Monday, May 28, 2012

{Brown Rice, Caramelised Onion & Herb Salad}

Its not too cold for salad is it?  No I don't think so either, we're still eating a salad once a week, I have to tell you about this dressing i've been making with parmesan and capers, oh its good and perfect for a winter salad, its great on radicchio or rocket, I 'll post it, it deserves its own post. So back to todays recipe, this is one I've been making for years, it is crazy delicious, it's based on a Karen Martini recipe, and one of those things that you make for people and they ask for the recipe.  Everytime.

It's full of my favourite things, caramelised onions, toasty pinenuts, chilli, parsley and mint from our little garden, lemon juice, lots of zingy lemon juice and sweet little currants, its all good stuff.

...the salad
3 brown onions, halved and sliced
100g currants
red wine vinegar, enough to cover currants
4 cups brown rice, cooked and kept warm
(I use 2 packs of the 90 second brown sunrice)
½ bunch parsley, leaves only - sliced
½ bunch mint, leaves only - sliced
olive oil
100g pine nuts, toasted
2 lemons
1 green chilli, finely sliced

Heat a splash of olive oil in a frypan over low heat and cook onion slices until caramelised - about 30 - 40 minutes.

Bring currants and red wine vinegar to a boil and simmer gently for 3 minutes, add to the finished onions and season with salt and pepper.

Combine the warm (not hot)rice, mint, parsley and chilli in a large bowl, add the onion and currant mix, the pine nuts plus 1 tablespoon olive oil and the juice of 2 lemons.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{Sticky Pear & Ginger Cake}

I've been gone for a while, during that time a lot has happened, my smallest pea turned three and has been in hospital (its all good now) we've been to stay on a farm for a week and have cemented our destiny to own land and have animals and veges a gogo, oh and along the way I turned 40.  Yup 40 and its no biggie, well not to me anyway, 40's a great place to be, my mum never made it out of her 20's so 40 is just plain fab. 

I did plan to make myself a cake but when it came to the crunch collecting eggs and wandering around the farm stalking following the chickens on their adventures, the glee filled giggles from my boys and just plain old gazing at the amazing view won out over slaving over a cake, its my birthday and i'll not bake if i want to.  

I did however pack a slab of this karen martini sticky ginger and pear cake that we had left over, on the night of my birthday and after a delicious thai roasted chicken (chicken not supplied by farm!)we heated it up in the oven and ate it with lashings of cream by candlelight.  Happy birthday me.
80g butter
110g brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
125g glace ginger, sliced
2 pears, peeled and finely sliced


220g golden syrup
170g sour cream
100g brown sugar
2 eggs
280g butter, melted
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
90g plain flour
130g self-raising flour
40g semolina
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

pouring cream, to serve

Preheat oven to fan-forced 180 (200 conventional). Line the bottom of a 26cm tin with baking paper.

To make topping, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in brown sugar and salt until combined. Pour mixture into your tin and spread evenly. Arrange ginger and pear pieces on top, make it a bit pretty.

For cake batter, whisk together golden syrup, sour cream, brown sugar and eggs. Add melted butter and whisk to combine. Add grated ginger and lemon zest and stir well.

In a separate bowl, sift flours, semolina, ground ginger, salt and baking powder together and then fold through the golden syrup mixture.

Pour batter into tin, over the topping. Tap tin to remove air bubbles. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, place on a rack and allow cake to cool in tin.

To serve, invert cake onto platter and serve with cream.