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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.


  • 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.

Green Gumbo (New Orleans) August 2, 2015

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New Orleans Theme - Pam's main (1 of 2)This recipe for Green Gumbo was served at the New Orleans dinner, and was adapted from a recipe by Hank Shaw.

I made one change to this recipe. I boiled the ham hock for about 40 minutes and then cooked the greens in the same water for about 10 minutes before straining them out and using 10 cups of the resulting stock instead of the water in the recipe. That method was recommended in several other recipes, so I thought I would try it.

Rabbit pie (Easter Bunny) June 8, 2015

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Easter Bunny Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 2)This recipe was part of the main course in the Easter Bunny dinner. I used this recipe with some modifications:

  • I doubled the ‘sauce’ element because I also made mushroom pies and wanted them to have the same flavour.
  • I bought two whole rabbits and poached them in a slow cooker for about 5 hours in chicken stock with a carrot, onion and some celery and black pepper.
  • I omitted step 2 and added the shredded meat after step 3. This is because I used the same sauce/roux for the mushroom pies.
  • I made my own shortcrust pastry to Stephanie Alexander’s recipe (Cooks companion – see below). I did 1.5 times the quantities.
  • I bought Careme gluten free shortcrust pastry which tasted delicious and turned out perfectly but was awful to roll out and I ended up just pressing blobs of it into the pie tins.
  • For both mushroom and rabbit pies I rolled out the pastry and used individual pie dishes (you could also make two or three big pies depending on the size of your pie dish).
  • I then blind baked the pastry for about 10 minutes (same for a single large pie).
  • I then filled with the mixture, added some small pastry cut outs to the top (I didn’t have enough pastry for lids) and baked in the oven 180C for approx 25 mins (you may need to cook slightly longer for a large pie – 30-35 mins but as the filling is already cooked it is really just the pastry you’re trying to cook so be careful not to burn it).

Mushroom pies

I used the same ‘sauce/roux’ as the rabbit pies. After Step 3 of the rabbit pie recipe I split the sauce into two saucepans. In a separate frypan I fried mushrooms and butter and thyme over a low heat until the mushrooms were softened (probably about 10-15 mins) stirring regularly. I then added the mushrooms to the roux and cooked over a low heat for another 10 mins.

Shortcrust Pastry – Ingredients

  • 180g butter
  • 240g plain flour
  • ¼ cup iced water

Shortcrust Pasty – Method

  1. To make the shortcrust pastry, cut the butter into small chunks and pop them in the freezer briefly.
  2. Sieve the flour into a bowl and tip the butter in. Rub the butter into the flour so that only pea-sized bits remain. Make a well in the middle of the flour and butter mixture and pour the water in (only a tablespoon at a time – you may not need all the water – it is unlikely you will need more). Stir together with your fingers or a pastry scraper until it forms a loose dough.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto the bench top and use the heel of your palm to push the mixture away from you, smearing the butter onto the bench top. Regather the mix and repeat. Do this five or six times (the mix should look like a fairly cohesive dough by now).
  4. Pat the dough into a circle about 1 cm thick, wrap in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.

Coconut Risotto with Lemon and Parsley (Coconut) May 10, 2014

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Coconut Theme - Jacinta's Main

This was the main course of the coconut-themed dinner.

Unlike my entree, I used a lot of recipes and didn’t follow any of them very closely.

The flavours came from this baked risotto. The quantities of rice/stock/coconut milk from this coconut and asparagus risotto (which sounds delicious) although I did 1.5x the quantities for 6 servings. The method came from this slightly pretentious article. The idea to cook the risotto to about 75% beforehand and then ‘finish’ it later came from this site (as did the warnings against doing so).


  • 2 and 1/4 cups carnaroli rice (this is a type of risotto rice – arborio is the most common but bizarrely my local coles only had carnaroli)
  • 3 litres stock (I was too tired to make my own – I used the pre-made Massel brand chicken stock)
  • 2 small brown onions finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 tbsps lemon juice
  • 2 tsps lemon zest
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut


  1. In a heavy based pan sweat the onions in the vegetable oil – this should be done on a low heat and it should take about 10 mins for the onions to become translucent. You don’t want the onions to brown so keep them moving – the risotto stirring starts now!
  2. Put about half your stock in a saucepan until it starts simmering – keep it on a low heat.
  3. Turn the heat up and add the rice, stir to cover in onion and oil and to start toasting the grains – apparently this is the key to reducing the risotto cooking time – I don’t think I cooked the rice for long enough here because I was worried about burning it.
  4. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.
  5. Now the risotto making begins in earnest. Add a ladle of warm stock to the rice. Keep stirring until all the stock is absorbed. Resist the urge to add more stock until the previous ladle is completely absorbed. Keep adding stock, keep stirring. Every so often top up the stock in the saucepan, keeping it at a simmer.
  6. I kept this up until I’d used about 1.8 litres of stock.
  7. I then turned it off and quickly ladled it out and spread it on about 8 or 9 plates to cool for about 10 minutes and then put it in the fridge.
  8. When I got to Laura’s I tipped the risotto back into my heavy based pot. It still looked pretty good. Nice and glossy and starchy and creamy. It quickly absorbed quite a lot of stock (approx 600 ml), however I knew I still had 1.5 cups of coconut milk to add and I felt like it was starting to overcook.
  9. I then added the coconut milk (straight from the tin) and my beautiful creamy risotto turned to thick porridge! After all that stirring!
  10. Anyway – I kept stirring but it didn’t look like it was going to reduce so I added the lemon juice, zest and parmesan.
  11. I gave it a fairly vigorous stir and then served it topped with the chopped parsley and coconut flakes.

It tasted delicious and the flavours were good but the texture wasn’t quite right for me.
I wonder if heating the coconut milk would have helped and/or making the risotto in one go. Anyway I’d definitely make it again.

Goedangan Dressing (Obscure Country) October 18, 2013

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Obscure Country Theme - Kerri's Main (2 of 2)This was the dressing for the Goedangan salad from the Obscure Country dinner, and is a mixture of a few recipes. This is what I think I did.


  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp palm sugar, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • a little water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of coconut milk


  1. Fry together all the ingredients except the coconut milk.
  2. Take off heat and mix with the coconut milk.

Naan (Fluffy) September 22, 2013

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Fluffy Theme - Jacinta's Main (4 of 4)I also made fluffy naans using this recipe.

I didn’t need any extra flour/milk/butter. When mixing your wet and dry ingredients it feels sticky for a while but will all of a sudden come together so give it a chance before adjusting your ingredients.

I did look at quite a few other recipes which influenced some of my cooking methods.

Firstly I did a “cold prove” and let my dough rise in the fridge all day and got it out of the fridge an hour before kneading it again.

Once I kneaded the dough, I formed it into a ball and then slightly flattened it and then cut it into 12 wedges like a cake (cut into quarters and then each quarter into 3 slices). I left these uncovered on a plate for about 30-40 mins before rolling out. I didn’t use a rolling pin but just my hands to pull out into a flat ‘tear-drop’ shape. Don’t worry if you get a hole in the dough or if it is a bit uneven.

I wet one side of the naan with water (some recipes say butter) and then placed the wet side down in a very hot buttery non-stick fry pan. I would suggest omitting the butter as the naans that fried in a dry pan were much more authentic looking. None of my naans bubbled up. I cooked them for approx 2-3 mins on each side.

Chicken and Rosewater Biryani (Fluffy) September 22, 2013

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Fluffy Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 4)The biryani (from the Fluffy dinner) is a Rick Stein recipe from his book Rick Stein’s India that is also on the BBC website.

I followed the recipe fairly closely but used a hot curry powder instead of the Kashmiri chilli powder (because I didn’t have any) and I also forgot to add the bay leaves.

The chicken mixture took closer to 30 mins for the marinade to reduce.

If I was making again I probably wouldn’t bother deep frying the onions I would just pan fry and I would probably add another onion (I used 3 large onions and I would have liked a bit more). I would also add another 250-500gms of chicken as I really didn’t think there was enough for the amount of rice – the marinade was plentiful so you wouldn’t need to double the marinade if you increased the amount of chicken. I would also increase the amount of nuts and add these to the chicken layers.

Deconstructed Felafel (Glass) September 22, 2013

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Glass Theme - Jacinta's Main (3 of 3)This was one of the main dishes from the Meal in a Glass night from February 2012, and was based on this recipe at taste.com.au.

These were easy to make and very moist and tasty but I omitted rolling them in sesame seeds (from sheer laziness). I served these in a martini glass with a wedge of cucumber,a wedge of pita bread, a wedge of lemon, a cherry tomato and a tahini dressing. I combined yoghurt, tahini and lemon juice to taste.

Sticky Balsamic Chicken (Vinegar) June 8, 2013

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Vinegar Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 3)This was the main course for the Vinegar dinner, and comes from the May 2013 Women’s Weekly magazine.


  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 125ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp chopped oregano
  • 2tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2kg whole chicken


I used 2x 1kg chickens and I doubled the marinade. The thighs and drumsticks were the tastiest so you could make this with 2kg of bone in thigh fillets if you’d prefer.

  1. Place half of the herbs and all other ingredients except chicken in slow cooker. Stir to combine. Place chicken in slow cooker and turn to coat. Cook in slow cooker on low for 6 hours.
  2. (I left this in the slow cooker 9 hours while I was at work)
  3. Remove chicken and keep warm. Tip sauce into frypan and skim off fat. Reduce sauce by half. Pour sauce over chicken and scatter with remaining herbs. Serve with roast tomatoes and salad greens.

Celery baked in Vinaigrette (Vinegar) June 8, 2013

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Vinegar Theme - Jacinta's Main (2 of 3)This was an accompaniment to the main course in the Vinegar dinner, and is largely based on the Delia Smith recipe at BBC Food Recipes.

I was a bit confused about her instruction to cut off the roots but assume that celery in Australia is sold with roots and tough outer layers removed.

I would also suggest baking for a bit longer and cutting the celery stalks in half lengthwise to ensure even cooking.