Cook Eat | Try something new – Black Rice

Back Rice

Ok, first things first; black rice is SO hard to photograph, black rice would get in all kinds of trouble as a food model – hard work yo!

Secondly; Dave and I ate black rice as a side dish at an event a couple of weeks ago and it has kinda been stuck in my brain since.  I was grocery shopping by myself yesterday {the luxury of that little excursion was NOT overlooked}, and despite having left the list at home, I had enough concentration to remember that I was wanting to get some coloured rice to try at home.  Fancy rice isn’t cheap, I perused the shelves and walked away, balking at $6-$10 for a 500gm pack.  I did end up returning to the aisle ‘O rice and grabbing a box of funky black rice for $5.99 before I left the store, it was one of those things I just needed to get out of my head!

I’m SO glad I did.  It takes longer to cook than regular white or brown but holy smokes, it actually has taste!  And apparently more nutritional value {according to my very quick perusal of the interwebs}.  Black rice has one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidents found in food.  Let’s be honest, I’m not too sure what that means but I haven’t heard Nigel Latta tell me not to eat it so it must be ok!

Best of all, the family loved it.  Even the nine year old.

I’m calling it a win people!  Stoked to be able to simultaneously increase the yum+health factor of something as simple as rice.

Now, get back in the kitchen!

 

Cook, Eat | Smoked Fish Pie Recipe

So many iconic New Zealand brands are participating in New World’s Little Shop promotion but Sealord have taken it one step further this year; they have built two fully functioning Little Boats, complete with engine and rudder which will be given away to two lucky Sealord customers!  All you have to do is buy Sealord at New World and swipe your Fly Buys card to get in the draw.  Check out how cute the Little Boats are: 


 
Our family was treated to a delicious lunch by Sealord including an amazing salmon, smoked mussel, orzo and micro-greens salad {which I’m totally going to try and recreate} but our favourite dish was the smoked Hoki pie and being totally cheeky I asked for the recipe – to share with you of course! {FYI We don’t have a smoker so I’d sub out the Hoki for a 450g tin of Sealord Smoked Fish Fillets}.

Sealord Smoked Fish Pie
Print
Ingredients
  1. 500 gms Agria potatoes – peeled
  2. 200 gms butter
  3. 100 mls cream
  4. Sea salt
  5. Cracked pepper – black
  6. 4x fillets Sealord Hoki
Curing Mix
  1. 1 cup rock salt
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 cup manuka smoked wood chips
Béchamel Sauce
  1. 5 tblsp butter
  2. 4tblsp flour
  3. 4 cups milk
  4. 1.5 tsp salt
  5. ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cure hoki in rock salt and brown sugar for 2 hours. Clean off curing mix.
  2. Place in smoker with manuka wood chips and smoke 4 mins on high pressure
  3. Boil or steam potatoes. Bring to boil add cream and butter.
  4. Press potatoes through a fine sieve or mash. Prepare béchamel sauce.
  5. Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour, and stir till smooth. Cook approx. 6 mins till golden.
  6. Heat milk to simmer and add hot milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time whisking till smooth.
  7. Bring to boil and cook for approx. 10 mins while stirring.
  8. Season with salt and nutmeg.
  9. Crumble fish in a bowl
  10. Add béchamel sauce and chopped parsley
  11. Place smoked fish mix in a baking dish, place mash in a piping bag and pipe on to fish mix.
  12. Bake at 185 degrees 8-10 mins or until mash is gratinated.
http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/

Cook Eat | Tortilla Recipe

Making my own tortillas has been on my to-do list since I moved to San Diego in 2003 and became forever addicted to Mexican food.
The gauntlet was laid on Friday night as Dave caught a shit-tonne of snapper and fish tacos were calling. There was nary a tortilla in the house.
It was time.
I did some googling, read some recipes and many reviews. The only way you can get a good feel for a recipe online is to read the reviews and take suggestions on board.
I found a good recipe and tweaked it as per reviews and my own experience with breads.
The result was authentic and amazing. These are like San Diego tortillas, not like Old El Paso. They are floury and flexible and taste like everything you want your carbs to be. We are hooked! I doubled this recipe and it worked like a charm.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
3 tablespoons olive oil (I used canola)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in hot water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10-12 times, adding a little flour or water if needed to achieve a smooth dough. Dough should be silky. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into eight portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7-in. circle. Shake off excess flour before putting in the pan.
In a large non-stick pan coated with cooking spray, cook tortillas over medium heat for 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Keep warm. Yield: 8 tortillas.

Tortilla_Recipe

Tortilla_Recipe

Pineapple Coconut Goo Cake Recipe

This is a no-good very BAD cake that you shouldn’t make if you are at all concerned with sugar, butter and all of those yummy things.

For the rest of you that like to live and eat cake, I give you this recipe that I discovered in my cousin-in-law’s lovely kitchen in Florida.

I made this as per the instructions however, it is so dang sweet that next time I will halve the sugar in the cake recipe, and divide the whole icing recipe and use a third.  But see what you think,

Pineapple_coconut_cake_recipe

CAKE INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

2 lg eggs

1 430gm can crushed pineapple

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup of chopped pecan {you don’t need this much}

1 cup desiccated coconut

ICING INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter

1 can condensed milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

 1 tsp vanilla

MAKE THE CAKE

  • Preheat the oven to 175°c and flour a 13 x 9 x 2″ baking pan {I used a bundt tin}
  • In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Add eggs, pineapple and vanilla
  • Beat at med speed with electric mixer until combined
  • Bake for 30 min or until fork inserted into centre comes out dry
  • Using a wooden spoon, poke 1/2″ holes in top of cake at 1″ intervals
  • Pour icing over hot cake
  • Sprinkle with chopped pecans and coconut
  • Serve

MAKE THE ICING

  • In a med saucepan combine butter condensed milk and sugar
  • Bring to boil over med heat, stirring constantly {it will burn if you don’t, trust me}
  • Boil 2 min stirring constantly
  • Remove from heat, add vanilla

My Beef & Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

So everyone has their fail-safe lasagna recipe and mine will be no better than yours, just saying I made my personal best tonight!  Yes, this is the quick-ish working Mum version in which my sauce is made from cans, not fresh.  So shoot me.

You will need;

1 onion

500 grams minced beef

1 diced zucchini

garlic

1 small can tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can Watties Pasta sauce

Italian seasonings, or fresh basil, parsley and oregano

Cracked black pepper

salt

1 pack of fresh lasagna sheets or the crispy kind

2 tubs of Ricotta or one if your stingy or dieting I guess

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Parmesan

Grated cheese

  1. Brown mince in pan with diced onion, garlic and zucchini + black pepper, drain excess oil from pan
  2. In a large pot combine all tomatoey ingredients, pepper, salt, fresh herbs or Italian seasoning, add browned meat etc, simmer with lid on for 30min at least.
  3. Dump ricotta into mixing bowl add egg and nutmeg and some grated cheese if you want.  Mix well.
  4. Using some kind of ladle apparatus, scoop sauce so it covers the bottom of your lasagne dish.
  5. Add first layer of pasta
  6. Spread 1/2ish of your ricotta mixture over the top
  7. sprinkle parmesan, then add a layer of grated cheese, sauce, pasta etc
  8. Go as high as your pan can take until you run out of mix, finish with a healthy layer of grated cheese with parmesan over the top.
  9. Bake covered with tinfoil for 25-30, remove tinfoil and bake for another 25-30 until crispy and bubbly and a bit crunchy on top.

Boring-ass Stuff I have Bought that Works Perfectly & Reminds me How Old I am Getting

Fact:  I have been in bed since 8.30pm

Fact:  I am eating hummus, with nothing, just my finger ::::::GASP::::::

Fact:  I have just finished reading the New Zealand Healthy Food Guide November Edition

Fact:  I purchased The Jack Family’s First Freezer today

Cumulative total of facts = I have definately hit the ground running into my thirties and it appears there is no return.

This is the guy that’s got my heart all a flutter.  I knew I had to do something when I came home from grocery shopping and realised there was no way on gods green earth that I was getting 2 loaves of bread, english muffins, pita bread, pastry, 2 packs of chicken and a size 16 chicken into my shoe-box sized freezer which was already bursting at the gills.  Enter Trade Me.  I found my freezer, it appears to be an incredible bargain, is less than a year old and lives in Remuera.  Hell, if you are going to buy second hand whiteware you might as well buy from the best right?  My parents freezer was purchased before I was born.  That’s right people, if you follow along and can do The Math, that means the freezer is at least THIRTY YEARS OLD.  And still freezing shit.  So, I look forward to sharing many fond family memories with my new freezer, fingers crossed he will be around to dish out Flavr Ice to my grandkids.

Another useful and boring thing I have bought lately is;

My Zyliss Can Opener.  After the third crapola can opener in a year refused to open my refried beans last month, I finally did it.  I spent $30+ on a can opener.  This guy was worth every penny, 5 stars.

So, the moral of the story is; avoid whiteware for as long as you can, but if the day comes when you need that bit of extra space to store your reduced meat bargains and your butter stockpile, embrace it, run with it and relish the fact that next time you see two size 24 chickens on sale for $12 YOU ARE FREE TO BUY THEM, no longer constrained by the small freezer, YOU CAN BUY IN BULK.  Finally.

Classic Date Scone Recipe

Eating Baking always cheers me up and I knew exactly what I wanted to make today.  I have only recently become a fan of dates, they seem to be Abby’s favourite scone variety so whenever we have morning tea she always comes equipped with some date scones.

Dates are yummy, are grown on palm trees and are a source of vitamin C – now you know!

The staple Edmond’s recipe is a winner and it’s what Ethan and I used today to whip up these guys; he did an awesome job of chopping all the dates up for me – that boy loves to eat cook as much as his parents do!

Classic Date Scone Recipe

* 3 cup flour
* 6 tsp Baking Powder
* 1/4 tsp Salt,
* 75g Butter
* 1 -1.5 cups Milk

For Date scones add 3/4 cup chopped dates, 1 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to flour

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add milk and mix quickly with a knife to a soft dough. Knead a few times. Lightly dust oven tray with flour.  Press scone dough out onto this.  Cut into 12 even sized pieces. Leave a 2 cm space between scones.  Brush tops with milk.  Bake at 220C for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12

(209 cal per scone approx.  not bad)

Cinnamon Date Scones & Pancakes

 

Glorious Mussel Fritters Recipe

This recipe was simple and amazing – a feast in fact!

MUSSEL FRITTERS

Serves: makes 20 fritters
Ingredients
1 teaspoon dried yeast
300mls tepid milk
350g flour
3 eggs, beaten
75 mls fish sauce
4 coriander roots, well washed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 hot green chillis, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1.5 kg mussels, steamed open in a little water, shells discarded,
tongues pulled out, meat thinly sliced.
vegetable oil for frying.
Method
Sprinkle the yeast on the milk and set aside until the yeast has dissolved, mix well. Stir in the flour, eggs and fish sauce.
Process or pound the coriander root, garlic and chillis to a paste and mix well into the batter mix. Stir in the coriander leaves. Set aside in a warm place for about 30 minutes until bubbly.
Just before making the fritters, stir in the mussel meat and fry spoonfuls in hot oil until browned on both sides and well cooked.

Mussel Fritters Recipe

Cook Eat | Fresh Vege Tortellini w/ Carbonara Sauce

You will need;

1 pack Signature Range fresh spinach and cheese tortellini

1 x pot of fresh Delmaine Carbonara sauce

1 large tomato

1/2 yellow capsicum / bell pepper

6 mushrooms

1 zucchini

1 head broccoli

garlic to taste

Sautee zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic in a tablespoon of EVOO.  I had a couple of leftover lamb sausages so I chopped these up and threw them in as well.

Get pasta boiling, should only take around 6min

Steam broccoli

chop tomato

heat sauce

Throw together in bowls.

DEVOUR.