Sunday, March 28, 2010

Osso Bucco Pasta

I have actually posted this dish before a few years ago when my blogging days first began - but I have removed the original post and I'm posting it again because the way I cook it has changed, and I got a much better photograph this time.  The original recipe involved a lot of fiddly work and separating the meat and the sauce and adding a teaspoon of sauce for every 100g of meat in the oven... blah blah...  wank wank!  I've cooked this meal about 5 times now and my confidence has grown and I feel very comfortable just throwing it all in one pot and cooking it for 3 hours. 

The thing I love the most about this meal is that it is a very rich dish, but by adding the lemon and parsley at the end it gives it a bit of a zing which stops the richness taking over and it becomes quite zesty - which means you eat several serves because you don't get overpowered by the rich flavour. I also love the fact that it is served with pasta.  It could easily be a dish on its own but the pasta gives it that extra bit of comfort.

I've decided to enter this dish at Pasta Presto Nights because I think its a worthy candidate.  Ruth has some fantastic, delicious entries each month and I'd like to see how this pasta fares!

This was the last ever dish I cooked in our OLD kitchen!  Thats right - the NEW kitchen is in.  And it is beautiful.  The tiles still need to go up so I won't post any photos yet.  The new kitchen has so much more benchspace and the cupboards are so much deeper.  I haven't stopped cooking in it.  And my brand new fan foced oven and cook top is my pride and joy. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

White Chocolate Fairy Cakes

There's a chick at work called Carly who is a PA in Jared's department.  Carly requested something made with white chocolate as she had missed out on all the treats I'd sent Jared to work with as she cannot eat normal chocolate.  I was more than happy to oblige.  I've never been a fan of white chocolate - I find it way too rich or sweet or something that I can't quite put my finger on.  But I did really enjoy these cupcakes. 

I hand delivered four of them in a little box to my personal food critic Richard's workplace.  Two security guards at the front desk took them and made the obvious jokes about how they were going to eat them and that Richard would be lucky to see them but THEY DID EAT THEM!!!  At least we think so.  Richard has done a lot of investigating and these two security guards (who are actual COPS by the way) originally said that "someone" had collected them on Richard's behalf but they couldnt remember who.  But Richard kept pressing them and their story changed to "someone stole them from the reception counter while we weren't looking".  Unbelievable.  Poor Richard missed out and I didnt get my review.

The actual recipe asks for fairy floss neatly piled on top of each cake.  All video stores, supermarkets and party shops had sold out of fairy floss last Saturday so I opted for the pink sprinkles instead!  They were great.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moderator's Slice

I have no idea why this slice is called Moderator's Slice. It came from my favourite baking cookbook The Blue Ribbon Cookbook which contains all of the Blue Ribbon winners around South Australia for various baking feats.  This recipe comes from Valmai Roeby from Quorn which is an amazing country town in the Flinders Ranges where I did a lot of my growing up as a kid; hence the reason I've been wanting to make this slice.  That, and the fact that it looked deeeeeelish!

By looking at the recipe I couldn't figure out what this slice would taste like, but now I can describe it perfectly.  It tastes like a chocolate crackle with gooey, thick caramel through the middle.  TO DIE FOR!  It was so good, and so naughty that I had to send most of it to work with Jared so he could give it away.  If it stayed in our fridge I was going to devour it and put on about 25kg. Jared gave a slice to my usual food critic Richard who emailed me this feedback:

OMG I've just started to eat it. You are going to kill Jared with this food. I'm guessing the last thing he will be doing before he dies is eating and feeling very happy about it. Having eaten it, it is indeed remarkable that it ever found its way to me.

I wasn't at work when Jared handed out the slice as I've been off studying, furthering my computer knowledge - when I went back to work today and wandered through Jared's floor I received several compliments on my fabulous slice.  I can see why this won the blue ribbon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Simple Paella

It's a long weekend in Adelaide and the weather is fairly miserable.  As sad as it is to see summer go, I'm quite welcoming of a bit of cold and wet and getting my trackies back on; I'm even tempted to pull out the ugg boots...   I was so excited about this long weekend because we made no plans.  The entire weekend was all ours to do with as we please - and for me that meant spending some time in our kitchen - which has exactly 15 days left until it gets replaced completely.  I am so excited!!

So on Sunday while Jared played golf I pulled out all my cookbooks and started searching for something to cook for dinner.  Absolutely nothing was jumping out at me except risotto, and even that wasn't inspiring me too much.  After searching for risotto recipes I found a paella recipe that I thought seemed really yummy.  It's a bit of a faux paella recipe. I don't have the special pan or the special rice, and I don't eat prawns so I ommited them too... 

I found this recipe on an Australian cooking website called  Taste.  I love this website because it is so easy to use and I generally find what I'm looking for. Plus, many people write reviews of the recipes which really helps when you decide to make it too.  For example, for this paella recipe one reviewer said to use medium grain rice as it absorbs the flavour better than long grain, another said to use more stock, another suggested saffron and chilli is a great addition.  I took on all of this advice and my paella was perfect. I even got the crust on the bottom!  Jared said it's the best Paella he's had outside of Spain.  Isn't he a sweety!?  I assume he hasn't ever eaten Paella except when in Spain but I will definitely be making this again.  The whole meal took about 45 minutes to prepare, cook and have it on the table!  And the colours were magnificent.  I was very impressed!

also,  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!!!  xx

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Slow Cooked Tandoori Chicken

I wasn't even sure what meal I was creating when I marinated some chicken thighs in Tandoori paste and yoghurt. Every other time I've made Tandoori Chicken I've cooked it on a baking tray in the oven and although I would enjoy the tandoori flavour, the meat always dried out. So then it occured to me to use the slow cooker!! Everything that goes in the slow cooker always turns out juicy and luscious and as an added bonus, dinner is ready when I walk in the door after work - which was great tonight as there were a few sore heads at our place after the ACDC concert last night!

So as I walked home from work today I was thinking about what I could serve the chicken with and I decided to make a raita and serve it with pita bread. The rice was a last minute addition by Jared who was craving carbs - we don't usually eat any rice, bread or pasta, so I thought we'd have a treat and I made some.

The great thing about this dish is that the chicken cooks all day and becomes so juicy and tender, it just shreds as you put your fork into it, and the raita can be made the night before. This means that if you are having guests over after work then this meal is a great idea because the rice is all that you really need to cook, and heat up the pita. I think this may become one of our favourites... Tandoori chicken in the slow cooker is definitely a winner!  I also throw a cube of chicken stock in with the cooking rice and sprinkle fresh coriander over the chicken.  I heated the pita bread in the oven for about 5 minutes.

This dish is most satisfying because you pile the rice, chicken, raita and coriander onto a piece of warm pita and devour it like a taco!  So divine!