Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Make your own Pure Vanilla Extract

It really is very simple to make your own pure vanilla extract and more cost effective. Vanilla extracts will keep indefinitely as long as they are stored in a cool dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. Extracts can be made from either Tahitian or Planifolia vanilla beans. Their aroma is quite distinct from each other.

Use these pure vanilla extracts in whatever recipes that calls for vanilla and you won't regret it. This will make the end result taste so much better.

It is quite neat watching little jars of newly made extract turn a darker shade of brown almost daily and the aroma is just divine.

Pure Vanilla Bean Extract

3 vanilla beans
250ml vodka

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chu Yoke Yuen ~ Bouncy Pork Balls

Beef balls is something I always have in my freezer to add to my noodle lunch. The opportunity to make 'balls' out of a different meat presented itself when a slab of frozen pork leg I bought did not turn out to be as tender. The only thing the meat would be good for would be a minced up dish. Reminder to oneself.....never buy frozen pork again no matter how tempting the special is !

The pork balls turned out to be as springy and bouncy as the ngau yoke yuen. The process is the same though I have omitted lye water in this. Any lean cut of pork can be used. And best of all, it is preservative free.

Chu Yook Yuen
Makes 48 balls (½ Tbsp size)

500 gm pork, cut to small pieces

½ cup (125ml) icy cold water
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp salt
½ Tbsp sugar
½ Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp cornflour
1¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp white pepper

Springy Chinese Pork Balls

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kiwi Fruit Chutney

Way back in May, there was a special on kiwifruit for just 29cents a kilo. What a bargain ! It was a case of buy first, think later. With so many kiwifruits, it was as good a time as any to try out this chutney.

Leaving it 'brewing' in the dark cupboard for 5 months has paid dividends. This chutney definitely tasted much better left to aged for the longer period. It was lovely with cheese and crackers.

Kiwifruit Chutney

Makes 2 Litre

1kg kiwifruit
2 bananas
3 onions (460gm), chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup (130g) brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp crystallised ginger (chop)
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 hot chilli (whole or chopped with seeds removed)

1. Peel and slice kiwi fruit, onions and bananas.

2. Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker. Bring to pressure, reduce heat and cook for 30-40 minutes until soft and thick. If you find the mixture have not thicken, leave the lid off and boil for a few more minutes.

3. Pour into sterilised jars and seal. Leave in a cool dark place for at least 1 month before using to let it mature.

Kiwi fruit

Friday, October 03, 2008

Rotisserie Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Orange and Garlic

Lately our little rotisserie oven have been working overtime with us enjoying roast chicken several times a week. Yup, chicken was on special. The advantage of having a rotisserie oven means the meat can be plonked in, and in less than an hour the meal is ready without having to lift a finger to turn the chicken or baste it.

Rotisserie Roast Chicken
We like to use rosemary to flavour our meat as we have rosemary galore in our garden. I added the orange zest as I had an orange that needed eating so why waste the skin. Such a lovely meal served with gravy, a side of vegetables or salad and crispy potatoes.

Rosemary Rotisserie Roast Chicken
1.1 kg chicken
1 tsp salt
5 sprig chopped rosemary
zest from 1 orange

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