24 November 2015

Toast pies

Toast pies.  In the culinary world they're called croustades, but to our 2.5-yr old, he has 'toast pie' on his plate.  Bread cases, filled with any manner of things, are a popular canapĂ© the world over - creamy fish or mini quiches anyone?  Well, we had leftover shepherds' pie in the fridge and a hungry young boy who, like most of his peers, loves toast, loves mince and loves cheese.  So, alright then, toast pies for tea!  

12 slices bread 
Leftover bowl of bolognese mince/shepherds pie
Grated cheese

  1. Turn oven on to 180 degrees celcius (160 fanbake).  
  2. Trim crusts off your bread.  Flatten completely with a rolling pin - real elbow grease here, 'cause the flatter your bread, the crunchier your edges will be.  And the base will be soft, but not soggy.  
  3. Butter bread and place butter-side down in muffin tray.  
  4. Fill with mince (you want this to be cold, or at least cool, if possible).  
  5. Place grated cheese on top (I like quite a lot).  
  6. Bake until cheese is browning.  
  7. Leave out of the oven for a few minutes before attempting to eat them.  They are crazy hot when first pulled out!  

18 November 2015

Muffnuts - sounds wrong, tastes great!

KB passed this recipe onto me the other day.  It's been floating around Facebook for a while, so was about time I gave it a try.  I love a cinnamon donut.  But I wouldn't have a clue how to make them.  And, frankly, I'm not overly inclined to learn.  But muffins that taste like a jam donut, yes, that I can try!  

You can use whichever jam you like, I went with raspberry.  That was partly preference, and partly what we had in the fridge.  I also did a few with maple syrup in the centre.  Yum.  I am sure other jams would be equally good.  The recipe I used recommended a fairly small amount of jam in the centre, but I reckon you need a little more.  If it comes out the side a bit, who cares eh?  

So, without further ado - duffins, muffnuts, uh jammy donut-muffins... 

Makes about 18 standard-size muffins 

4 cups SR flour
1 + 1/3 castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
2/3 cup oil (I used Lupi Organic Olive and it wasn't too strong in flavour)
2 large eggs 
350 ml buttermilk (or normal milk with 2 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar added) 
2 tsp vanilla essence
50 g butter 
1/2 cup castor sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Spray muffin tins, or line with cupcake cases. 
  2. If making your own buttermilk, add the lemon to the milk and set aside for 5 minutes.  
  3. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients (except jam).  
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine gently - only until the mixture just comes together and no flour is showing.  You don't want to overmix muffins.  
  5. Place some into each muffin tray (about 1/3 of the way up).  Place a dollop of jam in the centre.  Cover with more muffin mix.  You want them to fill about 3/4 of the way up the tin.  
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes (I used fan-bake and 15 minutes was enough).  
  7. Remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. 
  8. Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, melt butter and put sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.  
  9. Brush tops of muffins with butter and roll around in the sugar, coating the tops with tastiness.  
  10. Enjoy warm, or keep in an airtight container for another day.  Buon appetit! 

16 November 2015

Tortilla sabroso

Leftover roast chicken.  Not a bad thing now, is it?  There are a million and one things you can do with leftover roast meat, especially chook.  We typically have a day or two of roast chicken sandwiches for lunch, a curry and perhaps a stir-fry or fettucine too (depending on the quantity left over).  I also love to use shredded roast chicken for lasagne, instead of mince.  The other day though, none of our usual go-to meals got me amped up for gastronomic greatness.  So I called on Dr Google.  

Google search - leftover roast chicken recipes.  A myriad of responses.  One page with 21 ideas.  And one of those ideas was for tortilla stack.  Yum.  And we had everything needed.  

1 cups roast chicken
1/2 tin red kidney beans (black-eyed peas would also be amazing!)
1 tin diced tomatoes
fresh herbs (I used basil and marjoram)
a few teaspoons sour cream, to dollop between layers
4 tortillas 
handful chopped capsicum and mushrooms
6 bok choi or pak choi leaves, sliced into strips 
packet of taco/burrito seasoning (or fresh garlic, onion and cumin powder with a little chili)
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 cup grated cheese
2 eggs
50 ml milk
salt and pepper
guacamole, to serve 
  1. Grease casserole dish (one that will fit the tortillas laid flat) with butter or oil.    
  2. Place chicken in frypan with a little butter.  Stir in seasoning.  Add beans, tomatoes, herbs and vegetables and heat through.  Stir through the bok choi.    
  3. Place a tortilla in casserole dish.  Spoon chicken onto it and spread evenly to edge of tortilla.  Place a few dollops of sour cream and sprinkle with some of the cup of cheese.  Place another tortilla on top.  Continue this until chicken/tortillas finished.  
  4. Beat eggs, salt and pepper, and milk together.  Pour over tortilla layers.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours, to let the egg mix soak in.  
  5. Preheat over to 180 degrees celcius.  Remove foil, sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over tortillas.  Replace foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for further 5-10 minutes, until egg is set and cheese is melted and browned.  
  6. Serve with guacamole and a salad.  Sabroso!