Monday, December 15, 2008

Carrot cake

4 eggs
1 cup brown/white sugar
125g melted butter (I like it salted)
1 cup milk
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 or 4 cups grated carrots (how carroty do you want to be? :D)
1 cup raisins

Beat eggs till fluffy. Add sugar. Beat. Add melted butter. Beat. Add milk. Mix. Add baking powder and flour. Mix. Ad cinnamon. Mix. Add carrots and raisins. Mix. Bake in greased tin at 200C for 30-40 min. Keep an eye on it!


No tahini but we did it anyway!

8-10 cloves garlic
2 and a half to three cups of boiled chana/garbanzos/chick peas
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs sesame seeds
salt to taste
lemon juice
water to get consistency

Toss the garlic and sesame seeds in 1 tbs oil for about 5 minutes. Put everything in a blender. Whizz. Add water to ger desired consistency. Remove, drizzle with lemon juice. Eat.


Strange pesto it is too.

2 cups of basil leaves - pack them in as tight as possible
1/2 cup of whole cashews
4 cloves of garlic
roughly 4 tbs olive oil (I just put it in to keep the consistency)

Stick in blender/food processor. Whizz till you get the consistency you want. Eat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

When I was a kid this was my FAVOURITE cake, which amazed the parents since I was also pathologically addicted to cream and icing. Hee. Imagine my joy when I grew up and invented a recipe!

Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 40 min with some watching

4 eggs
250g flour
150g butter, salted (well I like the salty touch, use unsalted if you like)
150ml milk
250g sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pineapple essence
1 tin pineapple slices, drained
2 tbs sugar and tichy bit of water
An electric beater
A steel baking dish, preferably round
1 flat dish larger than the bottom of the baking dish, with about 1 inch of water

Beat the eggs, however you like. I used to separate and whatnot, but I found it makes barely any difference. I stick the beater on high and whizz em till they get frothy. Beat in the 250g sugar. Melt the butter and pour it in. Beat some more. Add milk and essence. Beat. Add flour and baking powder. Beat. When little bubbles form as you beat, you may stop.

Put the 2tbs sugar and tichy bit of water in the steel baking dish and heat on high flame till it caramelises. Use the tongs and keep turning the dish about 2 inches above the fire. The caramel can get dark. Turn off fire and put baking dish into the dish with water, making sure first that the caramel is evenly spread about the bottom. Place pineapple slices in whatever pattern you like. Eat leftover pineapple :D Pour in batter and bake at 150 deg C. If this is a stupid tiny electric oven like mine, use it on the bottom setting until the cake rises to the top of the dish. Then put on the top but watch it! I just burnt mine. Basically keep checking on it and testing with knife to see if it's cooked.

Loosen sides with a knife and upturn on a serving dish. Voila! Caramelised pineapple slices on top of cake!

Serving suggestions: custard or vanilla ice cream. Also fabulous cold the next day.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chilean Empanadas

There are many kinds of empanadas, fried, baked, corn, wheat, samosas, big flat pies.... This here is snucked from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. If you're ever in a secondhand bookstore and find one of their books, don't think, just buy it. I'm still too cheap to recommend firsthand cookbooks. Hee. Invent your filling, this here is what they use in the book. I think this is a great dough to adapt for samosas.

Makes 8 pieces. Large pieces. 1 per person should be enough.
Prep time: 25 min
Cooking time: 25 min

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed. (I used 3 of those giant baking potatoes and ended up with way too much.)
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimientos (I didn't have and result was still yummy. substituted 1 tsp paprika, but not the sweet kind.)
  • 1 cup corn; fresh, frozen or canned (drained)
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened to room temp (I used goat cheese, worked as well)
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (I used Trader Joe's Mexican blend!)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tbs vinegar (don't worry if you use a little less, it tasted too much of vinegar for me)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached wheat flour
  • 3 tbs melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil (Butter!!!)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Cook the potatoes in a pot until soft. Saute onions, peppers and season with spices. If using paprika, add now. Add corn and salt once the peppers are tender. Once tender enough, take off fire and add pimientoes. Drain and mash potatoes. Mix well with veggies and cheese.

Mix the water, vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Add flour and butter. (Yes, dry to wet, who can say why, it worked.) Work dough adding flour until it's not wildly sticky. Roll out in a long roll and divide into 8 pieces. Roll out into 6-7 inch circles. This is not easy dough cos it keeps springing back smaller. Plonk 1/8th of the filling in the centre leaving about 1/2 inch all around to fold over and seal. Scallop edges. In about 1 inch of oil (we used MUCH less. It's basically a shallow fry) fry both sides until golden. This is a good time to have a partner, one rolls and the other fries. Faster AND fun. Drain on paper towels.


They're a FANTASTIC next-day meal, on a journey, at work, whatever. very self contained, they can be eaten with minimum fuss and attention.

Cucumber and Yoghurt Soup

And no, I don't mean raita. But it would work very well as raita I think.
A dear friend of mine produced this at a dinner party a long time ago, and after much naggging she sent me the recipe. Seriously YUM, especially in the summer.

6 cups low fat plain yogurt
3 cups chopped and peeled cucumbers
2 green onions chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbls. chopped and seeded jalepeno pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor until smooth, but with some texture. Chill, season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each bowl with slices of grapefruit and avocado.

.....very very delicious!!!!

Cheap diet alternative:
Grate 1 cucumber into a bowl of yoghurt. Add salt. Eat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enchiladas Verdes

There are two ways to do this, the cheating shortcut way and the good-'ol-start-start-from-scratch way. Comin up first, the shortcut.

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Serves: 4

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 12oz bottle of tomatillo salsa (Trader Joe's for preference!). This should have tomatillos, onions, chiles and other minor ingredients.
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 tbs sour cream
For the filling:
  • 8 tbs shredded cheese (Trader Joe's Mexican blend for preference)
  • Mixed vegetables (peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, etc) cut in long strips and grilled with olive oil and salt
  • Shredded chicken
  • Beans: refried, Cuban style black, Mexican pinto, whatever
Remember that filling goes inside the tortillas and make the filling accordingly.

Preheat the over to 350F.
Toss the cilantro into a blender. Follow with garlic, salsa and lastly, sour cream. Whizz until a coarse puree is formed. If too tart, add more sour cream and a little salt.
Pour some sauce to cover the bottom of a flat baking dish. Toast the tortillas lightly in a pan, with or without oil. Spread them out, spoon in the filling and fold over to form semi-circles. Lay the tortillas in the pan, overlapping. (Put the first one in so that the circular side is up against the wall of the dish and then lay the next one with its circular side over the first one's flat side.) Spoon the rest of the sauce over them so that they're are covered. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot!

The sauce from scratch:
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 8 tomatillos
  • 8 green onions
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 tbs sour cream
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
Whizz in blender and follow the recipe as above!