Real Homemade Custard

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I’m sharing a homemade recipe for my ‘Real’ custard. Carton or powdered custard while they are convenient if you don’t know how to make it yourself though they are generally filled with an excessive amount of refined sugar. If you are like me and try and eliminate processed sugar as much as possible then here is an alternative recipe using either unrefined coconut sugar or even better raw honey or rice malt syrup. If you still like the taste of sugar then use the coconut sugar. Enjoy it with Apple & Rhubarb Galette, sweet pies, crumbles or on it’s own.

Ingredients

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup coconut sugar or honey

2 tsp cornflour

2 1/2 cups (600ml) full cream milk  or nut milk

1tsp vanilla bean paste or 1  vanilla bean slit and seeds removed

Directions

  1. Combine egg yolks, honey and cornflour in a bowl, whisk till well combined
  2. Heat milk ,vanilla in a small saucepan on medium/low heat till just boiling
  3. Slowly whisk in the yolk mixture, whisking continuously for 5 mins until thickened

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Homemade Basil Pesto 


Do you like to grow your own herbs?

It does feel like it takes a while to kick off after being planted. The anticipation gets overwelming you water, then wait, check the progress everyday you watch the tedious amounts the plant is producing and ask yourself is it all worth the bother. Then all of a sudden it’s out of control with more herbs than you can possibly use in a salad or cooking. Sound familiar?

Winter tends to be perfect for growing a herb patch as it’s not too hot and  it grows quite quickly, so we need to think of creative ideas to use up the excess. Basil for example takes off like wild-fire and before you know it it turns to seed so it’s best to pick it before this happens. Some people freeze them and use in soups etc. though I tend to like herbs fresh and basil I find is one of them as it keeps the quality of flavour better, in saying that some herbs are brilliant to dry like rosemary, bay leaves and oregano and keeps well in the pantry for a good while so you have it on hand year round.

Drying Rosemary. Bunch and Hang branches together till dried out. Remove or cut into smaller sprigs.

 

I picked a bucket load of basil the other day so the first thing I make is Basil Pesto what else. It uses a decent amount of leaves and keeps so well in a jar in the fridge. It’s brilliant in pasta, soups, meats, on bread as a topping or dip. It’s very versatile and flavour packed giving a boring dish plenty of flavour. I like making all different versions of pesto but basic basil always wins.

This recipe makes a good size jar you can half or double the recipe depending on how much basil you have to use. I suggest to use two smaller jars if you have a lot and use one at a time. Another tip would be to pour a little amount of olive oil on the top once in the jar to make a thin layer and do this each time after using it. This will help preserve the pesto and keep fresh.

Have a go at making it you will be addicted in no time, there is just no comparison to the bought stuff that lack and lose the freshness and flavour and are full of preservatives too.

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Homemade Basil Pesto

Ingredients

2 tbsp pine nuts

2  cloves garlic

6 cups basil leaves

200ml olive oil

3 tbsp grated Parmesan

Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Place pine nuts and garlic in a food processor or  vitamix and blend till smooth.
  2. Add Basil leaves and gradually add olive oil a little at a time whilst motor is still running. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper


Turmeric Garlic Aioli

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I’d like to share my recipe for Turmeric Garlic Aioli. It is certainly a great accompaniment to many dishes but my favourite would have to be Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips . You can use also with fish, chicken or steak or baked sweet potato. Wonderful golden in colour and with the added benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric Garlic Aioli

Ingredients

1 clove garlic

1 egg yolk

1tsp turmeric powder

juice 1 lemon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

150ml olive oil

Directions

In a blender or vitamix place garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper and blend on low to medium speed. Gradually add olive oil slowly while motor is still running until emulsified to make a thick mayonnaise like consistency.

Serve with some of my favourites  Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips or Sweet Potato Chips

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Sicilian Blood Orange & Fennel Salad

What to do with a kilo of blood oranges?

Like always my mind is thinking of a million things at once, who’s picking up son 1 from basketball training? Son 3 birthday party in a few weeks, son 2 preschool excursion coming up oh did I send back the permission slip, school packs for next year are due, bugger I haven’t washed the dog and the ironing can wait till tomorrow or next week… eek and of course thinking what’s for dinner. All whilst hearing the three most repeated words in my household nagging at me every half an hour, “Mum I’m hungry”… Typical day in the life of a mum I’m sure many can relate.

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So when I rush to order my online groceries and mistakenly 1kg of blood oranges arrive at my doorstep instead of  just 1 it’s time to think outside the box on what to create with these beauties and one dish comes straight to mind.

In season here now in Australia Blood Oranges are readily available, you can eat them just as is in a fruit salad or in your breakfast bowl (which is what I originally planned to do)  as they contain more antioxidants than ordinary oranges and excellent source of vitamin C. But with a kilo of them might be a lengthy task. Blood oranges do taste a little sweeter than oranges but with a touch of bitterness which can make them be a little tart for juicing and may have to mix with some other sweet fruits such as green apples or pineapple.

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Crimson in colour almost blood like hence the name makes salads pop with colour and makes a talking point for entertaining. Also popular uses are for making marmalade, gelato and sorbet but my husbands favourite which is a Sicilian dish which I couldn’t deny him of is a fresh salad of  blood orange segments, pieces of fennel, fresh mint, torn pieces of  creamy buffalo mozzarella, pistachios for crunch and dressed with an olive oil and blood orange vinaigrette.

The Aniseed flavour of the fennel and the bitter sweet oranges are made to be together with few ingredients and little time to put together you have a very captivating dish others will surely swoon over. Perfect paired with a fillet of fresh grilled fish and a glass of wine. A very healthy and delicious dinner indeed.

Sicilian Blood Orange & Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 10mins
  • Print

A Bitter Sweet Sicilian Salad perfectly accompaniment with grilled fish or chicken

Ingredients

1 bulb fennel top cut off and sliced

2 blood oranges -1 sliced, 1 peeled and segmented

1/4 red onion thinly sliced

1 large buffalo mozzarella roughly torn into pieces

1/4 cup marinated olives

1/4 cup pistachios roughly chopped

Handful mint leaves torn

Blood Orange Vinaigrette 

1  blood orange juiced

30 ml olive oil

1 tb red wine vinegar

1 garlic crushed

1 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place fennel, blood orange pieces in a bowl, add red onion, buffalo mozzarella and olives. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and top with torn mint leaves.
  2. In a jar add all vinaigrette ingredients and shake well. Serve with salad.

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Sun, Surf and Fish & Chips

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Summer is coming and when I think of summer I think of sunny days, sandy beaches, picnics and Fish and Chips. We are so fortunate to live on the Gold Coast here in Australia where it is only the middle of Spring and can already enjoy the backyard pool and local beaches. We are quite spoilt in that respect and there is no denying the kids love it and makes for great family time.

Most Fish & Chips are not the healthiest let’s be honest, deep-fried batter and greasy chips whilst if we are out we may opt for the quick takeout but thought I’d share my homemade version which is oven baked and a whole lot less greasy contains less saturated fats and has a gluten-free crumb. Takes hardly no time and while its baking you can still enjoy the outdoors at home. Grab a beach towel and relax by the pool or picnic rug in your backyard and enjoy the great weather that we have been so blessed with.

Oven Baked Fish and Chips

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

4 Sebago potatoes or other floury variety peeled and cut into thick chips

1 tbs olive oil

Salt

4 pieces firm fish fillets cut into small fish finger pieces or can be left whole

3 eggs

1 cup polenta (cornmeal)

1 cup rice flour or other gluten-free flour eg. quinoa, buckwheat or coconut flours

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tb olive oil or coconut oil

lemon wedges to serve

Homemade Tartare Sauce

1/2 cup organic mayonnaise or natural yoghurt

1 tsp lemon rind

1 tsp capers finely chopped

2 gherkins finely chopped

1 tb flat leaf parsley finely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’c
  2. Prepare potatoes and toss in olive oil and season with salt (you can add some thyme or chilli salt if you desire)
  3. Place potatoes on a lined baking tray set a side
  4. In a bowl place eggs and gently whisk set aside
  5. In another bowl place polenta, flour, garlic powder and salt and pepper and mix to combine set a side
  6. Prepare fish and coat in egg wash mix then coat pieces in polenta mix
  7. Lay on a lined baking tray and repeat with all the fish pieces
  8. Coat the fish evenly with the olive oil
  9. Bake both the chips and the fish in the oven for 15mins, chips may need an extra 5 mins until golden and crunchy
  10. Serve with a homemade tartare sauce and generous squeeze of lemon