Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to make grilled and skinless capsicum

Roasted Capsicum 

2 capsicums, any colour will do
2 tbsp canola oil


Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celcius. Cut around the sides of the capsicum and avoid cutting into the centre part of the capscium. Remove any seeds and the white part of the caps, and brush canola oil on to their skins. Put them skin side up onto a baking tray. Place the capsicums in the oven for 6-8 minutes until the skins start browning and blistering. Remove them from the oven and place them in a bowl immediately before covering it tightly with glad wrap. By doing this, you will create some steam in the bowl and the skin will eventually seperate from the capsicum itself. After about 5 minutes, you can remove the glad wrap and use the blunt part of a pairing knife to scrap off the skin. Set aside.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Make your own Burger! (and I mean everything)

Who can resist a burger that is handmade from scatch and I mean the patties, the buns and pesto... not some drive-through crap that comes in a cardboard box?


Poppy seed burger buns


makes 4 large buns

2 tsp of Edmonds Active yeast
2 tsp of raw sugar
2 tbsp of lukewarm whey (leftover from my ricotta cheese, defrosted from freezer) or water

2 cups of strong bread flour - high gluten flour
1/2 cup of lukewarm whey or water
1/2 tbsp of fennel seed salt

a handful of extra flour for dusting

black poppy seeds


Electric Mixer Method

Placethe yeast, sugar and whey (or water) together into an electric mixer bowl. If you don't have one then any mixing bowl will do. Give the ingredients a stir and wait for 5 minutes until it starts bubbling.

Add the flour, fennel seeds, salt and whey and hand mix them until they are all combined. Turn  the mixer onto it's lowest setting for a minute or two and then  to a higher speed. The dough should be mixing together into a ball form. If this doesn't happen then you have to add a bit more flour to the mixture until the dough is sticking together. Mix this for 10 minutes.

For hand knead method


Before I had my electric mixer, I used to knead my bread dough by hand. It does take a bit longer, but it is much more fun that way and a bit of upper exercise always does me good.

Place the yeast, sugar and whey (or water) together into a mixing bowl and wait for 5 minutes until the mixture starts bubbling.


Dust a bit of flour over your hands and scrape your dough together to form a ball. Glad wrap over it and place it over a warm sunny place to let it double in size. This will take from 30 minutes to one hour depending on how warm the day is.


While your are waiting for your bread to prove you can:

1) Place the poppy seeds onto a plate.
2) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius with a bowl (oven prove) of water in it to create some steam going on in there. This is so that when you bake your bread, the crust will be soft.
3) Oil a baking tray with some olive oil.

Now the bread has done it's first prove you have to shape it into little small buns. Place your poppy seeds on a plate, and roll the bread dough onto the poppy seeds.
















Place a large piece of baking paper to cover all the buns and glad wrap the whole tray. By doing this, you will allow the bread buns to prove without forming a skin on the bread surface, so your bread will end up with a relatively soft crust.

Wait until it is proven to double it's previous size before they are ready to go into the oven.Remove the bowl of hot water from the oven and place your bread buns in the middle rack and bake them for 10 minutes until they are golden brown.


When it is ready, remove them from the oven and place them on tray with a clean tea towel over it and let them cool down. When you cut into the bun, it should have a good even texture and the bun should have risen evenly and well.


Roasted Capsicum 

2 capsicums, any colour will do
2 tbsp canola oil


Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celcius. Cut around the sides of the capsicum and avoid cutting into the centre part of the capscium. Remove any seeds and the white part of the caps, and brush canola oil on to their skins. Put them skin side up onto a baking tray. Place the capsicums in the oven for 6-8 minutes until the skins start browning and blistering. Remove them from the oven and place them in a bowl immediately before covering it tightly with glad wrap. By doing this, you will create some steam in the bowl and the skin will eventually seperate from the capsicum itself. After about 5 minutes, you can remove the glad wrap and use the blunt part of a pairing knife to scrap off the skin. Set aside.



Sherry Vinegrette Marinated Portebello

2 tbsp of Sherry Vinegar
2 tbsp of Olive oil 
1 garlic, finely crushed

4 Portebello Mushrooms
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Use a fork and whisk the garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil together. Brush the sherry vinegrette marinade onto the mushroom, seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Place them all onto a baking tray and leave them  in the hot oven (around 160 degree Celcius) for five minutes. Take them  out to set aside.


Basil and Sundried Tomato Pesto


makes around 1 cup

2 cloves of NZ garlic
2 full handfuls of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp of blanch almond/ pinenuts, toasted
2 tbsp of parmesan, grated
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt

It is hard to resist these babies.... new season fresh garlic and red onion

Making your own basil pesto is super easy to do and takes no more than 5 minutes. It tastes so much better than those massive produced pottles that you can find at the supermarket.

Start crushing the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle, then add in the nuts. After that add in a  handful of basil leaves quickly one at a time. If it takes too long, the heat will starting  wilting the basil and this will create a dark green colour. Finally add in your cheese and oil and you will end up having a bright green paste.



You can make this in advance and can keep in the fridge under a layer of olive oil for up to three weeks at least.

Herbed Burger Patties 



Serves 4

300g of good quality beef mince
1/4 cup of dried breadcrumbs
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp of olive oil
a handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
a handful of sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 egg

4 tbsp of canola oil

Saute your onions until they are soft. Let them cool.

Put on a disposable glove and mix in all the ingredients together. Once everything is combined, shape the patties to about the width of the burger buns and set aside.

Place the oil onto a hot pan and brown the patties on both sides for 2-3 mins. You can put a lid on to make sure the patties are cooked through. Serve immediately.

It is show time!



Place all the ingredients on a huge platter and let everyone assemble their own burger:

3 grated Zucchinis or you can make ribbons by peeling them with a vege peeler
1 grated carrot or you can peel them with a vege peeler
Sherry vinegrette marinated Portebello mushrooms
2 fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 Red onion, cut into rings
2 roasted capsicums, seedless and skinless
basil pesto
Herbed beef patties
Bread buns