Looking for Aussie Recipes!

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by ML, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    And any other ideas anyone feels like sharing. In particular I'm looking for low carb snacks for a tweenager who is always hungry. I am willing to do splenda in small amounts.

    My favorite ones are easy and quick but I'll be grateful for whatever yall might feel like sharing. I found the recipe archives and the sparkspeople site. I'm looking them over and taking ones that look like I can handle. We're always rushing which is why they have to be quick and easy. But I don't mind putting more effort into meals on weekends.

    Manster is a carboholic so I need to find things that trick him into thinking he's getting them. I've already received some great suggestions. I am going to compile my own (online) cookbook from all of you and the Sparkspeople of quick, easy healthful recipes.

    I will continue to look over archives and prior posts. I'm excited about starting this.

    Hugs,

    ML
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'll check through my recipes, I need to clean it up for easy child 2/difficult child 2 as well, so I can email her a copy of the tidied up file.

    So first some basic tips for organising your freezer.

    HOW TO COPE IN THE KITCHEN
    There are a number of ways to make you life a little easier. I've tried these, and they work well.
    Use your freezer well. Freeze everything that won't be used at once. Freeze them packed carefully - its worth taking a little trouble to do it right, you will save a lot more hassle later.
    1) Freeze chops and sausages packed flat on a plastic lid or sheet. When frozen, collect them up and pack them in a container in the freezer. To use later - cook them from frozen! It will take a little longer, but it is worth it as they are usually juicier.
    2) Freeze bulk mince packed loose in a metal baking dish, or plastic tray. Press it flat and smooth, then with wooden spoon, score deep dividing lines in the mince. When frozen, turn the mince out of the baking dish. If this is difficult, simply drop the dish upside down onto a hard surface (in most houses the kitchen floor will suffice.) When the mince comes out, it should also break along the scored grooves. Pack the pieces in a container in the freezer.
    3) When you bring home grain products (flour, rice, muesli etc) from the supermarkets, put them in the freezer for at least two days. Allow to thaw gently, unopened, in a convenient spot (the oven is good, if it's off) before packing in the pantry. This will help keep weevils to a minimum. You don't need any more mouths to feed than you've already got to cater for.
    4) Freeze bulk bacon packed flat, with freezer wrap between each layer. The rashers can be cooked from frozen, or allowed to thaw individually when needed. Chopping frozen bacon is quite easy, because it will snap when pressed with a knife. The rind will peel off frozen bacon with a minimum of waste.
    5) Bake two pies instead of one. Freeze the spare one. If you are well enough to bake cakes, bake two at once, then ice and freeze the other one. Just thaw it out the day before you need it. If you cook a batch of soup when you're feeling well, freeze it in single serves for reheating when you're feeling terrible.
    6) To freeze leftover pie and lasagne in single serve pieces, leave the leftover in the fridge overnight, and cut it into single serves when cold, before freezing. When hard, pack the pieces in a labelled bag or container.

    Cook when you have the time and are feeling moderately capable. I used to find that cooking a meal the night before meant that I could come home from work, knowing that I just had to reheat the meal in the oven or on the stove. An early, uncomplicated meal left me with the energy to cook the next night's meal. When I became ill, I found that if I started to cook a meal early in the day, I might just finish by dinner time, with lots of time off for rests.

    Teach your family to cook. That's the most labour saving of all.

    Now for some really basic faster food additions -

    Open a packet of instant noodles. The small packets of instant noodles are the easiest of all. Don't follow the instructions, simply open the packet and put the noodles in a plastic or glass container that is not much bigger than the noodle block itself. Boil the jug, and pour about a cup of boiling water over the noodles. Turn the noodle block after about a minute, then leave it for a while. The noodles will absorb the water, cooking in the heat. By the time they are cool enough to eat, they will be done. The flavour sachet can be totally omitted, added in full before adding the water, or merely sprinkled over the finished meal. If you want to add more food value to the noodles, there is a little more preparation, which I will list below -
    A) Take some steak from the freezer, and allow it to thaw briefly. Thinly shave some slices from one end of the steak while it is still fairly solid. Put these thin slices on top of the noodle block in the dish, before adding the boiling water. The meat will cook in the boiling water as it is poured across! Add some chopped lettuce and parsley, with a sprig of mint for a little extra flavour.
    B) Use the above method, using frozen chicken fillet instead. Thigh fillets are cheapest.
    C) For a seafood flavour, use the above method, but use frozen prawns or crabstick. Use no more than two crabsticks for each packet of noodles.

    Quick Snacks from scratch

    1) Baked Potatoes are simple, although not terribly quick. (These are good for a dinner party too.) These are good for low fat diets. Take one scrubbed potato in its jacket, prick the skin and wet it. (For salicylate-free diets, peel the potato first.) Put a little salt in the palm of your hand and rub it over the potato. Place potatoes done this way on a baking tray in the oven at about 180o C for an hour or so, or until the potatoes smell "done". They should be crisp on the outside with a fine white salty crust, and soft and fluffy on the inside. Serve with a dollop of butter, sour cream or yoghurt dressing.
    NOTE: For faster cooking, thread large potatoes on a skewer first.

    2) Steamed Vegetables in the microwave oven are good. Just throw some frozen peas and frozen carrots in a freezer bag, add a splash of water, tie the top loosely so the steam can escape and cook at FULL POWER for about 6 minutes.

    3) Mini-Pies take a little more time, but they're fairly quick. The filling can be almost anything - savoury mince, cheese and tomato, tinned corn and chopped bacon - just use a sandwich toaster. I always have sheets of frozen Puff Pastry handy. Separate one or two (as needed) and allow them to thaw. Heat the sandwich toaster. A two-slice sandwich toaster will use one full sheet of pastry for top and bottom, while a four-slice toaster will use two sheets. You don't need to use all the surface of the toaster, of course, but I'm usually feeding others in the family, so I do a lot. With Puff Pastry, you don't need to use butter or any other grease on the outside, before putting pastry on the plate - the fat content of the pastry is sufficient. To make up - have the filling handy. Lay the first sheet of pastry on the already heated plate. As quickly as possible, put the filling on the pastry in the cavity areas. Lay the top sheet on carefully, then close the lid. Don't walk away, or you'll forget it. You only have to wait a couple of minutes before they're done. Leftover pies will easily reheat in the microwave or in the regular oven. For a sweet alternative, use stewed apple, and make strudel.

    3) Fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the fridge/cupboard/garden couldn't be easier. If you have trouble chewing, put them in a blender.
    A) For fruit: blended fruit of whatever you have, plus a little juice is always delicious, and if you include a banana, the texture is like a thick-shake.
    B) For vegetables: a blended brew of celery, onion, tomato and carrot just needs some boiling water (and a stock cube if you want) to make a healthy instant soup.

    4) Eggs are a good standby, but don't live on them if you have a cholesterol problem.
    A) Egg flip is a variation on both a fruit shake and a milk shake. Just follow fruit shake directions as above, but add an egg as well.
    B) Omelettes are quick and easy - just beat two eggs with a fork, then heat a heavy-based frying pan. Add some butter (about half a teaspoon) and when it has finished sizzling, pour in the eggs. Add a sprinkle of mixed herbs, and a filling if you like - a slice of cheese is delicious, but tomato goes well too. Tinned sweet corn is an acquired taste, but I find it mixes well with cheese. If you're too tired, plain is fine. When the omelette has a firm bottom to it, fold it over or roll it with a spatula. Turn off the heat now, then get your plate. The whole cooking time should only be about two minutes!
    C) Boiled eggs are easy, the way my mother taught me. Put two eggs, cold from the fridge, in a small saucepan with just enough cold tap water to cover them. Put them on a small hotplate, and turn on the heat to HIGH as you put the electric timer (should be one on your oven) to 10 minutes. When the water boils, turn off the hotplate. When the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the water. The eggs should be at the soft yolk, firm white stage. This one may take a little practise to get the exact time right, but with the above directions, you should be able to get very close first go. For hard-boiled eggs, simply let the eggs boil for a couple of minutes before turning the heat off, and let the eggs cool down in the water.


    VEGETABLE RECIPES (not necessarily vegetarian)

    PARSLEY RECIPES
    GREEK MEATBALLS
    INGREDIENTS:
    600g lean minced beef
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped parsley
    1 egg
    3 cups soft fresh breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup chopped mint
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
    1/2 cup water
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    salt and pepper to taste

    Mix all of this together in a huge bowl. Roll into small balls, no bigger than walnut size, then place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 200 oC oven for about 20 mins or until well browned. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve. May be served hot or cold, with tzaziki or salad.

    TABBOULEH
    3 1/4 oz fine burghul (crushed wheat) covered with cold water, soaked for 10 minutes, then drained and squeezed dry (use cheesecloth)
    3 finely chopped fresh tomatoes
    3/4 oz finely chopped parsley
    4 oz finely chopped onions
    4 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Mix all these ingredients together. Just before serving, add:

    4 Tablespoon olive oil
    1 1/2 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

    Enjoy! (Goes well with Greek Meatballs)

    TZAZIKI - cucumber and yogurt dip
    INGREDIENTS:
    500 ml plain yogurt
    2 medium lebanese cucumbers (finely chopped)
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 cloves of garlic, crushed
    1-2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (optional, but nice)
    dash of vinegar, optional

    Mix it all together, then leave in fridge for a few hours before serving. If kept in fridge, will last for weeks. Serve on chunks of crusty white bread. (Goes well with Greek Meatballs)

    TARAMASALATA Greek fish roe dip
    INGREDIENTS:
    Small loaf stale white bread, crusts removed, bread soaked in water then squeezed out gently
    2 x 100 g tin red fish roe or 200 g tarama paste
    1 onion, roughly chopped
    half to one cup olive oil
    juice 2 lemons

    Process in blender the drained soggy bread, onion, roe/tarama paste until smooth. Add lemon juice and oil alternately, checking for taste. Serve with crusty bread.


    Other salad recipes -
    Tomato and cucumber -
    This one was difficult child 1's favourite. It's very simple.
    Ingredients - equal quantities of RIPE tomatoes (home-grown for preference) and continental cucumbers, all cut into chunks.
    Drizzle with a good olive oil and a splash of wine vinegar (or balsamic). I find the kids prefer a good cider vinegar (which you can modify by steeping summer herbs in it for a herb vinegar).
    Serve with a chunk of crusty bread. Fabulous in summer. If prepared ahead, the juice form the tomatoes mixes with the dressing and makes it really tasty. This one can be prepared hours ahead for a picnic.


    I have included here ONE soup recipe. I do have more, I'll have to dig them out. If you let me know what sort of foods he likes, I'll get back to you. But this is a good one for a carb lover. It's great for winter, too.

    Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup

    Ingredients:
    2 L Chinese Chicken Stock incl reserved cooked chicken
    1 chicken thigh fillet
    2 egg whites
    440 g tin of creamed corn
    2 T cornflour mixed with 2 T cold water
    3 eggs, beaten
    1 T green ginger wine or dry sherry
    2 thin slices of ham (optional)
    chopped chives (optional)

    Method:
    Puree chicken finely. Beat egg whites to foam and fold through chicken. Bring stock to the boil. Stir in creamed corn. Thicken with cornflour mixture. Bring back to boil. Stir in chicken mixture, breaking up the lumps. Bring back to boil again. Slowly pour beaten eggs into soup over tines of fork. Gently stir every few seconds to keep egg from clumping too much. Turn off the heat. Add green ginger wine or sherry and stir through. Garnish with finely sliced ham or chopped chives (optional).

    If you want, I can dig out a couple of really useful pea and ham soups, including one that is made in stages, so you can grab stuff and finish off a batch really quickly. I found this on a camping website, you make the ham stock separately and freeze it in plastic drink bottles, so you can take your soaked split peas and ham pieces in a container kept chilled by bottles of frozen stock.

    I make a lot of stock and freeze it. It makes great risotto, a good base for a supreme sauce (which can be fabulous for picky eaters) and marvellous soup. I'll have to send stock recipes separately.

    Anyway, this is for starters. Next instalment is stocks, soups and sauces. From there you can make a great many more dishes. As you go, play with it according to your son's tastes.

    Marg
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OH, one important thing if you're trying to get your child eating more healthily, but the kid is a carb junkie - switch to wholegrain where you can get away with it. A really great switch is to brown rice. This takes a lot longer to cook, but if you cook a lot of it and then keep the cooked rice in the fridge, you can microwave a serve or two in a couple of miutes, so there is a quick healthy carb-loaded snack readily available. Don't keep it too long though. About three to four days max.

    To cook ANY rice in the microwave - get a microwave-safe container (pyrex, or Tupperware microwave plastic). No more than a quarter full with rice, then cover it with water. You need the water to be as deep over the rice as the first knuckle on your index finger. For brown rice, a knuckle and a half of water over the rice. Then put it in the microwave oven (preferably on something that can catch any boiled-over liquid). After this, just keep in mind the usual method of cooking rice by absorbtion, and simply do the same thing in the microwave. In other words, bring it to the boil, then simmer it until it is done and all the liquid is absorbed. Once it is done, you fluff it all up with a fork to stop it from turning into one big lump. If you don't get to it in time, then add a splash of water and let it for a minute or two until it all steams through again - then fluff it.
    Cooking times (suggested) - 4 minutes on HIGH to bring it to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins on medication for white rice and 20 mins on medication for brown rice.

    To get it exactly right takes a bit of practice because everyone's microwave oven is different. But it is definitely worth the trouble. To cook by absorbtion is better, because all the soluble fibre stays in the rice you have cooked. Cooking by rapid boiling means you pour away a lot of the soluble fibre.

    Brown rice has much more flavour than white and is very satisfying. You may find you don't need as much.

    What to use boiled rice for - really decadent (and unhealthy) - melt some butter through it and add ground pepper and salt. Not quite so unhealthy with brown rice.
    Or you can make fried rice with cooked brown rice, in much the same way you would with white rice.
    We use brown rice instead of white, for accompanying Asian food. You can also make rice salads with it. But it isn't so good for risotto.

    We expected that switching to brown rice would be a problem, but in fact it has been really easy. We made the switch for my sake and for a while I was keeping supplies of both white and brown, cooked, in the fridge. But increasingly, difficult child 3 was asking for brown rice. These days we use almost exclusively brown rice.

    Will he eat stir-fries? Pasta? Have you tried making your own pasta? Gnocchi? Soup? Casseroles? Stews? Roasts? Mexican? Seafood?

    It can all help to build what may need to be a menu plan designed exclusively around his tastes and needs.

    Anyway, we've got you started. We may need to do a bit of back and forth stuff to fine tune it for you. Also, others may have their own suggestions so that together, we could come up with something really comprehensive.

    Marg
     
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    I just have a moment before getting out the door for work and will read this in its entirety tonight. THANK YOU. Even though manster is a carb junkie, he's still somewhere there on the spectrum and has some food aversions but what's really hard is that they are ever-changing. For a while we couldn't do pasta (the worm factor) but now we can do certain types. I have to really work on coming up with a cookbook of his tastes (as they are now). Looks like an awesome start here. Love ML
     
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    How is he with gnocchi? And how are you with making food from scrtch? For example, easy child & mother in law can't handle raw meat, especially chicken. So when giving recipes to them, I have to forget about any recipes which require them to handle raw meat.

    Home-made gnocchi is a great feed for a carb junkie, but because it has egg in it as well, it's also very nourishing. Shop-bought gnocchi is ridiculously expensive considering the ingredients, and it's also nowhere near as nice. The home-made stuff is easy (when you have the knack) and you can get very quick with it. It's also fun for kids to make (or help with) from very, very young.

    As with a lot of pasta, what you put on it is what matters. If you use sauces which are low-fat, you get an ideal feed for a teenage (or almost teenage) boy.

    I'll now give you the basic sauces from my collection:

    SOME SAUCE RECIPES FOR LATER SHORT CUTS These are some very basic and often used recipes, many of which can be made ahead in bulk and frozen in small quantities. If you want to make them fresh, you can take a rest break when each sauce you need is made. If you have a day when you have the time and the energy, you can cook meals for a week.

    PESTO SAUCE
    This is only if you or your family like the stuff - make it when the herbs are available, and freeze it. It can be used for a range of recipes, or even whenever you think of some extra use for it yourself!

    INGREDIENTS AND TO MAKE:
    Assemble in blender -
    A large bunch of fresh basil, leaves only (should nearly fill a pint jug with leaves)
    five teaspoons of freshly toasted pine nuts
    three or four cloves of garlic
    teaspoon salt
    about one cup of vegetable oil (preferably olive oil) and have more in reserve

    Blend all this until smooth. It should be runny, not thick. Now stir in -
    about 50 g grated Parmesan cheese.
    Pour sauce into small jars, and freeze what you don't immediately need. This sauce will keep for weeks in the fridge. Just before using, stir in the puddle of oil collected on top. If there is no puddle of oil, you didn't use enough oil and the sauce is likely to go mouldy much more quickly. You can add more oil at this stage, to make sure it's covered.

    DISASTER ALTERNATIVE: if someone is allergic to pine nuts, substitute other nuts to which they are not allergic. Cashews are delicious. If necessary, omit the nuts.
    You can also skip toasting the nuts, but it's easy to do and tastes better. To toast the nuts, do it in a dry pan on a hot plate. Alternatively, spread them on an oven tray on a low heat or under the grill. Watch them carefully - they can quickly go from pale to burnt.


    BASIC ITALIAN MEAT SAUCE
    This is the basic brew from which many recipes can be made. Try cooking a large batch, and freezing individual quantities for later use in a variety of recipes. A good DISASTER ALTERNATIVE recipe.

    INGREDIENTS:
    250g mince
    one large onion
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste
    dash of tomato sauce
    2 bay leaves
    sprigs of oregano, rosemary (or use a pinch of mixed herbs)
    red cooking wine

    TO COOK:
    Fry the onion and garlic over high heat until golden. Add mince, and saute until brown. Turn heat down to low, add tomato paste, tomato sauce, herbs and half a glass of red wine. Simmer for ten minutes. Note: it is best to add the wine with the herbs, stir quickly, then drop the lid on immediately. This will best help the wine blend the flavours. Keep covered and allow to simmer gently for about half an hour, or until you're confident it's done.


    WHITE SAUCE (aka Bechamel sauce) This is a recipe done by eye, rather than quantity. While no measuring is needed, my description may be indaequate, so I will include quantities for those who need them.

    INGREDIENTS:
    butter or margarine (about 2oz or 60 g)
    plain flour (about 1/2 cup)
    salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
    pint of milk

    TO COOK:
    Melt butter in saucepan on medium heat. Add flour, and combine to form a roux. (Technical term for those who want to know.) The mixture should crumble a little as the spoon passes through, but return to a bubbling thick paste almost immediately. Allow it to cook for a minute or so - the depth of colour is related to cooking time. For chicken dishes, minimum cooking time is needed, while for lasagne more time is OK.
    Add milk, and stir to blend quickly. If this is difficult, use beaters. Mixture should be smooth before it boils, or you will have lumps. Once blended, keep stirring gently in a figure eight motion until the mixture thickens. If it begins to bubble, it is as thick as it's going to get. If too thick, blend in a little more milk. If too thin (horror!) mix a paste of flour and milk (or water) and add gently to mixture, blending in quickly. When sauce begins to bubble or is thickened satisfactorily, turn off heat, but leave saucepan on hot plate for residual heat to finish sauce.
    ALLERGY ALTERNATIVE:
    Butter is not essential, any oil or fat will do. Milk need not be cow's milk, and you can even substitute water. The result isn't the same, but is adequate for most recipes.
    DISASTER ALTERNATIVE:
    Use water, then add the equivalent amount of powdered milk. It saves using up your supply of fresh milk, and will taste the same.
    If the sauce goes lumpy, don't strain it, beat it. Hand held blender is great, but egg-beaters or blender will do.

    CHEESE SAUCE
    To one quantity of White Sauce, add sliced or grated cheese to taste. A tablespoon of Parmesan cheese will greatly enhance the cheese flavour also.

    Hollandaise Sauce
    This requires a little careful planning and some pre-preparation can make the job quicker and easier.
    Basic Hollandaise is a smooth, creamy blend of partly-cooked egg yolks, melted butter sharpened by something acidic in the form of lemon juice. I don't add salt to this because if you use standard butter (instead of unsalted) it has enough salt in it. If you want, you can add pepper. I don't.

    Ingredients
    6 egg yolks (room temperature)
    60 ml lemon juice

    250 g block of butter

    Before you begin, prepare a water bath to use in the microwave oven. I get a large dinner plate and put a 4 litre ice cream container on it. Choose a 1 litre jug that will sit neatly inside the ice cream container.
    In the 1 litre jug, put your egg yolks and lemon juice. Whisk (using stick blender).

    Meanwhile in 250 ml jug or larger, melt the butter in the microwave. When the butter is melted and hot, pour it into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly as you go using the stick blender. This will partly cook the egg.

    Now put boiling water into the ice cream container and carefully lower the jug with sauce (1 litre jug) into the ice cream container. Don't let any water get into the sauce. Microwave the complex (that's why you put it all on a dinner plate) for 2 minutes on medication. Take it out and whisk it with a fork to ensure it's evenly heated through. It might need another two minutes on medication - keep going, whisking thoroughly each time you stop. How long it needs depends on your microwave oven.

    If you overheat it without stirring it, it will ‘split' and look curdled.

    Bearnaise Sauce option
    For this, use the method for Hollandaise but before you start, make your vinegar preparation. This can be done days/weeks ahead if necessary.
    Tarragon vinegar needs to be concentrated to really boost the flavour. It is to be used, ml for ml, instead of the lemon juice in the Hollandaise.

    To make tarragon vinegar, I get a good white wine vinegar or cider vinegar and decant some from the full bottle. I then stuff some fresh-picked tarragon into the bottle and let it steep for weeks to months. I've kept this for a year and the flavour is amazing. Tarragon is an annual in that it dies back every winter, but a perennial in that if you leave the pot alone it will grow back thick and lush next spring. It looks dead. It is, in a way. But the roots are alive and even in a snowy winter country, it is dormant under the soil. When it starts to grow in spring it grows fast. It also looks good in the garden, especially if you keep cutting it to use it, to make it grow bushy.

    For the Bearnaise sauce, you need to reduce the tarragon vinegar down to half volume. For the above recipe quantities, I pour 120 ml of tarragon vinegar into a small jug (either the one I later use to melt the butter, or the 1 litre jug), add a chopped spring onion and a few sprigs of chopped tarragon and then boil it in the microwave on HIGH. I put the jug into another container to catch any overflow, because any overflow must be saved and used.
    This can be prepared ahead - you can boil down a larger quantity of tarragon vinegar and keep what you don't use in the fridge. It will be the colour of tea.

    To prepare - follow the steps as for Hollandaise Sauce, substituting tarragon vinegar for the lemon juice. The vinegar must be room temperature before you proceed or it will cook the eggs and curdle them. If you have the vinegar already prepared, you can have a batch of this sauce ready in about 10 minutes.
    Serve it over steak, steamed asparagus, baked potato, even in an omelette. To store leftovers I let it set firm in the fridge, roll it into a log and keep the cling-wrapped log in the freezer. To serve from here, I cut a disc off the roll and let the heat of the food melt it back to a creamy sauce (on steak or asparagus).

    I've never had it go ‘off'. It usually gets eaten first, but we have kept it for weeks or longer.

    Enjoy!

    Now for GNOCCHI
    As with all lazy recipes, this can be very useful. However, this cannot be prepared ahead of time, so start small. Make several small batches rather than one large one. You may find yourself wanting to take a break. Be warned - never leave uncooked gnocchi dough in the bowl or you will watch it slowly turn to a grey, unpleasant mush. Adding extra flour will only result in small balls of floury, powdery dumplings instead of light, fluffy gnocchi.

    Ingredients
    egg
    salt
    mashed potato
    flour

    For good gnocchi allow one egg and quarter tsp salt for each half cup of mashed potato. Don't make up more than three eggs worth at one time.

    Method
    Using a fork, mix egg, salt and potato together. It will look yellow and sloppy, like over-buttered mashed potato. When mixed, add the flour, about half a cup for each large egg. Err on the side of caution, because gnocchi dough can quickly become dry and crumbly. It needs to be a sticky ball. Sprinkle more flour over the ball. Sprinkle more flour generously over work surface.
    With spatula, Scoop off a slice from the dough ball and drop it onto the work surface. With floured hands, roll the dough into a long sausage shape, keeping the surface only well floured. Make the dough sausage about 1 cm in diameter.
    With clean spatula cut 1 cm slices from the dough sausage. Toss these pieces in flour then using the fork, gently press to flatten. Roll the pieces from the fork with fingers, to form a gently folded over shape with the mark of fork tines on the outside. Place each little dumpling on a foam tray or silicone sheet.
    Meanwhile, get a pot of salted water on to boil. When it is boiling well, drop in the raw gnocchi. They will initially sink then begin to float. Let them cook until they have floated on the surface for about thirty seconds, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
    Put the cooked gnocchi into a serving bowl immediately, and add butter or sauce to prevent sticking.
    Gnocchi is very filling but those who love it are never satisfied with small serves.

    Pasta sauce options
    See sauce recipes above. Try Basic Bolognese Sauce; Pesto Sauce; Napolitan Sauce or anything else you fancy.

    Gnocchi Lasagne
    In a large casserole dish place a layer of buttered (or tomatoed), cooked gnocchi. Cover this with a thin layer of Basic Bolognese Sauce then finish with Cheese Sauce. Bake in a moderate oven until golden on top.

    The gnocchi lasagne can be prepared ahead of time, it's also a really good healthy meal for a kid. Plenty of protein, it can be very low fat (especially if you let the meat sauce cool after cooking and then pick out any fat that sets). THis is really great comfort food, too. It's a recipe that can be played with toadjust it to what you like.

    Gnocchi looks nothing like worms. Kids either love it or hate it. In our family, only easy child 2/difficult child 2 dislikes it. The others would kill for it.
    Home-made gnocchi is also a budget-beater. I've made it in weeks where we've over-spent on the housekeeping budget and we need to cut back. The kids never knew that they were "missing out" because for them, it's a treat (except for easy child 2/difficult child 2, of course).

    Marg
     
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    I will be making some of these recipes this weekend! I'm embarassed to say that I didn't know what gnocchi was and I play to try it this weekend. This I *should* know, but what is mince?

    I like your idea of cooking in bulk and freezing extras. I used to do more of that. Take one day a month and cook and freeze all day. It really made those nights when you're racing home from after school events so much easier. I just can't do the fast food, way too unhealthy.

    Manster like to cook so I plan to have him help me make some things this weekend. He will be thrilled to hear these recipes came from my friend in Australia!

    I'll let you know how I do this weekend.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share these with me.

    Love,

    ML
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Mince = minced steak aka ground beef. Sorry. Different terminology. If you've got some meat sauce for spaghetti bolognese pre-made, there are so many different difficult child-suitable meals you can do with it. We have our own version of nachos we do with it - put down some corn chips as a base, then pile on some bolognese sauce (cold from the fridge, you don't need to reheat it) then cover it with grated cheese. Put it under the grill until the cheese melts. If you want, you can dollop on some sour cream and/or guacamole, plus maybe some shredded lettuce and chopped fresh tomato - but difficult child 3 usually just eass the meat, cheese and corn chips.

    The gnocchi - you need some cold (or at least room temperature) mashed potato. If you have it hot and then add the eggs, then the heat of the potato cooks the eggs and makes a mess. And if the mashed potato is too cold, then it will get wetter from condensation of the humidity in the air, and that also can mess up your quantities. At least, it does here in Sydney because some days (like today) our humidity is 100%.

    The secret in learning how to make gnocchi is to play with small quantities at a time - one small egg's worth, no more. Have spare mash on the bench at room temperature, but maybe it can help with difficult child for you both to be trying to get the knack of it at the same time.

    The trick in getting the dumplings at their best is to flour the outside of the 'snake' once it's a stiff enough mix to hold its own shape. Keep adding flour to your hands, to your knife and to your fork, just to stop it all sticking. Have loose flour handy. But making gnocchi and eating it is a really enjoyable winter pastime.

    Enjoy!

    Marg
     
  8. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    I'm curious - Why did you ask for Aussie recipes?
    ... or were you just confident Marg (or I) would answer with something different to what you're used to?

    Australia doesn't have a special cuisine - that's what is special about food here. We are a very multicultural country and the tastes of the world are literally available in any of our big cities and many of our bigger country towns. Although; I have heard many VERY well traveled people (including professional chefs) say we have the best produce in the world.

    Forty years ago Australian cooking was so like English that it was (apart from the great produce) immigrants from the UK got homesick. Now there's not a cusine that you cannot get here but it TASTES better - good produce is the true secret.

    Marg's Man
     
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    Hi Marg's man. This originally came up in a post about my son who is struggling with his weight. I was asking for some ideas for different quick and easy recipes and Marg mentioned she had some so I jumped at the chance to ask her for them! You are a lucky man to have her, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you that!

    I guess I hadn't really thought about the evolution of the Aussie cuisine but it truly does sound fabulous.

    This weekend manster and I will have a lot of fun trying our hand at some of these recipes.

    ML
     
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