Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bisque with Snapper, Prawn and Crab (an MKR recipe)

I must confess I am a cooking show junkie.
This recipe is one from MKR (or My Kitchen Rules). For those of you who don't know, it is a reality cooking show where couples compete against each other for a cash prize.
When one couple, Megan and Andy (aka seafood king), cooked this dish, originally Coral Trout with Prawn and Crab, they scored 57/60!

It looked heavenly and not that difficult, so of course I had to try it. 
We used Snapper as Coral Trout was not available. Neither fish is considered sustainable but actually Snapper is actually the worse of the two :(
My husband filleted his first fish.

The dish begins with a fish stock using the carcass, onion, celery, carrot, fennel, white wine and herbs.

The crab is boiled for a few minutes then all the meat reserved.

Meanwhile the base of the bisque is cooked, onion, garlic, carrot and fennel, followed by the prawn heads and shells.

The fish stock is strained into the prawn stock and cooked for almost 20 minutes before that is also strained.

You then reduce it some more and add cream, seasoning and butter to this amazing sauce.
Before serving I popped in the prawns that had been boiled briefly for a minute and the crab meat.

The fillets are cooked in the frypan, three minutes skin side down, then turn over for one, then rested while the dish assembled. 
I accompanied ours with beans, topped with the prawn and crab, surrounded by the incredible bisque. The fish is placed on topped and garnished with fennel fronds.

Seriously this dish was amazing. 
The entire family went crazy for it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lentil Chickpea Patties with Tomato, Chilli and Apple Sauce

I somehow stumbled across the gorgeous blog recently Veggie numnum, and this recipe for Lentil Patties immediately took my fancy!
What a gorgeous blog it is with vegetarian recipes sure to inspire any food lover.

Firstly chickpeas, red onion, mint, and fresh dates are pureed before folding in spices of ground cumin, sweet paprika and some oregano.

Cooked and cooled lentils are then folded through and the patties rolled into balls.

The patties are then cooked off with a little oil in a frypan.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce by blending chilli, tomato, cooked apple, cumin seeds, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, pinch of sugar and olive oil.

I served the patties on some wholemeal wraps with fresh cucumber and drizzled with the sauce.

It was delicious, the patties were soft and very tasty. An ever so slight sweetness from the dates and a touch of flavour from the spices. 
The sauce was so fresh tasting and really balanced the dish well.
An excellent recipe, I encourage you to check it out over at Veggienumnum.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pappardelle with Duck Ragu

This months edition of SBS Feast, the foodie magazine by SBS, came with a cute little recipe book complete with some amazing looking dishes from the television show Food Safari.
This recipe, by Fred Pizzini, for Duck Ragu was first on my list to try.

It is a time consuming recipe but well worth it. And really its not that difficult.
It all begins with this simple duck stock, simmer away the duck bones, onion, celery, carrot, star anise and fresh herbs for about an hour.
The fragrance of this stock is incredible.

The tomatoes are prepared by dicing (you are supposed to peel and seed as well but i guess i'm too lazy, and i don't like all the waste - although our worms wouldn't have been complaining!) then tossing in lemon juice and sugar allowing the juices to drain.

The base of the ragu is onion and garlic which are softened until beginning to caramelise.

Add the tomatoes and herbs.

You then add a little stock and tomato juice, season and simmer for about two hours. 
Keep topping up with more stock and juice as required.

The meat from the duck is cut to bite sized pieces and is browned before adding to the ragu for the last half an hour.

The pasta is prepared and cut into two centimetre wide strips. 

I allowed the strips to dry out for about fifteen minutes before cooking for three minutes in a big pot of boiling salted water.

The pasta was then tossed through the rich, thick and moist ragu.

It was sensational, well worth the effort. 
There was a richness and intensity in the sauce, the duck was tender, moist and flavoursome, and the papperdelle, well it was amazing. So silky, soft and tasty. 
My sister-in-law said it was the best pasta she has ever eaten.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ginger Biscuits filled with Lemon, Ginger and White Pepper Buttercream

In the most recent edition of SBS Feast magazine is this lovely recipe by Matthew Evans for Ginger Creams. My parents were visiting and so I had the perfect excuse to bake this indulgent snack.

Yes the main ingredient is butter, 200g, beaten with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg until pale and fluffy.

Combine the sifted flours (200g plain flour and 50g cornflour) with the butter and roll into balls.

Press down with two fingers and bake for 15 minutes at 180C.

Allow to firm up in the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Prepare the buttercream by beating 50g butter with 100g icing sugar. 
Then beat in 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Join your biscuits together and enjoy! 
The white pepper in the icing actually works really well, it just brings out the ginger flavour.