Showing posts with label coconut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coconut. Show all posts

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fusion Flavours - Carrot and Nori Fritters with Wasabi Coconut Cream

I am a huge fan of Japanese cuisine – but it’s not something I’ve really had a great deal of experience cooking. Apart from the odd okonomiyaki and teriyaki here and there, most of my Japanese eating has been out at restaurants. But I had a craving for Japanese, a few sheets of nori left over from a failed cauliflower rice sushi experiment  and a couple of sachets of wasabi floating around from my last takeaway. I didn’t have a great deal of veges left in the fridge, which is where the rest of the main ingredient inspiration came from – carrots. I always buy carrots…but I very rarely actually cook with them. They usually only ever get chopped up into salads or munched on raw (with almond butter and dukkah). So given they’re not my go-to vege, I often end up having lots in the fridge. It was time to try carrot fritters/okonomiyaki.

To serve, I made a wasabi coconut cream. Mainly because I wanted to temper the heat of the wasabi, as my husband isn’t the hugest fan, and I didn’t have any greek yoghurt – which is what I normally would’ve turned to first. Not shopping can provide so much inspiration! We had just come home from a trip fishing on the Blackwood River on Molloy, so I also had fresh bream fillets to serve with it which you will see in the photos – but they are flavoursome enough to be a vegetarian meal on their own. Slightly sweet, delicious, crispy little things that they are!

Carrot and Nori Fritters
5-6 baby carrots
1 tbsp cornflour
1 sheet of Japanese nori/seaweed
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tbsp of corn flour
1/4 tsp of salt
2 egg whites
1 cup cold water
oil for frying

Wasabi Coconut Cream
1 tin coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 sprigs coriander, leaves removed and shredded
Pinch salt
1-2 sachets wasabi (or a 2-4 cm squeeze from a tube)

Preheat the oven to 150C for keeping cooked fritters warm whilst you cook the remainder.

Grate the carrots using a coarse grate. (I do this in my food processor). Use a pair of kitchen scissors to chop the nori up into thin strips. Mix the carrot and nori together and toss through 1 tbsp cornflour.

In a separate bowl, whisk together plain flour, the second tablespoon of cornflour and salt. Whisk the eggs gently and add the cup of water to the eggs, mix together. Pour this batter over the carrot mix and gently fold together until it comes together. Don’t overmix it.

Heat a frypan to a medium-high heat. Add a layer of oil to the pan and allow to heat as well. Ladle the mixture into the pan to form fritters to the size of their choosing. I like pikelet size ones – around 10cm diameter. Cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Flip over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate and keep warm in the oven.

Meanwhile, pour the thin watery layer of the coconut milk off and reserve for another use. Beat the wasabi and salt to taste into the remaining cream with a hand beater. Stir through the coriander.
Serve alongside the carrot and nori fritters

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chip Addiction - Lime and Black Pepper Chip Crusted Bream

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to Red Rock Deli Lime and Black Pepper Chips. We pretty much stopped buying them because we’d open them, Lance would turn his head for 10 seconds and I’d have eaten the whole packet. Then he’d be all sad that he didn’t get to have a snack. I seriously have no willpower when it comes to them. BUT, they are too delicious to give up completely. After a Molloy Island fishing trip, we managed to keep about a cup’s worth of them to do my second favourite trick (you know, after making them all disappear instantly)…crumbing fish with them. So. Good. Obviously lime and pepper are natural friends with fish. Smash a few up, coat the fish and oven bake them (to make them a little healthier) and you have a delicious and super easy dinner. And the best part? You have to eat the rest of the packet!

For a bit of extra oomph, I’ve added some coconut shreds. And for some contrast, I’ve got a slightly sweet dressed salad using a blood orange marmalade that Coles currently have in their ‘limited edition’ collection. You can sub a different marmalade in here if you can’t find it.

Lime and Black Pepper Chip Crusted Bream
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice one lime
¼ tsp cracked pepper
1 cup lime and black pepper chips, measure then crush
2 tbsp coconut shreds (unsweetened)
2 fillets firm fleshed white fish (I used black bream)

Blood Orange Dressed Salad
2 tbsp blood orange marmalade
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
Mixed leaves (spinach, beet leaves, rocket)
Handful grape tomatoes, halved
½ Lebanese cucumber, diced
50g sheep fetta, crumbled
½ pickle, finely diced
Sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

Cut the fillets into two ‘strips’. Mix the oil, lime juice and pepper together, coat the fish in it and allow to marinade while you do the rest. Approx 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 175C. Place a cooling rack onto baking tray and spray lightly with oil.

Microwave the blood orange marmalade with the water for 30 seconds, stir to combine. The idea is to thin out the marmalade. Set aside to cool.

In a mortar and pestle, or a bowl with the back of a spoon, crush the chips into breadcrumb sized pieces, with a few bigger bits. Stir through the coconut shreds. Take each piece of fish out of the oil mixture and let any excess liquid drip off. Press firmly into the chip mixture to coat on both sides. Carefully place onto the rack. Repeat until it’s all coated, then pop it in the oven to bake until golden and cooked through. Approximately 10 minutes.

Add the lime juice, olive oil and mustard seeds to the marmalade then whisk to combine. Assemble all of the salad ingredients except the cheese and nuts/seeds. Dress the salad, then gently fold through the cheese. Plate, then scatter the nuts and seeds over the top. Plate up the fish and eat immediately

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Restaurant Inspired - Sweet Potato and Coconut Gnocchi with Cashew Basil Crema

I recently had a lunch date with my husband at Solomon’s CafĂ© in Highgate. It was on the to-visit list for a while and the menu item that most put it there was the famed sweet potato and coconut gnocchi. When we got there, we ordered out meals with a side of sweet potato and coconut gnocchi. And we were told…it’s actually beetroot gnocchi now. They haven’t been able to source any organic sweet potatoes for a while, so they’ve had to amend it. The whole restaurant is organic (and gluten and dairy free), so obviously this is an issue for them. And the gnocchi was soooo good. Everything was delicious, but the gnocchi was definitely the stand-out.

The next morning I was trying to work out what to make for breakfast. The idea of toast wasn’t thrilling me, so in spite of telling Lance that I was going to make some form of ratatouille with the almost-too-ripe tomatoes in the fridge…I wasn’t really in the mood. So I still made the ratatouille (which we had for lunch), and I thought I’d give the sweet potato gnocchi a go.

This isn’t gnocchi in the traditional boiled pasta route, I just fried the pieces until crispy. And I already had some cashews soaking, so I made a kale, basil and cashew crema to go with it. To make it more breakfast-y, I served it with an egg and a few zucchini chips as more of a garnish. To keep the dish quick, I microwaved the sweet potato instead of roasting it.

All in all, not a bad breakfast – and it all came together before 8:30am! Unfortunately, it was too early for me to bother with many photos, so there’s only a couple of the finished product.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Gnocchi with Cashew Basil Crema.
(serves 2)
1 medium sweet potato
3 tbsp coconut flour (depending on how big your sweet potato is)
Pinch sea salt
Pinch black pepper
pinch cinnamon
¼ tsp sweet paprika
Coconut oil for frying.

2 handfuls cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 kale leaves, stripped off the rib
Big handful basil
Big handful parsley
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
Water for thinning

Prick the sweet potato a few times, put in a glass bowl, cover with a piece of paper towel and microwave for around 6 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, blend the all the ingredients except the olive oil and water. Pulse at first, scrape down the sides, then run on low, adding the oil and water to reach your desired consistency. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

When the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Mash well with a fork. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon and sweet paprika, and mix through with the fork. Add coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time until it makes a dough. I only needed 3 tbsp for my sweet potato.

Scoop teaspoonsful of dough and roll into gnocchi shapes, flatten slightly with the tines of the fork to shape.

Heat a nob of coconut oil in a fry pan to medium high heat. Fry the gnocchi pieces for a few minutes until golden – around 3 minutes, then flip over and cook that side. Don’t crowd the pan. I did mine in 2 loads, moving the first to a plate in the microwave to keep warm.

Drizzle the sauce onto your serving plates, then top with sweet potato gnocchi.

Serve with an egg if you’d like.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Lost Ice Cream - Vegan Pina Colada Ice Cream

I was going through my various food photos and I discovered I'd missed a post! So, completely coincidentally, I am now posting two vegan recipes in a row. Given that it is still definitely summer in Perth, it's not too late for another ice cream recipe. This is a coconut ice cream, with pineapple added to make it pina colada. That's now two pina colada desserts, one for winter, one for summer!

This freezes quite hard if you leave it in the freezer for too long. If it's gone hard, simply pop it in the fridge for about an hour before serving. I have heard that arrowroot powder is good for preventing overhardening, but I haven't tried it myself. Maybe next time. Likewise, adding the rum to the ice cream mixture would help - but i quite like it drizzled over the top. Feels that little bit more naughty and decadent!

Vegan Pina Colada Ice Cream
440g tin pineapple pieces in juice, separated into fruit/juice
½ tsp vanilla paste
2x 400ml tins coconut cream
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
To serve
toasted coconut
dark rum

Puree half the pineapple pieces in a food processor. Put pineapple juice, puree and dark brown sugar and vanilla into a medium saucepan and heat to medium, bubble it away on a simmer until it reduces by half and becomes syrupy. Add the coconut cream and whisk to combine. Whisk and heat on a gentle simmer for 10 minutes to infuse. Pour into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface to stop a skin forming and refrigerate until completely cold. Overnight is good.

Churn according to your ice cream makers instructions. Transfer to a sealed container and freeze to harden a further 2 hours or so before serving. Serve with leftover pineapple pieces, a shot of dark rum and some toasted coconut!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Comfort Food - Pina Colada Pudding Cake

Do you like pina colada? I actually don't like the cocktail so much, they're usually a tad too sweet for my drink tastes - but I do love the pineapple and coconut combination. It's a classic! Remember my Greek Yoghurt Souffle with pineapple, mango and coconut fruit salad? It was amazing! Loving the combo, when I saw a recipe for pina colada pudding, I was intrigued. And then disappointed and overwhelmed by all of the sugar in it. So I decided to make my own version, using a basic self-saucing pudding recipe as my base. Then, instead of using regular flours, I decided to use coconut flour, for fairly obvious reasons and superfine polenta to give it a nice golden colour. Which then makes this pudding cake gluten free!

It should be saucy at the bottom, but the pictures I've got show mine didn't turn out super saucy. Namely because my dish wasn't large enough, and I spilt most of the boiling water on the floor while trying to put it in the oven. Not my finest culinary moment, and I knew it was a bad idea when I was doing it. With an audience. But the cake still came out nice and moist and the pineapple pieces added a nice juiciness. That's why I've called it a 'pudding cake' instead of a straight pudding.

It is a decidedly unglamourous cake in presentation - but great for putting out as a serve-yourself dessert for a large amount of people. It will serve 10-12 easily. And then if you're lucky, you'll have leftovers for breakfast the next day (or three) reheated in the microwave!

Pina Colada Pudding Cake

825g can pineapple pieces - juice drained and reserved
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
1 cup superfine polenta
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 small tins coconut milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp honey
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 160C

In the bottom of a big casserole dish, empty the drained pineapple pieces, the dark rum and the dark brown sugar, stir to combine, then spread evenly over the bottom of the dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, polenta, baking powder and bicarb soda. In a smaller bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla and honey. Whisk together the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, then spread this batter over the pineapple.

Sprinkle the sugar over the top of this mixture, add the remaining pineapple juice to the boiling water and carefully pour this over the top of the batter. Don't mix it in.

Pop it in the oven to bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until the cake is cooked all the way through, and the top is golden.

Serve warm with vanilla or coconut ice cream!