Wednesday

Beef Cheeks - a Grossi Florentino recipe

Beef cheeks!  When was the last time you tried them?  Some call them ox cheeks and they can be an economical cut of meat that, if prepared correctly, will make you look like a superstar in the kitchen.  This recipe is adapted from Grossi Florentino’s cookbook; Secrets and Recipes.  The Thermomix makes quick work of the preparation and cooks the accompaniments with minimal effort.  This is how I love to cook!

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The most important thing to remember when cooking cheeks is that they need time.  The beef cheeks from my local butcher are quite large and I usually cut them into thirds.  This is no easy task!  Even with my beautifully sharp Wustof knife,  I literally have to saw through the meat.  Yet, when cooked for three to four hours they become fall-apart-tender.  All of that toughness melts away, to give an incredibly flavoursome meal.  Two of my kids would probably feel a little squeemish if I called them beef cheeks, so we  simply call it slow cooked beef.

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What makes this dish a hero is the robust flavours of sage, juniper berries and star anise and these strong, aromatic seasonings certainly are an indication of the intensity of this cut of meat.  They don't overpower the dish at all!
The accompaniment of a celeriac or parsnip mash add even more oomph.  Simple steamed greens turn this meal into a warming, winter dish that is sure to become a favourite in any Melbourne home, especially given our current weather forecast.

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BEEF CHEEKS - A GROSSI FLORENTINO RECIPE

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PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Author: 
Serves: 6-8
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1tbsp juniper berries
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 peppercorns
  • ¼ cup fresh sage
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 carrots, chopped into thirds
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • Olive oil
  • 700-1kg beef cheeks
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp stock concentrate
  • 750ml of wine/water (I use 250ml wine, 500ml water)
  • 250g potato, peeled and cubed
  • 300g celeriac/parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • An assortment of greens to steam; beans, broccolini or asparagus for steaming.
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Seasoning
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Cut cheeks into single serving sizes, approx. 10 cm wide.
  2. Place garlic, star anise, juniper berries, peppercorns and sage into TM bowl and grind 5secs/sp8.
  3. Add onion, carrot and celery into the TM bowl and chop 4secs/sp4. Add oil and saute 5mins/Varoma/sp1.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a flameproof baking dish over a medium heat. Add the meat and seal each side until dark.
  5. Add onion, carrot and celery mixture from TM bowl, tomato paste and stock concentrate to the dish and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Add water and wine. Bring to a slow simmer and cover.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 3-4 hours.
  8. When close to serving time, prepare celeriac or parsnip and potato and place into steaming basket.
  9. Fill the TM bowl with 900ml water and insert steaming basket.
  10. Cook 20mins/Varoma/Sp4.
  11. Prepare greens to be steamed and arrange in Varoma dish.
  12. Put the Varoma dish in place in the last 6 minutes of cooking.
  13. Ensure the vegetables are all cooked.
  14. Set Varoma aside (you can place this on top of Thermoserver).
  15. Empty the TM bowl and add the potato and celeriac/parsnip to the bowl with a good dollop of butter and season with salt and pepper. Puree for 10secs/Sp5 for a chunky mash or insert butterfly and blend 10secs/Sp3 for a smooth mash.
  16. To serve, place some puree onto a plate. Place a piece a cheek on top and spoon over the sauce. Serve with greens to accompany.

Friday

Orange and Poppyseed Cake

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Another cake!
There is a birthday in our house today.  And when I asked Miss 14, turning 15, what cake she would like, she asked for Orange and Poppyseed!

Like the Rhubarb and Cinnamon cake, this one also has sour cream and gives it a lovely dense texture.  The cream cheese icing certainly makes this a rather delicious treat.  For an everyday cake, half the recipe and bake it in a rectangular loaf tin.

Happy Birthday my beautiful girl.

Orange and Poppyseed Cake

ORANGE AND POPPYSEED CAKE


Author: 
Serves: 12
INGREDIENTS
  • 60g poppy seeds
  • 90ml milk
  • 90g almonds
  • 1-2 oranges
  • 300g raw sugar
  • 185g butter - cubed
  • 5 eggs
  • 340g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 200g sour cream
  • 90g orange juice
  • 80g raw/castor sugar
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 2tsp lemon juice
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 160'. Grease and line two 20cm cake pans with baking paper.
  2. Combine poppy seeds a milk in a small bowl and set aside to soak.
  3. Place almonds into TM bowl and mill 7secs/sp7. Set aside.
  4. Add sugar and the peel from one orange to the TM bowl. Mill for 20secs/sp10.
  5. Add the butter to the TM bowl and cream for 30secs/sp5. Scrape down and repeat 30secs/sp5. Whilst blades are turning, add eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add flour, baking powder, almond meal, sour cream, juice from oranges (90ml), milk and poppyseeds Combine 30secs/sp3. Use spatula to assist. Do not overbeat.
  7. Divide mixture into prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake 45mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove pan from the oven and let cool for 15 mins before removing cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Clean and dry TM bowl, mill sugar for 20secs/sp10. Add cream cheese and lemon juice and beat 30secs/sp7 until light and fluffy.
  10. Spread a layer of frosting over the bottom cake, place the other cake on top and then ice the top with remaining cream cheese.
  11. Zest the other orange rind over the top of the cake for decoration.
NOTESAND VARIATIONS
If you would like to make this nut free, substitute the almonds with an extra 90g plain flour.

Thursday

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake


Rhubarb is in season.  It seems to be one of those flavours that you either love or hate.  I am definitely a lover!

Hence, when I saw this recipe over at Style and Shenanigans I was keen to try. Vanessa, a friend and  new Thermomix customer, is the author of this beautiful blog.  With a focus on an everyday, achievable style that oozes sophistication she covers everything from fashion, entertaining, travel and decorating.  Vanessa was all-up for me to convert her recipe into Thermomix format.


A few things to note about this recipe.  It is high in the sugar stakes.  The original recipe was even higher, 380g for the cake alone, but I just couldn't do it!  I have reduced the quantity to 300g plus the 80g for the topping.  The reason for so much sugar is obviously that rhubarb really is a very tart fruit, and sugar, well, it makes it sing.  The recipe has very little butter, but makes up for the fat content in sour cream.  I love the texture that sour cream (or yoghurt) gives to a cake.  You will notice when you make the cake that there isn't much liquid, that is because the rhubarb itself, when cooked, gives a lot of moisture.  For an even quicker method you can chop the rhubarb into thirds and then chop finer in the Thermomix.  Just ensure you chop it in the Thermomix first and set aside.  5sec/sp5.  Set aside. The quantity of rhubarb in this recipe is too much to add it all to the TM bowl and so I added half to the mixture then mixed the rest in the tin.  If this is a little too rustic for you, then you could mix it all together in a larger bowl.  Lastly, as always with cakes in the Thermomix, don't over beat.  Use the spatula to help the flour and sour cream to mix in.

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake
Recipe by Tamara Morris - My Melbourne Thermomix











Ingredients
  • 60g butter
  • 300g dark brown sugar
  • 1 lemon - peel of
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 500g ( approx. 1 bunch) rhubarb - washed, ends removed and cut into 2cm pieces
Topping

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 80g dark brown sugar
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180'C and grease a round 22cm cake tin, preferably spring form.
  2. Add lemon peel to the TM bowl with 30g of flour and mill 20secs/Sp10.
  3. Add 300g of sugar and butter (in large cubes) into bowl and cream 20secs/Sp5.
  4. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, allowing about 20secs between for them to combine 1min/Sp5. Scrape down bowl and whip another 30secs/Sp5.
  5. Add remaining 270g flour, bicarb, salt, and cinnamon to bowl and combine 10secs/Sp3, add sour cream and half of the rhubarb and combine a further 10secs/Sp3 with the aid of the spatula. Ensuring not to over beat.
  6. Place half of the mixture into baking tin, place remaining rhubarb on top, add remaining mixture and stir to combine. (This can be done in an large bowl if desired and then placed into a tin.) 
  7. Smooth over with your spoon.  Remember to use the Turbo function to get the last bits of batter from your bowl.
  8. Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over cake. Place in oven for 1 and 1/4 hours or until cooked through. Allow to cool for 20 mins in tin and remove to a cake rack to cool.



After enjoying this cake, I thought that a crumbled hazelnut/sugar/cinnamon/butter topping would be beautiful for next time. Oh, and it tastes even better the next day!

Monday

Porridge in the Thermomix

Here's a little baby one, two three
Sits in his highchair, what does he see?
He sees his mother pouring hot porridge in a bowl
And his father at the doorway with a bucketful of coal


This verse is taken from one of our favourite children's books, Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. I think of this poem when I pour hot porridge into our bowls in the morning.


It is the first day of winter and it certainly has arrived in full force. We love our porridge in the winter and I love how easy it is to cook in the Thermomix. Simply pop your ingredients into the bowl,  press the buttons and twelve minutes later,  perfectly cooked porridge with real wholesome oats - none of this instant stuff!

I also love that whilst it's cooking, you can go about your morning chores and not have to worry about having a burnt saucepan to clean. And the cleaning is so easy - fill the bowl to the top of the blades with water, pop the lid and MC in place and then give a couple of quick Turbo boosts. Rinse in the sink with your Thermomix brush and you're done.

Working out the right quantities is very much up to personal taste and how many mouths you feed.  The quantities in the Everyday Cookbook are rather large. For a simplified method/recipe use the following:




Simple Oats in the Thermomix

Recipe by Tamara Morris - My Melbourne Thermomix


Prep time: 2 Mins
Cook time: 12 Mins

Ingredients

  • 1/4c or 40g Oats
  • 1/2c or 125ml Water/milk or a combination of both
  • Pinch Salt
Instructions 

  1. Cook 12mins/90'/Sp2.
  2. That's so easy, the kids can make it!
Variations

If you want to get a little fancy then you can try the following variations and additions:
  • Place a quartered apple or two into the TM bowl first and chop roughly 4secs/Sp4. Add other ingredients and some cinnamon and proceed as  above.
  • Add a banana in the same manner but cook with coconut milk.  Top with coconut flakes and brown sugar.
  • Try experimenting with other grains; buckwheat, quinoa flakes, chia seeds.  Cooking times and quantities will vary.
  • Add some exciting toppings; shredded coconut, poached fruit (in the Thermomix of course),cacao nibs, toasted or raw nuts, seeds,  





Wednesday

Keep-Your-Hands-Clean Garlic and Ginger Marinade

We all need a handful of meals that we can pull together in the shortest of times.  Of course, having a Thermomix in your kitchen makes that task very easy.  It's the nights when I am really pushed for time that I appreciate my Thermomix the most.

Marinated BBQ Thigh Fillets with Steamed Vegetables and Cauli Rice



This marinade is one that we use often in our house. It is fast and fresh and can be served a multitude of ways.

The best part of this marinade, besides the flavour, is that you don't have to get your hands dirty.
It is probably too easy to even warrant calling it a recipe....let's call it inspiration. I think it's worth sharing.

We most often use tenderloins and steam it with cauliflower rice and vegetables.  The whole meal taking around 16 minutes to cook.


Keep your hands clean Garlic and Ginger Marinade - in the Thermomix

Recipe by Tamara Morris - My Melbourne Thermomix


Ingredients

  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-2cm piece of Ginger, washed
  • 10ml Tamari or soy sauce
  • 10ml Oil ie Sesame
  • 700g (or less) Chicken pieces - diced fillets, tenderloins, wings, drumsticks.
Instructions
  1. Place ginger and garlic into TM bowl and chop Sp 8/5 secs
  2. Add oil and tamari (I don't measure, I just drizzle into the bowl).
  3. Add chicken pieces.
  4. Mix Reverse/Sp3/5secs. Done
Cooking Options
STEAMING: Using tenderloins, place in the Varoma tray with vegetables in the Varoma dish and rice in the steaming basket. Add 900ml of water and cook Varoma/16 -20 mins/Sp4. Ensure the chicken is cooked before serving.
BAKING: Using any cut of chicken, place in an oven proof dish, loosely cover with foil and bake in the oven for approx. 30 - 40 mins, 180'. Cooking time varies, depending on the cut of meat.
BBQ: Grill on the BBQ for a delicious charred flavour




Thursday

I blog. Do You?

Blogging is a great platform for sharing ideas, inspirational photos and educating others.  I started this blog because I love to inspire my customers.  I want them to get the most out of their Thermomix.  I enjoy playing with food photography and sharing my recipes.  In addition to posting on this blog, which I am hoping to do a bit more of in 2015, I read blogs ... lots of them ...often. 

Are you always checking your favourite blogs on a regular basis?  Do you spend a bit of time looking up individual sites?  Why not have them all in one place, so you can see what's new, at a glance.    A RSS reader will do this for you and I use Bloglovin.



Bloglovin allows you to enter the blogs you read, categorise them and choose to read now or read later.  It allows you to save your favourites and comment easily.

This is what Bloglovin has to say about what they do “Reading blogs can be a pain in the ass. We created bloglovin´ so you wouldn’t have to visit un-updated blogs, open ten windows in your browser, or forget your favorite blogs web-addresses. With bloglovin´ we wanted to make your blog reading fun and easy.”

If you would like to set up an account, you will find this tutorial very helpful.



Tuesday

Mango and Lime Syllabub

Mangoes are beautiful at this time of year.  My local green grocer often sells the ripe ones at a bargain price.  When he does, this dessert is on the menu.  A very simple dish that is low in sugar but packs a punch in flavour.



Mango and Lime Syllabub

Recipe by Tamara Morris - My Melbourne Thermomix


Ingredients
  • 50g white sugar
  • 3 sprigs of mint plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1 lime, peel of
  • 300g (appox 2 large) mango flesh
  • 600ml cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Place sugar, leaves from mint and lime peel into a dry TM bowl. Mill Speed 10, 15 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Add mango flesh to the bowl and puree Speed 5, 10 seconds. Set aside.
  3. Add butterfly to TM bowl, then add cream. Whip cream on Speed 4 until stiff peaks form, be careful not to over beat. Add mango and 2 tbsp of the sugar mix. Gently fold with the spatula to combine. Place into serving glasses and refrigerate until serving. Serve with a sprinkle of sugar mix and a sprig of mint