Sunday, November 27, 2005

Laura's Shortbread

The shortbread recipe comes from a friend's daughter. It is so yummy I've made it every Christmas since she passed it on to me. I've altered the orginal a little, (which has the cooked shortbread dredged with castor sugar and sandwiched with jam). I find baking a little jam on them means they can live in a biscuit jar with other biscuits, and I love the slightly toffeed texture of baked jam. I like to use apricot jam on half the biscuits and strawberry on the rest.

6oz self raising flour
5oz butter
2oz ground rice
3 oz castor sugar

Sieve flour, sugar and ground rice. Rub in butter and knead into pliable dough. Roll out onto floured board to 1/4" thick and cut into desired shapes (I like hearts). Make a small indentation in the centre of each biscuit and place a small amount of jam (maybe 1/4 tsp - you don't want too much or it will bubble everywhere).

Bake on greased tray at 350 degrees F or until a light biscuit colour (about 20 minutes).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

I always been fond of the old choc chip biscuit, and like another Melbourne food blogger Niki, I've been messing with a few recipes to find the perfect one for me. Normally when I make a batch, they go in a tin, and out of sight until after the toddler's bedtime. This time out of curiousity I didn't add the egg to a portion of the mix. Surprisingly, they tasted remarkably similar to the biscuits with egg. Now I can't make proper chocolate chip bikkies for the small girl yet, as I've yet to find a source of chocolate that doesn't have the usual 'may contain traces of nuts'. The good news however is that I've just discovered an Australian E-store AllergyBlock that will be opening a shop in nearby Carlton and they will be selling egg and nut free chocolate. Oh boy, is my little girl going to have a happy Christmas (then again wouldn't life be easier if she never knew how good chocolate is!).

250g butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbs water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 cups of chocolate pieces (either bought chocolate bits or coarsely chopped chocolate)

Cream butter, mix in sugars. Beat in vanilla and water, then mix in dry ingredients then chocolate pieces. Drop well heaped teaspoons of the mixture well spaced on a non-stick baking paper lined tray. Bake at 190 degrees C for about 10 minutes or until done. Cool on tray and try not to eat too many at a time.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Orange Jelly

Jelly is good. Packet Jelly is pretty good, but this stuff is a lot more satisfying. The small girl sometimes tracks down the packet of gelatine, hands it to me, and demands we make it. Which we usually do unless it's just before dinnner (with no time for it to set). The recipe is an adaption of one in Margaret Fulton's 'Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery' (the old one, not the new edition that appeared very recently - something I must check out). The original recipe suggests sieving the juice, but I like a bit of texture in the jelly.

1 cup fresh orange juice (3-4 oranges)
2 lemons, squeezed
1 cup water
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 tbs gelatine

Put the water, sugar and gelatine in a saucepan over a gentle heat, and stir until the sugar and gelatine are dissolved. Allow to cool, then strain through a fine sieve. Add juice. Pour into 3 one cup jelly moulds and allow to set (about 3-4 hours).

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fish Kebabs

I'm always trying to find ways of introducing more oily fish into our diet. Finding this recipe the other day thrilled me to bits. Both easy and very yummy. And the novelty of having food on sticks makes the small girl enthusiastic too. You need to watch the marination time, too long and the tuna doesn't taste too much of tuna anymore. The recipe is adapted from 'Campion and Curtis in the Kitchen'.

I don't think I've mentioned in other posts that I no longer cook with sesame seeds or sesame seed products (tahini, sesame oil etc) as they cause an instant nasty face rash on the small girl. This recipe does call for sesame oil, but works fine without it. If anyone out there knows how to make a decent hummus without tahini I'd be very interested!

1 big piece of tuna (about 350-400g)
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs mirin
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Cut the tuna into bite size chunks (about 2cm cubes - but accuracy here is not an issue). Mix the marinade ingrediants and marinate tuna for no more than 30 minutes.

Thread the chunks onto bamboo skewers (with this quantity of fish I aim for 5 skewers - 2 for me and spouse, one for the small girl).

Fry in a hot frypan for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, turn over and cook for a further 1 1/2 minutes (this allows for the tuna to be a little rare in the middle - cook more if you desire). Serve with rice and stir fried bok choy.