Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Dinner time musings

So as I was cooking dinner this evening it occurred to me that I haven't shared this recipe with you lot. It comes from the same cookbook as my Saucy Meatloaf and the one I based my Devilled Sausages recipe on. The Watties Kiwi Favourites Cookbook. Seriously, my favourite cookbook ever. I used to make a Cottage Pie throwing together ingredients and thought it tasted pretty good. Then hubby brought home this cookbook, made this cottage pie, and I was converted to using the recipe!

It is one of my favourites, it's easy to make ahead of time and refrigerate until time to cook it (just remember if you do this it may need longer cooking time to get up to temperature). And it just tastes so damned good. The bacon really makes it I think. I use el cheapo rolled bacon because I'm el cheapo myself, and I use a good 5 or 6 rashers instead of the 2 they say to use. mmmMMMmMMMmm!

I don't have a photo of my finished product as a) it's still in the oven, and b) it doesn't plate up very prettily haha, so I have taken a photo of the picture in the recipe book! Cheater aye!

Cottage / Shepherds Pie
(You can only call it Shepherds Pie if it's using lamb mince... it's a random pet peeve of mine when people call it Shepherds Pie using beef haha!)

From the Watties Kiwi Favourites Cookbook
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (I do a mix of kumera and potato)
1 egg, beaten
500g lamb or beef mince
2 (or 5 or 6..) rashers of bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 Tbsp Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp yeast extract, marmite or vegemite (it's a no brainer really, use vegemite!)
1-2 cups frozen mixed veges
1/2 cup cheese,grated (optional)
Preheat oven to 180*c
Cook potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water, drain, season with salt and pepper and mash. When cooled slightly quickly whip through the beaten egg (this is how I always do my mashed potato now, makes them so soft and fluffy without the wet taste of using milk and much better for you than using butter/cream/milk/whatever)
Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and brown the mince and bacon, then add the onion and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Dissolve the yeast extract (VEGEMITE!) in 1/2c boiling water. Add it to the mince with the frozen mixed veges and cook for a further 2 minutes before placing in an ovenproof dish.
Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with cheese (if desired).
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the pie has heated through and the cheese has melted.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Welcome Back to me!

So, we bought our first house recently, and a little over a week ago we moved in. We are all settled now, and I have no excuse not to blog anymore other than being right out of the habit and not having a lot of spare time.

My last post was about lemons - far too long ago! Well, today it's about grapefruit! I was given a massive box of grapefruit a few weeks ago - bad timing really as it got caught up with the packing and moving. So I have lost several grapefruit to them going bad, but I still have about 20 or so perfectly good ones. Far too many to just eat, so I am playing around with recipes.

Today I bring you muffins as I like muffins - quick and easy, freeze well for school lunches etc. It's a recipe I adapted, the original recipe looked good but it uses the pulp after squeezing the juice, but the grapefruit that I have are full of pips, and well, it would have been one hell of a job to sort through the pulp, so I omitted it. I upped the juice, substituted a few ingredients, added some grapefruit curd, changed a few things, and well yeah, this is the end result!


Grapefruit Muffins - makes approx 16 medium muffins
Recipe adapted from South in your Mouth

1 1/4 cups Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (took me 4 medium grapefruit)
1/2 cup Oats
1/2 cup Coconut
3/4 cup White Sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cup White Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

In a medium size saucepan, bring the juice to the boil. Remove from heat and add the oats and coconut. Sit aside for roughly 20 minutes (I left mine for less, impatient!)
In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Add the juice/oat mixture and combine.
Spoon mixture into the muffin tins filling only partway, add a generous dollop of grapefruit curd, then top with the remaining mixture.
Bake at 180*c for roughly 20 minutes

Now, I have just moved house, so my recipes from now on may reflect how long things were baked in my new oven which is fan forced. My old oven wasn't. These took me 20 minutes at 170*c, however I would have baked them at 180 in my old oven, and likely taken longer.

They didn't rise much so are quite flat on top. But overall they taste pretty good and they used up a few grapefruit so that is all good.
Now, as I mentioned on my facebook page, I had never tried to make curd before using margarine instead of butter. Well, I tried it with marg in the grapefruit curd, and ya know what? It jolly well worked! Fantastic. Grapefruit curd doesn't taste nearly as nice as lemon curd though! I added a squeeze of lemon juice in there, but next time if I want to use grapefruit in it I think I might do half half with lemon.
Anyways, the recipe:

Grapefruit Curd
(yes this is the same as my lemon curd recipe, just using grapefruit...)

4 eggs
zest of 2 smaller sized grapefruit, finely grated
125ml grapefruit juice, strained (can make that up with part lemon juice too)
150g caster sugar (I just use normal sugar, it's fine)
100g butter (or margarine works fine too)

Lightly beat the eggs and strain through a sieve (this step is important, stops the bitty egg white bits you can get otherwise)

Combine zest, juice, butter and sugar in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Gently heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and butter melts.

Remove from heat and whisk in the egg. Place back over low heat, stirring constantly until the curd thickens.