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Japanese November 9, 2011

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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This month was dedicated to Japanese food, and on Monday 7th November, Andrew hosted the dinner.


Andrew cooked a huge batch of gyoza dumplings for entree.



For main course, Jacinta served us teriyaki chicken and potato korokke.



The final course was Franca’s trio of Japanese icecream – green tea, red bean and black sesame, plus a platter of sliced Fuji apple with rice wine syrup.

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.

Chocolate fridge cake (Forgotten Ingredient) October 5, 2011

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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I had a jar of coconut oil left over from when I made Ice Magic last year for the Chocolate dinner. The Forgotten Ingredient dinner was a good chance to use it up.

This recipe is heavily based on this “Mock Chocolate Cheesecake” recipe by Kim. It is uncooked, vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), and gluten-free.

Ingredients (for crust)

  • 1 cup (250mL) macadamias (~140g)
  • 1 cup blanched, sliced or similar almonds
  • ½ cup dates
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) cocoa powder

Ingredients (for filling)

  • 3 cups unsalted, roasted cashews (~450g)
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¼ cup golden syrup (that’s what I used, but you could probably use more honey)
  • ¾ cup refined coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of water for 1hr, then drain.
  2. Grease a 23cm diameter spring-form cake tin with coconut oil, and set aside.
  3. Place all crust ingredients in a food processor, and process until crumbly.
  4. Press crust firmly into the cake tin.
  5. Place all filling ingredients in a food processor, good blender or in a jug using a hand blender, and blend until smooth. It’s okay if it still seems a bit gritty – this will sort itself out later.
  6. Poor filling into tin, cover with an inverted plate and place in the fridge until ready to serve. It should take a couple of hours to set.
  7. To serve, I grated chocolate over the top to hide water marks and served with raspberries and double cream. Although, it’s no longer vegan / dairy-free, it tasted good.

Serves ~12.

Forgotten Ingredient October 5, 2011

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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The theme for this month was Forgotten Ingredient – dishes had to use an ingredient from the pantry that the cook had forgotten they had. Pam hosted this dinner on Monday 3rd October.


Kerri provided a very comforting entree in the form of semolina dumplings in chicken broth (semolina was the forgotten ingredient).



For mains, Pam served up nigella seed moroccan chicken with moroccan carrots (nigella seeds were the forgotten ingredient).


To finish up, Andrew delivered a chocolate fridge cake (coconut oil was the forgotten ingredient).