Saturday, December 7, 2013

Aubergine Salad with Pesto Spread

Aubergine (Eggplant) 
Cloves garlic, peeled 
Bunches scallions, white and green parts, roughly chopped
Coriander leaves chopped
Paprika sweet


Blend scallions, garlic, paprika and coriander to a paste. (freezable at this stage)

Slice augbergines, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Grill both sides in oven.
Cover each slice with above spread and return to grill for a few more seconds.

Fry chopped onions till soft.  Add tomatoes and cook till all soft and a thick sauce is made.  
Season with salt and black peper.

Add prepared aubergines to tomatoe sauce and carefully stir.

Nut Roast


Onions - chopped
Celery - chopped
Carrots - grated
Walnuts - chopped
Herbs: ie sage, rosemary, corriander, parsley, Thyme - chopped
Worchestershire sauce
Tamari Soy sauce
Dijon Mustard
Dried tomatoes
Corriander seeds - grounded

Black pepper

Puff pastry

Start frying onions, celery, carrots, garlic

Fry mushrooms till soft, when cool puree in mixer.

Blend preserved chestnuts and walnuts in mixer till small bite sizes.

Mix all together.

Blend roughly parsley, coriander, rosemary (sage would be good here too)
Add soy, mustard, worchestershire sauce and ground coriander seeds.

Add fine breadcrumbs, no more than a cup.

Add oven-dried cherry tomatoes.  Fold carefully inorder not to damage the tomatoes.
Note: Original called for an egg, the mixture below was so moist I didn't need an egg.  If your mixture is dry then by all means add an egg.

Pat into lined-loaf tin.
In my second nut roast I buried some boiled eggs inside, which was nice but not necessary.

Bake for about 40 mins till brown on top

Just for fun and to make it pretty, I cut a lattice puff pastry around it.
After baking, I turned it upside down, carefully placed lattice on top and return to oven to brown.
Inspiration for lattice

First ever truly vegetarian meal, complete with nut roast, couscous salad, lentil-fennel-apple salad, roast veggies and of-course vegetarian gravy.

Second Nut Roast
Completely encased in puff pastry for impact as well as keeping ALL the flavour and juice inside.
It looked spectacular!  Think I found my Christmas centre piece.

Dark brown and moist inside, the flavours smells like a carnivore's dream.
This time round I added some of my Aubergine/Tomato salad leftover here.  It blended nicely, but don't make especially to put in here.
Note for self: Waterchestnuts, roughly chopped could go very nicely here, give it an extra crunch..

All carved up and covered in gravy like a good roast should.

Accompanied with some fabulous aspargus.

Walnuts - chopped
Herbs: ie sage, rosemary, corriander, parsley, Thyme - chopped
Worchestershire sauce
Tamari Soy sauce
Dijon Mustard
Dried tomatoes
Corriander seeds - grounded

Black pepper

Puff pastry

onions - chopped
worchestershire sauce
Soy sauce

Fry chopped onion, garlic, celery and carrots till soft.  Leave to one side
Fry separately mushrooms till soft.  Puree in mixer.  Add to onions mix.
Blend chestnuts in mixer for a few seconds till small pieces but NOT pureee.
Do the same to the walnuts.
Add to rest of mix.
Blend Herbs to small peices.  Add to mix.
Add breadcrumbs.  Mix.
Add mustard and grounded corriander seeds.  Mix well.
Add soy and worchestershire.
Carefully add the dried tomatoes
My mixture was quite gooey and sticky, but if yours is quite dry and needs wetting add an egg and mix.

Place in lined loaf tin and bake 180 for about 45 mins.
The smell will hit you as the roast begins to bake.  Bake till brown and crunchy on top.
Take out and cool.
Roll out pastry and either make lattice and place on roast or simply cover roast with puff pastry.
Return to oven and bake till pastry is crispy and brown.

Fry onions, garlic and thyme till soft.
Add flour, stir.
Add stock or water, bring to boil.
Add seasonings such as soy and worchestershire for colouring
Wine and black peper - optional

Cook till nice thick brown sauce formed.
Serve pipping hot to be poured straight on to roast.

Source Link - Click here

Brownies - gluten free

Sweet potatoes and ground almonds basically make up this gooey Brownie with dates as sweetner.
I measured by using ratios one ingredient to another.  Not sure if this easier, if not please let me know I will try to measure in grams next time.


2:3 ratio Sweet Potatoes
1:3 ratio Dates - de-stoned
Banana - optional for extra taste
3/4 cup Ground almonds (mix in blender)

Cacoa (dark unsweetend)  4 tbps
Maple syrup 3-4 tbps
Treacle 3 tbps
Walnut roughly chopped
Sesame White

Steam peeled yams till soft.
Process yams and dates in mixer.
Add salt, cacoa, syrups.
Taste, adjust
Hand mix carefully nuts.
Spread in tray and bake 180 for about 40 mins.
Leave to cool.  Cut into squares.
Coat with white sesame seeds for maximum visual impact.

Tastes great, sweet and moist, super rich and dark. The nuts and sesame adds a welcome crunch to the otherwise super soft 'brownie'.  No need to add even more sweetness so DO NOT sprinkle icing sugar

Note: If using 'Dutch-processed' Cacoa the brownies will come out incredibly dark with an insanely chocolately look without having any chocolate!
Very gooey and dense.

Source Recipe Click Here

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Banana Energy Bites - Raw

- 1 cups of almonds
- 2 cups of medjool dates
- 2 over-ripe bananas
- 1/2 a cup of ground flaxseed
-2 tablespoons of chia seeds

If it's the first time making this, best to blend the nuts first and place aside.
Then blend the dates, bananas etc.  Stir the mixture all together in a mixing bowl.  This way you get to control and blend each ingredient to the way you prefer.
As  I like my texture to still have some nutty grainy bite, if you like yours smooth and pureed, by all means blend to you the consistency you prefer.

Another variation:
- 1 cup of medjool dates
- 3/4 of a cup of almonds
- 3/4 of a cup of walnuts
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

Cinnamon was very nice here, added a homey, woody smell and taste.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Making of a Hamper...

".. It started with a ..... visit to my FAVOURITE spice 'everything' shop in South TLV."  
 Love this place! Levinsky street - South TLV

 Here starts the shopping

And.....Lemons at Shuk HaCarmel

Apple, Nectarine, Pear Conserve.

These popped so loud when they came out!

Far Left and right Apple Conserve,  middle Granola

Can't believe I took this photo!

Bike break, quick ride along the sea shore

Back to the kitchen
The pale mixture in the making is, will be biscotti Click here for Recipe

Toasted seeds for Sprinkling
Black and White Sesame seeds, Pumpkin and sunflowers seeds

Just love the kitchen table full of goodies
Feels like Christmas....

Lemon Curd stacked, and  ready to go  Recipe for Lemon Curd - Click Here

Biscotti check   Biscotti Recipe Click Here

Wrapped in cellophane (aka 'cooky' chicken-an-oven-bag)

Hamper looking good...

As it's still Summer hot, so kept Fudge in the freezer till it's time.
Fudge Recipe - Click Here

Last minute brainstorm: Herbal Scented, Spicy Vinegar
Super easy, fast, and so darn pretty.  Plus another item in the basket

Scented Salt: Herbal Thyme Salt
Another super fast, great to have on the table and adds an amazing aroma and taste to everything. 
Just ground your favourite DRIED herb, ie Rosemary, Oregano, etc, add to your favourite salt and mix!  Simple!

Now time for the packing....How are we going to do this?

Unrecognizable, very well protected but not from the blasted heat.  Hope the fudge makes it.

Another little 'side' hamper wrapped in a pretty pink home-made bento bag

And inside....
Granola, Mixed Seeds Topping, Apple Conserve, Herbal Vinegar

All delivered!...And me?
Time to treat myself with a Pedicure and Manicure....What colour lacquer? Hot Choco
My toddler son kept touching my toe nails and tasting his fingers...
Yep, 'Hot Choco' Lacquer alright ....

Kale - cooked

Quick before I forget the recipe.

Chopped kale
Green Apples (tarty ones) (i didn't bother to peel)
Onions chopped

Fry sliced onions till soft.
Add Kale, add apples, soften.
Add vinegar about 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Salt to taste.
Serve with pomegranite seeds for maximum impact.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

No Pizza-Stone Pizza

Just like in those fancy pizza restaurants....
As I am such a scrooge, I still haven't bought a pizza stone, or is it I can't find the right one?

Anyways, found this ingenious method of making a crispy, thin pizza crust, just like I like it without the *essential* stone.  Kick-start by pan frying!  Then finish by grilling in the oven.  (If you like thick crust I guess baking it would ensure base is well and truly cooked.  Luckily I don't have that issue)
I like mine thin and crispy.

Garnished with torn basil leaves and zata or is that oregano?
6 cups of white flour
1/2 cup of flax seeds grounded (optional)
2 tbs of yeast
1.5 tbs of salt
Warm water about 2 cups to a sticky dough
Flour/semolina  for dusting
Pizza toppings

Mix all ingredients
Leave to rest.  If I want if after work. I make in the morning.  Leave in fridge to rest.  It still rises in the fridge. Take out when I return home.  Let it warm to room temperature and the dough is ready to go.
Source Recipe for dough

Gordon Ramsey No Stone Pizza Idea Link : @ 9:02 in clip
Am checking if this dough is freezable will update later.
Update, Frozen dough used a few days later were very convenient and very tasty.

Turn grill on.
Prepare and have ready toppings:
Aubergine anti-pasti; mozzarella; mushrooms; tomatoes; fresh/dried herbs; anchovies; procured meats; sausages; grated mature yellow cheese; spring onions etc.,

Knock out air and cut small ball out and roll to desired thickness of pizza dough, dusting with flour or semolina.  I like it super thin which I found pretty hard to get to.  If you like it thick then don't bother rolling, just press with fingers and hand into shape.
Anyways, heat a frying pan with a little oil, when hot carefully place the rolled out pizza dough inside.  On high heat, cook till large bubbles start to form, brown then flip and brown the other side.
When pizza dough is nice and crispy and still on the heat (you can lower the heat if you want more time to put the toppings on)
Add the toppings fast.  Warning, put less base sauce then needed.  I found a little less prevents a soggy crust.
Then transfer the pan with pizza from the stove to the already hot grill.
Grill to nice and crispy done.
Needless to say this is GREAT with just good olive oil and zatar too.

Serve with torn greens such as  rocket.
Could the sliced tomatoes be soggifying the pizza crust???

Toppings (pic below):
No sliced tomatoes and you know what? No soggy middle!
mix of grated tomatoes with bit of ketchup around the edges of the crust.
Mushrooms,  Courgettes, Eggplant (post grilled) Pastrami, Rosemary, Oregano, Spring Onions
Home made tomato base : Cook chopped tomatoes with chopped garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook till the sauce is thick and 'reduced'.
Home made pesto base: Whiz in blender, walnuts, basil, garlic, salt and olive oil.

Garnished with spring onions and rosemary

Update: Pizza upgrade - meat eaters, (lachman-jun style)

Fry ground beef with onions, season with soya and worchestershire sauce.
Top with chop corriander, and tomatoes.

Note:  Top with meat AFTER pizza base comes out of the oven.
Otherwise the meat gets dry if baked.
 Baby loved it!

Just gets better and better.
Who needs tomato-based sauce?  Only had basil pesto and guess what?  It was DELICIOUS!
Friend said she doesn't like pesto but this was divine.

For those wondering:
basil pesto; cherry tomatoes; fresh mozzarella;  mushrooms; anchovies; red onions; mixed baby salad leaves; black sesame seeds.
Looking at this pic. I somehow imagine prawns would make this totally decadent, which, could be a good thing....

Too good.....

Ain't nothing better than home-made pizza with good friends and their children...doing all the work, having fun making their own!

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