Thursday, September 04, 2014

Marmalade: small quantity, big flavour




I recently was given some oranges, lemons and limes. It was a no brainer that I would then turn them into marmalade. My last jar was just about to run out and it was perfect timing. It was just meant to be.

I thought I'd share this recipe that I came up with because I'm definitely no expert in jam making but this wee combo works well for me every time. It's super easy and quick and makes enough for one decent sized jar. Great if you love marmalade but don't want your shelves stacked with the stuff. Plus it saves you heaps of faffing around. Definite bonus.

This recipe makes approximately enough to fill one 700g jar (or two 350g jars). It's adaptable too, you can alter the types of citrus, or add other ingredients like fresh ginger (I love this and definitely recommend it!). You don't even have to use the brown sugar if you don't have it handy; you can switch it out for white, but I reckon it's worth it as it gives a richer colour and extra taste. Anyway enough rambling, on to the recipe...

NO FUSS MARMALADE


Ingredients:

500g of whole citrus fruits, (I generally like to use 2 oranges and a lemon and/or  lime)
125g brown sugar
375g white sugar
option: can also add grated fresh ginger, about 25g

Method:

Grab your fruits and wash the skins well. Next you need to decide how chunky you want your marmalade and chop the rind up to suit. You can either take the quick way and use a food processor to blitz them up, or you can cut by hand or grate them. Key is you want to get the rinds as small as you would be comfortable eating. Either way just make sure you don't have any giant pieces of rind or fruit. For the marmalade in the picture I chopped by hand, but it's way simpler just to wizz in blender and works well too. If using ginger just grate it up and add with the fruits.

Next, add all the chopped fruits and rinds to a pot along with the sugars. Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes until the sugar has melted then bring it to the bring it to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take it off the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes then stir it and pour into a clean jar.

Keep it in the fridge, stays good for up to 6 months or so.

Hint: Remove any seeds as you come across them, they'll often float to the surface during cooking.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Self-Crusting Quiche


Quiche without pastry just sounds so wrong. Pastry is amazing; it just makes everything just taste extra good. Oddly enough though, I've been making my quiche without pastry for years and I find it just as delicious. The key is just to pimp out your filling with tasty flavours. It's definitely my go-to recipe when I realise I haven't got a dinner planned because as far as fillings go, anything goes, even your leftovers or vegetables that are no longer looking so fresh.

I don't really have a set list of filling ingredients as the world's your oyster. Fillings I've used range from pumpkin to sardines. All ingredients just get mixed in a bowl then poured in your cooking dish. Couldn't be too much simpler. For the one in the photo we were running low on food supplies so I just used what we had on hand: 1 x 185g tin of tuna in red thai curry, some chopped silverbeet and a teaspoon each of crushed ginger and garlic. It was awesome!

So to get started here is the base-recipe for the quiche.

Self-Crusting Quiche:

3 eggs
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup plain flour (can use self raising flour, just omit the baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup grated cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
Seasonings: use anything you fancy, besides salt and pepper you can use whatever flavours you like: ginger; garlic; spice mixes like Cajun, bbq or Indian, or any herbs or spices of your choice.
Fillings: any veges or proteins of your choosing.(For the quiche in the photo I had added 1 x 185g tin of tuna in red thai curry, chopped silverbeet and a teaspoon each of crushed ginger and garlic. It was simple but delicious.)

Method: Beat the eggs in a large bowl then add the other wet ingredients. Add the flour and baking powder and whisk it together to get rid of any lumps, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Pour into a 22cm/9 inch round dish and bake at 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit), for approx 30-40 minutes or until set in the centre.

Makes one 22cm round quiche.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Fig Ice Cream


Making your own ice cream is so rewarding and fun. The world's your oyster when it comes to flavour combinations, and there are different ways to make your ice cream base. For example, some recipes require making a custard-type base using eggs (such as in my pistachio ice cream recipe) and others are more basic like a sherbet using only water and milk. These will offer differing levels of creaminess.

Recently I wanted to experiment with making a creamy ice cream without having to faff about using eggs, basically I wanted to be lazier and also use less ingredients. And here is the result, a rich and creamy ice cream just using sweetened condensed milk and whole milk. I used dried figs and cinnamon as my flavours, which is an amazing combination, but it'd work with millions of other flavours too. I'll definitely be experimenting more with it. Good thing is you don't even need an ice cream machine to get good results, you just need to be aware of a few tips if you're unfamiliar with making handmade ice cream, so I'll be sure to put those with the recipe.

FIG ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

200g dried figs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups whole milk
1 tin of sweetened condensed milk (397g)
(Almond flakes and extra chopped dried figs as optional garnish)

Method:

Add the dried figs, cinnamon and half of the milk (2 cups) to a saucepan.
Bring to boil, simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the figs soften.
Remove from heat and let cool. Blend until smooth.
Now add the rest of the milk (2 cups) and sweetened condensed milk.
Whisk well.
Pour into a shallow, freeze-proof container.
Place in freezer, follow instructions below.
Serve.

Tips:


To ensure a creamier ice cream, remove the ice cream from the freezer as it just starts to freeze around the edges. Blend or beat the mixture to remove the lumps and incorporate air into it. It's best to do this often until it's too frozen to handle anymore. I tend to do it every hour as it takes my ice cream several hours to set, but your timing might be different. You could skip all of this and just leave it to freeze, but the result will be more icy. Also, handmade ice cream tends to freezer quite hard, so you'll need to let it stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before attempting to serve it.