixture into mini muffin pans (well greased with non stick spray). Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius, or until the centres bounce back when pressed.

Serve whole or split with savoury spreads, smoked salmon or shaved smoked meats if desired.

Recipe makes between 12-18 mini muffins (I found it made closer to the 18).