Saturday, December 22, 2012

Birthday Dinner 2012 (-1990)

22 Birthday dinners and still going strong!

Panko breadcrumbs
Red bell peppers chopped
Rosemary finely chopped
Sage finely chopped

Rolled into balls drizzle with olive oil and bake on top shelf till crsipy brown.

Lambs smothered in solidified stock fat, salt, garlic and rosemary.
Bake for almost 5 hours at 170ish

Individual apple pies - didn't make it to the dinner table this year, there were just so many desserts.

Just a nice greeny picture.
Here testing my apple pies and first testing of my stuffing for the vegetarian folks.

Quick Chow Mein so we don't starve till dinner-party time.

All hail to the mighty mint sauce

Oh yeah, Come on Eileen!

Stuffing Roasted
and below all garnished up and looking gooooood..

Pepe's cerviche mushrooms.
No words.

Galit's amazing bread

Recipe - Click here

Nili's crazy good salad
Sourcle Link : marthastewart fennel-and-orange-salad

Refreshing mint tea all round.


Cheese cake
200g Butter cookies - grounded
70g Butter melted

Layer in tin and chill in refridgerator

1 cup Sugar
700g Heavy cream cheese (Gad or Yakov brand)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 Sour cream (como pa-am)

Cream sugar and vanilla and cheese together.
Add eggs one at a time.

Cover the base of the cake tin with foil, this is protection as the tin will float in a bain-marie
whilst baking. This ensures a moist rich heavenly cheesecake.

Pour over the cookie base.
Place in another tin with high edges filled with boiling water and bake for 1 1/4 hour or till the
sides come steady but the middle is still wobbly.
Keep in bain-marie and let the cake to cool completely before removing it to the refrigerator.
Cool for 24 hr. before serving.

Tip: For super moist cheesecake slightly underbake and take the cake out BEFORE it's done
and sets. If it has set, it is already over done.


100g crudely crushed Almonds
1/2 cup of Sugar

Carmelize sugar, add almonds.
Oil a pan and pour hot mixture, let set.
When cold, bash in plastic bag.
350g Bitter Dark quality Chocolate
2/3 cup of Coffee Expresso
2 tbsp Brandy
125g Butter
3 tbsp grounded chocolate
3 tbsp cocoa

Melt coffee and brandy with chocolate.
Take out from the gas, and add butter and let it melt
Cool for a little while and add the nuts.
Line pan with baking paper and pour mixture.
Chill for at least 4 hr.
Work with 2tsp to form nut size pieces and role to small balls.
Roll the balls in chocolate and in cocoa.
Keep in refrigerator.

Option 2:
Pour the whole mixture in flat pan and freeze.
Just before serving, cut with a good knife into small squares and dust the cocoa powder.

(Tip: use chopsticks to pick up - hands will melt the damn thing)
Delicioulsy decadent!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fresh Meat and Bones

Gloriously fresh, meat lovely and dark red, fat off-white and firm. Super.
Top: Lamb Shank,
Right: 2 x Best Quality Lamb Shoulders
Bones on the left for fabulous maximum-flavour-stock.

So excited! making mint sauce to go with :)

Bones ready for the long slow cook.  You should roast them first in a hot oven, patience was never a virtue of mine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Beignets - Happy Channuka

I don't do sufganiyots, too heavy for me.  These on the other hand....light, crisp and ahhh Oh! so divine.
Happy Channuka!


Basic Recipe - Choux Pastry - Bero book

50 g (2 oz) butter/margarine
150 ml (1/4 pint) water
100g (4oz) Plain flour
2 large eggs  ( beaten)

1Place fat in water and melt over gentle heat, then bring to boil.

Make sure water is boiling before adding flour, otherwise a thin paste will form.
2Remove from heat and stir in flour.
3While off the heat, stirring until mixture forms a ball in the middle of the pan.

4Thoroughly beat the eggs into the mixture, a little at a time with a wooden spoon or electric whisk.  A thick but runny batter is what you should be aiming for.  Whisk well to avoid lumps.
5.  Pre-heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry.

6.  Dip the two teaspoons in the oil to coat it so the sticky dough does not stick to the spoons as you scoop with one teaspoon and push/drop the dough into the hot oil with the other spoon.

Fry in hot oil till just burst.  Nice and brown all over.  They're done!
Leave to cool slightly on kitchen towels.  Dust with icing sugar.
Dip in deep dark chocolate and top with whipped cream ( I like to add some icing sugar in the cream for extra sweetness.)


Click here for Source Recipe

Friday, December 7, 2012

Honey! I made Meat Pies

ShortCrust Pastry
1 + 1/4 Plain flour
120g butter
1/2 tsp.  Salt
1/2 tsp. Vinegar
Cold water (till form a dough)
Milk  or Egg to brush on top (optional)

Best quality mincemeat
Beef Stock (worth waiting till you have real beef stock gives a much flavourful filling)
Salt Pepper
Soya sauce

1 to 2 tbps. of Cornflour mixed in 2 tbps. cold water

Fry onions and carrots  till soft.
Add meat fry till brown.
Add soya and worchestershire

Add cornflour mix to thicken.
Line pastry.
Scoop in filling then top and close pie with another layer of pastry.
Dampen edges with water and pinch layers to close.

Slit a small hole on top, wrap and  freeze immediately or bake.

 I baked straight from the freezer, frozen at 190 for  about 1hour 20 mins.
Cover the tops with aluminum foil to prevent burning, after an hour remove foil to brown tops.  Pies are done when golden brown and the lower crust is firm and baked.



artofthepie dough

Vinegar Tip for top crust:

Extra reading on pie pastry

Extra in Simple print form

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dinner Party: Menu 2

Salmon Sushi Rolls (Tempura) with Bread crumbs! 
Served on Board, bed of chopped cabbage & spring onions, Sweet & chili sauce and Soya/ginger sauce
(This can be pre-made and just dip,coat and fry when ready to sit at the table)

Tomato Soup served in small tea cups with LOTS Cheese sticks
(Cheese sticks take about 15-20 mins)

Roast Beef

Roast Potatoes and Thyme
Peas garnished with butter and fresh herbs
Yorkshire puds
Real gravy - served piping hot in a jug
Mint sauce

Creme Caramel garnished with sliced pears
Lemon grass Tea

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tangerine Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 or 5 small ripe Tangerines
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil tangerines in water (just cover) leave to cool.
Cut horizontally and take out pips

Blend in processor, 'whole',  skin and all.
Separate whites from yolks and whisk to stiff peaks.

Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease and flour a tube pan. 
With an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the yolks and sugar until thick. 
Gradually beat in the oil.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. 
Beat until smooth, and then mix in the tangerine slush and vanilla.
Fold in whites.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake tests done.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 7 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Source Link - click Here

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quinoa & Yams

Quinoa (& red?)
Parmesan shavings
Olive oil

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pear Pie

Souce Link/Recipe - Click here

Here the pastry was made without an egg, just Plain flour, cold water, cold butter.

1 + 1/4 Plain flour
120g butter
1/2 tsp.  Salt
Cold water (till form a dough)
Sugar to sprinkle on top
Milk to brush.

Mixed spices : cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, coriander (perhaps)

Cut pears in desired size, toss in vinegar and sugar, spices and cornflour.
(Cornflour ensures a thick syrup rather than fruit swimming watery liquid)

Dice butter into small pieces.  Add salt.
Add the cold water tablespoon at a time till form a stiff dough. Chill in fridge.
Roll out and place top of fruit.
Brush with milk and sprinkle sugar

For sweet, add lemon zest, for savoury dried herbs ie oregano, thyme etc., adds flavour and a pretty speckled effect.

Source Link for Pastry Recipe - Click Here



Olive Oil
Garlic chopped
Onion chopped
Green Runner Beans
Tomatoes - Fresh Pureed
Mixed cured meat ie salami, sausages, pastrama,
Mixed spices (ground cloves, cardammon, cinnammon,nutmeg)
Coriander seeds grounded
Salt Pepper
Worchestershire sauce
Coriander or Parsley or both - chopped
Chili- chopped
White wine or stock or boiling water
Lemon wedges for serving

Heat and soften onions and garlic.
Add meats and brown.
Add beans and peas.

Add spices: mixed, paprika, tumeric, coriander seeds, pepper,chili, mix.
Add raw rice,stir well
Add tomatoes,stir.
Add liquid (white wine/stock)
Add green leaves ie coriander leaves.
Add seafood on top.
Close lid and bake in oven 180oc till done.

Serve with plenty of lemon wedges.

Source link - Click here

Spicy Sticky Pudding


  • Scant 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of oil 
  • mixed spice: cloves; cardammon; nutmeg;cinnamon (ginger optional)

For the sauce:

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • mixed spice (see above)
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in little blobs
  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water

    Combine flour, sugar and spices.
    Beat in egg and milk.
    Mix in oil
Pour into a buttered dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar, sprinkle mixed spice.
Dot butter on top
Pour boiling water all over.

Bake in oven 190 oC for about 40 mins. till sponge is soft and crunchy on top.

Serve piping hot preferably on a rainy Winter's eve with whipped cream.
Deliciously sweet and spicy.
Comfort food at its best.

Tweaked from Nigella Lawson and link below.
Source link - Click here

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pear Bakewell Tart


Bakewell filling
Bakewell filling - Recipe 3

French Tart Pastry
thanks to: french pastry

Friday, November 2, 2012


Courgette - Sausage Quiche 

Carrots and Bell Peppers Quiche with Herby Yams


One of those modest simple classics,  no wonder I use this so often for shabbat dinners.

When I make this I know that atleast I have the starch part of the meal out of the way, easily and quickly.  I still get to go to the beach on the afternoon before the evening meal.  That's how easy this dish is!

Like all dishes with simple few ingredients there are so many variants depending on mood and person.

Spices are usually Turmeric, Cumin, then the rest is your choice, my holy trinity here is Turmeric, Cumin, ground Coriander seeds, I've seen cinnamon, cardamon, paprika added too. It really is your choice.

The basic recipe

Onions chopped
Garlic chopped (optional)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Coriander leaves for garnish
Black Lentils (soaked overnight) 1/2 cup
Rice 1cup (uncooked rice) I use jasmine
Water 1cup BOILING
Spices: Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander seeds grounded - or what ever you have and like, no rules here

Heat splash of olive oil and fry onions and garlic till soft.
Add spices (ie turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seeds) and toast spices.
Add soaked lentils. Stir well
Add salt
Add raw rice.  Stir well so all is coated
Add BOILING water, make sure all the rice is covered. Cover with lid.
Place on low heat for 30 mins.
After 30 minutes all the water should have been absorbed.
Do not raise lid if possible
Close heat and let to stand

* Note: I try to always have a stash of post-soaked lentils in the freezer, that way I can just take out, thaw (if no time to thaw just throw in the pan and cook from frozen) I make this dish when ever I need something fast, tasty and good-looking.  This dish really is a life saver when unexpected vegetarian friends jump over or after a busy day at work or on the beach, this simply gets the carbs on the menu sorted, and out of the way.  Often I make a quiche to go with , served with a sauce such as tzatziki or tehina along side a simple salad.
Voila suppers on the table!

If you use other types of rice such as Basmati or Perisan please let me know what water/rice ratio you use.  Thanks

Another cooking option is to bake, this eliminates any chance of burning the bottom of the pan also from burning the rice.

Bake in pre-heated oven 180c till rice is light and fluffy, about 30 mins.

Option 1:  Toast nuts/seeds such as sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on top, dust with red paprika and corriander leaves for maximum effect and serve.

Option 2:  Fry thin julienne cuts of fresh ginger and sprinkle on top, serve.

Peach-Pear Bakewell Tart

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