Spanakopita

Spanakopita

image 1

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium brown onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch (1 kilogram) silverbeet, trimmed, leaves shredded
  • 200 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 200 g ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (160 grams) freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 12 sheets filo pastry (about half a 375g packet)
  • 125 g butter, melted
  1. In a large frypan, heat oil over medium-high. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens but does not brown. Add the silverbeet; cook, stirring, a further 3 minutes or until the silverbeet has wilted. Place mixture in a colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. Press down gently with a tea towel to remove all excess moisture.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced.
  3. In a large bowl, combine silverbeet mixture with cheeses, dill and nutmeg. Season, add eggs and mix well.
  4. Place one sheet of pastry onto a greased oven tray and brush with melted butter. Repeat with 5 more sheets. Place the spinach mixture onto the pastry, leaving a 5cm border. Place another sheet of pastry on a clean board and brush with butter. Repeat with the remaining pastry, then place pastry sheets on top of spinach mixture. Roll up edges of pastry to seal. Brush top with butter. Bake about 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

Oldie but a goodie – new take on Spanakopita. The addition of ricotta and parmesan and the free-form shape was a variation on my tried and true recipe. I added the silverbeet stalks (chopped) to the onion and garlic in step 1. V. important to remove the excess moisture.

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Chocolate caramel slice

Chocolate caramel sliceChocolate caramel slice

Base:

1 cup (150g) plain flour, sifted

1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut

1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar

125g unsalted butter, melted

Caramel:

1/3 cup (115g) golden syrup

125g unsalted butter, chopped

2 x 395g cans sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate topping:

200g dark chocolate, chopped

1 tblsp vegetable oil

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C. Place the flour, coconut, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix to combine. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 15 – 20 mins or until golden.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 160C. Place the golden syrup, condensed milk and chopped butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir briskly until the butter is melted and cook, stirring frequently, especially the sides and base of the pan, for 7 – 8 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly, making sure the mixture doesn’t stick.
  • Pour the caramel over the cooked base, spread evenly with a palette knife and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold.
  • Place the chocolate and vegetable oil in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Pour over the caramel mixture and spread evenly. Tap the tin lightly on the bench to create a smooth finish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into squares to serve.
  • Store in an airtight container between sheets of non-stick baking paper, refrigerated, for up to a week.

Notes:

  • Add a teaspoon of instant coffee to the caramel mixture for  a hint of coffee flavour
  • To make salted caramel slice, sprinkle a teaspoon of sea salt flakes over the warm chocolate before refrigerating
  • TO DIE FOR!!!!

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Vanilla bean Creme Brulee

Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee

Prep: You will need 4 x 2/3 cup moulds/ small dishes and a kitchen blowtorch

160ml milk

3ooml thickened cream

3 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped

6 egg yolks

1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

1/4 cup (55g) Demerara or caster sugar

  • Preheat oven to 120C. Place milk, cream and vanilla pods and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point, then remove from heat
  • Place egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. pour the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until combined, then strain through a fine sieve, discarding solids
  • Pour mixture into the 4 moulds, then place them in a roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the moulds, then place in the oven for 35 minutes or until just set.( My oven took 45 minutes to achieve “set”, which means a light skin/crust on top, but wobbly underneath)
  • Remove the moulds from the water bath and set aside to cool slightly before chilling in the frig for about 2 hours or until set
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with the Demerara or caster sugar and use a blowtorch to gently caramelise the top.
  • Verdict?: TO DIE FOR!

Italian Chicken Meatloaf

P1050203

Italian Chicken Meatloaf

500g chicken mince

200 g pork mince

2 garlic cloves, crushed

pinch dried chilli flakes

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 tblsp pine nuts, toasted, chopped

10 slices prosciutto (you could also use bacon)

  • Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Mix mince, garlic, chilli, breadcrumbs, egg, basil, tomato and pine nuts in a bowl
  • Grease a loaf pan (or muffin pans) and line with prosciutto/bacon, allowing sides to overhang
  • Press mince mixture into loaf or muffin pans and fold prosciutto/bacon over to enclose. (you might need to cover the top of the loaf pan with another slice or two)
  • Bake for 25-30 mins for muffin pans, 30-45mins for loaf pan, or until juices run clear when tested with a skewer.

Yogurt Chicken

Yogurt ChickenP1050188

1/4 cup parmesan

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients and spread over 2 chicken breasts. Bake at 180 for approx. 45 mins.

NOTES:

Last 3 ingredients can be replaced by Greek or similar seasoning; breasts could be replace by thighs or marylands and extend the baking time to 60 mins approx.; parmesan could be replaced by another cheese.

Quick, easy and delicious!

Easy salmon quiche

Easy salmon quiche

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup natural cottage cheese
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 210g can red salmon, drained, deboned and flaked
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

 

  1. Step 1

Combine flour and cottage cheese in a bowl. Add butter. Stir with a knife until well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  1. Step 2

Press dough into the base and sides of a 23cm pie dish. Cover evenly with combined onion and salmon.

  1. Step 3

Whisk eggs with cream. Pour evenly over salmon mixture. Top with grated cheese.

  1. Step 4

Bake in a hot oven (200°C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate (180°C) and cook for a further 35 minutes or until set and golden.

Note: Pastry is light and flaky. Recipe earns a “Yum”

Variation: Add some fresh spinach or capers.

Sticky Banana Macadamia Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

001SERIOUSLY YUMMY

Serves 8. Prep: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 70 minutes (approx.)  You will need 3 large, over-ripe bananas for this recipe. Recipe can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container in frig.

INGREDIENTS

PUDDING                                                                                                           BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE

2 cups (300g) self-raising flour                                                                       1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp bicarb soda                                                                                             1 cup (250ml) thickened cream

1 tsp mixed spice                                                                                                  125g butter, chopped

150g butter, softened

1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe banana

1/3 cup (80g) sour cream

1/3 cup (80ml) milk

1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted macadamias

2 tblsp finely chopped glace ginger

METHOD  

  1. Preheat oven to moderate (180C/ 160C fan-forced). Grease a deep 22cm round cake pan; line the base and side with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, soda and spice onto a sheet of baking paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until well-combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. Transfer the butter mixture to a large bowl; stir in half the flour mixture, half of the banana, then the sour cream and milk. Stir in the remaining flour and banana, nuts and glace ginger. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour and 10 minutes or until cooked when tested. Stand the cake for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. SAUCE.   Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients in  a medium saucepan;  stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, stirring for  3 minutes.
  6. Serve warm pudding with butterscotch sauce and cream, if  desired.

 

 

 

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Cinnamon baked pears

  • 4 ripe Beurre Bosc pears, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup light vanilla Fruche, to serve
  1. Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut each pear in half and stand on a piece of foil large enough to enclose 2 halves. Sprinkle with combined sugar and cinnamon. Dot with butter. Wrap in foil. Place on a baking tray.

  1. Step 2

Bake pears for 30 minutes or until tender. Place in bowls. Pour over sauce from inside foil. Serve with Fruche.

 

Apricot Muesli Bars

Tastes good, but breaks up a bit when sliced.

In Janita's Kitchen

ImageApricot Muesli Bars

Here’s a cost effective, nut free, version of the essential lunchbox snack. These muesli bars can last up to 4-5 days in an air tight container and they are fantastic to freeze, simple wrap them individually so you can defrost them when you need them.

Ingredients

  • 180g butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried apricots – chopped
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, lightly grease and line an 18 × 28cm slice pan, leaving some overhang of baking paper on each side.
  2. Place butter and sugar into a small saucepan and stir over a low to medium heat until butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, mix oats, apricots, flour, coconut, pepitas and sunflower…

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