Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sticky Asian Lamb with Rice Noodles

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This simple and tasty recipe was floating around of facebook a couple of weeks ago and my lamb loving husband emailed me the link saying “Idea?” which is his understated and unpressuring way of saying “We should totally make this very soon!”. The following Saturday proved the perfect occasion to give it a go as we were heading out to the river for a day of ‘day camping’ where we took the BBQ and some chairs and pretended we were there for days on end, chilling out and doing nothing but chatting, eating and throwing rocks in the water. By the time we got home, this yummy lamb which had been cooking all day was ready and from slow cooker to plate, it took very little time and energy to serve. The quantities below serves at least 15 people for around $36 ($2.40 per person), so if you only need dinner for 6-8, just halve everything, which also halves the cost. But if you need to cook for a crowd after being at work or tied up with other things all day, this is a great option. 

  • 2kg leg of lamb or hoggett, either on the bone or deboned and rolled
  • 1tbs of peanut oil
  • 1/2 a cup of kecap manis (indonesian sweet soy)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 stalks fresh lemon grass, beaten and bruised (I use the one in the tube)
  • 8 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 
  • 1 large red chilli, roughly chopped 
  • 6 green onions, sliced diagonally and/or bunch of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 5x 200g packets rice stick noodles (each 200g packet serves three adults)
  1. Brown the lamb all over in a rather hot frypan using the peanut oil (or not – seriously, it’s not essential you do this), and stick it in the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except sesame seeds, green onions/coriander and noodles. Pour over lamb and switch to low for the whole day or high for half a day of cooking.
  3. When cooked through, just before serving, remove lamb from the slow cooker and sieve the juices into a small saucepan. Simmer these juices on a low heat until reduced into a sticky sauce. If it thickens too much, whisk in some water to bring back to a sauce consistency. 
  4. Shred lamb with two forks on a chopping board and serve on top of rice noodles cooked quickly in boiling water according to packet instructions. Drizzle sauce all over, distributing it generously and evenly among the plates. Be heavy handed as it’s the sauce that makes this so good. Top with sesame seeds, shredded spring onions and/or coriander leaves. Enjoy!

 

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Honey Joys

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I can’t really believe I’m blogging about Honey Joys. They’re such an Australian baking classic, yet I often forget about them as an option when needing to make a quick sweet something. My 7 year old son reminded me about them the other day, when he came home from a party asking if we could make them at home and I found myself wondering why I don’t make them more often.The recipe that follows is straight off the back of the Kellogg’s Cornflakes box and it really is dead easy and very cheap to do. If you need to make these gluten free, just exchange the cornflakes for the gluten free variety in the health food section of the supermarket, and do feel free to use homebrand flakes when making these as you really cannot tell the difference. The quantities below make 24 patty cake sized Honey Joys and costs around $2.

  • 90g butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 cups cornflakes or gluten free cornflakes
  • 24 patty papers
  • sprinkles on top (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius/130 degrees if fan forced. Distribute patty papers among the patty cake tins.

2. In a microwaveable bowl or small saucepan melt together all the ingredients except cornflakes.

3. Put cornflakes in a larger bowl and pour over sticky butter syrup, combining gently but well.

4. Distribute mixture with 2 dessert spoons among the patty papers. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

Belinda Jeffery’s Coconut and Caramel Slice

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Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake is one of my all-time favourite cookbooks and it is the delightful original source from which I’ve adapted this Coconut and Caramel Slice. Pretty much every recipe in this book is a taste winner and it makes a wonderful gift for those who love to bake. This easy slice is excellent for hospitality because it makes a large quantity in one baking effort (so you can cater for more than one event in one baking session) and the coconutty caramel flavour atop the crumbly vanilla base it so very hard to go past. The quantities below make a very large slice and costs $8 to make (up to 40 pieces), though if you don’t need such a large amount, simply halve all the quantities and you will have a slice that neatly fits into a standard 28x18cm sized lamington tin for around $4. Easily freezable and with a refrigerated shelf-life of over a week, this is a great option to keep ahead of a busy week of hospitality opportunities or for even just a moments quiet rest with a cuppa and a good book.

Base

  • 2 1/4 cups/335g plain flour
  • 1/2 cup/80g icing sugar
  • 250g cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 45g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup/220g firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups/105g shredded coconut
  • 50g flaked almonds for topping
  • icing sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, (170 if fan forced) and line a large 32x24cm slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and press evenly into the bottom of the tin. Set food processor aside and don’t wash it up yet. Bake the base for 20-25 mins until slightly golden. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 150 degrees, (140 if fan forced).
  3. While the slice is cooling slightly, put sugars and flour in the already used food processor and process together. Pull out the blade and gently stir in the shredded coconut. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, coconut cream, vanilla extract and melted butter using a whisk. Gently fold dry ingredients from the food processor into this wet mixture. Gently tip the whole topping mixture over the base and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for around 45 minutes, though start checking earlier. Slice is cooked when the topping feels set and the whole thing is evenly golden.
  5. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares or fingers as desired. This slice cuts especially well when cut with a large, sharp straight-edged knife and after spending some time in the fridge. Enjoy!