Monday, March 13, 2006

Day 41 - Monday night is pizza night

For Chef's birthday two years ago I got him a session of how to make pizza at Napoli in Boca - a wondrous pizza restaurant in Sydney's Haberfield. He has broken the cone of silence to share:

600ml warm water (44C)
50ml milk
1tsp dried yeast
1.1kg plain flour

(Please note this is a Chef estimating amounts he just sort of guesses at...)

Put it all in the Kitchenaid with a dough hook and mix for about 7 minutes.

Let it rise - it should about double.

Then, pull off a piece, roll out and top with whatever you like.
Chef: salami, pepperoni, cheese, cheese, cheese, anchovies, olives, more saturated fat in whatever form he can find
Me: mushroom, garlic (sometimes artichokes, capsicum, onion)
Felix: ham, pineapple (I know) olives
Oscar: anything, but normally ham, pineapple and mushroom

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Day 40 - Banana Cake

Sometimes I am convinced the boys refuse bananas so they will go off and I'll have to make this. This is a recipe from AB's first boss when he (finally) decided he was going to be a chef. She ran this fabulous little deli called The Wild Gourmet in one of Sydney's gently rich suburbs. You know, the ones where people would drop in a pick up something for dinner because they were running late from tennis, the beautician or bridge. It should only be made in a ring tin, and certainly not iced. I have no idea why, it's just the rule.

2 tblsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 very ripe bananas, well mashed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp bi-carb
1 tsp baking powder
2 tblsp milk

Preheat oven to 190C
Cream butter and sugar
Add egg, bananas and sifted dry ingredients a bit at a time
Add milk
Cook in well greased ring tin for 35-40 minutes.

Day 39 - Cinnamon Scrolls

These are a Kim signature dish. Originally a Donna Hay recipe, I have modified it slightly by adding sultanas and nuts to the filling. I always roll it so I get more than 8 too as really, they are sooooo filling, particularly as part of a brunch spread. I made these a few weeks back and got 24 mini ones out of this batch.

The scrolls
3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm milk
2 tblsp lukewarm water
2 eggs
120g butter, softened

100g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
generous handful each of sultanas and walnuts or chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 170C

For the scrolls
Place flour, sugar, salt, yeast, milk, water and eggs in either a food processor or with the dough hook on your KitchenAid. Process until it comes together
With motor running, add pieces of the butter one at a time until it's all incorporated. Beat for approx 7 minutes.
Place in a well oiled bowl and proof for 1 1/2 hours.

For the filling
Mix everything together.

To make
Roll dough out on a floured surface to 45cm x 25cm.
With long side facing you, cover with the filling
Roll up
Cut into 8 pieces, or alternatively, make two smaller rectangles, and make mini ones
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

If for a fancy brekkie, you can glaze them as well:
2 tblsp sugar
1tsp gelatine
2 tblsp water
Combine over heat and cook until the gelatine dissolves.

Day 38 - Roast chicken

I love roast chicken. I ocassionally make it so often I do get over it and won't do it for months, but normally, there is roast chicken about once a fortnight.

Selection of vegetables cut into same size chunks
Toss w/ some olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs (ideally sage and tarragon)

Clean the chicken.

Cut up an onion and saute with some garlic until translucent. Toss through some herbs.
Get a couple of handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs and finely grated lemon rind. Fold through the onion and add some water until it's all moist and holds together.
Somtimes I put pine nuts in and add a mushroom or two when cooking the onion.

Stuff the cavity with the stuffing. If you've got loads left over, gently form a cavity between the breast meat and skin and shove up under there as well.

Preheat oven to 220C
In a large baking pan put the chicken in and surround with the vegetables.
Drizzle a bit of oil over the bird and rub in some sea salt.

Cook for an hour.
Remove everything.
Drain off excess oil, then over a flame add 2 tablespoons of plain flour and brown, scraping up the bits stuck to the pan.
Add 750ml boiling water in batches, stirring vigorously to avoid lumps. If you're as hopeless at this as I am, add all the water and whisk the shit out of it. That or add it, scrap into a jug, blend with a hand held blender, then return to baking dish and cook until it thickens slightly.

Serve with steamed broccoli or green beans, or other veggies.