Pizza Scrolls as seen on Brisbane Extra

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

Yep, that’s me again, cooking up a storm for Channel 9!  Click here for the easy recipe and find out more about the como advanced 28cm Saute Pan here.  If you’d like to purchase anything on the lickthebowl site, simply contact me and I will provide you with a Chefs Club number so you can score FREE product to the value of one tenth of what you spend!

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Food trend: Coconut Oil for good health

Posted in Articles, Recipes with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

coconutsOlive oil continues to be highly favoured as the preferred oil to lubricate your salads, bruschettas and pastas.  But is it the best oil in the pan?

Take note: unadulterated coconut oil is the oil du jour in terms of health benefits and more people are turning to it to promote weight loss and beneficial cholesterol levels.  Yes, you can fry a steak, your crumbed chicken and your eggs in something that’s good for you!  Coconut oil is the only oil that doesn’t denature as the temperature escalates.  That means that it doesn’t break down into not-so-harmless elements that won’t do your body any favours.  The following information comes from the website of a Brisbane company, Aclara Health, who supply kosher and Organic certified extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil for both bulk and domestic orders with in Australia and internationally.

aclara coconut oilWhat Coconut Oil DOES NOT do:

  • It does not increase blood cholesterol level
  • It does not contribute to heart disease
  • It does not contribute to weight problems
  • It does not contain trans fats and is NOT hydrogenated

 What Coconut Oil DOES do:

  • Supports healthy metabolic & thyroid function that promotes weight loss.
  • Coconut oil is the only natural source of beneficial Lauric acid other than human breast milk
  • It has a mild delicate flavour.
  • Is highly resistant to spoilage due to the antioxidant nature of the oil .
  • Is heat resistant (the healthiest oil for cooking).
  • Helps prevent premature aging.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant which may reduce risk of cancer and degenerative conditions.
  • Supports immune system function.
  • Helps prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal (including yeast) infections.

Pacific Stir Fry recipe (from Aclara Health website)

como advanced 36cm Wok with Steamer

como advanced 36cm Wok with Steamer

1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Coconut oil
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
4 cloves crushed garlic
250 grams cubed pork, beef, seafood or tofu
1 green and 1 red capsicum, cut into fine strips
2 cups sliced Chinese cabbage
½ cup coconut chips
2 tablespoons soy sauce
150 grams rice noodles

Heat the oils in a wok over medium high heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until golden brown then add the meat or tofu and sauté until just brown. Add the pepper, stirring continuously and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut and sprinkle over the soy sauce, combining well. Remove from the heat. Plate the prepared noodles and top with the stir fry.

Chef’s Toolbox recommended products: como advanced 36cm Wok with Steamer, or 28cm Saute Pan.

Food trend: White Polenta is the new mash

Posted in Articles with tags , , , on June 7, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau
Parmesan Polenta - image from www.taste.com.au

Parmesan Polenta - image from http://www.taste.com.au

I, for one, have never been bored by mashed potato.  In fact, a good steak is only made better by being served upon a sumptuous bed of comforting, homely mash, especially as it soaks up the juices and keeps the steak warm whilst you savour each morsel.  Still, it has to be assumed that Australia’s collective palate could be in danger of becoming jaded.  Why else would mash alternatives spring up from time to time?  (Never fear though, as tasty and trendy as they may be – think cous cous last winter – mashed potato never stays away for long.)

This winter, the emphasis seems to be on White Polenta.  Nothing wrong with that; we love our carbs and we don’t really care what they are.  Ok, within reason.  Under the direction of the trailblazing chefs whose fare we pay to feast upon, our taste buds have departed from the African continent that gave us cous cous, and we’ve skipped across to northern Italy where polenta has long been a carbohydrate staple.  Lest it seem like something old dredged up to be fashionable, it can’t just be any polenta.  Nope, it’s white polenta, make no mistake.  It’s on all the latest menus and mark my words, it’ll be the new mash you’ll be serving to your family before long.

No one can claim that polenta, white or otherwise, is particularly tasty but it serves a purpose, that’s for sure.  As with the aforementioned king of carbs, mashed potato, it sops up the goodies a treat and doesn’t dare clash with the robust richness of a rare eye fillet, nor does it meddle mischievously with the delicate freshness of a perfectly grilled fish.

Folks, white polenta could linger a while.  You might as well embrace it, just as you did focaccia in the 1980’s and pomegranates in more recent times.  Why not visit your local deli, pick up a packet and give it a whirl?  I promise you, it’s very rewarding to turn a dry grain into a silken delight in the warmth of  your fragrant kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.

Soft Parmesan Polenta recipe (from www.taste.com.au).  The perfect cookware to make polenta at home is the como advanced 28cm Saute Pan or the 2L Saucepan.

The 4 ingredients you need most

Posted in The Chef's Toolbox with tags , , , on June 7, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

The 4 Ingredients phenomenon continues to gather momentum like a snowball travelling at light speed down Mt Everest!  Ok, so you can dish up some clever recipes using just 4 ingredients, but as Rachael Bermingham and Kim McCosker have shown, you need a little extra help in selling the idea.  A sparkling kitchen set decked out in grey and white marble and featuring red accents here and there is a delightful backdrop to their famously simple recipes.  And don’t you notice they always use non-stick pans?  If only they would have a Chef’s Toolbox party and show off ‘the good stuff’ to the world!

For us in the know, Chef’s Toolbox cookware is superb, dahling!  And here is my tips for the most important 4 ingredients you should aim to have in your very own kitchen at home … whether or not you have TV lighting, a makeup crew and your own world tour coming up!

28cm Saute Pan

28cm Saute Pan

Number 1: como advanced 28cm Saute Pan ($220)

Truly, it’s the most versatile pan you’ll ever own!  If you want to start building your own Chef’s Toolbox cookware collection, this is THE piece to grab and run with.  It not only looks gorgeous, but it’s non-stick, can be used on induction cooktops as well as gas, electric and ceramic, AND it can be used on the barbecue and in the oven.  How’s that for clever?  You can roast in it, fry in it, sauté, bake, use it as a slow cooker, serve it up straight on the table and wash it up with absolute ease.

Use your Saute Pan for omelettes, fried rice, stroganoff, paella, stove top pizza, spaghetti sauce, chicken curry, risotto, Sunday roast, cinnamon scrolls, scrambled eggs, poached pears, scones, homemade jam, baking cakes, lamb korma, fish tagine, jambalaya, vegetable biryani and the list goes on.

 

 

 

Silicone Spoon Spatula

Silicone Spoon Spatula

Number 2: Silicone Spoon Spatula ($27.50)

 

 

 

Every good cook’s toolbox must contain a handy dandy silicone spoon!  It’s an absolute must-have so that you can spare your beautiful non-stick cookware from scratches and scrapes.  Stir, scoop and serve then stick it in the dishwasher.  You’ll be lost without it!

 

 

 

18cm Fusion Knife

18cm Fusion Knife

Number 3: ct-edge 18cm Fusion Knife ($95)

 

 

 

This is the ultimate food preparation knife, designed for a multitude of purposes. Its thin and very sharp blade makes slicing and chopping effortless.  A cross between a traditional Asian cleaver and a Western knife, the ct-edge 18cm Fusion Knife is sure to be your favourite, no matter how many other knives you own.

 

Flexibake 12-Cup Muffin Pan

Flexibake 12-Cup Muffin Pan

Flexibake 12-cup Muffin Pan ($39)

 

If you’ve never used silicone non-stick bakeware before, you simply must!  And the Flexibake 12-cup Muffin Pan is an excellent starter piece.  No more stuck-on muffins and no more nightmare-to-wash metal pans.  You can even scrunch it up and store it in an empty corner of your pots cupboard.  Go your hardest … it’ll spring right back into shape when you need it!  Sweet and savoury recipes work a treat in the Flexibake Muffin Pan.  Try quiches, cupcakes, muffins, timbales, sticky date puddings, caramel tarts, fruit mince pies, chicken pies, friends, apple cakes, scones, custard tarts, filled filo pastries and layered ice creams.

 

Chef's Essentials Kit $279

Chef's Essentials Kit $279

These are the 4 ingredients you need to get you off to a great start in the kitchen.  Whether you’re setting up house for the very first time or your tired and battered old equipment has had its day, get a hold of these and you’ll be re-inspired.

Remember, you can buy the Saute Pan, 18cm Fusion Knife and Silicone Spoon Spatula as a bundle and, well, save a bundle!!  Individually they retail for $342.50.  The “Chef’s Essentials Set” is just $279 (save $63.50!).  Contact me to order yours.

Recipe: Baked Ricotta Timbales

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

Baked Ricotta TimbalesSummer or winter, these treats are divine!  A trip to your favourite deli for some fresh ricotta and some roasted capsicums – or roast them yourself – will see these elegant timbales become a reality in no time!  Very impressive at the dinner table!

Ingredients

  • 700g ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 red capsicum, roasted, skinned and seeded
  • 100g pesto (purchased is fine)

 How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. In a food processor, combine ricotta, oil, salt & pepper and oregano. Process for 20 seconds, or until well combined.
  3. Place Flexibake Pan on an oven tray.
  4. Roughly chop capsicum and divide equally between cups in Flexibake Muffin Pan (or distribute evenly over base of Round or Loaf pan).
  5. Spoon 1 teaspoon full of pesto over the capsicum, and fill with ricotta mixture 3/4 full.
  6. Smooth top of mixture so that it bakes evenly.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  8. Allow to cool in Flexibake Pan.
  9. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

As seen on Channel 9’s Brisbane Weekend Extra

Posted in Articles with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

As seen Channel 9’s Brisbane Weekend Extra … me and the Saute Pan stove top pizza (recipe here)!!

To buy a Saute Pan so you can make stove top pizza at home whenever you like, contact me!  At $220, it’s not the cheapest pan in your kitchen cupboard, but it IS the most useful, most versatile, easiest to clean and the one you’ll grab over and over for everything you want to cook!

  • Make risotto (on the stove or baked in the oven)
  • Pasta sauces
  • Pizza Scrolls – recipe here
  • Paella with Chorizo – recipe here
  • Pancakes/pikelets (Mother’s Day breakfast in bed) – recipe here
  • Rice pudding
  • Lasagna
  • Moussaka
  • Frittata
  • Quiche
  • and so much more!

Ratatouille (or Caponata) Recipe

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

ratatouilleIf you’re French, it’s Ratatouille; but if you’re Sicilian, your Mama cooks up Caponata.  Traditionally a way to use up the last of the vegies before the next market visit, this is a tasty vegetable stew that begs for crusty bread to mop up all its juices.  Definitely guaranteed to boost your family’s vegie intake without any complaints whatsoever.  Prepare a couple of days in advance because the flavours will really amalgamate and improve.

How to serve Caponata/Ratatouille

  • On toast for brunch
  • As a side dish with dinner
  • For lunch, cold or hot
  • In crusty bread rolls for a picnic
  • With pasta, rice or couscous for a complete meal
  • As a pizza topping

The recipe

2 eggplants (aubergines)
2 red capsicums
1 yellow capsicum
2 onions
4 tomatoes
100ml red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon capers
100ml olive oil
3 anchovy fillets (omit if vegetarian)

  1. Chop all the vegetables into 1cm dice. Peel the tomatoes and de-seed them before chopping.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a large high-sided pan. When the oil is hot melt the anchovy fillets for a few minutes until they disappear into the oil.
  3. Add the capsicums and fry them for five minutes.
  4. Add the eggplant and fry for another fifteen minutes stirring often to avoid burning.
  5. Add the tomatoes and onions and cook for a further ten minutes.
  6. Mix the sugars, de-salted capers and the vinegar and pour over the vegetables and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.

Recipe and image originally found here.