Mmmm. Delicious autumn food

[is it still autumn??!]

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Who knew cauliflower could be so delicious?

Twice-baked cauliflower souffles

Ingredients

  • 200g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 350ml milk
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 120g plain flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 140g gruyere, grated
  • Radicchio leaves to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and grease four 1-cup (250ml) ramekins. Place the cauliflower, onion, bay leaf, thyme and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 8-10 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Strain, reserving cauliflower and milk, and discard the other solids.
  • Melt butter in a clean saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, then gradually whisk in the reserved milk. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until thickened and combined.
  • Whisk in the egg yolks, 1/2 cup (125ml) cream and half the cheese until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Whiz the cauliflower in a food processor until smooth, then add cheese sauce and pulse to combine. Season.
  • In a large bowl, using electric beaters, whisk eggwhites to stiff peaks. Fold one-quarter of eggwhites into cauliflower mixture to loosen, then gently fold in remainder. Divide among prepared ramekins, place in a deep baking pan and fill with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  • Remove from pan and set aside to cool slightly before turning out onto a baking tray (they can be covered and refrigerated for 24 hours at this stage).
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Pour some of remaining cream over souffles and scatter with remaining cheese. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until souffles rise again and sauce bubbles.
  • Place in radicchio ‘cups’, drizzle with remaining sauce grind some black pepper over and enjoy.

from Taste.com.au

 

Prefer something different as an appetizer?

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Herb and feta bread

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 large  eggs
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 150 grams plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 200 gramssheep’s milk feta cheese
  • 1 bunch fresh herb leaves (flat-leaf parsley, basil, chervil, chives, mint, fennel preferably a mix), about 20 grams or 1 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  • Butter or grease a 24-by-12-cm  loaf pan and sprinkle half the sesame seeds onto the bottom and sides, shaking the pan to coat.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheese and herbs.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.
  • Put into the oven to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaf is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes and run a knife around the pan to loosen. Unmold and transfer to a rack to cool.
  • Cut in slices or cubes just before serving, slightly warm or at room temperature.

from Chocolate and Zucchini

 

Now lets talk about main course – enough to have delicious leftovers in your lunch box the next day.

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Moroccan slow cooked lamb

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds trimmed boned lamb shoulder, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped ( or a can of tomatoes)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Method

  • Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl.
  • Add lamb and toss to coat.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large frypan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally and adding 2 more tablespoons oil to pan between batches, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to slow cooker after each batch.
  • Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, garbanzo beans, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon peel and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.
  • Transfer everything to slow cooker and cooke for at least 4 hours on low
  • Serve with pearl couscous and coriander.
  • Enjoy leftovers the next day at work.

From epicurious

 

Looking for something sweet to finish? How about a piece of cake? ( yes, pomegranate seeds make two appearances on the blog today)

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Blackberry ricotta cake

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen blackberries, divided

Method

  • Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a 22cm-diameter cake pan with baking paper.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by ¾ cup berries, taking care not to crush them. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining ¼ cup berries over top.
  • Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.
  • Sprinkle with more berries to serve. Make sure you also have lots of cream, Add pomegranate seeds to make it look extra pretty.

from bon appetit

Returning  to regular programming of sewing soon..

 

 

 

 

Winter comfort food

Let’s start with dessert

Chocolate cake

I think you know what my priorities are. Yes. Chocolate is one of them. It’s a vegetable with lots of antioxidants. What’s that you say? Something about fat and sugar? Surely not!

This is the second time I’ve made this cake. First time was for craft night and exactly to David Herbert’s recipe. There were 8 lovely crafters and everyone had a slice. There was more than a quarter of the cake left.

Second time was in a smaller tin just for Sunday lunch (5 people). My cut down recipe was a little less than half of everything and is just right for a 16 cm tin. It also looks cute on He Who Cooks new mini cake stand. This time there was half a cake left. Its very rich!

Cake
70g butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing
90g dark chocolate, broken up
2 large eggs
90g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (I make this by combining two parts tartaric acid with one part sodium bicarbonate).
70g ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g caramel chips

  • Preheat oven to 170°C (mine is fanforced, 180°C for regular ovens).
  • Line base of a 16cm-round springform tin with baking paper; and butter the sides ( squish a small piece of butter all the way round with your fingers).
  • Melt butter with chocolate carefully in the microwave (mid to low power, check every minute or so and stir, until smooth).
  • Crack eggs into a mixing bowl then add sugar, baking powder, almonds and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  • Pour in chocolate mixture and beat until creamy, then fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into tin, place on an oven sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t do what I did: set timer for 20 and then another 5 and another 5. The top should spring back when pressed. Mine almost did and I thought it should be cooked because the full size one was in this time so I took it out. Gooiness ensued. I did have fennel roasting in the oven at the same time. Perhaps that changed the timing?)
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool for 1 hour.

One way to disguise the sunk-in centre:

Topping
25g butter
50g dark chocolate, broken up

  • For topping, melt chocolate and butter and drizzle over top. Leave to set for 2 hours.

Roast lamb for main course

He Who Cooks put a crust of garlic, re-fried beans and taboulleh (parsley, onion and cracked wheat salad) on the lamb and roasted it on a rack above a bed of borlotti beans with stock, cherry tomatoes, diced celery and carrot. He also roasted root vegetables (heirloom carrots, butternut pumpkin and potatoes) in the same pan.

Pork Belly starter

  • Rub Chinese five spice liberally over the skin of the pork belly.
  • Use a slow cooker to braise the pork belly for about 4 hours in a 50/50 mix of cider and soy sauce (enough to come up the sides about 1 cm).
  • Drain the fat off and then reduce the cooking juices on the stove top with a splash of port until thickened slightly.
  • Crisp pork belly skin up in a hot oven.
  • Slice and serve with a drizzle of the reduced sauce and blanched greens (we used slivers of snow peas and the outer leaves of young brussels sprouts).

A fabulous Sunday lunch.

Now its time to go up to the sewing machine and make a casual winter coat (BurdaStyle 12-2011-114). In a boule style, to give plenty more room for more cake and other comfort food.

Burda uses faux fur, but I’m going to use this poly wool knit.

Looks like it’s going to be a great Sunday!

Nothing is not what He Cooks

He who Cooks has been asked a lot what he’s been cooking lately.

He says “nothing”.

This means only everyday cooking. Otherwise we would have starved, or eaten junk food, or .. even worse… She who Sews might have been cooking.

Seeing as I’m the lucky recipient of “nothing”, I thought I’d let you see what “nothing”, aka a simple weeknight meal, looks like.

Lovely Aussie lamb leg steak on a warm salad of grilled eggplant, grilled haloumi cheese, chickpeas, tinned four bean salad mix, diced tomato, Italian flat leaf parsley, dressed with garlic infused olive oil, salt and pepper. No recipe of course, just out of his head. Yum!