Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Cooking with Kate

Today my buddy Kate came around and baked and cooked. I found out that Kate is remarkably more productive in the kitchen than I am. I made curried carrot soup, gingerbread men and Kate made steamed sweet red bean buns, pumpkin scones and baklava. What an absolute machine she is! I gecook quite healthily but today we went all out... I don't think I've used that much butter in one go for quite some time (heheheh just ignore the fact that we worked together as researchers at a heart research institute!). The steamed buns, while fun to make, didn't turn out so well so I wont bother posting the recipe for those.

Now you'll notice that there are photos! I haven't got my new camera yet, but I did get a new phone which has a camera! So some of the photos have come out a bit strange and aren't great quality... oh well.

Curried carrot soup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 kg carrots, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp hot cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 400 ml light cocounut milk

Heat oil in a large heavy based pot. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds and then add onion. Cook the onion until clear.

Add the mustard seeds, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric and fry for 1 minute until fragrant and the mustard seeds are starting to pop.

Stir through carrot and ginger. Add stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 mins. Blend with a stab mixer until smooth.

Stir through the coconut milk, bring the soup up to temperature and serve.


*This soup is actually more orange coloured than this, and the wall is actually white, not blue. But you get the idea!



Karatebread men (makes 18)

Kate and I met at work and became buddies after we both discovered we both do karate and both love to cook. So we combined our passions today and made... karatebread men!
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g (21/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150 g icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in the golden syrup and egg yolk until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn out onto a


floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 4mm thick. Make sure to coat the rolling pin in flour too because this dough is quite sticky. Avoid handling the dough too much. Cut out your 9cm gingerbread men and use a spatula to lift and place onto trays (about 1 inch apart). Reroll the dough and repeat until all the dough is used up. Any scraps can be rolled up and made into some random shape, like a circle or gingerbread "log" or if you're like me you might just like to eat the dough raw! Or if you're feeling boring, put scraps into the bin.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 mins before transferring to a rack to cool completely.


Meanwhile, make your icing by beating the eggwhite to soft peaks. Add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Ice your men however you want, but we chose to put little white dogis on ours... and once we started to run out of icing we made sumobread men. My icing skills aren't well practiced, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit!




HAI-YAAAAHHH!!!



Baklava

Recipe from here.
  • 375g (1 packet) filo pastry
  • 180g butter, melted & cooled (although, I think we only used about half of this! I don't think we were trying hard enough)
  • 2 tsp water
Filling
  • 150g walnut pieces
  • 150g unsalted pistachios
  • 55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
Honey syrup
  • 1 375g jar honey
  • 165g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 250mls (1 cup) water
  • 1 lemon, rind finely grated and juiced
Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and lightly toast in the preheated oven for 5-8 minus. Cool.
Combine walnuts, pistachios, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and process using on 'pulse' until they are finely chopped.

Remove the filo pastry from its packet and lie flat on the work bench. Cover with a dry tea towel and then a damp tea towel. (This will keep the filo from drying out while making the baklava.)

Brush a shallow 18 x 28cm cake tin with some of the butter (see right). Take 1/3 of the sheets of filo. Brush the top sheet generously with butter and fold into thirds to make a rectangle the size of the tin. Place in the base of the buttered tin and brush surface with butter. Spread 1/2 of the nut filling over the filo to cover. Layer 1/2 of the remaining filo sheets as before. Spread left over nut filling over filo and top with the remaining layered buttered filo sheets. Lightly brush top with remaining butter.

Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern into the top layer of filo and sprinkle with the water. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes longer or until the filo layers are cooked through.

Meanwhile, to make the honey syrup, combine honey, sugar, water, lemon rind and juice in a saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and keep on medium heat for 10 minutes or until the syrup has thickened slightly.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cooked, remove baklava from the oven and immediately pour the cooled syrup evenly over the surface. Stand to cool completely.
Cut into diamond shapes. This can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Scones

40 g butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
350 g pumpkin (e.g. jap, kent)
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
~1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease your tray. Cut off the rind from the pumpkin, cut into chunks and steam or microwave until soft.

Beat butter, sugar and egg together. Stire in pumpkin, flour and nutmeg and enough milk to make a soft, sticky dough. Kneed lightly until nice and smooth.

Roll out dough to about 1 1/2 inch thinkness, cut out into circles with a cutter (or a tumbler or wineglass or whatever!). Brush the top with milk and cook for 12-15 mins. Best eaten soon after baking.


Perhaps 12 mins would be better than 15! But ooooohhhh soooo yummy!

4 comments:

randi---i have to say said...

Thanks for all of these recipes! I especially love the KarateMen!

Dr. Health said...

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to
4mm thick. Make sure to coat the rolling pin
in flour too because this dough is quite sticky.

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