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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Butterflied Turkey Leg with Cranberry, Mustard and Yoghurt Marinade

Yoghurt marinades are the absolute business, they tenderise, are creamy and compliment many flavours - European or Asian. To add to that, any marinade you didn't use can be used to either baste or is a ready made sauce for afters. Use some oil in the marinade and cook over a moderately low heat, otherwise your marinade will burn.
As for butterflying turkey legs, its fiddly but worth it, turkey has great flavour and it carried the marinade extremely well. Releasing the bone was very simple - I ran a knife down the length of the bone, gently sliced the meat from around the bone and made a round cut at the base - about 3 minutes. The fiddly part is removing the tendons from the meat - they are slippery and strong. Do what this guy does between minute 2 and 3, I used a knife and it sucked. 

2 turkey legs butterflied
5 heaped tbs yoghurt
2 cloves garlic
3 handfuls dried cranberries
1/2 bunch basil
A good handful of thyme
1 heaped tbs seeded mustard
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt and cracked pepper

Combine all of the ingredients except the turkey in a blender and blitz until smooth. Cover the butterflied turkey with half of the marinade and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Cook on a preheated medium low barbecue, turning occasionally. If possible use a lid or cover with a baking dish/foil. Should take between 20 and 30 mins but just keep checking. Serve with some of the unused marinade and possibly a squeeze of lemon.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Fresh Corn, Basil, Blue Cheese and Chicken Risotto

This was the simplest risotto I have made by far and it was light and delicious. The flavours I combined for this took 4 minutes to mix, the risotto itself takes about 18 minutes to cook. Watch this dude, he knows his business or read through some of my previous recipes  (Mushroom and Silverbeet Risotto, Asparagus Pea and Mint Risotto, Cacciatore Basil'd Chicken and Blue Cheese Risotto etc) for further ideas.

1 cob corn stripped, cob reserved
2 tbs blue cheese (more if required)
2 handfuls basil leaves
Zest of half a lemon and its juice
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Chopped store bought barbecued chicken
2 cups risotto rice
4 cups chicken stock (more may be necessary)
2 shallots finely diced
1 clove garlic whole
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup sparkling white wine (or white wine)
Salt and pepper
Sliced chilli

Blend the corn, blue cheese, whole garlic clove, basil and extra virgin in a hand held blender.
Heat the stock in a medium sized saucepan with the reserved corn cob. Using a large, heavy based frying pan with high sides, saute the onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic over a medium heat. When translucent add the risotto rice and toss to coat, toasting for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bubbly and allow to almost completely absorb. From this point add 1or 2 ladles of stock at a time when each previous one is almost absorbed, stirring occasionally. When the stock is almost all gone, try a few rice grains, if they are still quite uncooked add more stock to your saucepan and continue until cooked. This should take about 18 - 20 minutes. When adding the final ladle add the corn mixture, salt and cracked pepper, lemon zest and juice, the chopped chicken, stir to combine, add the lid and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 4 for 5 minutes, check for seasoning, spoon into bowls, top with sliced chilli and serve.

Homemade Bagels

Not my recipe but I have made it lots of times and would like to share it. This gear is tasty as, not difficult but a little fiddly. Heaps worth it though. The actual bread making part is simple, as is forming the bagels but there are a few steps. In total it was about 30 mins to mix and form, in the fridge overnight, simmer for 1 minute and bake for 15 minutes. Awesomeness in bread form.

500+ gms plain flour
375 ml warm water
1 packet dried yeast (7 gms)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbs honey
Polenta for dusting

Mix the yeast, sugar and water and stand until it is foamy, about 5 minutes. When foamy mix in the honey. Stir the water into the flour and salt and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic and firm, about ten minutes, more flour may be needed. When ready divide into 8, roll into balls and cover with a clean tea towel for 10 minutes. Roll each out into a 25 - 30cm rope of even thickness. Moisten one end of a rope and attach it to the other end, squashing and kind of rolling it, trying to keep the thickness even. Place onto a tray well floured with polenta, repeat with remaining 'ropes'. Refrigerate overnight, covered in cling wrap.
Take the bagels out of the fridge 20 mins before cooking. Boil a large sauce of water and preheat an oven to 240C.
Simmer each bagel in the water 1 or 2 at a time for 1 minute including a turn then remove to a wire rack until all are done. Sprinkle each bagel with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or pepper if you want. Place on baking paper lined trays and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool, fill with tasty gear - I used cream cheese, avocado, salmon, basil leaves, oven roasted cherry tomatoes.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Lamb Neck Braised with Mushroom finished with Fresh Tomato and Ricotta

Tasty, easy and cheap.

400 gms lambs neck slices
2 cups flour
2 tbs rosemary chopped
Salt and pepper
1 glass red wine
1 cup beer (I used White Stag)
1 lemon quartered
5 button mushrooms sliced
5 or 6 pieces dried porcini
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 clove garlic whole 
4 tbs ricotta
1 handful basil leaves
1 carrot diced
1 potato diced
1 small sweet potato diced
Olive oil

Season the flour with the rosemary and salt and pepper. Cover the dried porcini in boiling water for five minutes, remove then chop, reserving the water. Dust the lamb neck slices in the flour then sear with some olive oil over medium high in a casserole dish. When they have nice colour, remove to a clean plate. Add a little more oil to the casserole dish and quickly saute the mushrooms and sliced garlic until fragrant. Stir in 2 tbs of the seasoned flour and cook for a further minute or so. Add in the lamb necks and their juice, the root vegetables and quartered lemon. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, beer and the mushroom water, removing all bits from the bottom of the dish. Return to the boil, reduce the heat to very low, add a lid and simmer gently for 3 hours.
Blitz the basil leaves, whole garlic clove and ricotta.
After three hours remove the lemon quarters, stir through the ricotta mixture, check for seasoning and spoon into bowls. Serve with nice crusty bread.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Seafood Risotto Cakes

Tasty as and it were left overs. I'm not going to go through the process for making risotto here, the process is the same as making any risotto but feel free to check out some of my previous risotto recipes (Mushroom and Silverbeet Risotto, Asparagus Pea and Mint Risotto, Cacciatore Basil'd Chicken and Blue Cheese Risotto etc). The only difference I made to the basic was that I flavoured the stock with bashed garlic, parsley stems, prawn heads and shells then removed them with a slotted spoon. When the risotto was almost done (about 5 minutes from the very end I added in diced fish, thinly sliced squid, scallops and green prawns and some lemon juice. Very nice. My favourite part about the risotto cakes were the whole prawns trapped inside the cake - unreal. We ate this by itself with a squeeze of lemon but it would be very nice with aioli and a simple salad.

Left over seafood risotto
2 eggs
3 cups Panko bread crumbs (or other)
2 cups seasoned flour
Oil for frying
Salt flakes
Lemon wedges

Beat one egg with a fork and fold through the risotto. Form the risotto into cakes with your hands or by using a chefs mould. Heat the oil 1 or 2 cm deep in a heavy based frying pan to medium high. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Carefully flour the cakes, coat in egg and cover with crumbs. Fry on each side until golden taking care not to break. Alternatively deep fry them until golden. Remove to absorbent paper, season with salt, squeeze over some lemon and serve straight away.

Braised Beef with Red Wine and Basil

The difference between a good meal and a very tasty one really is only in how you finish it. Always check for seasoning and think about what could be added to lift the dish.

With mash...

500 gms diced stewing beef
Fresh cracked pepper and salt
2 tbs minced rosemary
2 shallots sliced
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
3 handful mushrooms quartered
1 good slug of brandy
2 handfuls basil leaves
2 cloves sliced garlic
2 cloves minced garlic
Olive oil
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp corn flour

Combine the beef, salt, pepper, rosemary and some olive oil with your hands. Heat 1 tbs or so of olive oil in a heavy based saucepan that has a lid. When browned remove to a clean plate. Brown the mushrooms with the sliced shallots and garlic. Add the beef and its juice and deglaze with the brandy. When the brandy has evaporated, add the wine and bring to the boil, add the chicken stock, stir, reduce the heat to low and add the lid. Simmer for 1.5 hours. Mix about 3 tbs of the cooking liquid into a teacup and mix through the corn flour, squashing any lumps. Mix the corn flour through the braised meat and simmer for 5 minutes. Slice the basil, add to the pot with the minced garlic and extra virgin and mix through the braised awesomeness. Check for seasoning - add some cream or similar if you want and serve with crusty bread.