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Same But Different October 23, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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For possibly the first time, we ended up having two recipe clubs arranged for the same month, with this dinner on Monday 25th July. In honour of this unusual event, we decided the dinner would be inspired by the food from the previous dinner this month (Tofu). It wasn’t meant to be an exact copy, but the “same but different”. Andrew and Jacinta served the dishes and Andrew hosted in his newly renovated kitchen.

Entré

Same But Different Theme - Entre

The first dish was Andrew’s take on Franca’s silken tofu soup – it was carrot, ginger and tofu soup.

Mains

Same But Different Theme - Mains (1 of 2) Same But Different Theme - Mains (2 of 2)

The main course was inspired by Franca’s bean curd wraps and eggplant stirfry. Andrew served a corn flour flatbread (that unfortunately didn’t roll up) and an imam’s moussaka from Annabel’s Crabb’s cookbook.

Dessert

Same But Different Theme - Dessert (1 of 2) Same But Different Theme - Dessert (2 of 2)

Inspired by Laura’s chocolate cheesecake and choc-chip cookies, Jacinta made a yummy chocolate, coconut and macadamia tart and choc-chip and tahini biscuits.

Chicken Enchilada Bundt Bread (Tins and Moulds) May 21, 2016

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Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's Mains (1 of 2)This dish was served as the main course at the Tins and Moulds dinner.

Chicken Enchilada Bundt Bread

The bundt bread was based on a recipe on the Old El Paso website.

I tripled the filling as I wanted to make three (two meat and one vegetarian).
For the vegetarian bundt bread I roasted some red and yellow mini capsicums and added those to the filling. I used two Jiffy cornbread packets that I had from a recent trip to the US.
For the two chicken enchilada breads I made my own cornbread as I needed it to be gluten free. I used this recipe here as a bit of a guide but weighed the two packets of Jiffy cornbread mix to get a feel for how much cornmeal and flour I would need. I used polenta (you can grind up polenta to make cornmeal if you really want to) and gluten-free plain flour.

I used 4 cups polenta and 1 cup gluten free plain flour. I also made my own buttermilk (1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup milk and leave to to stand for 10-15 mins) and used about 2 and 3/4 cups of it and 2 eggs. I used about 150gms of melted butter. I didn’t use the bacon drippings (that was just needed to grease the pan) or the sugar. I did use about 1/2 tsp salt. I’m also not sure about the quantities in this recipe for baking soda (bi-carb soda). I considered this to be way too much and only used 1 scant tsp for the double mixture. Most other recipes call for baking powder so I’m not sure if this was a typo.

I then made the bundt breads as per the recipe. I used a mix of Kraft Mexican blend cheese and shredded Colby.

Tips

  • Grease the tins really well.
  • Use less than half the cornbread mix first because the tin is smaller at the bottom and you end up with a thick layer if you use half and then don’t have enough for the next layer (I had to make another quick batch of cornbread – 3/4 cup polenta 1/4 cup g/f plain flour, 1 egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/8tsp baking soda).
  • Keep the filling narrow and push down the cornbread so that the two layers of cornbread meet otherwise you can see the layer of filling and it separates when you tip it out of the tin.

FYI – this recipe served 6 easily (and not 4 as stated).

Mexican Salsa

I also made this salsa to serve with the bread.

Because I wasn’t following the recipe closely I sauteed my onion for 5-10 mins. I used tinned tomatoes and blitzed them with a hand-held blender before I added to the pan. I also just finely chopped the coriander because I had forgotten to add to the tinned tomatoes. I didn’t add cumin but did use the juice of a lime. I also used about six slices of jalapenos from a jar instead of the 2-3 hot peppers and it definitely wasn’t very spicy so I would add a few more next time.

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

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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.

Tins and Moulds May 21, 2016

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On Monday 9th May, Jacinta hosted a dinner that was a celebration of tins and moulds. Jacinta cooked the savoury dishes and Andrew made dessert.

Entré

Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's Entree

To begin the evening, Jacinta made us an avocado and cucumber mousse.

Mains

Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's Mains (1 of 2)

Jacinta followed up with a chicken enchilada bundt bread with mexican salsa.

Dessert

Tins and Moulds - Andrew's Dessert

For dessert, Andrew plated up slices of date and walnut nut loaf with discs of home-made cultured butter, Melbourne-breakfast flavoured tea jellies, and dollops of date syrup.

Mole Chicken (Foods of Love) March 14, 2016

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This dish was served at the Foods of Love dinner, and is based on a couple of recipes.

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (4 of 4)Mole Sauce

I used this Pati Jinich recipe.

I omitted the almonds (because of an allergy) and anise seeds (because I couldn’t find them in any of the four shops I went to). I used peanut butter instead of peanuts. I also used a range of fresh and dried chillies and tinned chipotles in adobe sauce. Because I was worried about it being too hot (cooking the sauce was making my eyes water) I removed the chillies before blending and it ended up being quite mild. I made the sauce the day before and it was very, very earthy and quite bitter. I googled ‘how to fix a bitter mole’ and basically determined that mole’s need a lot of sugar and salt to taste good so i kept adding agave syrup and salt until it tasted ok. Approx 1/3-1/2 cup agave syrup and 1-2tsps salt.

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 4)Chicken Mole

I then cooked the sauce and chicken according to this David Lebovitz recipe.

I used about 1.5kg of thigh fillets instead of a whole chicken and only used about half of the mole from the first recipe.

I served it with fresh limes, basmati rice and roasted vegetables. I roasted sweet potato, red onion, zucchini and corn with some oil and dried oregano.

Foods of Love March 13, 2016

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As the evening after Valentine’s Day, our dinner on Monday 15th February took the theme of the “Foods of Love”. Or, more specifically, ingredients considered aphrodisiacs, e.g. due to their looks or taste. Jacinta hosted, and provided the savoury dishes along with Laura’s sweet ones.

Entré

Love Theme - Jacinta's Entre

To begin the meal, Jacinta served us roasted figs with goats cheese.

Mains

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 4) Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (4 of 4) Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (2 of 4) Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (3 of 4)

The main course was chicken mole with roast vegetables and basmati rice.

Dessert

Love Theme - Laura's Dessert (1 of 2) Love Theme - Laura's Dessert (2 of 2)

Laura’s dessert was slices of Persian love cake with apple roses and macadamia icecream.

Frozen Champagne Mousse With Mini-Meringues, Champagne Truffles and Orange Segments (Champagne) December 23, 2015

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Champagne Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (2 of 2)This dessert platter was the final part of the Champagne Dinner.

Meringues

The recipe is based on Nigella’s basic meringue.

I added approx 1 tbsp of finely grated orange zest after all the sugar had been incorporated. I also piped mine onto trays rather than using a spoon. These meringues were the best part of the dessert and I will make again.

Champagne Mousse

The recipe comes from SprinkleBakes blog.

I didn’t love the texture. Probably wouldn’t make again or if I did I wouldn’t freeze it.

Champagne Truffles

The recipe is from Martha Stewart.

I replaced cognac with Cointreau. I also found that the truffles kept absorbing the sugar so they didn’t look as lovely as those on the web – tasted good though!

 

Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting (Champagne) December 23, 2015

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Champagne Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (1 of 2)This was part of the dessert in the Champagne dinner.

I looked at heaps of recipes online for these cupcakes but this was the one I settled on because it used whole eggs rather than egg whites. I also made it with gluten free flour. The batter looked and smelled delicious but they were pretty hard and dense and not light and fluffy like I had hoped once they were cooked – perhaps that’s why most other recipes used egg whites or perhaps it was the gluten free flour. Either way, I’m not in a rush to make these again.

Champagne December 23, 2015

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On Monday 2nd November (the night before the Melbourne Cup), Laura hosted the Champagne dinner. Laura did the savoury courses and Jacinta made the sweet ones.

Entré

Champagne Theme - Laura's Entree (1 of 2) Champagne Theme - Laura's Entree (2 of 2)

To begin the meal, Laura served us champagne chicken liver pate, and Nigella’s champagne risotto.

Main

Champagne Theme - Laura's Main (1 of 2) Champagne Theme - Laura's Main (2 of 2)

Laura’s main course was chicken with champagne and mushroom sauce and a delicious champagne and strawberry salad.

Dessert

Champagne Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (1 of 2) Champagne Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (2 of 2)

To conclude the meal, Jacinta made champagne cupcakes with strawberry frosting and a dessert platter of frozen champagne mousse with mini meringues and truffles.

Carrot October 3, 2015

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On Monday 3rd August, Pam hosted the recipe club, but it was Laura and Jacinta that were the cooks for the evening, with the theme being: carrot!

Entré

Carrot Theme -

Laura begun the dinner with a surprising and refreshing orange, carrot and mint soup.

Mains

IMG_7613_crop IMG_7614_crop IMG_7616_crop

Laura then followed with several more carrot dishes: savoury carrot souffle, caramelised purple carrot risotto, and warm carrot with red capsicum and haloumi salad.

Dessert

IMG_7619_crop IMG_7622_crop

Jacinta proved her creativity by finishing the dinner with some sweet carrot treats: carrot halwa, and orange and purple carrot panna cotta with candied carrots.