Sunday, September 18, 2011

A trip down Mexico way

Only I wish I had remembered to take photos!

You’ll have to take my word that the food was delicious. The CHURROS con CHOCOLATE were really good!

A blog post without photos of yummy food is a little sad… I’ll do my best to round up some from the net till I get to make these recipes again.


image from:



These open toasted tacos can be made small for a canapé or larger for main course

Serves: 6 as part of a meal

Preparation: 30 minutes, plus black bean soaking and cooking time

Cooking Time: 1 hour


½ cup sour cream

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, ground coarsely

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon grated lime zest

2 cups cooked black beans (black turtle beans)

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Salt & Pepper

½ garlic clove, finely chopped

6 corn tortillas

Vegetable oil

¾ cup queso fresco, crumbled (or cottage/ ricotta/ fetta cheese)

½ cup pico de gallo salsa

Guacamole (see separate recipe)

Lime wedges to serve


1. Preheat Grill or electric frypan

2. Combine sour cream, salt and lime zest in a bowl and set aside

3. Fry black beans, oil, garlic, salt and pepper for 2 minutes, set aside and keep warm

4. Brush tortillas with oil and grill over a medium heat for 1 minute each side, keep warm

5. Top each tortilla with ¼ cup beans, 1 tablespoon crumbled cheese, salsa and sour cream

6. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with lime wedges

Serve with guacamole on the side.


image from:


A traditional Mexican avocado dip to serve with corn chips or tacos, quesadillas etc.

Serves: 6 as part of a meal

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 0


3 ripe avocados

1/2 fresh jalapeno chilli (optional)

2 teaspoons chopped coriander

1/2 Spanish onion, very finely chopped

1 tomato, very finely chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil


1. Halve the avocados, remove the seed and scoop the flesh into a medium size bowl

2. Add chilli, coriander, onion and salt

3. Mash together with a fork

4. Add tomato, lime juice and olive oil, gently fold through

5. Transfer to serving dish and place avocado seed in the dip to stop it from browning

Serve with corn chips, tostados, quesadillas, tacos etc as soon as possible.


pico de gallo

image from:


A colourful Mexican Salsa

Serves: 6 as part of a meal

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 0


3 tomatoes, finely diced

½ fresh chilli, finely chopped

¼ cup coriander, finely chopped
½ Spanish onion, finely chopped

1 corn cob, kernels only

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ lime, juice


1. Gently fry the corn kernels till cooked

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt

3. Stir through lime juice and reserve

Serve with corn chips, tostados, quesadillas, tacos etc

quesadilla photo

image from:


Great for snacks or appetizers, great with a variety of fillings.

Serves: 8

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


8 large tortillas

Oliver oil

400 grams sweet potato, peeled, sliced and par boiled

½ bunch spinach, washed and trimmed

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup red pickled onions

Lime wedges to serve


1. Heat frypan that will accommodate a tortilla and brush with oil

2. Place tortilla down and layer with ¼ spinach, sweet potato, pickled onion and cheese

3. Top with another tortilla, brush top with oil

4. Place a plate on top and then a heavy tin to press the layers together

5. Cook for 2 minutes till golden. Using a plate flip the tortilla and cook other side

6. Set aside and keep warm whilst you continue to make 3 more in the same way.

To serve, cut into wedges and squeeze with lime wedges

pickled red onion




Serves: 6 as part of a meal

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 minute

Resting time: 2+ hours


2 Spanish onions, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon dried oregano

150 ml apple cider vinegar



1. Blanch the sliced onion in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute then drain.

2. Place vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and onions back in the pot, heat briefly then set aside

3. Crush peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds and add to the pot

4. Top with just enough water to cover onion

5. Sit for a few hours before storing in a sterilised jar

Serve with as filling for quesadillas or with other rich foods ( eg shredded meats)



image from:


Mexican green mole is a fresh and spicy green sauce, here it is served with hard boiled eggs and cocktail potatoes.

Serves: 6 as part of a meal

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 0


6 hard boiled eggs, shelled

6 cocktail potatoes, cooked till tender.

3 teaspoons sesame seeds

50 grams almonds, blanched and peeled

100 grams pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Olive oil

½ bunch green shallots

1 garlic clove

3 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 green capsicum, seeds removed

2 hot green chillies

1 bunch coriander

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan, set aside

2. Toast almonds and then pumpkin seeds in the same way

3. Blend seeds and almonds with ¼ cup of the stock

4. Fry this mixture in a little olive oil till fragrant

5. Blend the rest of the ingredients with the remaining stock

6. Add this mixture to the frying pan with seeds and almonds

7. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the eggs and potatoes

8. Heat through before serving

Serve with brown rice or quinoa and a salad.



image from:


Crispy Mexican doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce

Serves: 8

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


¾ cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

80 grams butter

1 cup plain flour

2 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vegetable oil for deep frying, 10 cm depth in a saucepan


1. In a flat dish combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside

2. Place the water, sugar, salt and butter in a 2 litre saucepan and bring to the boil

3. Remove from heat and stir in the flour vigorously till well combined and smooth

4. In a separate bowl mix eggs and vanilla

5. Gradually mix egg into the butter/ flour mix till smooth and glossy (choux pastry)

6. Place dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip

7. Bring oil to cooking temperature

8. Test with a small piece of dough, it should bubble up immediately or it will be soggy

9. Squeeze dough in 20cm lengths into the oil. 4 or 5 at a time is enough

10. Cook for a minute before turning with a slotted spoon

11. Cook an additional minute or two till golden brown

12. Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper

13. Whilst still warm roll in the cinnamon sugar mix

14. Continue till you have used up all the batter


150 grams dark chocolate

½ cup cream

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon Kahlua

1 tablespoon sugar (to sprinkle on top of sauce before serving)


1. Place a bowl over a boiling pot of water

2. Place chocolate and cream in bowl and mix till melted and smooth

3. Stir through Kahlua and cinnamon

4. Place in serving dish and sprinkle with sugar

Serve 3 or 4 warm churros per person with a pot of chocolate dipping sauce

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tantalising Thai…

Can you believe it’s our second last class for the Term? With all this fabulous warm weather it was a perfect opportunity to make some Thai food. Tantalising, just like the thought of summer…
Had to make a few changes as I couldn’t source any green papaya for the salad. Luckily you can substitute green mango pretty easily in this dish. If you don’t have a mandolin you can make cuts in the flesh and then shred the mango/ papaya with a veggie peeler. Be careful, this can be quite a tricky procedure!
Green Mango Salad
A popular street snack, now a spicy Thai signature dish
Serves: 4 as part of a meal
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Equipment: board, knife, mandolin, mortar and pestle, large mixing bowl
6 hot Thai chillies, chopped (to taste)
4 cloves garlic
4 cups unripe papaya(or mango), julienned
½ punnet cherry tomato, quartered
1 carrot, julienned (optional)
½ cup roasted peanuts
1 cup snake beans, cut into 2cm pieces
2 limes, juiced
3 Tablespoons tamarind water
3 Tablespoons mushroom-flavoured soy sauce
3 Tablespoons palm sugar
½ Tablespoons roasted chilli powder (to taste)
Wedge of cabbage
Cucumber slices
Lime wedges
1. Pound the chillies and garlic in the mortar and pestle
2. Add the lime juice, tamarind, soy sauce, palm sugar and mix well
3. Add the snake beans and cherry tomatoes and pound lightly
4. Place mixture in a large mixing bowl
5. Toss through papaya & carrot (if using)
6. Taste and adjust flavours: salty, sweet, sour and chilli
7. Serve with wedge of cabbage, cucumber slices and wedge of lime
pumpkin and zucchini stir fry
A satisfying dish to serve with rice or as part of a meal.
Serves: 4 (as part of a meal)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
knife, chopping board, wok, chan, small bowl for rubbish, measuring spoons

500 grams Pumpkin, peeled and sliced chopped into 5cm lengths
500 grams Zucchini, cut in ½ cm matchsticks 5 cm lengths
3 Eggs
3 Spring onions, sliced into 5cm lengths
2 tablespoon Canola oil
2 Garlic cloves, finely sliced
100 ml Water
2 tablespoon Vegetarian oyster sauce
2 tablespoon Mushroom soy sauce
½ teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon White sugar
¼ teaspoon Ground white pepper
Coriander leaves to garnish
1. Cook the pumpkin till just soft in microwave or steamer.
2. In a hot wok, fry the garlic in the oil till just golden
3. Add the eggs and stir till half cooked
4. Add the pumpkin, zucchini, water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, white pepper.
5. Stir fry for 5 minute till all combined.
6. Add the spring onion and stir to heat through.
Serve garnished with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of white pepper.
red curry paste
Thai Red Curry Paste (Vegetarian)
Most commercial red curry pastes are made with fish sauce or shrimp paste. Make a fresh batch of this paste and it will keep for months in the fridge or freeze portions to use throughout the year.
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
7 large red chillies, de-seeded
10 small dry red chillies
5 red shallot
7 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped coriander root
2 inch piece galangal
2 lemongrass stalk
2 teaspoons kaffir lime rind
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black soybean paste (or miso paste)
¼ cup coconut milk
Vegetable oil for storing in jar
1. Dry roast coriander, cumin and peppercorns in a frypan until fragrant.
2. Pound the the roasted seeds in mortar and pestle until they are powdered.
3. Place the next set of ingredients in the food processor with the pounded spices and pulse.
4. When all are combined add the soybean and coconut milk and blend till smooth.
5. Spoon into a sterile jar, top with vegetable oil and refrigerate till use.
6. Keeps a minimum of two months.
7. Always fry/ cook paste before use.
red curry big
A rich, fragrant curry with seasonal vegetables
Serves: 6 as part of a meal
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Equipment: board, knife, wok, chan, ladle
1 cup coconut cream
2 cups coconut milk (1 ½ cups cream + 1 cup water)
¾ cup red curry paste (less if using a stronger commercial curry paste)
2 cups puffy fried tofu, cut in half (optional)
1 cup small eggplant, cut into chunks
¼ small winter “hairy” melon, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes (optional)
2 cups button mushroom, wiped with a damp cloth, trimmed and quartered
1 cup carrot or pumpkin peeled, cut and par cooked
½ red capsicum, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 cups green vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, snake beans etc par cooked if necessary)
2 tablespoons palm sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 cup sweet Thai basil leaves, whole
1 long fresh chilli, sliced
1. Heat the wok over a medium heat
2. Add the coconut cream and reduce for 8 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally
3. Once the oil separates, add red curry paste and fry for 6-8 minutes till fragrant. Stir continuously.
4. Add puffy tofu and coconut milk, bring to the boil
5. Add palm sugar, soy sauce and then the carrots (or pumpkin) and capsicum
6. Add the eggplant, mushrooms and winter melon cook 10 mins.
6. Add the green vegetables and warm through.
6. Garnish with Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves and chilli slices.
7. Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.
sweet sticky rice 2
A traditional Northern Thai dessert, with a modern cooking method!
Serves: 6
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Microwave, oven at 180C to toast shredded coconut, glass bowl, cling film, chopping board, knife, small saucepan, baking tray

1c white sticky/ glutinous rice
1c coconut milk
2 Tbs sugar
2 pinches salt
Warm water
2 mangoes, peeled and sliced (or lychees, pineapple, papaya, bananas etc)
Garnish: Toasted coconut and palm sugar syrup
½ c shredded coconut, toasted in the oven on a baking tray
½ c palm sugar
½ c water

1. Soak the sticky rice in warm water for 10 minutes.
2. Drain and place in a glass bowl with 1 cup water, cover with cling film.
3. Cook in microwave for 3 minutes.
4. Carefully peel back cling film and stir rice thoroughly.
5. Replace cling film and cook a further 3 minutes.
6. Whilst rice is cooking heat coconut milk, sugar and salt in saucepan.
7. Check if rice is cooked, if not cook a further 3 minutes.
8. When rice is cooked, stir through ¾ of the hot coconut milk.
Palm sugar syrup:

1. Chop ½ cup of palm sugar and combine with ½ cup water in a saucepan.
2. Bring to the boil and stir till dissolved.
3. Set aside to cool.
To serve: may be served hot or cold.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of sticky rice into a bowl and serve topped with mango slices, remaining warm coconut milk, palm sugar syrup and shredded coconut.