Sunday, October 30, 2016

Crispy Squid With Sweet Chilli Mayo

This recipe comes from my old mate. Admittedly his looked a damn sight better than mine but hey, I will nail it next time starting with going to the effort to find some fresh squid albeit with insides, ink and other gross bits removed.

I served the crispy squid with some homemade fries and sweet chilli mayo. It completely baffles me that more people don’t make their own chips. I make them TOO much they’re THAT much better than bought or frozen chips. The sweet chilli mayo should have been harissa mayo (according to Jamie) but I couldn’t for the life of me find harissa at the super market and I’m guessing if I could, I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway. Sweet chilli sauce was the perfect cheap, exciting substitute. Took me mayo to a whole new level.
Sweet Chilli Mayo

I’ve been largely unsure of squid for a very long time. I’ve had it delicious and I’ve had it like eating a gumboot, and that’s putting things euphemistically. I’m not sure the quality of my squid did this recipe justice as I was left with my mixed feelings intact. The crunchy outside was delicious and some bits of squid were perfect but there were also some that were too chewy than they should have been.

Crispy Squid With Sweet Chilli Mayo
Time: 30 minutes

4-6 squid tubes (plus tentacles if you’ve got them)
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 cup flour
Oil for deep frying

1. Prepare the squid tubes by washing, patting dry then cutting open like a book. Score the middle side in a criss-cross.
2. Mix up the dry ingredients then coat the squid. Heat the oil in a pot (or get your deep fryer cranking if you have one). If a small chunk of bread floats to the top and starts to crisp that’s when you know it’s good to go.
3. Put the squid in and cook for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on a few layers of grease proof paper then slice up ready to eat.
4. For the sweet chilli mayo just add sweet chilli sauce to mayo – easy as. I’m lucky in that my mayo was homemade with lemon and garlic.
5. If you’re using store-bought mayo then add in a squeeze of lime and some crushed garlic. If I had some on hand I would have added some fresh chopped chilli too. Get creative!

The chips are super easy too. Just chop up some potatoes in a chip-like shape, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika and bang in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 200degrees. You can sit back and feel chuffed that they’re healthier than the local chippie and you’ll never buy frozen chips again.

Recipes cheesecake

Dairy And Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake recipe is kind of a facade for health food. It’s based on the gluten and dairy free cheesecake dreamed up by Chelsea Winter. I am a huge fan of her dedication to providing not only meaty, carby, sugary fare but also inventing healthier alternatives, like this cheesecake. There are a number of key substitutions for each traditional ingredient (e.g. crumbed nuts instead of crumbed biscuits for the base) and I kid you not it tastes exactly like a cheesecake should, chocolately, creamy and sinfully delicious.
Chocolate Cheesecake

So, here we go

Dairy And Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake

Time: 45minutes then an hour or so to set
Serves: Made about 20 muffin sized cheesecakes

1 1/2 cups cashew nuts
1/2 cup coconut – flakes or desiccated
1/3 cup coconut oil2 tbsp honey
1 1/4 cups ground almonds (almond meal)

1 block of dark chocolate – 75% cocoa
1 400g tin coconut cream (look for a full fat brand which doesn’t contain stabiliser)
2 large avocados (or a 250g tub of cream cheese if you are being naughty)
2 egg whites

Some sort of fruity accompaniment like blueberries, mint and lemon zest or you could just go classic strawberries if they’re in season. Get creative.

1. First things first – get that coconut cream in the fridge or the freezer because you want to separate the solids from the liquid by cooling the solids enough to harden. Then when it comes to using it, you can drain away the liquid easily.
2. After you’ve done this you can line your cake tin or your muffin tins with baking paper ready to go later (I went the cheats way using cupcake cups). Also important to get out the way immediately is melting the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. When it is melted, set aside to cool while you assemble the other ingredients.
3. Blend up the cashews, coconut, oil, honey and almond meal until it resembles a crumb that is a similar texture to what you would normally blend a biscuit base to. It should kind of stick together too so when you press it into your muffin tin or cake tin it sticks together. You want to press it down firmly but not so that it turns to cement. Set aside.
4. Remove your avocado from its skin and blend the flesh to a puree. In a separate bowl, add the pureed avocado to the coconut cream solids (VERY important that it’s only the solids – if you get the liquid in there it won’t work) and blend until smooth. Then the chocolate comes back into play.
5. Slowly, bit by bit, blend in the melted chocolate. Finally, you want to foam up the egg whites with a beater then fold into the chocolate mixture.
6. Spoon the chocolate filling into your tin(s) and set aside to cool for an hour or so. Decorate with chosen creative toppings and you are done! A great way to get your dessert hit without feeling guilty.

Our Recipes Honey and Ginger
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Honey & Ginger Pork Belly Recipe

My recipe this week incorporated the honey wine and normal honey and some delightful multi-coloured carrots I picked up from the local farmers market. I don’t normally go completely without a recipe but it was oh so cheffy and exciting to make something up based on what I had bought. The experimenting paid off because it was incredibly delicious – like, so delicious we ate the whole thing in one go because we are fatties like that.
Honey & Ginger Pork Belly

One of the best finds was an amazing little honey shop where they had glass hives to watch the bees doing their thing.
Fun fact about bees: A select few bee eggs are fed premium food called ‘Royal Jelly’ which makes them grow into a queen bee. Because more than one egg is being fed Royal Jelly, there are a whole bunch of queens  developing. It is up to the first queen that hatches to kill the rest before they hatch and dispute her legitimacy. If two queen bees hatch at the same time they fight to the death. Brutal. You can actually buy Royal Jelly to eat but it is incredibly expensive.
At the honey shop we sampled a whole bunch of different products. Best case scenario would have been to go home with some honey whiskey. It was rather delicious but also rather pricey  so we settled for some honey wine. Don’t ask me how they do it but honey wine is made from fermented honey. It was actually the first kind of wine ever invented back in the day. It’s very sweet if slightly confusing.
So, here we go

Honey & Ginger Pork Belly

Time: 15minutes prep and 3hours slow cooking
Serves: Ahem, yes we ate the whole thing but I’m sure a little cut of pork belly could go around 3 skinnies

Small cut of pork belly (about 800grams)
1/2 cup dessert wine (honey wine in my case)
2 tbsp grated or very finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp honey
A little oil and salt

1. Mix the ginger, honey, oil and salt together then massage into the pork belly, making sure to completely slather the mixture over every nook and cranny.
2. Place in a roasting tray and pour in 1/2 cup wine (or more if you are feeling adventurous) along with 1/2 cup of water so it doesn’t dry out.
3. At this point you may want to rub a little extra salt onto the skin so you get lovely crackling. Don’t forget to do this or you will end up having to discard the skin – such a waste of crackling!
4. Place in the oven on a really low heat, about 150-160 degrees and slow cook for about 3 hours (you will need longer for a larger cut of meat).
5. Check it every now and then to make sure there is liquid in the bottom of the tray still.
6. When you’re about 30minutes out from wanting to eat, chuck your vegetables on the stove and switch the oven to grill, turning up the heat to 180 degrees so the top gets nice and crunchy.
You could make a gravy by reserving the juices from the roasting dish, adding a few tsps of flour or corn flour  and 1/2cup of water and heating on the stove. It should thicken up and make a delicious gravy. Because I was away from home I didn’t have access to flour so just spooned a little of the juices over the meat to serve.
I cut it into smaller portions to serve and can’t even describe how yummy it was. I know pork belly is delicious to begin with but honey and ginger is such a classic combination and the intensity of the honey wine gave it just the right alcoholic kick to take it to the next level.
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Steamed Pudding Recipe

I’ve been struck down with a terrible cold all week and had such a big craving for the comfort of a steamed pudding. I wanted the goodness of a nice warm, gingery dessert without the fuss of a complex recipe and loads of dishes. Luckily I found this gem of a recipe online.
It takes 5 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook and has the rich taste of a much more difficult dessert than what it is. Best of all there’s minimal cleaning up – it only uses 4 bowls and you can guestimate most of the ingredients once you’ve made it a few times.

I made it three times in one week. I really am a sucker for dessert. On the second go I tried varying the ingredients to make it healthier. I’m pleased to say that it is robust to substituting half the flour for coconut flour and doesn’t reeeeeally need the sugar if you’re on a health buzz. The golden syrup already adds a lot of sweet caramel flavour.
Steamed Pudding

I’ve been intrigued with steaming things because it’s not a cooking technique I generally use but one I see all the time on cooking shows. At first I was like, how the devil can a pudding cook in boiling water but it works. I don’t understand it but I like it. My next purchase is going to have to be a bamboo steamer then I’m going to spend a week steaming the heck out of everything.

Time: 5 minutes prep and 30 minutes steam
Serves: 2
•1 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp golden syrup
•1/2 cup flour (or 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup coconut flour)
•2 tbsp brown sugar (or white sugar or no sugar)
•2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp mixed spice
•1/2 tsp ground ginger
•Pinch salt
•1 egg
•1/4 cup milk (or water if you’re desperate)

•Firstly, get a large pot with a few cms water on the stove at a medium heat.
•Melt the butter and golden syrup then add to a ceramic bowl.
•Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, spice, ginger and salt in a separate bowl before adding the egg and milk and whisking up with a fork into a pancake-ish batter.
•Pour the batter on top of the butter and golden syrup.
•Place the whole ceramic bowl into the pot of water that should now be boiling then place the lid on the pot and leave to steam for 30minutes.
Serve with custard, cream or plain old milk.

One mistake I made on my second attempt was having too much water in the pot. It’ll still work but the water will boil over into the pudding so it’s generally not ideal.
Change the amount of spice to your liking or you might want to try adding cocoa instead to make a chocolate pudding. The possibilities are endless. This recipe makes a great base for all sorts of variations plus it’s dead simple and pretty much impossible to mess up.
Trust me, if I can make it when I’m a zombie with a cold then you can make it any old time!

popular types of coffee