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Food stories, cooking techniques and recipe collections from myfoodbook.com.au
Updated: 41 min 44 sec ago

One meatballs recipe, 3 dinner ideas

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:27

Something magic happens when you combine mince with a few simple spices and ingredients, roll them into balls and cook them in a sauce, Italian-style. Ahh, meatballs. But though making meatballs is easy, there are still a few questions commonly asked by home cooks. Why are my meatballs dry? How do I keep meatballs from falling apart? Follow our expert guide to Italian meatballs to create juicy, tasty meatballs that don’t fall apart when cooking. Plus try this one meatballs recipe, 3 dinner ideas. Buon appetito!

What mince is best for making meatballs?

You’ve got to start with good ingredients, and with meatballs, it’s all about the mince. Italian meatballs are generally made using a combination of pork and veal mince. This combination of mince meats gives meatballs a great authentic Italian flavour and also help to keep the meatballs juicy.

You can get pork and veal mince from the supermarket. It is sometimes labelled as pork and beef mince. If you can’t find it combined, you can simple buy the mince meats separately from a good butcher.

Here are some tips on storing mince:

  • Mince can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Raw mince should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, usually in the bottom corner.
  • If you’re planning on freezing the mince. Remove it from the store packaging once you are home and place it in a freezer bag or zip-lock bag with all the air squeezed out. Try to flatten the mince so it’s a thinner layer. This helps it to freeze faster and then defrost faster. Keep mince in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost mince in the fridge overnight.
What do my meatballs fall apart?

There are a few tricks and tips that can help you bind your meatballs so that they cook intact.

• Egg: A lot of meatball ingredients add egg to the mince mixture so that the white helps to bind the balls together.

• Breadcrumbs: If the mince mixture is quite wet, breadcrumbs are often used to help soak up excess moisture so that the balls don’t fall apart.

• Cheese: Adding cheese helps to bind the meatballs while cooking. Ricotta is good, especially with chicken mince as it also helps keep the meatballs moist during cooking so they don’t dry out too much.

• Chill: Once you have rolled your meatballs, pop them in the fridge for a cheeky half our if you can spare the time. This gives the egg and other ingredients time to bind properly resulting in a more robust meatball while cooking.

One meatballs recipe, 3 dinner ideas

The Best Meatball Pizza

 

One-pan Meatball Parmigiana

 

Italian Meatball Pasta Bake – Perfect Italiano

 

*DISCLAIMER: Perfect Italiano is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Perfect Italiano and our own opinions.  You can find out more about the full range of Perfect Italiano Cheese, here.

The post One meatballs recipe, 3 dinner ideas appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

How to make meatballs with mince

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 21:51

One of the main dilemmas with how to make meatballs, is how to make meatballs stick together? You know the drill. You’ve lovingly ‘mushed’ up the mince with all the flavourings. Rolled the mince mixture into delightful little morsels. Popped said balls into the pan to cook and they fall apart. Insert sad face emoji. Here’s a few tips on how to make meatballs that don’t fall apart!

How to make ahead meatballs

If you want to get ahead of the game on a weeknight, you can make a batch of meatballs and freeze them, pre-cooking. The fastest way to freeze them is to:

  1. Place in a single layer on a tray lined with baking and put in the freezer.
  2. Once frozen, place in an airtight container or large ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
  3. Defrost in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. Cook as per recipe.
In a bind? 

There are a few tricks and tips that can help you bind your meatballs so that they cook intact.

• Egg: A lot of meatball ingredients add egg to the mince mixture so that the white helps to bind the balls together.

• Breadcrumbs: If the mince mixture is quite wet, breadcrumbs are often used to help soak up excess moisture so that the balls don’t fall apart.

• Cheese: Adding cheese helps to bind the meatballs while cooking. Ricotta is good, especially with chicken mince as it also helps keep the meatballs moist during cooking so they don’t dry out too much.

• Chill: Once you have rolled your meatballs, pop them in the fridge for a cheeky half our if you can spare the time. This gives the egg and other ingredients time to bind properly resulting in a more robust meatball while cooking.

How to make meatballs with mince videos and recipes:

Chicken Meatballs in Creamy Mushroom Sauce: GET THE RECIPE.

 

Italian Meatball Pasta Bake – Perfect Italiano

 

One-pan Meatball Parmigiana – Perfect Italiano

 

*DISCLAIMER: Perfect Italiano is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Perfect Italiano and our own opinions.  You can find out more about the full range of Perfect Italiano Cheese, here.

The post How to make meatballs with mince appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

Ten 30-minute meals made with mince

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 23:50

What’s for dinner? It’s the same question that’s being asked in houses all around Australia at about 5pm. Thank goodness you have a secret weapon in the fridge: Mince. With mince, and these recipes, you’ll have a delicious dinner ready in no time. Bookmark this page ’cause you’ll want to refer to this article time and time again: Ten 30-minute Meals made with mince.

Mince cooking tips
  • Mince is best cooked in batches. This stops the mince from stewing, turning grey and losing its flavour.
  • Keep it hot: too much mince in the pan can over-crowd things, leading to the frying pan losing heat. Get your pan nice and hot before adding the mince in batches. Add a little more oil with each batch if needed.
Storing and freezing mince 
  • Mince can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Raw mince should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, usually in the bottom corner.
  • If you’re planning on freezing the mince. Remove it from the store packaging once you are home and place it in a freezer bag or zip-lock bag with all the air squeezed out. Try to flatten the mince so it’s a thinner layer. This helps it to freeze faster and then defrost faster. Keep mince in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost mince in the fridge overnight.
Tips to faster meals

There are a few shortcuts to making a meals quicker and easier for those busy weeknights. Here are some used in the following recipes:

  • Opt for microwave rice rather than regular rice as it will be ready to use in just 90 seconds.
  • Use pre-cut frozen beans or other veg to save valuable prep time.
  • Choose mince rather than other cuts of beef or chicken as it will cook faster.
  • Use fresh pasta rather than dried as it is quicker to cook.
  • If you have sausages, cut them up to cook. Sausages are basically filled with flavoured mince. Plus they look like little meatballs.
Now try these ten 30-minute meals made with mince 1

30-minute Beef and Rice Burritos – Perfect Italiano

2

Grilled Smoky Beef Burger a Mushroom Bun – Celebrate Health

3


Chicken Meatballs in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce: GET THE RECIPE.

4

Cheesy Bolognese Jaffles – Western Star

5

Asian Chick-ado Patties: GET THE RECIPE.

6

Quick Sausage Pasta Bake –Perfect Italiano

7

Asian Chicken Meatballs with Noodles – Lilydale

8

Aussie Burger With The Lot – Australian Eggs

9

Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Meatballs with Creamy Mustard Sauce – Western Star

10

Thai Basil and Chicken Fried Rice – Lilydale

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook,  third party content partners and our own opinions.

The post Ten 30-minute meals made with mince appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

One-pan mince recipes to make tonight

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 16:14

We get it. You’re busy. You’re on a budget. But you’ve still got to eat and feed the family. Don’t worry. You can tick all these boxes while putting up delicious weeknight meals with these one-pan mince recipes.

The magic of mince

Mince is the meat of champions for so many reasons. It’s budget friendly. It’s quick to cook. It comes in a variety of guises – chicken, beef, pork, lamb and turkey.

And most importantly it’s versatile. Mince lends its flavour to Italian meatballs and bolognese, Mexican chilli con carne and burritos, Middle Eastern lamb pizza and Indian qeema.

One-pan wonders

Nothing makes cooking feel easier than a good one-pan recipe. Especially if you’re the one doing the washing up.

One-pan can mean a variety of vessels. Depending on the type of meal you’re making you could use a frying pan or skillet, large saucepans or pots, and baking trays or baking dishes.

The beauty of a one-pan recipe is that it captures all the flavours of the ingredients in the one place.

One-pan mince recipes

Let’s celebrate easy weeknight cooking with this collection of recipes that combine easy and affordable mince with all the convenient genius of one-pan meals. Which one will you try tonight?

A couple of the recipes have had a few cheeky adaptations made to them to fit the mould so that you can make them as easily as possible.

Beef Mince and Chickpea Curry Recipe: GET THE RECIPE HERE.

 

One-pan Meatball Parmigiana – Perfect Italiano

 

Thai Basil and Chicken Fried Rice – Lilydale

 

Chicken and Fresh Salsa Tacos

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook  third party content partners and our own opinions.

The post One-pan mince recipes to make tonight appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

How to cook green beans

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 12:48

A bright green, tender crisp green bean can be perfection on a plate when cooked properly. They’re in season right now so you can pick up a big bag of bargain beans for your dinner. Never know how to get them to their eating sweet spot? Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook green beans plus some delicious recipes to try them in.

How to trim green beans

It’s easy to nail the prep of green beans. Simply give them a rinse, line up a small handful on your chopping board, preferably stems all facing the same way, and chop off about 1cm. You can trim both ends if you like but as long as the harder woody tip has been cut off, you’re good to go.

You can also get your kids involved. Give them a pile of beans, and get them snapping off the ends. If you’re lucky, they might even nibble on a few of them while they’re helping!

How to cook green beans

• Boil: Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the trimmed green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green. To stop them from cooking too much and the green turning dull, quickly add them to a bowl of iced water.

• Steam: If you’re more comfortable using a steamer then the blanching method, this is a great way to get a similar bright green result. You may just need to steam the green beans for a about 5-6 minutes for the right consistency.

• Microwave: Place trimmed beans in a microwave-safe bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water to cover the base of the bowl. Cover bowl with a lid or a plate and microwave on High for about 4-6 minutes.

Now that you know how to cook them, here are some dinner recipes to try now. 

Sri Lankan Coconut & Cashew Chicken with Saffron Rice – Passage to India

 

Broccolini and Cauliflower Fried ‘Rice’ and Chicken Bowls – Sydney Markets

Beef Korma with Pumpkin and Beans – Street Kitchen

 

 

Tomato and ginger biryani with eggs – Australian Eggs

 

Chicken, Avocado and Crunchy Potato Tray Bake

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook  third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post How to cook green beans appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

Traditional Fruit Mince Pie Recipe

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 10:00

Christmas is a time of nostalgia. It’s when you dig out your grandma’s Christmas pudding recipe or your mum’s ultimate turkey stuffing. Palm sized mince pies are also a baker’s favourite festive treat. But instead of fussing about with individual mince pies, you need to try this giant traditional fruit mince pie recipe.

How to make pastry at home

Making your own pastry for the mince pie is so satisfying, and surprisingly easy. If you’ve never made pastry at home before, here are some great tips to get you started.

  • Resting: When making pastry it’s important to rest it so that the moisture evens out and the gluten has time to relax. Wrap pastry in baking paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or as per recipe instructions). Resting helps to minimise any shrinking of the pastry from while baking.
  • Working the pastry: Only sprinkle a small amount of flour on your work surface. Too much and you run the risk of drying the pastry dough out. You can always use baking paper when rolling and avoid using flour altogether.
  • Temperature: When working with pastry that’s been resting in the fridge, always allow time for it to come to room temperature. Factor in around 30 minutes as this will make it easier to work with. That said, your kitchen, benchtop and hands should all be cool so that the pastry doesn’t become too soft when rolling and shaping.
  • Blind baking: Recipes often call for blind baking because pastry can take a little longer to cook than fillings. To blind bake, simply prick the base of the prepared pasty a few times with a fork then line with baking paper, top with pastry weights and place in the oven to cook as per recipe instructions. You can use dried pulses or rice if you don’t have pastry weights.
  • Fillings: Make sure your fillings are either chilled or at room temperature before adding to prepared pastry bases. Warm ingredients can cause the pastry fat to melt and result in soggy pastry.
  • Pie topping: When covering your pie with pastry, always make sure to cut into strips or circles larger than you need so that you can be sure the pastry will reach the edge of the pie. Simply remove excess once assembled.
Cheat’s guide to mince pie

Making the fruit mince filling is simple and makes for a deliciously rich and juicy filling. However, if you’ve nailed the pastry and run out of time, at a pinch you can buy ready-made fruit mince in a jar from the supermarkets. It will still make a yummy mince pie but for the real showstopper, you really can’t go past home-made.

 

 

*DISCLAIMER: Western Star is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Western Star and our own opinions.  Find out more about the full range of Western Star products.

 

The post Traditional Fruit Mince Pie Recipe appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

Chicken mince: cooking and freezing this versatile ingredient

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 09:30

Mince meat is an incredibly versatile and budget-friendly ingredient. It is a weeknight staple in most households making dinner prep easier and quicker. As well as beef mince, chicken mince is a delicious and readily available protein to add to your family meals. Chicken mince has a milder flavour and is also lower in fat than beef or lamb minces.

Chicken mince cooking tips 
  • Always use a non-stick pan for cooking mince. Chicken mince is very lean so you’ll need to use a little oil when cooking to reduce the risk of it being too dry.
  • Mince is best cooked in batches. This stops the mince from stewing, turning grey and losing its flavour.
  • Keep it hot: too much mince in the pan can over-crowd things, leading to the frying pan losing heat. Get your pan nice and hot before adding the mince in batches. Add a little more oil with each batch if needed.
Storing and freezing chicken mince 
  • Chicken mince can be stored in your fridge for up to two days. You’ll need to freeze mince if you’re not planning on eating it within 2 days.
  • Raw mince should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, usually at the bottom corner.
  • If you’re planning on freezing the mince. Remove it from the store packaging once you are home and place it in a freezer bag or zip lock bag with all the air squeezed out. Try to flatten the mince so it’s a thinner layer. This helps it to freeze faster and then defrost faster. Keep mince in the freezer for up to two months.
Defrosting chicken mince
  • In the fridge – allowing time in advance to allow your chicken mince to fully defrost. This can take a full day and night depending on the quantity.
  • Defrost chicken mince in the microwave. Place in a microwave save bowl and use the defrost setting on your microwave.
  • With water, if your packaging is water-tight. Fully submerge your chicken mince in room temperature water and change every 30 minutes to ensure mince is kept cold
Easy chicken mince recipes to try 

Add chicken mince to your shopping trolley and give it a whirl in these easy weeknight dinner recipes.

 

Korma Chicken Meatballs in Lettuce cups – Passage to India

 

Thai Basil and Chicken Fried Rice – Lilydale

 

Get the recipe for the Chicken and Pork Terrine with Egg Centre

 

Asian Chicken Meatballs with Noodles – Lilydale

 

Chicken and Rice Enchiladas – Perfect Italiano

 

Chicken spring rolls with plum sauce – Lilydale

 

Chicken and Fresh Salsa Tacos – Foodbank

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook, third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

The post Chicken mince: cooking and freezing this versatile ingredient appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

How to make gingerbread

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:58

One of the joys of Christmas is having seasonal treats like gingerbread to give out as edible gifts or
just to enjoy with the kids or grandkids. So to get you started, we’ve put together this easy guide on
how to make gingerbread.

How to make gingerbread

If you’ve never made gingerbread before, dip your toe in the water with the tried and tested Basic Gingerbread recipe. It’s the base of all these gingerbread treats and has been made so many times you can be assured of a great result. Happy days!

If you’re looking for something fast and fun to make with the kids, you can’t go past Gingerbread Rocky Road. Break up baked gingerbread into pieces and mix it with melted dark chocolate, marshmallows and raspberry lollies, then refrigerate until set. Too easy.

Edible centrepieces

If you’re looking for a festive table centrepiece, guests will have stars in their eyes when they see your Gingerbread Star Christmas Trees. Decorated in hundreds and thousands the trees look like they’ve been sprinkled with rainbow snow.

The real show-stopper, however, is the Gingerbread House. This is something the whole family can enjoy decorating. Simply print out the templates to help you on your way, then have fun putting your own stamp the decorations.

Make ahead magic

To get ahead before the silly season hits, you can make the Basic Gingerbread dough up to the end of Step 2 but instead of refrigerating, keep dough in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Take time to chill

It’s important to keep gingerbread dough chilled so that it’s firm enough to roll out and cut. If you’re working with one portion of gingerbread dough, make sure the remaining dough is wrapped and kept refrigerated.

Keep-sake

Baked, un-iced gingerbread will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. If any moisture is present the gingerbread will soften.

Just add water

When putting your gingerbread  house or star tree together the icing should be smooth but thick. You want it slightly thinner for adding the final decorating touches to the house, so just thin with a little water.

Check out the exclusive Gingerbread Masterclass video here:

 

 

*DISCLAIMER: Western Star is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Western Star and our own opinions.  Find out more about the full range of Western Star products.

 

The post How to make gingerbread appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

What can I do with extra strawberries

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 14:47

Strawberry season is in full swing. They’re ripe, rosy and ready for eating. But if you’ve bought up big while they are two punnets for $5 and you’re not snaffling them straight from the punnet fast enough, they can start to go bad. So the question is, what can I do with extra strawberries? Here’s some quick tips and tasty strawberry recipes for you to try now.

How to store strawberries for longer

You’ve bought all these strawberries home with the best of intentions but they’ve gotten buried in the back of the crisper drawer and they’re now not looking as plump as they used to. Here’s how to keep that strawberry blush going until you’re ready to use them.

Leave the stem on as long as possible: when you’re ready to enjoy your strawberries you can then remove the stem but keep your stems on for as long as possible as this prolongs shelf life.

Wash as you go: although it is very tempting to wash your strawberries as soon as you get home from the shops, you should only wash your strawberries right before eating them. If you wash them as soon as you bring them home they can soak up every bit of moisture, which is what turns them mushy and also wet berries will more likely become mouldy faster.

Don’t let one berry spoil the whole bunch: if you notice one strawberry going mouldy, remove it immediately. Mould can spread extremely fast, remove the spoiled berries before it ruins the rest of the batch.

Vinegar bath: There is a groundswell of people who swear by soaking the fresh-bought strawberries in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water before drying and refrigerating. This helps prevent mould from growing on the berries.

Berrylicious recipes to make with extra strawberries:

From a quick berry jam to drizzle over your show-stopping pav, to a savoury dip or salad, try these tasty strawberry recipes for spring and summer entertaining.

 

 

Berries and cream tray pavlova – Western Star

 

Magic Custard Cake

 

Summer Fruit Trifle In a Glass

 

Watermelon, strawberry and feta salad – The Dairy Kitchen

 

Spicy Strawberry and Jalapeño Salsa – Cobs

 

Fruit and Cheese Christmas Tree

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook  third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

The post What can I do with extra strawberries appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

Traditional white Christmas recipes makeover

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 10:58

There’s something reassuring about the traditional recipes that abound during the festive season. Christmas puddings, truffles, gingerbread, mince pies and, of course a good old fashioned white Christmas slice. People pull out their family recipes, or go in search of tried and true recipes. So we’ve taken the traditional white Christmas recipe and given it a makeover with these delicious twists.

Traditional white Christmas recipe

The recipe for a traditional white Christmas has remained almost unchanged for decades. It’s familiar, it’s easy and it’s almost essential to have on offer at pre-Christmas parties or to make for the kids as edible gifts. Plus, you have to say, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? So here, in all it’s traditional glory is the recipe for white Christmas.

White Christmas – Copha

 

White Christmas with Chocolate, Craisins and Pistachios

Not straying too far from the traditional recipe, here dried fruit mix has been swapped out for craisins and pistachios. It’s still got that Christmassy vibe with pops of red and green mixed in with the white. Once the slice has chilled, the cut white Christmas bars are dipped into melted chocolate for a grown-up chocolatey twist.

 

White Christmas with Chocolate, Craisins and Pistachios

 

White Christmas Minty Treats

If there’s another treat that’s synonymous with Christmas, it’s candy canes. These mint-flavoured sweets hang from the tree, get stuck into cards and are given out with sweet abandon during the silly season. So why not combine that minty candy cane flavour with white Christmas to make a fresh and fun edible treat. You can get the edible Christmas decorations like the santas, holly, candy canes etc from the baking aisle of supermarkets or cake decorating stores. Get your kids involved and enjoy making these white Christmas minty treats for your Christmas event.

 

 

White Christmas Minty Treats

 

*DISCLAIMER: Copha is a contributing recipe Partner at  myfoodbook.com.au. This article features content sourced from Copha and our own opinions. For more information  visit the Copha website.

The post Traditional white Christmas recipes makeover appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

Easy and delicious edible Christmas gift ideas

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 12:40

As we creep closer and closer to Christmas Day, it’s time to get cracking on planning your Christmas menu, putting up the tree and buying gifts. But this year why not make the festive season that little bit sweeter with these unique edible Christmas gifts.

For very little time and for not much money, you can whip up stunning and delicious edible gifts, guaranteed to impress. Plus the effort you go into with these treats will be truly appreciated by all who receive. Who doesn’t love reaching for something delicious to munch on? Especially during the silly season.

Edible Christmas gifts idea inspiration 

Edible gifts in jars and beautifully packaged treats are always welcome at Christmas. It’s a more personal, and cost-effective way of giving and showing friends and family you care. Check out this quick guide on what you can make for gifting.

 

 

Sauces and Condiments: homemade condiments and sauces are a lovely touch to any meal. That’s why a thought-fully chosen homemade condiment or sauce makes for a wonderful gift. Packaged in a pretty jar, the receiver can then keep the delicious sauce in their fridge to enjoy for days or weeks. Although if your sauce or condiment has any serving instructions be sure to include this on the jar.

 

Flavoured oils and spice rubs: homemade spice mixes and oils are the perfect gift for any passionate home cook and foodie in your life. They are very quick to pull together and so versatile. Choose different oils, spices and flavours you like and package them up in gorgeous jars and bottles, ready to gift.

 

Flavoured alcohol and cordial: whether your purchasing alcohol and flavoured cordial to gift or brewing your own be sure to wash and throughly rinse the bottles. Again choosing stylish bottles and you can also wrap some ribbon around the top for an extra festive touch. Alcohol and flavoured cordials are the perfect gift for friends and families to enjoy this Christmas Day.

 

Cookies, sweets and chocolates: who dosen’t love delicious rum balls, gingerbread cookies or shortbread. They are a Christmas necessity and also make gorgeous gifts. Why not wrap your sweets in cellophane and finish off with gorgeous ribbon.  In the lead up to Christmas why not try making rums balls or delicious white Christmas, but remember to make extra for yourself to enjoy.

 

Edible gift recipe ideas 

White and Dark Chocolate Crackles – Copha

 

Gluten Free Mini Fruitcakes – Copha

 

 

White Christmas with Chocolate, Craisins and Pistachios

 

White Christmas – Copha

 

Rum Balls – Copha

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes – Copha

*DISCLAIMER: Copha is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This article features content sourced from Copha and our own opinions. For more information visit the Copha website.

 

The post Easy and delicious edible Christmas gift ideas appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

What is the best oil for cooking

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 11:36

Whether you’re frying, drizzling, sizzling or roasting, oil plays a huge part in cooking. But is there one oil that rules them all? What is the best oil for cooking. Well, lucky for us, Australian extra virgin olive oil comes pretty close to being an oil for all occasions. Here we look at how you can use extra virgin olive oil to best effect in your kitchen.

How and what to cook with extra virgin olive oil

You’d be forgiven for thinking that extra virgin olive oil should be just reserved for drizzling over salads or dipping your sourdough into. But you can use it in cooking, frying and baking and, in most cases, will outperform most other oils.

Still not sure? Recently the Olive Wellness Institute tested common supermarket oils alongside extra virgin olive oil in a variety of cooking methods and temperatures. Here’s a handy guide they put together on how to cook with extra virgin olive oil.

Here are some recipes that use extra virgin olive oil in cooking:

 

Get the recipe for Cheesy Egg in the Hole here.

Pumpkin Risotto with Mushrooms and Toasted Seed Sprinkle – Celebrate Health

 

Healthy Lentil and Feta Frittata – Australian Eggs

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook  third party content partners and our own opinions.

The post What is the best oil for cooking appeared first on myfoodbook | Food Stories.

How do you get good crackling?

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 15:25

Ask anyone, and they’ll say the best part of a roast pork loin or rolled pork belly is the crackling. Crisp, crunchy and tooth-breakingly good, pork crackling is the coveted prize. But when it comes to your festive roast pork, how do you get good crackling?

Score for the win!

You want to start with a good-quality piece of pork loin that is already scored. If it’s not already scored, ask your butcher to do this for you as they’re more likely to have a knife sharp to cut through the skin – and are more skilled at scoring to boot.

If for whatever reason you need to score the pork yourself, you’ll need a very sharp knife. Some people swear by a Stanley knife as being the best tool for the job. You want to cut long lines across the skin, cutting down to the fat (but not as far as the flesh). Keep lines about a finger width apart.

Give it a scalding

Although everyone will tell you that the skin needs to be absolutely dry for good crackling, pouring boiling water over the skin is considered an essential part too. So pop the kettle on, place the pork skin-side up on a tray in a baking dish and pour the boiling water over the skin. You’ll see the scored skin open up ready to be salted. Drain well.

Home and dry

Now that the skin has had a nice warm bath. It’s time to get rid of all that moisture. Pat it dry with paper towel. Some people even pull out the hairdryer to make sure the skin is properly dry and moisture free.

Once you’ve dried it, pop it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight if you can afford the time, so that the skin is as dry as possible.

If you don’t have time to refrigerate the pork after you’ve poured boiling water over the skin, then just ensure it’s completely dry before you cook it.

Give it a good rub

Just before you’re ready to cook the pork, rub salt and oil into the skin. You want to use a good amount of salt and properly massage it into the skin and the scored areas.

Turn up the heat

If you want that pork skin to blister and crackle, then you need make sure the oven is hot hot hot! Preheat your oven to 250°C or 230°C fan-forced. You want to cook the pork at this high temperature for about 30 minutes to get that crackling happening. Then drop the temperature to continue to cook the pork through.

How do you get good crackling? 

If you follow the above tips and techniques, you’ll be enjoying crispy crackling with your next pork roast. Here are a couple of recipes and step-by-step videos to help you get perfect pork crackling every time.

Crispy Rolled Pork Loin with Easy Herb Stuffing – Western Star

 

 

Sticky Asian Pork Belly with Plums – Australian Summer Stonefruit

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook  third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

 

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How to make a perfect pavlova

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 15:00

Aussies love their pavlova; it’s a dessert synonymous with summer, Christmas and outdoor entertaining. It is also an ideal dessert for any special occasion and for entertaining a crowd. If you want to learn how to make a perfect pavlova, you’ve come to the right place.

A pavlova should be crunchy on the outside, soft and slightly chewy on the inside, then topped with freshly whipped cream, tart fruit or citrus curd and finished off with a tumbling of delicious fruit.

To become the master of the pavlova, have a look at these following tips to make a magnificent meringue.

Six simple tips to master your pavlova 

Be sure to use a clean bowl and beaters: cleanliness is crucial, especially when it comes to egg whites. The tiniest bit of dirt or grease will make your pavlova flop, and nobody wants that!

Use cold eggs: when separating your eggs. This ensures a cleaner separation between the yolk and the white. Crack your eggs individually into a bowl, any hint of yolk will stop your egg whites from whipping to their full potential.

Whip your egg whites at room temperature: be sure to allow the eggs whites to warm to room temperature before whipping. Room temperature egg whites whip easier and perform much better than cold whites.

Add the sugar gradually: when adding the sugar to your eggs white, it must be added 1 tablespoon at a time, at the soft-peak stage. Although this takes more time, undissolved sugar attracts moisture, which can make your meringue weep once cooked. Check the sugar has dissolved by rubbing the meringue mixture between your fingers. If you can still feel sugar granules, keep whisking.

Cool your pavlova in the oven: no need to rush getting your pav out of the oven. Turn the oven off and leave the oven door slightly ajar, and allow the pavlova to cool slowly in the oven. This will ensure your pavlova keeps its height and doesn’t crack.

Moisture is the enemy: for an award winning pavlova, avoid making your pav on a humid, or rainy day.

How to top and serve your pavlova 

Once your pavlova has cooled in the oven, it’s time to complete this delicious dessert. Whipped cream is a favourite topping, but you can also try lemon or other fruit curds. Then go crazy and pile your pavlova high with fresh fruit.

This dessert should also be eaten straight away. Although you can make the meringue layer ahead of time, it will keep in an airtight container for several days. But as soon as you top your pavlova with cream and fruit, it needs to be eaten straight away otherwise your pavlova will start to soften.

Pavlova recipes to try 

Berries and cream tray pavlova – Western Star

 

Mini Pavlovas with Poached Peaches – Australian Summer Stonefruit

 

Classic Pavlova with Lemon Curd – Australian Eggs

Cherry and Chocolate Pavlova – Sydney Markets

 

 

Aussie Pavlova Layer Cake with Red Berries – Australian Eggs

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

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Must-try vegetarian Christmas recipes

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 09:01

If you’re hosting Christmas this year, be sure to check if you have any vegetarians in the mix. That way you can be prepared and create a show-stopping meal that everyone can enjoy.

Rather than thinking that a meat-free dish might be lacking in something, make your vegetarian meal a celebration of the beautiful seasonal produce available as in the recipes you see below.

All of these recipes taste amazing. They are also versatile enough to be enjoyed alongside meat and seafood, or served simply as they are.

Must-try Vegetarian Christmas recipes 

Wild rice, dukkah egg and pomegranate salad – Australian Eggs

 

Summer vegetable tart with mixed beet salad – Australian Eggs

 

Garlic roast potato and sage wreath

GET THE RECIPE



 

Frittata Caprese with spinach, tomato and ricotta – Australian Eggs

 

Avocado potato salad – Australian Avocados

 

Grilled White Peach, Radicchio and Goats Cheese Salad – Summer Stonefruit

 

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

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How to make the best Baked Cheesecake

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 16:50

A baked cheesecake is a thing of beauty. Creamy and velvety filling with a crunchy golden biscuit base. But how can something so simple taste so good? It’s actually surprisingly easy to make a baked cheesecake. You don’t need fancy ingredients or hi-tech equipment. Follow our step by step masterclass on how to make the best baked cheesecake.

What is the best cheese to use for cheesecake?

It’s the main component of the cheesecake so getting the right cheese means a better result. In saying that all you really need to look out for is a full fat cream cheese – available from any supermarket or independent grocery store.

You want the cream cheese to be at room temperature before you start. This makes it easier to mix with the other ingredients.

At what temperature should I bake my cheesecake? 

To prevent the deep cracks that backed cheesecakes are prone to, you need to be careful with the oven temperature. Not just while you’re baking it, but also any sudden variances in temperature after baking.

Low and slow is the way to go when baking a cheesecake. For best results, an oven heated to 170°C / 150°C fan-forced is ideal. Once it’s finished baking (you want the centre to be almost set), turn off the oven and leave it in the oven with the oven door slightly ajar until the cheesecake has cooled.

Once the cheesecake has cooled, it’s ready to move into the fridge. Keep it in the springform pan and refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.

How to cut a cheesecake

You’ve lovingly baked and chilled your cheesecake to creamy perfection. Here’s how to get clean slices for when you’re ready to serve it.

You want to get your knife nice and hot. Fill a tall heatproof jug or glass with hot water. Dip your knife into the water then carefully wipe dry. Reheat and dry the knife after each slice.

How to make the best baked cheesecake

Classic Baked Cheesecake

 

*DISCLAIMER – Australian Eggs is a contributing  recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Australian Eggs and our own opinions.  Find more about Australian Eggs. 

 

 

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Easy make-ahead Christmas recipes

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 15:12

It’s time to get-ahead of Christmas Day! Cut the stress in half by preparing certain elements of your Christmas menu from now. The following easy make-ahead Christmas recipes, will most definitely save you time on Christmas Day leaving you with more time to spend with friends and family.

All these recipes can be either frozen or kept in a cool dry place until the big day.

Make-ahead Christmas recipes to get started on  Christmas Cake 

A Christmas classic. The best part about a Christmas cake, is that is tastes better with time. So technically it’s the most appropriate dish to make ahead of time.

Christmas Cake – Western Star

 

Christmas truffles

These special truffles are made out of Christmas cake, so all you need to do is roll them up into the desired shape and leave them in an airtight container. Also to remember, don’t coat them in the chocolate until your ready to enjoy or gift.

Christmas Truffles – Western Star

Herb butters 

These herb butters make for a delicious accompaniment to your Christmas meats. Choose from three different flavours and keep in the freezer until Christmas.

GET THE RECIPE

 

Christmas Cake Ice Cream Bombe 

Get ahead with this Christmas cake ice cream bombe. This cake can chill away until Christmas Day. Simply pull out of the freezer when your ready to enjoy.

Christmas cake ice cream bombe – Western Star

Christmas pudding 

The most traditional Christmas dessert is actually the one that can be made further ahead. Once cooked, cover and refrigerate until read to serve. Then re-boil pudding for a further 4 hours on the day it will be eaten.

Christmas Pudding – Western Star

 

Christmas pudding truffles 

Another great truffle recipe, made out of Christmas pudding. Or you can use fruit cake, whatever you prefer. Simply roll up into the desired shape and store in an airtight container. Then when there ready to be enjoyed you can decorate with the toppings.

Christmas pudding truffles – Western Star

 

 

*DISCLAIMER: Western Star is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Western Star and our own opinions.  Find out more about the full range of Western Star products.

 

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Easy tomato recipes to make now

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 14:41

Tomatoes are out in abundance right now. Ripe, red and juicy, and bursting with flavour, tomatoes will enhance meals beyond just salads. If you’ve been wondering what you can make with fresh tomatoes, here are some easy tomato recipes to make now.

What tomatoes are best to cook with? 

Gone are the days when the only tomatoes you could find in the grocery section of supermarkets were standard red field tomatoes and possibly Roma tomatoes from your local Italian or Greek grocer.

Now you’d be forgiven for being confused. At the last count, there were about 11 or 12 varieties available to buy. Field tomatoes sit next to truss, cocktail truss, grape, kumato, gold grape, heirloom and a colourful tomato medley.

So which one do you use in the kitchen? The answer is all of them.

Whether you whizz them up to make a sauce, douse them in olive oil and roast them whole, pan fry them until they split at the seams and give up a little juice, tomatoes are easy and delicious.

Easy tomato recipes to make now

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thigh Tray Bake: This recipe mixes things up with a punnet of colourful tomato medley and a punnet of baby roma tomatoes. The roasted tomatoes add a sweet juiciness to the dish.

Four Cheese Zoodle Spaghetti: Here’s a quick family meal that smuggles in a few veg with the addition of zucchini noodles entwined with pasta, and cherry tomatoes adding a fresh juiciness. Click here for the recipe.

Mexican Pan Frittata: This healthy midweek frittata is studded with halved baby roma tomatoes. If you can’t find baby roma tomatoes, you can swap them out for cherry or grape.

Low-carb Chicken Parmigiana: Try this low-carb one-pan dish with saucy cherry tomatoes. Get the recipe here.

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook  third party content partners and our own opinions.

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Finger food recipes for race day

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 10:00

Once you’ve found the fascinator, put the bubbles on ice and cut out all the horse names out for the sweepstake, it’s time to nail the nibbles.

If you’re hosting Melbourne Cup day at home, make it a little bit fancy by asking your guests to come dressed in spring racing theme, hats and all. As they arrive, they can draw from the sweepstake and grab a glass of sparkling.

With a nice mix of party appetisers and foods to share – you can create a spread that satisfies all your guests. Think sliders, mushroom arancini, homemade dips, bite-sized sausage rolls and more. Think about dishes that you can make ahead of time, so you can focus on getting yourself ready.

You could also plan the menu ahead and ask guests to bring a dish. Send them the recipe you’ve chosen based on their cooking skill level. Here are some delicious race day ideas.

Finger food recipes for race day 

Mushroom Arancini – Australian Mushrooms

 

Herbed Chicken Sliders- Lilydale

 

Avocado beetroot dip

GET THE RECIPE

 

Healthy Sausage Rolls – Western Star

 

Garlic prawn pizza – DeCosti Seafoods

 

Pear, brie and prosciutto wedges – Australian Pears

 

This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook third party content partners and our own opinions.

 

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Grandma’s best baking recipes

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 16:49

What’s old is new again. Especially in the world of baking. Slices, biscuits and cakes are the ultimate expressions of nostalgia. We’ve dug deep and unearthed some of grandma’s best baking recipes from old cookbooks. Here we’ve given them a tasty update.

Original recipes

If you have sweet memories of freshly baked treats waiting for you when you returned home from school, or remember those tantalising smells when visiting grandma. Each nanna had their specialty, whether it was biscuits like melting moments, slices and bars or fruit cakes or pies.

Synonymous with early Australian baking is Fairy margarine. For more than 50 years, Fairy has helped Australians create baked goods, just like grandma used to make. That’s why we tapped into their heritage cookbooks for these absolute gems.

Here we feature the original recipe, as it appears in the heritage cookbooks, alongside a modern take that retains the integrity of the original while giving it a fresh new update. So that these traditional baking recipes can be enjoyed and shared by a whole new generation.

Choc-mint Brownie Slice

The chocolate mint combo goes way bake. As does the chocolate mint slice that originally made Australians fall in love with that choc-mint flavour. Staying pretty true to the original, the new and improved Choc-mint Brownie Slice is smooth, silky and very moreish.

Original Chocolate Mint Slice recipe from Secrets From Grandma’s Pantry cookbook

 

 

Choc-mint brownie slice – Fairy

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

Some recipes need a little more creative licence to bring them up to a recipe that resonates with today’s palate. The pineapple upside down cakes are cooked in a muffin tin for ease of today’s busy cooks.

Original Boiled Pineapple Fruit Cake from Secrets from Grandma’s Pantry cookbook

 

 

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes – Fairy

Chewy Triple Chocolate Slice

The initial inspiration for this recipe was the classic chocolate chip cookie. It’s been turned into the ultimate triple chocolate biscuit slice. Great to pop into lunch boxes, or for a cheeky afternoon treat.

Original Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from Secrets from Grandma’s Pantry cookbook

 

 

Chewy Triple Chocolate Slice – Fairy

 

*DISCLAIMER: Fairy is a contributing recipe Partner at  myfoodbook.com.au. This article features content sourced from Fairy and our own opinions. For more information  visit the Fairy website.

 

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