Thursday, February 28, 2013

Monday dinner #1 - Lamb and Plum Tagine

I got this recipe from the coles magazine (love free recipes!). 
Dad was a little disappointed with the beans, but seemed to enjoy it! Mum enjoyed it as well, and there will be a 'next time' - SUCCESS!

Tagine - sans mint yoghurt (the photo was being ruched by the hungry people at the table waiting to eat.

Lamb and Plum Tagine

1kg boneless lamb leg steaks
1 tspn olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1tspn cumin
1 thumb finely grated ginger
2 tspn paprika
1 cinnamon stick (not in the pantry so I didn't use)
3 cardamom pods (I used a tspn ground cardamom)
1c chicken or vegetable stock (I used veg)
400g sweet potato cut into cubes
125g green beans trimmed and halved
5 firm plums, cut into wedges
Rice to serve
Coriander leaves to garnish

Trim excess fat from lamb and cut into bite sized pieces.
Heat oil in a large frypan (with a lid) and add onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and paprika. Stir, until onion is soft. Add meat and stir.
Pour all the stock in and stir well, bring it to a simmer, then put the lid on and leave it for around an hour - or until meat is tender.
Stir frequently to ensure the mix doesn't burn - can add extra water or stock.
Once meat is tender, add the sweet potato and cook for around 15 minutes, or until slightly soft.
Add green beans and plums. Cook for a further 10 minutes - until beans are done.

Remove from heat, top with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.

I used vege stock, and I think chicken stock would add more flavour.
I also added around 2c of water extra - as it became too thick and started to stick/burn to pan.
You could substitute beans for any vegetables - zucchini, capsicum etc.
This dish could be served with cous cous instead of rice.
I also made a mint yoghurt with this dish - which went really well.

Paul attacking me with beans. yes. beans.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A short introduction to monday dinners

I've moved back home. To save money. Before I go to America. 
One of the conditions of moving back home is that I 'help out' around the house. 
I decided part of this 'helping out' would be to make dinner on monday night. That way, its easier for mum, and I get to write an awesome recipe each week! :D YAY!

Family - Dad, Mum, Luke, Me, Paul

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chai Cheesecake

One of the wonderful things about working at a cafe is that you get free food. Sometimes, you get free samples - of white chocolate frappe mix, chai powder or royal icing. There were 4 packets of chai powder that had been sitting around for almost 6 months under the coffee machine. They got moved to the staff table, and after sitting around there for a few weeks, I decided to take them home.

So, what to do with the chai powder? The first thing I thought of was chai cheesecake. Yes, you may shudder, but really, I think its a great idea. Creamy cheese goodness with spices and a slight caramel taste...yes...yes!

I don't like gelatine cheesecakes, so this is a baked cheesecake - sans gelatine.

Chai cheesecake with blueberries!

Chai Cheesecake

250g packet plain biscuits (I like arnotts nice biscuits)
125g butter

500g cream cheese
1/2c castor sugar
1 tspn vanilla
3 eggs
1 Tbspn cornflour
300mL sour cream
35g of chai powder
2 Tbsp hot water

Crush biscuits in food processor (or place in a bag and SMASH with a rolling pin).
Melt butter and add crushed biscuits. Mix well. You may need to add a little more butter - the biscuits should clump together when rolled into a ball.
Press butter mix into a lined 25cm tin (springform is best) and put in fridge to set.
Preheat oven to 160C.
Place cream cheese in a bowl and beat well - until lighter and smoother.
While that is beating, mix chai powder and water in a small bowl to make a thick paste. Add the sour cream in and stir well.
Back to the cream cheese - rain the castor sugar in slowly.
Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time then cornflour, beating well between each addition.
Add the chai sour cream to the cream cheese mix, beat in well.
Remove the base from the fridge, and pour the cream cheese mix over.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until middle is firm.

Serve with fresh cream and fruit!

-You can make mini cheesecakes using a well greased muffin tin. Place the mini cheesecakes in patty pans once cooked to help maintain shape.
-Cheesecake can be frozen for later use!

My babcias mixer - still going strong!

I had too much bicuit, so made an extra cake - but then didnt have enough mix! It was very thin.

Mini cheesecake fun!