Ok, here’s a super quick and easy way to put together Pavlova Nests. Not so much a recipe but an idea if you need to whip up a quick and easy dessert. Continue reading article
Amee on Instagram requested a recipe for my Basil Pesto Dip pictured above, so this post is just for you :)
This is how I make pesto, it’s so easy to remember that you can whip it up in 5 minutes for a quick healthy snack with crackers or add it to some pasta.
- 1 bunch of Basil leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (up to you on how much you want)
- Pine nuts (or cashews)
- 1 tbls Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tsp Salt
- Clean the basil leaves and place into a StickMaster/MixMaster or do it old school and use a mortar and pestle to break down the leaves into small pieces.
- Now the rest is easy, throw the garlic cloves, nuts, parmesan and salt into the StickMaster, pour in the Olive Oil and then mix away. Up to you on how fine you want to blend it down to, but I like to blend it until the basil leaves have fully been chopped into tiny pieces, especially when i use it for dips.
This is the same method I use when making pesto for pasta, all you do is mix is together with your cooked pasta and you have a quick easy healthy dish. I like to also add a few pieces of chicken, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese to make it a little more exciting.
You can use different leave/greenss to make pesto but I’ve only tried this method with spinach and basil, so let me know what else you’ve used to make pesto.
Rice paper rolls for dinner. It’s always best to make your own rice paper roll rather than pre-making rice paper rolls.
It gives the family or company time to bond and of course you can make your roll as big or small as you want.
Now how easy is it to prepare and put together? This easy!
So, what are the main ingredients and I’ve added a few tips to putting it together.
I’m going to list this in the order I put my rice paper roll together.
Rice Paper Rolls – best to get them from an Asian grocer rather than your local supermarket like Coles or Woolworths. Have a bowl of hot water to put the rice paper roll in to soften it up ready for rolling.
Lettuce – usually it’s prepared in big pieces but you can also chop em up into smaller pieces.
Mint Leaves & Greens – I like it with mint leaves but there’s other types of leaves you can use to mix it up.
Rice Virmicelli – thin rice noodles you can get from any supermarket or Asian grocer. I don’t like to put alot but some people like to pile this onto their roll.
Cucumber – not necessary but gives the crunch in the roll
Prawns – just boil and peel them. If you’re using larger prawns I like to cut them in half
Pork – boil some pork belly and then cut them into slices
Hoisin Sauce – get this from your local Asian grocer. Start with a bit of oil in a pot on medium heat, add some chopped up garlic, then add the hoisin sauce mixture, add a pinch of salt, a spoonful of peanut butter (yup peanut butter) and then add some boiling water. Make sure to stir constantly.
That’s it. Not hard at all and the best thing about it is that it’s quite healthy minus the sauce.
* 2 cups plain flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup powdered milk
* 125g butter
* 1 large tbs peanut butter (add more if desired)
1. Sift the flour and place into a large pot on medium heat (no oil or butter required) and stir constantly for 10-15 minutes or until the flour starts to turn light brown.
2. Transfer flour into a large bowl and add the milk powder and sugar and combine together
3. Melt the butter and mix with peanut butter
4. Add butter mixture into to the flour mixture and combine until it forms a light damp sand texture
5. Using a polvoron molder tool (ask your filipino friends mum where to get one) scoop the mixture and then rub against the side of the bowl until nice and firm.
6. Pop the polvoron out from the molder tool onto some square pieces of tissue paper (Japanese paper) and wrap it like a candy or pop it straight into your mouth (you don’t have to wrap it up but it’s always a treat to open it up like a candy)
Here’s a few pictures that follow the method above.
Things I learnt:
* If the mixture falls apart easily in the molded form or when wrapping, add more butter until it becomes more firm
* If the flour isn’t turning light brown, be patient, you’ll get there.
* Although it’s a very easy dessert/treat to make, it’s a tedious task of molding the polvoron and wrapping it up
* I love polvoron, so I doubled the ingredients and made plenty to share!
As you can see, I slightly overcooked my first cheesecake :(
Well that’s what you get for not watching it while it baked…oooops~!!!
I never knew there were so many cheesecake recipes, I went the easy path and looked up some Cream Cheese Philadelphia Recipes which you can find here
Anyways here’s the recipe and method I used to cook my very first Cheesecake.
1 1/2 cups (185g) sweet biscuit crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
90g butter, melted
3 x 250g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
The best tips for making cheesecake can be found below (highly recommend watching before baking):
How To: Cheesecake Base
How To: Perfect Cheesecake
1. COMBINE the biscuit crumbs, cinnamon and butter in a small bowl.
I used some Arnotts Marie biscuits and crushed them in a food processor then mixed it together with the cinnamon and butter and added some crushed walnuts too for added flavour and texture.
2. Press the crumb mixture into base of a fully greased and lined 24cm springform pan, chill.
3. BEAT the PHILLY and sugar with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Gradually add the eggs and beat until just combined.
4. POUR the filling into the prepared base. 5. Bake in a moderately slow oven 160ºC for 40-45 minutes or until cheesecake is just set. Allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar. Refrigerate overnight.
I recommend lowering the temperature to 150ºC and bake for around 30-40minutes and most definitely keep watching it!
Here’s my finished product, as mentioned in the title, slightly overcooked but definitely didn’t hinder the taste. Dress it up with some strawberries and blueberries to hide the cracks that may have formed…hehehe…don’t laugh, I’m learning and you may have yourself a pretty nice looking cheesecake if you didn’t manage to burn it (slightly), like me :(
Lessons I’ve learnt:
- Keep an eye on your cake while baking!!!
- Lower the oven tray closer to the bottom to prevent burning the top and sides
- Lower my oven temperature because it’s a bit stronger than I think
- Having a bowl of water at the bottom of the oven while baking creates a moist cooking environment
- Keep an eye on your cake while baking!!!
Keeping it fresh for the sunny days we have been (momentarily) blessed with in Melbourne, I was inspired by a new recipe I learnt while researching at an Electrolux oven demonstration at Harvey Norman in Sunshine.
This dish was a perfect fit for what I wanted. Here’s the recipe:
Lemon Mustard Chicken Salad
- 3 Chicken breast fillets skinless (I used chicken thighs with the skin on because I like the juicy taste of it but if you have a well circulating oven you can achieve moist breast fillets)
- 3 kipfler potatoes (thinly sliced, about 1/2cm thick)
- 1 avacado
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 200g baby lettuce leaves
- 50g spinach leaves (optional)
- cracked pepper
Marinade and Dressing
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard (you can use more)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (i used cumquat because we have a fruitful cumquat tree)
- 8 tbsp olive oil (you can use more)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk together. Reserve half the marinade to use for the dressing.
- Trim the chicken. Wash the potatoes and thinly slice (about 1/2cm thick). Marinade the chicken and potatoes for at least 30mins.
- Preheat oven on fan grill function (if you have that option) at 200°C
- Cook the chicken and potatoes for around 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven cooking time may vary)
- Wash, dry and arrange baby lettuce and spinach (spinach optional) on a serving platter. Cut tomatoes into quarters and slice avacado and arrange on top of lettuce.
- Place potatoes on top of the salad and slice chicken and arrange on top of potatoes. Drizzle dressing over salad and season with freshly ground cracked pepper.
Here’s a few tips:
Scoop out your avacado and keep it intact so you can slice it up and not have it all mushy…
Plate up some baby lettuce leaves on the bottom of the plate (this looks really good on a long rectangle plate but I just used 2 square plates). I kept the baby lettuce leaves the way they were for the bottom then cut up smaller pieces of baby lettuce and spinach, then dressed it up with the lemon mustard dressing…
Place the tomatoes, avacado and potatoes ontop of the baby lettuce (I forgot to place the potatoes underneath the chicken but it was too late so I placed them on top)…
Slice up your chicken, as mentioned in the recipe I used chicken leg with the skin on but if you have a good oven it’s probably better to use skinless chicken breast but that’s up to you…make sure to drizzle more of the dressing ontop of the chicken and potatoes…
There you have it, it’s not that difficult to pull off an easy summer dish for the family….and in my case a Christmas Summer Dinner!
First of all, cut the stems off the mushrooms and create a hole in the middle of the mushroom, don’t have to be perfect (as you can see below)…
Using the left over mushroom and stems I chopped them into small pieces and chopped up some sundried tomatoes and green capsicum and drizzled some olive oil. As you can see I love using Cobram Olive Oil (be creative and add whatever you want into the mushroom, I used these ingredients because this is what I found in the fridge)
Then you want to stuff the mushrooms with your filling…
And if you want, you can sprinkle some grated cheese ontop…
When ready place the mushrooms in the oven until the mushrooms start to brown and you have yourself a juicy mushroom and in this case a juicy mushroom that tastes like PIZZA!!!!
If you’re looking for a snappy entree, stuffed mushrooms are great and don’t take long to prepare or cook. The best thing is you can be as creative as you want and play around with the ingredients you put in, depending on the flavour you want. If the TheLearnerChef can cook it, you can too.
After watching Masterchef’s master class on Friday, I wanted to make that dessert. Poh made it look so easy, I had to try it. The hardest thing was finding a cup to put it in. I ended up using a plastic wine glass which had a pointy bottom which meant that when I flipped the pannacotta upside down, it had a little nipple on top. Looked hilarious, I was so embarassed that I had to cut it off, hence my final product to the right. I garnished it with some pistachio nuts and some raspberries on the side.
If you were watching the Masterchef masterclass episode you would’ve noticed the second part to the dessert which was the tullie. I did end up making it but it didn’t make it to the plate up. I had problems getting it off the baking paper but boy did it taste nice. Next time, I’m going to grease the baking paper a little and make the circle a little smaller so it’ll come off nice and smooth. It would of been great to compliment the pannacotta so I guess I can call my tullie, my first disaster.
You can find this wonderful dessert recipe at the Masterchef website.
…I guess I can call my tullie, my first disaster.
I’ve used the following recipe from taste.com.au but added a few things here and there.