29 April, 2010

Spicy Beef Stew

The Recipe
1kg stewing steak (I got mine from the Entrance markets, Hunter Valley casserole beef, prechopped) if yours isn't chopped cut it into bitesize pieces
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1 stick of celery (though I use anything green, tonight it was beans)
2 carrots
500g tomatoes (canned tomatoes are a good substitute)
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs parsley, finely chopped
200ml red wine......tonight was shiraz because that's what I was drinking!
200ml beef stock
2tsp sugar
1tsp cayenne pepper (if you want it hotter add 2 teaspoons)
1tsp paprika

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Chop the celery and carrot finely.
If using fresh tomatoes drop into boiling water for a few seconds, peel, halve, deseed and chop finely..............YEAH RIGHT!!! lol.......I like skin and seeds! OR open the can!
Brown the meat on all sides in a little bit of oil and remove from the pan. In the same oil cook the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. If you are using beans or some other green veggie add it with the stock (though zucchini should be added pretty close to the end otherwise they turn into mush).
Then I add the tomato paste and fry it off, then the wine and reduce it. Next add the tomatoes to the casserole dish with the parsley, salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cayenne and return the meat to the pan.
Stock is the last to go in. Simmer over a low heat for about 2 hours. If it gets a bit dry add some extra water.
I served mine tonight with mashed potato but you could serve it with rice or noodles.

I think once this was a recipe called "Spicy Pork Ragout" but it has changed so much that is now my "Spicy Beef Stew"! AND I'm amazed that I turned it back into a readable recipe!!

24 April, 2010

Using up the limes......Lime Curd recipe!

No markets this week and some of the stuff we bought last week is getting a bit long in the tooth now! So I had to decide this morning what to do with the limes that I bought really cheap last week.

Definitely some more lime sorbet seemed like a winner and I decided that this time I'd whip the egg white a bit more before I put it in the ice-cream maker to stop the lumpy frozen eggwhite thing happening again and use the peel in the sugar syrup and then discard it rather than use grated lime rind.

It worked a treat!

Also there were just enough limes left to make some lime curd. It made 2 jars and will go quite nicely with my toast for breakfast tomorrow and for a few weeks to come I hope!!

Lime Curd Recipe
grated rind of 3 limes
juice of 3 limes
250g (1 cup) sugar
120g butter
2 eggs

Heat all the ingredients, except the eggs, in a double boiler over hot water till the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Take the boiler off the heat and add the beaten eggs in a thin stream, beating with a whisk, so you don't make lime flavoured scrambled eggs......return to the heat and stir till the curd coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour in to sterilized jars and seal.
Makes about 300ml.

Our stewed rhubarb had run out (Dave and I often have it on ice-cream after dinner) so I made more of that and chicken and veggie soup was on the menu for tonight...........all in all a busy day in the kitchen and it was 28 degrees today (where is Autumn??) so a rather sweaty one as well!

07 April, 2010

The Menu!

Done last Saturday afternoon while sitting in the kitchen with Sarah after eating our "market and Caesars" lunch of bread and cheese and other yummy bits and pieces!

I leave it deliberately vague with only really the main ingredient written to allow me to decide what I want to do on the day...........though I usually have an idea!

It's based on what we have left from the fortnight before, what we have bought fresh at the markets and fish I will get at the co-op at Tuggerah.

This week we went to the co-op on Tuesday after Easter and they had very few fish at all............we only got 1 meal of leather-jacket and need to go back on Friday for another fish meal.....but it wasn't a waste because I picked up the eggs on the way home from Johns Road.

The sausages are made from belted Galloway and are local and the beef/steak is the same as well as the mince.

The meat for the stew is black angus from the Hunter Valley and the lamb is salt-bush from Narromine.

The chicken is free range, also from Narromine, and I'm thinking about butterflying it and using some sort of Portuguese seasoning on it.

Usually there is some sort of soup and/or vegetarian meals in there but for some reason it didn't happen this fortnight.........maybe I need the iron?

Saturday: corned beef

Sunday: sausages

Monday: chicken kiev

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: beef salad

Thursday: chicken

Friday: fish

Saturday: sausages

Sunday: steak

Monday: mince

Tuesday: lamb rump

Wednesday: stew

Thursday: sausages

Friday: fish

06 April, 2010

The Entrance Farmers' Markets

What a wonderland of food it has become! The Entrance Farmers' Markets that is............I can almost buy all my meat and fresh fruit and vege there now. I can get the milk as well, though sadly they are only on on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month so I can't get enough to last for the 2 weeks but 6 litres does a while and it seriously takes me back to the old days of milk with REAL cream on the top.........I know I could go to the organic shop at Erna but the drive is crazy just for milk.

The bread from Bill's is damn good too and we are making it a ritual to come home after the markets on a Saturday and have cheese from Caesar's at Erina (Hunter Valley Cheese Co, their washed rind is damn good) that I buy on Thursday/Friday before the markets with a Bill's sourdough baguette.....yumbo. That's what they are eating in the photo!

At the back of the photo on the kitchen bench is a selection of the fresh stuff we got last Saturday. The meat was already in the freezer................the other stuff was still out because I had to eat first to get the energy to put it all away!

"Make what you can out of what is fresh, seasonal and as local as possible" is one of my mottoes, though the apples from Orange are excellent at the moment and the saltbush lamb is pretty good too (from Narromine way I think) and though not totally local they are at least Aussie and from the same state! Got to consider those food miles and all...............but the best is the belted Galloway beef (my favourite looking cow, they look like the real thing!) from up Yarramalong Road, just out the back of our place.................they make great sausages too....I loved the mountain pepper and native thyme I got last month though they didn't have any last Saturday. At least now I know I can ring them by Wednesday and they will try and have what I want there waiting for me so I don't have to go too early.........mornings are just not my time seeing Dave works late and our life seems to revolve around his working hours.