Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chocolate Creme Caramel

There is something edible in this photo I promise. And no it's not the little kitty kat letter holder that I bought home from Cape Town many years ago. It's this - chocolate creme caramel.

When I started taking photos I realised that it makes a wonderful reflective surface. Here is a portrait of the cord on my iron.

And here you were thinking all these photos were produced in my very own studio with custom lighting, backdrops, the works. LOL!! Oh how I wish!!! No it's a corner of my lounge room by the glass sliding doors where the ironing board hangs out when I'm too lazy to put it away.

And see those pukey apricot vertical blinds. HATE THEM!! Whoever invented those things deserves something very nasty. They refuse to open, they refuse to close, they're impossible to clean and bits keep falling off. Grrrrrrrr!!!!

You may remember the chocolate coconut banana bread I made a while back. Well this creme caramel is the second recipe from Karen Martini's supplement in the Sun Herald that I mentioned.

I have to admit I am in two minds about this recipe. It was quite straightforward to make, so long as you are comfortable with caramel. I generally find that I do not have too much trouble using the water method - where you first melt the sugar in water and then bring it to a boil until you have a lovely golden caramel. Ask me to melt sugar dry in the pan and I will run a mile.

And it does taste delicious - chocolate and caramel with a touch of orange. Yum!! It's important to unmould the creme while it is chilled but to let it come back to room temperature before eating. It improves the taste and texture a dozen fold.

No my problem was with the mouth feel - if you know what I mean. I cooked it exactly as instructed, but when it was chilled a few little balls of white fat formed around the bottom and edges of the creme. I assume from the milk or chocolate. This left a slight kind of grainy fatty feeling in my mouth. Mind you, nobody else noticed it but me. It may have been purely psychosomatic, as I had spent quite a few minutes pondering the little blobs. Who knows?? Next time I may try cooking it at a lower temperature. That may help.

Chocolate Creme Caramel
(adapted from The Sunday Herald)

zest of 1 orange
160gm of dark chocolate, chopped
600 ml milk
250gm castor sugar, plus 3 tbspn (12 tspn)*
120ml water
4 large eggs
3 egg yolks

Combine chocolate and zest in a bowl. Bring milk to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth and then set aside.

Combine the 250gm of castor sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and leave until it is a golden caramel. Do not stir. Pour into a 20cm ceramic ovenproof dish. Swirl to cover the sides.

Whisk eggs, yolks and the 3 tbspn of sugar. Slowly add the milk mix and stir together. Pour mix through a strainer into the baking dish. Place dish in a baking tray and add hot water until it comes halfway up the dish.

Bake in a 180C conventional or 160C fan forced oven for 75 minutes or until just set. Remove, allow to cool and refrigerate for at least six hours.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the creme and turn out onto a plate. Allow to return to room temperature before serving.

*This is an Australian recipe. An Australian tablespoon is equal to 4 tspn. An American tablespoon is equal to 3 tspn.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers - Cheesecake Pops

I am a slave to recipes. I admit it. I'm drawn to a recipe because I want to try THAT. And if I'm really honest:

a) if I muck around with it I will just end up with a mess and have to stand there sadly scraping it into the bin; and

b) I rarely have any better ideas. I'm not known for my foodie imagination.

But when I saw this month's Daring Baker's challenge - cheesecake pops - it's like something clicked in my brain. I was just coming up with ideas left, right and centre. The little grey cells were on fire. It got to the point where I was worried that I would not have enough pops to demonstrate my creative genius. Heaven forbid!!!!

It was all alright in the end. The recipe said 40 pops, I think I ended up with about 60. I did this by breaking the Daring Baker rules. Oh dear! There I said it. Before I am blackballed into oblivion, let me explain my truly excellent excuse. I could not find lollipop sticks. I tried. The only other thing I could think of was wooden skewers, which are long and thin and not built for 2oz pops (as directed by the hosts). So I made them skewer appropriate. I throw myself on the mercy of the blogosphere.

So what were these wonderous ideas I dreamed up. I will go through them.

But first a quick word about the cheesecake itself. YUM!!! I think that about covers it. I had to cook it for much longer than the recipe suggested - over an hour versus 35 minutes. But it set up beautifully. And it was incredibly creamy and delicious.

I scooped out about half the cheesecake into balls and cut the rest into squares. So onto my big ideas.


Okay not exactly ground breaking, but who cares. They are so pretty.

Milk Chocolate and Musk

These pops are dusted with ground muskettes. I love musk lollies. I always have a packet on hand. I think it all went together really well.

White Chocolate and Lavender

I was a bit worried that white chocolate and cheesecake would be too rich. But it turned out well. The lavender added a lovely touch. I've added a bit too much here, but they just looked so pretty. You really only need a few buds to add a lovely touch of flavour.

Dark Chocolate Rum and Raisin

These were one of my favourites. I soaked some sultanas in rum overnight. Then I roughly chopped them and pressed them into the cheesecake pops. I then froze the pops and dipped them into the chocolate. Yum.

Triple Threats

I made these to use up the chocolate leftovers from the pops above. But they were good in their own right.

Passionfruit Jelly

I was really keen to experiment with jellies. Unfortunately I couldn't find any fresh passionfruit. Usually I can get large nets for only a few dollars at the markets. But it seemed to be an off week. So I used passionfruit syrup instead.

I heated 300ml in a double boiler and then added some sugar to taste. I stirred in six gelatine leaves until dissolved. Once the jelly had cooled I quickly dipped some frozen pops and returned them to the freezer. This created a thin initial layer of jelly. I then left the jelly until it was very thick and just beginning to set. I then dipped the frozen pops again. The best approach is to twirl the pops horizontally and all around after dipping to force the jelly to roll around the pop. It is then able to set around the pop rather than just running off.

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate

I coated the pops in a raspberry jelly using the same method as for the passionfruit pops. This time I used a light sugar syrup, added some pureed raspberries which had been sieved to remove the seeds. At the very end I crumbled in some whole raspberries. I returned the jellied pops to the freezer and then dipped them in dark chocolate.

These were my other favourites.

Rose and Pistachio

Again I used the same method to coat the pops in jelly. This time I used a light sugar syrup flavoured with rose water. I dipped them in milk chocolate and sprinkled them with pistachio.

These were really good, but the rose flavour needed to be a bit stronger. It has to be quite intense to cut through the chocolate, pistachio and cheesecake.

Mango and Coconut

I abandoned the whole chocolate dipping thing. Instead, I made up a crumb base and used that to coat the pops. I crushed some Nice biscuits and mixed them with some melted butter. I toasted them in the oven until they were golden and crisp. I mixed up the cooled crumbs with some dessicated coconut.

I didn't freeze these pops at all. I simply rolled them in the crumb mix and then topped them with some sliced mango.

These were absolutely delicious. The crisp crumbs and coconut contrasted beautifully with the sweet mango and creamy cheesecake. Yum!!!

Pear and Hazelnut

I made these the same way as the mango coconut. Instead of coconut I added some ground hazelnuts to the crumb base. I topped the pops with some sliced pear. Again delicious.

Strawberry and Chocolate

Again, this is the same method as above. This time mixed some grated dark chocolate into the crumb mixture. I topped it off with strawberries. These were my other other favourites. They were really really seriously good.

Jelly and Crumble

I had quite a few pops, crumb mix and jelly left over. So I put them all together. These were good too.

Overall, I rate these as a huge success. I will be making them again. I'm not sure if I would go for the dipped chocolate, as good as it was. I much prefer the crumb mix. I can see a whole platter with different combinations of nuts, fruit, jellies and grated chocolates.

Thanks to this month's hosts, Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell , for a great challenge. The recipe will be available on their blogs sometime soon. To see a million more beautiful pops visit my fellow Daring Bakers through the Blogroll.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

T&C: Spinach and Garlic Soup

Welcome to an interesting day in the life of KJ. Today the olympic torch comes to Canberra. As I work in the Parliamentary triangle I have no choice but to be in the thickest of the thick of it. Last night I had a bird's eye view of the fireworks from my desk. In the car park this morning I was greeted by a sea of chinese flags. A hot air balloon with a smiley face has just floated right past my window. Oooh here's another one - it's red, yellow and blue. It's going to be quite a day!

But even more exciting, it's Taste and Create time again.

This is a great event run by Nicole at For the Love of Food. You are paired with a fellow blogger and you each make something from each others blog. So much fun!!!

Last month I was teamed up with Janaki from The Spice is Right and made fantastic Amish Sour Cream Corn Bread.

This month I was teamed up with Kittie from Kittens in the Kitchen. I spent ages perusing her blog and finally settled on Spinach and Garlic Soup. Winter is bearing down and there's a definite chill in the air. Perfect soup weather. And who couldn't do with more greens in their diet.

And it was delicious. I made it nice and thick and served it with a dollop of mascarpone and some crunch buttery toast. Yum!!

You can find the recipe here on Kittie's blog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Challenge Book #9 - Pot Roasted Quinces

So here we are at the end of the quince road. I have just one more quince recipe to share. Hang tough people! These are pot roasted quinces - quite spectacular - no? They are more pot poached quinces than anything else, but hey, let's not get picky here.

The idea is to poach small quinces whole and then leave them to set in their own jelly. How cool is that?!

My jelly was very soft. I put this down to not boiling the quinces for long enough at the very beginning of the recipe. Never mind, they were still delicious. And spectacular, did I mention that?

They were really incredibly easy to make. It's hard to see how they could go wrong. Except for, you know, the jelly not setting properly.

Here we are at Challenge Book #9 - Maggie's Harvest.

This is the first recipe I have made from this book. In typical Maggie Beer fashion it's packed with no nonsense home style recipes all of which sound absolutely delicious. I often just sit and read through it - drooling.

Pot Roasted Quinces
(adapted from Maggie's Harvest)

6 small-medium sized quinces
4 cups sugar
1.5 litres water
juice of 3 lemons

Rub down and wash the quinces well. Pack them tightly into a heavy based saucepan. Add the sugar and water.

Boil at a reasonably high temperature until a jelly starts to form, then reduce heat and simmer for up to 5 hours. If necessary, weigh the quinces down under a small plate in order to keep the quinces under the syrup. Turn the quinces often, 4-5 times, to ensue that they are cooked evenly.

Add the lemon juice at the very last stage.

Serve whole or sliced with cream or custard.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quince Quest - Quince Custard, Quince Ice Cream

Onto Part III of the great quince fiesta. I hope you are not tired of quinces yet. We still have a way to go.

As I mentioned in my last post, the liquid that you get from poached quinces is not to be sneezed at. Deep ruby red with an intense quince flavour it offers endless possibilities all on its own. This is what I love about quinces. From just a few fruits you can create a whole myriad of delicious desserts.

A recipe that I was really keen to try was Eliza Acton's quince custard,which I found reprinted in Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion. Eliza Acton is an english cookbook writer from the 19th century who set the model for modern cookery writing. I love trying out really old recipes - things that my great great grandmothers may have cooked. There's something kind of nostalgic about it.

I was intrigued by this recipe - just poaching liquid and egg yolks with a bit of lemon to cut the sweetness. It turned out brilliantly. Easy to make and oh so delicious. It doesn't look like much. It's kind of browny pink and pretty plain looking. It is not as thick as traditional custard, but it is lovely and smooth and silky with an intense quince taste. A dash of thin cream will add an extra touch of richness, not that it needs it.

I served it over some thinly sliced, sweet ripe pears. While I didn't try it this time, I think it would be fantstic served as floating islands - with little poached meringue puffs. Yum!! Or served with a steamed sponge pudding. Lovely!!!

Once I tried this custard, it just seemed obvious that it would make a great ice cream. I had to try it. So I mixed in some thickened cream and churned it in my ice cream maker.

Wow!!! The ice cream was incredibly smooth and silky and luxurious. The quince flavour was still intense but I loved it. For a more subtle flavour I suggest adding more cream.

Eliza Acton's Quince Custard
(adapted from Cook's Companion)

300ml of quince poaching syrup
6 egg yolks, beaten
juice 1/2 lemon
Cream (optional)

Bring syrup to a simmer. Start whisking the egg yolks and slowly add a few tablespoons of the syrup. Keep whisking and slowly add the rest of the syrup. Return the mix to the saucepan and cook gently, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Strain into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool. Add some cream if you wish.

Quince Ice Cream

1 quantity of quince custard, cold
2 cups of thickened cream

The custard must be cold, preferably refrigerated overnight. Fold the cream into the custard. Churn in an ice cream maker and then freeze.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Challenge Book #8 - Quince Fiesta - Poached Quince, Quince Yeast Cake

Onto Part II of the great quince quest. The next thing to do with my quince bonanza seemed obvious - poaching. This is perhaps the most traditional way to cook quinces. It's easy peasy and it is wonderful to watch the quinces transform from bland beige to a gloriously rich ruby red.

The recipe I used includes a vanilla bean. Unfortunately, I didn't have any. So I simply added some vanilla extract at the end. That added a lovely undertone. I think with a vanilla bean it would taste truly gorgeous.

Poaching also opens up a world of opportunities. I served my poached fruit with a choice of custard, thick double cream or vanilla ice cream. They can be also used in any number of delicious cakes, tarts, pies and crumbles. I haven't even mentioned the poaching liquid - you will have to wait for my next post for that.

I couldn't resist trying a quince yeast cake recipe I spotted in Maggie's Table (by Maggie Beer, see her orange passionfruit pound cake here). This is by the way Book #8 in the KJ wants a Kitchen Aid Challenge.

But I have to say I was a wee bit disappointed. It is a lovely looking cake to be sure. And I loved the soft springy texture. But the yeasty taste to the cake was overpowering.

I put this down to the fresh yeast that is available here in Canberra. I have always found the flavour too strong in anything I have made. I usually cut down the amount I use, but didn't on this occasion for some reason. I think I just forgot. My dough was also much softer than what the recipe suggests it should be. I didn't have to flatten it into the tin because I pretty much just poured it in.

Oh well, I think this cake has such potential that I decided to post the recipe anyway. Maybe someone else will have better luck with it.

Poached Quinces
(adapted from Cook's Companion)

6 quinces
2.25 litres of light sugar syrup
1 vanilla bean
1 lemon

Peel quinces and cut into quarters or sixths. Cut out cores and tie them loosely in some muslin. Put sugar syrup in a large cast iron casserole with the vanilla bean, muslin bag and lemon juice. Add the quinces.

Cover tightly and bake for at least four (and up to eight) hours in a 150C oven. The quinces should be a lovely deep red.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Split the vanilla bean and stir the seeds into the quince syrup.

Light Sugar Syrup

Heat 2 parts water to 1 part sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Quince Yeast Cake
(adapted from Maggie's Table)

15gm fresh yeast or 1 1/2 tspn dried yeast
1 tspn caster sugar
100ml warm water
150gm plain flour
2 small eggs
45gm soft unsalted butter
thick slices of poached quince
reserved syrup

Mix the yeast and sugar with the water and set aside for 5-10 minutes until frothy. Combine the yeast mix with the flour and eggs in electric mixer. Beat in the softened butter until the dough is soft and shiny. Add a little extra warm water if the dough appears dry.

Cover and leave for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Butter a 22cm sprinform cake tin and flatten the dough across the base. Arrange the sliced quince across the top of the dough. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes.

Brush the syrup (or you can use some melted quince jelly) across the top of the cake. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a 200C. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Challenge Book #7 - It's Quince Week - membrillo

I, KJ, being of sound mind and body hereby officially declare it quince week. Why? Well because I have just spent the past month steadily working my way through a huge bag of the things and have lots of yummy quincy recipes to share. And, well, why not? They are interesting and delicious and all kinds of good things.

I scored a huge haul of quinces from a chance acquaintance with someone who happens to own a tree. I KNOW!!!! They were relieved to get rid of them. I was absolutely delighted to have them. The perfect deal.

Before I had even wrapped my little paws around my huge quince stash I knew what I wanted to try first. I have been dying to make membrillo ever since I discovered quinces last year.

First I needed a recipe. Eventually I settled on George's Quince Paste from Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion - which is Book# 7 in the KJ wants a Kitchen Aid Challenge. Cook's Companion is an Australian institution and one of my favourite cookbooks. At over 1100 pages it seems to have the answer for everything. It has already featured heavily on this blog (lamingtons, chocolate buttermilk pancakes, labna, french onion soup). You will be seeing it again soon.

Back to my membrillo. It certainly didn't sound complicated. And really it wasn't. The only real problem I had was stopping it from burning. The recipe suggests stirring the quince mix every few minutes for FOUR hours. Count em - FOUR. Who is going to do that? Certainly not me.

To avoid this mind numbing experience I left it to its own devices for about the first three hours - giving it a stir every half hour or so. From that point I turned the heat down to its lowest point and kept a closer eye on it. It still took quite an effort to stop it from charring. I think I needed a simmer mat.

I didn't get the mix to quite the thickness suggested in the recipe. In the end I just wanted to get it out of the pan. Still it turned out really well. It was lovely and firm and tasted fantastic.

This recipe makes a lot of membrillo. I gave huge chunks away and I have still been chomping away at it forever. Not that I'm complaining. I don't know who you are George, but thank you!!

George's Quince Paste
(adapted from Cook's Companion)

8 quinces, washed and peeled
1 cup water
juice 1 lemon

Cut the quinces into chunks and put into a large saucepan with a tightfitting lid. Add water, lemon juice and a quarter of the cores and pips. Cover and cook over a medium heat until quinces are cooked through.

Pass through a food mill and weigh the puree. Mix the puree with three-quarters of its weight of sugar. Return to a wide based saucepan. The original recipe says to cook over a moderate heat, stirring every few minutes until the paste leaves the side of the pan. I suggest using a very low heat to avoid burning. By the time it's cooked, it should be a deep red. This will take 3-4 hours.

Let the mix cool a little and then pour into a lined tray. Dry the mixture in a warm place for several days or overnight in a gas oven with the pilot light on. Keep well wrapped in greaseproof paper and alfoil.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Challenge Book #6 - Water Pastry, Kofte and Pilaf

See this, I made it. All by myself. With my own two little hands. Me!!! If you can't tell I am absolutely thrilled to bits with it. Even just sitting here looking at the photos I am absolutely delighted all over again.

It's called Su Boregi (Water Pastry) and its a dish from Turkey. It's basically a pasta layered with lashings of butter, soft white cheese, dill and parsley. And it is absolutely delicious.

I have travelled quite a bit in Turkey from Gallipoli to the Mediterranean to within a blade of grass of the Armenian Border. I loved every second of it and I quite simply adored the food. Water pastry was one of my favourites. It's sold in some restuarants but most often I would buy it from a snack seller as a little slab wrapped up in paper.

My effort tasted exactly how I remembered it. The pastry is soft and silky but still slightly chewy at the same time. The flavour of the dill really comes through. Yummy, yum, yum!!!

It takes a bit of work, but really it was not hard to make. There are only two slightly tricky bits. I've talked about these in the recipe below.

The recipe is from this book Turkish Cookery by Inci Kut, which is Book #6 in the KJ want a Kitchen Aid Challenge.

I bought this book in Turkey, but I can't remember where exactly. I couldn't have asked for a better souvenier. Everything I have made from it has been both delicious and just how I remember it.

These are my other favourite recipes from this book - cumin kofte and pilaf rice. I make this kofte recipe regularly. It is very easy and oh so tasty. I love Turkish pilaf rice - it's all buttery and delicious. For which very reason I try not to eat it too often. To be really authentic it should be speckled with dark grains of wild rice.

Su Boregi (Water Pastry)
(adapted from Turkish Cookery)

350gm of plain flour
2 tbspn (6 tspn) water
3 eggs
1 tbspn (3 tspn) salt
butter, melted
potato flour or other form of starch

250gm of mashed white cheese (I used farmer's cheese)
1 egg
1/2 bunch dill
1/2 bunch parsely

Sift flour and make a hollow in the middle. Add eggs, water and salt. Mix and knead. Wrap the pastry well in plastic wrap and leave to rest for at least half an hour, preferably longer.

Mix together the filling ingredients.

Divide the dough into eight even sized pieces. Roll each piece out as thinly as possible. The pastry may keep shrinking back but don't worry. Just leave for ten minutes or so before moving on to the next step.

Put four layers of the pastry together in a stack, dusting between each layer thoroughly with potato flour. Roll the stacked pastry out again as thinly as possible. It should roll out more easily. Separate into single layers again. Do likewise for the remaining four layers.

Bring four litres of water to a simmering boil with 1 1/2 tbspns of salt. Boil the single pastry layers one by one for one minute each.

Obviously no pan is going to be long enough to allow you to boil them flat. If you just drop them into the water they fold over and stick and you end up with a solid little ball. The trick is to dip half the sheet into the water. It must be wet on both the front and back. Then drop this wet half down the side of the saucepan and drape the dry half across the top of the water. Then ease it back to centre it over the middle the saucapan with tongs. Once the pastry is wet it will not stick to itself.

Once a layer is cooked remove and place in a bowl of cold water.

It may take a little practice to get the pastry sheets out of the water without tearing them to bits. I found the best way was to grasp one end with a pair of tongs and support the other end with something like the back of a wooden spoon. Make sure you have the bowl with cold water right next to the saucepan. Move the pastry as quickly as possible from one to the other. Once it's in the cold water, drape each end over your hands and wrists to lift and drain.

Place the pastry layer into a well buttered deep baking tray (30cm x 20cm).

This is easy to do if you have draped the pastry over your wrists. If they do tear it doesn't matter that much. Just patch them back together in the baking tray and it will be fine.

Brush with melted butter. Add another cooked pastry layer. Brush with butter and spread over some of the cheese filling. Continue adding layers as described. Do not place any filling between the final two layers. Trim the edges of the pastry so that it is neat and even and fits within the pan. Cutting with scissors is easiest.

Brush the top of the pastry well with melted butter. Place in a 180C oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Kimyonlu Sahan Koftesi (Cumin Kofte)
(adapted from Turkish Cookery)

750gm of minced meat
2 onions, grated
3 slices of dry bread, crusts removed
1 large tomato and 2 tbspn (6 tspn) of tomato paste
1 large potato
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tspn cumin
1/2 tspn pepper
2 tspn salt

Soak the bread in water and then squeeze out as much as possible. Crumble and add to the minced meat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Knead well for ten minutes.

Roll large walnut sized pieces into flat round shapes. Heat some oil in a pan and brown the meatballs. Dissolve the tomato paste in a cup of water and pour over the meatballs. Spread over the slices of tomato and potato. You can also add sliced capsicums is you wish. Season with salt.

Cover and cook on a medium heat for 20-25 minutes.

Sade Pirinic Pilavi (Pilaf Rice)
(adapted from Turkish Cookery)

2 cups rice
3 tbspn (6 tspn) butter
3 cups water or stock
2 tspn salt

Soak rice in hot salted water. Leave to stand until it is cool. Wash thoroughly and drain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the water or stock, the rice and salt. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for another 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Challenge Book #5 - Italian Stallion

Some days you've just got to go for broke. Let it all hang out. You've just got to eat and eat big. There's no room for finesse, delicacy or sophistication.

This is the situation I found myself in last weekend. It was four in the afternoon. I had only had a small snack for dinner the night before. No breakfast and no lunch. In short, I was absolutely stark raving ravenous. And there I stood in the supermarket. I had not choice but to go for -

I have returned to this recipe again and again - completely fascinated by the name. But had never quite brought myself around to trying it. It's basically a cross between a pizza and a hot dog - a pot dizza, a hizza pog? To put it literally, a crusty bread roll filled with an italian sausage, sauteed mushrooms, capsicum, onions and garlic, tomato sauce, mozarella, oregano and for that extra touch a sprinkling of paprika. While I don't exactly qualify, it seems to me to be the perfect food for a blokey footy feast.

It's a cinch to pull together. Although it felt like it took forever. It was all I could do to take these photos. I was ready to gnaw my arm off.

It was worth the short wait though, because it really hit the spot. It was super filling and better still super tasty. I relished every bite.

The recipe came from this book - Simply Simpatico: A Taste of New Mexico from the Junior League of Alburquerque.

I was given this book by Chelsea from Tres Bon Vivant in a Blog by Mail event. All this time I have been thinking that the Junior League of Alburquerque were a kids sports association of some description - like AusKick or little Athletics or something like that. It was only when I looked them up for this post that I found out the Junior League is a women's organisation that does community work. Whooops. Who knew??

This is Book #5 in the KJ Wants a Kitchen Aid Challenge. I have made quite a few delicious recipes from this book. Thanks again Chelsea and the Junior League of Alburquerque.

Italian Stallion
(adapted from Simply Simpatico)

6 mild Italian sausages
2 tbspn butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped green capsicum (pepper)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
6 large french rolls
pizza sauce
mozarella cheese, sliced
dried oregano

Simmer the sausages in water until cooked through and then split along their length.

Melt butter in a frying pan and saute the mushrooms, garlic, onions and capsicum.

Split the rolls and fill with a sausage and then the vegetables. Pour the pizza sauce over the top. Top with the slices of mozarella cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and paprika.

Heat under a grill until the cheese melts and begins to brown.

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