Friday, September 24, 2010

Sausage Casserole

Oh, how I miss this comfort food.  Sausages in a tomato sauce, with onion rings and celery and... and ... and...  just yum!  Served with mash and steamed veg.  Make sure you get a good blob of mash on the fork with the sausage and the sauce.  Well,  that's what I was aiming for and I got close I think.

  • 700g - 1 kilo Failsafe sausages  (about 7-10 sausages)
  • 300g Pear Ketchup
  • 300g water
  • 1 leek - roughly chopped
  • Garlic
  • 2-3 Spring onions - roughly chopped
  • 1-2 carrots - finely diced
  • 2-3 celery sticks - finely sliced
  • 1 tab malt vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Place leek and garlic into TMX bowl and hit turbo for 2 seconds to finely dice
  • Add knob butter or little oil and saute on 100 degrees for 2 minutes on Speed 2
  • Add all the other ingredients, except sausages, to the TMX
  • Attach Varoma and place sausages in there, ensuring plenty of space for steam to come through
  • Cook 100 degrees for 20 minutes on Speed 3
  • Check sausages are coooked and cut each into 4 or more pieces
  • Place sausages into casserole dish, pour over with sauce and cook, lid on, in moderate oven for about 20 minutes.
Serve with mash etc, of course.

Verdict:  A mixed reation.  Ms D loves it... kept asking what it reminded her of.  Ms C, loved the sausages and not the sauce (go figure) and Mr JR didn't eat....  but that's probably because he's a practising Breatharian as many 3-year-olds are.   My Frillypants and I both liked it a lot.

I thought the Malt vinegar should be halved....  which I have already done in the recipe.  I didn't make enough mashed potato... disappointing.

    Pear Ketchup

    This recipe comes from Sue Dengate's 'Fed Up' book and is credited to someone called 'Birgit'.  That credit appears many times throughout the book, including a Pear Jam which is available commercially.  Which reminds me, I must make that jam again.

    Anyway, this is what we use in place of Tomato Sauce.

    • 1 large can of Pears in syrup
    • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
    • 1 tsp Citric Acid
    • 1 tsp Salt

    • Put syrup into TMX bowl (leave the measuring cup lid out) and cook until reduced by half 100 degrees, 8-10 minutes, Speed 3
    • Add all ingredients and cook for 20 minutes on 100 degrees Speed2 (MC out)
    • When pear is thoroughly cooked and soft, put MC back on and puree by slowly going up to Speed 7 for 10 seconds.
    • Keeps well in small lots in the freezer, while using one lot in a regular sauce bottle from your fridge

    If you want to make chutney, just don't puree it.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Vegie Soup

    I said to Mr Frillypants this afternoon, "How about a Beef and Leek Pie.  I want to try that recipe..."  "No."  he said.  "No more meat.  I want vegies!"  Alllllrighty then.  Vegies you shall have.  (In his defence, Mr Frillypants is a vegetarian-turned-omnivore and would be thrilled with 6 vegie and 1 meat meal per week.)

    So vegie soup it is.

    It occurs to me that some might look at this blog for inspiration (what the hell am I gonna make for dinner???) rather than recipes,  so it'd be worth me mentioning it.  Sure, Vegie Soup is different every time in every house.  But here's the recipe I went with today.

    • 500ml or more Chicken stock (homemade) (make up with water to fill bowl once all ingredients in)
    • 1 leek, roughly chopped into 5cm pieces
    • 3 small spring onions, roughly chopped
    • butter or oil to sautee
    • Garlic to taste
    • 100g Pearl Barley
    • 50g Split Peas
    • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
    • 1 swede, finely diced
    • 1 medium potato, finely diced
    • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
    • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/8 cabbage, finely diced    (Vegie enough for you, Mr Frillypants???)
    • 100-150 g pasta if desired
    • Put garlic, leek and spring onions into TMX bowl and chop on Speed 6 for 4 seconds
    • Scrape down bowl with spatula
    • Saute on Speed 4 for 3 minutes
    • Add all other ingredients, except cabbage and pasta
    • Cook on Reverse Speed soft for 15 minutes on 100 degrees
    • Add cabbage and cook on Reverse Speed soft for further 15 minutes on 100 degrees
    • At this stage,  we were a long way off eating and I felt the soup could use some more 'flavour time' so I set it for 20 minutes on  Reverse Speed soft on 70 degrees.
    • We're close to meal time now,  so I've stirred in a handful of pasta and set it for 10 minutes on  Reverse Speed soft on 80 degrees.
    • Oops,  pasta's not cooked.  I've added another 5 minutes on Reverse Speed soft on 100 degrees.


    Wow,  that is one thick, gloopy soupy!  I had to add water to make it okay for the kids and even then they didn't exactly scoff it.  I think it was the starchy consistency putting them off.  Mr Frillypants was loving his bowl as was I.


    Next time leave out the potato.  Even though the rest of the vegetables were not overcooked at all, the potato was completely obliterated.  We'd all simply prefer a clearer broth.  I'll also check the TMX forum about this issue.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Sausages and Mash

    Sausages? But sausages are 'Mystery Parcels', right? Full of all sorts of crap, right? Well.... yes. But not Failsafe sausages made by your friendly local butcher or chicken bloke. This recipe is from the Failsafe Cookbook. It makes 10 kilos. 10 kilos?!?!?!   Well, when you're making a special order and with the machines the butchers use, they may tell you that 10 kilos is the smallest order they can do.
    I was all nervous about asking someone to make these for us, feeling like I sound like a nutter yet again. or some sort of 'food fascist'. Or just too precious to eat like the plebs. But really, don't worry. It seems these guys have heard, and catered for, it all!

    So, write down the recipe (give credit where credit it due!), suck it up and head on in. Start with something like "Hi, I just wanted to talk with someone about making a special order of sausages?" Then it's easier from then. :) Remember to also ask for it to be put into usable portions. I do 1 kilo bags. Then after dinner I have 1 or 2 left to put into school sandwiches.


    • 650 g brown rice flour
    • 3 leeks
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1/2 cup salt (approx 120g)
    • Make up to 10 kilos with fresh minced beef or chicken (no skin)

    This time, the butcher and I decided it would be best to use 1/2 breast and 1/2 thigh.  There needs to be some flavour there,  and let's face it,  fat is flavour!!  These are still very lean though, with nearly nothing left in the fry pan.  No melted fat.

    Remember they need to be eaten or frozen that same day.  If you can't freeze 10 kilos, consider asking a friend to split the order with you.

    These are a firm family favourite.  Always gobbled up.  Mr Frillypants hates sausages....  but loves these!!!  They go beautifully with the Pear ketchup from the same cookbook.  And this is something you can always bring along to a BBQ.  Whether you bring along 1 or 2 specially or else just a kilo to add to the hot plate.  They really are delicious, gourmet sausages!

    And what do you expect to pay for these lovely snags?  Well,  I have paid $15 per kilo and this last lot cost me $12.50.  I think that's a very reasonable price.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Hummus or Chickpea spread

    Nothing says 'Special Grown-up Party Food' like dip.  And not French Onion dip of the 80s (Sour cream plus 1 pkt French Onion Soup - delish!!) but a dip made with legumes, lentils, roasted spices, dukkah, tahini.....  Okay,  that's not what this is.  But the kids don't know, right?  Dip is dip?

    • 1-2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
    • 2 tabs Canola oil
    • 1/2 tsp Citric Acid
    • 50g Pear Ketchup
    • Whizz up garlic
    • Add all other ingredients and puree  5 Seconds on Speed 7 
    • Keeps in fridge about 3-4 days
    Estimated Nutritional Values calculated using: Food Standards Australia New Zealand
    Nutrient Qty per 100g
    Energy (kJ) 493.90
    Protein (g) 6.21
    Fat, Total (g) 2.24
    Fat, Saturated (g) 0.25
    Carbohydrate (g) 14.80
    Sugars (g) 0.63
    Sodium (mg) 383.29

    Cashew-nut butter

    I am sitting here, waiting for the electrician to call and tell me he's coming to fix the oven.  Sure, I could use this time to fold the washing...  but will the kids come home and ask for piles of folded, sorted clothes?  No,  they will ask for food.  "What's for afternoon tea?  What's for dinner?"  So...  I've made something for Ms C to replace the Peanut Butter she cannot have.  She can't take it to school where someone in her class is allergic to nuts,  but she'll enjoy it at home....  I hope.

    I got the recipe from the RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook, pg 47.

    • 330g raw Cashews
    • 4 tabs Canola oil
    • Put nuts in TMX and lightly dry roast on Varoma temp, 30 minutes on reverse Speed 2.
    • Once roasted, mill for 5 seconds at Speed 7
    • Add oil slowly,  mixing at Speed 1 until you have the right consistency.  You're aiming for a spread.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Lentil Pasta - Best Ever!

    Well,  that's what all the family said, anyway.  'Best ever, Mum'.   Well,  I've been making lentil pastas for a while now... variations on a theme.  This was the first time in the TMX and so I tried to be really careful with what I was adding.

    • 2 cans lentils - drained and rinsed (keep separate)
    • 1 can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
    • oil or butter
    • 1-2 cloves garlic
    • l/2 - 1 leek - cut into chunks
    • carrot - peeled & grated (Yes, I could have used the TMX  to pulverise it,  but 9 month-old Mr JA hates the loud noise)
    • zucchini - peeled & grated
    • 1/4 - 1/8 cabbage
    • peas
    • tsp salt
    • tsp citric acid
    • 1 - 2 tabs brown sugar
    • put in garlic and leek into TMX and give it a quick whizz to chop
    • scrape down and add butter
    • Saute on 100 deg for 2 minutes on speed 1.
    • Add 1 can of the lentils and kidney beans (retain a few beans to add whole later)
    • A couple of whizzes on turbo will see it done
    • Add carrot, cabbage, zuccini, peas (retaining a few), salt, citric acid and brown sugar
    • Cook on 100 degrees for 20 minutes on Reverse Speed 1 (check it for water during the process and add a little if necessary)
    • Give it another good whizz to get it all processed,  it will somewhat resemble a mince.  Slowly bring up to Speed 7 (careful, it's hot!) for about 30 seconds.
    •  Add the second can of lentils,  few kidney beans and frozen peas.
    • Cook on 100 deg for a further 10 minutes on Reverse Speed 1.
    • Check and see if it's ready,  if it's still tasting a bit 'cabbage-y', then keep cooking for perhaps another 10 minutes or so.
    • Serve over penne or spiralli or spaghetti...  

    Verdict:  This is not my favourite meal.  But Ms C and Ms D and Mr JR all just polished it off and went for seconds.     Mr frillypants also said it was the best yet,  even though a bit sweet for him.   There were tears as there was no more cooked pasta to keep going with for third helpings.

    Tweeks:  As I said, Mr frillypants thought this was too sweet,  but that's his taste.  I felt it needed the sweetening otherwise it was a bit too 'earthy', if that makes sense.  The kids sure loved it!  And that's the main thing.  I need to do the pasta in the TMX,  but this time used an old fashioned saucepan as I couldn't be sure how long it was going to take me to cook the sauce.

    Without the TMX,  just do all the above in a large saucepan,  process it in a food processor or with a wand and then continue with it back in the saucepan.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Carob and Vanilla Custard

    During dinner I was trying to think of something I could 'whip up' for dessert,  in the Thermomix.  After all,  we were eating a meal I made in the fry pan!!!  I thought of the TMS custard recipe (pg 155 'Everyday Cooking... for every family'),  which was done at the demo as a 'lemon custard' and wondered if I could do it with Carob.  Something edging close to chocolate custard...  but let's be honest;  carob is NOT chocolate.  Never will be.  The result was a custard similar in texture to those custard cups you can buy in the supermarket fridge dessert section.

    • 60 - 100 g sugar to taste (I used 75g)
    • 15g carob powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 500g milk
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 40g cornflour
    • White chocolate buttons (no flavouring etc)
    • Place sugar and carob in TMX bowl and pulverise for 20 seconds on Speed 9
    • Scrape down and add remaining ingredients
    • Cook for 7 minutes at 90 deg on Speed 4.
    • Once custard has cooked to your desired consistency, serve immediately


    Well,  the kids all just loved it.  In fact,  they loved it so much they had seconds....  then it was too rich and they couldn't finish their 2nd lot.  As i was eating I thought the carob was a bit too bitter and so I popped a white chocolate button into it.  It melted and that made it much creamier.  Another button was even better.  The kids loved this addition as well.


    Next time I think I'll put in more vanilla? Perhaps less sugar,  it was very sweet.   And will definitely stir those white chocolate buttons through the whole lot, right before serving. 

    26/01/11  I have just changed the carob down from 20g to 15g.  It made it so yummy!  Also I put in 8 white-choc buttons in the final mixing stages.  It was smooth, creamy and delish!!  No bitterness or anything.  Mmmmmmmmm

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Let the THERMOMIX begin

    Things have changed!!!  Yesterday I ordered and paid for a new Thermomix.  So,  now I'll be trying to learn new recipes,  but with a new way of cooking.  If you haven't heard of the wonder-machine,  have a look at their website.  Now,  I'm pouring over TMX recipes to see if I can translate them into Failsafe.

    Yorkshire Pudding

    Mr frillipants' mum gave me this recipe, which really is the easiest-peasiest thing ever. I am in the habit of making this wi...