Monday, August 27, 2007

Lamb with Grilled Ratatouille

I haven't posted much lately as I have been drowning in tomatoes and cucumbers and there are only so many tomato and cucumber salads one can post. However, the summer bounty from the CSA is coming to an end and I am now getting more manageable amounts. Although, I do have a lot of eggplants. This is the reason I made tonight's dinner, which allowed me to utilize some of my tomatoes, eggplants and late summer squash. The ratatouille comes from Cooking Light Grilling and I decided to serve it with lamb chops, although you could serve it with anything you like, including rice or pasta for a vegetarian dish. It was very tasty and healthy and great for utilizing that late summer produce.

Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille
(Serves 8)

1 medium eggplant, halved lengthwise (I used a small white and a small green eggplant)
1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, halved lengthwise
1 medium green bell pepper, halved
1 medium red bell pepper, halved
1 medium red onion, quartered
cooking spray
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp herbs de provence
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove minced

1. Prepare grill. Salt eggplants if bought from the supermarket as they can be bitter, but if using fresh picked eggplant, they do not need to be peeled or salted. Coat eggplant, squash, peppers and onion with cooking spray and grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender.

2. Coarsely chop vegetables, place in a large bowl. Stir in salt, tomatoes and remaining ingredients, stirring until blended. Serve with lamb, chicken, beef, pasta or rice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mixed Berry Steamed Pudding

This recipe comes from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 32 and was originally supposed to be a blackberry steamed pudding. However, I was unable to find any frozen blackberries, so settled on mixed berry instead. This dessert looks gorgeous and tastes just as yummy. I love pudding and I love berries, so this was a perfect combination for me. Not a lot of effort, but super tasty...yum!

Mixed Berry Steamed Pudding
(Makes 6)

75g unsalted butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup milk
berry syrup
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 tbs water

1. Preheat oven to 355F. To make syrup, place mixed berries, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir well to combine. Cook for 2 minutes until syrupy, but berries remain in tact. Spoon berries into lightly greased 3/4 cup capacity cups, reserving syrup. Set aside and keep warm.

2. Place butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Add flour, almond meal and milk and beat until well combined. Spoon 1/3 cup of the mixture into each cup and place in a baking dish. Pour enough hot water into dish, to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove cups from baking tray and invert puddings onto plates. Spoon over the syrup to serve.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sausage Rolls with Heirloom Tomato Salad

One of the things I love from home is sausage rolls. Its not something I can get in the US and every time I go home I always make sure to try and get one. So, when I was browsing through Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinners this past weekend and saw a recipe for his sausage rolls, I had to try them. These are not the good ol' Four & Twenty from Oz, but they were certainly delicious.

As usual in the Jamie Oliver way, there aren't really any quantities in his recipe, so I will give what I used, which was enough to make 8 rolls, with 2 per person.

The heirloom salad came from the same book and was great with our CSA tomatoes this week. I couldn't find any fresh horseradish, so used some chillies from my garden to give it a kick.

Sausage Rolls
(Serves 4)

3 sausages
handful of mixed herbs (I used rosemary, sage and thyme)
1/4 apple, chopped finely
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped finely
2/3 packet frozen puff pastry
1 egg

1. Take the sausages out of their skins and mash together with herbs, apple and hazelnuts. Roll out puff pastry until its 8" wide and about 16" long. Cut puff pastry in half lengthwise, so that you have 2 x 4" wide pieces. Divide stuffing in two, make into a sausage shape and place lengthwise on the pastry. Egg wash the pastry, then roll up the pastry into a tube, then seal with a fork. Cut each roll into four equal pieces and egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425F, or until golden and crisp on the outside.

2. These can be frozen before baking for later use.

Heirloom Tomato Salad
(Serves 6)

4 large handfuls of mixed heirloom tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
1/2 clove of garlic, grated
2 tsp fresh horseradish, grated
a small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely sliced

1. Cut bigger tomatoes into slices. Sprinkle them with salt and leave them in a colander for 30 minutes. Place tomatoes in a large bowl and dress with enough olive oil to loosen them and about 1-2 tbs vinegar. Toss around and check for seasoning. Add the garlic and then horseradish to taste. Throw in some parsley, then serve.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fettuccine with Salami, Olives and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Tonight's dinner comes from the September 2007 edition of Bon Appetit and was very yummy. I saw the photo for this meal last week and new I just had to try it....and soon. Its in the quick menu section and was also served with a great salad. This meal didn't take a lot of time to prepare and was delicious. I just love salami, but don't eat it very often due to the high fat content. But I think its ok every once in a while to have a treat.

I apologize for not writing too much on my blog lately, but it was difficult to find the time whilst my parents were visiting. Unfortunately for me, they have gone home to Australia, but for my readers, it will free up my time to work a bit more on my blog. I hope you enjoy this recipe :)

Fettuccine with Salami, Olives and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
(Serves 4)

2 12oz packages cherry tomatoes (or heirloom if you have them)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
8oz spicy Italian salami
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup black pitted olives
1/3 cup drained capers
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
12oz fresh fettuccine

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1tbs of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes until slightly wrinkled and starting to split, about 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes from oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbs oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add salami and minced garlic, saute 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Add wine to same skillet and simmer until slightly reduced (about 3 minutes). Stir in roasted tomatoes, olives and capers, toss to coat. Bring mixture to simmer, remove from heat and stir in salami mixture and parsley. Set sauce aside.

3. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, add sauce to pasta and toss to warm through. Serve with salad.

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts
(serves 4)

1 1/2 tbs tarragon vinegar
2 1/2 tbs plus 3/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
6 tbs olive oil
2 tbs water
2 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped
6 cups mixed greens
1 cup toasted walnuts

1. Whisk vinegar and 2 1/2 tbs goats cheese until smooth. Gradually whisk in oil, then 2 tbs water and fresh tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens to bowl and toss with dressing. Top with remaining goat cheese and walnuts.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Barley Risotto with Summer Vegetables

This recipe comes once again from the August edition of Cooking Light. It was very nice and pretty low calorie. I had never had barley like this before and wasn't sure I would like it, but it was great. I really liked the texture of the barley, as opposed to arborio rice in this different type of risotto. It also helped me use up a lot of my summer produce.

The only thing I will say about the recipe, is that it says it serves six, but I only got four serves out of it. But then again, perhaps we just eat a lot. But keep this in mind if you need six main serves.

Barley Risotto with Summer Vegetables
(Serves 6)

6 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow squash
1 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
1 cup cut green beans
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups pearl barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup crumbled goat's cheese

1. Combine water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, bell pepper and beans to pan. Saute 6 minutes or until tender, set aside.

3. Heat remaining oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add barley, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add wine. Cook for 2 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Add water mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of water is absorbed before adding the next (about 45 minutes). Add squash mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in tomato and basil. Top with goat's cheese and serve.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Lamb Chops with Quinoa Salad

Wow, this meal was awesome! Everybody loved it, especially my mother. It was quick, healthy and super tasty. The lamb comes from Martha Stewart's Good Food Fast, which is yet to let me down, whilst the salad is from the August edition of cooking light. I used my CSA cherry tomatoes, which are so sweet right now, as well as some local corn.

I had never had quinoa before, but read that it is really healthy and a wonderful grain. I didn't expect it to be as tasty as it was, but I think that was due a lot to the chive infused oil in the dressing.

The lamb recipe called for red pepper, whereas I only had green, but the picture in the book looks great with the red. If you have red, use it.

Definitely try this recipe, if you like lamb. A real winner!

Lamb Chops with Mint Pepper Sauce
(Serves 4)

4 trimmed lamb shoulder chops
1 tbs dried rosemary
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 scallion thinly sliced

1. Heat the broiler. Rub both sides of chops with 3/4 tsp each of dried rosemary and course salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper. Place the lamb on a broiler pan; broil until chops are browned, turning once, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and dijon mustard. Stir in the bell pepper, mint and scallion. Serve the lamb chops warm, with the sauce spooned over the top.

Quinoa, Corn and Tomato salad with Chive Infused Oil
(Serves 6)

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
2 tbs chive-infused oil
2 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
chive infused oil
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup slices of fresh chives
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. To make oil, place olive oil, chives and salt in a food processor and blend until chives are finely minced. Strain into a small bowl and discard solids. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

3. Combine quinoa, corn, tomatoes and parsley in a medium bowl. Combine chive infused oil and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad, toss well to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Greek-Style Mini Lamb Burgers

Last night I once again turned to Martha's Good Food Fast for some delicious lamb burgers, which were perfect as the temperature soars into the nineties. She hasn't let me down with this book so far and last night was no exception.

I served these burgers with a fresh salad with loads of heirloom cherry tomatoes, although I didn't photograph it. I also served the burgers with the tzatziki already on them, but mum asked for hers on the side and I thought it would make for a little better picture. So the picture above has the sauce in a ramekin, but you could serve it either way.

Greek-Style Mini-Lamb Burgers
(Makes 4)

1/2 english cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 small clove garlic, minced
coarse salt and pepper to season
lamb burgers
1 1/2lb ground lamb
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 cup choppd fresh parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pita rounds (6")
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1. Heat grill to high. To make tzatziki, in a medium bowl combine cucumber, yogurt, .lemon juice, mint and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. In a medium bowl, combine lamb, onion, parsley, oregano and salt and pepper. Gently form 16 small patties, then grill until medium-rare, about 2-3 minutes per side.

3. To serve, warm pitas on the grill, halve and fill with burgers, tzatziki and tomatoes. Serve with a salad.