Tag Archives: lemon

Rich Lemon Syrup Cake

8 Jul

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B posted her favourite go-to salmon meal. And I am not sure I have a go-to salmon recipe at all. I will have to try hers. It looked great.

I was reminded of this old go-to recipe by my friend Beth last week. I found it in our newspaper about fifteen years ago, when they re-printed the three most requested recipes (oh, remember the days before the internet?). I made it for my dad’s birthday and doubled the quantities, and mixed up my numbers, and managed to double double the butter. And IT WAS FANTASTIC. It is super rich, and seriously good, almost pudding like. I even made it for my brother’s 21st birthday cake, on a massive scale. I could barely lift it, and people loved it.

You will need…

ingredientsCakeingredients_syrup
For the cake: plain flour, baking powder, butter, caster sugar, milk, butter, lemon and eggs. And for the syrup, more lemon and sugar.

It is a simple method so I will list it in the recipe below, and the hardest part is creaming the butter, so if you have a KitchenAid you will be set.

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Rich Lemon Syrup Cake
ingredients

cake:
250g (8oz) butter
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
grated rind of one lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup of milk

syrup:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
grated rind 1 lemon
1/4 cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 185 (365F) degrees, and grease a 20cm baking tin, and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the lemon rind and juice, and mix through. Slowly add in the beaten eggs. Whisk together the flour and baking powder, and stir in to the mix, alternately with the milk.

Pour into the tin and bake in the 185 degree oven for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven to 170 (338F) degrees and cook for a further 45 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Put the syrup ingredients in to a saucepan and warm until the sugar has melted. Poke a few holes over the top of the cake with a skewer, and then spoon the syrup over the top.

Leave to cool… supervised.

ronnie

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Roasted Salmon

17 Jun

I’ve been traveling for work quite a bit recently. After weeks on end of eating fancy restaurant food, there’s nothing I love more than a tasty, simple home made dish. That lamb salad of Alice’s looked so very good! That will be on my menu as soon as I get home to my kitchen.

Salmon is one of my favorite, easy, go-to dishes for a quick weeknight meal. It’s a quick, easy way to get some good healthy protein that is heart-healthy and it’s quite versatile. I eat it year round, with warm grains in the winter and with or atop salad in the summer.

plated salmon

The easiest way to cook salmon is to top with your seasonings of choice, wrap it in aluminum foil and bake it.

squeeze of lemon

Lemon juice pairs very well with fish of any kind, so I always use lemon or sometimes lime juice.

Sprinkle it with salt and pepper…

salted and peppered

…and a nice layer of lemon slices atop for an extra lemony zing.

lemony goodness

Then wrap the foil around the fish

foil

Put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes and voila!

voila

I paired the roasted  salmon with a fresh spinach salad and a rice/lentil mixture that I had made.

summer dinner

It was so good! And the next day I had a large spinach salad with chunks of salmon, tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The leftover salmon would also be delicious mixed with cream cheese and spread on crackers or rye bread.

Roasted Salmon
Makes 2 servings

1 large salmon fillet
1 lemon
salt & pepper

Cut a lemon in half, slice a few slices for the top of the salmon and save half for squeezing over the top.

Place the salmon fillet on a piece of aluminum foil in a baking pan. Squeeze the reserved lemon over the top and add salt and pepper to taste.

Wrap the fish in the foil and place in the oven at 375 F for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, you may want to check the fish, just open up the foil packet and flake it with a fork to see if it is cooked all the way through. If it flakes easily and the fish is opaque, then it’s done. If not, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes then check it again. My fillet was quite thin, so it didn’t take very long to roast. When it’s fully cooked, remove it from the foil and perch it atop a mound of rice or a salad and eat.

There are quite a few flavor options you can choose for seasoning your salmon. You can add fresh dill or tarragon, a fresh ginger/soy sauce/scallions mixture or you can try it with Dijon mustard and some honey or even chopped garlic, mustard and mayo. Get creative and enjoy it!

Lahanadolmades – Greek Cabbage Rolls

6 Jan

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Rice paper rolls are one of my favourite Vietnamese dishes, they looked great B.

I was given Tessa Kiros’ new Greek cookbook for Christmas, and began looking for a ‘wrap’ recipe to follow on with. I normally love Tessa’s recipes without any changes. One of the reasons it has taken me a while to respond to B’s last post, is that I wasn’t happy with my first attempt, and decided to make them again, and re-worked the filling. It may now be less traditional now, but hot damn, it is tasty. I found the savoy cabbage the best of the cabbages I tried, quite a hardy leaf to work with, and looks so pretty too.

cabbage

I carefully cut leaves from the cabbage, and even kept the largest outer leaves, as I used them to line the base of the pot when it came to cooking. I gave them a good rinse. This amount of filling filled around 12 leaves, but I’d prepare a few extras just in case. I filled a large pot with water, added in a large pinch of salt and then boiled batches of around four leaves at a time. They took about 7 or so minutes before they softened. I then took them out and let them cool a little in a tea towel lined bowl. While they were cooking, I prepared the filling. I mixed together some mince beef, uncooked rice, grated onion, tomato passata, chopped parsley, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. I dotted some butter in to the base of a wide heavy based pan, and added a drizzle of olive oil. On to this I laid the largest leaves, as a protective base. To prepare the leaves I sliced across the thick rib of the leaf so that the leaves rolled easily.

slice

I put a generous wooden spoonful of the mixture on to the centre of the thin part of the leaf, and then rolled it over, then tucked in the sides before rolling it again. I then laid them snugly in to the pot. Don’t do as I did and have the liner leaves coming up over the edge of the pan, best if they fit inside the pan too.

wrap1wrap2wrap3pack

I dotted some more butter over the top and then put in some stock, filling to around 3/4 of the height of the cabbage parcels. I used liquid stock, but you could use the water from the cabbage leaves if you want to mix up a powdered stock. I then put the lid on, and brought to a simmer, for around 45 minutes. To check if they are cooked, I took out a roll and unrolled it to see if the rice was tender, then rolled it back up. As my pot was not very high sided, I found it easiest to remove the rolls to make the sauce. I whisked up some egg and lemon juice, and then added in a ladleful of the hot stock, and continued whisking. Then I poured this mix in to the pot over a very low heat. I stirred constantly in an attempt to keep the sauce lump free (cough, not entirely successfully). The odd lump is forgivable, I hear.

make_sauce whisksauce
I then placed the rolls back in to the sauce and on to the table to serve.

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Over to you B!
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LAHANODOLMADES – GREEK CABBAGE ROLLS

makes around a dozen
ingredients
1 Savoy cabbage, leaves carefully sliced from the stem
250g (1/2 pound) beef mince
1/2 cup medium-grain rice
1 large red onion, grated with a large holed grater
3/4 cup tomato passata. (Passata is a cooked and pureed Italian tomato sauce in a bottle, Hunt’s tomato sauce is runnier, but can be a substitute if you cook it down to around half its volume in advance)
4 generous tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
around 1 litre (4 cups) warm chicken, or beef stock.
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 garlic cloves minced
zest of half a lemon
Juice of 4 lemons (3 are for the sauce)
20g (2/3oz) butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
4 eggs
The size of the cabbage will dictate a little as to how many rolls this makes.
Carefully remove the leaves from the cabbage head with a sharp knife, and wash well. Keep even the largest leaves, as you can use those for lining the pan. Small leaves you may use to patch holes in leaves should you find them. Cook the leaves in batches in a large a pot of salted boiling water for about 7 minutes or until soft. Set aside on to a dish lined with clean tea towels to cool a little. If you will be making stock using a powder, you can retain this water for it. To prepare the leaves for rolling, slice off the wide part of the rib at the base of the leaf.

In a bowl, prepare the filling. Mix together the mince meat, rice, onion, passata, parsley, paprika, chili, garlic, lemon zest, and the juice of one lemon. Season well with salt and pepper. Spoon a good sized wooden spoonful of the mixture in to the centre of the top of the leaf (the most flexible part) and roll up according to the images above, a full roll over the mix, then bring in the sides and roll it over again. It does not need to be super tight, as the rice will expand a little.

Dot half the butter, and all of the oil in the base of a large and wide pot with a lid. Place the reserved outer leaves on the base of the pan to protect the rolls as they cook. Place the cabbage rolls snuggly in to the pan in a circular pattern. If you need to go more than one layer up, that is fine.

Dot the rest of the butter over the rolls, and fill the pan with warmed stock, to around 3/4 of the height of the rolls. Should one litre not be enough, top up with a little more water. If it looks like the rolls will move around, invert a plate over the top, to hold them in place. Mine did not move at all. So I just put the lid on, brought it to a simmer, and cooked it for 45 minutes.

You can check if they are ready by unwrapping one roll, and making sure the rice is cooked.

To make the sauce, whisk up the eggs and the juice of three lemons. Add in a ladleful of the stock and continue to whisk. I found it easier to remove the cabbage rolls from the pot at this stage in to a tray, giving me good access to the remaining stock. I also discarded the large leaves that lined the base of the pot. Pour the egg and lemon mix in to the pot containing the stock. Continue to mix with a wooden spoon, over a very low heat. The sauce will thicken a little, but you want to avoid any lumps forming. If you need to add water to thin the consistency of sauce, go ahead, or you may want it even thicker, so mix a teaspoon of cornflour in to a ladleful of the sauce and then return it to the pot. The consistency is personal, as some people like it almost like soup.

Serve the cabbage rolls hot or warm, with a generous ladle of the sauce over the top.
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Braised Leeks with Garlic and White Wine

29 Oct

As B heads in to cooler weather, with a hearty and healthy soup in hand, we are heading in to spring and warmer days. I am saying that out loud, willing it to happen faster.

You may have noticed already that I love onions, but have I mentioned my love of leeks before? I have been using them as an mellow alternative to onions for years, but never before as a side dish on their own. Braised leeks sounded good, and then I saw the other ingredients… I am not sure you could ever go wrong with a combination of butter, garlic, lemon and white wine. This is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe.

So if you are looking for a slow cooked side dish to go with pretty much any simple meat, for something to load on top of pasta, or even risotto, this is great. What brings this one to life for me, is the lemon. And I loved it when I had it again the next day and the lemon rind had infused even further.

What you will need…

Leeks, garlic, lemon, butter, wine, chicken stock, salt and pepper.

I cut the white part of the leek from the green, and sliced down to the centre of the green section, and rinsed it well in running water to clean it of any grit. The green part I sliced finely, along with the garlic.

Add them to the melted butter in a pan on the stove on low heat, and cook until the garlic is transparent, but not brown. This will flavour the butter nicely.

I then stripped two or three layers from the white section of the leek, and cut them in to pieces of around half an inch long. I added them to the rest of the leek, and mixed it through.

At this stage, if your stove top pan is not able to go in to the oven, you could transfer it all to a baking dish. I gave the lemon a squeeze over the pot before plonking it in skin and all, then added the stock, wine, a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt.

I put the pot in to the oven, uncovered, at 175C/340F and gave it a stir every 30 minutes or so. I cooked it for 90 minutes. I think it is quite forgiving and you could even cook it longer if you wanted.

It is both rich and vibrant to taste. Also kind of pretty. I love the way the hearts look amongst the green slices.

I served it with some chicken breast cooked in a pan with some olive oil and pepper, and steamed some Kipfler potatoes. But honestly, I think these leeks would go with so many things as a side dish, or topping.

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Braised Leeks with Garlic and White Wine

ingredients

4 large leeks
8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
120g butter (6Tbs)
1 cup chicken stock (homemade would be ideal)
1.5 cups dry white wine
2 lemon quarters
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Prepare the leeks by cutting the white bulb from the green leaves. Slice down in to the green leaves, so they open up flat, and rinse well under running water. Slice these leaves up finely. Peel the top two or thee layers from the white bulb sections, and slice in to pieces, mine were around half an inch long.

In a pan, melt the butter and add the green sliced leeks, and the garlic, and cook slowly over a low heat. When the garlic is transparent and aromatic, add the remaining leek and mix well through the butter.

If you are using a pan that cannot be placed in an oven, at this stage transfer the mix in to a baking dish. Add the the remaining ingredients, stir and then bake in a 175C/340F oven for around 90 minutes, stirring every half hour. Turn down the heat if the leeks are browning too much.

Serve with your choice of meats, pasta or risotto.

What a treat. I ate this with a friend before we went out to a comedy show the other night, and the whole drive there she kept punctuating the conversation with “Those leeks were so good. Leeks. Oh… those leeks!” I think she liked them.

It’s over to you Autumn bound B!

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