Showing posts with label sauce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sauce. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise

Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise

Most weekends, I try to do something a little different for breakfast. Oats is a work day food, so the weekend needs to be a bit more playful! That'll mean different things, depending on time, how much I need to do grocery shopping, how much I'm feeling the night before...that sort of thing. I woke up on Saturday hungry - but not knowing what I feel like. Lance is generally unhelpful when you ask him what he wants for meals. "Whatever you feel like making", is a fairly common response. I was at a loss for ideas, so I looked in the fridge for inspiration.

5 egg yolks that needed using fairly soon. Half a packet of enoki mushrooms. Half a packet of tortillas. Bam! Inspired. I would whip up a Hollandaise sauce, adding orange from the few ripe ones recently fallen from our tree. I'd sautee up the mushrooms with a few fresh herbs. And I'd make tacos. For fun and presentation, I cut mini tortillas out of the larger sized ones before toasting a little of the stale out of them. Like this, they make a wonderful canape. Elegant and simple. But you can be lazy and have normal sized tacos if that's more your speed. Or you can make your own smaller sized ones to start with.

Either way, start to finish, this takes around 10 minutes to make, and is a bloody delicious way to start the day, if I do say so myself. (Lance said so too, if that sways you!)

And if you are serving this for brunch, a glass of bubbles to drink with it certainly wouldn't go astray!
Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise
Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise
Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise

Orange Hollandaise Sauce

5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
zest from 1 orange
6 tablespoons softened butter

Set up a double-boiler with a small saucepan with a few inches of water, and a glass bowl for the top that won't touch the water. Bring the water to a simmer while you whisk together the egg yolks until lightened in colour and thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the salt, Tabasco sauce, orange zest and orange juice until well combined.

Place the glass bowl over the simmering water and whisk. The eggs will lighten and thicken to a custard like consistency. One tablespoon at a time, whisk in the butter, allowing it to fully incorporate before adding the next one.

Take off the heat, taste for seasoning - adding extra salt or Tabasco as required. Cover and set aside.
Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise

Enoki Mushroom Tacos

1/2 packet of Enoki mushrooms
small handful snow pea shoots
small handful of basil leaves
bunch of coriander, finely choppeed
1 spring onion, finely sliced
to serve
5 tortillas
Orange Hollandaise Sauce
smoked paprika for dusting

Heat a non-stick frypan to medium heat. Chop the bottom off of the enoki mushrooms and discard. Separate the clumps a little. If making mini-tacos, cut the enoki in half. Add the mushrooms and spring onion. Stir frequently witha wooden spoon, breaking the mushrooms apart more as you go.

When the mushrooms are wilted and browning slightly, add the basil leaves, coriander and snow pea shoots. Stir well to combine and take off the heat.

Serve the mushroom mix on a tortilla with a generous dollop of orange hollandaise sauce and dust with smoked paprika.
Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise
Fancy Brunch Canapes - Enoki Tacos with Orange Hollandaise

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing

Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing
Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing

The first time I made this was the end of February. This time of year is when my desire for outrightly healthy meals kicks in. From my birthday in November, through all of the parties of Christmas and New Year (and NYEEEE) and our dating anniversary and Lance’s birthday and every other excuse under the sun we can think of to indulge in decadent meals and lots of booze means we get to mid February and both Lance and I think – hey, remember when we used to keep it simple and just have grilled meat and salad for dinner. Without wine. Or a beer. Or snacks. Back when our portion sizes were reasonable? Maybe we should do that again for a while. The fact that this thought might have occurred after a long weekend which involved a 9 course wine-matched degustation that we added a 10th dish and 10th wine to because there was an extra dish we just had to have is surely a coincidence. Not to mention the daily ice creams (or two). And cheese platters. And wine.

 And we're eating again now after the 4-day chocolate feast that is Easter!

Tuesday night’s dinner was a grilled steak and this salad, with a wonderful dressing drizzled over everything. An abundance of bright herby chimichurri flavours all blended up with toasted pumpkin seeds and Greek Yoghurt, drizzled over tart mango, crunchy shoots and peas and juicy Lebanese cucumbers. It feels decadent whilst being totally healthy. Blackening the garlic in the pan first softens the garlicky punch and adds a lovely roasted flavour to the whole situation.

The dressing makes much more than you require, but it’ll do meals for around 3 days if refrigerated. As well as being a dressing, it’s also a delicious sauce on baked potatoes, or stirred through quinoa or your favourite grain.

Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt DressingGoing Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing

Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing
Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing

Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing

½ cup pumpkin seeds
4 cloves garlic
2 bunches coriander (about 2 cups roughly chopped)
Bunch parsley (about 2 cups roughly chopped)
Salt and pepper
7 big gloops of Greek Yoghurt (around 200g)
¼ cup water (for thinning)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Green Mango Salad

1 underripe mango (you want it to be sliceably firm, and a tart)
Handful bean shoots
Handful snow peas, topped and tailed, then thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons – seed middle discarded

Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing
Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing
Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing
Going Green - Chimichurri, Pumpkin Seed and Greek Yoghurt Dressing

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pickled Pink - Pickled Beetroot and Red Onion

I was originally going to put the recipe for this at the end of another recipe, as it is an accompaniment, rather than a meal. But it has turned out so versatile that I’ve used it in so many dishes since then, so I thought I would give it it’s own post, which makes it my easier to just link here for the future. I call this pickled pink – a really simple combination of pickled beetroot and red onion. I was going to add radishes to the mix too, but completely forgot when I came around to making it. I am going to add radishes next time.

It only takes about 10 minutes to make, but then a few hours to cool so factor that in for when you want to eat it. It should last a good few weeks in the fridge.


Pickled Beetroot and Red Onion.
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
3 medium beetroot, sliced into matchsticks
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
5 allspice berries
½ tsp peppercorns
½ tsp caraway seeds

Slice the onion and beetroot as directed and layer slices in the jar(s) you wish to store it in.

Place the vinegars, water, honey and salt in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes then take off the heat.

Add the allspice berries, pepper corns and caraway seeds to the vinegar mix. Stir to mix through.

Pour the vinegar over the top of the veges. Leave on the bench top to come to room temperature.

Store in the fridge

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birthday Meals - Fig and Apple BBQ Pasta Sauce

My husband and I both tend to have birthday week, at least. Sometimes birthday month. We generally don't buy each other presents unless there’s something specific we find (this is true for all gift-giving occasions). Instead it becomes a week or so full of birthday-related activities. This year, his parents threw their annual party. The day of his birthday I met his boat after work and we had tapas and beers at Monk Brewery with a few friends and the next day I cooked him this for dinner for his Birthday + 1. I had told him I wanted to cook him something special for his birthday and he told me he doubted I could. Everything I cook was special. Bless him.

We are both big fans of ribs. Sticky, BBQ sauce smothered ribs. Preferably smokey. Along with my collection of hot sauces, I have a handful of different BBQ sauces in my pantry, too. I was thinking about how they all have a similar base flavour, and started contemplating what it was that makes a BBQ sauce taste like a BBQ sauce. Basically it’s a combination of sweet, salt and vinegar. The ‘sweet’ is usually fruity. And then it’s got some spice in there. Pretty simple, really. I knew I didn’t have enough time to come home from work and cook ribs (they are so much better slow-cooked), but I still wanted that sticky sweet sauce. I got it in my head to make a pasta, but didn’t want to just use a BBQ sauce from the bottle because they tend to be a bit ‘much’ in large quantities. The vinegar and sugar can take over.

I had been given a few sundowner apples from my parents’ after an orchard trip. I’m not the hugest fan of them to just eat, I find they can be a bit ‘floury’. I like my apples tart and crisp – like pink ladies, or fujis. But, I thought they’d make the perfect sweet base for a BBQ sauce. I added some figs, because I had some. You can always substitute another apple, or maybe a few nectarines or peaches seeing as they’re in season. To me, the sauce turned out perfectly and Lance swears up and down that it wasn’t BBQ sauce but was delicious. I asked him what it tasted like and what BBQ sauce tasted like. He repeated back all of the same flavours for both. What was ‘missing’ was it being further reduced to concentrate the flavours like the traditional condiment – but this was the reason I didn’t want to just use a bottled sauce in the first place. So, I am going to make this again, but cook it in my slow cooker for a few hours to reduce it further, then puree it to make a condiment BBQ sauce. And as a compromise, I am calling this a BBQ Pasta Sauce instead of just a BBQ sauce.

To make the pasta, I had some beautiful little yellow squash and zucchini, then some leftover roast beef that I shredded. Some pork or chicken would go well, too. Then I added a tonne of basil and flat leaf parsley at the end. I wanted it to be more of a vegetable than a herb.
This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but most of them are spices, so don’t get too overwhelmed by that. For me, they are all pantry staples. The mustard seeds and cumin seeds I measured before I toasted and ground them. If you have pre-ground spices, then you’d probably need a little less.

Fig and Apple BBQ Pasta Sauce
(serves 4-6)
2 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 apples
6 figs
1 shot bourbon
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smokey paprika
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar

Assembling the Pasta
6 yellow squash, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 cup shredded cooked beef
Bunch basil leaves, roughly torn
Bunch flatleaf parsley leaves, roughly torn
500g egg noodles

In a large, tall sided pan (I used my tagine pan) on a low heat, add the olive oil and when it’s warmed up, add the shallots and garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes until translucent. You don’t want to colour them, you want it sweet and soft. Then add the apples, figs, salt and bourbon. Stir well, then cover and leave to simmer around 10 minutes while you prep the rest.

In a dry pan, toast the cumin and mustard seeds for 15-30 seconds until the mustard seeds ‘pop’. Add to a spice grinder or mortar & pestle with the peppercorns and grind until fine. Add the two paprikas and chili powder to the spice mix. Mix together the water, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and honey. Pour into the apple mixture. Add the spice mixture into the pan as well and mix everything really well. Cover again and simmer away for at least 20 minutes. The fruit should break down and go mushy turning into a delicious sticky sauce. Check for seasoning.

Meanwhile, place a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Cook according to packet instructions. Add the squash, beef and zucchini to the sauce and cook until warmed through and the vegetables have softened – 10 minutes. Add the pasta when al dente, and the herbs, and stir through. Serve!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Community Inspiration - Chilli Fig Jam with Chorizo tacos

So you might be looking at this and thinking, really? ANOTHER fig recipe? But they’re in season, they’re plentiful and they’re currently being supplied to me for free from a friend’s tree. So I am using them in everything. And loving every single dish of them! And as they are in season, they’re popping up on my Instagram feeds quite frequently and one that caught my eye was from Perth Breakfast – she was making a fig and chilli jam. Um…yum! Two of my favourite things in a jam! Something I was definitely going to try!

As you probably know by now if you’ve read this blog a few times, I am more than slightly addicted to tacos. So my mind immediately went to tacos for a good use of said jam. So beyond the fig jam, the next idea of these was to use a big range of textures. So you have the chewiness of the chorizo, the soft, squishiness of the zucchini, the pop of the corn kernels the crunch of the peanuts and the stickiness of the jam (is stickiness a texture??), the smoothness of the cheese and the crispness of the cucumber. All at once. And it was wonderful.

I used venison chorizo because I have a stockpile in my fridge. When we head down south for a weekend, we tend to stock up on a few products without fail. Venison chorizo, chilli beer sticks and kangaroo biltong from the Margaret River Venison Farm are high on that list. Being venison, it has a more intense flavour than standard chorizos, slightly gamey but not super obviously gamey. If that makes sense? It’s perfect for adding sweet flavours like fig jam to. But any chorizo you’ll have will work. I also served it with the jam still warm. Do this. It blends in with the cheese better as you eat it.
I was deliberately light on the chilli in the jam for two reasons. Firstly, the chorizo already has a heat to it and I didn’t want to overdo the spice, but for all other purposes, I think I would prefer it hotter. And secondly, the jalapenos I used are from my own shrub and they are so inconsistent in their heat. Some are basically capsicum, some will knock your head off – I tend to err on the side of caution. I’m sure you know your own tolerance, add the chilli to your tastes. As per our Instagram conversation (and because I prefer natural sweeteners) the jam is sweetened with honey rather than white sugar. And traditionally, you would add some water but this I deliberately wanted super sticky and thick. You can add a cup of water to make a runnier jam.

Chilli Fig Jam
(makes one 300g jar)
10 figs, cut into 1cm pieces
2 jalapenos, de-seeded and minced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey

First up, make the jam. Add the figs, jalapenos, vinegar and honey to a small pot, bring up to a medium low heat and allow to simmer away for half an hour so until the figs start breaking down and the texture goes all jammy. Around half an hour or so. Bottle in a clean glass jar when still hot.

Spicy Peanuts
1 tsp butter
½ cup raw peanut kernels (no skins)
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp smokey paprika
Pinch sea salt

Heat a frypan, melt the butter and throw the peanut kernels in, toss around for 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, paprika and salt, toss everything very well to blend. When the cumin seeds are at the ‘popping’ stage, the peanuts should be slightly brown and toasty. Remove to a serving bowl and allow to cool.

Chorizo Tacos
(serves 2)
1 chorizo sausage (around 250g)
1 medium zucchini, diced
½ cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
handful chopped coriander
To serve
Tortillas, cucumber strips, fetta (try get one that’s smoother rather than dry and crumbly)

In the same frypan as above, add the diced chorizo pieces. Leave to fry 5 minutes or so for them to render out some of their fat and start to get crispy. Add the zucchini and corn, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or so until the zucchini is cooked. At the end, stir through the coriander.

Serve all immediately with warmed tortillas.