May 29

Cookbook 40: Homecooked: Favourite receipes from Australian Kitchens

So I found this beautiful cookbook, Homecooked: Favourite recipes from Australian Kitchens.  I can’t remember now if I bought it new or second hand, I’m thinking second hand as it was published in 2006 and I don’t recall getting it until the last couple of years.  Anyway, the cookbook is a collection of recipes submitted by listeners to ABC Local Radio, and collated by Maggie Beer, Valli Little and Ian McNamara, and most recipes come with a small story attached as to why they’re special recipes – whether they remind the person who submitted them of departed family members, or stories of new friends and relationships.

The best thing about the recipes as that they are sensibly written, the instructions are clear, and the steps are sensible.  I really enjoyed cooking from this book and will be going back to it for it’s sweet stories and great recipes.  I give it four and a half stars out of five.

Hungarian Pancakes

Ingredients:

Pancakes

  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • oil, to grease
  • 300 ml milk

Filling

  • 110g butter or margarine
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 dessertspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 dessertspoons sour cream

Sauce

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 400g can champignons or 400g fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • plain flour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. To make the pancakes, mix the flour, salt, eggs and milk to a smooth batter.  Make thin pancakes, frying both sides lightly in an oiled pan.
  3. To make the filling, heat the butter or margarine in a saucepan and fry the onions.  When begging to brown, add the meat, paprika, tomato paste and seasonings.  Add enough water to barely cover the mat.  Put a lid on and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (it may need a little more water).  When the meat is cooked, take half the mixture from the pan and set aside.  Add the sour cream to the pan and stir until it thickens.  Fill up the pancakes with this mixture, folding in the edges then rolling them up. Place into a casserole dish and heat for about 30 minutes.
  4. To make the sauce, heat the sour cream in a saucepan.  Mix the cornflour with a little of the sour cream and add to the pan with the remaining meat mixture.  Bring to the boil and add the mushrooms.  Pour the sauce over the heated pancakes and serve immediately.

Notes on this recipe:

  • This was amazing
  • I ended up putting too much water in with the meat, you might want to add a little, and then keep adding it instead of hoping that it will evaporate/absorb.
  • I also didn’t have enough sour cream (probably only 3/4 cup) for the sauce, but it still worked out really well.  I imagine the sauce would have been even more creamier and richer with the full 2 cups.

Tofu Loaf with White Miso and Tahini

Ingredients:

Loaf:

  • 500g block of firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrums
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 100g tomato paste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped

Topping

  • 140g tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons each sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.  Lightly oil a 28cm x 33cm x 6cm deep baking dish.
  2. To make the loaf, combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.  Press into the prepared dish.
  3. To make the topping, combine the tomato paste and mirin and spread over the top of the loaf.  Sprinkle with the seeds.  Bake for 1 hour.  Stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
  4. To make the sauce, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add pepper to taste.  If you would like the sauce warm, just put it into a saucepan and gently heat until the sauce is just warm, do not boil.
  5. Serve the loaf hot with roasted root vegetables with white miso and tahini sauce or cold on fresh bread with cheese and a good tomato relish.

Notes on this recipe:

  • I wasn’t a fan, but the two vegetarians who were at dinner loved this dish. I found the sauce a bit too bitey, without the sauce the dish was good.
  • The dish is quite simple, though some of the ingredients require a trip to an East Asian grocer.

Golden Syrup Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 up self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • milk

Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 dessert spoon butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup

Method:

  1. Rub the butter into the flour.  Mix in enough milk to make a sticky dough.
  2. To make the syrup, combine the ingredients in a wide saucepan or deep frying pan.  Bring to the boil and cook for several minutes.  Drop in tablespoons of dough (about 12), cover and simmer for 12 minutes.

Notes on this recipe:

  • Personally I’d add more golden syrup, because this wasn’t quite golden syrupy enough.  It was still very lovely, even served with cream.
  • These little dumplings hold their heat for a while, so be careful not to burn your mouth.
  • The recipe seems vague, but it works quite successfully
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