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[Recipes]: Ratfinks collection of mouthwatering food [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-5-21 12:52:49 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 13:53

Welcome to my collection of recipies. These are mostly winter recipes but can be enjoyed any time of the year.  As winter is approaching for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere it's a good time to think about hearty food that tastes wonderful and yet is quite easy to cook.

Imperial / Metric conversion. I am fully fluent in both systems and use them interchangably. For the benefit of those who need to know.

1 teaspoon = 5ml
1 tablespoon = 15ml
1 cup = 250ml
1 cups = 500ml
1 gram = 1/30th of an ounce
450 grams = 1 pound
600 grams = 1.3 pounds
6mm = 1/4"
2cm = 3/4"
3cm = 1.25"

Weights and sizes are rounded up.

The basis of much good western cooking is the use of "stock" stocks come in many flavours and the three most important are vegetable stock, beef and chicken stocks.  Stock is literally water that is infused with flavour from the ingredients cooked in it and then strained of particles and fat. Knowing how to make a good basic stock is essential in quality cooking.

All images ©2015 Ratfink c/o www.chinadaily.com.cn - All rights Reserved
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Post time 2014-5-21 12:53:43 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 13:05

Vegetable stock.  

veg stock.jpg


Many people use premade stock or stock cubes (bullion powder in China), to make stock but it simply doesn't taste as good as home made stock. Stock is simple to make and the stocks I prefer aren't fancy as that way they can blend with almost any dish.

Ingredients:
3-4 celery sticks including the leaves
1 leek rough chopped. Use the green section and leafy head. Wash well after cutting as leeks are full of dirt. (keep the white section for cooking other dishes)
3 onions chopped in half (or quarters)
2 large carrots sliced in half along the long axis
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 large bunch of parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 sprig of thyme
2 bay leaves

Place ingredients in a large saucepan (or stock pot) of at least 6 litre capacity. Fill to near the brim if a 6 litre saucepan, otherwise add 4-6 litres of cold water.

Bring to the boil, turn heat down to a slow simmer and put lid on, allow to cook for at least an hour.

Remove the vegetables using a slotted spoon or similar.  Increase heat and reduce volume of liquid by 50%

Let cool for about half an hour and then line a colander with paper kitchen towel and place over a good sized saucepan or big bowl.  Slowly pour the liquid through the collander to remove produce the stock.  I  then freeze it in 500ml units.  It is good if frozen for 3 months or so.
straining stock.jpg

Straining stock
Meat stocks
chicken stock.jpg

Meat stock can be made with ham bones, beef bones (or cheap cuts of beef), chicken, veal etc.  

Ingredients,
1 kg meat (use only one meat type, e.g. chicken, beef, ham (pork), veal, duck, etc)
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Method:
Add 5-6 litres of water to a large stock pot or saucepan. Add meat, salt, pepper to the saucepan.  

Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a low simmer.
Simmer with lid on for 2 hours or so.
Remove the meat with a slotted spoon.
With the lid removed, reheat and bring to a the boil.
Let it boil until 1/2 of the liquid has evaporated. This will concentrate the flavours.
Let the liquid cool and gently spoon off the fat that accumulates on the surface of the stock.
Strain the liquid as per vegetable stock. I often reheat the stock and restrain to ensure I get all of the fat.

It will store for 3 months in the freezer. If keeping in the fridge it will last about 5 days.
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Post time 2014-5-21 12:53:58 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 14:14

Cutting vegetables

Most western cooking uses vegetables cut in a different way to Asian food.  Asian food uses a diagonal cut called a "bias cut". This increases the surface area of the vegetable and shortens cooking time.  However, in most western food a vertical cut (non bias) is used.

Western food also uses different size cuts of vegetables and meat.

Onions, there several standard onion cut sizes, 6mm (1/4 inch), is the standard for diced onion and then there's chopped onion which is an onion chopped in to quarters or 1/6ths if large. Finally there's sliced which is a long thin semicircle of onion. Other cuts are "rings" which are a ring shaped slice. half rings etc.

Probably the most important is diced onion. There's a right way to do this and many home cooks don't know how to do it.

The method:  
Take an onion, cut off the end where the roots are.
Cut the onion in half, from the end where the root is to the tip
Peel off the outer layer(s) to reveal the onion flesh
Using a very sharp knife cut from the root end to the "tip) in 6mm wide parallel cuts. Cut to about 90% of the way to the "tip"
Gently turn the onion 90 degrees and then using a sharp kitchen knife cut at right angles to the cuts ever 6mm.  
You now have a perfectly diced onion.
how to dice an onion.jpg

Onion sliced in to sections waiting the right angle cut (left to right)

Chopped onions (rough chop). Cut off the ends, cut in half and then in to quarters or three horitizontal and 3 vertical sections per half.

onions chopped.jpg


Carrots. Peel the carrot. Then carefully cut in half. slice each half along the long axis and then cut in to sections the same thickness.  The size of the sections depends on the recipe.
sliced carrots.jpg


Celery. If you can get western celery great, if not then use the stalk of Chinese celery but not the leaves. A trick with celery is to lightly run a vegetable peeler over the stalk, this removes the stringy pieces and makes the celery much nicer to cook.
celery.jpg


Pumpkin / Butternut Squash etc.

Peel off the outside unless otherwise stated. Then cut in to 2cm cubes. It's simple bto do but does need a sharp knife and patience.

diced butternut pumpkin.jpg


Capsicum / Bell Peppers.

There's a simple trick with capsicums, cut off the base and top and then cut the sides off in panels, it deseeds and leaves minimal waste.  Normally for my recipes the cut size is 10-20 mm squares though sometimes strips about 6mm wide are used.  

red green capsicum.jpg

red green capsicum chopped.jpg


Peeling tomatoes.
Tomato skin is not great in many dishes, it's best to remove it. If you are blessed with a gas cooker then it's really easy to to do,.  Wtih gas just stick a fork in the end of the tomato where it would normally hang from the plant, and over a large hot gas ring rotate the tomato slowly for abot 25 seconds, take off the heat and using a very sharp knife score the outside and peel off the skin. I believe youku has a video at this link http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzA2MzUwNDgw.html


tomato peeling 1.jpg

Tomato with fork jammed in it

tomato peeling 2.jpg

Peeled tomato a minute later
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Post time 2014-5-21 12:54:19 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 13:19

Burmese Chicken Curry

burmese chicken serving.jpg


This recipe was taught to me over 30 years ago by a Burmese woman living in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. It makes a lovely spicy chicken curry.

Ingredients

Curry paste:
6 cloves garlic,
50mm piece of ginger root peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium onions, peeled.
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 dried chillies


Ingredients Main
600 grams Chicken, Beef or Duck. Use chicken breasts for best results.
3 large potatoes or 400 grams sweet potato
500ml water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fish sauce - if you don't have fish sauce use soy sauce such as Pearl River cooking soy sauce.

Method. (curry paste)
Soak chillies for one hour in hot water.

Peel the garlic, cut in half add to food processor
Peel the ginger, rough cut and add to food processor
Put chillies in food processor
Add 1 table spoon water and process until nearly smooth
Chop onions in half, peel off outer skin and quarter. Add to food processor
Add 1 tablespoon water
Blitz until a smooth paste is created.
Measure out chilli powder, and paprika, add to food processor along with 2 tablespoon water.
Pulse until mixed in. Place mixture in bowl.
burmese curry paste.jpg

Making the paste

In a large saucepan, add 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil and heat until just smoking. Add the paste you just made.  Be careful it will splutter and react violently. Reduce heat and keep stirring it for a minute or two, place lid on saucepan and reduce heat to lowest setting.  Stir it regularly and cook for up to half an hour until the mixture becomes sweet to taste and a brown colour.

While the curry paste is cooking, cut chicken up in to 3cm cubes
Peel potatoes and also cut in to 3cm cubes.  Take a pinch of salt and some chilli powder and gently rub in to chicken.

When the paste is cooked add the chicken and potato, cook for a minute, add water and the fish sauce, salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 1 hour until everthing is tender.

burmese chicken in pot.jpg

The curry starting to cook

Serve with rice or a salad, top curry with some chopped corriander leaves.

If you prefer mild heat, remove most of the chilli powder and paprika, plus only use one chilli. If you prefer it hotter add 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or a couple more dried chillies.
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Post time 2014-5-21 12:54:47 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 13:25

Mexican slow cooked Chicken

mexican chicken serving.jpg


This is best cooked in a slow cooker but you can use a normal stove.  If you are doing it with a stove it's best to buy a roast chicken and use that as the basis for the dish.

Ingredients:
A medium whole roast chicken OR 1kg of chicken breast and legs / wings.
2 tablespoons olive oil (you can use sesame seed oil)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion chopped (rough chopped)
200 grams mushrooms. (if using dried mushrooms rehydrate them)
1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
1 green capsicum (bell pepper)
400 grams chopped tomatoes (use either 3 medium tomatoes or 1 x 400 gram can of chopped tomatoes)
100 grams unsweetened corn kernels
4 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon mixed herbs (Italian herb mix fine)
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (you can use any hot chili sauce that uses vinegar)
Salt and ground black pepper to suit.

Method: (slow cooker)
Crush the garlic, chop onion and deseed the capsicums and cut in to 20mm squares. Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker and mix. Add in the chicken and cook on lowest temperature setting for about 8 hours.  

red green capsicum.jpg


red green capsicum chopped.jpg


mexican chicken in slow cooker.jpg


Method: (Stovetop)

Firstly either roast a chicken or buy one pre roasted. Do not get a chicken with stuffing.

Crush the garlic, chop onion and deseed the capsicums and cut in to 20mm squares.

In a large saucepan heat the oil, add in the garlic, onion and capsicum and stirfry until soft. Stir in the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree.

Add the oregano, herbs, thyme, Tabasco, seasoning and bring to boil, reduce heat, put lid on and simmer 15-20 minutes.  

Add chicken, and place lid on mixture, cook for a couple of hours until the meat is falling from the bones. Top up the sauce if needed with a bit of puree and water mixed together.

Serve with steamed or boiled rice.
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Post time 2014-5-21 12:55:12 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 13:49

Beef a la Grecque

Beef a la Grecque 1.jpg


This is an unusual take on a casserole, instead of red wine being used it uses cider vinegar to produce a refreshing tangy taste.  This one is still an experiment in progress but I'll post it anyway.  It's very simple and the current taste is delicious.

Ingredients:
600 grams stewing steak
400 grams white onions
1 medium brown onion
4 cloves
1 5cm stick of cinnamon
150 grams of tomato puree
3-4 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 litre water
Salt and pepper.

Method:
Cut the meat in to 3cm cubes
Make up a mixture of 75ml puree and 500ml water in a microwave proof container. Heat for 20-40 seconds in microwave (or on stove top until hot)

Place meat in bowl, pour mixture over the top and cover with cling film (plastic film). Place in refrigerator for several hours.  

Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F or gas mark 4

Peel the white onions (you can also cut them in half if you want)
Peel the brown onion, chop ends off and cut in half. stick two cloves in each half.
Add onions to an oven proof dish (casserole dish preferably)

cloves in onion.jpg

Onion with cloves in it

In a large frying pan (skillet) add the oil and heat till very hot.  Drain meat and brown meat in frying pan, you just want to sear it.  Add meat to oven proof dish.

Beef a la Grecque 3.jpg


Mix 75 grams tomato puree with 500ml water, and the vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Pour the mixture over the meat in the oven proof dish.

Beef a la Grecque 4.jpg


Cover dish and cook for around 2 to 2.5 hours until the meat is tender.  Serve with boiled potatoes and beans, carrots etc.

Beef a la Grecque 2.jpg

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Post time 2014-5-21 13:49:47 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-5-21 13:52

Spicy vegetarian stew

spicy veg stew.jpg


This is a favourite of mine for lunch at any time of the year, easy to make, very filling and tasty, best of all it's packed with goodness and no fat!

Ingredients.
1/2 butternut squash (butternut pumpkin)
2 brown onions
2 cloves garlic
2 celery sticks
2 medium potatoes
2 carrots
1 leek
1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
400 gram tin tomatoes (chopped)
500ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground corriander
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Fine dice the onion set aside
Crush the garlic and set aside
Chop the celery stick in to 2-3 cm long pieces
Peel potatoes and cube in to 2cm cubes
Peel butternut squash and deseed. Cut in to 2cm cubes
Cut carrots in to 2cm long sections, cut thick end in half then cube if needed.
Deseed red capsicum and cut in to 1.5cm squares.

Heat oil in large saucepan add onions and garlic and cook until soft
Stir in the cumin, corriander and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute.

Add the potatoes, carrots, leek, squash, capsicum, celery, can of chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil and set on low simmer. Check after 10 minutes and season to taste. Cook for 10-20 minutes more until potato and vegetables cooked. Serve hot.  

spicy veg stew in pot.jpg

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