Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Cooking with Thermomix In Carins

I'm back in Australia for a family reunion and a school reunion, so I organized a Thermomix demo for my mother and aunts. Only invited a few of the aunties - so we were just a small group of 13!

Nancy Day came and did a brilliant job of showing us what the Thermomix can do. We did the Basic demo plus. We started with a fluffy berry desert, then went back to starters: cashew, sun-dried tomato and pepper dip.

We whipped up some butter and bread rolls, pesto, mayonnaise and coleslaw, tried to make a sponge cake (which may have worked if we had added the sugar!).

Followed this by steamed chicken with vegies and rice - with a spicy coconut sauce............ and the finale was a lemon custard. We ate the "sponge"with the lemon custard. I loved the custard and it's so easy to make. The recipe is in the Basic Thermomix recipe book: you just throw in the eggs, milk, cornflour and sugar and whatever you want to flavor your custard with, then after 8 minutes, speed 4, at 90, it's done!  

My Thermomix arrives just after I get back home in Switzerland, can't wait to start cooking! My mother wants one too, but I doubt if it will arrive before I leave. If you live in the Cairns area and want to look at the Thermomix, contact Nancy (Phone: 07 4098 5561, Cell: 0447 487 716, Email: She's so passionate about Thermomix, you can't help be swept up by her enthausium! 

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Polish cooking and pottery (or The crazy ladies road trip to Poland).

We did this trip ages ago. Sorry ladies, that it's taken me so long to post.

What a crazy, fun trip! We drove to Poland to cook, shop, explore, eat and to be pampered. In Boleslawiec, the best place to stay is the Blue Beetroot.  It's run by John and Barbara, who are just delightful. And they do fantastic guided tours, and cooking classes. They'll even organize pampering sessions (manicures, pedicures and massages) at the inn for you.

Some of the ladies did a guided tour with Jarek and some of us stayed behind and did the cooking class.

70 grams dry curd cheese (full fat)
1 kilo 20 grams potatoes, peeled and cut (older potatoes are best)
1 big onion or 3 small onions, finely chopped
Salt, Pepper
Vegeta (Polish vegetable stock seasoning)

Place cheese in large bowl
Boil potatoes in salted water
Drain and mash potatoes
Saute onions with butter and a little oil
Add cooled potatoes and onions to cheese
Add salt, pepper and vegeta to taste
Mix all ingredients until well blended

1 kg flour
4 tablespoons oil

Pour flour into large bowl
Add oil and salt to flour
Add water until right consistency
Knead in bowl initially, then move to floured surface
Knead for about 10 minutes, using palms not fists, and folding over in circular motion to add air
Sprinkle a little flour on surface of dough and wrap in cling wrap or cover with towel

To make pierogies:
Roll dough flat (less than ¼ inch)
Cut out circles of dough using cookie cutter or a glass
Spoon filling into center, rolling into a ball
Fold in half (like a taco); patting filling down
Pinch sides closed tightly
Place on floured dish

Place pierogies into boiling, salted water. Remove when they float to surface. Drain, wash with water and add a little oil.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with onion and bacon sauteed in butter or sour cream

Bigos Staroplski
Cabbage 1,5 kg
Sauerkraut   0,8 kg
Bacon 0,2 kg
Sausage 0,4 kg
3 Onions
Tomato paste approx. 4 tablespoons
English spice
Bay leafs
Pepper, salt

There are so many amazing pottery places in Boleslawiec. We visited so many that I lost count after number 12. Ceramika is probably my absolute favorite. Next in line would have to be Andy's. Here is a excellent link that lists other pottery stores in Boleslawiec (includes web sites, addresses and opening times).

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Cooking with Thermomix in Switzerland

I've fallen in love with the Bimby (also called the Thermomix) and I want one, even though since PhD'ing again, my husband has taken over most of the cooking. Here in Switzerland, one way to get the Bimby at slightly cheaper price, is to host a demo. You need to invite 3 friends who also love gadets.  Do it before August 31st, 2010, you'll save 150.- SFr. (retail price in CH is 1650.- SFr).

We sat in the garden last night and watched Antonella cook up a storm in minutes with her Bimby.

Vegie-fruit drink for starters, bread, veal with rice and vegies and peach granita were on her menu.

Here's Antonella's delicious bread recipe:

100g "Dinkel" seeds (you can use any seeds)
1 block of fresh yeast (42g)(you can find it in the fresh dough section in Migros or Co-op)
400g flour
pinch of sugar
11/2 ts salt
270g water
50g bacon, cubed (or olives, herbs or whatever you fancy)

Baking tray, lined with baking paper

 Add the seeds to the Theromix and grind them for 20-40 sec on the Turbo setting. You end up with something that looks like flour. Add the remaining ingredients and let the Thermomix do the kneading ('Knettaste' for 3 min). Here the machine is absolutely amazing!

Place the bread into a cold oven (it rises as the oven heats). Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes.

The texture of this bread is a bit denser than bread that has been allowed to prove before baking. If you have time to let the dough prove for 30-60 minutes before baking, you can decrease the amount of yeast to about half.

Summer is finally back in Switzerland (at least for the next few days)!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Cooking French Food with Angela in Zurich

Last year in June, Angela was back in Zürich for a visit. We had planned a cooking session with her before she left for North Carolina, but unfortunately things got too hectic with her move. As she was coming to visit she very kindly offered to do the french cooking planned from the previous year. We used the American Women's Club kitchen for this event. It was great and we'd certainly host another meeting there next time we need a large kitchen.

Here are some of Angela's recipes, collected from various cooking classes taken in Paris:

Tarte a l’oignon Onion Tart

1 roll puff pastry or Pate Brisee
600 g sweet onions (oignons doux des Cévennes or oignon de Roscoff)
200ml cream
salt, pepper,
nutmeg (not ground nutmeg)
1 teaspoon sugar

Prepare the onions: peel and slice. Sauté them in a part with 40 grams of butter at a low temperature till tender and golden, for about 10 minutes
Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar, cook 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Allow to cool.

Grease your tart mold, push the pastry into the pie shell, prick with a fork.
Fill with the sautéed onion Season the cream with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the onions.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180C. Serve warm

Pate Brisee:
200 grams flour
100 grams butter, softened
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons water
pinch of salt

In a food processor, mix quickly the flour and the soft butter, add the water, the salt and the egg yolk. Mix quickly, stop when the batter forms a ball. Wrap in a plastic film. Let rest 1 hour in the fudge. Sprinkle flour on the table and roll your dough.

Salad of smoked duck breast and warm grapes

I have the recipe in pdf format only at present. Email me if you want it.

Veal with Morels

Roti de Veau aux Morilles (Veal with Morels)

For 6 people

Veal roast ca. 1 kg
25 grams dried morels
250 grams mushrooms
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
1 TB veal stock powder
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
300 ml apple cider
250 ml cream
butter, oil, salt, pepper

Heat 1 TB oil in a heavy casserole pan. Brown the veal roast on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Sauté vegetables (tomatoes, garlic onions, carrots) for 5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add half the cider and the veal stock powder. Return roast to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the dried morels: soak them in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain the liquid, reserve 100ml liquid and put aside. Pat dry the moreIs and cut them into 2 (or into 4 pieces, if large).

Clean and slice mushrooms. Heat some butter in a frying pan and sauté mushrooms. Add morels, cook for 2 minutes.

When the meat is cooked, remove and cover with foil and keep warm. Add the remaining cider, 100ml of the juice from the morels and cream. Reduce sauce for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and the morels. Check seasoning.

Cut the meat, and pour over the sauce. Serve with rice and sautéed apples

Tian de Courgettes

Zucchini Gratin
For 6 people


1 kg zucchini
3 garlic cloves
2-3 TB chopped parsley
1 cup milk
2 small eggs
100g shredded cheese (Comté or gruyere)
2 TB olive oil
salt and pepper


1. Slice the zucchini. Melt the 2 TB of olive oil in a frying pan, add the zucchini and cook to brown for about 10-15 minutes while constantly watching them. You may have to sauté them half at a time. Add salt and pepper.

2. Mix in a bowl the pressed garlic, the parsley and the milk and the eggs. Add half of the cheese. Add salt and pepper.

3. Put into a gratin dish. Add the rest of the grated cheese on top. Cook about 20 to 30 minutes at 180°C or 375°F.

Serve with either meat or poultry or a fish dish without a cream sauce. Can be made ahead and reheated.

This dish can be made with leeks instead of zucchini. Mushrooms can be added as well. Clean the leeks well by cutting off most of the dark green part, leaving about 1 inch of the darker green part with the light green. To clean: cut a cross down the top and rinse under cold water. Bring abut 1 1/2 liters of water to a boil; put in 2 chicken bouillon cubes to dissolve. Cook the leeks in barely simmering water for about 10 minutes then drain. Cut the leeks into about 3-4 pieces each and continue as above.

Zucchini Gratin

Caramel Apple Shortcake
Apple Sables with Caramel Sauce
(For 4 people)

Pastry (Pàte Sablée)
2 egg yolks
250 g (1 2/3 cup) flour
75g (1/2cup+ I TB) powdered sugar
120g butter, softened
1 TB warm milk
pinch salt
3 apples (granny smith, elstar or goldens)
2 1/2 TB butter
50 g (1/2 cup) walnuts
50 g (4 TB) sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

80g (6TB) sugar
120 ml cream
45g (3TB) salted butter
2 TB water

1. Pastry: Put in a food processor: sugar, softened butter and yolks. Mix well. Add the flour. When crumbly, add the milk. Put in the fridge for about 3 hours before using in order to give the butter time to harden.

2. Roll out the pastry thinly. Cut the pastry into 8 circles of about 3-4 inches in diameter and cook for about 4-8 minutes in an oven at 200°C or 390°F. Let cool. This can be done ahead of time.

3. Peel and de-seed the apples. Cut into thin slices (each quarter into 5ths). Chop the nuts.

4. Make the caramel: In a heavy-bottom pan, put the sugar and water. Heat it over a high heat until a caramel is formed, At that point, add the cream. Add the butter and mix well.
5. In a teflon pan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Let the sugar start to caramelize and put in the nuts first. Add the apple pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. All this can be done ahead. The apples should be slightly undercooked.

6. Put one sablee on a plate. Add some apple and nut mixture. Put another sablée on top and some more apple/nut mixture. Surround with the caramel mixture, which can be heated up if it is not hot. The caramel should be served warm.

Serve with vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

The apple sablée were amazing, definitely my fav out of all the wonderful things we cooked.