Stormy Night Crispy Fish and Mash! (dairy and gluten free too!)

Hello!
Well here in Perth it just won’t stop raining! The last two days we have been battered by storms, lashing rain and crazy winds – I know we need the rain but when will it end?! Not for the next 6 days apparently! Oh well, time to snuggle down on the couch, in the uggs and watch Masterchef ( As if Danni wouldn’t use her immunity pin..pffft)!
So given the weather, I was feeling like some wintery comfort food and decided to “healthy-ize” fried fish and mash. It turned out awesome! This is a great low carb, low fat recipe and can be done gluten and dairy free. This recipe will feed 2-3 people.
I’ll apologize in advance for the AWFUL formatting! I typed up the content in another program and it kinda messed it all up.. boooo.
ENJOY! And as always let us know if you make one of our recipes!
Low Carb Mash

1/2 -3/4 head of cauliflower

splash of milk of choice (I use soy)
Seasonings of choice: salt, pepper or garlic salt, smoked paprika to sprinkle on top or even some cheese to stir through!
1. Boil the cauliflower until soft but don’t overcook it to the mushy stage! This is quite important as it means that the mash has a lovely sweetness to it at the end.
2. When cooked, drain and puree in a food processor or with a whizzy stick thing (I found the latter more successful!) with a splash of milk. You want it to resemble mash potatoes so don’t add too much liquid. If you aren’t so worried about the low-fat thing, puree up with some butter. mmmmmmm butter
3. Add seasonings to taste and stir well.
Some people will take the extra step and bake the mash to thicken it up but I find that it you are careful with the amount of liquid you add, this isn’t necessary.
Polenta Crusted Fish
400g of firm white fish – I bought some ribaldo deep sea cod from New Zealand. I had never heard of it before so of course had to buy it – turns out it was perfect for this dish!
1 egg
plain flour (I used gluten free)
fine polenta
seasonings
Olive oil spray
1. Heat up a grill pan.
2. Lightly whisk the egg in a bowl. Put seasoned flour and lightly seasoned polenta on two separate plates.
3. Coat fish fillets in flour, then dip in whisked egg and then coat in polenta.
4. Lightly spray each fillet on both sides with the olive oil and cook on your grill pan – about 20 minutes should do it. Turn the piece of fish halfway through. The polenta will start to crisp up and turn a golden brown
5. Remove from heat and serve. I added a nice dollop of whole egg mayo :)
It’s really important that each piece of fish is an even thickness so that it cooks evenly. The piece I had started off fat and tailed off skinny to I cut it up in portions that ensured that the entire portion was roughly the same thickness. The fat piece went onto the grill pan a few minutes before the skinny pieces. Also make sure the polenta crust is seasoned well or it could taste a little bland.
Be creative with the polenta crust. Things like herbs, lemon rind, parmesan cheese will give it an extra kick.
Oh and don’t forget your greens….

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Gluten Free Grain Salad with Labne

Howdy everyone! Recently I was asked to do some mini-catering for a wine judging event where one of the judges was a “gluten-free aquatarian” which is exactly how I like to eat. I was inspired to adapt a grain salad recipe I had made a few weeks before, which featured in the latest Gourmet Traveller, into something suitable for anyone who is “gluten free”.

The salad is wonderfully easy, nutritious, filling and low fat. It’s perfect as a main or as a side dish.

Quinoa is extremely high in protein. Amaranth, an ancient aztec seed, is also high in protein as well as iron and calcium.

Labne is a cheese made from yoghurt. It’s very easy and versatile and can be rolled into balls and coated with herbs for a great snack.

The salad will last for days in the fridge so it’s fantastic dish to make up in big batches. The fruit actually rehydrates and goes deliciously plump! I have even been heating up my left overs and eating it for breakfast!

What you need (for about 4 people)

200g of wild rice (you will need to soak this for 4-6hrs before cooking)

100 – 150g each of quinoa, amaranth and green lentils

100g each of almonds, dried apricots and sultanas chopped roughly

200g of greek yogurt

olive oil

salt

lemon

parsley

dukkah

What you do:

For the labne:

The night before you intend to make the dish: Get a CLEAN chux, line a sieve with it, place sieve over a bowl. Place greek yogurt in lined sieve and leave it to drain overnight. The water from the yogurt will drain out and you will be left with a lovely cream cheese like product. It’s really important that the yogurt is the full fat stuff!

For the salad:

1. After soaking the wild rice for 4-6hrs, add to a pot of boiling salted water and cook until tender but still a bit chewy. This will take about 45mins. Drain and refresh under cold water.

2. Boil the lentils for about 15minutes until tender but not soft and soggy. Drain and re-fresh under cold water.

3. Dry roast the quinoa for about 2 minutes. This will enhance it’s wonderful nutty flavour. Boil the  dry roasted quinoa in boiling salted water for about 10minutes. Drain and re-fresh under cold water.

4. Boil the amaranth for about 5 minutes. Drain and re-fresh under cold water.

5. Combine all the grains in a large bowl.

6. Add the chopped fruit and nuts and about 2 tablespoons of parsley. Feel free to add more parsley if you like but I prefer not to have it too overpowering (which sometimes parsley can do!).

7. Season with olive oil and salt. Don’t to be too shy with the olive oil, a couple of table spoons is fine! Add some lemon juice to taste.

8. Mix well! Place in serving dish and sprinkle with dukkah.

9. Quenelle a couple of tablespoons of labne and place on top.

VOILA!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Low Fat Winter Warmer for One!

Hi Gang!

Apologies from me also about the really long break in between blogging – as with Mimi, work has been outta control leaving me little time to share all the yummies I have been making lately.

I just randomly made up tonights dinner and I thought I would post the recipe incase any of you wanted to give it a go. It’s freezing cold, I’m home alone without my car and therefore had to get creative with the few meagre ingredients to be found in the house!

Mushroom and Red Wine Soup

What you need:

small brown onion – roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped

2 large field mushrooms – as above!

splash of red wine

200mls of vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

soy milk/light evaporated milk*

chopped parsley

*choose which ever you like. I used soy. If you want to ditch the low fat thing, use cream.

What you do:

Fry onion for a few minutes until it starts to go golden brown. Add garlic and continue to fry. Add your splash of red wine and let the onion/garlic cook for a minute or so. Chuck in mushrooms and let them soak in wine goodness. Pour in stock and bayleaf. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the mushrooms are cooked and soft.

Remove from heat, remove the bayleaf and puree. The soup will be quite thick and a fairly ugly colour (which is why there are no pics!)

Add soy/evap milk/cream until the soup is a consistency you like.

Add some cracked pepper and the chopped parsley.

VOILA! Enjoy!

It was super tasty and so good for you!

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Winter comfort… cheese delish!

(By Mimi)

Good evening to you all!

It’s been a while… Now that I have a job I seem to have less time on my hands, who would have thought! But I’m back with a winter warmer for the cold days, ahhh… and what else could it be but cheese?! I had been talking to one of my Swiss friends about Fondue and Raclette today and suddenly felt like melted cheese! So I went out to buy some Raclette cheese at Kakulas’ Sister but unfortunately they didn’t have it… so I remembered that Woolies has got Fondue and I thought “That’ll do!”

Original Caquelon (pan) and Rechaud (burner and frame)

Being Swiss I like pretty much everything cheesy. And for those of you who don’t know yet what Fondue is, now is the perfect season (at least on our side of the world!) and here’s a brief lesson of history:

The cheese Fondue is known since the ancient times. People melted old dried out cheese, added white wine and dipped the old bread  in it. The Fondue was born – a meal of leftovers. It originates in the regions of Western (French) Switzerland and the  French Savoyes and in the 1950s Fondue became popular in Swiss kitchens. The Cheese Union at the time made sure that Fondue was liked in Switzerland. Today, many different recipes exist and I believe there are no limits to what you add to your cheese… originally it is made with white wine, alternatively cider, champagne, beer, red wine or just hot water is added depending what kind of cheese you use. And there are many varieties of what ingredients you add to the cheese too: tomatoes, cumin, bacon or eggs… the possibilities are endless! Depending what region you come from people use different kinds of cheeses. The important most thing about them is the fat percentage in the cheese. However, they all have one thing in common: the Kirsch (Cherry Schnapps). The most used cheeses are Gruyère, Appenzeller and Vacherin.

My favourite Fondue is the Moitié-Moitié (Half-Half) made of Vacherin and Gruyère cheese to same parts. Even though I did not make one of those today I want to share the recipe with you, just in case you come across a Deli that sells the right cheese…

Cheese Fondue Moitié-Moitié [mwah-tier] – or so  ☺

What you need to serve 6:   

- 2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced

- 400 ml of white wine (high acidity is preferable)

- 400 g Gruyère cheese, grated

- 400 g Vacherin Fribourgeois, grated

- approx. 4 teaspoons corn starch

- a little glass of Kirsch (about 20-30ml, to taste)

- black pepper, freshly ground

- a little ground nutmeg

- 500-800 g of (yesterday’s) bread, don’t use toast, it’s to weak to hold the cheese.

Alternatively you can use boiled potatoes

What you do:

Ream the Caquelon (pan) with garlic. Mix in the wine, cheese and corn starch and let the cheese melt and bring to boil, stiring continuously over medium heat so the cheese does not set at the bottom of the pan. Then reduce heat, the Fondue should not boil anymore. Add the Kirsch and spices to liking. Now place the Caquelon (pan) on the rechaud (“tea pot warmer” or burner, see in picture) and serve. Dip bread or potatoes in the melted goodness and enjoy!!!

TIP: if children join dinner you can replace the wine and Kirsch by apple juice and a bit of lemon juice to get the right acidity. And the best liquid companion for Fondue is a nice and crisp white wine with high acidity level or nice hot tea. You may also try “Glühwein” (mulled wine)! Recipe for that coming up soon, stay tuned…

Special forks are used to dip the bread, here are some examples.

Well, now if you like me just felt the sudden urge to have a last minute Fondue you find pre-mixed packs in the supermarket or your Deli. Here in Perth the Re-Store, Woolworths and Hela’s (butcher in South Fremantle) have it and I am sure that there are more places where you can find it. And it’s easy, just follow the instructions. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy this dish, be aware though, it is quite a meal! Heavy and filling. So if you’re not used to it you may ay well have a little glass of Kirsch after dinner to dissolve the heavy mass in your tummy.

Dinner for one – My delish improvised Fondue!

The crust, yumm yumm…!

Let me know when you try this out and send photos! It may sound complicated, but as you can see in my picture, you can improvise and don’t even need the original Caquelon and rechaud. Use a hot plate and a cooking pan (non stick is very useful). And make sure the cheese sets only slightly at the bottom of the pan so you’ll have a nice crust that you can eat at the very end…yummm! Some people even crack in an egg at the end and mix the last bit of cheese and make a little scrambled egg, that is soooo good!!

Well, that’s all for now. Warm your winter nights with a bit of cheesy goodness and imagine yourself in the beautiful setting of the Swiss Alps… makes me wanna be home just now!

Stay tuned for more winter warmers, coming soon!

Thanks, Mimi

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Random Goodness!

Get inspired to cook up a feast this weekend with some random photo goodness!

 Sports Mad Dad Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

Roast sweet potato, bocconcini, spinach, pinenut and gogi berry salad

Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti

Brigadeiros!

 Caprese Salad!

Caiparinhas!

And most importantly enjoy with good friends:

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The Wait is Over! Geraldines coming at ya!

(by Chris)

So finally, after years and years of making these, I am going to share the recipe for my famous Geraldines – and they are embarrasingly easy to make – you just need some patience!

What you need:

Dried fruit – I never measure this which is a bit silly but maybe 250g? I love going to Kakulas here in Perth and getting the Berry Mix and the Apple/Apricot/Sultana mix and combining them (I’m an orange peel hater)

400g dark chocolate

200-300g milk chocolate

some white chocolate

rum or liquer of choice

200g almond meal

tin of condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup coconut

*Note that the amount of chocolate you need can vary depending on how much you coat them in. I almost always am running down to the shops to get extra because I like to make the coating super think!

What you do:

Combine fruit and alcohol in bowl. I put in enough so that they get a good coverage – don’t be shy! My rum of choice is gold bacardi which is really hard to find here in Perth. This time I used Captain Morgans Spiced Rum.. I’d counsel against using white rums such as normal bacardi as the flavour I think is just too intense. Brandy, contrieau or even Malibu would also work well.

Now here is my secret which was not part of the original recipe: I soak my fruit for 3 days.

I will give it a good stir once or twice a day to make sure that the alcohol soakage is even. Sometimes if most of the rum is soaked up, I will chuck in a bit more on the second day. On day three you will end up with plump fruit with some gorgeous thick fruity alcoholic liquid and that real alcohol bite mostly gone.

Of course you don’t have to soak it for 3 days. If you are going to whip these up today or tomorrow an hour or so will do.

Combine the fruit (including any alcohol in the bowl), coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and almond meal. Melt 200g of the dark chocolate and add to mix. Combine all ingredients really well. Roll into balls and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes. **Late edit – to make rolling into balls easier rub some butter on your hands… this will mean the mixture wont stick to your hands as much!

Melt the rest of the dark chocolate and the milk chocolate. I will melt the chocolate the old-fashioned way – in a bowl over some simmering water. The trick is to make sure it bowl doesn’t get too hot otherwise your chocolate will thicken and go hard.

I like to combine the dark and milk chocolate but you don’t have to. The great thing about the recipe is that it is easily adaptable so if you prefer all dark or all milk go for it.

Remove the balls from the freezer and roll in chocolate one at a time. This is fairly time-consuming but it will produce the best results. I like to make sure they have a nice thick chocolate layer and will usually drizzle extra chocolate over them while they are on the tray to give them a nice thick crunch coating.

Once you have coated them, put them back in the freezer for them to set. While they are in the freezer melt some white chocolate.

White chocolate can be a real pain to melt. It’s important to buy good quality white chocolate. If you find that the chocolate wont melt and is paste like add some cream and mix well. This will turn it into ganache and produces a really thick bright white chocolate to decorate with – it actually looks prettier than just the plain white chocolate! If you are super brave add one or two very tiny drops of food colouring (I used pink and yellow). Again be super careful because the addition of a water based substance will turn your chocolate into paste – if it does add some cream and mix well.

I will get a fork or a spoon and drizzle the white chocolate over the tray.

You can get super creative and sprinkle or roll in nuts or 100s and 1000s or coconut. You could also add nuts to the mixture as well.

You can see from this pic the difference between the white chocolate ganache versions to the plain white chocolate version on the left…

So there you have it! Geraldines! Guaranteed to impress and keep people begging for more – they are totally addictive!

Oh and for those who are curious about the name the story is pretty simple. I had been making these babies for years. A friend at the time who was scoffing them at a dinner party thought it was a shame that I kept referring to them as “hand-made chocolates” and insisted they be christened.. for some reason the name Geraldine popped into his head, and it stuck… yes weird I know.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy making this recipe – send me some pics if you do!

Have a happy and safe Easter break everyone and we will see you on the other side of this chocolate covered holiday!

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Hop hop hop…!

(By Mimi)

Gooood Morning Everyone – Happy EASTER toYou All!

Wow! Are you ready for a seriously long weekend? (At least in Aussie Land that is, sorry my friends overseas, we get 1 more day this year!)

Be prepared to go shopping today, as tomorrow the shops are closed and you may want to have a great meal ready to surprise your loved ones on this special weekend! And I do have some Swiss Easter ideas for you if you’re up for it!

Easter in Switzerland has many traditions, depending which part of the country you’re in. Besides colourful hard boiled Easter eggs and the conventional “Eiertütsch” (Easter egg bashing where people bash boiled eggs one on one and whichever egg cracks first, loses), the Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday and of course chocolate Easter bunnies, there are traditions such as eating fish on Good Friday; hand out bread wine and cheese (I like this one!); and walks up to the hill top to watch the sunrise on Easter Monday (don’t think I’ve ever done that… ;))

Naturally, I would like to introduce you to another popular Easter tradition that involves food! It is sweet and it’s called the Easter Pie and can either be made with rice or semolina. Today I will tell you how to make rice Easter Pie. It’s simple and a little time consuming… but definitely worth it!!

Swiss Easter Pie (serves 8-10)

What you need:

Dough ingredients:      

250 g  white flour

125 g butter

1         egg

1 pinch of salt

3 tablespoons of water, maybe a bit more

3 tablespoons of raspberry jam, maybe a bit more

Filling ingredients:         

500 ml milk

½  teaspoon of salt

100g Arborio rice (or any other round grain rice)

3         egg yolks

150 g sugar

100 g curd cheese

50 ml crème

60 g sultanas, washed & drained

2 tablespoons lemon zest

100 g almonds, peeled and chopped

3         egg whites

You will need icing sugar for dusting and a 26 cm round spring form tin.

What you do:                                  

For the dough:

-          Sift the flour into a bowl, form a hole in the middle and add the soft butter in little pieces

-          Add egg, salt and water and knead a firm dough

-          Form a ball, press flat a little and wrap in Glad-wrap, leave to chill in fridge for about 60 minutes

For the filling:

-          Bring to boil  the milk and salt, add the rice and cook the rice on low heat for 20-25 minutes whilst stirring from time to time. Then let the

cooked rice cool down

-          Butter the spring form and roll the dough about 4mm thick

-          Place the dough into form and form a rim along the tin wall

-          Stab the dough on the bottom several times with a fork and spread the raspberry jam evenly over it

-          Mix well together egg yolks and half of the sugar until creamy, then mix in curd cheese and crème

-          Add sultanas, lemon zest and almonds to eggs and then mix everything into the milky rice

-          Beat the egg whites together with rest of sugar until it’s a smooth mass

-          Fold in carefully the egg whites into the rice mixture

-          Then spread the mixture over the dough in tin

Bake the pie in pre-heated oven at 220°C for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 200°C and continue baking for 25-30 minutes. Take the pie out and leave to stand for 3-4 minutes before removing the tin and let to cool on a cooling rack. Dust the pie with icing sugar just before serving and serve at room temperature.

Tip: You can also make little pies to serve individually; just reduce baking time until well baked.

What the Swiss also looove (and not just for Easter Sunday, but EVERY Sunday!!) is a special white bread made with butter and yeast and plated to look very pretty. It’s a tradition on our breakfast tables on the weekend, you used to be only able to buy it on weekends (bakeries still only sell them Fridays to Sundays) and we are very excited about the “Zopf”!

Swiss breakfast bread – the “Zopf“

What you need for 2 breads, about 800 g each:

  • 1 kg white flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 20 to 30 g  yeast, broken in small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 125 g butter, soft
  • 650 to 700ml milk
  • 1 yellow of an egg, diluted

 What you do:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl, add yeast, sugar, butter and milk, knead soft dough. Needs about 10 minutes by hand, 4 to 5 minutes when using a machine. Cover and let grow for about one hour until size has doubled.
  2. Cut dough in two or four pieces of the same size. Weave as shown below.
  3. Put bread on a sheet metal, covered with backing paper, sweep with water. Let grow again for about 30 to 60 minutes.
  4. Before baking, sweep with the yellow of an egg.
  5. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes in the lower part of the pre-heated oven at about 200 degree Celsius.

You know the Zopf is done when you take it out of the oven, turn it and knock on the bottom side: if it sounds hollow, it’s done!

Serve within 2 to 3 days.

How to weave a Zopf:

There are many different ways to weave a Zopf, two are shown below. The easier way is to use two pieces of dough, a more difficult way requires 4 pieces.

Zopf made out of two pieces of dough:


Cut dough in two pieces of the same size. Twiddle each to an approx. 60 cm (24 inches) long roll, thinner towards the ends. Cross in the center as shown above. Put top right end to left low and low left end to top right, again as shown above. Then put top left end to right below and low right end to top left. Continue until no more dough is left. Press ends and put below bread.

Zopf made out of four pieces of dough:


Cut dough in four pieces of the same size. Twiddle each to an approx. 30 cm (12 inches) long roll. Put ends together as shown above on the very left. Put the first roll on the left across the second roll on the right, again as shown above. Then put the first roll on the right across the second roll on the left. Contine until no more dough is left. Press ends together and put below bread.

Now, I hope you enjoyed these ideas and I’m looking forward to hear how you went if you try the recipes. And as always, please send photos of  your work for everyone to share! I’d be interested in how it went.

I’ll be making the pie for Easter sunday breakfast for sure, wondering what my friends think of it.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter weekend and now go hunt those eggs…!


(I appologize for the confusing layout… I could not change that unfortunately)

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