Eat the World – Part 19

Czech Republic

etw-33-czech

Czech food = hearty, meaty and filling. This recipe is no exception. This here is a classic Czech meatloaf, completed with semolina dumplings (borrowed from nearby Austria), pickles and mustard. It’s good winter and homely fare, the kind you’re served in little Czech eateries. And it’s bound to cure your hunger woes.

Sekaná (Czech meatloaf)

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 stale while bread roll
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 800 gr mincemeat (combination beef and pork)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Marjoram
  • Salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Grease and line a 20cm x 10cm loaf pan (or as close as possible). Preheat oven to 180C. Cut roll into small cubes and pour milk over the top. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in frypan over medium heat. Cook onions for 5 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine mincemeat, garlic, egg, marjoram, cooked onions and salt and pepper. Squeeze excess milk from bread pieces and combine with meat mix. If the mix is too wet and sticky, add some breadcrumbs.
  4. Press meat mix into loaf pan. Cook for 75 minutes, pouring a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) over the top twice throughout the cook.
  5. Serve with potatoes, semolina dumplings, sliced pickles and mustard.
Semolina dumplings

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup semolina
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives, chopped

Method

  1. Beat together egg and butter until foamy. Stir through semolina and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, and chives to taste, combining everything well. Rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Form oval shaped dumplings with a pair of spoons and drop each into the pot (ensure there are only a few at a time, as they will swell and stick together if overcrowded). Cook for 12 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Remove from heat, add 1 cup of cold water and stand for an additional 10 minutes.

Hungary

etw-34-hungary

This is a real treat of a cake, that’s a little tricky at times but absolutely rewarding in the end. The Hungarian grillazs torte is essentially an almond sponge, layered with a sweetened coffee cream and almond praline – now, is there one part of that that doesn’t sound awesome? It’s got loads of texture, with the softer crumble of almonds, sponginess of the cake, and combo of snappy and chewy praline depending on where it sits within the cake.

Grillazs torte

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 465 gr caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 200 gr ground almonds
  • 25 gr stale breadcrumbs
  • 10 eggs, separated
Cream icing
  • 600 ml thickened cream
  • ⅓ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

Method

  1. Line and grease a 30 x 24 cm baking pan. A similar sized one will do if you don’t have one, but just keep an eye on cooking time and give or take a few minutes as needed.
  2. To make icing, beat cream to soft peaks. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To make praline, place almonds on a lined oven tray. Place 165 gr sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or until it begins to liquefy around the edges. At this stage, gently shake the pan or give it a few gentle stirs (don’t disturb it too much, just make sure all the granules are part of the melt down). Keep a close eye on the sugar once it’s all melted, as it can go from golden to burnt quite quickly. When golden, remove from heat and pour over almonds. Set aside until cooled and hard. Break into pieces and process in a food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 150°C. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in coffee, ground almonds and breadcrumbs. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl with remaining 300 gr sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in almond mixture. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Working in 3 batches, fold egg whites into cake mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Rest for 1 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. To assemble cake, cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place 1 layer on a platter, spread with one third of the icing, then scatter with one third of the praline. Repeat twice more with remaining cake, icing and praline. Serve.

Italy

etw-35-italy

There are a million ways you can top pasta, but this is my favourite.

Ok, a pasta recipe feels like a cop out given it’s every week food for me (heck, it’d be every day food if I could…) However this one’s so yum I had to include it. The roast pumpkin can easily be replaced with roasted tomatoes, and extra bits and pieces (eggplant in this one, for instance) do add to the topping, but minimal is best. If you roast up your veges on the weekend, there’s no reason this should take more than 10 minutes to pull together, so it’s the perfect Monday night meal.

Burnt butter, pumpkin and ricotta fettucine with crispy sage

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 300 gr jap pumpkin, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1 cm semicircles
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 340 gr fettucine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch of sage, leaves picked
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pitted olives, roughly chopped
  • 150 gr ricotta, crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Coat the pumpkin and eggplant in oil, season and roast for 40 minutes or until pumpkin starts to caramelise and eggplant is crispy. Set aside so cool slightly (refrigerating for a day or two is fine if you want to make it ahead of time).
  2. Cook fettucine as per packet instructions.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in frypan over high heat. Fry sage leaves for 3-4 minutes, shaking occasionally, until crispy. Transfer to paper towel.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon in frypan over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until it begins to crisp up. Remove frypan from heat and stir through pumpkin, eggplant, olives and ricotta. Drain pasta and toss through toppings. You can add extra butter at this stage if you like.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with crispy sage leaves.

Malta

ETW 36 Malta.jpg

This dish sounds ridiculous, but it’s really, really good. Here you have a pie – inspired by any number of regional variants throughout Italy – that combines a four-meat stew, cheese, egg and pasta into one glorious pie. It’s super impressive and filling, too (the portions in this dish are probably overkill). If you never thought you’d eat a pasta pie, this Maltese recipe is your chance to change that poor thinking!

Timpana

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150 gr bacon, chopped
  • 200 gr minced beef
  • 100 gr minced pork
  • 100 gr chicken thigh fillet, roughly diced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 200 gr canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 250 gr rigatoni
  • 60 gr finely grated parmesan
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Parsley salad
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 eschalot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup baby capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, bay leaves and bacon, and cook for 4 minutes or until bacon starts to brown. Add beef and pork minces, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, and cooking for 7 minutes or until browned. Add chicken and cook, for 4 minutes or until browned. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then add tomatoes, stock and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until liquid has reduced slightly. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile cook pasta as per packet instructions until al dente. Drain, add to sauce with parmesan and 2 lightly beaten eggs, mixing to combine. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 220C. Place one sheet of pastry in two 20cm x 15cm baking dishes. Divide pasta mixture between dishes. Place another sheet of pastry on top of each dish, folding over and pressing together the edges. With any additional overhanging pastry, trim it off and decorate the top of the pie. Whisk the remaining egg with milk and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 180C and bake for a further 15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. To make parsley salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Slice each timpana into three portions and serve with salad.
Advertisements

Eat the World – Part 18

Week 23 – Tunisia

img_20160808_201040

Tagines are standard fare in Northern Africa, but make for some pretty decent mid-week winter warmers just about anywhere. A vegetarian option, this Tunisian tagine is packed full of all that healthy stuff and helped along by the sweetness of figs and fire of harissa, added to your liking. It borrows its spice mix from nearby Morocco, which adds a nice flavour profile to an otherwise simple dish.

Tunisian vegetarian tagine

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Moroccan spice mix
  • 400 gr can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 400 gr can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • Handful of green beans, trimmed and halved
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • Harissa
Moroccan spice mix – combine all ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Method

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and spice mix. Cook for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in chickpeas, tomato and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, beans and figs and cook for a further 6 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  1. Place the couscous and currants in a large heatproof bowl and pour over 1 cup boiling water. Cover the bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
  1. Divide couscous and tagine among bowls and stir through harissa to taste. Serve with coriander leaves.

 

Week 24 – Botswana

IMG_20160915_221158.jpg

Here’s one yummy cake. From such simple ingredients, this is actually pretty darn cool. The step pouring sauce over the cake means you’re left with an almost jelly-like centre and crispy outside. Easy, perhaps too easy.

Malva pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon jam (any flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Whipped cream, to serve
Sauce
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 100 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk

Method

  1. Line and grease a 20cm x 20cm baking dish. Preheat oven to 180C.
  1. Combine sugar and the egg in a mixing bowl and beat this until smooth and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  1. In a separate bowl, combine milk, melted butter, jam and vinegar.
  1. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 25 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, melt together the sauce ingredients. Remove cake from oven after cooking for 25 minutes, make holes in the cake and pour the sauce over the top. Return to the oven and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  1. Serve warm with whipped cream.

 

Week 25 – South Africa

img_20160809_185759

Here we have a truly global recipe; South African in origin, but with a distinctly South Asian vibe. There’s a sweet and sour confusion to this dish that makes it intriguing and delicious. The long list of spices coupled with its general fishiness ensures the dish is packed with flavours. I used some dory fillets, but the great thing is you can use whatever’s locally available.

Cape Malay fish curry

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 600 gr firm white fish fillets, skin removed, diced into 4 cm pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 red chilli, halved lengthways
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce, or to taste
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp, mixed with ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar, or to taste
  • 10 curry leaves, bruised
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Rice, to serve

Method

  1. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  1. Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add fennel and cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden. Add garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining spices and 2 tablespoons water and cook for 1 minute.
  1. Add tomatoes and tamarind water, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar and season. Stir through curry leaves and simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Gently add fish to sauce, spooning sauce over to coat. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. If the sauce appears to thin, uncover for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Top with coriander and serve on rice.

 

Week 26 – Greece

img_20160813_200929

Filo, olives, haloumi, parsley, lemon, silverbeet, yogurt… It’s gotta be Greek right? This is a longwinded pie to make, but it’s worth it. And it’s massive, too; so you’ll either feed the masses in one hit, or be able to freeze and keep portions for later on. Or eat it all yourself, whatever you like… I’ve tried a few Greek ricey recipes in Rice Bonanza, but I thought given the list of ingredients this one is more suited as a flag bearer for Eat the World. Give yourself a few hours and reap the rewards.

Greek chicken and rice pie

Ingredients

  • 20 gr butter, plus extra melted for brushing
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white section only, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 bunch silverbeet, thick stems discarded (for another recipe, of course), leaves washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pouring cream
  • 70 gr pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 225 gr haloumi, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 sheets filo pastry
  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds, to sprinkle
  • lemon wedges, to serve
Poached chicken
  • 1.4 kg chicken
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 brown onion, unpeeled, quartered
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 4 litres water (about)
Herbed yoghurt
  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, squashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. Place all ingredients for the poached chicken into a large saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil slowly. Reduce heat to low and poach for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then refrigerate until cold. Remove chicken, pull all the meat away and leave in the fridge and discard the carcass. Strain the stock, discarding any solids, and return the stock to the saucepan to boil. Boil stock until reduced to 1 ½ cups. Set aside.
  1. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Add 1 ½ cups reduced stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  1. Put the silverbeet into the saucepan, cover, and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until wilted. Remove from saucepan and allow to cool before pressing out any excess liquid. Set aside.
  1. Prepare yogurt by combining yogurt, garlic, dill and parsley in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until required.
  1. Line and grease 20 cm x 30 cm oven dish with some of the melted butter. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  1. Combine cooled rice, chicken, silverbeet, cream, olives, haloumi, parsley and thyme and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  1. Brush 1 sheet of filo pastry with melted butter and place in baking dish. Repeat with the remaining sheets, overlapping unevenly as you go, allowing plenty of overhang. Transfer the chicken and rice mixture into the pastry. Fold the overhanging filo over the top to cover. Brush top with remaining oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  1. Bake for 50 minutes or until filo is golden and crisp. Remove from oven and stand in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with the herbed yoghurt and lemon wedges.

Eat the World – Part 17

Week 19 – Kenya

img_20160706_183908

Kuku wa Kupaka (Coconut Chicken)

The more recipes I find for eastern Africa, the more I discover how influenced the cuisine is by India and the Middle East. This curry reflects the vibrancy of many Indian counterparts, benefitting from the marinated meat and richness of the coconut milk. Provided you can prep the night before (for only a few minutes), this is a great mid-week meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken pieces (combo of breast and thigh)
  • 4 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 400 ml can of coconut milk
  • Hard boiled eggs, to serve

Method

  1. Marinate chicken in a combination of the ginger, garlic, rosemary, 2 chillies, lime juice and half the oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and roast tomatoes with a little salt, pepper and oil for 25 minutes. Set aside.
  1. Heat a grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
  1. Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric and cumin seeds and cook for 5 minutes.
  1. Add chicken and then pour in coconut milk and any remaining marinade. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Top with remaining green chilli and serve with rice and hard boiled eggs.

 

Week 20 – Senegal

IMG_20160719_183818.jpg

Poulet Yassa

This is a marinated chicken dish from the south of Senegal, which in Africa can be made from any number of fowl. It uses a marinade with loads of zing thanks to lemon, vinegar and star ingredient – mustard. It’s also a sign that in Senegal, onions are in abundance. This recipe doesn’t use nearly as much as a traditional one might (up to ten!). I figured I’d let it be a chicken dish with onions rather than the expected other way around…

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 8 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable stock powder
  • 1 chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500 gr chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 4 brown onions, chopped
  • ½ small cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • Steamed broccoli, to serve

Method

  1. To create the marinade, combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, mustard, stock powder, chilli, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over chicken and onions, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  1. Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Remove chicken and onions from marinate and place in frying pan. Turn chicken to sear on all sides, then remove chicken from heat and set aside. Add cabbage and carrot and cook for 1 minute, then add remaining marinade and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Return chicken to sauce, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  1. Serve chicken and vegetables on white rice with steamed broccoli. Top with sauce.

 

Week 21 – Ethiopia

Berbere spice mix is easily the best thing about Ethiopian cooking. African grocers stock it here and it’s vital to any number of curries and stews. But if you can’t get your hands on the real deal – or just want an idea of its flavour profile – you can pull one together using the mighty list below. For the African nation this time around, I’ve pulled out two recipes that are packed with Ethiopian flare – one meaty and one vegetarian. Once you have your spices in check, there’s little more to it (except a little time).

Berbere spice mix – combine all ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon cardamom seed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Key Wat (Spicy Beef Stew)

img_20160718_194755

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 600 gr chuck steak, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons berbere
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups beef stock

Method

  1. Heat oil and ghee in a heavy based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches to sear each side. Remove and set aside.
  1. Add onions to saucepan and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add garlic, berbere, tomato paste and sugar and cook for 1 minute. Return beef to saucepan and cover with beef stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover with aluminium foil, then cover tightly. Cook for 2 ½ hours, or until beef falls apart when pressed.
  1. Serve stew with injera (Ethiopian flat bread) or cous cous and currents.

 

Ethiopian-style lentils with sweet potato

IMG_20160721_183716.jpg

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped into 2 cm pieces
  • ½ red capsicum, diced
  • 3 teaspoons berbere
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons split red lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • Soy sauce, to service
  • Black pepper

Method

  1. Heat oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add capsicum, berbere and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add lentils and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and the water has absorbed (you can add more if needed along the way).
  1. Serve with a little soy sauce and pepper.

 

Week 22 – Ghana

img_20160717_215056

Got some bananas that are looking a little old? That’s generally a good excuse to make banana bread, because let’s face it – what else is mushy nana good for? Next time the opportunity presents itself (or perhaps you should just make it happen), give an Accra banana cake a go. This is Ghana’s take on a baking classic where banana is paired with a Northern African staple, peanuts. But what really makes this recipe great (and takes away any “healthy” façade that banana bread might attempt normally) is the fact it is injected with caramel prior to baking. What you’re left with is a gooey based, yet perfectly servable cake, packed with banana and crunchy peanuts.

img_20160718_205843

Accra banana cake

Ingredients

  • 150 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 170 gr caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 210 gr plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 large, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100 gr peanuts, roughly chopped
Salted caramel sauce
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Method

  1. To make the caramel sauce, place sugar in a dry saucepan over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or until it begins to liquefy around the edges. At this stage, gently shake the pan or give it a few gentle stirs (don’t disturb it too much, just make sure all the granules are part of the melt down). Keep a close eye on the sugar once it’s all melted, as it can go from golden to burnt quite quickly. When golden, remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (it will spit). Return to a high heat until the sauce becomes liquid again. Add the salt, pour the sauce into a heatproof dish and set aside to cool completely.
  1. Line and grease a 20cm x 10cm baking tin (or as close to that size as possible). Preheat the oven to 170C. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs a little at a time, beating continuously.
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder and pinch of salt. Fold half of this dry mixture into the wet mixture from step 2. Fold mashed banana into wet mixture until well combined. Fold remaining dry mixture through wet mixture. Fold through peanuts, keeping a handful for the top of the cake. Transfer mixture to baking tin and top with remaining peanuts.
  1. Place caramel into a piping bag and press into the cake in several places, squeezing generous amounts through the cake, gently releasing as you remove the piping bag from the cake each time, until you run out. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Rice Bonanza – Part 6

There’s been a little delay in getting these ricey posts up, but rest assured we’re on track for full year’s set by the end of December.

In Part 6 we have four more creations, each using that champion rice in a different way. There’s a super list of ingredients in an Indian Biriyani, a twist on how to use an Italian Bolognese, some fishy business that’s packed with turmeric for colour and spice and what is now one of my favourite soups – a true dark horse – the Turkish yogurt, chicken and rice soup.

Recipe 23 – Biriyani

RB 23 Biriyani

 

This is a classic Indian rice dish that is packed with flavours and textures. It’s about an hour in the making, but the long list of ingredients below shouldn’t be daunting, as it’s quite straightforward in process.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ cup fried shallots
  • Large handful of coriander leaves
  • Large handful of mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, to serve
  • Sultanas, to serve
  • Cashew nuts, crushed, to serve

 

Rice
  • 200 gr basmati rice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Chicken
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500 gr chicken drumsticks
  • ½ cup natural yogurt
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste

 

Method

  1. Heat milk in tiny dish in microwave for 5 seconds. Add saffron to infuse. Set aside.
  2. Place rice, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon in a saucepan with a litre of cold water. Place on stove and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes, so the rice is par cooked. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine ginger and garlic with 1 tablespoon of water in a blender and blitz to paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli powder and chillies and stir for 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger paste and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to sear quickly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add yogurt, tomato and salt, stir to combine then cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 180C. In a casserole dish, spread half the rice to form a bottom layer. Place the chicken mix on top of the rice, followed by a layer of coriander and mint, followed by a layer of fried shallots, and finished with a layer of the remaining rice.
  7. Combine saffron infusion and turmeric. Create a well in one corner of the dish and pour saffron turmeric mix in. Cover dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Transfer biriyani to serving bowls and top with hardboiled egg halves, sultanas and crushed cashew nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe 24 – Turkish yogurt, chicken and rice soup

RB 25 turkish soup

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 500 gr chicken thigh fillets, chopped into 3cm pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 400 gr can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Method

 

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until barely tender.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer in saucepan over moderately high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Remove chicken from stock and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the yogurt, egg yolk and flour in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the stock and bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally. Stir in chickpeas, rice and reserved chicken. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
  4. Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in the garlic butter. Sprinkle with the mint and serve with lemon wedges.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe 25 – Rice and Bolognese bake

RB 24 bog bake

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Half bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 500 gr beef mince
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 400 gr can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup tasty cheese, grated
  • Basil leaves, to serve

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan and cook onion, fennel and garlic until softened. Add mince and cook, breaking up with a spoon until browned. Add wine and cook to reduce for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, herbs and arborio rice and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into greased oven dish and top with grated cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve with bread.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe 26 – Fish rice

RB 26 fish rice

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fillets of firm white fish
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ a broccoli, florets and stem chopped into small pieces
  • ½ a capsicum, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of red cabbage, chopped
  • Bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method

 

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook rice for 10 minutes, or until just tender. Pour rice into colander, rinsing with cold water or setting aside to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Coat fish in turmeric, cumin, coriander, 1 clove crushed garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook fish in pan, keeping any spices that fall off, turning a couple of times, until cooked through. Remove fish and set aside. Place any remaining spices into the pan.
  3. Add broccoli, capsicum and carrot to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and add rice, spring onions and remaining garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add peas, cabbage and coriander stems and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Return fish to pan, breaking it up into small pieces as you stir through. Stir through fish sauce and coriander leaves and serve.