CRYSTAL SUMMER ROLLS

IMG_7384 

INGREDIENTS

Rice Paper Wrappers
1 Large Carrot, julienned
1 Cucumber, julienned
1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
Lettuce, Shredded
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mint
Vermicelli Rice Noodles (Soaked according to packaging)
Cooked Shrimp, peeled and sliced in half
Warm Water

Dipping Sauce

¼ Cup Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
2 Tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Tsp Chilli Garlic Sauce
1-2 Tbsp Warm Water, or more if needed
Garnish: Crushed Peanuts, Sprinkle Of Crushed Red Pepper

METHOD

Fresh Rolls

  1. Pour the warm water into a large pyrex dish or baking pan
  2. Dip one wrapper into the water at a time. Submerge for about 10-20 seconds (or according to packaging instructions). Wrapper should be soft but still slightly firm and pliable.
  3. Remove from the water and place onto a plastic or wood board.
  4. Add a few pieces of carrot, peppers, cucumber on the bottom of the wrapper closest to you. Top it with the mint, basil, noodles and lettuce. Add shrimp on top of the lettuce.
  5. Roll the wrapper by folding in the sides and rolling towards the top, like you would a burrito. Look at this step by step page if you are having a hard time.
  6. Place on a serving plate.

Dipping Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients, except garnishes, and miss until well combined. Add more water if mixture is too thick.
  2. Garnish with crushed peanuts and chili flakes.

Serve

  1. Serve whole or cut in half, slightly diagonally and serve with dipping sauce.

 Tips

  • Play around with whatever fresh ingredients you have.
  • Omit shrimp for a vegetarian version.

Smoked Salmon and Halloumi Salad


Ingredients
400 g Halloumi Cheese Sliced into 2cm Batons
Flour for dusting
20ml Olive Oil
50g Butter
1 Lemon
2 Avocado Pears, Peeled & Sliced
200g Smoked Salmon Julienned
Thinly Sliced English Cucumber
Mixed Salad Leaves
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Vinaigrette
150ml Olive Oil
100ml Verjuice or Red Wine Vinegar
15ml Sugar
20ml Wholegrain mustard

Method
1. Dust the Halloumi pieces in the Flour and coat well. This will protect the cheese from the heat in the cooking process
2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan, until they are gently bubbling.
3. Place the Halloumi in the pan in batches, cooking until the cheese is golden – about 2 minutes each side.
4. Set aside in a warm place.
5. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze generously over the avocado and salmon, season well.
6. Empty the salad leaves into a large bowl.
7. Place the avocado, cucumber, salmon and Halloumi over the top.
8. Season with salt & pepper.
9. Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients together.
10. Pour over the salad just before serving.
11. TIP: Halloumi cheese can be incredibly salt and may overpower the other flavours. To prevent this soak the cheese in a little water for about 15 minutes before cooking Then make sure the cheese is well dried on paper towel before frying.

Mayonnaise and Aioli

IMG_7313(Makes approx. ¾ Cup)

 INGREDIENTS
1 Large Egg
1 ½ Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tsp White Vinegar
¼ Tsp Dijon Mustard
½ Tsp Salt
¾ Cup Vegetable Oil (for Mayo) or Olive Oil (for Aioli)
1 Minced Clove of Garlic (for Aioli)

METHOD

  1. Combine yolk, lemon juice, vinegar , mustard and salt (if making aioli, add the minced garlic as well)
  2. Whisk until blended and turns bright yellow, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add oil (vegetable oil for mayonnaise and olive oil for aioli), a few drops at a time using ¼ cup measure while whisking, about 4 mins.
  4. When this is well incorporated, add the additional ½ cup oil in a steady stream while whisking until thick, about 8 mins.
  5. Cover and chill in the fridge.
  6. Can be made 2 days ahead.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Soft Pretzels

img_8464PRETZELS
Makes 12 Pretzels

3 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour
2 Tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/4 Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 cups Warm Water (plus extra if needed)
1 Large Egg (room temp)
2 Tbsp Butter or Vegan Butter (I prefer Fleischmanns)

BAKING SODA DIP
3 quarts (3 liters) water
1/4 cup Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

EGG WASH
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp Water

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Pretzel Salt
Butter/Vegan Butter
Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions

Dough
1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, xanthin gum, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
2. Add the water, egg and butter. Mix until a firm dough forms, about 4 minutes in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. If the dough appears to be dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or enough for it to form a soft pliable dough.
3. Knead the dough until smooth, then transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover will cling wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled, 1 hour – 1.5 hours.

Shaping and Baking
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/ 280°C.
2.Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment.
3. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.
4. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 12 pieces. If dough is sticky, lightly flour kitchen surface.
5. Work with one pice at a time, keeping the other pieces covered. Roll the piece out and shape into a pretzel. Watch this video on how to shape pretzels.
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4. Add the baking soda and sugar to the boiling water and wait for the foam to subside.
7.Gently place the pretzels one at a time into the water, they will initially drop to the bottom and then they will rise. If they don’t rise within 5-10 seconds, use a slotted spoon to nudge them from sticking on the bottom. They can removed when as soon as they float to the top.img_8462
8. Remove the pretzels form the water and place on baking sheet. Brush with egg yolk wash and sprinkle with salt (or leave plain if you’re making them sweet).img_8460
9. Bake the pretzels until golden brown about 10-15 mins.
10. If you choose to make cinnamon sugar pretzels, brush with melted butter as soon as you remove from the oven and dip into cinnamon sugar mix.img_8450

Risotto

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1 Litre (4 Cups) Chicken stock – I use instant
100G (2 fl 0z) oil
1 Small Onion Finely Chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) White Wine
1 sprig Rosemary, Finely Chopped
½ tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt
Pinch Safron – optional, added to the stock

METHOD
1.In a small saucepan heat the chicken sock then turn to low.
2.Use a medium frying pan and heat oil.
3.Add The chopped onion and saute until translucent, Add the rice and saute for a few minutes.
4.Add the wine on high heat and stir.
5.Add salt, pepper and rosemary and stir in.
6.Start adding the stock a ladle at a time stirring until the liquid has evaporated. Add another ladle and stir.
7.From the time stock is added it takes 20 minutes until the Risotto is ready. At this stage all the stock should have been used. Taste and when the rice still has a slight bite it is ready to serve.
8.I make it dairy free. If you want to make it with dairy use half butter and half oil to start with and then add ½ cup parmesan cheese at the end and stir in.

Rocket Salad with Oven Roasted Golden Beets, Caramelized Red Onions, Fresh Figs and Candied Pecans

 
INGREDIENTS 
One packet fresh rocket
4 baby golden beets
One large red onion
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 fresh figs
1/2 cup Pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
Cinnamon

METHOD
Candied Pecans 

 
1. Add the brown sugar to a frying pan and melt the sugar.
2. Add the pecans and coat throughly in the melted sugar.
3. Remove from the pan and place on a greased baking tray with foil.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and set aside to cool.

Roasted Beets and Caramelized Onions
1. Pre heat the oven to 400F/200C
2. Peel and quarter the beets.
3. Peel and cut the onion into wedges.
4. In one bowl, toss the beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.  
5.In a seperate bowl do the same to the onion but also add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and spread on a baking sheet. 

 
6. Bake for 30 mins turning halfway.
6. Remove from the oven and cool.

Assemble 

 
1. In a medium bowl toss the rocket with balsamic vinegar and place on a serving dish.
2. Over the rocket, add the golden beets and the caramalized onion.
3. Break up the candied pecans and scatter on top.
4. Tear or quater the figs and place on top.
5. If desired, drizzle with additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar to serve. 

Pickled Peppers

INGREDIENTS
1 Kg (2 Pounds) Firm Red, Green & Yellow Peppers
A Few Chillies – Optional
2 Cups White Vinegar
1 Cup Oil – I have cut it down to 3/4 cup
1 Cup Sugar

METHOD
1. Slice the peppers into 1/4’s and remove pips
2. In a large pot bring the vinegar, oil & Sugar to the boil.
3. Add the peppers to the boiling liquid and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and pack into jars with the liquid.
5. Allow to cool and refrigerate until needed.

FOR MUSHROOMS & ARTICHOKES leave out the Sugar and add 1 tsp salt.

Pickled Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS
One Head Of Cauliflower
3 Cloves Garlic
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 Cup White Vinegar
3 Tbls Sugar
1 Tbls Salt
5 Peppercorns
3 Bayleaves

METHOD
1. Cut the head of cauliflower in small florettes.
2. Pack into a jar with the garlic.
3. Place the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns & bayleaves into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
5. Pour over the cauliflower and leave open until cool
6. Seal the jar and leave on the counter for 24 hour.
7. Place in the fridge and enjoy

Gnudi

IMG_3679GNUDI
Spinach & Ricotta

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 Pound (500g) Frozen Spinach, Thawed And Squeezed Dry. Can Use Fresh.
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese – Grated
2 Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
¼ Tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
5 Tbls All Purpose (Cake) Flour, Plus Extra For Coating
Neapolitan Sauce.
Extra Parmesan

METHOD
Oven 200
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil
2. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, eggs and yolks.
3. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and flour. Mix. Mixture is very soft.
4. Using a spoon form into oval shapes.
5. Dredge in the flour to coat, tapping off excess.
6. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Work in batches
7. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for a few minutes.
8. Place the neapolitan sauce in a dish and add the gnudi. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake till golden.

Italian Tomato Sauce

ITALIAN TOMATO SAUCE (NEOPOLITANA SAUCE)

INGREDIENTS
4 Tbls Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic – Crushed
800g Italian Tinned Tomatoes
½ Cup White Wine – Optional
1 Large Yellow Onion – Peeled And Chopped
½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbls Italian Herbs – Rubbed Between Your Hands To Release The Flavours

METHOD
1. In a large pot heat the oil and add the onion & garlic. Do not brown the garlic as it goes bitter when browned.
2. When the onion is translucent add the tomatoes, sugar, salt & pepper, wine and mixed herbs.
3. Simmer for 45 minutes with the lid off. Stirring occasionally.
4. When cool freeze portions in zip lock bags.
5. This is a basic Neapolitana sauce. Use it as a base for pasta with vegetables either sautéed or grilled.
6. Can add a touch of cream for a Rose sauce.
7. Can also be used when making Chicken or Beef or Vegetable lasagna.