Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pearl Barley Salad

Pearl Barley Salad ( ratio 1:1.5) to water
Cherry tomatoes
Aubergines pickled

No dressing used here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quinoa-Lentil-Calamari-Mushroom Salad

Salad base
Black lentil
red onion
chili (garnish if you don't like chili, pomegranite is a good alternative for that red colour)

calamari (optional)

Heat garlic, olive oil, fry mushrooms, toss in seafood.
Add balsamic, silan, soya, toss, generous squeeze of lemon.  Taste, adjust.

Scoop on top of lentil-quinoa salad

Monday, October 8, 2012

Banana Bread

Recipe 1: Best as Bread
6 or more ripe bananas
1/2 cup of oil
1 cup sugar (I used - 3/4 cup sugar)
3 eggs (whisk whites separately)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbps hot water
1/4 cup nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
Dates (Optional - puree - the hard type)

Add shortening/oil to sugar, vanilla and yolks.  Mix
Add soda dissolved in hot water.
Sift flour and salt together add to wet mixture and stir in.
Add bananas, mashed or/and slices
Fold 1 tbp of whites to loosen the batter.  Then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Pour half the mixture into lined loaf tin.  (Batter is quite runny like thick honey)
Flatten and layer some de-stoned dates puree (see pic. below)
Cover with remaining mixture
Dot with sliced bananas and walnuts.
Bake in pre-heated oven 170°C for about 1hour and 15 mins or till done inside.
If it browns too early on top,place aluminum foil on top, take off at end of baking.
Leave to cool before slicing.

Here, I used only fresh bananas, big chunks make a knobbly, rugged loaf (also, I'd ran out of my frozen stash.)

If it's going to stand for a while, might be a good idea to toss banana chunks in lemon juice for preservation)
If you prefer a smoother texture mash bananas good and proper.

Super moist, full of flavour! Date layer not only adds taste but looks incredible.

Source: Seasoned with Sun (Recipes from corner of Texas and Old Mexico)


NOTE: Tested this same Bread recipe for muffins, not so successful as the actual Muffin recipe below.
They were not as light and fluffy, though taste was still good.
Look at next recipe for  better Muffins.

Recipe 2: Best as Muffins

Recipe 2:
3 or more ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
vanilla essence
3/4 sugar
1 egg (whisk white separately)
1/3 cup melted margarine/butter (I used oil)
cinnamom/nutmeg/walnuts (optional

Add all dry ingredients (not sugar) together in a bowl
Whisk egg white
In another bowl, add butter, vanilla essence, yolk, sugar. Mix.
Add bananas, mashed or sliced whatever you like.
Sift dry ingredients to batter. Mix.
Fold in egg white
Mixture should be quite thick (not runny at all)
Bake in pre-heated oven 170oc for about till done inside.

Scoop mixture into paper cases, top with walnut.

This recipe worked best as muffins.
It was crunchy on top and soft, light inside, full of whole pieces of bananas.
But there was a 'starchy' taste to the sponge, I've heard that it could be too much soda or baking powder?
Comments welcome

This recipe as a loaf was not too bad too (below pic), the sponge was rather dark, don't know why? May be that can explain the starchy taste?

Source: All - over 1,000 reviews 5 out of 5 stars
Source recipe click here

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cucumber Pomegranite Salad

Quick dressing:
Vinegar (regular 5%)
Garnish: white, black sesame, pomegranite
Note: sugar can be replaced with another sweetner as long as it doesn't disturb the colouring of the overall salad. (ie red/green, black white)

I imagine any light coloured vinegar for example cider, maybe even rice vinegar? as long  as it keeps the whiteness of  the cucumbers,  balsamic would not do here.

This is a rather strong dressing so add it  tea/tablespoon at a time depending on the size of the salad , toss, taste,  then add more IF necessary

Bakewell/Frangipane Tart / Maids in Honour

Question: Worth buying specially almond flour?

Experiment:  Three tarts, one with ground almonds, the other with self-raising flour and almond essence.  Or both?
(Recipe and Verdict below)

Recipe filling 1: Jamie Oliver - Frangipane
100g marg.
100g caster sugar
1 egg
100g ground almonds
vanilla essence
sliced almonds

Only ground almonds here (no flour), it came out much wetter, softer, so if you like your dessert on the gooey side.  Hubby prefered this and it got another friend's vote.

Recipe filling 2: Bero book - Maids in Honour
100g / 2oz   marg.
100g / 2oz caster sugar
2 eggs
100g / 2oz  Self raising flour
Almond essence
Sliced almonds

Only Self-raising counterpart, sponge was much firmer, with body  and even crunchy on the top. Stronger almond flavour than just ground almonds.

Recipe 3 - /GoodHousekeeping - Almond and Jam Flan
50g/ 2oz marg.
50g/ 2oz caster sugar
1 Egg yolk
2 Egg Whites (Whisk to peaks)
125g/4oz ground almonds
25g/1oz SR Flour (original recipe calls for 2 oz)
Almond essence (vanilla essence in original)
sliced/flaked  almonds
1/2 level tsp of Baking powder
2 tbps milk/juice

Cream marg. and sugar, add yolk, flavouring.
Add ground almonds.
Add flour, baking powder
Add milk, mix.
Fold in egg whites
Spread over jam layer.

Both Ground almonds but less SR flour to the original recipe, my ratio of 4:1 and not 4:2
I wanted the ground almonds texture with just a slight 'sponge'.
This was the one in between, the almond essence adds a more pronounced flavouring (if you're into that which I am.) other wise use vanilla essence.

Recipe 4 Almond fingers
A bonus in my quest -
Think I may be making this more than all the others.  As is in life, you start with one direction and end up discovering another, entirely different and maybe one better!

Recipe 4 Almond fingers

2 Egg White (whisked to stiff peaks)
6 level tbp of Ground almonds
100g/4 oz caster sugar
Almond flavoring
Flake Almonds for garnish

Whisk egg white untill stiff.
Fold in  ground almonds, sugar, flavouring
Spread over jam layer.

This is just delightful, comes out with a thin crisp, light layer. Great with Lemon curd filling or red jam.
Hubby says best eaten cold, I say IF you can wait that long.

I'm not so sure, but if I had to choose, ...the self-rasing and almond essence, for sure I wouldn't buy specially ground almonds again and I ALWAYS have  SR flour.
Make your own Almond Flour! - Click Here

Short-crust pastry to die for here.

Light and crumbly, perfect.
Omitted sugar so if there were any extra, it could be frozen and used  in the future for either savoury or sweet!

Short Crust Pastry:
225g/8 oz Plain Flour
100g Marg.
cold water
sugar (optional)

1.  Mix flour with marg. till resembles breadcrumb.
2.  Add COLD water till soft dough. Refridgerate.
3.  Bake blind.

Filling Instructions for all:
1.  cream marg. with sugar
2.  Add egg.
3.  Add essence
4.  Fold in ground almonds/self raising flour
5.  Fold in Whites if using

Layer jam.
pour in filling
sprinkle on almonds
Bake in 170 till brown and done, skewer comes out clean from the middle.

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