Friday, October 28, 2011

Not Chocolate Ripple Biscuits

These are the most delicious chocolate biscuits I've ever made. The original recipe is from LeeJ on the Thermomix Forum. I've adapted it by doubling it and reducing the sugar, butter and bi-carb soda.
They can be easily made in a food processor or an electric mixer with a dough hook.

The following recipe makes about 100 biscuits, as I like to join them with peppermint icing. Halve it if you don't want to join them together. they look spectacular sprinkled with sifted icing sugar.

Not Chocolate Ripple Biscuits

400g plain flour
100g cocoa
1 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
450gm castor sugar
270gm butter, room temperature, cubed
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Add all dry ingredients to food processor or bowl and blend.
Add butter and eggs and mix/process until combined.
Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on trays allowing room to spread.

Press down gently with the pad of the thumb.

Bake for 13 minutes if you like a chewy texture inside the biscuit and 15 - 17 if you like your biscuits to be crunchy all the way through.
Remove from tray carefully with an egg slice as they're very soft and fragile until they cool down.

Ice with peppermint icing made with pure icing sugar. When made with pure icing sugar, icing tends to be harder and that's better for biscuits of this kind. They won't  come apart and will stay crunchy for a few days.

Only ice a dozen or so at a time. These will also freeze well un-iced.
Raspberry flavoured icing would also go well with these biscuits.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Minted Cabbage Salad

Sick and tired of boring coleslaw? Me too. I just didn't want to make a creamy coleslaw to have with our steak tonight.
After a little googling, I found an interesting Lebanese Cabbage Salad.

Not liking some of the ingredients I made a variation which is fresh and delicious. My taste tester found the salad a bit too tangy, so I add some agave syrup and this gave a delicious flavour. Honey would also be fine.
If making it without the sweetener, I'd call it "Tangy Cabbage Salad".

Minted Cabbage Salad
1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
1 red apple, cored and quartered, thinly sliced from the short end of each quarter
1/2 carrot, grated finely or sliced into very thin strips
the leaves from 4 or 5 stalks of fresh mint, chopped

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp good quality olive oil - could probably reduce to 2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp agave syrup or honey (optional)
1/4 tsp fresh crushed garlic - I use the Woolies one in the plastic jar
sprinkling white pepper

Place dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to blend. Pour into a shallow dish. Add sliced apple. This prevents it from going brown.
Mix all salad ingredients together - hands are the easiest utensils to use here. Add the apple and dressing and mix again.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Menu Plan October 3rd - 16th

This fortnight we're having:

Monday 3rd - Boeuf Bourguignon - this is my own recipe.

Tuesday 4th - Chicken & Almond Stir Fry with Hokkein Noodles 

Wednesday 5th - Salmon Patties and Salad

Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th - Steve will be having freezer meals as I'm away.

Monday 10th - Creamy Lemon Chicken & veggies

Tuesday 11th - Pork Steaks in Mustard Sauce with Braised Cabbage & Apple

Wednesday 12th - Roast Chicken 

Thursday 13th - Lasagne & Salad

Friday 14th - Left overs

Saturday 15th - at a Wedding!

Sunday 16th - BBQ at Bowls. I'll take a Mexican Bean Salad to share.

I find menu planning is working really well. I might swap meals around a little if unforeseen events occur, but I stick to the menu otherwise. 
Planning a menu means that I shop to that menu, so there's no last minute searching for some ingredient.
It also stops me buying things I think I might use and then find in the bottom of the fridge all mouldy weeks later.

Do you Menu Plan?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

Simply put, this is a beef stew with bacon, mushrooms and red wine. I just love the French name!

I like to use Gravy Beef for my stews. It has a lot of 'gristle' which, with long slow cooking, melts down and provides a delicious flavour. I cook this in my Le Creuset oval casserole as it browns the meat beautifully and is equally happy on either the stove top or in a slow oven.

Megan's Boeuf Bourguignon
2 Tbsp oil
1 kg Gravy Beef
200ml beef stock (2 tsp beef stock powder in water)
200ml red wine
2 Tbsp oil, extra
2 onions, diced
375g sliced baby mushrooms
3 slices Parma ham, pancetta or short cut bacon
1 x 440g can diced tomatoes
1 tsp black pepper
5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only or 2 tsp dried thyme

To thicken:
3 Tbsp plain flour
2 Tbsp oil

Brown diced beef in batches in hot oil. Deglaze the pan with stock and wine. Reserve, and then clean pan.
Add extra oil and sauté onions, mushrooms and ham or bacon. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low in the oven or on the stove for around 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Mix oil and flour and stir in around 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pan. Add this mixture back into the beef and stir in well. Allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so on top of stove, stirring regularly.

Serve with baby peas and whole boiled new potatoes with sour cream.

Left overs make a great pie filling.