Monday, 29 August 2011

We had a glut of small but tasty bananas and so I thought I would try to use my basic microwave recipe and adjust it for bananas and pecans - this was the result!
1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 cuo light brown sugar
8 small or 4 large bananas
1 cup milk ( that’s right no fat except for the milk!)
1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mash bananas in a food processor – add all other ingredients and process until smooth
Add ½ cup or more of pecan nuts (or other nuts) or chocolate chips.

Mix until incorporated into the mixture – nuts can be chopped or whole.

Place in a microwave safe cake baker or silicone baking mould and bake in high for between 8 and 10 minutes until the cake draws away from the sides of the pan and the centre is just slightly undercooked at the surface. Leave for five minutes to cool – turn out and ice with your favourite icing or dust with icing sugar.

This is a variation on my microwave cake which I use all the time – flavoured with chocolate or coffee or almond – any flavour you like!

We are at high altitude so you may have to adjust the baking powder and/or the length of time for the baking

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chicken Liver Pate

This is just the easiest chicken liver pate ever - and it tastes divine!

Take 1 kilo of chicken livers, 2 chopped onions, 1 punnet of mushrooms and cook together with a small amount of butter and olive oil in a large pot.  When livers are cooked through season to taste with salt and pepper, Tabasco sauce and brandy.  let cool and then transfer to a food processor or liquidiser.  Add cream or creme fraise -  you can add more after processing - and proce3ss to the desired consistency.  Add more cream or cream fraise now and put into small pots.  It will keep in the fridge for 3 days or freezes well. 

This can be used on its own or added to other dishes to improve and change the flavour - my favourite is chicken fried in olive oil and butter - then the pate added to make a thick and tasty sauce - ideal served with a fresh vegetable and a baked potato.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Vegetable and Lentil Crock Pot

I have just been introduced to a slow cooker - our elder son does not need his and so it has entered my kitchen!  I am hooked - a wonderful way of cooking meat so it is really tender and tremendous for lentils or beans.

Her is the recipe i made at the end of the week - what was left over i made into rissoles - this fed the two of us, my husband and myself for three meals!

2 1/4 cups dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
4  carrots quartered and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 medium leeks halved and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (white parts only)
2 cups cubed red potato with skin
2 minced garlic cloves or 1/2 tsp powder
one large garlic bulb - whole with outer skin removed
1 tin diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups water or stock - can be made with a stock cube of your choice
1 tin of condensed cream of mushroom soup or your favourite or 1 packet soup mix and 500 ml of water
3/4 cup tomato juice
3/4 tsp dried basil  or more if using fresh - must be finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme or finely chopped fresh
1/2 tsp pepper
Sour cream
Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for the sour cream and turn heat to high - check after 4 hours and taste - then check again when 6 hours has gone by.

You can vary the flavours by adding celery, soy sauce, Worcester sauce or other flavouring - you may need to add some salt.

Pour sour cream over the casserole when ready to serve. 

This is good on its own, with crusty bread or with a baked potato.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Deap Fried Onion Rings

Sorry I have not posted for a time but Internet problems have made any contribution almost impossible!

I have now discovered the easiest and best way of making deep fried crispy onion rings that stay that way even if not eaten immediately!

Take your onions and slice them - not too thinly.
place them in a container and cover them about half way with milk (full cream).
Mix them round in the milk and when well covered put in enough plain white flour to make a good paste and cover each onion ring.
Heat your deep fryer to the temperature recommended by the manufacturer and add the onion rings.
Fry until golden brown and crisp
Salt to taste when you remove them or allow your guests or family to salt to their taste.

Excellent with fish, chicken, steak or almost anything - or as a snack on their own with a good dipping sauce.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Individual meat loaves

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 onions chopped finely
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons  salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds ground beef - fat free
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
                                                                   1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Take the pan off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the minced beef, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for bout 35 minutes, until the loaves are cooked through. Place the cheese on top and finish off in the oven until the cheese melts
Serve with mashed potatoes and green peas or green beans,

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Banana Ice Cream

I have been experimenting with my banana ice cream (recipe published earlier) and have found that by adding honey (about 3 tablespoons) and some cardamon powder the flavour and texture are greatly improved. You can also add peanut butter - crunchy or smooth - another good alternative!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Home made Tomato Puree

What could be better - tomatoes fresh off the plant - and so easy!

I take as many tomatoes as I have and place them in a microwavable bowl - make a cut in each tomato and put a few sticks of celery and/or a couple of carrots with them.  I also like to use a couple of lime leaves and a bay leaf.

Microwave on high for 25 minutes.  Give them a stir and then cook again for 15 minutes.

Remove from the microwave and let cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper - and add a top of port - this makes all the difference!  Do not add garlic - do this when you use the sauce or your puree will taste rancid.

Then liquidise!  There you have it!  Freezer and enjoy when there are no tomatoes in the garden.

I have also added chillies as well to make a chilli tomato sauce for pasta - wonderful!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Baked Cherry Tomatoes

A lovely way to serve cherry tomatoes - this brings out their sweet flavour and is a wonderful dish to serve with chicken or even macaroni cheese!
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onions, chopped
4 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, or honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, buttered
Wash and drain cherry tomatoes; remove stems.

Melt butter in pan. Add tomatoes, 6 tablespoons brown sugar or honey and salt.
Cook very slowly until liquid evaporates. Be careful not to let tomatoes stick or scorch.
Put mixture in baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs and remaining brown sugar or honey.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until crumbs are browned about 20 minutes.