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Gluten and Dairy-free Pork Schnitzel

Here’s an experiment I made as a treat for my girlfriend, who is intolerant of both gluten and dairy.

It’s based on a gluten-free chicken schnitzel I found over on mioviva.com, and although mine didn’t turn out as brown, it wasn’t bad for a first attempt!

Ingredients

400-500g pork – trimmed of fat and sliced or pressed into fillets no more than 1 cm thick  (mine was pre-cut as schnitzel)
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
2 free-range eggs
A splash of soy milk
1 cup of rice crumbs
Olive oil or coconut oil, for frying – I used coconut oil.

Yield

4 servings (8-9 small schnitzels)

Method

  • Place gluten-free flour onto a dinner plate, the eggs & soy milk into a large bowl (whisked lightly together) and the rice crumbs onto another dinner plate.
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  • Line these up on your bench in this order: meat, gluten-free flour, egg/milk mixture and rice crumbs, plus an empty plate at the end.
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  • Use a fork to place a fillet of pork into the flour.
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  • Make sure it is well covered and use another fork to place the floured fillet into the egg mixture, coat it well.
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  • Finally, place fillet into the crumbs, make sure it is completely covered and move it onto the empty plate.
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  • Continue until all fillets have been coated in this way, topping up the flour, egg or crumbs if necessary.
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  • Heat oil in a large non-stick fry pan on medium-high. You will need enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan.
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  • Place crumbed chicken fillets over the base of the pan and fry until brown & golden (about 8 min) flip and repeat on other side (about 5-8 min).
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  • Place on to a paper towel to absorb excess oil and cover to retain heat. Using another paper towel, wipe excess oil from the pan and repeat the process until all chicken is done.20150619_204739
  • Season as desired and serve with your favourite sides. Mine was served with mashed potato, broccoli and carrots!
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Pasta Carbonara

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Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

250 gm dried egg fettuccine
250 gm short cut bacon
250 gm mushrooms
200 gm grated Parmesan cheese
300 ml thickened cream
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp dried parsley
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp rice bran oil
Fresh parsley to garnish

Method:

Cook fettuccine according to directions on packet, drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into approximately 2 cm squares and slice the mushrooms.

Fry the bacon and mushrooms in the oils and butter until mushrooms are  browned and/or the bacon starts to get crispy.

Whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the Parmesan cheese and cream, add the dried parsley and season with pepper.

Add the bacon and mushrooms and stir well.

Add the egg, bacon and mushroom mixture to the pasta and stir over low to medium heat until thickened.

Serve into large bowls,  garnish with a little fresh parsley and enjoy!

Serves 4 hungry people on a cold winter evening as a main meal, 8 as an entree or in warmer weather.

Strawberry Jam (recipe version)

Strawberry Jam (recipe version)

My strawberry version of the No-Recipe Cherry Jam by David Lebovitz.  If you want the “No-Recipe” version, click here.

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Ingredients:

  • approx 1100 g  strawberries, hulled
  • 750 gm white sugar
  • 1 lemons, juiced (about 60 ml?)
  • grated zest from the lemons (about 1.5 tsp?)
  • 1/2 tsp strawberry liqueur or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Preparation time: 10-20 minutes

Cooking time: 20-40 minutes

Yield: About 3 medium (250-330 ml) jars, or approximately 1 litre of jam.

Equipment needed:

  • Chopping board
  • Metal spoon
  • Sharp knife
  • Large non-reactive saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Canning funnel (optional but very useful)
  • Sterilised jars and lids
  • Small white plate, chilled
  • Freezer or fridge (for chilling the plate)

Method:

Hull the strawberries and cut the larger ones into halves or quarters.
Leave the smaller ones whole if you prefer to see whole strawberries in your jam.

Cook the strawberries in a large non-reactive stockpot. It needs to be large to allow for splattering from boiling fruit. Add the lemon zest and juice.

Cook on medium-high heat, stirring once in a while with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the strawberries are wilted and completely soft (about 10-15 minutes).

Stir in the sugar and cook over moderate-to-high heat. While it’s cooking, put a small white plate in the freezer. Stir the fruit often with a heatproof utensil. Scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir to prevent sticking.

Once the bubbles subside and the jam appears a bit thick and looks like it is beginning to gel (it will coat the spatula in a translucent jelly-like layer) turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. After a few minutes, if it wrinkles when you nudge it, it’s done.

If not, cook it some more, turn off the heat, and test it again. If you overcook your jam, the sugar will caramelise, it’ll taste burnt and you’ve wasted your fruit and sugar. Better to under-cook, test it, then cook it some more.

Once it’s gelled, add a bit of strawberry liqueur or vanilla essence if desired, to highlight the flavour.

Ladle the warm jam into sterilised jars and seal. Cool at room temperature.

If properly sealed, it should keep for several months in the cupboard. Refrigerate after opening.

“No-Recipe” Strawberry Jam

“No-Recipe” Strawberry Jam

My strawberry version of the No-Recipe Cherry Jam by David Lebovitz. If you just want the recipe, click here!

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Buy as many strawberries as you feel like hulling. We ended up with about 1.1 kg of hulled strawberries, which made 3 medium-sized jars.

Hull the strawberries and cut the larger ones into halves or quarters.
Leave the smaller ones whole if you prefer to see whole strawberries in your jam.

Cook the strawberries in a large non-reactive stockpot. It needs to be large to allow for splattering from boiling fruit. Add the zest and juice of one or two fresh lemons. I used one and a half in mine as I had half a lemon that needed using. Lemon juice adds pectin as well as acidity, which helps the jam gel later on.

Cook the strawberries on medium-high heat, stirring once in a while with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until they’re wilted and completely soft (about 10-15 minutes).

Once the strawberry pulp mixture is cooked, transfer it to a heatproof bowl, weigh it and add ¾ of that weight of sugar. Mine worked out to be just under 1 kilogram, so I used 750 grams of sugar. It may seem like a lot, but that amount of sugar is necessary to keep the jam from spoilage.

Return the sugar and strawberries to the pot and cook over moderate-to-high heat. The best jam is cooked quickly. While it’s cooking, put a small white plate in the freezer. Remain vigilant and stir the fruit often with a heatproof utensil. Scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir as well.

Once the bubbles subside and the jam appears a bit thick and looks like it is beginning to gel, (it will coat the spatula in a translucent jelly-like layer) turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. After a few minutes, if it wrinkles when you nudge it, it’s done.

If not, cook it some more, turn off the heat, and test it again. If you overcook your jam, the sugar will caramelise, it’ll taste burnt and you’ve wasted your fruit and sugar. Better to under-cook, test it, then cook it some more.

Once it’s gelled, add a bit of strawberry liqueur or vanilla essence if desired, to highlight the flavour.

Ladle the warm jam into sterilised jars and seal. Cool at room temperature.

If properly sealed, it should keep for several months in the cupboard. Refrigerate after opening.
No chemical preservatives, no artificial colours or flavours – unless they’re in your vanilla extract or strawberry liqueur!

Pâte Brisée Pie Crust

A versatile shortcrust-style pastry suitable for baking sweet things such as Starry Cherry Pie.
I discovered this recipe while cooking this Cherry pie from JoyofBaking.com.

Pâte Brisée Pie Crust:

  • 2½ cups (350 g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 Tbs  (30 g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into  2.5 cm (1″) pieces
  • 60 – 120 ml iced water

Yield: 650 g of  raw pastry, divided into two 325 g discs.

Method:

 In a food processor, place the flour, optional salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).
Pour 60 ml of iced water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add up to 60 ml more iced water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disc.
Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

Can be kept in the freezer for several weeks if not using immediately – return to the fridge to allow time to thaw before use (about 8-12 hours)

a home-made cherry pie with pastry stars on top.

Starry Cherry Pie

I first made this Cherry pie from JoyofBaking.com last year and enjoyed it so much I’ve made my own improvements based on availability of ingredients here in Australia.

Last year’s pie:

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I made it again last weekend and was very happy with the result!

Last weekend’s pie:

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For clarity, I’ve put the pastry recipe into its own separate post.

Starry Cherry Pie

Ingredients

Cherry Filling:

  • 4 cups (about 600 g) pitted, sweet or tart fresh cherries or 4 cups (about 600 g)  sweet or tart canned or bottled cherries, drained with 80 ml cherry juice reserved)
  • ¾ cup (150 g) white sugar, or as needed
  • 4 Tbs (about 50 g) tapioca flour
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs (20 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Kirsch or 1/4 tsp pure almond extract (optional)
  • 2 Tbs (25 g) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs (40 ml) water

Glaze:

  • 2 Tbs (40 ml) cream
  • caster sugar

Garnish:

  • Softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Equipment required:

  • large bowl
  • fridge
  • baking paper
  • plastic wrap
  • rolling pin
  • wooden spoon or spatula
  • 23 cm (9″) pie pan or dish
  • 6 cm (2½”) star-shaped cookie cutter
  • oven
  • aluminium foil
  • wire cooling rack

Yield: One 23 cm (9″) pie.

Method

Preparing the pastry: Divide the pastry into 2 equal portions and flatten into disc shapes.

Place one portion of the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll into a 30 cm (12″) circle.
To ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll it and roll from the centre of the pastry outwards.

Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 23 cm (9″) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you roll out the remaining pastry and make the cherry filling.

Roll the second portion of the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll into another 30 cm (12″) circle as above.
Using a 6 cm (2½”) star cookie cutter, cut out about 20 stars. Place the stars on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 205º C (425º F) and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

Make the Cherry Filling: Place the cherries in a large bowl.
Add the sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and Kirsch or almond extract (if using) and gently toss to combine. (If using canned cherries, add the reserved cherry juice.)
Leave to rest for about 10-15 minutes, then pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and dot with the pieces of butter.

Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with the egg wash.
Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the cut out pastry stars in a circular pattern on top of the cherries, making sure the tips of the stars are touching.

Once the top of the pie is completely covered with the pastry stars, brush the entire surface with the cream. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar.

Baking: Place the pie on a larger baking pan lined with baking paper to catch any spills.

Bake the pie for about 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 175º C (350º F). Continue to bake the pie for about 25 – 35 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown colour and the cherry juices are starting to bubble. If the edges of the pie are browning too much during baking, cover with a foil ring.

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours.

Serve at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Store any leftovers for 2 – 3 days at room temperature.

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Lemonade Marmalade

Lemonade Marmalade – Made from real lemonades!

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Like the Tahtitian Lime Marmalade, this uses what I call the “blended reduction” method.

This is a “less bitter” marmalade, so uses less peel than normal.

To compensate, I’ve added the zest from half a lemon.

Ingredients:

  • approx 300 g  lemonades (about 4)
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 100 g white sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced (about 40 mL?)
  • zest from the lemon half
  • 700 mL water

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 min – 1 hour

Yield: About 3 small to medium (150-250 mL) jars, or approximately 750 mL of marmalade.

Equipment needed:

  • chopping board
  • wooden spoon or spatula
  • metal spoon
  • sharp knife
  • medium non-reactive saucepan
  • ladle
  • canning funnel (optional but very useful)
  • sterilised jars and lids

Method:

Cut the lemonades into halves.

Scoop the flesh, juice and pips out of the lemonades with a metal spoon (or knife!) and blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Remove as much of the pith from the peel as possible and throw away. Keep half the remaining peel and slice into very thin strips.

Tip the lemonade puree and rind strips into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the lemon juice and water then bring the pan to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and allow to cook for 45 minutes to an hour until the mixture has reduced by half and the rind is very soft.

Sterilise your jars, ladle, funnel and tongs.

Over a low heat, add the sugar and stir it through until it is dissolved.

Increase the heat and boil the marmalade for about 5-10 minutes.
Skim any thick froth that appears off the surface.

To check if the marmalade is ready, take a teaspoon of the mix from the pan and place on a cold plate in the fridge or freezer – if it sets to a jelly, it’s ready.
If it doesn’t, it still needs a little more cooking. Return to boil and test again in another 5-10 minutes.

Once ready, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool a little before pouring into the sterilised jars and sealing.

Place in just the right place to catch to catch the evening sun and take a photo.

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Tahitian Lime Marmalade

What did I cook this week?  Marmalade!

Tahitian Lime Marmalade, to be precise.

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Based on the wonderful Orange Marmalade recipe found here on Kidspot, which uses what I call the “blended reduction” method.

WARNING

If you are planning on making this recipe and you have an exhaust fan or range hood, use it!
Why? Because boiling limes with their peels smells absolutely foul. 
My cat was complaining the whole time and I realised after a few minutes it was because it smells a lot like cat pee!

Don’t worry, the smell goes away after adding the sugar and scooping out the froth.

Tahitian Lime Marmalade

Ingredients:

  • approx 600 g  Tahitian Limes (about 8)
  • 1 kg caster sugar
  • 200 g white sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 40 mL?)
  • 1.4 L water

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: 1.5-2 hours

Yield: About 5 small to medium (150-250 mL) jars, or approximately 1.5 Litres of marmalade.

Equipment needed:

  • chopping board
  • wooden spoon or spatula
  • metal spoon
  • sharp knife
  • large non-reactive saucepan
  • ladle
  • canning funnel (optional but very useful)
  • sterilised jars and lids

Method:

Cut the limes in quarters.

Scoop the flesh, juice and pips out of the lime pieces with a metal spoon (or knife!) and blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Remove as much of the pith from the peel as possible and throw away. Slice the remaining peel into very small pieces – thin strips if you have the patience! To be honest, I just chopped it finely for the first batch.

Tip the lime puree and the lime rind strips into a heavy-based saucepan.

Add the lemon juice and water then bring the pan to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and allow to cook for 1-1 ½ hours until the mixture has reduced by half and the rind is very soft.

This is a good time to sterilise your jars – put them in a large pot with boiling water while the fruit and peel mix simmers. Put a ladle and a preserving funnel in there for good measure if you want to keep things sterile!

Over a low heat, add the sugar and stir it through until it is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the marmalade for about 10 minutes. Skim any froth that appears off the surface.

To check if the marmalade is ready, take a teaspoon of the mix from the pan and place on a cold plate in the fridge or freezer – if it sets to a jelly, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, it still needs a little more cooking. Return to boil and test again in another 5-10 minutes.

Once ready, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool a little before pouring into the sterilised jars and sealing.