Thursday, September 29, 2011

VEGETARIAN BLOG: CORN FRITTERS FOR AUNTIE MILLICENT

Corn fritters have already populated these pages. However, it's worth giving this version a whirl as they went down extremely well in our household.

 Not only Billie but also her dear Auntie Millicent scoffed back a stack. Millicent is now back in Chicago and wants the recipe so she can press replay.

Corn fritter recipes usually call for canned creamed corn. I prefer to stick with fresh, but it can be tricky to get the wet/dry ingredient ratio right. I think I succeeded perfectly here:


RECIPE: CORN FRITTERS FOR AUNTIE MILLICENT

4-5 corn cobs (raw)
2 cups flour
2.5 teaspoons of baking powder
salt and pepper
6 eggs
large handful each of parsley and oregano, chopped fairly finely
3/4 cup milk
oil

First slice the corn kernels off the cobs. The easiest way to do this is to place the cob horizontally on a chopping board and use a large knife to slice them off. Don't cook the corn before adding to fritter mixture.

Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add milk, corn, herbs salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl and create a well in the centre. Pour rest of ingredients in and stir until combined.

Place a tablespoon of oil into a large heavy frying pan and heat on medium. Once hot drop two tablespoons of mixture into pan (to form one fritter) and repeat until pan full. Leave a few centimetres between so you can easily flip them. Turn once bubbles appearing all over. The other side won't need so long. Cook until lightly browned and place between paper towels on a plate. Eat as soon as possible.

Serve with a green salad and chutney or sweet chili sauce. 

Grandma Lenore, Auntie Millicent, Miles, Billie and Puppy Dog head to Manly

Sunday, September 25, 2011

VEGETARIAN BLOG: Cheesy Yoghurt Onion Olive Cakes


A few weeks back I made a promise. Now, after a few crazy weeks at work, I am delivering on that promise.

These are the little savory pies I served at Billie's second birthday party. This weekend I pressed replay for a friend Miream's shared lunch. They were devoured around a crowded kitchen as mountains of delicious food was served.

I have slightly adapted this vegetarian recipe from Julie Le Clerc's feta and olive pies in her Cafe@home book. Julie uses the mixture to make a few small pies. Instead I divided it into 12 muffin tins.

At Saturday's lunch we had some gluten-free folk so I swapped the regular flour for a gluten-free one. It worked just fine.

Unfortunately Billie's experience of these tasty pie/cakes was tainted by her false expectation that they were sweet muffins. She mistook the olives on top for dates...and we all know how her taste buds would have reacted.


RECIPE: CHEESY YOGHURT ONION OLIVE CAKES

3 onions, sliced thinly
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup self-raising flour, or 1 cup gluten-free flour and 1 tspn gluten-free baking powder/soda
 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup thick plain yoghurt
300g feta, cubed
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
black pepper
1/2 cup kalamata olives (remove pits, but avoid cutting in half, before using)

Saute onions in oil for ten minutes to soften well but not brown. Remove from pan to cool. Preheat oven to medium - about 180/350. Oil 12 muffin pans.

Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour beaten eggs and yoghurt into the well and stir with a wooden spoon. Mix in onions, feta, Gruyere, dill and pepper. You don't need to add salt as the feta has plenty.

Pour into oiled muffin tins and place an olive or two on top of each. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and browning on top. Let them cool a little before removing one from the tins. If still quite wet and difficult to remove, pop them back in oven for few more minutes.

Cool on wire racks or serve immediately. Great fresh out of the oven, but at Billie's party they were cold and still delicious.

 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

VEGETARIAN BLOG: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILLIE


Although she only turns two this week, Billie's build up to today's party was huge. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned she would be having a birthday party soon and she promptly said, 'Have birthday cake!'

Earlier this week I told her we would be having some of her favorite foods at her party. 'Have dates? Have raisins? Have prunes?' was her swift response. I didn't even know she knew what 'favorite' meant.


 So dried fruit are easy of course. In fact, after seeing my daughter barely stray from the large bowl of red raisins (yes, they are very good and don't have any added sugar like cranberries and sour cherries) I wondered why I had made all this other food.

Billie shares her 'favorite food' with Grandma Lenore
 Billie didn't even eat her birthday cake. After talking about the existence of one for 24hours before, she left her piece seemingly untouched. Perhaps she was overwhelmed and full of dried fruit and crisps (the only 'junk' food or even food form of packet that found it's way onto our picnic table).


Or maybe carrot cake with cream cheese icing isn't such a hit with toddlers. I would like to hear from our guests whether the cake ended up in the parent's mouths or their child'. All I know is the cake disappeared.



While crisps were the height of junk food and everything else was homemade, things have certainly changed since birthday No. 1 where the cake had two tablespoons of sugar or something equally purist. Today I served chocolate walnut cookies, blissful balls and a cake with two cups of sugar AND icing. And the kids were issued juice boxes.



Billie was far more interested in the red raisins and crisps than her new birthday bike

The new kid on the block that I would like to introduce you to, sadly went completely unphotographed today. But picture this: An eggy, cheesy base with yoghurt, onions, dill and a little flour baked in muffin tins and topped with olives. I took a risk as with only 12 I couldn't afford to taste test. Sliced in half they went a bit further and many came back for more. Stay tuned for the instructions next week.

This birthday outfit from Darwin was never made for bike-riding - a few minutes later the skirt got tangled in the wheels


Much better - skirt-free and shoulders protected from the sun. Now I can ride...

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