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Sweet Potato Donuts
I snuck off to NYC at the beginning of November for the majority of the month.  Finished the trip off with a good ol’ fashion Brooklyn Drunksgiving, where I made my 2 favorite dishes, and tried out a new turkey technique, to be known asDrunken British Bucket Turkey.  It was the best turkey I’ve ever eaten, other than the fact it was slightly overdone, since we basted the pop-up timer shut.
This time with the donuts, I tried the original recipe, compared to last time with a different icing.
How do ya’ll like the new layout?

Sweet Potato Donuts

I snuck off to NYC at the beginning of November for the majority of the month.  Finished the trip off with a good ol’ fashion Brooklyn Drunksgiving, where I made my 2 favorite dishes, and tried out a new turkey technique, to be known asDrunken British Bucket Turkey.  It was the best turkey I’ve ever eaten, other than the fact it was slightly overdone, since we basted the pop-up timer shut.

This time with the donuts, I tried the original recipe, compared to last time with a different icing.

How do ya’ll like the new layout?

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Harissa, Yogurt and Tomato Lamb Shanks with Zucchini, Pea and Mint Salad
I had a drawer full of zucchini when I saw this recipe from Gourmet magazine, but I hadn’t started a day ahead.  I made my own version of the harissa with some different chilis I had around, and tried a slow cooker attempt at the lamb.  It worked exceptionally well, it was spicy, sweet and creamy, and easy to put together.
Ingredients (lamb shanks)
1/4 cup Harissa
 2 lamb shanks
 1 tin tomatoes
 1/2 cup greek yogurt
 1 cup chicken stock
 1/2 cup fresh oregano and cilantro
 Juice of 1/2 lime
 Half an onion, sliced
 Salt, pepper and olive oil
 Coat the lamb shanks in salt and pepper, and brown in a hot pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Sauté the onion, then toss in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the lamb back, and pressure cook for 40 minutes, or cook on low heat for about 3-4 hours, covered.  You could even leave it in the slow cooker for the day. Remove the lamb and reduce the sauce.  Serve with a scoop of the sauce, and the zucchini salad.

Harissa, Yogurt and Tomato Lamb Shanks with Zucchini, Pea and Mint Salad

I had a drawer full of zucchini when I saw this recipe from Gourmet magazine, but I hadn’t started a day ahead.  I made my own version of the harissa with some different chilis I had around, and tried a slow cooker attempt at the lamb.  It worked exceptionally well, it was spicy, sweet and creamy, and easy to put together.

Ingredients (lamb shanks)

  • 1/4 cup Harissa
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano and cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Half an onion, sliced
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil

Coat the lamb shanks in salt and pepper, and brown in a hot pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Sauté the onion, then toss in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the lamb back, and pressure cook for 40 minutes, or cook on low heat for about 3-4 hours, covered.  You could even leave it in the slow cooker for the day.

Remove the lamb and reduce the sauce.  Serve with a scoop of the sauce, and the zucchini salad.

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Pulled Pork and Scrambled Egg Arepas
Every now and then I see an idea and think, “why didn’t I think of that?”.  Such is the case with Sydney start-up Hungry Mondays, who slow-cooks food all weekend for Monday delivery, in vacuum sealed bags that stay fresh for 10 days.  Now, while I think my barbeque pulled pork is better as I prefer a different style of barbeque (I am not-so-subtly petitioning to guest chef), I had some leftovers from the massive portion I attempted to eat for a late night snack the night before that I used to make breakfast the next morning.  Chop some herbs and scramble the eggs, and you can use my standard arepa recipe to fill with leftover pork and the eggs.  This one’s a hangover cure.

Pulled Pork and Scrambled Egg Arepas

Every now and then I see an idea and think, “why didn’t I think of that?”.  Such is the case with Sydney start-up Hungry Mondays, who slow-cooks food all weekend for Monday delivery, in vacuum sealed bags that stay fresh for 10 days.  Now, while I think my barbeque pulled pork is better as I prefer a different style of barbeque (I am not-so-subtly petitioning to guest chef), I had some leftovers from the massive portion I attempted to eat for a late night snack the night before that I used to make breakfast the next morning.  Chop some herbs and scramble the eggs, and you can use my standard arepa recipe to fill with leftover pork and the eggs.  This one’s a hangover cure.

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Beetroot, Sage and Goat’s Cheese Ravioli
Ages ago, I took a stab at Chew Town’s beautiful ravioli recipe, without first stocking up on pasta flour.  I was ready to make both batches of ravioli to freeze for later, but instead did my version of a “best of” rav with my 3 favorite ingredients from what I had prepared, and tried my best to find creative ways to eat pureed pumpkin for the next 2 days.
I still have a lot to learn making pasta; due to the lack of dough (and the last lot I tried making being way too doughy), I overcompensated and made them too thin.  I also overfilled them since I had so much filling.  But they froze well, and I’d do it again, provided I check that I have the right ingredients first.

Beetroot, Sage and Goat’s Cheese Ravioli

Ages ago, I took a stab at Chew Town’s beautiful ravioli recipe, without first stocking up on pasta flour.  I was ready to make both batches of ravioli to freeze for later, but instead did my version of a “best of” rav with my 3 favorite ingredients from what I had prepared, and tried my best to find creative ways to eat pureed pumpkin for the next 2 days.

I still have a lot to learn making pasta; due to the lack of dough (and the last lot I tried making being way too doughy), I overcompensated and made them too thin.  I also overfilled them since I had so much filling.  But they froze well, and I’d do it again, provided I check that I have the right ingredients first.

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Festive Toast
Not that long ago, I went to a little hole in the wall Lebanese place in Sydney, where they had hummus, and festive hummus.  I’m not sure what necessarily makes something festive or not, but it seemed like the most appropriate thing to call this jazzed up toast.
Ingredients:
2 pieces of bread
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp dukkah
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp butter
Sprinkle of salt
In a sandwich press, start to grill the bread.  Mix up the rest of the ingredients and mash with the back of your knife to form a spread and all the spices are mixed into the butter.  Once the bread is pretty brown, split the spread between the 2 slices, and grill for 2 or 3 minutes more, until golden.

Festive Toast

Not that long ago, I went to a little hole in the wall Lebanese place in Sydney, where they had hummus, and festive hummus.  I’m not sure what necessarily makes something festive or not, but it seemed like the most appropriate thing to call this jazzed up toast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of bread
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp dukkah
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Sprinkle of salt

In a sandwich press, start to grill the bread.  Mix up the rest of the ingredients and mash with the back of your knife to form a spread and all the spices are mixed into the butter.  Once the bread is pretty brown, split the spread between the 2 slices, and grill for 2 or 3 minutes more, until golden.

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Master Stock Duck and Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle
The master stock step here was fairly unnecessary, other than I wanted to cook my duck it in to flavor the stock.  Really, you could butterfly and roast it any way you’d like, just so long as you’ve cooked it.  Or buy it cooked.  I won’t judge.
I made the pasta for 2, but the ragu is about 4 serves, so make enough pasta accordingly.
Ingredients:
1 whole duck, cooked (mine was cooked for an hour in master stock, then roasted for 20 minutes), then pulled apart into bite size pieces, or a bit larger
Cooked pappardelle (pasta), 1 handful per serve
1 onion, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano and thyme, but you could also use sage or rosemary)
1 cup red wine
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of chicken stock
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Parmesan, to serve
In an oven-proof pan with a lid, saute the onions and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, before adding the carrots, celery, and herbs.  Cook for 5 minutes more.  Add the wine and stock, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir through the tomatoes and duck, seasoning well with salt and pepper.  Cook in the oven, covered, for about 1 hour, at 170C / 325F.  You’ll know it’s done when the duck is just about falling apart.
Remove the lid and put back on the stove.  Give it a good stir, and put on medium heat until the liquid has reduced and the ragu is thick (as you can see, I got lazy and didn’t finish this, so there’s some liquid coming out from the ragu).  Put onto the pasta, and top with parmesan.

Master Stock Duck and Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle

The master stock step here was fairly unnecessary, other than I wanted to cook my duck it in to flavor the stock.  Really, you could butterfly and roast it any way you’d like, just so long as you’ve cooked it.  Or buy it cooked.  I won’t judge.

I made the pasta for 2, but the ragu is about 4 serves, so make enough pasta accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole duck, cooked (mine was cooked for an hour in master stock, then roasted for 20 minutes), then pulled apart into bite size pieces, or a bit larger
  • Cooked pappardelle (pasta), 1 handful per serve
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano and thyme, but you could also use sage or rosemary)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Parmesan, to serve

In an oven-proof pan with a lid, saute the onions and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, before adding the carrots, celery, and herbs.  Cook for 5 minutes more.  Add the wine and stock, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir through the tomatoes and duck, seasoning well with salt and pepper.  Cook in the oven, covered, for about 1 hour, at 170C / 325F.  You’ll know it’s done when the duck is just about falling apart.

Remove the lid and put back on the stove.  Give it a good stir, and put on medium heat until the liquid has reduced and the ragu is thick (as you can see, I got lazy and didn’t finish this, so there’s some liquid coming out from the ragu).  Put onto the pasta, and top with parmesan.

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Moroccan Eggplant and Lentils with Homemade Beef Sausage
Inspired by a TV show whose name I can’t remember, where the host made a sausage-maker out of your ordinary caulk gun from the hardware store, I decided to make sausages at home.  They’re not worth discussing, yet, as what you see here is basically dry beef in a tube.  This is better than what I expected, after what happened my first try, where I bought regular intestines at a Vietnamese butcher shop.  That, we’re never speaking of again.
The lentils though, were killer.  Check out this Maggie Beer recipe, and don’t be scared to make some cheaper substitutions.  Instead of pomegranate molasses, I used pomegranate juice and honey (I didn’t have molasses).  And the preserved lemons?  Lemon zest and a bit of vinegar.  I only had cilantro, and not nearly enough, which worked fine, and the goat’s cheese was really nice with it.

Moroccan Eggplant and Lentils with Homemade Beef Sausage

Inspired by a TV show whose name I can’t remember, where the host made a sausage-maker out of your ordinary caulk gun from the hardware store, I decided to make sausages at home. They’re not worth discussing, yet, as what you see here is basically dry beef in a tube. This is better than what I expected, after what happened my first try, where I bought regular intestines at a Vietnamese butcher shop. That, we’re never speaking of again.

The lentils though, were killer. Check out this Maggie Beer recipe, and don’t be scared to make some cheaper substitutions. Instead of pomegranate molasses, I used pomegranate juice and honey (I didn’t have molasses). And the preserved lemons? Lemon zest and a bit of vinegar. I only had cilantro, and not nearly enough, which worked fine, and the goat’s cheese was really nice with it.

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Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil One of the best things I’ve made.  The ribs fell apart, they were so tender, and the pasta kept really well for leftovers.
Ingredients (short ribs):
1 cup diced onion
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Approximately 6 short ribs, in 2 rows
Season the rows of ribs with salt and pepper, and brown well in the olive oil.  Remove the ribs and add the onions, sauté for 3 minutes, scraping up the brown bits from the pan, and then add the brown sugar.  Cook for 3 minutes more.  Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and add the ribs back in.  Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours. Remove the ribs and place under a heavy pan or plate in the fridge for at least 2 hours to press (or overnight).  Strain and refrigerate the liquid. To finish, remove the layer of fat from the top of the liquid, and reduce until you have a thick sauce.  Slice the ribs apart into individual pieces and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Serve with a drizzle of sauce. Ingredients (trofil):
1/4 cup chopped raw bacon
1/2 cup diced onion
1.5 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 bunch of fresh thyme leaves
Olive oil, salt, pepper
Parmesan to serve
2 cups cooked trofil or other pasta
Sauté the bacon and onion in a bit of olive oil.  Add the tomatoes, thyme, and mushrooms once the onion has turned translucent, and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with the freshly cooked pasta.  Top with Parmesan to serve.

Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil

One of the best things I’ve made.  The ribs fell apart, they were so tender, and the pasta kept really well for leftovers.

Ingredients (short ribs):

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil
  • Approximately 6 short ribs, in 2 rows

Season the rows of ribs with salt and pepper, and brown well in the olive oil.  Remove the ribs and add the onions, sauté for 3 minutes, scraping up the brown bits from the pan, and then add the brown sugar.  Cook for 3 minutes more.  Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and add the ribs back in.  Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.

Remove the ribs and place under a heavy pan or plate in the fridge for at least 2 hours to press (or overnight).  Strain and refrigerate the liquid.

To finish, remove the layer of fat from the top of the liquid, and reduce until you have a thick sauce.  Slice the ribs apart into individual pieces and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Serve with a drizzle of sauce.

Ingredients (trofil):

  • 1/4 cup chopped raw bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1.5 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh thyme leaves
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper
  • Parmesan to serve
  • 2 cups cooked trofil or other pasta

Sauté the bacon and onion in a bit of olive oil.  Add the tomatoes, thyme, and mushrooms once the onion has turned translucent, and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with the freshly cooked pasta.  Top with Parmesan to serve.

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