Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Fennel

1.4kg hot Italian sausage links (Chorizo)
3 (500g) packages rigatoni or macaroni pasta
3 (700ml) jars tomato puree or italian cooking sauce
3 bulbs fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 roasted red capsicums, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Fry the sausages in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the skillet, cool slightly and slice into rounds. Add the garlic, fennel and onion to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, then add the roasted capsicum, basil, sliced sausage and pasta sauce. Heat through over low heat until warmed.
Combine the pasta with the sauce and vegetables in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread the mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses over the top. Garnish with a few fennel leaves left from the bulb. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the aluminum foil. Set the oven to broil, and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is browned.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Morrocan Lamb Shanks

2kg lamb shanks
2tbsp Ras el Hanout spice blend
2 onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1cm freshly grated ginger
1 lemon, zested
2cups chicken stock
1tbsp tomato paste
1tbsp honey

Drizzle a little olive oil over the lamb shanks, rub the Ras el Hanout all over the shanks, leave them to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the shanks 2 at a time, and brown well. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb. Add onions and carrots to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh garlic and ginger; continue cooking for an additional couple of minutes.
Place the vegetables in the bottom of a casserole dish that has a well fitting lid and stir in the lemon zest, chicken broth, tomato paste, and honey. Put the lamb on top of the vegetables, turning them to ensure they are covered in the sauce. Cover the casserole, Place in a hot oven for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate and simmer for around 2 hours.
Serve with Couscous.

Spicy Couscous with Dates

15 ml olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 whole star anise pods
salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red capsicum, chopped
1/4 tsp powdered chilli
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 large fresh mushrooms, chopped
15 ml lemon juice
8g chopped dates
1tsp ground cinnamon
175 g uncooked couscous
1 vegetable stock cube in 350ml of hot water

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onion until tender. Season with anise pods and salt. Mix in garlic, red bell pepper, dried hot red peppers, and black pepper. Continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
Stir mushrooms and lemon juice into the vegetable mixture. Mix in dates and cinnamon, and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Place couscous in a medium saucepan, and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until all moisture has been absorbed.
Fluff couscous with a fork, mix into the vegetables, and serve.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rogan Josh, Lamb Shanks in the Slow Cooker

2/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 chicken stock cubes
4 whole cardamom pods, broken
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
ground nutmeg to taste
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons corn flour
1/4 cup water
1 large onion, cut into wedges
3 lamb shanks
1 carrot, diced
2 potatoes, diced

Stir the sour cream and all-purpose flour together in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water to make a paste.
Combine the chili powder, coriander, ginger, stock cubes, cardamom, tomatoes, water, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly add the cornstarch paste to the tomato mixture, stirring constantly; simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly stir in the sour cream and flour mixture.
Arrange the onions across the bottom of a slow cooker, lay the shanks on top of the onions and pour the prepared tomato mixture over the meat. Place the carrots and potatoes on top of the sauce.
Cover and cook in the slow cooker on High for 8 hours.

Pisang Goreng (Indonesian Banana Fritters)

780g plain flour
125g white sugar sugar
2tsp vanilla essence
600 ml milk
5 eggs
140 g butter, melted
3 kg ripe bananas, sliced
oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and vanilla powder. Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, egg, melted butter and rum flavoring. Mix until smooth. Fold in banana slices until evenly coated.
Heat oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Drop banana mixture by tablespoon into hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bananas from oil, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.