A tale of two best friends on opposite sides of the world and their quest to cook everything from
Stephanie Alexander's 'The Cook's Companion'

Monday, August 30, 2010

Red Cabbage with Apple

Red Cabbage

I've had this recipe marked to test out for a while, so when hubby said he wanted sausages for dinner, I thought I would finally get around to cooking this up. Unsurprisingly, this tasted a lot like cabbage...a bit too much for me. I think I was hoping it would have a bit more going on, but given the short list of ingredients, I shouldn't be surprised with how it turned out. It was nice, but I think I'm more of a fresh cabbage person than a boiled cabbage person now that I've tested this out.

Red Cabbage with Apple
adapted from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion, pg 215
serves 6

1/4 cup water
1 red cabbage, sliced, washed and drained
4 tbsp brown sugar
pinch salt
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
100g butter, cubed

Red Cabbage

Put water, cabbage, sugar and salt into a heavy based pan. Add apple, cover and cook on lowest heat for 1 hour.

Take off the lid, and stir the apple through the cabbage. Add the vinegar and butter. Cook, covered for another 15 minutes and stir once more. The butter should give the cabbage a nice shine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad

On the weekend, hubby came back from 2 weeks overseas. This was great as I was sick of talking to myself and making dinners for one. With all the family and work functions he'd be going to, he was craving something light to eat. I flicked around the book and came across the recipe for Thai Beef Salad. I've made Thai Beef Salad before, but have always made it up as I went along. It always turns out pretty much the same, so I thought that by following a recipe, I could see if there are improvements to my usual one to be made.

Surprisingly, this was heaps nicer than the one I usually make! Surprising as I thought the one I usually make was pretty good, but this was fantastic! The marinade gave the steak an extra flavour boost and made it taste more bbq'd, and the additions of garlic and spring onion to the dressing really pepped it up!

Thai Beef Salad (Printable Recipe)
adapted from Stephanie's Thai Style Beef Salad, pg 157
serves 2

1 x 400g rump steak
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 capsicum, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small cucumber, cut into quarters and sliced
handful mint leaves, chopped
handful coriander leaves (I use the stems too), chopped
handful cashews (peanuts would be nice too), toasted
your choice of noodles (I used 2 cakes wholewheat egg noodles)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Boil and Bake Fruit Cake

Well, not really, but in our house it certainly smells like it! Apparently Selfridges are opening their Christmas Shop this weekend, only 140 days before Christmas! Crazy! Anyway, I was more interested in the culinary side of Christmas. I had a craving for some fruit cake, but didn't want to wait the week or so it usually takes to make one. Luckily, Stephanie delivered with a recipe for Boil and Bake Fruit Cake. It was quick and easy to make and had a lovely gingerbread flavour, thanks to the dried ginger. The only thing I thought it was lacking was some glace cherries, but that's a personal preference, because I love them. Next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I'll chuck a handful of the cherries in too.

Recipe and directions can be found on my new blog thingsforboys, Here.

We stored a quarter of the cake on a plate wrapped in cling wrap. It was fine sitting on the bench, and was still nice and moist when we ate it a few days later. I have frozen half of the cake, mainly so we couldn't eat it and the other quarter was eaten as soon as the cake had cooled. Sure, it sounds like a lot of cake for 2 people to eat, but what can I say, I'm pregnant?! Yeah, I'll blame that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Potato and Spinach Soup

Potato and Spinach Soup

Once again, we had some spinach in the fridge that need to be used up. I was at the market earlier in the day and spotted some delicious looking, freshly baked bread, so decided to make a soup to go with it. It turned out to be a fairly warm day, so a hearty soup probably wasn't the best choice.

One word of caution: because of the high potato content of the soup, don't overblend the soup as it may turn out gluey. Ours was slightly on the gluey side...not good!

I didn't bother peeling the potatoes, because they were very small, and I find the skin adds a nice 'potatoey' flavour to the soup. I cooked this in my 22cm Le Creuset pot.

Potato and Spinach Soup (Printable Recipe)
adapted from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion, pg 927
serves 4

2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp oil
500g potatoes, cut into chunks
stock (I just used some powdered vegetable stock)
120g baby spinach
1 tsp ground cumin