I’m about to have a short break, so in this edition I’ve given a few recipes that are absolutely essential for holidays. It is October already and the silly season will be here in no time, so here are some of the tried and true recipes that will be in use at our house for the holidays. Remember, the secret to every great dish, is a calm approach and a sense of adventure and fun.
These simple biscuits make an excellent and very much appreciated gift for friends, workmates or family. This recipe will make a big batch so you have plenty to share around.
180 grams honey
270 grams caster sugar
180 grams golden syrup
180 grams soft butter
20 grams cinnamon
20 grams ground ginger
20 grams ground cloves
50 grams crystallised ginger
60 mls. milk
1kilo of self-raising flour
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line biscuit trays with baking paper.
2 Beat together the honey, caster sugar, golden syrup and butter. It is best to use an electric beater. Add spices and ginger and stir through. Mix together the milk and eggs and fold into mixture alternately with the flour.
3 On a lightly floured surface or between sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough to 1cm thickness. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter (use shapes to make it interesting) and place on trays, leaving room for spreading. If desired the biscuits can be brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with raw sugar (but it isn’t necessary).
4 Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.
Chicken Braised with Figs, Honey & Vinegar
This is a great recipe for a family dinner or a special occasion. It is light enough for summer eating. (serves 4)â€¨â€¨
• 4 large chicken marylands, jointed
• 1 red onion choppedâ€¨
• 6 - 8 smyrna figsâ€¨
• 2 dessert spoons honeyâ€¨
• 2 teaspoon chopped lemon thymeâ€¨
• 2 sprigs of rosemaryâ€¨
• 1/2 stick cinnamonâ€¨
• 1/2 cup chicken stockâ€¨
• 1/2 white wineâ€¨
• 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar / good quality white wine vinegar â€¨
• Zest of a whole lemon, peeled into strips with vegetable peelerâ€¨â€¨
• Ask your butcher to bone the Marylands or do this yourself by cutting through the thigh and drumstick bone. â€¨â€¨
• Pre-heat oven to 180C. â€¨â€¨
• Chop onion roughly and fry and when translucent add the chopped figs with a little olive oil and heat through.
• Then lay the onions and figs in an ovenproof dish; add half the vinegar then place Chicken Marylands into the dish along lemon thyme, 1 sprig rosemary stripped, and peelings of lemon zest. It is important to cook in a shallow tray so that the honeyed chicken is almost in line with the sides of the dish.â€¨â€¨
• Sprinkle over the rest of the vinegar, and add half cinnamon quill.
• Pour ¼ cup of wine and ½ cup of stock over the chicken.
• Season with sea salt.
• Pull up a few figs so that they show through to the top, strip the second sprig of rosemary and distribute over the top and dribble the honey all over the chicken.
• Roast for about 30 minutes at 180C, basting occasionally, remove from oven and leave to rest for 10-15 min before serving.
• Strain off the juices and reduce to a syrupy consistency and pour over the chicken.
• Serve with grilled, or pan fried Semolina.
Llyr’s Vege Curry to feed many
This is a great recipe if you are having a party.
Cut up the following:
• Lots of peeled potatoes or peeled sweet potatoes chopped into largish chunks- 3kg
• A big lot of onions- 2kg
• At least 3 full knobs of garlic- yes I know it’s a lot but you need it
• A nice sized knob of ginger peeled and finely sliced
• Cauliflower- 1 large chopped
• Capsicum- 5 chopped into 10 cent sized pieces
• Carrots- 8 or 10 (optional but adds nice colour)
• Put a BIG heavy saucepan/pot on the stove and add about ¼ cup olive oil
• Add the onions and garlic and ginger and cook gently until softened.
• Add at least 3 tablespoons of good quality curry powder or a bottle of PATAKs curry paste (choose according to the ‘heat’ you want), a dessert spoon of cumin and of coriander, and a good heaped teaspoon of garam masala,
• Gently fry some more and then add the potatoes once the nice curry smell is starting.
• Add all the other veges and water to barely go halfway up the height of the veges.
• Gently cook for 15 mins with lid on.
• Then add about 3 or 4 tins of cocoanut CREAM and a large tin of diced tomatoes and ½ cup of warm water that you have been soaking 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste in.
• Stir gently and simmer (lid off) until all is cooked. Turn off and let rest then reheat fully just before serving.
• Serve with papadams, roti and rice.
Devils’ Delight Brownies
These are the best brownies ever. Make them instead of dessert and watch your family and visitors swoon!!!
• 125 grams of good quality dark chocolate Cooking is fine but make it good quality)
• 1/4 cup margarine
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup SR flour
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts- pecans, walnuts, or pistachios.
Cream Cheese Topping:
• 125 grams of cream cheese,
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon SR flour
• Melt chocolate and margarine in a heavy based saucepan very low heat or in a double boiler. Remove from the heat.
• Stir in the sugar.
• Add eggs and vanilla stir until completely mixed.
• Mix in flour until well blended and stir in nuts.
• Spread in greased and floured 8-inch square pan (lined with baking paper if you have it is easier and less messy) and set aside.
• Mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg and flour until smooth- use a mixer or a food processor.
• Spoon this mix over brownie batter mixture in pan, swirl in with knife to make a “marble” pattern.
• Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean.
• Cool in pan on a rack; cut into squares and dust with icing sugar to serve.
• If you are going to store these (I never have any left once everyone hears I am making them), store them in a sealed container in a single layer in the fridge. Bring out and sit on the bench for 20 minutes before serving.
Finally, be safe and happy for the rest of 2011 and I’ll talk to you again in 2012.