Monday, 31 October 2011

Sapa Modern Vietnamese - Wamberal, NSW


I've always wanted to visit Sapa Modern Vietnamese and have driven past the restaurant many many times.  So I was really excited when a friend of mine suggested we go there for dinner.  I spoke to a few people who have been there and they all gave it rave reviews so my expectations were high and my anticipation was higher (so much so I was ready to go 45 minutes before I had to leave).

When I walked in, I was instantly greeted by three super friendly and efficient staff members who greeted me, showed me to my table, gave me a menu, filled me glass with water and asked me how my day was.  As my friend was waiting for me, we spend half an hour catching up before we even looked at the menu.

We decided to order four dishes and share...because there are no calories in Vietnamese food, or there's no calories when you're sharing, or something like that.  As my friend is pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats seafood) we ordered the Prawn Salad, Vietnamese Crispy Pancake, Prawn Pad Thai and Tamarind Soft Shell Crab.  The meals were served as separate courses as opposed to banquet style so we were there for about three hours, which was fine as we had lots of catching up to do!

The Prawn Salad was a beautiful combination of mint, coriander, tomato, cucumber, spanish onion, and sliced red chilli sprinkled with dried shrimp.  The salad dressing was beautifully balanced being sweet, sour, salty and slightly spicy.  The prawns were HUGE and there were a lot of them.

All in all, this salad was delicious, fresh and flavoursome.  The perfect way to start the dining experience.

The second dish to arrive on our table was the Vietnamese Crispy Pancake.  The pancake itself is a crispy coconut and turmeric flavoured rice pancake and was very light, both in flavour and texture.  We asked for the filling to be sans chicken, so it came with prawns, bean shoots and shallots.  Served with a sweet chilli dressing, this is not something I would typically order, and more fool me because it's really good. 

Next was our Prawn Pad Thai. This was different to the Pad Thai you see in Thai restaurants as the rice noodles were coated in a darker, sweeter soy sauce.  Packed full of big prawns and bean shoots and serve with a smattering of crushed peanuts and dried shrimp.  The wedge of lemon on the side was perfect and added another layer of complexity to the flavours when drizzled over the top.  I'm going out on a limb here, but I think this is better than Thai Pad Thai.

Lastly was the Tamarind Soft Shell Crab. OH MY!  This was one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten. Ever.  Soft tender crab, with a crispy fried coating, flavoured with tart tamarind.  Served on a small salad (which was left forgotten) this dish was the highlight of the evening.  Sorry I didn't get a photo, the lighting was insufficient when it was served.  

Located on Ocean View Drive at Wamberal, if you haven't been to Sapa Modern Vietnamese WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  I would recommend booking a table as it was packed when we were there and from what I've heard that is the norm.  For more information, call them on (02) 4385 8808 or visit their website.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Recipes - Baked Spring Rolls

Lots of research went into this recipe as I spend hours trawling over spring roll recipes to see how people do it.  I'd always wanted to make spring rolls, but never really put much thought into it until my daughter insist she serve them at her 5th birthday party.  As I was making them with kids in mind, I opted for a healthier baked vegetable spring roll packed full of flavour.  But they're not just for the kids, they'll be loved by all.

Ingredients
1 x 20 pkt spring roll wrappers 
1/2 wombok, roughly chopped
100g vermicelli noodles
2 carrot, pelled and julienned
1 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, crushed
1 x 5cm knob ginger, peeled & finely grated
6 shallots, end trimmed and finely sliced
2 cups been shoots
2 tbs oystery sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
sweet chilli sauce to serve

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 220°C.  Grease and line two baking trays.
Step 2 - Place noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.  Stand for 5 minutes, drain and return to bowl.
Step 3 - While noodles are standing, heat 1tbs olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.  Add garlic, carrot, celery, shallots and wombok.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Step 4 - Add ginger and been shoots, toss and cook for a further 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add to bowl with drained noodles.
Step 5 - Add oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Combine well and leave to cool.  Remove spring roll wrappers from freezer and allow to thaw.
Step 6 - When wrappers are thaw, place between a damp tea towel to avoid drying.  Carefully peel a wrapper from the stack and place on a clean dry work surface.  Place about 1-2 tbs of mixture across the middle on a diagonal.  fold sides in and roll tightly.  Place in baking tray and repeat with remaining wrappers and mixture.
Step 7 - Spray with a  little olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Notes:

Spring roll wrappers are very delicate and require a lot of care and patience as they tear very easily.  When peeling a wrapper from the stack, keep your hand close to the stack and keep the wrapper taunt, peeling slowly and firmly.  Funnily enough, do not worry if you 'scrunch' the wrapper, as they unfold to be perfectly flat.

I tried a few ways of rolling these; fat and short, long and skinny, 1 tbs filling, 2 tbs filling, etc. I found the best way is the make them like a cigar, that is, spread the filling in a thin line almost to the edge of the wrapper and roll a tight, long, skinny roll, as pictured above and in the diagram to the right.

While I have labelled this as a vegetarian dish, some oystery sauces are not vegetarian friendly, so please check ingredients before use.


Spring Rolls can be made to the end of Step 6 and frozen in an air tight container between layers of baking paper for up to one month.  Remove spring rolls from freezer and continue from step 7, no need to thaw! 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Did you know?


Potato Rosti is considered to be a National Swiss Dish.  While it is usually just potato, depending on the region, the rosti may contain bacon, onion, apple or herbs.

Recipes - Potato Rosti

Crispy, crunchy, fried potato; the rosti is delicious and easy to prepare!  Far superior to the hash brown, potato cake or potato scollop, cooking potato like this mean more texture and greater depth of flavour.  However, this is an every now and then food.  As in, only make these a few times a year.  This is a hard rule to follow, but best for your health.

Ingredients
3 large potatoes, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter
olive oil

Step 1 - Grate potato into a colander, squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible and transfer to a bowl.
Step 2 - Melt 20g of butter and add to potato along with salt. Combine.
Step 3 - In a large non-stick frying pan melt the remaining butter with a good whack of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Step 4 - Separate potato into 5 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten into a pattie shape.  Add two or three at a time to the hot oil, using an egg slice to flatten patties out further.  Cook for 3-4 minutes each side and carefully flip with the egg slice.
Step 5 - Drain on paper towel and repeat with remaining  potato.  Serve for breakfast with eggs, smoked salmon and avocado.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Recipes - Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush.  Baba Ganush.  Baba Ghannouj.  Doesn't matter how you spell it, this Middle Eastern dip is too die for!  A good babaghanoush has a real smokey flavour as it was traditionally cooked over an open fire.  Use this dip as you would any other; when entertaining, as a sandwich spread or to accompany meat.


Ingredients
1kg eggplant (about 2 medium-large)
1 lemon, juiced
1 tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika


Step 1 - Prick each eggplant a few times with a knife, wrap in foil and cook on a covered BBQ on high heat for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
Step 2 - Unwrap eggplant and allow to cool.   Halve them, scoop out flesh and transfer to a fine sieve for about 30 minutes to drain any excess moisture.
Step 3 - Place lemon juice, tahini, oil, salt and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and blend until combined.  Add eggplant and cumin and pulse once or twice.  Do not blend as you want the eggplant to retain some texture.
Step 4 - Transfer to a bowl and mix gently with a spoon.  Serve, sprinkled with paprika and a drizzle of oil.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Good tips, good tricks.


When buying eggplant, you want to choose one that is heavy for its size.  So, grab two that are equal size and weigh one in each hand.  You'll usually be able to tell which one is heavier and that is the one you want!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Coming soon...

I love listing my Top 5's even though it is always so difficult to narrow the list down to just five recipes.  I've posted a bunch of lists and have decided to focus my energies on completing all of them by preparing the dishes listed.  The lists can be found by clicking on the Top 5 tab at the top of each page. 

So, in the coming weeks (or months, depending on how side tracked I get), look out for:


Looks like I well and truly have my work cut out for me!

Failing!

Just tried to make Babaghanoush so I could post the recipe tonight and I failed.  Not too badly, I might add, the flavour is perfect.  The execution, however, left much to be desired!

So, off tomorrow to buy more eggplant and a lemon!  Fingers crossed I get it right tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Facebook

Don't forget to like Five Senses Cooking on Facebook!  An easy way to get updates and quick links to the blog.

Good tips, good tricks.

Ever eaten a piece of bacon and half choked on a stringy, warm, uncooked piece of bacon fat? I have, and it usually turns me completely off bacon until I've forgotten the experience.  

When cooking bacon in a frying pan or grill pan, it should always be placed in a cold pan and allowed to heat as the pan does.  This will ensure the fat is rendered from the bacon which will produce a much more palatable result and also help to avoid shrinkage.  As the bacon renders it provides the lubricant in which the bacon itself cooks and adding extra oil is not needed.    

Monday, 24 October 2011

Top 10 - Maltese Dishes


When I started my blog, I made a few Maltese dishes with plans to do a lot more, however, I was side tracked by requests, catering and posting the recipes of dishes I cook day to day.  


While I am Maltese and LOVE Maltese food, it's not something I generally cook a lot of at home.  I usually prepare these meals when I have an insatiable craving or want to impress my friends.  


So, I am posting my favourite Maltese Dishes in hopes it will encourage me to refocus my energies and prepare some of the dishes on this list, which are some of my favourite dishes in the whole world! Maltese cuisine is the best in the world so I couldn't limit this list to just five. Here are my top TEN Maltese Dishes. Enjoy.


Recipes - GFDF Rhubarb Raspberry Muffins

Another great recipe for gluten free dairy free muffins.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup gluten free SR flour
1 1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 egg
2 bunches rhubarb, ends trimmed and cut into 3cm lenghth
1 cup raspberries, frozen or fresh


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200°C.  Grease 2 x 6 hole Texas muffin tray.
Step 2 - Place rhubarb in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved and simmer for about 20 mins until rhubarb is a thick, jam-like consistency.
Step 3 - Add egg, oil, milk, sugar, raspberries and rhubard to a large bowl.  Stir gently until combined.
Step 4 - Place flours and baking powder into a fine sieve and sift over wet ingredients. Discard and rough or grainy particles that do not pass through the sieve. Gently fold flours through liquids.
Step 5 - 3/4 fill each muffin hole with mixture and bake for 25 minutes. 




Sunday, 23 October 2011

Recipes - GFDF Strawberry Chocolate Muffins

This was my second attempt at making gluten free dairy free muffins and they received mixed reviews.  I think they taste great and everyone who has tried them agrees that strawberry and chocolate go together and that chocolate and hazelnut go together.  But, do hazelnut and strawberry go together?  I think so but the jury is out.  As always, I love your comments on my recipes but I am especially curious about what you all think of these!

Ingredients
3/4 cup gluten free SR flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup hazelnut meal
1 cup sugar
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 egg
500g strawberries, hulled and quartered
200g GFDF chocolate, roughly chopped, I used Sweet William brand


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200°C.  Grease 2 x 6 hole Texas muffin tray.
Step 2 - Place strawberries in a large bowl.  Blitz with a stick mixer.  Alternatively, blend in a food processor or blender and transfer to a large bowl.
Step 3 - Add egg, oil, milk, sugar, hazelnut meal and chocolate to pureed strawberries.  Stir gently until combined.
Step 4 - Place flours and baking powder in a fine sieve and sift over wet ingredients. Discard and rough or grainy particles that do not pass through the sieve. Gently fold flours through liquids.
Step 5 - 3/4 fill each muffin hole with mixture and bake for 25 minutes. 



Saturday, 22 October 2011

Did you know?

As many as one out of every 100 people suffers from coeliacs disease and many of these suffer in silence as they have not been diagnosed.

Research has shown that coeliacs disease runs in families, so siblings and children of those who suffer from it will often develop the disorder themselves.  

Recipes - GFDF Pineapple Coconut Muffins

Many people I speak to who suffer from food intolerances lament that fact that they cannot enjoy some of their favourite things, particularly sweet treats. A friend of mine asked me to attempt to make a gluten free dairy free muffin that I would be happy to eat.  Two words - Mission Accomplished.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups gluten free SR flour (I used White Wings brand)
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 pineapple, skin & woody center removed
1 egg
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 cup soy milk


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200°C.  Grease 2 x 6 hole Texas muffin tray.
Step 2 - Chop 2/3 of the pineapple and place in a bowl.  Blitz with a stick mixer.  Alternatively, blend in a food processor or blender. Chop the remaining 1/3 of the pineapple into small chunks and set aside.
Step 3 - Place the coconut in a dry pan and cook over low-medium heat until lightly toasted. Or, place coconut on a piece of foil under the grill, mixing once or twice, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool. 
Step 4 - Place 2 cups pineapple puree into a large bowl along with pineapple chunks, egg, oil, milk, sugar and coconut.  Stir gently until combined.
Step 5 - Place flours and baking powder into a fine sieve and sift over wet ingredients. Discard and rough or grainy particles that do not pass through the sieve. Gently fold flours through liquids.
Step 6 - 3/4 fill each muffin hole with mixture and bake for 25 minutes. 

Gluten Free, Dairy Free

I love a good food challenge and recently a friend asked me to make her some muffins that are gluten and dairy free.  While these are becoming widely available, she said that they are a poor substitute to the real thing and it is incredibly frustrating as a lactose intolerant coeliac to find  muffins and other desserts that taste good and do not have the texture of cardboard! So the challenge? To create a GFDF muffin that I would be happy to eat myself.  I managed to come up with a pretty spectacular recipe, but it got me thinking about what else I can do.

To start with, I will be going through all my current recipes and labeling those that are suitable for a GF or DF diet.  A quick link to these recipes can be found under the heading 'labels' on the left side bar of every page.  While I am no expert, I will be doing some research to ensure I provide the best possible advice.  That said, if you are unsure about whether or not something is GF or DF do not make it, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

Secondly, if there is something you are trying to find a GF or DF alternative to, email me (address found on the 'about me' page) and I will do my best to create something suitable.

My new philosophy for creating GF and DF recipes is - 'It'll taste so good people won't believe you when they find out it's gluten free and/or dairy free!'  

Friday, 21 October 2011

Recipes - Strawberries and Cream Cake

This is about as strawberry as you can get in a cake!  Using two kilos of strawberries, this cake never fails to please and is perfect for summer when strawberries are cheap and plentiful.  I first saw this cake made by Gabriel Gate on Good Morning Australia.  I think I was about 11 at the time and over the past 14 years this recipe has evolved with me.  

There are three distinct element to this dish, some more difficult than others, and they all need to be made separately as they each need cooking, cooling or setting time.  In total, this cake needs about 8hours from start to serve, but it is worth it!  

When buying the strawberries, aim to buy punnets with small-medium strawberries as are usually the sweetest and tastiest. 



Ingredients
Sponge
2 eggs, at room temperature
75g sugar
25g plain flour
25g SR flour
25g cornflour

Strawberries and Cream 
1.5kg strawberries
1/4 cup caster sugar
300g cream, whipped
150g natural yoghurt
1 tbs lemon juice
5 sheets gelatine








Element One - Sponge Cake
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180°C.  Grease a 26cm springform pan and line base with baking paper.
Step 2 - Sift flours together three times to aerate and set aside.
Step 3 - Beat eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 6 minutes.  Mixture should be thick, pale and tripled in volume.
Step 4 - Gently fold flours through egg mix with a metal spoon.  
Step 5 - Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Turn oven off, leave door ajar and cool in oven.  When cool, remove from oven.
Step 6 - Remove ring from tin and cut top off cake to make it an even 1.5cm thick layer.  Return ring to tin.  Cake should have shrunk slightly and come away from the edges, gently push the edge of the cake back towards the tin.

Element Two - Strawberries and Cream.  
Step 1 - Sort strawberries so you have two punnets (500g) of small, round, well shaped strawberries.  
Step 2 - With one punnet of the small strawberries, hull and halve them and place them around the edges of the tin to form a border.  Borrow some strawberries from second punnet if required.  Set tin aside and store remaining small strawberries in fridge.
Step 3 - Hull and quarter the other four punnets (1kg) of strawberries.  Blend with sugar and lemon juice, either in a food processor, or in a bowl with a stick mixer.  Gently fold in whipped cream and yoghurt with a spatula or mix gently with a whisk.
Step 4 - Half fill a small bowl with cold water and add gelatine sheets.  Stand for five minutes.  Squeeze out gelatine, place in a new bowl and add 2-3 tbs hot water.  Mix with a fork until dissolved and pour into strawberry and cream mix.  Stir in til combined and pour mixture on top of sponge, ensuring it covers strawberries, but leaves a 0.5-1cm rim around top (to pour jelly onto cake).
Step 5 - Place in fridge to set for 4-5 hours.

Element Three - Strawberry Jelly.  
Complete strawberry jelly up to end of step 5.
Step 6 - Pour jelly back into measuring jug and place in fridge for 1-1.5 hours, until jelly is cold and just beginning to set.  
Step 7 - Take a dessert spoon and pour jelly onto cake by gently pouring over the back of spoon to distribute over top of cake. 
Step 8 - Place cake back in fridge to set jelly.  Serve with remaining punnet of small strawberries pilled onto of cake.

Did you know?



Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil...if kept in the right conditions! 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Recipes - Strawberry Jelly

Have an abundance of strawberries you need to use or just want to impress your guests?  This is the recipe for you!  Home made strawberry jelly is far superior to the jelly crystals you buy at the supermarket.  It is a somewhat arduous and time consuming process, however, the results are well worth the time.  I found this recipe on taste.com.au and have modified it slightly after a few attempts.  



Ingredients
500g strawberries, hulled and quartered
30g sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
2 sheets gelatine
water






Step 1 - Bring a small-medium pot of water up to simmer, reduce heat to low.
Step 2 - Place strawberries in a glass bowl and cover with cling wrap.  Place bowl over simmering water ensuring bowl and water do not touch.  Leave for two hours, stirring gently half way through.  This will draw the juice out of the strawberries.  Lift the bowl to check the pan every half hour or so to make sure it has not dried out.  Add a bit more water if necessary. 
Step 3 - Line a fine sieve with muslin cloth and place over a clean glass bowl.  Pour strawberries into sieve.  Stand for 1 hour, until all juice has drained into bowl.  Do not at any point press, push, stir or squeeze the strawberries as it will turn the jelly cloudy.
Pictured w Strawberries and Cream Cake
Step 4 - Discard strawberry pulp and pour juice from bowl into a measuring cup. Add lemon juice and then add enough water to make 300mL.  Pour liquids into a small pan along with sugar and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.  Set aside.
Step 5 - Half fill a small bowl with water and add gelatine.  Leave for 5 minutes, then squeeze out gelatine and add to warm strawberry liquid. Stir gently until dissolved.
Step 6 - Rinse molds in water, this will help when turning jelly out, then pour liquid into molds.  Set in fridge for 2-4 hours, until set.



Good tips, good tricks.

This is going to sound crazy, but it's true.

When whipping cream or egg whites or when making mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce, always beat in the same direction.  If you start going clockwise keep that up through the entire process.  Why?  To save time!  

If you continually change from clockwise to anticlockwise and zig zag through the mix it will take longer to reach the final product.  Crazy, but true!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Did you know?





Carrots were first cultivated in Afghanistan in the 7th century and were purple with yellow flesh.


The orange carrot as we know it today first appeared in the Netherlands around 1650.

Recipes - The BEATS

The BEATS is my version of a BLT.  Instead of the traditional combination of Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato, this sandwich has Bacon, Egg, Avocado, Tomato and Sauce.  I threw these ingredients between two pieces of multigrain bread when I was about 10 years old and have been enjoying it ever since.  It's a bit too delicious.



Ingredients
1 egg
3 rashers shortcut bacon
1/2 an avocado, peeled and sliced
1 small ripe tomato, sliced
1 tbs smokey bbq sauce
1 soft white bread roll
1 tsp butter






Step 1 -  Place bacon rashers in a cold non-stick frying pan.  Place pan on stove top over medium-high heat and cook for 1-4 minutes each side, depending on how you like your bacon. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
Step 2 - Reduce heat to medium-low and place butter in pan.  When butter has melted, gently crack egg into pan.  Hold the egg as close to the pan as possible and open the shell slowly and gently.  Cook for 1 minute, then carefully and gently flip the egg and cook on the other side for a further 30 seconds.
Step 3 - Halve roll place tomato slices in a single layer.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and spread avocado slices over tomato.  Top with bacon and egg, drizzle with bbq sauce and place lid of bun on top.


Notes:


I usually make this without egg.
Grilled chicken is a great substitute for the egg.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Recipes - Kim's Green Salad

Over the last few years I have created heaps of recipes but there have only been about one or two recipes per year that are so mind boggling amazing that I surprise myself.  This salad represents one of those moments of genius!  A friend asked me to make her something with asparagus and after a little brainstorming and research I had a lightbulb moment that resulted in the following.  Enjoy.

Ingredients - serves two
12 green prawns
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
50g Persian fetta
10g (approx 16) pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
30g rocket
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1 cucumber, peeled
1 lime, juiced
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to season

Step 1 - Peel and devein prawns, leaving tails intact and season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Step 2 - Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil.  Cook asparagus for 2 minutes.
Step 3 - When asparagus is almost cooked, heat a grill pan over high heat. Drizzle with a little oil.
Step 4 - Transfer asparagus from pot to grill pan.  Add prawns to grill pan and cook for about 1 minute, turning prawns and asparagus halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly then halve asparagus stalks.
Step 5 - Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips off the cucumber, avoiding the seeds.
Step 6 - To make dressing, add lime juice, oil and mustard to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
Step 7 - To construct salad, distribute rocket, flat leaf parsley and cucumber between two plates.  Drizzle with a little dressing then scatter asparagus over and top with prawns.  Gently crumble fetta over salad and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.  Drizzle with a little more dressing and serve immediately    

Notes:

If you cannot find Persian fetta, Danish fetta is a good substitute. Danish fetta is pictured above.

Did you know?



Eating asparagus makes your pee smell funny!   And the chemical that causes this to happen reacts differently with everyone.

The most amazing part though - only about 25% of people can actually detect the smell.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lightbulb!

A friend asked me to make her something with asparagus as it is a vegetable she is loving at the moment.  This is great because asparagus is just coming into season, so it's cheap and at its best!  My friend is a crazy health freak so I need to prepare something that fits with her lifestyle.

So I'm thinking an asparagus, prawn and persian feta salad w pistachios and lime dressing.

Now, where will I find Persian feta on the Central Coast?

Top 5 - Sandwiches

I love a good sandwich, doesn't everyone?  Here is a list of my top 5 favourite sandwiches, from gourmet to basic to a new twist on an old classic.  You're sure to find something here to make you salivate! 


Recipes - Banana Caramel Muffins

When I first started making muffins (religiously) 18 months ago, this was my first creation.  I was in the later stages of my pregnancy and was craving bananas, which is strange cause I don't really like bananas.  I decided my bananas needed some caramel...and that I should put them in a muffin...and that I shouldn't mix the caramel through so it'd be all gooey and oozy.  Yeah, this was a good idea!  



Ingredients
1 quantity sweet muffin mix
3 bananas, mashed
250g (approx) caramel top 'n' fill

Following the sweet muffin mix recipe;





Step 3 - Add banana with wet ingredients.
Step 4 - 1/2 full muffin holes with banana muffin mix, top with a heaped teaspoon of caramel and then top with a little more muffin mix, just enough to cover the caramel.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Step 5 - Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out.  Cool upside down on wire rack.

Notes:

As the caramel is heavier than the batter, it will sink to the bottom as the muffins cook.  For this reason it is important to work quickly when filling the holes to prevent the caramel completely sinking to the bottom prior to cooking.  This is also the reason the muffins must be cooled upside down, otherwise the caramel can ooze out the bottom. Alternatively, these can be made in patty cases.