Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cooking catch-up

November has dawned - well, three days ago - and we'll see if Miss Eagle can do any better at posting than she has done in recent times. August was illness, September was recovery, and October was - well, dear Reader, you can see for yourself what I've been up to if you pop over here.

So, let's do some food catch up. Above, was my contribution to the blogging lunch described here.

Those rolls on the left are a vegetarian substitute for sausage rolls and they go just as well dipped in tomato sauce.

Vegetarian Rolls

Dear Reader, you can sort yourself out on quantities. I used:

  • 1x425 g tin of chick peas, drained
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Grated cheese
  • Fresh herbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • Sesame seeds

I blended the first five ingredients in the food processor. I put spoonfuls of the mixture in a strip along the length of the pastry sheet. Rolled it over, brushed the edges with milk to stick them together, cut down the sheet, cut up the roll and placed on a baking dish and continued like this until the two sheets were used up. Then I brushed all the little rolls with milk and sprinkled sesame seed on top. I did have some of the mixture left over. That was beautiful for breakfast the next day tossed in the pan with a fried egg.

Fruit and Cheese Skewers

You, dear Reader, don't require a recipe for these. You can see what goes into them, how they are done. I used a Colby Cheese. Colby is a mild cheese that suits a broad range of tastes. Coming as it does in a block, it is easy to cube for the skewers. As for the fruit, it is your choice. I used water, rock and honeydew melons and pineapple. But strawberries would be a great inclusion.

We are now getting into the rhythm of the deliveries from Aussie Farmers Direct. Our milk comes from the Western District and is processed and packed by the historic Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which sits on the Great Ocean Road at Allansford. Our fruit and veges (see pictures above) arrive every Wednesday.

They are first class and, because they are so fresh and of such high quality, they keep very well. This is an important factor in a household comprising two single people. Herself optimistically signed up for the Family Pack and not the Two Person Pack. So each Thursday, I am getting into the habit of sorting, storing and planning. If we can manage to get through a Family Pack of fruit and veges a week rather than pick up the odd piece as we go, then there'll be roses in the cheeks of this household!

Our free range eggs come early in the week - and, in case we are not using them up quickly enough, a quiche goes on the menu along with a fresh salad. However, what you see pictured above is the Lazy Cook's Quiche. I figured if one can have small bread cases for savouries, why not large ones? So here is the Lazy Cook's Quiche:

Lazy Cook's Quiche

Bread Case: dip sufficient slices of bread in milk to line your pie dish. (My dish is large.) Ensure that slices abut and/or overlap so that the plate is covered. You will need to trim slices for the edge and, if necessary, to cover abutting corners. When placing the bread around the edges put the crust uppermost because this gives a nice crunchy crust when it is baked.

Filling: I used fresh asparagus, onions, diced potato, peas, fresh herbs, 4 eggs beaten with Carnation Evaporated Milk, salt. Quantities will vary according to the size of the pie plate and the vegetables you have available.

Bake in a slow oven (somewhere around 150 degrees to 170 degrees) on a low shelf. When the filling is set cover with grated cheese. Continue to bake until the cheese is golden brown. I usually turn off the oven when the cheese is melted right across the quiche but is not yet brown. I then leave the quiche in the oven. It continues to cook and can be left until it is the right temperature for serving. Allowing about 45 minutes to an hour for cooking is best so that the egg mixture is set and the vegetables are cooked through but not overdone. Quite more-ish!

I have taken the laziness and bread casing a step further with an Apple and Pear Tart. The bread casing was done as described for the quiche, apples and pears were cored and sliced thinly (four pears and five small Granny Smith's), the juice of an orange sprinkled over them, along with three dessertspoons of brown sugar. Again baked at 150-170 degrees. A low temperature is needed to allow the fruit to cook through. The fruit is piled on because as the fruit cooks and loses its liquid, it sinks down. This was a vote-winner.

As I write this, Melbourne has received soaking rain for the past eighteen hours. It is wonderful and most welcome. I worked very hard to get the vege garden in and planted because there is a local wisdom which says that, to have tomatoes for Christmas, they have to be planted by Melbourne Cup Day. My plants have been in for just over a week and now, with the rain, all that is needed is some moderate weather for them to take off - I hope and pray. Tomatoes for Christmas? We'll see.

And now for the piece-de-resistance.

Cappuccino Cake

Ingredients:

  • 250 g pack of butter, softened
  • 250 g light soft brown sugar plus 2-3 tablespoons
  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 50 g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (food processor is easiest), optional
  • 200 ml very strong coffee (made fresh or with instant), cooled. (You are using Fair Trade coffee, aren't you, dear Reader?)

Frosting:

  • 500 g tub mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons light soft brown sugar
  • Cocoa powder or drinking chocolate, to decorate

Method:

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/ 160 degrees convection
  • Butter 2x20cm sandwich tins
  • Line the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale and creamy.
  • Add the flour and eggs in one go
  • Keep beating until evenly mixed.
  • Fold in the walnuts (if used) and half of the coffee.
  • Spoon the mix into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and well risen.
  • Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack.
  • Sweeten the remaining coffee with the extra sugar and sprinkle 4 tablespoons over the sponges.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • While the cakes cool, make the frosting.
  • Tip the mascarpone into a large bowl and beat in the sugar and remaining coffee until smooth and creamy.
  • Use about half of the frosting to sandwich the sponges together then, using a palette or cutlery knife, spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake.
  • Decorate with a dusting of cocoa powder or drinking chocolate.

This recipe is from Jane Hornby and is published in the BBC's Good Food magazine of May 2006.

2 comments:

Val said...

Cappucino cake looks delish. And thanks for the photo of the fruit and vegie box from Farmers Direct. No such information forthcoming from the Man Who Cooks.

Miss Eagle said...

Hope you are enjoying your goodies from Aussie Farmers Direct, too, Val - along with the Man Who Cooks.

Blessings and bliss

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