Archive for Recipes

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.
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Saute Pan Pizza Scrolls/Swirls

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

07-pizza-scrolls-in-saute-pan-cookedVary this easy recipe however you like it.  Make cheese and Vegemite scrolls, vegetarian scrolls or ham and pineapple scrolls.  Once they’re made, simply separate, wrap individually and freeze.  Every day, grab one out of the freezer for your child’s school lunch box.  These are a guaranteed playground hit!

  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cup (250ml) lukewarm water
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 150g leg ham, chopped or cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup (125g) Tasty cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk 

scrolls-gallery

  1. In a large bowl; combine flours, yeast, salt, honey and water.
  2. Combine all dough ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into a 30 x 40cm rectangle.
  4. Combine the tomato paste, BBQ and Worcestershire sauces in a small bowl.  Spread the sauce onto the dough taking it as close to the edge as possible. Sprinkle with cheese and ham.
  5. Starting from a long side, roll up firmly to form a log.
  6. Brush the edge with a little extra milk and press down firmly to seal the log.
  7. Cut 3 cm thick slices using bread knife into 12 equal portions.
  8. Place scrolls in a circular pattern in the sauté pan, cover with vents closed and place over medium heat.
  9. Cook for 10 minutes or until lid is hot.
  10. Invert onto chopping board, slide scrolls back into sauté pan. Reduce heat slightly and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.

Cooking at home cheaper than takeaway

Posted in Articles with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

french-friesWhen Australia’s leading recipes website says something, you know they’ve done their homework.  Taste.com.au recently reported that some clever number-crunching revealed that it really is cheaper to cook at home than to purchase takeaway.  Read the report here.

The expression ‘cheap as chips’ seems quite outdated when you consider that the cost of fries at any of the popular fast food chain stores is beyond the budget of after-schoolers wandering in to satisfy their raging hunger.  Make them at home and you can serve up piles more than the takeaway version.

Home cooking is usually healthier than takeaway too.  You know what goes into it because you’ve bought the ingredients and you can prepare meals with less fat, sugar and salt than what you’d get at a takeaway.

But what about ease?  Many complain that home cooking is too tiring and difficult.  What you need to compare is, the time it takes to get in the car, drive to the takeaway, get out of the car, stand in line (or wait increasingly long periods in drive-thrus), get back in the car, drive back home, unpack the food and serve it up.  Surely it’s easier and more convenient to stay in the comfort of your own home and put together an easy recipe?

There’s always going to be a place for takeaway; we deserve time out and we deserve to have someone cook for us.  But in the cost debate as to home cooking versus takeaway, preparing meals at home will logically be cheaper.

At The Chef’s Toolbox, our mantra is “cooking is fun”.  Well, not only is it fun, but it’s economical, and even if you splash out and treat yourself to our generously sized Square Roaster at $299, you’ll be investing in years of enjoyable cooking, courtesy of Chef’s Toolbox recipes and your friendly Consultant!

Paella with Chorizo recipe

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

paella_mainDevastatingly delicious and the perfect party food for when friends drop around.  If you don’t have all the ingredients, substitute other ones!  You’ll seem like a gourmet cook when you serve this up!

Prep: 15 mins / Cooking: 25 mins

Ingredients

1L stock
1.2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breast fillets, halved horizontally, sliced
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, halved and sliced thickly
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 x 400g can tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 cups Arborio rice
1.2 cup frozen baby peas

Method

  1. Heat stock in 3.5L Brazier until just boiling.  Add saffron to hot stock and set aside
  2. Heat 28cm Sauté Pan over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add half the oil and cook chicken and chorizo pieces in two batches. Set aside.
  4. Add remaining oil, onion, garlic and capsicum to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat, until vegetables have softened.
  5. Add paprika, stir well and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add rice and stir well to combine.
  8. Add half the stock and stir well.
  9. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, for 5-7 minutes.
  10. Add remaining stock. Do not stir from this point on.
  11. Return chicken and chorizo pieces to pan, pressing them down into the rice.
  12. Scatter peas over rice.
  13. Cook for a further 7-10 minutes or until rice is cooked and stock almost completely absorbed.
  14. Remove from heat, cover and stand for 5 minutes.

Tips
Try to find Spanish paprika to give an authentic smokey flavour. “Normal” paprika is sweet.

Stove Top Pizza recipe

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , on November 23, 2008 by lickthebowlcomau

stove-top-pizza-chefs-toolbox

 

Treat yourself to good food at home!

The Ingredients

DOUGH:stove-top-pizza-1
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
good pinch of salt
1 rounded teaspoon of dried yeast
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

TOPPING SUGGESTION:sacla-sauce
1/2 cup pasta sauce of your choice*
sliced bocconcini cheese
fresh basil leaves, torn
roasted capsicum strips
semi-sundried tomatoes

The Fun– Combine all dough ingredients in Sauté Pan and mix well.
– Press dough using the tips of your fingers, until the base of the pan is covered.
– Spread the pasta sauce onto the dough taking it as close to the edge as possible.
– Add other toppings of your choice.
– Place the pan (with the pizza inside) over medium heat and cover, making sure the vents are closed.
– Cook 5 minutes.
– Turn lid to open side steam vents, reduce heat to medium low and cook for a further 20 minutes.
– Remove from heat and using Egg Flip lift pizza from pan onto a board or serving platter.
– Serve immediately.

 

* I HIGHLY recommend Sacla Cherry Tomato and Basil sauce for a truly authentically Italian taste and texture!

Chicken Saltimbocca – DO try this at home!

Posted in Recipes, The Chef's Toolbox with tags , , on October 22, 2008 by lickthebowlcomau

You know that gorgeous aroma that fills the air in an Italian restaurant?  It could be wood-fired pizza, it could be frying garlic.  Or, it could be the deliciously tempting Veal Saltimbocca that someone has ordered.  Try this variation using lovely fresh chicken breast fillets.

Again, I used my trusty Chef’s Toolbox Saute Pan.  To be honest, it’s usually the first thing I pick up when I head to the stove, but you can use any of the como advanced cookware.  What matters is the non-stick qualities because you simply don’t want to have to spend an age at the kitchen sink scrubbing pots and pans.  If you want restaurant-quality food at home, it should be as enjoyable as going out.  Ok, the experience involves slightly more work, granted, but at least you don’t have to dress up and drive somewhere!

Take 2 chicken breast fillets and slice them through the middle lengthwise to create two thinner fillets from each.  Take one slice of prosciutto and lay it over a fillet then fold a ‘corner’ in on itself.  Pound the corner with the rough side of a meat mallet to kind of ‘fuse’ the two meats together.  Douse in a dusting of plain flour.

Heat your pan with a little olive oil and some butter and when hot, place a couple of chicken fillets/prosciutto in.  Add salt and ground pepper to taste.  Cook on both sides.  Repeat with the other fillets.  Avoid putting them all in the pan at once because the chicken will decrease the cooking temperature at first and it will not cook as well.

When all cooked, set chicken aside on paper towel on a plate.  Deglaze the pan with about a cup of white wine and add 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic.  Add the chicken fillets back to the pan to soak up the flavours of the wine and garlic.

Serve with whatever fresh vegies you have on hand, or make a colourful salad.

This salad included iceberg lettuce, baby spinach leaves, garlic croutons, halved black Kalamata olives, and some quickly roasted cherry tomatoes, slices of red capsicum and cubes of eggplant.  Dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Healthy, colourful and loaded with fibre!

10 Ways To Find Meal Time Inspiration

Posted in Articles with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by lickthebowlcomau

The afternoon chaos of kids arriving home from school ransacking the pantry and fridge for snacks can be overwhelming.  If you don’t already know what you’re going to make for dinner, your entire evening can be thrown out of whack as you contemplate cleaning up the kitchen from the various morsels of toast, yoghurt and other tasty treats scoffed down by your offspring!

If you can manage to think in advance, you’ll know what to cook and have a plan.  Whether ‘in advance’ means that morning, an hour before the kids get home or the previous evening after washing up, whenever you do it, you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s where you can find that important meal-time inspiration …

  1. Hold a Chef’s Toolbox home cooking workshop – Let me show you how to rustle up quick, easy meals that won’t tax your energy too much, and will taste superb!
  2. Cooking shows on TV – The Lifestyle Channel, Lifestyle Food, daytime TV and even magazine format shows that feature a cooking segment.
  3. Magazines – Flip through magazines while you enjoy a cup of tea, ride the bus to work, wait for an appointment or sit outside the school before pick-up.  You’ll gather a wealth of ideas and even if you don’t cook the recipe as shown, you might have an idea of something you can prepare using the two main ingredients or a new product you’ve spotted in an ad.
  4. Ask others – While you’re waiting for the 3pm bell to ring, ask other parents in the school grounds what they made for dinner last night.  Make conversation with someone in the supermarket who is buying something you might like to use in a recipe and ask them what they do with it.  Ring your mother, brother, sister, cousin, best friend or someone else you like and ask them what they last cooked that the family enjoyed.  Ask people at work, at the gym, at your children’s training sessions or after church.
  5. Rely on food retailers – Your butcher doesn’t just cut meat into palatable portions; he’s often a reliable source of clever recipe tips!  Quiz yours for ideas on how to get the best out of the cut of meat you’re buying.  Ask your greengrocer what’s in season and what has the best flavour and he/she will likely tell you a great way to prepare it.  Keep an eye out for recipe cards at the bakery, butcher’s and supermarket or anywhere else where you buy your food.
  6. The Internet – If you can’t find inspiration on the Internet, then you’re not looking hard enough!  There are gazillions of sites that specialise in recipes and cooking ideas.  Some focus on particular health issues (e.g. lactose intolerance, cholesterol and food allergies), others are the place to go for lifestyle choices such as vegetarians and vegans.  Bookmark your favourite sites and save recipes you’d like to try in a folder that you can look at when you’re stuck for ideas.
  7. Product serving suggestions – Look through your pantry and check out the product labels.  Most food items will have serving suggestions on the pack, and many will have recipes.
  8. Recipe books – Some recipe books are like ‘food porn’ and your mouth will water just looking at the cover!  These one are also likely very expensive.  If your budget extends that far, then buy whatever takes your fancy, but consider also borrowing from your local library.  Cruise ebay for book bargains, go to book fairs or swap with friends.
  9. Browse the menu – In some dining precincts, the restaurants are lined up along the street one after the other, and each has a menu on display on the footpath.  Stroll by and take a look at what’s on offer and you’d be surprised at the ideas you can glean from what the chefs are producing.
  10. Join someone in the kitchen – If you know someone who’s an amazing cook, ask if they wouldn’t mind you tagging along as their temporary apprentice for a day!  Your Italian mother-in-law might love the chance to show you how to make fresh pasta.  Your best friend’s husband might be a dab hand with the barbecue tongs.  Your cousin might make the best lamb korma you’ve ever tasted.  By sharing the enjoyment of cooking, you will not only have fun, but you’ll also discover some new ways of doing things.