Sunday, 17 February 2013

Beetroot, Onion, Pom, Basil & Walnut Salad

Posted by Kim Fong On 11:59 am

With my Bulla Cream obligations, I've been given a challenge this month to re-create George Calombaris' Beetroot Salad. I have a confession - I do not dig beets. Ever since a little kid - I still can't get over the flavour. Yes, how  "unAustralian" of me! Second confession - I have never cooked fresh beetroot before. So - as much as this is an "ordinary" thing for many of you, this salad is just that little bit out of my comfort zone. But! That's what challenges are about. Challenge accepted!

Now, if you have a look at George's recipe, I personally find it rather involved. After about 2 minutes of digging around online, I've come up with this recipe below. It is a little less involved - but it will still take about 1.5 hours to bake. But since the oven is on, I've tried to make use of it with the other ingredients. Verdict - "really good" according to OG. 

Some tips I learnt while making this, beets stain like nothing else! So I covered my chopping board with cling wrap before peeling the beets, and used disposable kitchen gloves. I didn't use my white crockery but just the stainless steel bowl and glass bowl.

1 to 2 large brown onions, quartered
1 to 2 medium sized beetroots
4 cloves of garlic
Olive oil to coat onions, beetroot, and garlic liberally
2 teaspoons of salt
2 handfuls of walnuts
150ml Sour Cream
2 dozen fresh basil leaves
1 pomegranate, seeded
Few sprigs of chives to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 170C. 

2. Place whole beetroot and onions in a deep baking dish. Splash with olive oil to coat liberally and sprinkle with salt. Cover with foil and roast until skewer passes through easily, approximately 1 & 1/2 hours. 

3. Lightly bruise garlic cloves with the side of the a knife to just crack the skin. Coat with olive oil and place in a small baking dish. After half an hour of the beetroot and onions being in the oven, place garlic in the oven also.

4. Spread walnuts on a flat baking tray. With about 15 minutes left to go for the beetroot and onions, also place walnuts in the oven.

5. When beetroot is cooked, remove all ingredients out of the oven. Allow to cool slightly. 

6. Peel away the skin of the garlic cloves to reveal its soft flesh. Place into the sour cream and stir to mix in. Set aside (if the fridge if it's a warm day).

7. When cool enough to handle, wearing disposable kitchen gloves to peel beetroot skin and cut into small wedges/segments. Place in serving bowl. Using your gloved hand, separate onion into its individual layers and place in serving bowl. Stir to mix beetroot and onions.

8. Stir through fresh basil, the freshly roasted walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds. Serve with sour cream garlic mixture. Garnish with some fresh chives.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Mango Pandan Pancake - Yum Cha/Dim Sum Style

Posted by Kim Fong On 6:18 pm

 Every trip to yum cha (dim sum it's called in some parts of the world) is not complete without mango pancakes to finish off the meal! For me, I have to pick it up with my hands and take that first gigantic bite! Oh the mango and the cream - awwww! Ommnomnomnom! I love how the crepe is so smooth and vibrantly yellow!

Challenge accepted! DIY mango pancakes - to celebrate Chinese New Year. I adapted a recipe from Vondelicious. I definitely agreed with her about making sure the heat is really low as it makes the crepe very smooth. I also added some drops of pandan essence to the crepe mixture - just to give that vibrant green to contrast with the yellow (how Aussie of me!) and also that flavour of Asia too!

3 eggs
1 cup milk
⅓ cup water
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plain flour
½ tspn vanilla essence
¼ cup caster sugar
a few drops of yellow food colouring
a few drops of pandan essence (optional)

1 to 2 fresh mangoes, peeled and deseeded and cut into thin slices
300ml thickened cream
2 tblpn icing sugar, sifted
1 tspn vanilla essence

1. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, water, melted butter, flour, vanilla, sugar, food colouring. Whisk to combine. It should resemble the consistency of buttermilk. If too thin, add flour, if too thick, add water (or milk). Mix well.

2. Let the batter sit for an hour or longer so the flour can absorb. You can make the batter up to a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Be sure to just bring it up to room temp before you cook it. If it’s lumpy you can strain it.

3. Heat to a medium heat a non-stick skillet. Lightly grease. 

4. Remove from heat and pour a little batter in (how much depends on the size of your skillet) and swirl batter evenly around the bottom- try to make this very thin!

5. Return to very low heat and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Ensure to keep the heat on low so that the crepes turn out smooth! The edges will get crispy and curl up, and the top will mostly set but stay shiny. 

6. Flip the crepe with a spatula. Cook the second side for about 30 seconds, then remove crepe and place it on a clean paper towel to absorb any residual grease.

7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 for remaining batter.

1. Using an electric mixer, whip together cream, icing sugar and vanilla essence until stiff peaks.

2. Place one crepe on a plate with the nice side down and put a heaped tablespoon of whipped cream into the centre. Place a couple of pieces of mango on the whipped cream, then wrap the crepe around it. by folding one side over the cream, then folding both sides inwards, then rolling the whole thing into a cylinder shape.

3. Chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

BBQ Rack of Lamb

Posted by Kim Fong On 1:40 pm

It's been a quiet couple of months for blogging but far from quiet in my life. If you read my last post, my cooking life has changed a little bit. Now I'm a "Bulla Cream Ambassador" I've been busy coming up with recipes, pictures and videos (yes videos) for their website

A couple of weeks ago we cooked this lovely rack of lamb for Australia Day. AMAZING!!! Sorry no invites for this - it was too good to share! My friends who saw this picture on facebook are still talking about it! 

So here you go, the recipe! 

½ kg lamb rack
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley stalks 
Pepper (lots of it)
Olive oil

1. With the lamb rack, slice away the skin (not the fat) away and discard. Score the top (meaty side) of the rack with a knife in both diagonal directions lightly.

2. Add rosemary, garlic, parsley, pepper, salt and olive oil over the lamb and rub it all. Allow to stand to marinate. If you’re short on time, you can cook right away. If you have ample time, cover and place in fridge over night or a few hours.

3. Preheat your BBQ (or oven) to a moderate heat (180C). If you are using the oven, grease your baking tray. Bring marinated lamb rack too room temperature if you refrigerated it overnight.

4. Place rack bone side to the heat on BBQ grill (or in oven). Cover and cook for about 40 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 20 minutes. You can tell it’s cooked with you prick the meat and the juice comes out clear (not bloody).

5. Remove from heat and allow to stand for about 10 minutes. This allows it to rest.

6. Slice and serve with your favourite sides including roast potato and sour cream, Tzatiki and Caesar Salad.

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