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    Saturday, January 20, 2018

    Back on feeding the Crew. Those boys love a bit of sweet, so got the Grandson Baker back on the case. In the fruit bowl Bananas almost on the turn
    Perfect for Banana Muffins
    Always looking for something different, I had found this recipe on the Epicurious Website
    Not only Bananas but also Coconut
    The recipe gave 10 normal sized muffins, some for the crew and a couple for Joe and me 

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
    113 gms unsalted butter, melted
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 190C
    Line muffin cups with liners.

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
    Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut 
    in a large bowl until combined well,
    then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.

    Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut.
    Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 18 minutes.

    Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

    Thursday, January 18, 2018

    Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

    What a triumph. Got Grandson Joe on the baking today
    I had seen this recipe on the Bon Appetit Site
    The recipe is from a lady Alison Roman, featured on her book Dining Inn

    Apparently they are taking the Internet by Storm!
    Well we agree
    Very buttery, the Demerara Sugar coating gives them an extra little crunch

    I could only eat one as they are beautifully rich,
    Surely...that must mean that they might last longer
    We'll See

    You will need

    255 gms of salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2¼ cups all-purpose flour
    6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (but not too fine, you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
    1 large egg, beaten to blend
    Demerara sugar (for rolling)
    Flaky sea salt

    Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl
    or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
    beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla 
    on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes.

    Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl.
    With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, 
    followed by chocolate chunks,
    and beat just to blend.

    Divide dough in half, then place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap.
    Fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky.
    Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay),
    form dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out,
    but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect.
    Each half should form logs that are 2–2¼" in diameter.
    Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 170C
    Line a rimmed baking sheet (two, if you’ve got 'em) with parchment paper.
    Brush outside of logs with egg wash.
    Roll logs in demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges).

    Slice each log into ½"-thick rounds. 
    Arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart (they won’t spread much).
    Sprinkle with sea salt.
    Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes. 
    Let cool slightly before eating them all.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Sriracha Chicken Two Ways - Glazed and Grilled and then... Why Not Glazed and Schnitzel?

     Chicken Two Ways
    The beauty of cooking for a crowd, I get many opportunities to cook so many interesting recipes
    Plus they all love spicy
    Time to make Sriracha Glazed Chicken

    The recipe calls for using the BBQ, I elected to pan fry, that worked for me
    Its up to you
    I found this recipe, once again in Bon Appetit archives
    I served it with Cauliflower Fried Rice click here for the recipe
    It also comes with a salsa, it needs it, also those flavours bouncing around in your mouth
    This of course is a Gluten Free Dinner and even I think Paleo, if that suits
    The cooking time I have instructed was for 2 large breasts. adjust if your breasts are thinner
    Nothing worse than dry chicken breast

    You will need
    12 ounces fresh chicken breast (about three small breasts) I used 2 large breasts
    3 tbsp sriracha
    juice of 1 lime
    1 tbsp honey
    pinch of garlic powder
    Olive oil

    Sea Salt

    For salsa
    2 cups mango, diced
    1 cup avocado, diced
    2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
    juice of 1 lime
    1 tbsp red onion, finely diced
    Sea salt and pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    In a small bowl, add Sriracha, lime juice, honey and garlic powder.
    Whisk to combine, set aside.
    Pat chicken breast dry
    with a paper towel
    Season with a little sea salt
    Add 2 tablespoons olive oil into med hot pan
    Place chicken breast in the pan
    Brush top side with sriracha sauce
    After about a minute
    Turn and cook for about 3-4 minutes
    Meanwhile brush the exposed side with the sauce

    Turn again and cook for another 3-4 minutes
    Meanwhile brushing with glaze on each turn
    Probably one more turn and test the chicken for doneness
    Pop a sharp knife into the thickest part of the breast…Just to halfway
    Hold for 10 seconds
    Remove place to your bottom lip…if it’s hot
    Chicken is done
    Remove from pan and let sit for about 5 minutes

    This chicken is also nice served at room temperature, 

    Meanwhile make the salsa
    Just combine all of the ingredients

    This chicken is particularly good served with
    The Cauliflower Fried Rice. Click here for the recipe
     Pop the salsa on top
    Now of course, I had leftover sauce
    And two more chicken breasts

    Why not make Chicken Schnitzel 
    Not Gluten Free  this time, but it could be if you use Gluten Free Flour and Breadcrumbs
    The Sriracha Flavour was just perfect
    No heat, just the flavour

    You need
    Sea Salt
    Sriracha Sauce

    Rice Bran Oil for frying

    So I sliced the breast into thin escalopes
    Seasoned them with some Sea Salt
    Brushed them with the remaining sriracha sauce on both sides
    Dipped them in flour
    Then into beaten egg
    Then into bread crumbs
    You can do this step earlier in the day and keep covered in the fridge
    All very simple now
    Remove from fridge
    Heat about 1/2 cup rice bran oil

    Don't they look beautiful
    I served this with roast baby potatoes and Broccoli
    A little squeeze of lemon on the top, maybe a sprinkling sea salt flakes
    Dinner is served

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Broccoli - Perfect Accompaniment for any Protein

    Tasty Broccoli
    Excellent accompaniment to any Protein
    We are eating a lot of Broccoli at the moment 
    The kids love it and actually so do the adults
    I love the bright green colour , it is so pretty on the plate 
    This is so so simple to prepare and cook
    And well worth it 

    You need
    1 Head Broccoli, broken into florets
    2 tablespoons Olive oil

    3-5 anchovy fillets
    3 cloves garlic
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    Zest of 1 lemon

    Blanch Broccoli florets in a pot of salted boiling water
    About 3 minutes
    Drain and run under cold water 
    Shake well and set aside till needed 

    Place anchovy, garlic red pepper flakes on a board
    Chop finely
    Add grated lemon zest

    Pour olive oil into a Med heat pan

    Add broccoli
    Toss well and heat through
    Throw in the anchovy mix

    Toss, until Broccoli well coated with the seasoning

    You can serve, Hot, Warm or at Room Temperature 
    Excellent any old way


    Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Raisin Pesto

    Just had 2-3 perfect days up at the beach
    Ruakaka, just the most perfect idyllic spot
    This is New Zealand, at its Best Folks
    I was on lunch so I thought this Lamb Meatballs recipe,
    Drizzled with a Feta Dip, nestled in a pond of
    Raisin, Mint and Parley Pesto would be just the ticket
    And it was...
    I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, a source of excellent inspiration
    Raisin Pesto
    2 cups mint leaves
    5 tablespoons golden raisins
    1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems,   
    ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 garlic clove peeled and chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 large egg
    ½ cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    Sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
    ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
    1 clove garlic peeled and grated
    1 pound ground lamb
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    Flatbread and whole-milk Greek yogurt (for serving)
    Ot If you live in New Zealand use Lisa’s  Feta and Caramelized Onion Dip

    To make Pesto
    Place all the ingredients into blender and pulse till blended
    Taste and set aside
    If it needs any more seasoning adjust at this stage

    In a large bowl, combine egg, panic, cumin, red pepper flakes, sea salt,
    and oil

    Finely grate garlic clove into mix
    Add lamb and mix with your hands till well combined

    You can make everything to this stage and refrigerate till ready to use

    Turn oven onto 200C

    Gently roll lamb mix, into balls about the size of a golf ball
    Transfer to a rimmed lightly oiled baking sheet spacing evenly
    Roast meatballs until browned and lamb is cooked through
    8-10 minutes
    OR you can cook them on the BBQ which is what we did
    because it is Summer and the BBQ is King
    Spread a flat serving dish with the Pesto
    Lay the cooked Meat Balls on top
    Drizzle with Yogurt or The Onion Dip if you are using it
    Serve with a very Fresh and Crisp Salad
    I used Crisp Mixed Greens, Red capsicum, For a touch of sweetness
    Mango and top with Chives and French dressing
    Happy Family

    Monday, January 15, 2018

    Baked Fish Fillets with Leeks and Tomatoes

    Can you think of anything better ?
    A bed of Sautéed Leeks cooked gently, to bring out the sweetness 
    The tanginess Of Roma Tomatoes
    And to top this Fresh Fish Fillets, perfectly seasoned, 
    beautifully cooked till it just flakes 

    There’s not a lot to better this
    Plus it’s So So Simple
    You will need:

    2 leeks,  Outer leaves removed washed and finely sliced 
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Slosh of wine wine 

    2 Roma tomatoes sliced about 1 cm
    A little olive oil

    150 gms white fish fillets. I used Terakihi
    2-3 tablespoons Olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Zest of a lemon
    Juice 1/2 lemon

    In a deep skillet that can go in the oven
    Heat olive oil
    Add leeks and season well with S &P
    Gently cook over Med Heat till the leeks start to soften
    About 10 minutes 
    Turn heat up to high
    Add slosh of white wine 
    Let bubble away about 2 minutes till wine is absorbed
    Turn heat off
    Set aside
    Meanwhile marinate the fish fillets with olive oil, S&P and lemon zest
    Massage well
    Best to marinate for at least 30 minutes minimum

    To cook
    Heat oven to 180C
    Place sliced tomatoes over leeks in skillet
    Season with S & P
    Drizzle over with a little olive oil 
    Place marinated fillets on top
    Into oven for about 7 minutes
    Test with your finger it should be soft, if it is done
    Remove and serve

    I served with Baby Potatoes boiled and tossed in Butter 

    Wednesday, December 20, 2017

    Add this to your Apertizer List - Spinch Puffs

    There are still many nights of drinking ahead in this silly season and I like to supply something substantial  to have with your alcohol
     I found these little Spinach Puffs on The Epicurious Website
    They may even take over from the Pinwheels. Well!!! Close second

        1 x 750gm package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
        1/2 cup crumbled feta
        1/4 cup minced onion
        1 tablespoon olive oil
        1 teaspoon chopped dill
        1 teaspoon minced garlic
        Grated Zest if 1 lemon
        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
        2 large eggs
        Packet of Frozen sheets Puff Pastry

        Mini muffin Pans
    Defrost spinach
    Using your hands, squeeze spinach until dry,
    forcing out as much water as possible
    (too much water will make for a soggy filling;
    you should have about 2/3 cup well-drained spinach). 

    Mix spinach and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    In a small bowl, beat  eggs to blend,
    reserving a tablespoon for glazing the pastries
    fold into spinach mixture. To bake this little gems
    Heat oven to 200 C (conventional temp) 
    I start them in a conventional baking oven,  200C this helps the bottoms to keep crisp
    But to finish off I turn it over to fan assisted for the last 10 minutes

    You will get 9 out of each pastry sheet
    Cut the squares
    Lightly grease the muffin tins
    Lay a square into each little tin
    Press down lightly
    Put a spoonful into each tin
    Fold pastry over

    Brush with a little beaten egg
    Place in hot oven
    after 20 minutes
    Change the oven to fan assisted and bake for a further 10 minutes

    When golden
    Let set in tins for about 5 minutes
    Take out and cool on a rack
    Ready to eat.
    Actually  I served them at room temperature
    These are so yummy, they were gone in 5 minutes
    You can bake ahead cool and freeze
    When you want them
    Defrost and into 180C oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp up

    Tuesday, December 19, 2017

    What Shall We Have For Lunch - Well Fish Cakes Of Course

    Fish Cakes _  A Waste Not Want Lunch
    I’m back for cooking for one and I have overdone it of course
    So I had leftover Jersey Benne Potatoes and some lovely snapper from last night’s dinner

    I could have just made a salad but I’ve decided to jump it up a notch
    Fish cakes
    Easy Peasy
    I’m normally not a fan of Gluten Free products, I am so pleased people with difficulty in digesting wheat, are now so lucky, there is so many products
    A lot are seriously hard to swallow but there are some outstanding products
    For example
    These Gluten Free Bread crumbs

    They are superb for coating any protein
    Such a fabulous crunchy crust
    So a pantry necessary now

    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons mayo
    1/4 Cup flour
    4 jersey Bennes  cooked and grated
    100 gms White Fish cooked and flaked
    Chives or spring onions
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Zest half lemon
    Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
    Extra egg

    I’m back for cooking for one and I have overdone it of course
    So I had leftover Jersey Benne Potatoes and some lovely snapper from last night’s dinner

    I could have just made a salad but I’ve decided to jump it up a notch
    Fish cakes
    Easy Peasy
    I’m normally not a fan of Gluten Free products, I am so pleased people with difficluteus in digesting wheat are now so lucky, there is so many products
    A lot are seriously hard to swallow but there are some outstanding products
    For example
    These Gluten Free Bread crumbs
    They are superb for coating any protein
    Such a fabulous crunchy crust
    So a pantry necessary now

    I grated the potatoes and flaked the fish
    Put 2 eggs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons mayo
    And flour
    Season with salt and pepper and the zest of half a lemon
    Beat well

    Add fish and potatoes chives
    Mix well
    Let sit in fridge for at least an hour
    The mixture was too wet, so I added some breadcrumbs
    Big dollop of mix into breadcrumbs and shape into cakes
    Turn into cakes
    Dip in breadcrumbs
    Then to add that extra luxury
    Double dipping
    I egged and breadcrumbed them again
    You don't have to do this, but I like it
    Back into fridge to set
    Fry in rice bran oil till golden
    5 minutes each side on Med heat
    Actually I cooked them on the sides
    not compulsory

    Just add a crisp little salad and Lunch is served
    Add some lemon slices and an extra dob mayonnaise for dipping