Sunday, August 26, 2012

Authentic Yorkshire Pudding (Important Update!)

What's that I hear you ask? How does a bloke from the Interior of Alaska who now lives in Adelaide, South Oz know anything about making AUTHENTIC Yorkshire Pudding?

Good question!

The answer is that my MIL is from Stockton-On-Tees which for the longest time used to be part of Yorkshire. She got the recipe from her mom who got it from her mom so this dates back to the mid to late 1800's. I'd say that is pretty darned authentic.

No, this is not the original type where you have the pan of eggy-floury-milky stuff under a roast on a fire where the meat drippings infuse themselves into the pudding as it rises. That's what gravy is for nowadays!

Alrighty then, dave's Authentic Yorkshire Pudding recipe courtesy of his mother-in-law.

BTW, this dish is a side dish to a nice roast. You must use the pan drippings from the roast to making loads of gravy to go over the puddings and meat slices too. And this will make 12 muffin-sized Yorkshire Puddings.

What you need:
2/3 cup plain flour (NOT self-rising)
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
dash black pepper


And a muffin tray to cook them in!

What you do:

First thing is to preheat your oven. MIL always says "a hot oven" to which I interpret to mean 210C/425F. You also preheat your muffin tray(s). The muffin tray(s) need be very hot when you pour the batter into them! Butter the muffin trays before you put them in the oven. And do not put them in the oven until the oven itself is preheated.

Whisk the eggs together in a large measuring cup. Add the salt, pepper, flour and mix till it's a paste. Then add enough milk to bring the volume to 1/2 pint (600 mls or slightly more than one TWO cups).

Whisk it thoroughly until it is the consistency of cream. It should look like this:


After whisking the mix thoroughly, take the muffin trays out of the oven. The butter in each muffin cup should be sizzling and bubbling by now, if not then leave them in a bit longer.

Do not fill the muffin cups more than 1/3 full! These babies are going to foof up like you wouldn't believe!


And then immediately put the trays in the hot oven.

After a few minutes you'll notice (don't open the door, just turn on the oven light!) the puddings are rising very quickly around the sides but not the middle. That means you are doing it right!

Let the tops brown nicely whilst in the oven. The whole cooking process should take anywhere from 15 to 20. This should be the time when you make your gravy and mash the potatoes. When the tops are browned then it is time to take them out


and immediately serve them! A plateful of roast beef, mashed spuds, Yorkshire puddings with lashings of gravy over everything is some seriously great comfort food on a cold day!



UPDATE: Important! Did you see where I said that 600 mls was slightly more than ONE cup? My bad. I doubled the recipe to make 12 muffins and went thru and changed everything but I missed the one cup to two cup. Gack! 600 mls is 2 and 1/4 cups!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Deep-Fried Avocado

Yes mates, you can deep fry avocado. And it is oh so tasty too! It's really rather simple. So simple in fact that I wasn't even going to post this.

But since it turned out so great and I have great pictures then I figured I may as well inform you (my loyal readers) of Deep-Fried Avocado!

You'll need an avocado or 2 or 3. Some breadcrumbs. An egg or two. Some cornflour (cornstarch is what it's called in North America). A vessel for deep frying, I prefer a wok. And some deep frying oil --I prefer rice bran oil but peanut oil works great too.

Firstly, peal, pit, slice however many avocados you'll be using. 1 cm thick slices worked just fine for me.

Put some cornstarch on a small plate. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in another small bowl. Your kitchen cutting board should end up looking something like this:
Or at least the layout of the fixin's should be similar.

As the breading process only takes a minute or two, this would now be a good time to light a fire under your wok which should have some deep frying oil in it at around a 3 cm depth.

To bread the avocado slices just dust them in the cornflour/cornstarch, dunk them in the beaten eggs, then dredge through the breadcrumbs, no worries. Hopefully you'll end up with something resembling this:

And of course the requisite close-up:

Alrighty, time to deep fry them! You want the oil temp to be 380F-400F, yes that is rather hot so be careful.

When you deep fry the breaded avocado slices DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON THEM! They only take 60 to 90 seconds to fry nicely. You want the breading browned and crispy but the inside NOT turned to mush, hence the high temp and short time.

See what I mean?

As soon as I pulled them out of the oil to drain I sprinkled a bit of sea salt on them and a pinch of cumin powder. Very very tasty mates!

Mmmmmmmm, seriously yummy.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Deep Fried Turkey

Yes, I am back from my trip to the USofA. I ate at some very wonderful restaurants, and one or two not very nice ones. Reviews coming soon to a blog near you!

But this post is about the deep-fried turkey that my uncle Bill (a totally great and dinkum bloke!) cooked up on the USofA's Memorial Day.






Best turkey I've ever had (sorry mom).


One thing to make sure you do whilst deep frying a turkey is to have the frying pot and burner set up well away from the house. Settling the burner and pot on pavers is also a wise idea.


I am also very well aware of reading (and watching on You-Tube) some rather disastrous accounts of turkey deep frying. Those "accidents" are caused by one of three reasons: Having the initial oil temperature too hot, and/or having too much oil in the pot, and/or putting a larger turkey in the pot than you should.

Avoid those 3 things and you will have a GREAT deep-fried turkey!

One of the nice things about deep-frying the bird is that it takes waaaaay less time than baking that dude (or dudette). I do believe that our 12.5 pound (5669.904625 grams, but who's counting?) bird took a whole whopping 46 minutes to cook.

Try to beat that you pesky oven you!

The first thing to do to the turkey is inject it was some sort of yellowish, creamy concoction. No, I did not hazard a glance at the ingredient list (if there was one). All I know is that it made the turkey SOOOOO wonderfully tender and juicy!

Next you rub some sort of spices and seasonings (came with the package, I know not what it is) onto the skin of the bird. Your 12.5 pound turkey should now look something like this:

Please note that the yellowish goop is the injected liquid. Make sure you only inject it to a shallow depth into the meat, otherwise you'll waste it in the interior of the turkey.


BTW, whilst you are injecting and rubbing the seasonings on the turkey, you really should have had the burner lit under the deep-fryer. The temp you want for the oil is only 325F (165C) but remember that it does take a wee bit of time for that amount of oil to get up to temperature.

Once your oil is at 325 (use a thermometer; DO NOT GUESS!) then you get to lower the bird into the oil. Your turkey deep fryer will come with a stand and hook for doing this, no worries.


And DOWN she goes!!!!

Make sure you lower the turkey slowly and carefully into the hot oil as a bit of the oil may bubble over the side of the pot.


One of the reasons why a turkey cooks quicker this way is that there is direct heat from inside the bird (where the stuffing would be on a baked turkey). The hot oil is in the cavity of the turkey (where most of the offal used to be) so the bird cook quickly.

In fact, the instructions even make a point of saying "Note: While cooking, hot oil will SPEW up through the turkey's body like a fountain."

Needless to say, I have proof:

Unfortunately, the "liveliness" of said "hot oil fountain spewing up through the turkey's body" is not nearly as dramatic as you might suppose.

Perhaps a bit of scribbling on the picture may give you a better idea of the flow direction from the fountain of hot oil spewing forth from the turkey's body?

Then again, perhaps not.

Snarkiness aside, the finished turkey looked AWESOMELY great!

It was so tender, juicy and seriously succulent! I know for a fact I have not had a better tasting turkey than the one that my uncle Bill made for us on Memorial Day. Good on ya Bill!

Great taste in turkeys, bad taste in beer.

Don't worry Bill, you're still dinkum mate!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Prawn Squid Chili Alfredo

Now does that just sound ultra tasty mates? Well to me it does! And since I uploaded a picture of the final, plated product to twitter and I have a few folks asking for the recipe, I suppose I should share it with YOU.

This is what the finished dish should somewhat look like:


Your plates and cutlery may vary of course.

 This is also one of dave's (tm) seat-of-the-pants whatcha-got-cuz-I'm-in-a-hurry creations.

The above being typed, this of course means that the following amounts may or may not be somewhere in the general vicinity of the amounts I used. But hey mates, I'm trying! Gotta give a bloke credit for that, right?

Here is what I *sorta* did:

What you need and do:

For the first part...
2 tbsp minced red onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili paste (try to find the kind at least 90% chilis)
1 small handful of fresh, minced basil leaves
1 small handful of fresh, minced, onion greens
1 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of sea salt
Add all the above ingredients to a large cast-iron skillet.


Simmer and stir for a few minutes till the garlic is close to browning.

Then add 1 cup of white wine (or water) and let it simmer for a few minutes till the liquid is *almost* reduced to nothing.

For the next part you'll want to have these two things handy:
200 grams prawn meat, peeled and deveined
100 grams minced squid tube, cleaned of course

Perhaps your seafood may look something like this:

Your cutting board may vary of course.

Add that wonderful, delicious seafood to your that large saucepan that has just simmered down!

Oh yeah, I'm getting hungry just thinking about the wonderful smell from the saucepan last night.

Turn the heat up a bit and stir for a minute, then turn the heat to low. Add 1 cup water, cover and simmer till the liquid is gone.

Now you get to make it "Alfredo"!

Add 1 cup of full cream milk and 1/2 cup cream. Stir to combine while heating. Grate 1/2 cup cheddar cheese over the simmering mix, sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt. Stir to combine well.

Turn off the heat and cover.

Now you thicken it a bit. I use tapioca flour to thicken these type of sauces but if you only have cornstarch then that's ok.

Mix 1 tbsp tapioca flour with 1/2 cup cold water. Add to the saucepan with all your wonderfully smelling goodies in it; quick stir to combine. Wa-La!

Serve over any kind of pasta as takes your fancy. Garnish with fresh basil.

Note, MIL wanted spaghetti, Wifey-Poo wanted fettuccine, and I wanted angel-hair. Here's a pic of MIL's plate.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

ANZAC Biscuits


Dang, I wanted to write up the recipe for the onion/garlic gratin I made last night, but I realised I'd better get this ANZAC bikkie recipe up before it gets even FARTHER past ANZAC Day.

Me? Procrastinate? Nevah!

A quick notice to my American readers; biscuits do NOT mean what you think they mean. Down here in Oz (and in the UK) bikkies (slang for biscuits) are what Americans know as "cookies". And what Americans know as "biscuits" are what Aussies (and POMS) know as "scones".

Yes, the first time I told the family down here I was making Biscuits n Gravy for dinner I received some rather peculiar looks.

So if you are in the US, think of these as ANZAC cookies!

And for you longtime Aussies, these are NOT the hard, break-your-teeth, thin bikkies that are still in an "edible" state after almost 100 years. These are soft, chewy, delectable bikkies that won't last 100 minutes as they will all be devoured as soon as they are cooled!

I found this recipe in a mailer from me local member of Parliament regarding the ANZAC celebrations. It was originally credited to a certain Mr Bob Lawson who was at the landing in Gallipoli all those yonks ago.

I'm guessing that Bob was a cook with the ANZACs and wanted to come up with a slightly more palatable version of the ANZAC wafers they were being served. A bikkie that could perhaps be used for something besides scrapping mud off the bottom of you boot perhaps.

The recipe didn't specify what type of sugar to use so I, of course as always, used raw sugar. That's probably more in keeping with the times back then than today's highly refined gunk referred to as "sugar".

Even if you don't like coconut or oats in your bikkies (cookies) make sure you include them as these are the most absolutely BESTEST tasting cookies or bikkies EVAH!

ANZAC bikkies (cookies)

What you need to make 25 to 30 bikkies:
1 cup flour
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded, dessicated (fancy word for "dried") coconut

1/2 stick of slightly softened butter --no, DO NOT use margarine!
1 tbsp golden syrup (treacle) You can use molasses, but DO NOT use corn syrup!

2 tbsp boiling water (H2O)
1 tsp bi-carb (baking soda)

What you do:
Grease up a coupla baking sheets. I use butter. Preheat your oven to 180C which is about 356F.

Stir the dry stuff together in a mixing bowl. That's the first four (4) ingredients on the list.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter and golden syrup together. A large spoon should do the trick nicely.

Combine the boiling water with the bi-carb then immediately add to the butter/syrup mix. Stir quickly to combine.

Pour the contents of the butter etc mix into the bowl that has the dry ingredients. Mix with a strong, solid wooden spoon. Feel free to drizzle in a bit of hot water if it's too dry.

Grab a ping-pong sized ball of dough and plop it on a buttered baking tray. Continue till all the dough is on the trays. Make sure you leave plenty of room for spreading as these will soften and spread.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. When they start to brown around the edges they'll be done. Remove the trays from the oven and let the bikkies cool for about 10 minutes before you put them on a cooling rack. Trust me on that!

These bikkies are powerhouses of calories and energy! Seriously, if you aren't going on a 200 km bike ride immediately then I wouldn't suggest eating more than 2 or 3 at a time. Of course the fact that they taste sooo darned delicious may make that difficult!

Full disclaimer: I had 13 of these for dessert the day I first made them. Ummmm, I didn't need to eat the next day, that's for sure!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Easy Flour Tortillas WITHOUT Lard or Shortening!


And these are SOOOOOO easy to make. They're ultra-easy if you have a tortilla press, but still very easy if you only have a rolling pin.

Very tasty, nice and flexible, and if you are vegetabletarian or even vegan these will be perfect for you!

The key is, of course, to use olive oil. Lots an lotsa olive oil! These tortillas are so healthy you won't feel at all bad having 5 or 6 homemade burritos in one sitting!

One caveat to add though: These are not Tex-Mex flour tortillas. It seems Texans for some reason like their tortillas slightly "foofy". That means they add a leavening agent, usually a bit of baking powder, to their tortillas. I personally don't like that for tortillas, as I prefer more of a traditional Mexican tortilla but without the lard and without the modern addition of shortening.

So, here's whatcha need and here's whatcha do:

What you need:
2 cups plain, unbleached flour (or 1 wholemeal and 1 plain)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup (Yes, TWO-THIRDS!) extra virgin olive oil
just under 2/3 cup (call it halfway betwixt 1/2 to 2/3 cup) water (H2O)

What you do:
This is pretty simple. Mix everything together in a bowl, knead it for a few minutes till it's a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Divide your dough into 6 pieces. The easiest way to do this is to roll/shape the dough into a tube, slice it in half, then cut each half into thirds. Although I'm sure you could have figured that out on your own, right?

If you have a 12 inch tortilla press, then you just, ummmmm, ahhhhhh, make your tortillas!

If you only have a 6.5 inch tortilla press (like me) then you still press out the tortillas and then finish them to 12 inches with a rolling pin.

If you have neither, then just roll em out to 12 inches in diameter.

When you stack up the uncooked tortillas make sure you put wax paper or a tea towel betwixt each tortilla.

For "cooking" the tortillas the best cooking implement to use is a large, well-seasoned, cast-iron fry pan. A thick-bottomed stainless steel one will work just fine too.

Once your fry pan is heated up on your stovetop then you just "cook" the tortillas for 20 to 40 seconds a side, only flipping once. Pile up all six, then spread them out on a board to cool for a few minutes.

Once they are cool enough to handle easily but still warm you want to put them into a plastic bag for 15 minutes.

Take the tortillas out of the bag to finish cooling completely and you'll find they nice and flexible and won't tear no matter how much good filling you stuff into them and wrap up!

Load em up with whatever you want! Beans, veggies, shredded seasoned meat, souvlaki fixings, etc. I'm sure you can figure out what to do with them.

Don't worry about how long they'll keep in the fridge, they'll all be eaten in one day -possibly two if you are on your own.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Maggie's Creamy Vegetarian Pepper Pot Soup


I have fun trading recipes, cooking tips n tricks, ingredients substitution, etc on twitter. One of my most wonderfullest twitter mates is named Maggie. She's a vegetabletarian but she also puts my meatiness recipes on her daily paper.

The other day (month!) we were chatting about soups and she said she'd send me her pepper pot soup recipe.

Of course I had to make it!

And of course I had to change it around a bit! Why? Cuz I didn't have all the ingredients at hand so I subbed a couple of items. I also changed the amounts a bit as I was only making it for myself.

She later told me that she herself had modified the original recipe from the person she received it from! Hey, all's fair in the kitchen mates!

Here is her original ingredient list plus directions:


2 Cups Water
2 Cups Veggie Stock
2 Good Sized Potatoes, Shredded
2 Medium Carrots, Shredded
2 Celery Stalks, Chopped fine
2 Medium Onions, Chopped fine
1 Green Pepper, Chopped fine
½ Cup All-Purpose Four
2 tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper, fresh hand milled
1 Cup Water
6 Cups Milk

Mix first 7 ingredients together in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and 1 Cup Water together in a small container until no lumps remain. Stir into the simmering soup to thicken it slightly. Add milk. Heat through. Check for seasoning.

Makes 12 ½ Cups

Not being one to take directions too well, I decided to make a few changes based upon why I had on hand. And remember, I was only wanting to end up with 6 to 8 cups. Here's what I came up with:

Maggie's Modified Vegetarian Pepper Pot Soup

1 Cup Water
2 Cups Veggie Stock
1 Good Sized Potato, Shredded
1 Medium Carrot, Shredded
1 Bok Choy, rough chopped, leaves included
1 Medium Onion, Chopped fine
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped fine
1 Handfull of fresh Rocket (the peppery kind)
A few fresh basil leaves, rough chopped.
A few fresh coriander leaves (cilantro to North Americans)
½ Cup All-Purpose Four
2 tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper, fresh hand milled
1 Cup Water
2 Cups Milk



I mixed first 10 ingredients together in a large saucepan and brought it to a boil.

It was then covered and simmered for 30 minutes.

Then the flour, salt, pepper, and 1 Cup Water were whisked together and that slurry was stirred into the simmering soup as a thickener and a spicy-er.


The milk was added and the soup was brought back up to temperature.


I checked to see if it needed any more seasonings (like salt) and I added a pinch of sea salt.

And it of course looks great in a bowl!

I of course just had to make one little, itsy, bitsy, teeny, tiny final adjustment...

Fresh grated Parmesan!

The soup was very very tasty, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And you can all thank Maggie up in Canada for sending me the recipe!