Corn fritters

What’s your favourite brekkie if you go out? For me it’s corn fritters, ideally with avocado, maybe sour cream and a chilli jam or roasted tomato to round it out. I also prefer the fritter to be more corn than batter and some diced capsicum is a welcome addition, as you can see from the recipe below. You can easily use tinned corn but I prefer fresh because it has that satisfying crunch.

Enjoy.

My #everyfuckingnight - corn fritters with avocado, sour cream and today's chilli jam.
My #everyfuckingnight – corn fritters with avocado, sour cream and today’s chilli jam.

Corn fritters
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (I used 6 smallish cobs for this)
  • ½ cup red capsicum, diced (about ½ a large capsicum)
  • ½ cup sliced spring onions (about 4-5)
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix the eggs with the milk
  2. While whisking scatter in the flour in a steady stream - this stops it getting lumpy
  3. Then gently fold in the baking powder, salt and paprika
  4. Add the corn, capsicum and coriander
  5. Heat a frypan over medium heat and add a little oil
  6. Dollop in heaped tablespoons of the batter and cook for a couple of minutes on either side
  7. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, roasted tomatoes, bacon, chilli jam... you get the idea.

 

It looks like a bucket of sick but it's really tasty (corn fritter batter)
It looks like a bucket of sick but it’s really tasty (corn fritter batter)

Onward!

Sago pudding with mango and lime

We are hurtling officially towards summer down here (ie tomorrow) and to be frank I am not pleased. I do not do hot weather and even moreso, humidity. I was truly born in the wrong country although Tasmania would probably do quite nicely. Beautiful countryside, lower temps, less humidity and a great food culture. Let’s sit with that for a moment shall we?

The only redeeming feature for me in these hotter months, apart from washing drying on the line in an hour rather than a day, is the food. Stone fruits, mangos, papaya, crisp Asian salads loaded with lime, mint, coriander and chilli and cooking outside.

Actually Sydney’s climate means I could/should use the BBQ year round but I always tend to forget it’s there once the heater is in action. The main reason I like cooking outside is I don’t have to clean down the cooktop. Yes, I am that lazy.

This dessert is fairly and squarely placed in my summer repertoire and all the boys love it. Along with the black sticky rice it sits in relatively high rotation, topped with mango or other summer fruits, drizzled with a palm sugar syrup, extra coconut cream and lime to give it zing.

Some people call it sago, some call it tapioca, we call it frogs eggs. There are myriad recipes for its use but this is my go-to.

Frog's eggs with coconut, palm sugar syrup, mango and lime. Giddyup #everyfuckingnight
Frog’s eggs with coconut, palm sugar syrup, mango and lime. Giddyup #everyfuckingnight

Tapioca pudding with mango and lime
 
The perfect summer dessert served with fresh tropical fruit
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sago
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 200 g palm sugar
  • 400 ml water
  • Mango, cut into slices or cubes
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and stir in the tapioca
  2. Cook for 15 minutes or until the beads are basically see-through, stirring regularly (this is important as they are pesky little things that like sticking to the bottom of the saucepan)
  3. Strain in a fine-holed sieve and rinse well under cold water (you'll still lose some but don't fret)
  4. Place in a bowl and stir through half the coconut cream and half the palm sugar syrup (see below)
  5. Chill for an hour or more
  6. To make the palm sugar syrup combine the palm sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil
  7. Simmer until it is thick and syrupy
  8. To serve, spoon into a bowl, top with fruit, drizzle over some of the remaining coconut cream and sugar syrup and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.
  9. For complete show-pony status you can initially pour them into moulds and then turn out when serving, fancy like.

 

Spring Rolls

So I made these a year ago and then promptly forgot I had ever done such a thing. Bizarrely last week Felix said, remember when you made spring rolls, and I was all, NEVER! Then, serendipitously I fell upon the very post where I talked about them.

Start of spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight
Start of spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight

These are easily vegetarian – just omit the chicken mince (derr) – or turned into a pork version by using pork instead of chicken mince (double derr).

Yes, rolling 40 spring rolls is painful but this is where having 100 kids becomes useful. Sure they might not look perfect (there are spring roll perfectionists who insist they must be tighly and very evenly rolled – no hanging over the edges – so they don’t absorb too much oil) but I only shallow fry them and they sure turned out a treat.

Chicken spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight!
Chicken spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight!
Spring Rolls with cucumber dipping sauce
 
Sensational spring rolls you can have with meat or vego
Author:
Ingredients
For the spring rolls
  • 10-15 shitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 100g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 500g chicken or pork mince (optional)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 4-5 Chinese wombok cabbage leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
For the cucumber dipping sauce
  • 160 ml water
  • 120 ml white vinegar
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 to 1½ large telegraph cucumber
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cover the noodles with boiling water and sit for 6 minutes or until soft
  2. Drain really really well - you want to try and avoid a soggy filling
  3. Combine all the vegetable ingredients in a large bowl - mix it all together, have a taste, add some more mushrooms or carrot or cabbage if needed/desired
  4. Heat a wok, add a dash of oil and then fry the mince until browned and any liquid that cooks out of it has evaporated
  5. Add all the vegetables and sauces and stir until well combined and cooked through
  6. Let it cool a bit until it's easy to handle
  7. Take a spring roll sheet and then follow the instructions on the packet! (how's that for methodology!) There are also great you tube clips off it if needed.
  8. Heat about 1cm of oil in a frypan then cook in batches over a mod-high heat - they will only take about 3-4 mins
For the cucumber dipping sauce
  1. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat
  2. Cut the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the flesh the cut up into small dice
  3. Combine and leave to cool.

Balsamic glazed beetroots

A wonderful way to cook beets for a salad or on their own.

I think beetroots are one of those divisive vegetables, like brussel sprouts and cauliflower. If you like them you love them, if you don’t like them they are the food of the devil.

Mum planted beetroots this winter for reasons I’m not sure of, primarily because she doesn’t eat them. And I must confess that as I saw them growing I thought, what the hell am I going to do with all those beets.

Then this book entered my life. I’d already bought Food52’s baking book from which I want to make every single recipe (the magic espresso brownies are amazing) so I held out high hopes for Genius Recipes. It’s premise is 100 legendary recipes for chefs, cooks, bloggers and cookbook authors and it does not disappoint.

So #everyfuckingnight might be tacos for the boys, but I'm making a beetroot, goats cheese and walnut salad for me!
So #everyfuckingnight might be tacos for the boys, but I’m making a beetroot, goats cheese and walnut salad for me!

So, this week’s Tuesday #everyfuckingnight was tacos which I just can’t come at. Mum had picked me about 8 of the beetroots and my plan was hatched.

What I loved about this recipe was its simplicity. My beets didn’t take as long as the recipe said, probably due to their size, but I just sped the process up and they worked an absolute treat. Mine also turned out a more deep maroon than that black purple we expect from beetroots but again, probably due to the variety that we’d grown.

So look, follow what’s below, but trust your gut. You can lift the lid during the simmering stage and check their done-ness, muck around with the heat when reducing the liquid to a consistency you like. It can be more saucy or more syrupy, just make sure you do leave enough to coat the beets and any leaves you add to them.

Pretty!
Pretty!

The recipe says to add the beetroot leaves at the end but these fall into the category of kale for me and taste like balls so I’d sooner mix through some baby English spinach leaves and rocket than that metallic nonsense.

Finally, I took a little punt based on Maggie Beer in her remarkable tome Maggie’s Harvest  and at the very end added a little more butter, some dijon (about 1/4-1/2tsp), balsamic and more finely chopped fresh tarragon just to liven the flavours.

It’s all really quite straightforward with the result being a complete show-pony of a dish. Giddyup!

Home grown balsamic glazed beetroots w/goats cheese, walnuts and tarragon. #everyfuckingnight #fancylike <- total showpony
Home grown balsamic glazed beetroots w/goats cheese, walnuts and tarragon. #everyfuckingnight #fancylike <- total showpony

Balsamic glazed beetroots
 
A fabulous preparation of beetroots to then use in a salad or on their own.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4-5 fresh beetroots, trimmed and scrubbed and cut into quarters or sixths, depending on size (I used 8 smallish ones)
  • 1 medium sized red onion, sliced into crescents
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
optional
  • thumbnail sized nob of butter
  • ¼-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • dash balsamic vinegar
  • more freshly chopped thyme
for the salad
  • greens (I like using rocket)
  • goats cheese
  • walnuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. Put everything into a heavy based fry pan (you want the beetroots to be relatively tightly packed in a single layer)
  2. Pour in enough water to just cover the beetroots
  3. Bring to the boil
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes (feel free to check as time passes as they might cook more quickly, depending on their size) or until the beets are nearly tender (I judge this as when you stick in a skewer there's still a bit of resistance
  5. Raise the heat again and boil uncovered until the liquid has reduced right down to a syrup and the beetroots are tender
  6. If you're going the optional extra, make a little space inbetween the beets, add the extra ingredients and mix until dissolved/melted, then toss through the whole dish
  7. Season with the salt and pepper
  8. Serve tossed with the salad greens, dot over little pieces of the goats cheese and sprinkle with walnuts
  9. Add some wedges of pear if their in season or you really want to be fancy
  10. Eat!

 

Steamed coconut buns

Quick and easy steamed buns to serve with pork or stir-fries

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The first time I saw this recipe I refused to believe it was so easy. It comes from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals book and I’ve used it time and time again. He creates a great chicken dim sum recipe with them but the buns were a bigger hit than the chicken in my house. There’s a great cucumber pickle he served with it though which I’ve put below.

Check out my buns
Check out my buns

The main thing to remember with these is to not over mix them. Jamie does it in a food processor (for speed basically) but I generally do it by hand because washing a food processor is a bastard of a thing I actively try to avoid.

Think of it  – loosely – like a scone dough. Bring it together, form a log, portion it and voila!

Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight
Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight

Steamed coconut buns
 
Fantastic Chinese steamed buns
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese
Ingredients
  • 1 400g tin coconut milk
  • 2 heaped cans full of SR flour
  • Good pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Tip the coconut milk into a bowl
  2. Add the flour and salt and bring together into a dough
  3. Tip onto a floured benchtop, roll into a log, then break into 8 even pieces
  4. Place each piece into a muffin case and put them into a bamboo steamer, they should be quite snug
  5. Put a wok over high heat and fill about 10cm deep with water, bring to the boil
  6. Put the steamer over the top of the water and cook for 10 minutes
  7. IT'S THAT EASY

 
Quick cucumber pickle
 
A quick cucumber pickle which brightens any meal!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 telegraph cucumber (or 2 Lebanese cucumbers)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
Instructions
  1. Peel the cucumber into long strips using a vegetable peeler or slice very thinly
  2. Mix with the soy and vinegar
  3. THAT'S IT!

 

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