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Avocado and Cucumber Mousse (Tins and Moulds) May 21, 2016

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's EntreeFor entree at the Tins and Moulds dinner, I made a avocado and cucumber mousse, based on a recipe at this blog.

I doubled the recipe but only because I wasn’t sure how much mousse this recipe made and I needed it to fit in the fish shaped mould (not shown).  I didn’t use the salsa recipe but instead just finely chopped red and yellow mini roma tomatoes, spring onion and added a bit of pepper and a glug of olive oil.  I also served with celery sticks and corn chips.

Honey and Soy Joys (Cornflakes) December 7, 2012

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Cornflakes Theme - Jacinta's EntreeThis was the first dish of the Cornflakes dinner, and was based on a spiced nuts recipe and a traditional honey joy recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups of cornflakes
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mild paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

In future I would probably use chilli and smoked paprika instead of the cayenne and mild paprika.


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Line 24 hole patty pan with paper cases.
  3. Place cornflakes and spices into a heatproof bowl.
  4. Melt butter and honey together in a saucepan until frothy. Take off heat and add sesame oil. Pour over cornflake and spice mix.
  5. Working quickly spoon into paper patty cases.
  6. Bake in a slow oven 150°C for 10 minutes.
  7. Cool and eat!


Moroccan carrot salad (Colourful) June 9, 2012

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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This was made with purple carrots (pictured) for the Colourful dinner.

There are lots of variations on this recipe on the internet.  This version is from the New York Times. I was slightly dubious about the olives and boiled egg but I thought they actually really worked.

Soft Parmesan and Mustard Grissini (Cheese) May 16, 2012

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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These were just some simple starters for the Cheese dinner. It was my first attempt at grissini (bread sticks) and they turned out softer than I was expecting – more of a bready consistency than a crunchy one.


  • 7g instant dry yeast
  • 150mL milk
  • 2 cups 00-grade plain flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 30mL olive oil
  • 30mL dijon mustard
  • sea salt flakes


  1. Warm the milk to room temperature (e.g. in the microwave) and mix in the yeast. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
  2. Chop the parmesan finely, if it isn’t already like that.
  3. Put the flour and parmesan into a mixing bowl, and create a well in the middle. Pour in the olive oil, mustard, and the milk-yeast mix. Combine using a knife and knead with hands until well-combined and elastic.
  4. Form into a ball, leave in the bowl, covered with cling-wrap, for about an hour in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.
  5. Start the oven going at a temperature of 200 degrees Celcius.
  6. Punch down the dough and then divide in half.
  7. With each half, roll into a flat disc, and cut into 2cm-thick strips using a pizza cutter.
  8. Fold each strip in half to reduce its length, and roll with hands to form a thin rope. Place onto baking trays with baking paper on them, e.g. about 8 or 9 per tray (one half of the dough per tray).
  9. Sprinkle the ropes with salt. It probably won’t stick, so roll the ropes back and forth a bit to pick up the salt that will have fallen around.
  10. Cook in the oven for about 9-10 minutes until browned.

Serves 6.

Baked Brie (Cheese) May 16, 2012

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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This is largely based on Jamie Oliver’s Baked Camembert recipe and was (obviously) part of the Cheese dinner.


  • 2 x 175g King Island Triple Cream Brie cheeses, room temperature
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 6 small sprigs of rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  2. Boil a saucepan of water, and blanch the garlic for about four minutes.
  3. Unwrap the cheeses and take off the rind on the top, leaving about 1 cm on around the rim.
  4. Push each cheese into a 1 cup ramekin. (If the cheeses hadn’t fit, I would’ve taken a thin wedge out of the cheese and then pushed it together to make it a bit smaller.)
  5. Chop the garlic into thin slices and push into the cheese. Also push the rosemary sprigs into the cheese.
  6. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until runny, then remove. It doesn’t matter if it starts to bubble.
  8. Put some bread in the oven about 10 mins in, to get it warm and crusty.
  9. Also, while waiting, chop up the cranberries and almonds and mix together.
  10. Serve the cheeses with the crusty bread and with the fruit and nut mix to either sprinkle on, or just dunk the cheese-coated bread into.

Serves 6.

Bulgogi – Korean Barbecue Beef (BBQ) January 20, 2012

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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One of the entree dishes for the BBQ dinner was this delicious Korean Barbecue Beef, known as Bulgogi. This recipe is another one from Ben O’Donoghue’s book Ben’s Barbecue.


  • 500g rump steak
  • 3 tablespoons (60mL) brown sugar
  • 125mL light soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • 100mL mirin
  • 2 tablespoons (40mL) sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot
  • leaves of 1/2 iceberg lettuce
  • mint leaves
  • ~200g kimchi
  • other korean sauces that take your fancy


  1. Heat an oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. Trim the beef of fat and slice thinly. Chop the garlic cloves finely. Slice the spring onions finely.
  3. Place sesame seeds on a tray and toast in the oven for about five minutes, until they colour. Then remove to cool.
  4. Combine the sugar, soy sauce, garlic, salt, mirin, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and spring onions to make the marinade, and mix the beef slices through.
  5. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. When it comes to cooking the beef, bring the beef mix to room temperature, then heat a BBQ hotplate to medium-hot.
  7. Chop the carrot finely while waiting.
  8. Oil the hotplate, and begin frying the meat. Once they’ve begun warming, then add the carrots, and fry everything together. It takes only a few minutes to cook so it’s tender.
  9. Transfer bulgogi to serving dish and place on table together with lettuce leaves, kimchi, mint leaves, and any other tasty Korean sauces that take your fancy. Before eating, place everything on a lettuce leave and wrap into a delicious parcel.

Serves 6 as entree or 3 as mains.

Gyoza (Japanese) November 9, 2011

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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This recipe is heavily based on one from the book Essentially Japanese Cooking & Cuisine by Hideo Dekura and was served at the Japanese dinner.

Ingredients (for dipping sauce)

  • 75 mL light soy sauce
  • 75 mL rice wine vinegar
  • small drizzle of sesame oil
  • small drizzle of chilli oil

Ingredients (for dumplings)

  • 500g Chinese cabbage (less than half typical cabbage)
  • 2 1/2 (12.5 mL) teaspoons salt
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (37.5 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sesame oil
  • 5 spring onions (scallions)
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) sake
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 5 teaspoons (25 mL) caster sugar
  • 5cm piece of fresh ginger
  • pepper
  • 60 gow gee wrappers (they need to be  round)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • water for steaming


  1. Combine all ingredients for dipping sauce and set aside. The chilli oil is optional, depending on taste. Now to make the dumplings…
  2. Finely chop the cabbage, place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Mix well and set aside for the cabbage to wilt a little.
  3. In another bowl, combine the pork mince and the oils, mixing well.
  4. Chop the spring onion stems finely, grate the ginger, and set both aside.
  5. When the cabbage is wilted, place in a strainer and press to remove as much of the water as you can. If there is too much liquid in the mix, it will be a bit runny later.
  6. Add the cabbage to the pork mince, and mix in with the spring onions, sake, soy sauce, sugar, half of the ginger, squeeze the juice in from the other half of the ginger (discarding the pulp), and pepper.
  7. Make the individual gyoza dumplings by placing a wrapper in the palm of one hand, spooning in about a tablespoon of mixture into the middle, using a finger dipped in a glass of water to lightly wet half of the circumference of the wrapper, fold in half around the mixture, place onto a flat surface with the edge up, then pleat along the edge to seal. Or you can see some good instructions on another site. If you use too much mixture or too much water, it will be difficult to seal when you fold in half.
  8. I kept my dumplings in the fridge over-night, but the wrappers went a little soft and sticky. I understand that they can be freezed well, though.
  9. To cook, the dumplings need to be fried and then steamed. Traditionally this is done in the same frypan, but I almost blew up the kitchen doing it this way initially. A safer way (that also is a bit faster if you’re making a lot of gyoza, as in this case) is to use a frypan to fry and then transfer to a separate steamer (eg. a bamboo steamer sitting on a wok with about 1/2 cup of water boiling in it). When frying, use a small amount of oil and flip the dumplings once to ensure colour on two sides. Then the dumplings should be steamed for another minute or two until fully cooked.
  10. Serve hot, as batches come out of the steamer, with the dipping sauce.

Serves 8 (making 60 dumplings).

Semolina Dumplings in Chicken Broth (Forgotten Ingredient) October 9, 2011

Posted by kerribatch in Recipes.
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Comfort food at its best! Simple but tasty. Ideal for winter or for someone who’s feeling under the weather. Makes enough dumplings for between 8 and 12 soup servings, depending on how many dumplings you want in each serve. I served it with 4 dumplings each but 3 would have been fine, too. The dumpling recipe is a mixture of several I found on the internet.

Make the stock a day ahead (ideally – I made it on the day but only just got it finished in time). Start making the dumplings about 10 minutes before serving time.


Use a good chicken stock recipe to make at least 4 litres of stock. I used a variation of Poh’s recipe. I left out the mushrooms because I forgot to buy them, used a whole chicken plus 6 extra wings because I was too lazy to go to the butcher to get carcasses, forgot to put peppercorns in, and added rosemary to the herbs. I used a huge stock pot and probably had 6 litres of liquid before reducing it.

After removing as much of the fat from the surface as possible and straining the finished liquid through a very fine sieve or cloth (cheesecloth or several layers of muslin), return to stove and reduce by 1/3. Season to taste – I added quite a bit of salt to mine, even though I rarely use it, so make sure you taste it! For a really clear broth, you can clarify the stock (but this will add several hours of preparation time so I didn’t do this. I want to try it out sometime, though!)

Ingredients (for dumplings)

  • 330ml milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into short, fat matchsticks
  • 1 parsnip, peeled, cut the same as the carrot
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges


  1. Bring the milk, butter, nutmeg and salt to boil over a moderate heat. Add the semolina and stir until the semolina forms a ball and starts to come away from the sides of the saucepan (almost immediately). Transfer to a bowl and add the parmesan, herbs and egg and stir firmly until the mixture is smooth. The lumps will smooth out with vigorous stirring.
  2. While you return the broth to a simmer, make balls of dumpling mixture by rolling in your wet hands to about an inch in diameter. Place on non-stick paper and continue until all dumpling mixture has been used.
  3. Carefully put dumplings into simmering broth, along with carrot and parsnip. Cover and allow to cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dumplings float. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes, giving the dumplings time to swell a little more.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges – these gave the broth a bit of extra zing which I thought was delicious.

Baked Southern-style sticky ribs (American) July 23, 2011

Posted by kerribatch in Recipes.
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This recipe from the American dinner comes from “Slow Cooking” by Joanne Glynn, Murdoch Books 2003.

Cooking time 3 ½ hours
Serves 6

Ingredients (Ribs)

  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 12 rashers bacon
  • 2 kg meaty pork spare ribs, cut into serving size portions

Ingredients (Glaze)

  • 2 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp American mustard
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 ½ tbsp molasses
  • ¾ muscavado sugar (but I used dark brown)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp Tabasco
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Small pinch ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Put the onions, bay leaves and peppercorns in the base of a large roasting pan.
  3. Lay the ribs on top, then cover evenly with a single layer of 6 bacon rashers.
  4. Pour over 3 cups of water.
  5. Cover the tin tightly with foil so the steam cannot escape.
  6. Cook for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven. Increase the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius.
  8. Combine the remaining glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, whisk until smooth, then bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  9. Peel off the bacon and discard. Divide the remaining 6 bacon rashers over the base of two foil-lined roasting tins or oven trays.
  10. Discard the onions and pan juices (or strain the mixture, skim off fat & serve as a dipping broth).
  11. Liberally brush the ribs all over with the glaze, then place in a single layer over the top of the bacon and cook, uncovered, for a further 45 minutes, brushing regularly with the glaze until the meat is very tender and the glaze sticky.
  12. Give the ribs one last brush with the glaze & serve with the bacon, accompanied by baked potatoes and sour cream.

Swedish Meatballs (Cardamom) April 12, 2011

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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It turns out that the vikings took cardamom to Scandinavia, and a number of traditional dishes in the region use it, including Swedish Meatballs. This recipe is based on three different online recipes.


For meatballs:

  • 5 slices wholemeal bread, torn into pieces
  • 2/3 cup (165mL) milk
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g beef mince
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (ideally freshly ground from green pods)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (plus approx additional 3 tablespoons butter) for frying

For gravy sauce:

  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 500 mL beef stock
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce (ideally lingonberry sauce, eg. from IKEA)


  1. Soak the bread in milk, and leave it to get really soggy.
  2. Peel and grate the onion, then finely dice it to ensure no large pieces. Fry in butter until it begins to change colour (after about 3-4 mins). Then remove and allow to cool.
  3. Blend the milky bread, or use a stick mixer, until smooth, and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the onions, salt, pepper, cardamom and mixed spice, and combine well.
  5. Add eggs, pork mince, beef mince and mix well using fingers. Squish it all together for at least 3 mins.
  6. Take tablespoon-sized spoonfuls of meat mixture, roll into balls and set aside. Makes between 50-60 balls.
  7. Melt the butter in a large frypan over medium heat, and fry the meatballs in batches. Do not crowd the pan, and fry them just enough to brown the outside, turning them to ensure an even colour.
  8. When, during this last step, the frypan butter starts to get very brown, before starting the next batch, scrape out the pan into a jug and set aside (do not keep any burnt butter!). Then put fresh butter into the frypan and continue. Scrape out the pan into the jug at the end.
  9. You can now store the partially cooked meatballs in the fridge overnight, in a 2L-capacity airtight container. Keep the pan scrapings also.
  10. Start the gravy sauce by emptying the pan scrapings into a large frypan, and cooking over medium heat until melted.
  11. Heat the stock (eg. in a microwave) or on the stove. You’ll need this in a little bit.
  12. Stir the flour into the frypan, and then cook it with the scrapings for a couple of minutes until it has good colour.
  13. Slowly add the stock, stirring all the while. Initially, the mix will start going solid, but keep adding the stock and stirring until it has all been combined.
  14. Turn the heat to low, add the meatballs, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked.
  15. Stir in sour cream and cranberry sauce, ensuring that the cranberry sauce separates.
  16. Plate up immediately (around 8 meatballs are right for an entree-sized serving).
  17. I served it with mashed, red-skinned potato, flavoured with dill.