Cuisine

18th May
2011
written by Nibblish

Fancy cooking something French and really special? Try this iconic French dish of beef, stewed with lovely vegetables and herbs in wine which are then strained off, reduced and thickened to create a densely flavoured, smooth and silky sauce. Yes, if you’re feeling lazy, you could technically skip the sauce straining steps, but then it would just end up being a lovely stew, not a true boeuf Bourguignon! I personally think the extra step makes all the difference!

French Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Ingredients (4 people)

200g bacon, solid chunk cut into lardons
800g braising steak, cut into cubes
2 tbsp flour
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
12 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 cups red wine (ideally Bordeaux)
2-3 cups beef stock (enough to cover)
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, mashed
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
200g mushroom, quartered
50g unsalted butter
olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
Potatoes, roasted or mashed (to serve)
Crusty bread (to serve)

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan, sauté the lardons for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned and set aside on a plate.

2. Coat the pieces of beef in flour, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides in the bacon fat and olive oil. Set aside with the bacon. Again, in the same oil/fat, sauté the shallots, garlic and the carrot until softened. Set aside with the meat.

Boeuf Bourguignon recipe first step

3. Deglaze the frying pan with the wine, pour it into an oven-proof casserole along with the meat, lardons, shallots, garlic, carrots and add enough stock to almost cover the mix. Stir in the tomato paste and add the parsley, sage and half the thyme. Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove, cover and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 120 degrees and simmer slowly for 3 hours to 4 hours, or until a fork pierces the meat easily.

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

4. In the meantime, start preparing the mushrooms. Heat a spoonful of butter and a spoonful of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. As soon as the foam begins, add the mushrooms and a sprig of thyme, season with salt and pepper, toss and sauté for about five minutes until brown and set aside until ready to use. You may also want to start preparing the side of potato at this stage.

5. When the stew meat is tender, remove all solids from the sauce by draining through a sieve set over a saucepan. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole, discarding the bits of carrot, shallots and herbs which remain in the sieve.

6. Skim the fat off the sauce and simmer it for a minute or two. You should be left with about 2-3 cups of rich, dark sauce, thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thin, stir in a spoonful of flour and boil it down to reduce to the right thickness. If it’s too thick, add a bit of stock.Taste for seasoning before serving.

7. Pour the sauce over the side and garnish with fresh parsley to serve.

Boeuf Bourguignon served

If serving later, simply allow the casserole to cool before placing it in the refrigerator. Place over medium heat and simmer very slowly for ten minutes, occasionally stirring the meat with the sauce.

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1st May
2011
written by Nibblish

The first time I had Pavlova, or even heard of it as a matter of fact, was 3 years ago as I was celebrating my first Australian Christmas. And I have to say, good on ya Aussies! It may be dead simple, but it’s bloody tasty!

Ingredients: (serves 6)

5 eggwhites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp cornstach
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup thickened cream
3-4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
100g fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 small bunch of fresh mint (to serve)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Whisk the egg-whites with cream of tartar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until fully dissolved and the mixture looks thick and glossy. Finish the last spoon of sugar with the cornstarch. Fold in the vanilla extract.

pavolva

2. Draw one large 24cm or 6 small circles on a sheet of baking paper and place it on a baking tray. Spoon meringue onto the circle on the baking paper and shape it into a circle, using the pencil mark as a guide.

3. Reduce oven to 100°C and bake for 90 minutes or until dry and crisp. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let the pavlova cool completely to avoid it to sink during cooling. In the meantime, whip the cream until thick and rich.

4. Slide pavlova onto a serving plate, cover with cream, top with sliced fruit and a sprig of mint. Serve.

I like to make little individual pavlovas instead of a large one because it tends to be a bit crispier and also looks really elegant on the plates. You can prepare the meringue base a couple days ahead and store it in an airtight container and put it together in 5 minutes just before serving!

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22nd April
2011
written by Nibblish

This is the perfect winter comfort food, rich and flavourful mix of fresh herbs and spices, with the perfect balance between sweet and zesty. If you take the time to marinate the meat the day before and cook it slowly for at least 2 hours, the meat will literrally fall off the bone. Serve with cous cous for a complete meal.

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Ingredients: Serves 4

4 lamb shanks, excess fat trimmed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 onions, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 bunch of coriander
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
6 chat potatoes, peeled and cut in half
4 vine ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced
75 g dried apricots
2 tbsp clear honey
3 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
Couscous (to serve)
Lemon (to serve)
Greek yoghourt (to serve)

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Instructions:

1. Place the ground ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika and chilli powder into a bowl and mix together. Season the lamb shanks with a splash of olive olive oil, a good pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and rub in the spice mix. Set aside for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge if you can.

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2. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees. Place the garlic cloves, coriander stalks (save the leaves), 2 onions and 2/3 of the red chilli in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add lamb pieces to brown and set aside. Add the spice paste to the remaining oil and fry gently for 3 minutes.

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4. Add carrots, the remaining onion, potatoes, tomatoes, apricots and turn over a few times in the spice mixture. Season with Salt and pepper.

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5. Transfer the mixture to a Tagine dish if you have one or a large air tight and over proof dish. Place the lamb on top, add the bay leaves, honey and enough stock to almost cover the meat. Cook in the oven for 2 hours.

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6. Serve with couscous and sprinkle with coriander leaves, red chili, a couple of lemon wedges and a dollop of Greek yoghourt.

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Click here if you would like to see the Nibblish Beef Tagine Recipe!

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18th April
2011
written by Nibblish

This Donna Hay inspired pudding looks absolutely gorgeous, yet it’s so easy to make you will really struggle to mess it up! ;0) The only trick is to start on the jelly early to give it enough time to set.

Ingredients: (4 serves)

1 raspberry jelly sachet
100g fresh raspberries
4 macarons (store bought)
1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp sugar
Coconut flakes to serve (optional)

Donna hay Trifle Ingredients

instructions:

1. Make the raspberry jelly according to the packet’s instructions. Arrange 4-5 raspberries in the bottom of each of the 4 serving glasses and pour over the raspberry jelly. Place in the fridge to set for at least 4-5 hours.

Trifle Donna Hay jelly

2. To assemble, place a macaron in each glass on the jelly. Whisk the thickened cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds peaks and layer over the macaron. Top up with a couple of fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of coconut flakes. You’re done!

Donna hay Macaron Trifle recipe

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14th April
2011
written by Nibblish

Ice-cream hidden in a crispy choux pastry ball, covered in chocolate sauce. Can you think of anything better, seriously?

Chocolate Profiteroles with vanilla ice-cream and Chocolate sauce

Instructions

Vanilla Ice-cream
25g unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1 pinch of salt
100g chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Instructions

1.Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Bring butter, water and 1 pinch of salt to boil, stirring well until the butter is melted.

2. Pour the flour all at once in the butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined and until it forms a ball. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

3. Whisk in the eggs, but one at a time until well combined.

4. Cover a large tray with baking paper. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag and pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a ziplock bag and cut off the corner.

5. Bake for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden. Try not to open the oven until it’s cooked or your pastry may run rise as desired.

6. Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Using a skewer or a small knife, prick each profiterole once and return the to the oven for 15 minutes to dry out.

7. To prepare the sauce, break the chocolate into rough pieces and melt it in a pan. Pour the cream in and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and fully combined. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt, a splash of cognac if you wish and mix well.

8. To assemble the profiteroles, halve each choux horizontally, fill with a ball of ice-cream. Place 3 on each plate, over some whipped cream and drizzle generously with chocolate sauce.

The same choux pastry recipe can be used for eclairs.

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14th April
2011
written by Nibblish

Kids absolutely love ice-cream sandwiches, and so do most grown up men! Why don’t you try this out next time to make a batch of cookies?

Chocolate cookies, ice-cream sandwich recipe

Ingredients:

125g dark chocolate, melted
50g cocoa, sieved
1 cup flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g soft butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g Chocolate chips
Vanilla Ice-cream

Instructions:

1. Make chocolate cookies according the recipe instructions, but replace the macadamia nuts for chocolate chips and use a round mould to shape the dough before baking to ensure all cookies are identical.

chocolate cookie recipe

2. Fill the round mould with Ice cream using a spatula to form a layer of the same size as the cookies. Place it between two cookies and return it back to the freezer!

I usually store them in individual freezing bags for up to a few weeks!

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10th April
2011
written by Nibblish

Croque Madame, or “crispy miss” is a tweaked version of the classic French “Croque Monsieur” more commonly referred to as “croque” in most French bistros. The addition of the fried egg and bechamel sauce on top turns it from a Monsieur to a Madam… it’s a sensational Sunday brunch option!

Croque Monsieur, croque Madame, French brunch

Ingredients: (serves 4)
8 slices sandwich bread
4 tbsp hot mustard
200g, freshly sliced ham
60g Gruyere cheese, finely sliced
4 tbsp butter, softened
40g Gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons oil
4 eggs

Béchamel:
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions:

1. Preheat the grill to 150 degrees and divide the sliced ham and cheese evenly into 4 portions. Spread the mustard on 4 slices of bread, cover with ham and with cheese. Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the cheese and spread the butter over the outside surfaces of the sandwiches.

2. To prepare the bechamel sauce, melt the butter into a small sauce pan and whisk in the flour until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk and continue whisking and cook until the sauce is smooth, and thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

3. Place the sandwiches on an ungreased baking sheet and grill for about 3 minutes on each side, turn them over, cover with a layer of bechamel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and continue cooking until they are crispy and golden brown.

4. In the meantime, pre-heat oil in a large frying pan and fry the eggs. Place a fried egg on each sandwich and serve hot.

For a classic croque-monsieur, simply omit the bechamel sauce and fried egg!

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7th April
2011
written by Nibblish

Sate Bali is a popular traditional Balinese Warung in Seminyak, offering not only great food throughout the day but also an awesome authentic cooking class in the morning. The class takes place in the open air dining room of the restaurant with chef, Nyoman Sudiyasa, from 9am to 12pm. It may be a group demonstration as opposed to a “hands on” cooking class, but it’s quite informal so all participants are welcome to help with some of the small jobs. It’s also very practical and actionable, with clear instructions and suggestions of substitutes for local ingredients expected to be harder to find back home.

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An impressive ten recipes were showcased that morning, most of which were savoury dishes featuring an exciting combination of fish, chicken, pork, salads and condiments. The first recipe of the day was an authentic Balinese Spice Paste (Base Gede), a blend of spices, herbs and roots, commonly used in Balinese cuisine. Base Gede was then used in the three delicious dishes that followed: Steam Marinated Mahi Mahi, Minced Chicken in banana leaf, and Nasi Goreng. Next we made my personal favourite, the Pork in Sweet Soya Sauce, a delicious mix of pork cuts slowly cooked away in sweet soya sauce, garlic, chillies, ginger and stock for 90 minutes. Then we started preparing the sides and sauces, including Assorted Vegetables in Peanut Sauce, Green Salad of winged beans and paco ferns; Tomato Sambal, and Shallot and Lemon Grass Sambal. Both sambals can be used as condiment, sauce or dressing. The class was finally completed with a sweet treat – Coconut Pandan Pancakes, bringing a nice local tweak to an international classic!

The cost is US$40 per person, which is great value as all dishes are also sampled at the end of the session! You also get a recipe handout and drinks. Make sure you book your class a few days in advance as it’s a popular restaurant and the only cooking school in the Seminyak area!

Sate Bali
Jl Laskmana 22A (opposite Samaya resort)
Seminyak
Bali, Indonesia
+62 361 736734

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5th April
2011
written by Nibblish

This basic gnocchi recipe is really easy to follow and will give you the perfect, delicate, super soft and heavenly gnocchi which can be dressed in many different ways! A simple tomato sauce and grated cheese is a very delicious and authentic way to serve it, but you may prefer tossing it with other classic flavour combinations, such butter & sage, parm ham & ricotta, garlic & wild mushrooms, or peas & mint.

Potato gnocchi, gnocci

Ingredients: serves 4

Gnocchi
6-8 large potatoes
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup plain flour
1 pinch nutmeg, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Classic Tomato Sauce
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 handful Basil, thinly sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Parmesan, freshly grated

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Instructions:

1. Boil potatoes in salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender, drain and let is cool down for 10 minutes or so. Peel and mash the flesh while still warm and place into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the egg yolks and the flour, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and gradually add a little more flour if the mixture is still too wet and sticky to form a ball.

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2. Divide the mixture in 4-6 portions, roll each piece into a sausage shape on a floured surface and cut each into thick slices.

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3. To shape the gnocchi, place it against the back of a fork, press in and down the length of the fork. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi, dust with a bit of flour and cover with a wet cloth for up to a couple of hours or until ready to cook.

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4. To prepare the sauce, pre-heat a splash of oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, onion and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and cook gently for 5 minutes and stir in the chopped basil.

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5. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Boil the gnocchi in small batches in salted water for 2-3 minutes, scoop out with a slotted spoon as they start floating to the surface and continue until all remaining gnocchi have been cooked. Place the cooked gnocchi in the sauce and place in a baking tray. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

While a little fiddly, gnocchi can be really rewarding to make fresh as the soft little pillows will taste amazing, honestly nothing like the supermarket bought version! One last little tip, be careful not to add too much flour though as the more flour the firmer the gnocchi will be. Adding some salt to the water will prevent the gnocchi from sticking and disintegrating while cooking. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to moderate. Try and add small batches of gnocchi at a time to ensure the temperature remains stable. If you wish to freeze the gnocchi, do so before they’ve been cooked and start by laying them on a tray to prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen, you can stick them in a freezing bag to store.

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3rd April
2011
written by Nibblish

This deliciously rich and creamy chocolate mousse will please everyone, from chocolate fanatic friends to kids! While really easy to prepare, the layers and chocolate shavings will make it look more special than the more classic uniform version.

Ingredients: (4 serves)

1 cup thickened cream
100g dark chocolate
100g white chocolate
4 large eggs (or 5 small), separated
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 pinch salt
small handful dark chocolate shavings

Instructions:

1. Whisk cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks form.

2. Melt the dark chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat, season with a pinch of salt, whisk in 2 egg yolks and fold in half of the whipped cream.

3. Repeat with white chocolate, but melting it in a splash of warm cream on very low heat to avoid caramelising it. Whisk in the egg yolks and fold in the remaining whipped cream.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a mxing bowl until soft peaks form and gradually add the sugar the mixture is thick and glossy. Fold half the egg white mixture into dark chocolate mixture until just combined. Fold the remaining egg white mixture into the white chocolate mixture until just combined.

5. Once fully cooled down, spoon the dark chocolate mixture among four glasses, top with the white chocolate mixture and sprinkle dark chocolate shavings on top. Place in fridge for 3 hours or until set.

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