23 Jul 2012

Camembert wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of braised cabbage and apple - A wintery Escape from the everyday!

Cabbage is one of those vegetables that I like when I eat it, but never think I’m going to,  so I have never used it very much. When we travelled to Taiwan a few years ago, where they love cabbage, I discovered that I enjoyed it and that Ian loved it so I am trying to use it more. From years of underuse ideas just don’t pop into my head the way they do with other vegies though. So when a cabbage turned up in our co-op bag while the girls were both away I had to google. I came across this wintery treat on taste.com.au. It was certainly in the category of occasional food from a health point of view but it was a delicious wintery change from the every day!

Ingredients (serves 4)
·             200g whole camembert
·             10 long thin slices prosciutto
·             50g unsalted butter
·             1 tbs olive oil
·             1 onion, finely chopped
·             1 garlic clove, crushed
·             1 Granny Smith apple, grated
·             1/2 (about 500g) Savoy cabbage, finely sliced

      Preheat the oven to 220°C.

    Cover Camembert with enough prosciutto slices so they slightly overlap and completely enclose the cheese. Freeze for 10 minutes, then transfer to a baking dish and bake for 6-8 minutes or until prosciutto is just crisp.
    Meanwhile, finely chop remaining pancetta slices. Melt butter and oil in a large pan over medium heat, and then add onion and prosciutto. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add garlic and apple and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add cabbage and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes. Divide between plates

     Slice Camembert and serve on a bed of the cabbage with a slice of rye toast.

I hope you enjoy this treat as much as we did.

4 Jul 2012

Vegetable Pakoras

It's Back! I have "Vegetarian" by Alice Hart in my possession again for a few weeks.

I picked up where I left off (see earlier post) and made her "Spring Vegetable Pakoras" last night. I intended it to be a nibble before dinner, but it made a lot and we scoffed them all down and didn't actually need a dinner after that.
I have made very minor modifications to her recipe.
* I used cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas and Spanish/red onion because that's what I had - she used broccolini (tenderstem broccoli), shelled peas and spring onions.
* I made the batter her way but have now quadrupled the cumin seeds for next time as they were the highlight flavour and I love them.


2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
200g chickpea flour (also known as gram or besan depending where you are)
1 litre vegetable oil for frying
1/2 a cauliflower, separated into florets
1 head broccoli, separated into florets
1 Spanish onion, cut into small wedges
100g Snowpeas, tops and strings removed


Quickly Blanch or microwave the broccoli and cauliflower to par-cook it a little (about 30 seconds in boiling water or 1 minute on high) 
Mix the cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, salt, baking powder and flour together in a large bowl and gradually whisk in 200g cold water to make a batter.

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or wok until it reaches 180C/350F. If you don't have a thermometer try a little batter in the pan and it should sizzle, but not burn, immediately if it is around the right temperature.

Add the chopped vegetables to the batter, stirring to coat well. 

Gently drop pieces of vegetable (or tablespoonfuls of any little bits) into the hot oil a few at a time, being careful not to splash yourself or overcrowd the pan. 

Deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Lift out with a spider or slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Serve immediately.

Alice suggested an optional fresh herb chutney to serve with them.  (mint, coriander/cilantro, red onion, green chili, lime juice and a little water) We simply squeezed lime on them and were very happy!!


1 Jul 2012

Photo a Day July

I'm on Holidays!

It's been an incredibly busy term and my blog has been sadly neglected, as has my cooking. But now I have 2 weeks off!

I'll cook, I'll Blog, I'll de-clutter this house, plan next term, make stuff, sleep in, read, exercise and to add to the fun I thought I'd have a go at a photo a day challenge. I'm new to these bloggy sharey things but here goes! I have opened a shattercal page to load them onto and I think I'll post them too.

Here's Photo Number 1!
Self-Portrait (reluctantly)


Update: - What a poor effort! There were extenuating circumstances - serious illness in the family and less serious illness in me - but altogether a very poor effort! Will try again in August!!