Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tiramisu ... or the post that almost wasn't

Let me start of by telling you how glad I am to be able to get this post done. We made this batch of Tiramisu a couple of weeks ago and I finally sat down to post about it last evening. When to my shock and horror I couldn't find the recipe. I spent over an hour hunting for it. See I have this horrible habit; I bookmark recipes that pique my interest. Everywhere - on my laptop, my husband's laptop, my tablet and this is apart from the thousands that are on Pinterest. I went through every possible list I thought it would be on, but I just couldn't track it down. I'm usually good at keeping my links safe. Then I decided to take a little break and combed through my Pins again, for the third time. Much to my relief, there it was, sitting pretty. I was glad I hadn't lost this recipe, because not only was it an easy one to follow, it was absolutely delicious. There are a lot of recipes out there with differing methods. This one sounded good and I'm going to stick with it.

The recipe came together nice and easy. When I make this next, I will work on better presentation. This time around, I had a very eager husband buzzing around the kitchen with excitement. Halfway through my assembly, he decided he wanted to help me capture step by step pictures. So I have a few. I'm sure he will get better at them with a little practice. But you've gotta love a guy who is so eager to help ;)



Tiramisu
Adapted from: Green Road to Bliss

500g mascarpone cheese
5 egg yolks and 1 egg white
160g sugar
300 ml espresso coffee (I used strong, instant coffee - don't tell anyone)
1/2 cup water
400g Savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers), approx.
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
30ml brandy (optional)

Prepare the coffee. Set aside 1 tsp of coffee and mix the rest with the water.

Mix the brandy into the cooled coffee, if using.

Beat the eggs with sugar till fluffy about 2 minutes. Start on a low speed and gradually increase.


Add the mascarpone cheese and the 1 tsp of (cold) coffee that was reserved.

Combine everything together until you are left with a soft and creamy mixture.

To assemble -
Spread a very thin layer of the mascarpone mix on the bottom of the pan.

Lightly dip the savoiardi into the coffee solution, but do not over soak them. Layer them over the mascarpone layer. Try to cover the base of the pan with the biscuits without leaving any gaps.

Spread half the mascarpone mix over evenly and dust with cocoa.
Second layer starting up

Repeat with another layer of savoiardi and mascarpone and a final dusting of cocoa.
Second layer almost done
Take care to not overpour the mascarpone mix at the end


Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Serve and enjoy!



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kurkuri Ajwaini Bhindi or Crispy Okra / Ladyfinger

Ever since we moved to Australia, I've found it very difficult to get my hands on ladyfingers (also called okra). Its only in the last couple of weeks, I've found it at not just one, but two locations. This makes me very happy.

We cook okra in a number of ways - in a prawn curry, pan fried in a spicy red rechaad masala, tawa style, and from now on I'm happy to report that as a once in a while treat I will use this recipe for a fantastic crispy version. It is an extremely delicious recipe, albeit not the healthiest one and I would recommend not making this way too often as it starts off with deep frying the okra. The resulting okra is super crisp and makes a wonderful accompaniment to some dal tadka or khichdi or just by itself. My husband got through half the quantity I made even before we sat down for lunch. I'll take that as a win. I love this recipe not just because of the crispiness, but I happen to love the flavour combination of chaat masala with the carom seeds. So I hope you try it out too and enjoy it as much as we do.



Kurkuri Ajwaini Bhindi
Recipe by: Kitchen Platter

250g lady fingers / okra
1/2 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chaat masala
3 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chilli powder
Oil, for deep frying

Wash and pat the okra dry.

Cut the head off and discard. Cut the okra into quarters lengthwise.

Heat oil in a wok for deep frying.

Sprinkle the ajwain, turmeric powder, chaat masala, salt and the besan on the okra.

Squeeze the lemon juice and toss it well to coat the okra evenly.

Add half the okra to the hot oil carefully and fry on medium heat till crisp. Drain on some absorbent kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining okra.

Enjoy hot.

**Note: Mix all the ingredients just before frying. Do NOT do this in advance as the salt with just draw out the liquids and result in a soggy batch, which you don't want.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta with Pine Nuts and Lemon

Ok, so those of you who blog will be able to relate to what I have to say. I sure hope I am not the only one ;)  While I would love to be able to be more of a 'from the plate to the blog' on the same day kind of person, more often than not, life gets in the way, and some times it takes more than a couple of weeks for me to post about a certain recipe. As a matter of fact, I still have a couple of recipes from a couple of years ago that I still haven't gotten around to sharing with you yet. Oh dear, did I just say that out loud!

Anyway, today, I wanted something quick and yummy for lunch. When I was at the shops this morning, this little beauty caught my eye -


I love the idea of smoked salmon, but I'm not too crazy about the raw-ish feel of the salmon. When I saw this hot smoked salmon, I was sold. I knew this salmon would be more cooked with a lovely smokey flavour. I'd never used it before but I was quite eager to try it out. The fact that I got it at a 40% discount was just a nice bonus. Now when I bought the salmon, I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I knew I would find some inspiration online, as always. Usually, I don't pay much attention to the recipe on the box / packet of the ingredients I buy. But when we were unpacking our groceries, my husband noticed this recipe and I have to admit, it sounded interesting and I was very eager to try it out. I had all the ingredients on hand, so there was all the motivation I needed.

I am so very happy that I did. Not only was this pasta quick and easy to put together, it was delicious. It was so delicious, I knew I wanted to share this recipe with you as quickly as I could. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the best pasta dishes I have made yet. And I really do hope you have an opportunity to try this out. I am going to pay more attention to these recipes on boxes and packets from now on.




Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta with Pine Nuts and Lemon
Serves 4

250g spaghetti
1 packet Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta, flaked
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup thickened cream
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Dill (Fresh if possible - I didn't have any so I used the dried bottled variant)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

Add a heaped spoon of salt and then add the pasta. Cook till al denté (it should still have a little bite).

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté over medium heat, till they have softened and are nice and fragrant.

Add the wine, lemon juice and half the lemon zest. Increase the heat a little and cook till the liquids have reduced by half.

Add the cream and cook for a minute.

Take off the heat.

Drain the pasta and reserve half a cup of the cooking water.

Add the water to the sauce.

Put back on a medium-low heat and let it warm through (The original recipe doesn't call for this step, but I felt the sauce was a little on the thinner side so I let it heat through a little and it was perfect)

Add the salmon, the pine nuts, the remaining zest and season with salt and pepper. Let it just about warm through.

Mix the pasta and the sauce together.

Serve and garnish with some fresh chopped dill. I just sprinkled some bottled dry dill since I didn't have any fresh dill on hand.

Sit back and be amazed :)






Saturday, June 6, 2015

Where can I find Double sided crepe paper / duplex paper in Australia ???

UPDATE on 15/02/17 - I have set up a new shop for the crepe paper on Etsy here.

Double sided crepe paper or Duplex paper is an amazing type of paper if you make paper flowers. It comes in a range of colour and can be stretched to form your petals. However, it is practically impossible to find in Australia.

I am happy to let you know that I have a stash of this paper that I am looking at selling.

Leave me a comment with your email address if you are interested in buying some.

Here are the colours available -

Pale Pink

Dark Leaf Green / Camouflage Green

Cream / Yellow

Turquoise


Parrot / Dark Green

Light / Dark Lilac

Bright Red

Light / Dark Olive

Marigold Yellow / Orange

Daffodil Yellow / Apricot


Bright Green

Coral Pink


Green / White Floral tape
I have multiples of these available.

Here are just a few of the flowers you can make with this paper -