Thursday, 28 June 2012

Creamy Rice Pudding and Strawberry Jam

Creamy Rice Pudding and Strawberry Jam

I couldn't wait had to go to the bookshelf straight away! No. 49 Jamie at Home - 407 pages......oooooh the anticipation..........203 a picture of a spiders web on wheat emmmm 204 Creamy Rice Pudding with the quickest strawberry jam! Yeah yeah baby! I love rice pudding the man hates it! I'll have to say I had to cos Dom told me.... 2/6/12

Jamie Oliver
But here I am scraping in by the skin of my teeth again to enter the  Random Recipe Challenge for June  hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen.  Still, as I have the kitchen to myself tonight, which doesn't happen all that often I thought I would treat myself to some rice pudding and shoot it off to Belleau Kitchen.

This is such comfort food (which the man calls Depression Food as in Post War Food). And to add to the sixth sense of it all,  this is what I ordered the last time I visited the Oliver family pub (with my sister and very best friend) for lunch at "The Cricketers Arms" in Clavering, Essex back in 2008 when I bought this book - it still has the receipt from lunch tucked in the front. Don't you love it when little pieces of story all seem to fit together.
This serves 6 to 8  its easy to cook and no bother to prepare.
 For the rice pudding
1.2 litres organic whole milk
(my fridge only housed a new local milk from the Great Ocean Road whose slogan is Milk from cows with a view - I thought that would be good enough)

200g pudding rice

2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar ( I used normal sugar with a couple of drops of vanilla essence)

Place milk rice and sugar in a deep saucepan.
Bring to a medium simmer and put the lid on.
Cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally until it is thick and creamy.  Add a drop more milk if it gets too thick.

For the Jam

1kg strawberries, hulled, washed and drained
150g caster sugar

Place strawberries in a wide, stainless steel pan and sprinkle with the sugar.

Scrunch the strawberries up with your hands, really pushing them between your fingers to pulp the mixture, which will start to look like jam.  This felt amazingly good! And I licked every finger! It was a wonder it made it to jam - cos it was good enough to eat straight from the pot.

 Make sure the sugar has dissolved into the strawberry juice before you bring it to the boil.

Simmer for 20 - 30 mins on medium heat 
Every 5 mins or so skim off the foam and then it is done - perfect. 

Jamie scrunched some meringues over the top of his to serve, but mine was pretty good without any topping. So good in fact I nearly burnt my tongue on the swirl of hot jam as I couldn't wait for it to cool to taste it.  There was plenty left - jam into jars for the future and rice for breakfast in the morning. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

Technically winter has only just begun but autumn has been quite cold and wintery that it seems like this cold weather has been around for a while.  Nothing like hot soup on a chilly day.  When we have roast chicken on a Sunday, Monday the left-overs are taken to make a curry (or something similar) and the carcass is covered with water and boiled for stock or soup to be frozen and used at a later date.

Last week it was used for soup.  It can be quite tiresome removing every little bit of chicken from the bones and adding it to the stock, but last week I found it quite soothing, therapeutic really, especially if you are not in a hurry.

This chunky chicken stock was then adapted from a recipe from Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking. Its a lovely book and very well set out including instructional photos and full page colour shots.

4 cobbs sweet corn - I used two tins of corn
1 small white onion
1 garlic clove
2 in knob ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shao hsing wine or dry sherry
7 cups of chicken stock
200g chicken breast cut widthways into 1/2 in slices (I used chicken from my carcass)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely sliced spring onions

I know what you are thinking -"here we go with all those ingredients again" but really there is nothing out of the ordinary.

If using cobs remove the corn from each cob by running a sharp knife down the sides of each cob.  I opened a couple of cans, drained.
Peel and dice onion and garlic.
Peel ginger and cut into thin julienne strips.
Heat oil in a heavy based pot and saute onion, ginger, garlic and salt for 1 minute.
Add wine or sherry bring to the boil
Add corn and chunky chicken stock bring back to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove any impurities during the simmer time. If using fresh chicken add now and cook until tender.
Add soy sauce and simmer for a further minute.
Slowly pour in beaten egg in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a fork.
As soon as the egg forms fine "ribbons" remove from the heat.
Serve into bowls and garnish with spring onions.

This made 4 large bowls - a perfect lunch or first course.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lamb Stir Fry with Oyster Sauce

One of our favourite books
Prepare everything first!

The Man has been in Sydney on business for three days which means a couple of nights on my own (which I don't mind now and again). First night I cooked myself chicken kiev, second night went to my daughters for roast chicken. The man was home tonight so this morning as I was running out the door to work I pulled out the freezer what I thought was a piece of steak big enough for two. This turned out to be a fillet of lamb (backstrap). I hesitated at what to cook with this. As a home coming treat I thought I would make the man's favourite food (anything chinese) and flicked through my Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong.  This is such a great book and we cook something from it at least once a week.

Unfortunately chinese cooking doesn't include many lamb dishes so the flicking back and forth through "Kylie's" book went on for some time before I could decide what I could adapt to my lamb. Eventually  I settled on Stir-Fried Beef/Lamb with Oyster Sauce plus I had some vegetables in the fridge I could use to pad out the dish as the lamb fillet didn't look quite enough. I shouldn't have worried - there was enough for four! Kylie's ingredients always make a long list but the preparation is what takes the time and the cooking is really quick - so be prepared! Here is my adaption of Kylie's recipe. You could actually leave out the meat and just have vegetables.
600g beef fillet/lamb sliced finely
1/3 cup shao hsing wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion chopped in large pieces
6 fine slices of ginger
3 cloves garlic chopped finely
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons water

Vegetables - I used a couple of big field mushrooms, capsicum and cauliflower florets (or anything you think suitable from the fridge).

  • Slice meat finely and marinate in half the wine/sherry and salt and put in fridge for 30mins.
  • Prepare onion, ginger and garlic.
  • Cut any other vegetables into bite sizes pieces.
  • Heat half the oil in a hot wok or large frypan until it shimmers
  • Add half the marinated meat and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Remove meat from the wok with a slotted spoon, set aside and repeat with remaining meat. 
  • Add remaining oil to the wok and throw in onions, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a minute  or so - keep stirring to avoid the garlic burning. 
  • Add all the vegetables and keep stirring for several minutes (firmer veg will take a little longer).
  • Return meat to wok with the remaining wine, oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar,  seasame oil and water and stir-fry for a further minute or until lamb/beef is just tender. 
 Serve on a bed of rice and eat straight away while piping hot! We enthusiastically tucked into this and nearly forgot to show you. Sorry about that. 
It was gone all too quickly.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Viennese Crescent Biscuits

Viennese Crescent Biscuits

Being moulded on the benchtop
Ready for the oven

They look like false teeth lined up on the tray!
We are off to Daylesford for the Queens Birthday long weekend to visit friends.

 I do love the country in the winter,  donning the Hunter boots and duffle coat!

Daylesford is a pretty little town nestled in Victoria' Spa Region a stone's throw from the Macedon Ranges and only about an hour's drive from Melbourne.

As usual I over committed myself and left my run a bit late for making this delicious Viennese Crescents to take with us for our hosts, dredged in icing sugar, they were still warm as we were rushing out the door. Thank goodness they were quick and easy to make.


2 cups plain flour
250g butter melted
1 cup (125g) ground almond meal
1/2 cup (90g) sifted icing sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon orange essence
plus 300g extra sifted icing sugar for dredging


    • Preheat oven to 180C Combine all dry ingredients - flour, meal, sugar, salt
    • Add essence and melted butter and mix with a spoon.
    • Divide mixture into small balls (at least 24) and then roll each ball into a sausage and shape into a crescent .
    • Place on ungreased baking paper on a tray and bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until just brown
    • Place some of the extra icing sugar on a sheet of tin foil
    • Place the hot crescents on the foil and dust both sides with icing sugar
    • Cool completely and store in an airtight container

    We saved a couple for ourselves and the man said they were the best biscuits he had had for a long time!

    Thought these would be perfect for this month's June challenge at AlphaBakes hosted by The More than Ocassional Baker and Caroline Makes the challenge letter being "V" I presume there will be lots of these.