Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce




Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

Our mango tree that was so incredibly prolific last year, hasn’t been as fruitful this year. There are probably less than a quarter of them than last year, and we lost quite a few of those before they got anywhere near size. So when 4 green but still fairly mature mangoes fell, I decided to use them. I want my mango fix! I haven’t had a great deal of green mango dishes. Here and there there’s been green mango salads accompanying spicy Asian dishes but that’s about it. These salads are usually wonderfully tart and salty. The green mango very sour in comparison to the crazy sweetness of a ripe mango. And the salt tames the sour and brings out more of the fruit flavour.

With that idea in mind, I created this pasta. I was in the mood for gnocchi, not sure why, but I was. And I had half a roast chicken leftover from the night before’s dinner. Summer corn is plentiful and cheap at the moment, so that was going to be added. I thought I’d then round it out with a combination of ginger and coriander as a tip of the hat to the Asian green mango dishes and dark rum as a tip of the hat to the tropical feel of mango. And it worked so well! Salty chicken, sour green mango, sweet corn all working together with the rum to coat the soft pillows of gnocchi.

I only used two of our green mangoes, but I think I’ll use the other two to just repeat this dish!

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce


Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

(serves 3-4)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 brown onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, mince
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green mangoes, flesh cubed
50mL dark rum
100mL water
1 tsp salt
Kernels from 3 corn cobs
½ cooked chicken, meat shredded
½ red capsicum, sliced
1 packet pre-cooked gnocchi
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
Green chilli, sliced into rings


Heat the coconut oil to medium heat in a frypan. Add the onion slices and half the salt. Leave to cook, stirring here and there so they don’t stick for around 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and caramelly. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is translucent, around 2 minutes. Add the rum and simmer until reduced by about half and slightly sticky. Add the mango and corn and stir well to coat everything. Simmer until the corn is tender and the rum has reduced to the point where the corn is sticking to the pan in parts.

Add the water and remaining salt and stir to pick up any brown bits stuck to the pan and create a more cohesive sauce. Add in the chicken, capsicum and gnocchi, stirring well to coat in the sticky sauce and veges. Cook 5 minutes until the chicken and gnocchi are warmed through. Just before serving, stir through the coriander leaves and garnish with chilli slices.

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)

Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)

This recipe was inspired by two other recipes that are on my blog. It’s a combination of the Cuban Chicken and Corn Pie (remember the one with the awesome crust made from corn?) and my Stuffed Silverbeet Rolls. I was really craving the Cuban Pie in particular, but I just couldn’t be bothered with getting out food processors and whatnot that is required to make the pie. Given I had a lovely bunch of fresh silverbeet from the markets, I decided to use those flavours and make stuffed silverbeet rolls instead.

To roast the garlic cloves, put a whole head of garlic into the oven on a baking tray while the oven is pre-heating. After 15 minutes or so (for me, it’s ready by the time it is required to be added), the garlic will be squishy and the cloves will easily slide out of their skins. Doing this really sweetens the garlic and completely takes away the harshness that garlic can sometimes have. Then use half the cloves for this dish, and save the other half for another dish.

Photos prove this isn't the prettiest meal - but it sure was delicious!

Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)

 

Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)

3 cups corn kernels
1 brown onion
6 cloves roast garlic
½ tsp salt
6 caperberries, sliced
2 eggs
1 cup almond meal
1 bunch silverbeet, ribs removed
¾ cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp Monty’s Muscat
 

Heat the oven to 170C

Dice the onion, and fry in a splash of olive oil and the salt over medium heat until translucent. Add the corn kernels and cook for 10 minutes, stirring here and there, until just barely starting to brown. Remove from the heat. In a mortar and pestle, crush the roast garlic cloves into a paste. Stir through the corn mixture, then add the almond meal and lightly beaten eggs and capeberries, making sure the mixture is completely combined.

Take each silverbeet leaf and add a few tablespoons of mixture to the top of the leaf. Fold the ‘leg parts’ together to make it a solid sheet, roll the edges in, and the whole thing down lengthwise, like you are rolling a spring roll, or burrito. Place seam side down in a casserole dish. Continue until all of the leaves and filling is used up.

Mix the water with the lime juice and Muscat, pour over the completed rolls. Cover loosely with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently turn over the rolls. Leave the foil off and bake for a further 10 minutes.
 
Remove the rolls and reduce the liquid in a pan (I save on dishes just by using the first pan) until it’s syrupy and pour over the top

Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)
Ugly but Delicious - Corn, Almond and Roast Garlic Stuffed Silverbeet (Chard)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa




Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa

 Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa
I know it’s not summer yet, but strawberries have started popping up more and more at markets and grocers and supermarkets around me. I had avoided temptation to buy the out-of-season and therefore expensive fruit…until I came across a punnet for .99c. I could resist no longer. Strawberries are delicious. Knowing that they weren’t in their peak season and therefore not going to be the sweetest they could be, I thought I would roast them to intensify the flavours. This salsa is sweet and juicy and warm. Perfect for tacos in these nights that still have a chill. I’ve used ancho chili powder because I wanted the smokey flavour, but didn’t want it to be “hot”, and ancho is a very mild chili. Feel free to use what you have. The corn adds a pop of texture and creaminess to the smoke.

I served these in tacos using shredded leftover roast pork fried with a tin of lentils. So apart from the roasting time of 15 minutes, this is the perfect midweek (taco) dish because it takes no more than 10 minutes prep time. Leftover roast chicken (or one from the supermarket or takeaway) would also go really well with this salsa and still be a quick meal. Add your own accompaniments if desired, such as cheese or shredded cabbage!

And check out my shopping spots if you can't find ancho chili powder


Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa
Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa

Roasted Strawberry and Corn Salsa

250g punnet strawberries, hulled and halved
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ancho chili powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp honey
pepper
½ cup corn kernels (if frozen, thaw by rinsing under water and draining well)
2 tbsp finely shredded basil

Preheat the oven to 170C

Mix the olive oil, chili powder, salt, honey, pepper in a bowl until evenly distributed. Stir in the strawberries and corn kernels, coating them well. Tip out onto a lined baking tray.

Put the dish in the oven and roast for 15 minutes until strawberries start to soften and go a bit jammy. Scatter basil leaves on top.

Serve!

Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili SalsaQuick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa
Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa
Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa
Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa
Quick Post - Roast Strawberry, Corn and Ancho Chili Salsa

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust



Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust

Lance is one of those rare individuals who does not like meat pies. I blame the horrible, gristle-filled soggy-pastried reheated things that often passed for pies when we were younger. But it’s something he’s carried with him in life and now he doesn’t like pies. He’ll quite happily eat fresh homemade pies with their delicious chunks of meat and flaky buttery pastry if we have dinner at someone elses’ house and that’s what is served, but he still ‘doesn’t like pies’. So I don’t cook pie. Except the other day, I cooked this pie.

So, how do you cook a pie for someone who doesn’t like pie? Step one. Don’t tell them you’re making pie. Step two. Make this pie.

This isn’t a pie in a traditional sense, as the ‘pastry’ contains no flour and isn’t really ‘pastry’ as we know it. So before you start imagining said buttery flaky goodness…stop. Instead, the ‘pastry’ part of this pie is made out of corn puree. When I read this recipe, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I love corn and was so intrigued by how this would turn out, that I made it a few days later. This is from one of my swag of Christmas cookbooks A Taste of Old Cuba, a book chosen to satisfy my obsession with Cuban food which is somewhat hard to indulge out in Perth. The filling is a chicken and tomato base, with flavours rounded out by the briny deliciousness of olives and capers, and the sweetness of prunes. I changed a few things in the making of it, but just barely.

The end result was remarkable. The ‘pastry’ puffs nicely in an almost cake-y way, with the delicious sweetness of corn and a sort of crisp top layer. The flavours of the filling are all perfectly balanced and so entirely comforting.

Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust


 Cuban Chicken Pie

(barely adapted from A Taste of Old Cuba)
4 cups corn kernels, (if using frozen, thaw in a colander and pat dry with paper towel)
8 tbsps butter (plus extra for greasing pie dish)
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsps salt
½ cup hot water
12 pitted prunes, cut into quarters
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1brown onion, diced
3 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tsp pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
½ cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced
1 tbsp capers
4 egg yolks
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
¼ cup slivered almonds

Puree corn kernels until smooth in a blender or food processor. Melt the butter in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the corn puree, sugar and 1 tsp of the salt. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes or so, until the corn thickens, and pulls away easily from the pan, similar to the way it does when you cook polenta. Set it aside to cool.

Soak the prunes in the hot water for 15 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium and cook the onion in the remaining 2 tsps salt until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, pepper, chicken, olives and capers and the prunes and their soaking liquid. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to combine everything fully. Turn off the heat.

Preheat your oven to 170C. Grease a casserole dish with butter.

Spread just over half of the corn mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish, spreading evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Very gently pour the chicken mixture on top, then lay the boiled egg slices on top. Spread the remaining corn mixture over the top and smooth.

 Bake for 45 minutes, the top should be crisp and brown. Sprinkle the almonds on top and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the almonds are toasted.
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust
Cuban Chicken Pie with Corn Crust

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Grilled Crab with Gin and Pomegranate Sabayon - with Warm Pink Grapefruit, Zucchini and Buckwheat Salad


Sometimes I see trends in types of recipes that go through my foodporn news feeds and it makes me think, hmm, I’ve never tried that before. It’s such a common dish, or component of a dish and despite being quite adventurous in my cooking, it’s not something I’ve ever made. Or even contemplated making – like mac and cheese. Can you believe this last weekend was the first time I’d ever made b├ęchamel sauce? As I was stirring the milk and it was magically thickening and turning into a delicious thick sauce in a way I’d never seen before, I was thinking about starting this blog. It was initially about trying new things and opening myself up to new cooking experiences, so that we didn’t eat the same dishes on rote. But although the flavours I mix together are often unique and different and new, my methods of cooking haven’t really evolved much.

I watched Julie and Julia on the weekend (with a large bowl of mac and cheese using aforementioned b├ęchamel sauce to cope with all that delicious food on screen) and watching Julie debone a duck and going through the calf leg gelatin section of Julia Child’s cookbook made me determined to make a few more things requiring a different cooking technique to my usual. Whilst I don’t think I’ll ever buy a calf leg, or possibly even debone a duck, I will definitely try a few new things.

I wrote before about being scared of roasting a duck, and that experiment turning out deliciously well. And one of the other things I’ve never really attempted seriously before is sauces or custards with egg. Even making ice creams I try to avoid using custard based ones because cooking eggs like that scares me. I figure I’ll end up with scrambled eggs and ruin the whole thing. But I made a chocolate pavlova for Mothers’ Day and ended up with a whole bunch of egg yolks and decided it was the perfect time to make a pink grapefruit curd. Again, I enjoyed watching the magic of the yolks and grapefruit juice thicken and become creamy and turn from ingredients into an actual dish. So the next step was to make a sabayon sauce. Sabayon (or zabaglione) is a light and fluffy sauce, drink or dessert made using some form of alcohol and egg yolks as the main ingredients.

Things I’ve learnt in these two egg-based sauce dishes is that you need to be patient at first, slowly drizzling the hot liquid into the eggs and whisking first before putting it on the heat and whisking consistently at a brisk pace. But it’s definitely a trick worth trying, you really do feel there is a science behind cooking.

Given that it’s Autumn and the markets are full of pomegranates, this sabayon is pomegranate flavoured and paired with one of my favourite spirits – Gin. I again used the West Winds Sabre for it’s specific citrus notes, but if you can’t get your hands on it, substitute Bombay Sapphire. And like my last Gin dish, it uses crab meat. I had this frozen from our very successful crabbing trip in summer, but you can generally get your hands on crab or crab meat at most supermarkets. There’s something about gin and crab that just *work*, you know! I then put it under the grill to heat the crab and lightly toast the top of the sabayon. The end result is a toasty, airy, citrusy puff of rich sauce on top of the flaky crab meat. So. Good.

This was paired with a warm buckwheat salad. I think next time, I’d like to add a few plain salted tortilla chips as well, for a textural counterpoint.



Grilled Crab with Gin and Pomegranate Sabayon
2/3 cup West Winds Sabre Gin
4 tbsp pink grapefruit juice
2 pomegranates, seeded
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
300g cooked crab meat, picked over for cartilage and shell

Seed the pomegranates and reserve ¼ of the arils for the salad. Put the gin, grapefruit juice and pomegranate seeds into a small saucepan and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about ¼ of a cup.

Line a baking tray with paper and divide the crab meat into 4. Tightly pack with your hands into patties and set aside until sauce is ready.

Once the gin mixture has reduced, strain through a fine sieve into a glass bowl that you can set above simmering water. Set a small saucepan of water to simmer. Add the egg yolks to the reduced gin and whisk briskly for a few minutes to fully incorporate, then place over the simmering water. Whisk constantly and briskly until the sauce becomes light and fluffy, the colour will turn a pretty pale purple. It’ll take about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and drizzle the olive oil into the mixture, whisking slowly for a few minutes until emulsified. Taste and season as needed. Set aside until salad is ready and you can grill the crab.

Spoon the mixture over the crab and place under a pre-heated grill for 2-3 minutes until toasted and brown.
 

























Warm Pink Grapefruit, Zucchini and Buckwheat Salad
2/3 cup buckwheat
1 ½ cup water
½ tsp salt
Big pinch fresh black pepper
Olive oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp coriander seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2/3 cup corn kernels
1 pink grapefruit, segmented and diced
1 tbsp tamari
2 silverbeet leaves, stripped and shredded
1 Avocado, sliced
Handful toasted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ of the pomegranate arils reserved from making the sabayon

Put the buckwheat, water, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until the buckwheat is cooked, but still chewy, around 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a frypan, heat a splash of olive oil and fry the garlic until translucent. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and coriander seeds, stir well to coat in the oily garlic mix. Add the zucchini and corn kernels and cook for 5-10 minutes until the zucchini is soft. Take off the heat.

Stir through the cooked buckwheat, tamari, grapefruit pieces and silverbeet leaves.

Serve with sliced avocado, toasted almonds and the reserved pomegranate arils on top.

 Gently remove the crab with sabayon patties and serve alongside