Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life advice deep-fried ricealls

Deep frying is a joy, I think that book should be renamed...

Anyway this is one with all the usual suspects.  There's egg, flour and customised breadcrumbs for added flavour. 


3 - 4 eggs
1-2 cups of flour (as usual, the measurements are intentionally vague but certain, to encourage your own proportions and taste)
Breadcrumbs.  My breadcrumbs are store bought but seasoned with stock powder, pepper, chilli powder and sometime chives but not in this case.
Enough oil for deep frying, maybe a cup or two if you seek a vague suggestion from yours truly. 

Left over risotto.


1.  Gather enough risotto to make a ball which is 40 -50 centimetres in diameter or smaller if you like. 
Turn this ball out in your palms till it is nice and smooth. 

2.  Roll risotto ball in the flour, then egg and finally into the breadcrumbs.  Don't be conservative with this last part, this is where that crunch comes from, upon frying.  This is a repeated process for most crumbed goodies but I never tire of it.  The joys of deep frying are too immense to list here but you may e-mail the writer for a free and faxed fact sheet!

3.  Heat the oil on high and then fry a couple of balls at a time, until golden brown or if you are like me, till charred and then you just take two.  Deep frying is a bit like life, if at first you fry too hard and the results are charred just try again, till you reach a nice golden brown.  Please also use metal and not plastic utensils when retrieving the balls, trust me, this is tried and tested.  I was only an adolescent at the time. 

4.  Enjoy with your own tried and tested condiments.  I ate mine with sweet chilli sauce and mango chutney, I think that's what that was. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Smitten Buttermilk Blueberry

This is a beautiful, delicious buttermilk, flat cake, composed from a Smitten Kitchen recipe.  The recipe is exactly the same except I have substituted the strawberries  with blueberries.  Enjoy with flat cream and raw brown sugar. 

Easy Peasy Garlic and Chive Bread


1 Store bought long roll or baguette

5- 6 tablespoons of butter (varying according to taste and regard to cholesterol and fat intake reasons). 
I personally don't care much for low fat, no-fat kinda mentality, although I  subscribe to a balanced and healthy lifestyle of exercise and health eating.  Given these circumstances, I think one is free to eat widely from all categories. 

Ground garlic.  I have a preference for fresh garlic that I mince by mortar and pestle myself.  In this recipe and most others I have used about 8-10 gloves of garlic, leaving many coarse bits.  But once again, vary according to your own requirements.  No dictators roam here.  It's an autonomous guideline site for cooking fans.  I think that's hypenated by the way 'autonomous-guideline-site'.

8 Sprigs of fresh chives, finely chopped.


Slice bread in half, lengthwise, but do not completely separate the two pieces, leaving the end intact.  Then further slice bread diagonally, in 2.5 - 3 centimetre spacing.  

Butter the two lengthwise slices and then in between the diagonal bits. 

Butter the top of bread and bake in an oven of 180 degree (Celsius) oven, un-covered for extra crunch. 

Remove from oven when bread feels toasty and warm, so give it maybe fifteen minutes. 

There I told you it was easy.  Eat with sweet chilli philly or whatever you like. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

No Pigeon, Chicken Nugget Spag Bol

Sorry if you like to be told exactly what to do. This is not that kind of recipe, I like what I list here to form a collaborative process of cooking. You add what you like and I’ll make some suggestions for the foundations but the rest is in your own hands. So you may notice a wishy-washy discretionary ingredients list below but that is because I want you to insert yourself into this recipe rather than following to the letter, what I think is best. Of course there are times when this won’t suffice and you will have to follow a recipe to the letter but I think that is usual when making complex cakes, where any alteration may mean a flatten sponge etcetera etcetera etcerera.


2 tablespoons of olive oil

About 500 grams of mince beef

The usual herbs you like, I have used two tablespoons of;

Fresh Chives

Fresh Parsley

One teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs out of a jar.

One jar of passata or 3 tablespoons of tomato paste combined with one can of Italian Tomatoes

2 Cloves of garlic

1 small Spanish onion, finely diced

4 button mushrooms (just the proletariat variety, no truffle oils roam here).

1 -2 shallots finely diced

1 spring onion, finely diced.

1 stock cube. As you might have noticed, I do not cook anything without stock. Obviously stock on its own is not nice to taste but in combination with the baser ingredients, it provides an enhancement that is absent without it.

1 tablespoon McCormick Cheesy Pasta seasoning.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes.

Long spaghetti pasta. The sauce binds and works magically with other types of pasta and especially thick rice noodles, for a bit of fusion, to use a cliché.

Finally if you like your spaghetti bolognaise topped with cheese, make sure you use parmesan you can shave yourself, not that powdered ‘UHT’ parmesan that never goes off. I call it UHT parmesan because like its milk cousin, it never does not require refrigeration.


1. Heat oil in pan, once hot, drop the garlic, onion, shallots and spring onion into it and let it sizzle. The sizzle is important because that’s what allows the release of flavours from these core flavouring-releasing ingredients. Keep some spring onion for garnishing purposes, or garnish according to your taste. After the initial sizzle, lower heat and allow these ingredients to brown.

2. Add meat and letting it cook and brown for about 5 minutes.

3. Add all herbs (reserving some for later garnishing purposes, if you wish) to the meat.

4. Add passata or other tomato based ingredients that will make up your bolognaise sauce. Low heat and let the sauce simmer, while also allowing it to cook the meat thoroughly.

5. Add stock, stir.

6. Add mushrooms and stir through. Keep the heat at medium, cover and let it simmer.

7. Add McCormick seasoning.

8. Add chill flakes.

9. While the sauce is cooking, fry some frozen chicken nuggets in a pan. There is usually no need to add oil during this process, as frozen food gives off enough oil on its own to sustain the frying. Once the nuggets have cooked (usually takes me 15 minutes on medium heat), slice them into smaller bit. The ones in the photos were quite simply cut into squarish quarters.

10. While the sauce is cooking, boil a pot’s worth of water and throw your pasta in it. Make sure the noodles are cooked in boiling water otherwise they will go soggy. My method of checking whether they are cooked is not elaborate, there is no throwing stuff at the ceiling or walls that will need to be cleaned later. I quite simply cool a noodle strand in cold water and then test is by eating it. Told you it wasn’t elaborate.

11. Place pasta down on a plate, pour sauce over it and top with nuggets and spring onions or chives or parmesan. Serve with salad or whatever you like.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Croque Monsieur

Hey.  This is my recipe for those fried and fancy white sauce sandwiches that the French eat.  I didn't even know the official spelling of its name but I know I love it, so I cooked it.  There as simple as that.  I do think I was inspired by 'It's Complicated' though, Meryl Streep just makes cooking and generally living the white upper-middle class so exciting.  Minus the infidelity, she makes you wanna live in a Nancy Meyers film forever and leave only to check the mail.  So here goes...


1.  2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornflour is best for white sauces, as opposed to white plain (or all purpose flour.  I don't know the technical reason why but it fine texture allows for better binding with the butter and then milk, leading to minimal lumps).

2.  About the same amount of butter as the flour, so two tablespoons but if this does not work, try  it out with a additional tablespoon.

3.  1 cup of milk.
4.  1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard.
5.  1 Chicken stock cube.  This cube is not going to transform your white sauce into a chicken flavoured dish, it quite simply merges with the sauce, extracting the blandness of an unflavoured white sauce. 
6.  2 cups of cheese (I quite simply use the pleb cheese, which is tasty cheese, but fancy alternatives are also fine).
7. Two tablespoons of Philly cream cheese.

8.  4 -5 sprigs of  finely chopped chives.

9.  Bread slices (any kind you like)

10.  A slice of nice ham for each sandwich.

White sauce method

There isn't a whole lot to this method. 

1.  Add butter and cornflour to a well heated sauce or fry pan.
2. Blend together with a wooden spoon.  The aim here is to ensure the you are cooking the cornflour, un-cooked flour leads to lumps, in my experience. 
3.  Once the flour and butter are combined, add milk, slowly.  Let the milk heat slowly but do not allow it to boil.  You should experience the sauce becoming fuller at this point.
4.  Add the cheese, making sure you are stirring continuously to avoid lumps. 
5.  Add cream cheese, following the continual stirring process. 
6.  Add salt, pepper and stock to sauce.
7.  Take the pot off the boil and stir through the mustard grains.  Do the same with the chives.

Sandwich part

The sandwich part is pretty easy.  Once the white sauce is done, spready it evenly and thickly on the pieces of bread.  Top with ham, then add more white sauce to the top.  Place another similarly sauced slice of white bread atop the 'hammed' bread.  Place more white sauce on top of the made up sandwich, add more plain melting (tasty or other variety) and grill under a griller till the cheese melts and forms a melted layer, like in the photo. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I love my curly coleslaw with cute avo

Don’t be fooled by the title, this is no humble coleslaw. While originating from the traditional salad and in fact containing the same base ingredients, there are significant changes to the dressing and the other things, to give me copyright in this baby. I think generally us Australians are used to using some watered down, store-bought bottle of something to dress this one up, but for a natural and not sickly sweet tasting option, try this one out for yourselves.  I know there are quite a few ingredients listed under the 'dressing' section but they are all required in small quanitites and are composed of 'staple-fridge-items', so you won't need to make huge purchases for this one.  Please note, the pictures below are from two separate occassions. 

Ingredients for salad

Two carrots

¼ - ½ a cabbage

2 long things of spring onion (finely chopped)

½ an avocado

2 gherkins (finely chopped)

A couple of sprigs of chives

Dressing Ingredients

Lots of Mayonnaise - (I have not specified an amount because that depends on how creamy and flavoured you like your coleslaw, therefore I’m leaving this adjustment to your discretion).

2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustards

1 Tablespoon of Dijon mayonnaise

1 Teaspoon of garlic salt (this is a mandatory ingredient, it is essential for the slight alteration in flavour to the creamy overbearing mayonnaise taste, that is common in Australian versions of the salad).

1 tablespoon of sweet mango chutney

1 teaspoon of stock powder

2 tablespoons of cream (please feel free to omit this, I only use it to make the 'glide'easy; it allows the other dressing ingredients to soften up and merge better).

1 teaspoon of sour cream

Pepper to taste

Not so hard method

1. Grate carrots and add to a large mixing bowl

2. Finely chop cabbage and add to bowl.

3. Finely chop spring onions and add to bowl.

4. Add gherkins

5. Add chopped chives.

6. Now gather all the ingredients from the above section entitled ‘dressing ingredients’ and combine in a separate bowl. Use a tablespoon and mix them all together, basically till everything appears cream in colour.

7. Pour dressing over the vegetables and combine.

8. Stir avocado through the coleslaw. The avocado is left to last due to its fragility but it’s still combined through the entire salad.

9. Enjoy…responsibly, as they say in the alcohol industry advertisements…

Rapid Mayonnaise

This is my quick mayonnaise recipe that I use for dishes requiring smaller amounts of the sauce. But here I have used pre-made (I know, shame, shame, tsk, tsk) good quality whole egg mayonnaise from the supermarket shelf, largely because I like excessive amounts of the stuff.


A couple of eggs

½ a cup of olive oil

The juice of one lemon


Throw the whole eggs (minus shell of course) into a blender, blender for two minutes, then slowly add a tablespoon of olive oil to the eggs. Continue blending for another 30 seconds. Continue to follow the process of adding olive oil intermittently and following it with rapid blending, till the oil is used. Follow this same process with the lemon juice, after the mayonnaise starts attaining some volume and weight. By this I mean, intermittently add lemon juice and blend, till the juice is finished. I would recommend adding ½ a teaspoons worth at each interval.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fruity Couscous

This is such a delicious recipe for couscous. Couscous need not be bland and over-looked at luncheons, in preference for some meaty delight. This recipe attempts to capture the juices of peripheral ingredients into the main semolina derived couscous. This is done by getting separately cooking juicy sun-dried tomatoes; I do not know what it is, but upon cooking these tomatoes become plumper and more flavoursome. I think the general perception on sun-dried tomatoes is that they are to be eaten in their current state (no extra handling is required nor recommended) in an anti-pasto sense. Well, I’m anti anti-pasto when it comes to this lovely fruit. Cooking, especially sautéing really enhances the flavour of these babies. Anyway, here’s how it goes.


1. Store bought uncooked couscous

2. Boiling water

3. 2 tablespoon of butter

4. 1 tablespoon of olive oil

5. ½ a Spanish onion (this is the purple variety of onion thought to be best for raw consumption but once again, I will be subjecting it to some heat, in my anti-anti-pasto stance. Lotsa hyphens there).

6. 2 – 3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped, a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic is also fine.

7. 8 sun-dried tomatoes

8. Salt and pepper to taste

9. Some kinda stock powder, not the liquid variety

10. Roast pumpkin (I have used roast pumpkin here because it goes well with the other ingredients. I probably could not say the same for other roast veg, such as sweet potatoes or potatoes in general).

11. 1 small cup of orange juice


1. Place 300grams (or other amount to your choosing, adjusting the recipe accordingly) of couscous into a bowl. Add enough boiling water to the couscous so that it fluffs up, rather than becomes gluggy. For the above weight, this is about ½ cup of water. Repeat this process but substitute the water for the orange juice. Mix water and couscous with a spoon, once fluffy, stir through the butter.

2. In a separate frying pan, add the remainder of the butter with the olive oil. Once hot add garlic and onion and fry til partially brown. Like the ‘beigeish’ brown of a ‘number three toast’. This is a reference to a toaster that ranges from 1-5, choose number three.

3. Slightly lower the heat and add sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkling stock over the incumbent ingredients.

4. Add roast pumpkin to the mix and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking and stirring for another five minutes. The juices of the frying ingredients should now be flowing and to aid this process a couple of tablespoons of water and the remainder of the orange juice should be added here.

5. Pour pan-fried ingredients over couscous, stirring through a bit more butter and/or juice. Mix ingredients, top with chopped spring onions or chives and…

6. eat…on its own or like me with barbecued lamb chops. Yum.