Thursday, March 16, 2006

Making and Baking - Hooray its finished!!

***Hooray!! Its finally finished!!***
Ok its kinda just past mid-week and I don't have heaps new to report. So this is the time when I bring out a few things I have been saving to share about. Lots of people ask me what I cook. I kind of find that a bit odd because its hard to list the things you cook. I give a vague sort of answer like "oh all sorts of things." To which the other party begins the spanish inquisition. "Do you only cook chinese food?" (This is most often asked by caucasian Australians) I am unsure whether to be offended by that or not, especially as they start asking "How about Richard? Does he like all the things you cook?" At this point I wonder if they have been sent by Richard's mother to spy on me.

So anyway, I have decided to share a few things which I have made, actually all the baked ones have been quite successful experiments here in Cowra. I used to have a huge fear of ovens, mostly because I have no control over what comes out the other side of the tunnel. I think it also may be due to the fact that alot of my cooking was learned from watching and I am glad my mother made spag bol as well as she made hokkien mee and mee siam. She also made a mean chicken tonight ;) However, I have never once seen her bake in my life. She made wonderful stews in the pressure cooker so I am dreaming of acquiring one except they are quite rare here. She made crispy chicken in the turbo broiler and smoked chicken and duck on the outdoor webber. So I am fine with rotisseries and such but mention the word baking and I freeze.

When I first came to Cowra and visited the baptist church, I had not been to church in a very long time. I knew I would like to learn more about God again and get close to him as I always believed in my heart that His words were the truth. Austin the minister here grabbed me and got my contact details. He then never gave up knocking on my door to invite me back as well as calling me and inviting me to dinner with his family. I know that he could see I needed some persuasion (he hasn't really tried it on anyone else) and when I finally started attending it was really nice as the church was a great family church but also with singles, single mums, widowers, old retired couples etc. This will be one of the places I will really miss about Cowra. Its been the most welcoming church I have been to my whole life. Anyway this paragraph has a point: All the morning teas every sunday have been amazing. Pikelets, cakes, slices ... and all made by the ladies and brought along on Sunday. It was very inspiring so I decided to try my hand at making a few things in the dreaded cave of fear. The first thing that triggered off was a zucchini slice made by Mrs Atkins. It was sooooo good I had to ask her for the recipe and I braved my phobia of a large batch of failed goop and tried it at home.I would say it is a cross between a fritata and a quiche with no crust. The first batch worked a treat! The one in this photo is a bit too moist as I got overexcited with my leftover veggies.

The recipe is basically 1 1/2 cup of chopped veggies eg brocolli stalks, grated carrot/zuchinni
1 small onion chopped fine
1/2 cup cheese
1/2 cup bacon (optional if vegetarian)
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
salt and pepper to taste
Adjust the flour according to how big your eggs are. It should turn out like a thick batter and will set firm to touch like a fritata. Skewer test and medium oven should do the trick.

This other one has no name and is surprise surprise a concoction of my own! I made it when we had a guest over who was vegetarian. It is basically layers of filo pastry, chargrilled capsicum and eggplant, crumbled fetta, ricotta and spinach(silverbeet).

This one is simply heavenly when done right and because it is sweet means it is in the I-know-absolutely-nothing-at-all zone. It turned out way to dry in this pic. It is a basic "rubbing in method" half fat to flour and add some egg and water and sugar until it is a a doughy batter and bake. The magic is in the passionfruit icing which gives this shortbread a bite. The bar at the back is my product. We had leftover icing so we iced a box of Walkers shortbread. BTW although dry, the homemade shortbread was wayyy better!!! Walkers was a bit too rich.

This wasn't done in the oven but its another example of something I throw together. I was given sage (but no parsley, rosemary or thyme) by the female half of the husband and wife team who are my employers. She suggested cooking it in some butter with pumpkin and shredded parmesan and toss it all with some pasta. It turned out really well and was eaten with marinated wings and a salad.

And last but not least, some real 'roo action! Yessiree all you non-aussies this is prime kangaroo steak, fresh off the road, hit by the car in front of us that morning. Ok I jest! It was bought at the supermarket as they are farmed and definitely disease free. They are very lean (0.3% fat only !!) and have lots of iron and nutrients. It is also very cheap (about $6 a kg for prime steak)
This was just grilled and served with mash and stir fried veggies in teriyaki sauce.

Hope this gives some people insight to the fact that I don't just cook Singaporean/ Chinese stuff!


At 5:06 PM, Blogger RON said...

I'm taking it that it also means, that Aussies don't only eat kangaroos, and use Great Whites for their Fish-and-Chips. Haha.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Clare Eats said...

They don't farm the Kangaroos they are very much "Free-Range" and can be any roo but generally they will come from within the state you purchae them a it is hard to export/import them across state lines;)

I like Roo mince in my spagbol a it is a great tatying meat but not too rich :)

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

LOL Ron yes! we don't just eat 'roo we also eat emu, croc and ostrich!

Hi clare. Dunno I was informed somewhere that "free range" roos carry diseases so 'roo meat availible from supermarts and restaurants is actually from farms but of course they don't put them in barns or anything like that. They let them roam within the property.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Clare Eats said...

Nope definately not :)

It is shot by shooters and then placed into refrigerator trucks, the roos are managed and only so many roos are allowed to be shot per state. They are checked for paraites etc at the processors. But one good thing is that they aren't mammals but marupials so most parasites are very different.

At 5:22 AM, Blogger milgwimper said...


Awesome recipes, and I am so glad you were able to get over your phobia of the oven! Everything looks really tasty. I am dreaming of 'roo laap/larb/larp.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hey Rachel - Finally got those photos up. Got to say I was waiting for the kangaroo meat. Really nice dishes you're able to throw together!


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