Recipes From Down Under

Whats for dinner?

Buffalo Pizza August 30, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Chicken,Main Dish — Aussies Kitchen @ 5:16 PM
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I was craving Buffalo Chicken pizza really bad. So here is my version of it. Pretty easy to make and it tasted wonderful. Definitely hit the right spot and satisfied that craving of mine.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Pizza:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound skinless chicken breast, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 pizza dough (I used the one in the can)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 ½ cups Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 cup Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven according your pizza dough directions.

Brown chicken with garlic. Add 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce and stir to combine well.

Prepare pizza dough on a greased cookie tray. Depending how spicy you want your pizza add the rest of the buffalo sauce to the dough and spread out evenly. Top with 1/2 cup of the Colby jack cheese. Add chicken, onions and then cilantro. Top with the rest of the Colby jack cheese and then the mozzarella cheese.

Bake according to the pizza dough instructions.

 

A Twist on Creme Brulee August 29, 2010

Filed under: Dessert — Aussies Kitchen @ 6:53 PM
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Creme Brulee is one of my favourite desserts to eat. It is creamy, light and sweet. Goes well after any dinner and you don’t feel like you just ate a gigantic piece of chocolate cake. It’s a great dessert for dinner parties and it is really easy to make. You can also experiment with different flavours. In the past I have done lemon, pineapple and just plain vanilla bean. My dad was the one that first introduced me to Lavender Creme Brulee. It has a really sweet pleasant florally flavour.

Lavender Creme Brulee:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lavender flowers
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a heavy-bottomed  saucepan, heat cream with vanilla bean and lavender flowers over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn; do not let boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.  Strain cream through a fine mesh sieve.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar. Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking until well blended. Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Stir until completely blended.

Pour the custard into 4 (9-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Place the dishes in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the mixture is set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken). Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Divide 1/3 to 1/2 cup white or light brown sugar in a thin, even layer over each custard, covering it completely. To caramelize the sugar, light a propane torch and hold it so the flame just touches the surface. Start at the center and spiral out toward the edges of the ramekins. If the sugar begins to burn, pull the torch away and blow on the sugar to extinguish the flame. Serve immediately.

Adapted from foodnetwork.

 

Light and Fluffy

Filed under: Dessert — Aussies Kitchen @ 6:27 PM
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Pavlova’s, what can I say about them? They are light, fluffy and extremely delicious. I always remember eating them at my nana’s house for dessert. One of the key things to making a pavlova is making sure your egg whites are in deed at room temperature. And don’t worry if your pavlova cracks when you open the oven (because it will crack) just cover it up with some extra whipped cream 🙂

Pavlova:

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, blueberries etc.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw a 8 inch circle on the paper. Set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form soft peaks. Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites while continuing to beat the eggs. Beat until egg whites are glossy white and make stiff peaks. Sprinkle cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla and gently fold in again.

Gently spread meringue in the circle on the paper to make a circular base. Make the edges slightly higher then the center.

Bake the meringue for about 1 hour or until it becomes a pinkish egg shell colour.

Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar and allow the meringue to cool completely. As it cools it will crack.

Whip the cream with the powered sugar until it forms peaks. Take meringue out of oven and gently spread cream over the meringue. Top with fruit.

Adapted from about.com.

 

Meat Pies August 25, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Beef,Main Dish — Aussies Kitchen @ 9:29 AM
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So ever since I left Australia 10,000 years ago I have always wanted to try and make a meat pie. Meat pies were my favourite snack back home, besides fish and chips. Yummmmm. I haven’t made them because I figured they would be to hard to recreate. Well, I tried them yesterday and they came out pretty ok. I couldn’t find the individual pie tins that I was looking for so instead I used a jumbo muffin pan. This worked out ok but I learned that I needed to use more pastry on a few of them, since they pretty much exploded when I took them out of the pan. So as a first time experiment I would give them a B-. I must say that the filling inside tasted wonderful and pretty dang close to the real deal. Oh and next time I wouldn’t use the puff pastry. Just stick with a pie crust.

Australian Meat Pies:

Ingredients:

  • 1lb minced beef (I used 80/20)
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (my favourite!)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 pie shells or 2 pie shells and 1 puff pastry, thawed
  • egg or milk wash

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Brown meat, onion and garlic in a skillet. Add 3/4 cup of water, bouillon cubes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, oregano and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Mix flour with remaining water until it becomes a smooth paste. Add this to the meat mixture and combine well.

Let meat mixture cool.

Meanwhile roll out pie crusts a little and cut circles to fit inside the pan. Be sure to cut them big enough that it will cover up the sides and hang a little bit over the top of the pan (This is what I failed to do on a few of the pies and they ended up falling apart). Place pastry in the pie tins. Fill tins with the meat mixture. Cut out pastry circles once again to fit on top of the pies. For my tops I used puff pastry but it should work with just pie crusts as well. Press sides together with a fork making sure the two pieces of pie pastry are pushed together well. Brush tops with beaten egg or milk.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Eat with lots of tomato sauce! aka ketchup.

Adapted from food.com.

 

Italian Enchiladas August 24, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Main Dish,Pasta — Aussies Kitchen @ 7:53 PM
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Beef and Cheese Manicotti:

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Basil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 1 small lemon
  • 3 cups of your favourite tomato sauce (I use roasted garlic and onion)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 2 cloves of garlic and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.

Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, basil and parsley. Add rest of garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture (I used a piping bag to do this). Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of pecorino romano cheese over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

Adapted from foodnetwork.

 

Cocktails

Filed under: Drinks — Aussies Kitchen @ 7:35 PM
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Pomegranate Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts POM Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 part Skyy Vodka (or your favourite vodka)

Directions:

Add vodka and POM juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake until well blended. Pour drink into a martini glass. Enjoy!

 

Cherries August 4, 2010

Filed under: Dessert — Aussies Kitchen @ 11:19 AM
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I had so many cherries left over from last weekend that I didn’t know what to do with them. Then I saw Katie’s post of a cherry pie and my father said he was making a cherry pie, so I thought to myself that maybe I should give the pie thing a go. I hate all things that taste like cherry, cherry drinks, cherry candy, yuck! But what I noticed is that a fresh cherry tastes nothing like all that cherry flavoured junk. Fresh cherries are absolutely delish! And making this pie really takes very little time at all (apart from getting all the seeds out of the cherries).

Cherry Pie:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 2 lb sweet cherries, pitted
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Extra sugar for on top of pie crust

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Take one pie crust and lay out on counter. Cut strips with a pizza cutter or knife. This will be your crisscross pie top.

In a bowl, toss together cherries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour cherry mixture into bottom crust. Lay the strips of pie crust on top of the pie in a lattice fashion.

Brush crust with beaten egg, sprinkle all over with sugar.

Place pie in the oven over a foil-lined cookie sheet (in case of spill-over).  Bake pie for about 20 minutes and check for brown-ness. Once crust is starting to look golden, cover loosely with foil (it will continue to brown slightly under the foil) and continue baking 20-30 minutes or until pie’s juices are bubbling all over.

Remove pie from oven, remove foil, let pie cool at least 1-2 hours before cutting.

Adapted from Chaos.