Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Very Special Sandwich: The Helter Skelton

My falafel recipe is a lot softer than most I've come across. Feel free to substitute your own favourite falafel recipe if you like yours firmer. Or use my recipe and use more flour until desired consistency is reached.

I made my aoili my mixing two tablespoons mayonaise and two tablespoons of my mum's Lebanese garlic sauce (toum) because I had some to use. Again, use your favourite recipe or bought aioli if you so desire. That being said, Mum's garlic sauce is well worth the small effort. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

I used bought tabouli (sorry, Mum) that had quinoa instead of burghul. Make your own if you want to feel superior to me.
Makes 6 falafel patties

1 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tsp ground corriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2-1 tsp cayenna pepper (optional)
3 x 400g tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
50g flour
2 egg whites
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Combine all ingredients (except oil) in food processor and mix 'til onion and garlic are well chopped but the chickpeas still have a little texture. 
Alernatively, make falafel by hand by finely chopping onion and garlic and mashing all the ingredients together.

Form mixture into six large patties about the same circumfrence as a hamburger patty. I would recommend removing all rings and wetting hands before doing shaping coz that stuff is goopy.

Place on a baking paper lined baking sheet, cover with cling wrap and refridgerate at least an hour.

Heat two tbs oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Fry until golden on both sides. 
You'll probably need to fry them in two batches so place them in a warm oven as they cook if you want warm sandwiches. They'd be just as good cold, though.

The Helter Skelton
Makes six sandwiches.

6 fried falafel patties
6 kaiser rolls or other white bread rolls, split in half (it has to be white to be a Helter Skelton; James loves white bread)
alfalfa sprouts

Spread aioli on both sides of the rolls.

For maximum ease during the actual eating, assemble in this order: bottom of roll, alfalfa, falafel, tabouli, top of roll.

Shove in your face!

Thanks for stopping by. I don't know what my next blog post will be but stop by in a fortnight to find out!

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.