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Archive for the ‘Mains’ Category

Goat & Vegetable Soup

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010



Don’t be afraid.


Cooking goat sounds scary I know.


But really it’s no different than lamb or beef. The flavour is very much like a cross between beef and lamb and it is excellent for casseroles, soups and curries. One of our favourite curries is a Nepalese Goat Curry, recipe to come soon.


For this soup you will need goat curry meat, which is funny because I don’t actually use it for Curry as the bones are such a pain to eat with. But goat curry meat (which is diced goat on the bone) is perfect for soup. The other thing I love about goat curry is it’s extremely affordable. I got a kilo for $6.99 from my butcher.



Goat & Vegetable Soup


Ingredients:

1 kg Goat Curry Pieces (on the bone)

2 Litres Beef Stock

1 Large Onion Diced

2 Large Carrots finely diced

2 Medium Potatoes finely Diced

Seasoning


Method:


Place the goat pieces into a baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil. Roast in a 250C oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Heat up your stock, now I make my own stock and freeze it but store bought is fine. Transfer the goat pieces to the pot with the stock and simmer on a very low heat for 2-3 hours. You will need to top the soup up with water to make sure the bones are covered. Once the meat is tender enough that it falls off the bone strain the soup and reserve the meat and bones.  Gently remove the meat from the bones and fork to flake the meat if needed. Taste and season the broth. Put the broth back on the stove and add your diced vegetables (for flavour and colour you can saute the onion if you desire). Add the meat back to the broth and cook for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Feel free to skim the fat off the soup at any time. Serve with warm crusty bread on a cold winters night. For this recipe I made 2 Rosemary, Sea Salt & Garlic Oil Focaccia loaves and it went together perfectly.


***Note*** When I make my stock I roast onion, garlic, carrot, celery with some bones and then boil with some herbs for about 3-4 hours. Homemade stock done this way will give a more intense flavour to the soup. If you are worried about the flavour lacking in a bought stock you can add roasted garlic, a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme to the first boil of the goat pieces. Please remember to discard  the herbs when separating the meat from the bones.



Sunday Roast

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

A very Australian tradition is the Sunday Roast. And no I’m not talking about Nicole and Keith’s little one. One of our very British traditions that we haven’t been able to shake. And I am very grateful.


There is nothing better than to end the week with an awesome roast dinner. And I would have to say next to Steak and a mean Curry it’s up there as one of Mr Neurotic’s favourite meals.


A roast in our house usually consists of a roast hunk of meat. Our faves are Roast Chicken and Roast Pork. Then you’ll have a nice starchy side of Potatoes. Some of our faves are Duck Fat Potatoes, Pan Fried Crispy Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes or The Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes. And then there’s the veg usually in the Neurotic household it’s Braised Anchovy Peas. Sounds scary but I promise you that you haven’t lived until you have had these peas. FYI I hate peas. But I love these peas.


So who started the tradition? Well according to Wikipedia:


Sunday Roast dates back to when the squire would treat his serfs to a meal of roast oxen every Sunday to reward them for the week’s work.


A reward hey? I definitely think what I cooked tonight was a reward… or maybe I’m the one who deserves a reward for the awesome dinner… hmmm.


So tonight we had Pastor Ryan’s Herb Chicken, my way. The Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Mashed Potato and Braised Anchovy Peas. Recipes to come. For now, try and keep your saliva off the keyboard.



And tell me do you follow the Sunday Roast tradition?

A Man’s Meal…

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Well it’s our anniversary today so I decided to make him one of his favourite dishes.


Flame Grilled Steak, Sauted Baby Spinach and Duck Fat Potatoes.



Serves 2

Ingredients

3 Large Potatoes (peeled and quartered)

1/4 – 1/3 cup Duck Fat

2 Large T-Bone Steaks

1 Bag of Baby Spinach

1 garlic clove crushed (or 1 tsp)

Salt & Pepper


Method:


First preheat the oven to 220C. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Put the duck fat into a small baking dish (big enough to fit all the potatoes) and put into the oven to heat up. Boil the potatoes for 8 minutes then drain. Season and put the lid on and shake to roughen the edges of the potatoes. Carefully place the potatoes into the hot oil, and using a large metal spoon, spoon the hot oil over the potatoes. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes before turning and baking for another 20 minutes. You can cook these potatoes ahead of time and reheat in a moderate oven on a rack till crispy and hot.



Grill the steaks on a BBQ for roughly 5 mins per side (could be more or less depending on your bbq, your steak and how you like it!). Let the steaks rest on a hot plate covered in foil for 5 minutes. During this time you can saute the spinach with a tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of butter and the garlic and seasoning to taste. Cook until wilted.



Plate everything up and watch your other half worship the ground you walk on…



And hopefully all that will be left on the plate will be the bone…


Easy Potato Moussaka

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Now following on from this weeks Monday Confession here is my recipe for Easy Potato Moussaka.

Easy Potato Moussaka

Ingredients:

1 batch of Bolognaise/Meat Ragu*

3/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp All Spice

5-6 Large Potatoes, Peeled and Sliced 1 cm thick

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

2 -3 cups of Béchamel Sauce**

2 egg yolks

Nutmeg

A few handfuls of washed Baby Spinach (or 2 zucchini’s sliced)

Method:

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil (I boil the kettle for this one so it’s quick!). Add Potato slices and cook for 15 minutes (or until just tender). Carefully remove the slices from the water (I use an asian Spider strainer) and set aside in a dish to cool.

Reheat your meat sauce and add Cinnamon and All spice, make sure that you cook until the sauce is quite thick.

When making your bachemal do not bring to the boil, thicken over a low heat. Once thickened carefully whisk in the egg yolks and a sprinkling of nutmeg (to taste).

To assemble the Moussaka using a large baking dish (a rectangle lasagna dish is perfect) first place a small amount of sauce on the bottom, then layer half the potato, then half the cheese, then half the meat sauce,  then the spinach (or Zucchini), then the remainder of the potato, then the other half of the cheese, the rest of the meat sauce and top with béchamel sauce. Cook in a 180C oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is almost a dark golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serve with a nice salad.

You can assemble the Moussaka up to the béchamel stage and put in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Make the béchamel just before assembly, and not before. Twice baked Moussaka is the bomb, so always be sure to leave a portion in the fridge for the next days lunch/dinner! Mr Neurotic freezes the rest for work lunches.

* For my ragu, I normally double the batch that I would make for bolognaise and freeze half for Pastitsio, Moussaka or even Stuffed Jacket Spuds.

** For my Béchamel I usually go with 1 large dessertspoon of butter & flour per cup of milk. For this recipe I made 2 dessertspoons of butter & flour and roughly 2 cups of milk. Please do NOT add cheese to this sauce, it is purely a white sauce.

Baked Carbonara

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This is slightly adapted from the recipe in Donna Hay’s “Off the Shelf”. I tend to generally always have bacon, onion, eggs, cream, milk & Parmesan so this ends up being a “Oh no what’s for dinner” meal. The original recipe doesn’t call for onion or garlic, and I know all the carbonara purists will tell me that those ingredients aren’t in a real carbonara, but carbonara isn’t baked normally either so I hope the purists will forgive me. Its worth it I tell you.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 cups of cream
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup grated paremsan (please don’t use the plastic stuff unless you absolutely have to)
400 gms of cooked pasta (I sometimes use the 3 minute instant pasta if I’m in a rush)
1 brown onion of medium size diced
2 cloves garlic (or 1 heaped teaspoon of minced jar garlic)
4-6 rashers bacon (I’m talking long rashers, if you use half rashers then do 8-12)

Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 180C.
In a non stick frypan or skillet cook the bacon (I tend to cook them in whole pieces then cut with my cooking scissors as I find the bacon tastes better this way and cooks more evenly, but if you want to cook diced bacon go for your life… we all have our ways.) Then I remove the bacon and drain on paper towel.
Cook the onion in the bacon fat and set aside in a bowl. I then add the garlic raw to the hot onion as I prefer to cook the garlic very lightly and then it bakes in the oven for a more subtle flavour but if you wish to cook the onion and garlic together once again do as you wish.
In a 8 cup mixing jug (I use my tupperware mix n’ pour) or bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, milk & cheese. Season to your liking.
I keep the pasta in the pot I used for mixing and add the bacon, onion & garlic, then fold in the eggy mix. Pour into a flat baking dish with at least 8-12 cup capacity. I once made this in an oval pyrex dish and found it cooked too unevenly and I was left with more scramble than carbonara. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
Now when you take it out, it will appear to be uncooked in some areas and overcooked in some, this is completely normal. I give the dish a good stir and it combines together nicely.

Now for all those watching their waistline this is not the dish for you. I’m sure you could cut corners using low fat milk/cream and 97% fat free bacon, but really this dish isn’t for the light hearted. So if you’re in the mood for some comfort food that is quick and easy to prepare and you aren’t counting calories this is a dish for you. – Photo’s to come.

Pizzaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

This is it… my first step out into the world of food blogging.

So I thought for my first ever entry I would delight you all with my Pizza recipe. Its so good that I refuse to eat pizza from anywhere but my own kitchen.

To start off a good Pizza you need a good pizza base. Now before you go down to your local supermarket and purchase a pre made tomato paste topped piece of cardboard why not make it yourself? Its really not that difficult and you can cheat by making it in a breadmaker – I do *smile* But if you are a little lacking in the small appliance area you can do it by hand… and who knows you might just build up some of those arm wrestling muscles so when it comes time to do the usual “who’s doing the dishes arm wrestle” you might be in with a chance! Ramblings… on to the recipe. Which I must confess is not actually mine. Its from a book called “Bread” by Sara Lewis. Its an awesome book every recipe can be done either by hand or in the breadmaker so its very versatile and makes it easy to share recipes with friends even if they are sadly without the essential appliance (cue heavenly music) that is the breadmaker.

Pizza Dough

400 grams strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons fast action dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
200ml water

To Make by Hand:

1. Put the flour into a large bowl then stir in the salt, sugar and yeast. Add the oil then gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.

2. Knead well on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back in to the bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead well then cut into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a roughly shaped circle about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter and transfer to 2 large greased baking sheets. (I used 2 pizza trays that you can find at any supermarket I think they are made by whiltshere).

To make with a breadmaker:

1. Lift the tin out of the bread machine, fit the kneader blade then add the measured cold water and the oil. Spoon in the flour then add the salt and sugar. Make a slight dip in the centre of the flour and sprinkle in the yeast.

2. Insert the tin into the bread machine. Shut the lid and set to dough or pizza dough. Press start.

3. At the end of the programme, lift the tin out of the machine, tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and continue as Step 3 “To Make by Hand”

Now although it says to make 4 x 20cm bases I actually make 2 large pizzas using the generic pizza tray you can find in any supermarket (wiltshire makes one). I put the bases on trays then cover with cling film and sit them on the top of the oven (or somewhere warm) whilst the oven preheats (220-250 C).

To top the Pizza:

Baby Spinach Leaves
Bascaiola Pasta Sauce
Garlic
Pitted Kalamata Olives
Chunks/cubes of Pancetta or Prosciutto (I get the delicatessen to cut me off 2 x 0.5-1 cm thick slices)
Half n Half of Shredded Mozzarella & Tasty

I mix about a tablespoon of Garlic into the jar of Pasta Sauce, then slather it over both bases (I usually have leftovers which can be frozen till next time). Pop your Spinach leaves on however you like and however many you like. Same again with the Olives & Pancetta/Proscuitto. Then top with your cheese. If I’m feeling a bit spesh I’ll often slice up some Bocconcini instead of the half n half cheese mix. But there’s something to be said for the ease of frozen shredded cheese. But of course if I’m entertaining I’ll go the extra mile. Cook in the oven for about 10-20 mins (depending on your oven). Feel free to swap half trays around half way through.


Now you tell me… Does it look good or what?

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