Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fresh Strawberry Rosemary Muffins

Fresh strawberry and rosemary in a muffin....I have never tasted that combination before. I was a bit hesitant but thought I would brave it.

When I took it out of the oven it had a banana fragrance. Even Mr Redneck asked me whether I made banana muffins. Maybe it was the rosemary combined with the strawberry which made it smell like it had banana in it. But whatever the fragrance, the muffin was moist the crumb soft and tender.

Definitely worth making especially since strawberries are in season. The strawberries and rosemary are fresh from my own garden.

Makes 18 muffins

185ml yoghurt
2 eggs
185ml oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Monday, December 08, 2008

Soft Wholemeal Bread

After my Breville died from overwork, I decided to buy a more heavy duty bread machine. We no longer buy bread in any shape or form so the breadmaker has to withstand the heavy usage. The one I am now using is a Sunbeam Quantum Smartbake with a big pan which can make a 1.5kg loaf and best of all it is programmable.

I have different programs for the 4 seasons. In the heat of summer, bread usually take a shorter time to rise but in winter, the house being so cold it does affect the rising time even though the breadmaker has its own heating element.

We love this bread. Even though it is wholemeal, it is not dense. In fact it is soft, light, fluffy and very pliable.

This is our daily loaf. Toast in the morning and sandwiches for lunch. Mr Redneck likes his thinly sliced wherelse I like mine like doorstops.

Soft wholemeal loaf
If you try this recipe and it turns out dense, then it has not risen enough. Since I like my bread light and fluffy, I make sure it is given enough time to rise even if it takes 4 hours for me to make a loaf. When buying a breadmaker make sure you have a separate bake function to enable you to have some control and not allow the breadmaker to dictate the timing.

Makes 1.5 kg loaf size

410 ml warm water (400ml if using fresh yeast)

350gm wholemeal flour
275gm high grade (bread) flour
4½ tsp gluten flour
1 Tbsp ground linseed

1 Tbsp oats
1½ Tbsp lecithin granules
2½ Tbsp milk powder
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar

2½ tsp surebake yeast or 16gm fresh yeast

Healthy and light wholemeal bread

Friday, November 28, 2008

Spicy Yoghurt Roast Chicken

The colour of this chicken when roasted was just amazing. I got the idea for this combination of herbs and spices from the November issue of Taste magazine. We thoroughly enjoyed the flavours.

I prefer to use the rotisserie to roast the chicken since it is by far the easiest with the least amount of handling.

Spicy yoghurt rotisserie chicken drumstick

1.1 kg chicken

100ml low fat greek yoghurt
1½ Tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blueberry Low Fat Yoghurt Ice Cream

In a magazine poll, the ice cream maker was rated as one of the most useless item in the kitchen. We beg to differ. We love our ice cream maker and is one of our most used gadgets. It doesn't get much of a chance to sit in a corner gathering dust.

Since this frozen dessert is something we eat everyday, I prefer to make the healthy low fat variety, something we can enjoy without too much guilt. The health benefits of eating yoghurt is innumerable. Combined with blueberry it is even better as blueberry is a superfood packed with antioxidants. I prefer using greek yoghurt as it makes a creamier ice cream.

A very easy ice cream to make as all the ingredients are just tipped straight into a blender. No slaving over the stove to make the custard.

Blueberry greek yogurt ice cream
Makes 1 litre

50gm frozen blueberry
80gm sugar
600ml low fat greek yoghurt
75ml cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp vodka
2 Tbsp sultanas (optional)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Homemade Low Fat Greek Yoghurt

Since I had no trouble making yoghurt out of Easiyo sachets, I had assumed I would have no trouble making it from scratch. How wrong I was !! It took me 3 months of trial and error before I succeeded. At first I blamed the cold weather. It was afterall the start of winter when I began trialling this. Just as I was about to give up, I got my first container of the most perfect thick and custard-like yoghurt. Ever since then I had not made a dud batch.

I use the Easiyo yoghurt maker which makes the incubation process much easier. All it takes is only 5 minutes preparation time. I find this greek yoghurt has hardly any whey. It makes the most delicious yoghurt ice cream.

Low fat greek yogurt

600ml low fat milk (light blue top)
2 Tbsp low fat milk powder
1 Tbsp whole milk powder
2 Tbsp low fat greek yoghurt starter (frozen)

1. Pour the milk into the yoghurt container. Heat milk in the microwave for 3 minutes (650W) until you see little bubbles on the side. Stick a clean finger in to test, it should be hot but not hot enough to burn your finger.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Make your own Pure Vanilla Extract

It really is very simple to make your own pure vanilla extract and more cost effective. Vanilla extracts will keep indefinitely as long as they are stored in a cool dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. Extracts can be made from either Tahitian or Planifolia vanilla beans. Their aroma is quite distinct from each other.

Use these pure vanilla extracts in whatever recipes that calls for vanilla and you won't regret it. This will make the end result taste so much better.

It is quite neat watching little jars of newly made extract turn a darker shade of brown almost daily and the aroma is just divine.

Pure Vanilla Bean Extract

3 vanilla beans
250ml vodka

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chu Yoke Yuen ~ Bouncy Pork Balls

Beef balls is something I always have in my freezer to add to my noodle lunch. The opportunity to make 'balls' out of a different meat presented itself when a slab of frozen pork leg I bought did not turn out to be as tender. The only thing the meat would be good for would be a minced up dish. Reminder to oneself.....never buy frozen pork again no matter how tempting the special is !

The pork balls turned out to be as springy and bouncy as the ngau yoke yuen. The process is the same though I have omitted lye water in this. Any lean cut of pork can be used. And best of all, it is preservative free.

Chu Yook Yuen
Makes 48 balls (½ Tbsp size)

500 gm pork, cut to small pieces

½ cup (125ml) icy cold water
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp salt
½ Tbsp sugar
½ Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp cornflour
1¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp white pepper

Springy Chinese Pork Balls

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kiwi Fruit Chutney

Way back in May, there was a special on kiwifruit for just 29cents a kilo. What a bargain ! It was a case of buy first, think later. With so many kiwifruits, it was as good a time as any to try out this chutney.

Leaving it 'brewing' in the dark cupboard for 5 months has paid dividends. This chutney definitely tasted much better left to aged for the longer period. It was lovely with cheese and crackers.

Kiwifruit Chutney

Makes 2 Litre

1kg kiwifruit
2 bananas
3 onions (460gm), chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup (130g) brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp crystallised ginger (chop)
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 hot chilli (whole or chopped with seeds removed)

1. Peel and slice kiwi fruit, onions and bananas.

2. Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker. Bring to pressure, reduce heat and cook for 30-40 minutes until soft and thick. If you find the mixture have not thicken, leave the lid off and boil for a few more minutes.

3. Pour into sterilised jars and seal. Leave in a cool dark place for at least 1 month before using to let it mature.

Kiwi fruit

Friday, October 03, 2008

Rotisserie Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Orange and Garlic

Lately our little rotisserie oven have been working overtime with us enjoying roast chicken several times a week. Yup, chicken was on special. The advantage of having a rotisserie oven means the meat can be plonked in, and in less than an hour the meal is ready without having to lift a finger to turn the chicken or baste it.

Rotisserie Roast Chicken
We like to use rosemary to flavour our meat as we have rosemary galore in our garden. I added the orange zest as I had an orange that needed eating so why waste the skin. Such a lovely meal served with gravy, a side of vegetables or salad and crispy potatoes.

Rosemary Rotisserie Roast Chicken
1.1 kg chicken
1 tsp salt
5 sprig chopped rosemary
zest from 1 orange

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3 minute Homemade Creamy Peanut Butter

Normally I am quite happy to buy my peanut butter from the supermarket and it never crossed my mind to make my own. But way back in July our supermarket decided to replace our favourite brand with one made in Australia and they pushed the price up as well.

That was it. I refuse to be dictated to, and be told what I can or cannot buy, or where from. I decided to make my own !

Homemade Peanut Butter
It was actually ridiculously easy provided you have a gadget similar to the famous Magic Bullet and you can have fresh peanut butter jelly sandwich in less than 3 minutes. The proof is in the video.

The texture was in fact much creamier and not as dry as the bought ones. And you can actually smell and taste the peanut. Once you have tried some homemade peanut butter, you won't want to go back to that tasteless storebought 'paste'. Plus you know exactly what ingredients has been used.

Peanut butter on a slice of homemade light Wholemeal Bread

Yield : > ½ cup

150gm (1 cup) roasted peanuts
½ tsp peanut oil or onion oil
¼ tsp salt

1. Place all the peanuts into cup of the bullet. Use the flat blade and process until the nuts are roughly broken up.

2. Add oil and salt. Change to the cross blade. Continue to pulse (shaking and scraping the sides of the container every now and then). As you process you will notice the mixture will become more liquid and oily. Process until you are happy with the texture.

Peanut Butter with the Amazing Bullet

Flat Blade...............Cross Blade

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spicy Date and Ginger Bars

Mr Redneck saw this Spicy Date and Ginger Bars in one of the many monthly magazines we borrow from the library and was literally drooling.

I had a look at the recipe, it was do-able and not overly laden with artery clogging stuff. I made it for Father's Day since there would be many 'guinea pigs' as well as to spread the calories around. The ginger bars were well received.

It is quite rich and sweet so cut it in small dainty slices and serve with coffee or tea. The base is actually a light textured cake. The Ginger Slices freeze well.

Spicy Date & Ginger Bars
Makes : 1 tray 25cm x 30cm

200g chopped dates
250ml milk
1 tsp baking soda

315g plain flour
¾ Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thousand Layers Spiral Mooncake

My last trial of this mooncake was back in 2006. Yes, it took me a good 2 years to get over the 'trauma' and give this another go. Not a mooncake for the fainthearted to attempt. What is tedious is sealing the dough without destroying the spiral pattern. But the end result is very rewarding. The pastry is very very crispy, crunchy and light.

Apparently the secret to getting the mooncake to bloom like a snail shell....'dunking it in very hot oil 3 times'.

Thousand Layers Flaky Spiral Mooncake

The traditional filling for this is yam but there is nothing to stop you from putting your own spin into this by using a lotus or bean paste or whatever takes your fancy. Hence I am not putting a recipe here for the filling. Mr Redneck likes his with a savoury mung bean filling.

Makes 6 mooncakes

Water dough
75g plain flour
20g shortening
10g (fine) sugar
35g water + 2-3 drops white vinegar

Oil Dough
65g plain flour
40g shortening

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dry Roasted Peanuts

Ever since I started making my own peanut butter, I have been using a lot of roasted peanuts. Hence it makes sense to have some available for instant use. To save time and electricity, I often roast a big batch and store them in the freezer.

The peanuts can be mixed with other nuts and dried fruits for a healthy snack.

roasted peanuts
1 kg raw peanuts

1. Place the raw peanuts on top of a paper towel in a glass dish (the paper helps to absorb moisture during the process).

raw peanuts

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Coca Cola Chicken

It's taken me years to pluck up the courage to try this recipe. I just couldn't get my head round how it would taste. A quick search on the net for assurance and it seems cooking with coke is quite common. Recipes galore on the net.

While the chicken was being heated up for dinner, Mr Redneck did a tasting test and pronounced "this chicken is very nice".

Joy......I can cook this again. Another quick and easy dish.

The taste is sweet but not overly sweet and is well balanced by the other ingredients.
Coca Cola Chicken

1.5kg chicken pieces
1 can 355ml coke
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 thin slices of ginger
2 clove garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dark soya sauce
1 red chilli deseeded
1 Tbsp cooking oil
sprinkling of salt to taste

Friday, August 01, 2008

Homemade Tau Fu Fa ~ Soy Bean Custard

Tau Fu Fa is a very popular chinese dessert eaten hot or cold. It is made from coagulated soya bean milk, served with a sugar syrup. And of course being soy, it has tons of nutritional value.

After many attempts at trying to reduce the gypsum content, I believe I have perfected the texture. The tau fu fa was so silky smooth that it just slides down the throat. So soft, it felt like almost like swallowing air.

Tau Fu Fa
I had to try and reduce the amount of gypsum to a bare minimum as I get the dreaded backache the following day. This is my favourite dessert so can't help but devour the lot in one day. Happy to report that the following recipe does not give me a backache and hence can eat as much as I like.

Makes : 1 Litre soy custard

1 Litre boiling fresh soy milk

Setting solution
1 Tbsp corn flour
½ level tsp gypsum powder (calcium sulphate)
¼ cup (63 ml) cold water

Coagulant ingredients

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Homemade Garam Masala

Ever since I bought a stale batch of garam masala, I have been grinding my own. As I do not use this particular spice very often, this lot will last me a few months.

Grind your own Garam Masala
Yield about 2 Tablespoon

1 Tbsp coriander seeds
½ Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp (heap) cloves or 1½ tsp ground clove
1" cinnamon stick or ¼ tsp ground cinnamom
¼ tsp cardamon seeds

spices for garam masala

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Szechuan Chicken in Hot & Spicy Sauce

A delicious, spicy and aromatic szechuan dish. The hot and spicy sauce can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer. Add some chilli oil to the sauce if you like it extra hot and spicy.

Szechuan Chicken
800 gm chicken pieces or 7 drumsticks
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp cooking oil
spring onion, finely sliced

4-5 Tbsp szechuan hot and spicy sauce *1
½ Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp shao hsing cooking wine
100 ml water

1. Heat up 1 Tbsp oil and stir fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add chicken and stir-fry until golden brown.

2. Stir in seasoning, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked and sauce has thicken (about 10-15 minutes).

3. Serve sprinkled with spring onions.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Soy Milk ~ Tau Cheong Sui

With the price of soy milk at over $2.50 a litre in the shops, it is a saving to make your own. My cost per litre was only 40 cents. It is very easy. All you need is a blender, sieve and a muslin cloth.

Once you get the hang of making this, you are but a step away from making your own tau fu fah (soy bean custard/pudding) and even tofu.

soya milk
Makes 1 litre

120gm soya beans or soy granules*
900ml cold water

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

South Indian Fish Curry

I remember as a young kid being sent to the Indian shop to buy fish curry whenever my aunt had a cold....the hotter and spicier the better. It was supposed to bring her some relief and I guess it must have worked.

The fragrance from this curry brings back those memories. This is not a sweet curry as it has no coconut milk but definitely a much healthier dish. It is tangy and very fragrant from the different types of spices.

South Indian Fish Curry
500 gm fish steaks
2 Tbsp tamarind paste
415 ml water

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Feijoa Sweet Fruit Chutney

I made this as I had to find a way of using up my feijoas or pineapple guava as they are known in California. Bags of the stuff is in the freezer waiting for me to make jam. I was going to use some up for ice cream but it has now become a precious commodity since Redneck quite like this chutney.

Feijoa being an aromatic fruit makes excellent chutneys.

Feijoa Chutney
We have the chutney on cold meat sandwiches and also use as a glaze or marinate for lamb dishes. For afternoon tea, Redneck has crackers and cheese with a dollop of chutney on top. If you are looking for ways of using up your feijoa this is worth making.

Makes 750 ml (3 cups)

250g feijoa pulp
125g onions, chopped
75g raisins
125g pitted dates, roughly chopped
125g brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp grated ginger
½ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 cup malt vinegar
dash of pepper
1-2 hot chilli (whole or chopped with seeds removed)

1. Put all ingredients in a pressure cooker. Bring to pressure, reduce heat and cook for 30-40 minutes. If you find the mixture have not thicken to the right consistency, boil for a few minutes with the lid off to thicken the chutney.

2. Pour into sterilised jars and seal. Leave in a cool dark place. Best to set it aside for 1 month to let the chutney mature and the flavour develop.

Pineapple Guava Chutney

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TradeMe Chocolate Cupcake

I made these cupcakes on Mother's Day for the family gathering. The feedback was positive.

I like making cakes that are not fussy about how it is mixed and yet turns out with a nice texture. Best of all, cakes that can be mixed with a hand mixer from start to finish and this is one such cake. Easy peasy. And it is a beauty. The cupcakes were light, fluffy, rich looking and so yummy.

For now.....I can stop trying out chocolate cake recipes. I have found the ONE ! I have named this Trademe Chocolate Cake to differentiate it from the thousands of recipes out there for chocolate cake.

Chocolate CupCake
Makes 23 cupcakes

100gm butter, softened
200gm sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup (125ml) milk,
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup boiling strong coffee (1 tsp coffee powder)

190 gm flour
¼ tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
40 gm cocoa

Light n fluffy chocolate cake

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Homemade Fresh Chilli Paste

Grinding a big batch of chillies is much easier than trying to grind 2 or 3 in a food processor. It is a pain with small quantities as the chillies only get flung to the side of the bowl.

I have frozen my batch of chilli paste and just snap pieces off when required. It defrost very quickly too.

Homemade Chilli Paste

500 gm fresh red chillis

1. Wash, cut off the ends and remove most of the seeds with a teaspoon.

2. Put into a food processor and blend until fine. There is no need to add water or oil..

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Peach Yoghurt Ice Cream

A refreshing and healthy low fat indulgence. When the peaches were in season, there was a glut from my tree so I ended up removing the skin and stones and freezing the fruit. At first I wasn't too sure how the ice cream would taste using frozen peaches but I have to say it turned out much nicer than when fresh peaches were used.

Peach Yogurt Ice Cream
Makes 1 litre

400gm peaches (weight after skin and stone removed)
100gm sugar
100ml cream
500gm low fat yoghurt
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp vodka
2 Tbsp sultanas (optional)

1. Add sugar to peaches and set aside for 1 hour.

2. At this stage there will be a fair bit of liquid in the peaches and sugar mix (especially if using frozen peaches). Boil the mixture until thick and syrupy. Leave to cool.

3. Add all the ingredients (except sultanas) into a blender. Blend at high speed.

4. Add the sultanas. Place in the fridge for a few hours or leave overnight to let the flavour develop.

5. Churn in ice cream maker.

6. Scoop to an airtight container and freeze for a few hours.

Yoghurt Peach Ice Cream

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sweet Chilli Prawns

Absolutely mouthwatering prawns and... it is a quick and easy dish. Our hot favourite at the moment. The flavours are sweet and spicy with the sauce coating the prawns beautifully.

For this dish it is better to use shelled raw prawns. Add less chilli if you like it less spicy.

Sweet Chilli Prawns
20-25 raw prawns
1-2 Tbsp oil
1" ginger, julienne
2 clove garlic, mashed
5 spring onion or chives, cut to 1¼" length

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Curry Beef Mince Pie

Pies are something to be enjoyed once in a blue moon. It can be quite fattening. My favourite has to be with a curry mince filling. Time and time again I have been disappointed by pies bought from the bakery. They are soggy and the filling has more goo in them than anything resembling meat. At least by making my own, I get to eat a pie with real meat in it.

I bake mine in the pie maker but it is just as easy to make mini size pies using muffin tins to mould the pastry. This pastry is very light and crispy and a bit healthier than ordinary short crust as it uses less fat.

Curry Beef Mince Pie
Makes 4 or 5 , 5" size pies

260 gm flour
60 gm butter
40 gm shortening
¼ tsp salt
95-105 ml ice cold water
1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice (add to water)

curry mince filling

1. Follow steps 1-4 on making the pastry dough here.

2. Roll pastry to required thickness of 2-4mm (I prefer a thickness of 4mm). Pasta machine can be used.

rolling with a pasta machine and cutting the pastry with the pie maker cutters

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beef Curry Mince

I use this curry mince mainly as a pie filling. It can also be used as a curry puff filling or just served simply with rice or bread.

beef curry mince
500gm beef mince
1-2 Tbsp oil
1 big onion, chop fine
3 clove garlic, chop fine
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, chop fine
2 tsp chilli paste or powder

2 potato, cubed
1 cup frozen peas or diced carrot
1 cup water
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp cornflour or potato starch mix with 1 Tbsp water or soy sauce

1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp curry powder

Curry Mince Pie

Monday, April 21, 2008

Green Coriander Chicken

The aroma from cooking the paste was just heavenly. The green colour doesn't make the presentation look very appetising but the fragrance of the dish should whet one's appetite.

As with any dish, cook a few hours ahead for the meat to absorb the flavour.

Fresh Green Coriander Chicken
1½ kg chicken pieces
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp oil
250 ml water
1¼ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Strawberry Yoghurt Ice Cream

Another healthy way of using up my home grown strawberries. By freezing all the surplus, I get to enjoy the fruit all year round.

The texture of yoghurt ice cream is not creamy as it is not in a true sense an ice cream. It has a slight tang but is nevertheless a very tempting icy dessert.

Strawberry Yoghurt Ice Cream
Adding strawberry jam in between the layers of ice cream makes it extra delicious. We like raisins so have thrown in a handful.

400gm fresh or frozen strawberry, hulled and clean
100gm sugar
100ml cream
500gm low fat yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
3 Tbsp vodka

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Siew Yoke with Puffy Crackling ~ Chinese Roast Pork

In his book French Lessons, Justin North described the crackling as extremely light and puffy. I tried his method twice just to prove that his theory works and it was not first time luck. I was so pleased. Every inch of skin was crackling - no chewy bits.

Siew Yoke
This method of preparing the skin is less arduous and simpler than in my previous recipe where the skin is first bathed in vinegar water and then poked during the grilling process. There was a lot more handling.

We believe it is the total combination of scoring, salting the skin to draw out moisture, drying the skin in the fridge and frying that makes the skin crackling.

The meat was also very tender and juicy. What we do need is an incredibly razor sharp knife and heaps of practice with scoring the skin as in some parts it was cut too deep.

Siew Yuk : Chinese Roast Crispy Pork

1kg pork shoulder
1 tsp salt

Marinate for meat:
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1½ pieces of red fermented beancurd nam yue, well mashed
1 tsp cooking wine
½ tsp sugar

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pickled Zucchini

I am in the pickling mode ! At the end of summer, fruits and vegetables are cheap, in abundance and this is as good a time as any to start preserving and storing it away for winter when out of season fresh produce becomes scarce and expensive.

Bottling has taken on a new popularity as people become more aware of food and health consequences of unknown food additives in store bought items.

Pickled zuchinni

A very easy pickle to make. It was the first time I was able to use the slicing blade that came with my food processor. Within a minute, all the zuchinnis were finely sliced and ready for action.

Redneck said the pickled zucchini reminded him of eating a MacDonald cheese burger. It has that same taste. Have the zucchinis with your cold meat sandwiches, on rolls or add to your salad.

Makes 3 jars (Craig jam jars)

800gm zucchini thinly sliced
¼ cup salt

Monday, March 17, 2008

Preserved Peaches in Light Sugar Syrup

There was an abundance of peaches from my peach tree this year. Thought it was about time I tried my hand at preserving as Redneck will eat preserved peaches but not fresh ones !

Bottled peaches
I chose to preserve it in a light syrup as the Red Haven peach is quite a sweet fruit. The peaches are lovely eaten as is or with ice cream.

Preserved peaches
Makes 8 jars


400g sugar
8 cups water

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chargrilled Red Capsicum Hummus

Chips and hummus dip is our Friday treat and roasted red capsicum hummus has to be our favourite at the moment. Since I bought the Amazing Bullet, making hummus is a breeze. I have a ready stock of pre-cooked chickpeas in my freezer which can be defrosted in the microwave in half a tick.

Capsicums are very cheap at the moment...$1 for 5 big ones. In fact I have 30 stashed away in the freezer so I can make hummus during the off-season.

There is no hard and fast rule to making hummus. We prefer a coarse instead of creamy smooth texture and we don't like it oily so I don't pour oil on it when serving.

Red capsicum hummus with crackersIngredients
2 Tbsp sesame seed (toasted)
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp sea salt

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