Tuesday, January 15, 2019

TWD - Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, I made Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti.  

Dorie made these cookies as a "scavenger" cookie to use up what she had in the house, so I did the same.  Instead of kasha, I used mixed nuts.  Instead of wheat germ, I used LSA.  The fruit that I used was dried apricots. 

I thought these biscotti might end up tasting too healthy, but no - they were delicious.  The dried apricots added a nice hit of moisture, and the other ingredients worked really well together.  I am not a big fan of standard biscotti, but I really liked these.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Chicken in a Pot

Back into last year, I made a delicious chicken dish from p169 of the May 2018 edition of The Australian Women's Weekly called Chicken in a Pot.  As the name suggests, the genius of this dish is that it is all done in one pot and is fairly fuss free, so you can put it into the oven and go and do something else while the chicken cooks.

This Chicken in a Pot is very tasty as it combines lots of fresh vegetables with herbs, lemon, white wine and prosciutto, to lift the chicken from bland to bold.

If you would like to make this dish, you will need:

1.5kg whole chicken
30g softened butter
4 thin slices prosciutto
2 medium leeks, trimmed an chopped into 1cm slices
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sprig rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
250ml dry white wine
250ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put the chicken into a 7 litre casserole dish.  Rub the butter over the chicken breast, then cover it with the prosciutto.

Arrange the vegetables and herbs around the chicken, then pour in the wine and stock.  Cover the casserole dish and roast the chicken in the oven for 1 hour. 

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and stir the vegetables.  Remove the prosciutto from the chicken and put it onto the vegetables.  Pour the lemon juice into the casserole dish and ladle some of the pan juices over the chicken.  Roast the chicken, uncovered, for another 30 minutes or until it is cooked through.

To serve, put the chicken on a serving platter with the vegetables arranged around it.  Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper,  and ladle it over the chicken and vegetables.   

Serve with mashed potatoes or couscous.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Apricot Chicken, Two Ways

I am a fan of the much maligned apricot chicken.  Sure, there is the 1970s version off the back of the French onion soup packet (and there is nothing wrong with that version IMHO), but there are  lots of other variations of apricot chicken. 

I have previously presented a version of apricot chicken that came from my friend Sandra's mum's New Zealand cookbook here.  Today, I am going to share two other ways of making apricot chicken that I have tried over the last few months.  Both versions include dried apricots, and there is no French onion soup in sight.

At the top of this post is pictured a version of apricot chicken by Katrina Meynink from the Good Food section of The Age published on 3 July 2018. This one is made on the stovetop and in the oven, uses various spices, and features both canned and dried apricots.

To make this version, you will need:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onionthinly sliced 
2 cloves garlic sliced (or a teaspoon of garlic from the tube)
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cinnamon quills (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
1kg skinless chicken thighs, halved
1 cup apricot nectar
1 cup chicken stock
1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup canned apricots, drained

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Put the oil in a six cup capacity stove-top and oven friendly casserole dish and once heated, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add the spices, saffron and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds, then add the chicken pieces and cook for two minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned.  Add the rest of the ingredients, cover the casserole dish with a lid, and cook in the preheated oven for one hour.

Remove the lid from the casserole dish, stir and cook in the oven, uncovered, for another 10-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half, stirring to avoid burning the apricots.   

Serve with couscous or rice and vegetables. 

The second version of apricot chicken was made from a recipe on the Taste website. This version is made entirely on the stovetop using only dried apricots, not canned, and a commercial spice mix. For this version, you will need:

1/2 cup plain flour
8 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
 2 crushed cloves garlic (or a teaspoon of garlic from the tube)
1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
405ml apricot nectar
1/2 cup dried apricots
salt and pepper to taste

Put the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.  Coat the chicken lightly in the flour, brushing off any excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frypan.  Cook the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown, then set aside on a clean plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Sprinkle in the Moroccan seasoning and stir to combine.  Add the apricot nectar to the pan, stir to combine, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat, put the chicken into the pan, and cover the pan with a lid and cook, covered for 20 minutes.

Add the dried apricots to the pan and cook, uncovered, for another 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with rice or couscous  and vegetables.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

TWD - Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake

The first Tuesday with Dorie - Baking Chez Moi recipe for this year is Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake.  The cake is named after a cafĂ© where Dorie's husband and his friend found a poppy seed cake that they loved and asked Dorie to replicate.

The cake is flavoured, not only with poppy seeds, but also with orange zest and juice, making it tender and moist.

Dorie says the cake should have a rustic split on top - mine did not:   

I don't think the absence of a split mattered at all, and the cake tasted quite good, regardless.

This cake is meant to be served plain.  I enjoyed it that way, and the cake is not overly sweet, which is more to my taste these days.

If you are a fan of poppy seed cake, you are likely to enjoy this one.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Prawn and Leek Stir Fry

Prawns are very popular over the summer months and are wonderful to enjoy just on their own.  However, another way to enjoy prawns is in a stir fry.

In a recent edition of Woolworths Fresh magazine, there was a recipe for a delicious prawn and leek stir fry, packed with delicious, colourful vegetables.

If you would like to try this different way to serve prawns, you will need:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2cm knob of peeled, grated ginger
1 crushed clove garlic
600g green prawns, shelled and deveined, tails on
dark green part of 2 leeks
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 carrot sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch broccolini, sliced
1 deseeded and finely sliced red capsicum

Put the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and garlic in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Add the prawns and stir to coat. 

Wash and roughly chop the leeks.  

Heat the peanut oil in a wok, and add the vegetables, cooking until they start to soften. Add the prawns and cook for ~3 minutes or until they change colour.  Serve with rice or noodles.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Wild Ginger Dining + Bar, The Rocks

On our recent trip to Sydney, another great place that we found to dine simply by keeping our eyes peeled while out and about was Wild Ginger Dining + Bar, in the historic Rocks area of Sydney.  Wild Ginger is a Thai-style restaurant, serving food with the wonderful vibrant flavours typical of Thai cuisine.

We were seated outside on the balcony where we could people-watch the action in the Overseas Ferry Terminal, a large glass structure across the road from the back of the restaurant.  There was plenty to see as there appeared to be a cocktail function on one floor of the terminal, so there was a lot of coming and going of well-dressed individuals to keep us entertained while dining.

To start off, we ordered a serve of the duck pancakes ($10 for 2 pieces) to share.  The pancakes came pre-wrapped and filled with roast duck, cucumber, spring onion and "special Wild Ginger sauce":

We are fans of duck pancakes and these did not fail to please - we just wanted more of them.

We also ordered a couple of the curry puffs ($5 a piece), which are packed with vegetables and served with sweet chilli sauce:

These were also very tasty and a great way to start our meal.

It was a no-brainer for what Tim would order for main course - the Green Chicken Curry ($22):

This was a three-chilli dish, so I would have had to order it to be served mild - I don't like curries to be too hot.  Instead, I went for the mere one chilli Cashew Nut Chicken stir fry ($22):

This fresh, vibrant stir fry studded with crunchy cashew nuts was much more my style and was absolutely delicious.

To mop up all the lovely sauces, we ordered a serve of jasmine rice ($4) to share:

The service was very efficient and attentive when we arrived, but as the restaurant became busier, the wait staff (only two!) became rather frantic, so we were glad that we came early.

I'd definitely go back to Wild Ginger - the prices are comparable to similar venues and the food is excellent. 

The Rocks NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 8283 8275

Tuesday, January 1, 2019