Archive for the 'Winter Warmers' Category

Homemade Tonkotsu Ramen soup

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

It sure has been a wet and cold winter.  Every year it seems colder than the previous. I guess I have a fish memory after all – maybe that’s a good thing! But it also seems summer and tropical fruit and salads were yonks ago.   What I look forward to on a freezing cold night after work is hot soup.  My friend Jo stumbled upon a recipe for DIY tonkotsu (ie pork bone) soup.  This site shows you, step by step, how to turn pork bones and water into a delicious mouth stickingly amazing stock which is then transformed into a ramen soup delight.  So here’s the site:

And here is my result – pretty yum, but not like the photos, oh well.

What went well?  Well, the site was right, you do need to purge the blood and veins out – oh GOSH it was DISGUSTING!!!!  The water was pink and then I had to get scissors and cut off the yuck blood clots too eww eww eww.  So anyway, then you get a new pot of water and then boil the bones. Boil them into absolute smitherines!  Like this is what I ended up with after 4 hours (sorry I wasn’t committed enough for the full 15 hours specified on the site hahaha).

And the strained soup.  Amazing, it did turn whiteish!! All this just from bones and water!

To come up with the final dish, I added miso paste to flavour, soy, white pepper, sesame oil and salt to taste.  I served the soup with some blanched fresh ramen noodles, and topped with a soft boiled egg, seaweed and corn.   I guarantee a warm and snuggly feeling after having a huge bowl of this… although I must also say… a bit of a belly from all that delicious soup!

Home made meat pies

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I LOVE meat pie, back from school days buying them in their little plastic bag and foil tray heated in the pie warmer from the canteen for a treat from the usual sandwich.  I love them at morning tea at work, and the best ones are the ones topped with mash potato and gravy – yuuummmm.   But obviously, to maintain your figure, you can’t have them EVERY day.  And what about all those A Current Affair segments on how foreign snouts tails and even rats make it in the slurry?? yuck!  The solution?  Home made meat pies!   OK, fair enough, it’s not a weeknight meal, but it CAN be if you have some leftover beef casserole lingering around which I did.  Then all you need to do is make the pastry.  I couldn’t be bothered buying some and defrosting only to have another 4 sheets hanging around my freezer.  I found this terrific recipe that required only 250g plain flour, 125g butter and an egg.  You put the flour and butter (I used low fat margarine) in a food processor and blend until it resembles bread crumbs.  Then, drizzle in the beaten egg and a tablespoon of water until the mixture comes into a ball.  Kneed it a bit and form into a disc and put it in the fridge to rest.   Then, roll out a disc the size of your tin (I used a mini spring form tin) and line the base and sides.  I put my filling in – I didn’t even bother reheating it – and then rolled out a lid and pleated it.  30 minutes at 200 degrees, voila!

I was soooo happy with the result.  The top and side were crispy and “short”, and the filling was JUST hot but not burn your mouth hot. Next time maybe I’ll take it out of the tin to finish off in the oven, because the base wasn’t as brown as the rest.  But nevertheless, pat on the back.  To save time, I’m now going to use the rest of my pastry and line the springform tins and put them in my freezer for next time :) (more…)

Slow cooked beef ragout – it’s winter time! bbrrrr

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

It is WELL and TRULY winter in Sydney!  The temperature can be in the single digits even during the day – and I am soon going to be dragging out my heater – I’ve done so well so far, as most of my friends have succumbed!! :)  Winter food means slow cooked, warming your home and your heart.  And red wine of course ;)  I just made a huge batch of slow cooked beef ragout, it’s so easy, as you just prepare it and leave it on the stove or in the oven and forget about it!  First, I took 500g of chuck steak and cut it into little pieces.  I browned off the beef in some olive oil, then added diced carrot and celery and onion, and three cloves of garlic.  When the veges were almost soft, I poured in a cup of red wine and let the water evaporate.  Chuck in a few bayleaves, basil and oregano, and a 700mL bottle of passata.  I also added a beef stock cube.  Cover, boil on low for an hour.  Snuggle up with a magazine and hot chocolate in the meantime :)

When it’s done, I should have made my own pasta, but I was too hungry and lazy, so I just used spaghetti.  I drizzled it with truffle oil for a special luxurious touch, and served with parsley :)    There’s so much left for my freezer for a few more dinners :)

Osso Buco with Saffron Rice

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Winter – perfect for long slow stews. This recipe comes from Australian Gourmet Traveller. The sauce is very rich. It is pretty much just white wine and tomatoes! The saffron adds a luxurious touch to the melt in your mouth braised meat. It’s fantastic as you prepare it, whack it in the oven and then forget about it for a couple hours whilst you enjoy your guests’ company rather than slaving away in the kitchen and letting them have all the fun!

Apparently it’s a recipe from a Melbourne restaurant called Massani. It’s in the section of Gourmet Traveller where readers write in asking for recipes from their favourite restaurants.   Here’s the link: