Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hot Giardiniera Two Ways


This recipe makes one batch of chilli oil giardiniera and one batch of chilli vinegar giardiniera. If you want to make just one or the other, halve the vegetables and brine and omit the extra ingredients.

3 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 each red, green & yellow capsicums, diced
6 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium cauliflower, broken into small florets
6 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
1/2 cup table salt, divided
2 sterilised jars/containers

For chilli vinegar giardiniera:
6 long green chillies sliced into rounds, seeds disgarded if desired
6 long red chillies sliced into rounds, seeds disgarded if desired
1 tsp peppercorns
2 cups apple cider vinegar

For chilli oil giardiniera:
1/2 cup chilli flakes
2 cups canola oil

Day 1: 
To make chilli oil: In a medium saucepan, heat canola oil over medium heat until it's just smoking. Turn off the heat and allow the oil to cool for 7 minutes.
Add the chilli flakes carefully (they will sizzle and foam quite a bit- be brave).
Leave to cool for an hour. Pour into a bowl, cover and set aside. You can refrigerate if you like but it's not necessary.

Day 2:
Take all vegetables, except garlic, and divide between two non-reactive bowls, placing a little over 1/3 in one and the rest in the other.
Add the sliced chillies to the bowl with 1/3 vegetables and mix them together.
Add 1/4 cup salt to each bowl and stir through the vegetables. Fill each bowl with water to cover the vegetables.
Cover the bowls and refrigerate overnight (about 12 hours).

Day 3:
Drain each batch of vegetables and rinse.
Place back in their bowls. Add peppercorns to the batch with chillies. Add three cloves garlic to each batch.
For the chilli oil giardiniera (the batch without chillies in it): Pack the vegetables into their container, layering them with some of the chilli flakes from the oil as you go.
Pour chilli oil over the vegetables to cover. Put lid on container and refrigerate for a day or two.

For the chilli vinegar giardiniera (the batch with the chillies in it): Pack the vegetable into their container.
Heat the vinegar in the microwave or on the stove until hot (it doesn't need to be boiling) and pour over the vegetables to cover. Put lid on container and refrigerate for a day or two.

Eat! Use both within 3 weeks.

You'll probably have some chilli oil leftover. Store for later use in salads, stir fry, dumplings etc.

Thanks for stopping by The Cookbook Resolution. Come back soon for a very special sandwich.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Quickie blog: Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken Stew

Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken Stew-serves 4 quite hungry people
I only have experience with an electric pressure cooker so I'm not game to give instruction for a stovetop pressure cooker. If you're more of a veteran than I (not hard), adapt to your needs.
Otherwise, just cook it in a skillet.

8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
500g mushrooms, quartered (if the stems are nice, I leave them on- even easier!)
1 red capsicum/bell pepper, sliced
350g pitted Spanish olives
1 tsp each of rosemary, thyme and organo
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of a lemon (optional)
100g feta cheese (the best kind is Danish) (yes, definitively)
250g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Set pressure cooker to browning setting and brown thighs in batches. Remove and set aside.

Add onion and garlic to pressure cooker and sautee until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and capsicum and sautee a minute or two until slightly softened.

Add all other ingredients except spinach and feta to the pressure cooker and season to tastes. Stir well and add chicken thighs back in.

Put lid on and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. Once the time is up, turn pressure cooker off to stop it switching to Keep Warm (unless of couse you want it to Keep Warm) and quick release pressure.

If using spinach, add it to pressure cooker and stir to combine.

Serve over couscous, rice, pasta etc. with feta crumbled over the top.

If you don't have a pressure cooker: Brown everything in a large skillet using the same instructions as above. Add all the other ingredients (again, except spinach and feta), bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Place lid on skillet and leave to simmer for 25 minutes until chicken is tender and cooked through. Follow the rest of the recipe as above.

Come back soon to read all about giardiniera (I'm working on it, I promise!)
If you're interested in listening to Michael and my podcasts, try It's A Duck Blur (all about DuckTales) or Pop Quiz Hot Shot (a hilarious movie trivia show) both on iTunes and wherever cool podcasts are found. Language warning though!

Saturday, February 28, 2015


If you're feeling brave, here's how to make brains for you or your brain-loving significant other.

6 lamb brains
1 tsp peppercorns
a handful of parsley (stalks and all) or celery leaves
1 tbs white vingear
flour for dusting
2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs butter
2 tbs oil
salt and pepper to tastes
1. Place the brains in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak for an hour; it draws the blood out. Drain and rinse.
2. Place the brains in a large saucepan. Add peppercorns, parsley or celery leaves and vinegar and top up with cold water.
3. Heat the saucepan over medium high until it's just boiling, then reduce and simmer for four minutes. Lift the brains out of the water with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
4. Trim the brain stems off and half each brain.
5. Season the flour with salt and pepper to taste. Combine Parmesan and panko on a plate.
6. Dust each piece of brain in seasoned flour. Dip in the egg and let the excess run off. Coat in the panko and pat the coating to stick well all over.
7. Turn oven on low.
8. Heat a frying pan over medium and add butter and oil. When the butter's melted and foaming, fry the brains in batches until they're golden all over. As the brains cook, place them on a tray and keep them warm in the oven.
9. Serve with pasta or a salad....whatever you like.

Thanks for stopping by The Cookbook Resolution. Come back soon to read all about adventures in making giardiniera.

Saturday, February 14, 2015



There's so many parts to this I don't really know where to start. Okay....
1) Gomashio: It is truly the most delicious seasoning I've ever tasted. You don't need to make it but it takes the sushi to a whole new level and you will use the rest. Sprinkle it on rice, baked potatoes, stir fry, use it in salad instead of salt, serve it with bread and olive oil like dukkah. It's unbelievable. Recipe here.
2) Julienne some spring onions (green onions/scallions), cucumber (seeds scraped out first) and slice an avocado or two. You can include a couple or all of these plus a sprinkling of gomashio in every roll, along with the main filling.
3) Here is a servicable tutorial on rolling makizushi. But seriously, lady, an all cucumber sushi roll? All aboard the Flavour Express!
4) Here is the recipe I use for making sushi rice except I use the rice cooker. Don't bother fanning the rice either. Get an electric fan and point it at the rice as you stir. It's much quicker and easier!


Kimchi: I used my homemade kimchi that I make using my mum's recipe found on her blog. I make it with julienned carrots and chopped cabbage, not big chunky carrots and daikon like in the recipe. That would be ridiculous in sushi. You can buy kimchi which is also delicious but drain most of the liquid and chop it a little. 
Roll with julienne cucumber, spring onion and gomashio.

Roasted sweet potato: This is barely a recipe, it's embarrassing. My mum makes sushi with this, though, and it's unbelievably good.
Slice two large sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place cut side down on a lined baking tray. Roast for half an hour at 200°C (390°F) or until flesh is very soft.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out and mash. Season with soy sauce to taste.
Roll with julienne cucumber, spring onion, avocado and gomashio.

Sriracha tuna: Also barely a recipe.
Drain a 425g (15oz.) tin of tuna in springwater and break up the flakes in a bowl. Add sriracha and Kewpie mayonnaise to taste (I used 5 tbs of each) and mix together.
Roll with julienne cucumber, spring onion, avocado and gomashio.

Teriyaki chicken: I was going to make chicken teriyaki from scratch but I ran out of time. Also, lazy!
I combined 8 chicken thighs (trimmed of fat), a bottle of teriyaki sauce and a cup of water in a wok. Bring to a boil and then simmer til the sauce is very reduced and coats the thighs. Slice the chicken thighs thinly and stir the slices with the remaining teriyaki sauce in the wok. 
You won't use all of it on sushi (unless you're catering a wedding or something), so use the leftovers for another meal.
Roll with julienne cucuber, spring onion, avocado and gomashio.

Finally, if you're interested in the green tea mousse I made for dessert, the recipe can be found here. I bought a packet of sweet red beans from the Asian grocer, mashed them and served a spoonful on top of each serving. They compliment each other perfectly!
Thanks for stopping by The Cookbook Resolution! Come back next week for the Valentine's Brains Debacle!