Thursday, November 29, 2007
Mushroom Caps Stuffed With Vindaloo Eggs!
Oh, come on now... please keep reading. They are very very very tasty. But first: A word (or two or three) about chilli (chili) peppers.
I know a heckuva lot about chillis, as they are some of my most favorite foods --however I've married into a family of folks who think a pinch of black pepper in a gallon of soup is hot so I've had to "tone down" the spicy-ness just a wee bit.
Jalapenos??? Criminy, I can eat 'em whole. Tabasco Sauce: wussy stuff, that is. Thai chilli peppers? Now we're gettin' there. I can eat them whole too. Haberno? Damned hot, they are! Make very good sauces and spreads; had a bite of one once... good thing the sour cream was handy. Of course, you've all heard of the chilli recently bred in India that has over 1,000,000 scoville heat units (a weenie jalapeno is around 4,000) and the name translates to Death Chilli or Poison Chilli. The fumes off that sucker will blister bare skin!!!! Ummmm, I'll pass on it. Just for reference, it's almost as hot as that pepper spray stuff that wards bears away.
We all know that chilli peppers are native to South America, but they've been brought all over the world in the last 500 years. Asians love 'em, as so do Indians (you know, the folks that live in India?) and they've really worked on perfecting them suckers.
Where does this lead to vindaloo???? Well, vindaloo paste was a Portuguese invention (remember, they went all over the world too --long story) that was brought to India. It's classified as a curry, but it's really not. It's also bloody-well HOT! I think it's the tamarind in the paste that sets off the chilli heat, and the fact that Indians (folks from India) really know how to breed HOT chillis.
So when I mention that this dish only needs 1 tsp of vindaloo paste (the authentic stuff), please keep in mind that I'm NOT a wuss when it comes to spicy foods, it's just that real vindaloo paste from India (the country where Indians are from) is darned hot.
Remember: spicy food keeps you cool in hot weather! Why? Cus it dilates your capillaries so your periferal (peripheral) circulation increases so that your body blows off heat. Of course, the standard solution from white faces when going to a hot climate is just to turn on the A/C and hide indoors (I don't advocate this approach even though I've been known to do that once in a while --my other solution is to go jump in the pool).
Alrighty, rant over; here's the recipe:
Mushroom Caps Stuffed With Vindaloo Eggs
What you knead:
16 good sized (as opposed to bad sized) mushroom caps (twist the stalk to remove it, don't just pull)
couple tsp of dried tarragon
1 tsp (or two) of authentic vindaloo paste
some sour cream (about 1/2 cup)
What you due:
Rinse the shrooms (you've already de-stalked them), then toss em in a bowl with some olive oil and dried tarragon. Toss well to coat them all; set aside.
Beat the eggs (use a whisk, duh). Add the vindaloo paste and beat again. Cook the eggs (I use a wok with a bit of olive oil in it) and toss and turn while cooking --it'll only take a minute.
Put the marinated shroom caps on a baking tray and stuff em with the cooked eggs --go ahead and pack the eggs down well, it's fun and makes cool bubbly noises!
Bake in a medium-hot pre-heated oven for 10-15 mins. Plate them up, and plop a dollop of sour cream on the top of each.
They really are yummy, trust me.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I thought I'd give you a different waffle recipe.
Seeing how the festive season is upon us (Help! Get it off!) I thought I'd post something rather sweet.
Chocolate Waffles (yummy):
What you knead:
2 beaten eggs (don't hurt em to badly)
6 tbsp of raw sugar (don't like cooked sugar)
3/4 cup of milk (that's 187.5 mils)
1/2 tsp vanilla (fake is way ok)
1/2 cup chocolate sauce (if you don't know how to make your own, the just buy the store stuff)
4 tbsp of melted butter (don't use margarine)
1 and a half cups of cake flour
3 tsp baking powdaire
1/2 tsp salt (heck, gotta have sodium chloride)
1/2 cup of small chocolate chips
What you due:
Put the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk the heck out of it till the sugar is dissolved.
Pour chocolate sauce into the bowl with the melted butter, stir well, let it cool, and then add to the above bowl (you let the butter cool so the eggs don't cook, but it should still be warm enough to be liquidy).
Toss the dry stuff into a large bowl and mix it. Then pour the liquid bowl into the dry bowl while stirring. Stir till it's smooth. Add the choc chips, stir again.
Nextly: put ladle fulls into your waffle iron (that means cook it, silly).
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Herein lies the account of Dingo Dave and the finding of the Food Of Power!
No, not really... I just thought I'd give everyone the first recipe I posted back on my other blog. I'll eventually be copying all the recipes over to here (hear) so that all my many thousands of (k)new readers don't have to trouble their tired fingers by scrolling through the archives. Ain't I nice?
I got the original version of this from a book called Real Beer and Good Eats. I had originally bought the book as a pressie for a friend, then I saw how good it was and decided to keep it. I bought him a drink-mixing book instead and he was happy (we both were, it was a great party).
I modified the recipe to make it a helluva lot easier and quicker, so I think it counts as one of mine, eh?
Dave's beer and bleu cheese toasted croutons:
What you need:
Croutons (duh) --check out this footnote **
Olive oil (without poppy (popeye) seed --did you get it? nudge, wink)
Bleu cheese (double duh)
a beer --light lager or light pilsner is fine (that means cheap crap)
**Make your own croutons, any flavour (flavor), it's easy. Take a slice or two of fresh bread and cut it into crouton sized pieces (don't use a serated bread knife for this, you'll only end up tearing the bread if you do). Chuck in whatever seasonings you want (salt, white pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne powder, ground coriander (cilantro) and so on). Toss it all in a wok, add some olive oil, crank the burner up and lightly toast them suckers. Poof, instant croutons.
What you do:
Crumble 50 to 100 grams (gms) (1 1/2 to 3 ounces (oz)) of bleu cheese in a bowl.
Add a tablespoon or two of beer. Mix and mash the concoction. Then nuke (microwave) in 20 second increments (stir between increments) until you have a thick (or thin: more beer=thinner sauce) bleu (blue) cheese goop (sauce).
Lightly coat a baking tray with olive oil, then spread croutons on the baking tray. Drizzle the bleu cheese goopy sauce over the croutons (the ones on the tray, dummy) and chuck that tray in the oven. Hmmm, 200 C (392 F) for around 12-15 minutes (720-900 seconds) should do the trick. They'll be done when they are crispy and lightly browned.
Drink the rest of the beer and eat the bleu cheese croutons (you could have figured this step yourself, eh?).
So, like whaddya think? Easy stuff, right? Don't worry, they get more interesting... I promise!
Friday, November 16, 2007
If anyone if interested in how to make various types of sushi, then post a comment and I'll do a post on sushi making, no worries.
Sooooo, on with the pics:
There are 3 different kinds of fish in this: salmon, hoki, and smoked cod. It does require a much different technique than a regular roll to get the interior seaweed layout.
This platter has lots and lots of different goodies. The empty bowl is for the soy sauce which I poured after the platter was moved to the table.
The green beans were steamed and then sliced lengthwise, I think it adds a nice texture to the whole plate. The rolls had basa and avocado, and the others were tuna, salmon, and smoked cod.
I included this one to show you something different: the green glop on the top of the rolls is my special guacamole sauce --yes, sushi chefs would cringe...
As I said, lemme know if'n any of y'all are interested in making your own; it's really quite simple once you get the hang of it.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Here's my liver pate(') recipe, it works great for lamb, and I've had someone say it's very good for game meat (IE caribou --are you listening Brittany????????????) too.
You can use any liver you'd like, I use lamb's liver cus it's like a buck a pound down here. One lamb's liver is around 400g which is just under a pound, so you'll want around a little less than a pound of any liver.
What you need:
1 lamb's liver (about a pound of liver), thin sliced
1 small onion, rough chopped
2 or 3 chopped button mushrooms (it's the standard kind you get at the shops)
1 tbsp (about) of butter
2 or 3 cloves roasted garlic OR 1 tbsp prepared garlic paste
ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil leaves
What you do:
Saute (on medium-low heat) the onion and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil till the onion is translucent. Add the butter, garlic, liver slices, red wine (around a cup of red wine) and the basil. Saute for a few mins more, then add the salt and pepper till the liver is cooked --don't forget to stir it as it's cooking! By the time the liver is cooked, most of the liquid should be cooked down. If the liquid is cooked down BEFORE the liver is done, then just add a splash of red wine to finish it. Try to keep it moving regularly, but you don't have to stand there stirring the whole time.
Let it cool, then strain it (and reserve the liquid). Put all the solids in a food processor and process till it's smooth. If it's too dry, then add some of the strained liquid, no worries. If it's still too dry after adding all of the reserved liquid, then add some olive oil.
When it's a smooth consistency that appeals to you, call it done and spoon it into a jar (boil the jar and lid first though). It'll keep for a week or so in the back of the fridge.
There's LOADS of other seasonings you can add to it; go experiment! Heck, try a bit of taco seasonings, or some curry powder, or Italian, or Moroccan; the list is endless. Add the seasonings in at the same time you'd add the basil in the above recipe. You can also add a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke too (very tasty).
Oh, wait: it freezes and keeps all winter long.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I posted this on my other blog over a year ago, and also on a forum. Since then we've moved (we have a pool now) and don't have vines growing in the back yard. However, never fear cus I'd harvested and prepared a bunch of leaves. Also, I'm growing some vines here and it looks like I'll be getting a good round of fresh leaves soon --pics will be up soon... I hope.
Anyways, here's my stuffed vine leaf recipe. Oh, it may sound complex and time-consuming, but afte the first couple of tries you'll be making them with your eyes closed --especially if you used canned leaves.
This is the revised and updated version of the one I posted on my blog a while back. I've refined it and these are AWESOME! Here ya go:
Yeah, I know, there are probably more ways to make dolmades and more things to stuff em with than you can shake a stick at. But I feel I might as well tell you the way I make mine and you could give it a go if you'd like.
Oh, dolmades are stuffed grape vine leaves.
What you need:
20-30 vine leaves (fresh is best, pick em early so they are flavourful!)
one clove of garlic
1/2 cup (4 oz) raw rice (any long grained variety is fine, I use Basmati)
2 tbspns crushed peanuts (already salted and roasted and shelled)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-5 mls) dried mint
2-5 mls (1/2 to 1 tsp) dried tarragon
dash of sea salt
small handful or raisins or sultanas
1 scallion (spring onion) including the green part up top
2-4 tbspns (30-60 mls) minced onion
2 to 3 cups of chicken stock (or veggie stock if that's your preference)
1 tbsp of couscous (or some kind of tiny, round pasta)
What you do:
I'm going to describe the whole process of preparing the vine leaves, if you only can get your hands on the canned or bottled variety then you can skip down a bit.
Pick 20 to 30 vine leaves from the vine growing over your pergola outside your kitchen window (anyone jealous?). Note, when picking, snip then right at the leaf base so there's no stem at all. Rinse them well. Lay them flat in a steamer, one on top of the other. Steam them till they just turn from bright green to olive drab (only takes a minute or two).
Before the leaves dry, lightly brush each leaf with olive oil, being careful not to tear them, and stack them on a plate. You'll use a fair amount of olive oil here, be generous.
After all the leaves are oiled let them cool.
While they are cooling, prepare the stuffing.
Fry the minced onion in olive oil for 3 to 4 mins, then add the crushed peanut, the couscous, the scallion, the mint, the tarragon, sea salt, raisins (or sultanas) and more olive oil and fry for another minute. Keep it moving (easily done with a wok, just give it a good shake and flip every 10-20 secs).
Add the raw rice and more olive oil and fry again for 3-4 mins. Keep it moving, folks. You'll know the rice is ready when it goes from translucent white to opaque white (yes, it's still crunchy and pretty raw at this point). Set the mixture aside and let it cool.
Place a vine leaf flat with the "rough" side up. Place a SMALL amount of the stuffing (we're talking barely more than a teaspoon --remember, the rice and couscous are gonna swell up) on the leaf towards the base of the leaf. Fold the left and right sides over, then roll up towards the tip. The bundle should seal itself with olive oil. Place the bundle in an oiled (olive oil) baking dish. Continue till you run out of stuffing or vine leaves.
Oh, last time I had leftover stuffing mix, so I made a great crab sauce with it to go on top of the steamed blue whiting (it's a fish).
Once your baking dish is packed, slowly pour the chicken stock (or veggie stock, or fish stock)) over the bundles until they are just covered and starting to float. Cover and bake at 185 C (365 F) for 30-40 mins. You'll know they are done when the leaves are very very tender, they plumped up nicely, and there's almost no stock left.
Let them cool in the dish for 15 to 20 mins, then carefully take them out of the dish. No, don't tear em! Didn't I tell you to be careful? Put em on a plate to let cool (pack them together) and lightly brush with more olive oil. Once they are cool you can handle them without tearing so turn em over after they are cool, cover with cling wrap and let them sit overnight.
Eat and enjoy! Oh, did I mention they are very healthy?
I know it seems like a lot of work, but after a couple of go's it's pretty simple.
Oh, the drippings from the bottom of the baking dish after you take the dolmades out is excellent!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I've had a some friends call me The King Of Potatoes. I hope it's a compliment! So here's the first of many original potato(e) dishes from Dingo Dave:
Dingo Dave's Scalloped Spuds
The amounts of each ingredient really depends on how many you are feeding, and the size of your baking dish. This'll be a good side dish for 5 hungry folks.
What you need:
2 and a half pounds peeled (or unpeeled) spuds
2 to 3 cups whole milk
3 (or so) tbsp butter
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
a pinch or two of cinnamon powder
shredded cheddar cheese
What you do:
Slice the spuds into 2mm thick slices --this is easiest done in a food processor. Arrange the sliced spuds vertically in a baking dish. Pour enough milk into the dish to cover the slices 1/2 to 2/3 of the way to the top of the potatoes. Put a few "splats" of butter on, salt and pepper (to taste), then sprinkle the nutmeg and cinnamon over the top. Cover with shredded cheese.
Cover the dish, and chuck it in a hot oven for 45 mins or so --Note: if you like your spuds soft, then leave it in longer, if you like your spuds "al dente" then leave it in shorter. If you want the top crispy, then take the lid off the last ten mins.
Serve 'em up and enjoy!
You'll have a lot of sauce in the bottom of the dish; use that to ladle over the spuds and whatever main dish you are serving --very tasty stuff.
Try it, you'll like it!
Side note: pecorino cheese can be substituted for a sharper taste. And for you who like US style pizza then use mozzarella.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Before I get the page all gussied up with cool banner pics and links to all my favourite cookin' blogs and pages, I figured I should get some sorta recipe up so that y'all know I'm not just blowin' smoke when I says I can cook.
We'll start easy...
Basted Fish Fillets
This sauce is best with some kind of white fish fillet --as opposed to an oily one. Hoki, Hake, Whiting, Perch, or anything like them is perfect.
What you need:
4 fish fillets (one per person)
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp dried tarragon
What you do:
Note: If the fish has the skin still on, then you won't need to turn them.
Crank up your grill hotplate or a large fry pan to a high temp. Put the fish on, skin side down (if the fillets have skin). Mix all the other stuff in a bowl and whisk for about 20 secs (or until an emulsion forms, shouldn't take more than 20 secs with a whisk --don't use a fork or you'll never get the emulsion to form).
Spoon a tbsp or so over each fillet, then turn* each fillet once they've been on the grill for only 30 to 40 secs (if your fillets have skin, don't turn them, just turn the heat down some).
*Make sure you turn each fillet BEFORE it's flaky, otherwise it could end up in little bitty fish flakes all over your hot plate.
Drench each turned (or unturned if skin on) fillet with the rest of the sauce. In about two to three minutes the fish is done.
Plate 'em and serve while hot.
Note: The cooking times are for a 1 cm thick fillet, obviously thicker ones will take longer with a lower heat. Fish is done when the flesh goes from transparent to opaque and becomes flaky --Don't overcook! Also, DON'T use a basting brush for the sauce otherwise you'll break the fish apart as it cooks.
There'll be more coming as time progresses (if time starts going backwards then I'll start deleting posts, no worries).