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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Pea and Pomegranate Samosas on: March 14, 2011 04:12:05 AM
For more pictures and the full post I'd love for you to visit me at my blog http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/03/pomegranate-and-pea-samosas/ (Website no longer exists - jungrrl)


I thought I loathed samosas - greasy packets of stodgy dough filled with a scant amount of potato-heavy filling.  So when my (not so) little brother asked me to make them for his next dinner at my place, I was hesitant.  Far from the oily take-away counterparts that dear Tom had in mind, these made for a surprising light and fresh Indian treat.  The vibrant pomegranate seeds offset the sweet peas and savoury spices, all encased in a fine golden pastry.

I love pomegranate in salads, desserts and as a lovely pair to game meat (try to get your hands on some pomegranate molasses - or make some yourself).  That being said, my favourite way to devour the wonderfully tangy fruit is to simply roll the whole pomegranate on a hard surface to crush and loosen all the seeds, poke a straw through the crimson red skin and slurp up the fresh juice straight from the source.

pomegranate and pea samosas

makes 12 samosas

    * vegetable/ sunflower oil, for deep frying

for the dough

    * 500g (4 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    * 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
    * 2 tbsp ghee or rice bran/ vegetable oil

for the filling

    * 100g (2 small) potatoes
    * 150g (1 cup) frozen or shelled peas
    * 4 tbsp ghee or rice bran/ vegetable oil
    * 1 tsp cumin seeds
    * 1 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    * 4-5 green chillies, chopped (de-seed them if you don't like things too hot)
    * 1 tsp chilli or cayenne pepper
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
    * 1 tsp ground coriander
    * seeds from one pomegranate
    * 1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
    * salt, to taste

the dough

   1. Put the flour and ground tumeric in a large bowl and mix with the ghee and just enough water to form a stiff dough.
   2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls.  Cover with a damp cloth.

the filling

   1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes, or until soft. then drain and allow to cool.
   2. Peel off the potato skins, return to the pan and mash.
   3. Cook the peas in another pan of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until soft.
   4. Heat the ghee in a deep, heavy-based pan.  Add the cumin seeds and fry over medium heat for about 15 seconds.
   5. Add the ginger, chillies, chilli powder, tumeric, coriander and season with salt.  Stir fry for about 1 minute, add the potatoes and peas and stir fry for another minute.
   6. Add the pomegranite seeds and coriander and stir.
   7. When the filling is cool, divide into 12 equal portions.

to finish

   1. Place the balls of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into relatively thin rounds, 20cm in diameter.  Cut in half.
   2. Place a portion of the filling on the center of the dough.  Bring the two corners of the dough together and overlap their edges (using a little water so that they stick) to form a cone.
   3. Fold over the open top of the cone and stick down with a little water.  If you'd like a visual guide, here's a great tutorial.  Repeat for the remaining samosas.
   4. Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 180C in a deep-fryer or a deep, heavy-based pan.  When hot enough, a cube of bread should brown in 30 seconds.
   5. Working in batches, add the samosas carefully to the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
   6. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Healthy Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake on: March 07, 2011 08:25:53 PM
I love pumpkin cake - this looks wonderful Smiley
3  COOKING / Dessert / banoffee pie (eater discretion advised) on: March 07, 2011 08:23:57 PM
If you'd like to read my full post with more photos, I'd love you to drop by at http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/02/banoffee-pie-eater-discretion-advised/ (Website no longer exists. - jungrrl)


My 'Frankenstein's monster' version of a 70s English classic.  Pecan crust, dulche de leche, sour cream chocolate ganache, whipped cream, banana chips: heaven for those who can't wait.

I think that comfort/ naff food is a wonderful thing.  I couldn't tell you how many times I've powered through a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream at a teeny-bopper sleepover, munched on milk bottle candies whilst enduring a particularly loathsome Lethal Weapon sequel, or whipped up some buttery mash potato to cure feeling plain ol' down-in-the-dumps.

banoffee pie with pecans and chocolate ganache

serves 8

for the crust

    * 100g (1 cup) graham crackers or digestive biscuits
    * 275g (2⅓ cups) pecans
    * 180g ( cup) butter

for the chocolate sour cream ganache layer

    * 340g dark chocolate, chopped
    * 180g ( cup) sour cream

for the toffee caramel layer

    * 2 x 295g cans of condensed milk

to finish

    * 120 g (1 cup) pecans
    * 2 fresh or thawed bananas, sliced
    * 600mL whipping cream
    * 1 x 300g packet dried banana 'chips', or 2 fresh bananas, sliced

the crust

   1. Melt the butter and let cool.  In a food processor, mix the pecans and the biscuits until finely ground, then add the melted butter and mix again.
   2. Press this crust mix into a 28 cm/ 11 " lose-based tin (it helps to use the bottom of a cup to press the mix down firmly).   Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour .

the chocolate sour cream ganache

   1. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water, or by heating & mixing in 10 second intervals in a microwave.
   2. Warm the sour cream slightly in a microwave for 15 seconds, or on the stove until warm to the touch.
   3. Add the sour cream to the dark chocolate and whisk to combine.  Set aside to cool.

the toffee caramel

   1. Place the tins of condensed milk in a large saucepan filled with water and bring to the boil.  It helps to put a cloth in the water with the tins so that they don't rattle around while cooking.
   2. Turn the heat down and let the water simmer for 2 hours (make sure you don't forget about the cans and check that the water level stays high !), then remove and set aside to cool.

to assemble

   1. Once the sour cream ganache has cooled to room temperature, spread the ganache in a layer on top of the pecan crust.  Allow to set in the fridge for hour.
   2. Once the toffee caramel has cooled to room temperature, carefully open the tin and pour the contents on top of the ganache layer, spreading evenly.
   3. Press the pecan nuts over the toffee caramel layer, followed by a layer of the sliced fresh or thawed bananas.  Keep in fridge until ready to whip the cream.
   4. Place the whipping cream in a glass or metal bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
   5. Dollop the cream on top of your pie, finishing with slices of the dried bananas chips and chocolate shavings if you really want to go all out !
4  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / summer's end: aubergine, courgette and spinach terrines on: March 07, 2011 05:32:48 AM
For the full blog post and more photos, you can visit me at http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/03/summers-end-aubergine-courgette-and-spinach-terrines/ (Website no longer exists. - jungrrl)


I have always been fascinated by the many claims that a vegan/ macrobiotic/ veg-aquarian lifestyle boast.  Despite having grown up in a thoroughly meat-and-three-veg household, I try to give my body a break from meat and other hard-to-digest foods from time to time.  Did you know that humans actually started out their existence as herbivores?

The delicate, vegan terrines can easily be made ahead of time and would be perfect for a summery picnic or as a Sunday lunch entre.  More than just a pretty face, this individual terrine is incredibly satisfying.

individual aubergine, courgette and spinach terrines

serves 4

    * 45mL (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
    * 1 red pepper/ capsicum, stem cut off and seeds removed
    * 16-20 small heirloom or cherry tomatoes
    * 1 large aubergine/ eggplant
    * 2 courgettes
    * leaves from 1 sprig of thyme

for the filling

    * 4 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
    * 4 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced

for the spinach

    * 15g (1/2 oz/ 1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
    * 275g (10 oz) baby spinach leaves
    * 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
    * pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

to serve

    * a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

   1. Preheat the oven to 190C.  Line the base and sides of four 6cm (2 1/2 ") muffin rings (or four cavities in a muffin tray) with cling film.
   2. Place the red pepper and small tomatoes in a tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the olive oil.  Place into the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly charred.
   3. Slice the aubergine into four equal-sized rounds.  Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines on both sides until brown.  Place the aubergines on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
   4. Heat half of the remaining oil (1/2 tbsp) in the same frying pan and fry the courgettes for 2 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.

the filling

   1. Place the tomatoes and the rest of the oil in the same frying pan and cook over a medium-high heat until the juices have evaporated and the mix thickens (can take up to 20 minutes).
   2. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper.

the spinach

   1. Cook the spinach and garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan, allowing all the water to evaporate.
   2. Drain, add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

to assemble

   1. Line the base of the muffin rings with the spinach leaves (about 1cm thick), making sure the leaves overlap, leaving no gaps.  To make the aubergine terrine pictured above, use an aubergine slice for the base as well as the top.
   2. Place the courgettes around the edges of each ring, overlapping slightly.
   3. Divide the tomato mixture equally among the ring, pressing down well.
   4. Place the aubergines on top, trimming the edges to fit.
   5. Seal the top with cling film and pierce the base to allow any liquid to escape.  If you are using a muffin tin: pierce the top of your terrines and, holding a paper-towel-lined tray on top of the muffin tin, flip the tin upside down.
   6. Chill overnight.

to serve

   1. Remove the terrines carefully from the rings (or simply lift the muffin tin up) and serve with diced roasted pepper and the roasted tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
5  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / sesame soba with edamame/ asparagus and sweet potato tempura on: March 04, 2011 08:23:12 AM
For more photos and the full post you can drop by my blog:
http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/02/sesame-soba-with-edamame-asparagus-and-sweet-potato-tempura/ (Website no longer exists. - jungrrl)


A Japanese lunch: nutty sesame soba noodles with edamame (vegan) served alongside light-as-air asparagus and sweet potato tempura (vegetarian).

sesame soba with edamame/ asparagus and sweet potato tempura
serves 4

for the soba

1 packet (250g) dried soba/ buckwheat noodles (or any Asian thin noodle)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 purple Asian eschalots, finely diced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
450g packet of frozen shelled edamame beans (from any Asian grocer) use fresh if you can get your hands on them !
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds or seven-ingredient red pepper powder (nanami/ shichimi tohgarashi)

for the tempura

2 bunches/ 18 sticks of asparagus
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 egg
1 cup (240 ml) chilled soda water
cup (70g) plain/ all purpose flour
cup (70g) cornflour/cornstarch
teaspoon (2.5g) baking powder
oil, for deep frying (preferably vegetable)

for the dipping sauce

cup soy sauce
cup mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
pepper to taste

the soba

1. Bring 6 cups of water or kombu stock to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the noodles a small bundle at a time, stirring gently to separate.
2. When the water returns to a full boil, add 1 cup of cold water. Repeat this process two more times.
3. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse well under cold running water until the noodles are cool.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the noodles to prevent them from sticking.
4. In a medium saucepan, cook the eschalots, ginger and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until lightly golden.
5. Add the edamame beans and stir to heat through.  Add the soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil, remove from heat.
6. Toss the soba noodles with the edamame mix and sprinkle the nanami tohgarashi or sesame seeds over the top.

the tempura

1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, wok or large heavy-based pan until it reaches 170C.
2. Place the chilled soda water into a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg and gradually pour into the iced water, blending well.
3. Add flours and baking powder all at once and mix lightly until the ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be runny and lumpy.
4. Place the bowl of batter in an ice water bath to keep it cold while you are frying the tempura.
5. Coat the vegetables in the tempura batter and gently slide into the hot oil, making sure to do the frying in small batches in order to maintain the correct temperature.
6. When batter turns a golden colour, carefully remove the tempura pieces and place on a wire rack in a low oven while you finish frying.

the dipping sauce

1. Whisk all the ingredients together.  Dig in !
6  COOKING / Dessert / Beetroot white chocolate truffles on: March 04, 2011 08:10:58 AM
For more photos and the full post you can drop by my blog:
http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/02/be-my-valentine-sour-cream-beetroot-white-chocolate-truffles/ (Website no longer exists. - jungrrl)


Beetroot white chocolate truffles in an outrageously self-involved shade of pink... rolled in edible petals, your chocolates and flowers in one go!

sour cream/ beetroot/ white chocolate truffles
makes about 25 truffles

120g (1/2 cup) sour cream
340g white chocolate, chopped or in bits
2 tsp beetroot powder (or flavour of your choice powdered wasabi, cinnamon, vanilla seeds)
10 sprigs of white primula flowers (you could also use daisy petals, crushed peanuts, coconut)

1. Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl and melt in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth and melted.
2. Mix the beetroot powder with the sour cream in a small bowl and microwave for 20 seconds, or until slightly warm.
3. Stir the sour cream mixture into the white chocolate and mix until smooth and glossy.
4. Refrigerate the mix until firm 2 hours or overnight.
5. Pick the flower petals from the sprigs and scatter on a plate, ready to roll the truffles.
6. Using your hands or a melon baller/ paris scoop, make small balls of the ganache and roll in the petals.
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Re: Understated bling: tutorial for a Gumnut Rose Wedding Bouquet on: March 04, 2011 08:03:23 AM
I love your idea to glue the diamantes in the gumnuts - this looks stunning.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie on: March 04, 2011 08:01:07 AM
With or without goo, this looks like delicious comfort food.
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Paneer Manchurian on: March 04, 2011 07:59:50 AM
This looks so delicious & healthy, I must try it !
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Steamed bread rolls on: March 04, 2011 07:58:47 AM
Yummm.... I eat these out all the time, but have never made them.  Loving your decorations !
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