cooking from scratch

Fresh Pasta Photoshoot

What a fun morning we had at TAFE in the studio – I whipped up a batch of fresh pasta dough in the Thermomix (2 eggs & 200g flour with an optional tbs olive oil & kneaded for 2 mins in the Thermomix) I got out the pasta machine & rolled it out. I wanted to try a different style of food photography – after getting my classmate to be a hand model – I decided I wanted my own “posh lady” hands in the shot instead & was very pleased with quite a few of the photos I got. After a bit of editing I will probably use this first shot for our end of year exhibition.

emotive food pasta

emotive food pasta side view

 

emotive food pasta overhead

emotive food pasta side view craig

emotive food pasta overhead 2

Easy Peasy Cheesy – Making Fresh Cheeses with the Thermomix

It’s so hard for me to choose my favourite foods but cheese is certainly up there as a favourite food – it just tastes so good & makes everything else taste so good too, so imagine how delicious your own homemade cheeses taste! It’s kind of dangerous but good. Here are my favourites & maybe some day I will get a chance to make some hard cheeses or even a brie!!

For my step by step guide to making Halloumi Cheese see my guest blog post on Quirky Cooking.

Labne B

This is my homemade Labna cheese in one piece, I start from scratch & make homemade yoghurt in the Thermomix (I use the automated recipe rounding up the cream & the starter yoghurt) & then it is simply left to strain over night so it becomes firm. There is also a recipe for this in the In the Mix (first book).

Labna

Labna 2

You can roll it into balls & marinate with your favourite herbs & spices & then cover it with oil & keep in the fridge. This cheese is so versatile you can eat it on toast with crackers or veggies sticks served in salads or sandwiches. Or simply on it’s own as a cheeky snack – So good!!

Next is the ricotta or paneer cheese – they are pretty much the same thing but used for different dishes – heat up milk (some recipes have cream too) & then add some vinegar to it, let it sit & then strain the liquid away & you are left with the soft fresh cheese to cook with. Try a ricotta gnocchi recipe or a spinach & ricotta pie.

ricotta_1 ricotta

Paneer Curry

Click on this link for the recipe for Paneer Curry 🙂 Which includes the recipe for making the paneer.

 

The other cheese you can easily make in the Thermomix is Mascarpone, I will be making this again soon & will take some photos to share with you. I hope I have inspired you to give cheese making a go? It’s so fun & rewarding and best of all it’s delicious 🙂

 

Making Coconut Milk or Cream

Have you made it yet? It is so easy & perfect if you have some Dried coconut & not coconut milk or cream & can’t be bothered going to the shop to buy some for a recipe. I very rarely buy it myself now & just make the coconut milk as I need it just before I start the recipe. You can also freeze any leftovers if you are not intending on using it soon. I first tried the recipe from the Thermomix Fast & Easy Indian Cooking book about 4 years ago. Now I use Jo Whitton’s recipe from her Quirky Cooking cookbook available here & please feel free to watch her video too. You will need a nut bag (yes if this is the first time you have heard of a nut bag you are permitted to laugh – like I did the first time I heard about them) You could use fine muslin but for around $10 – $20 investment you will get a lot of use out of it. You can purchase them online or at most health food shops.

As always it is best to start with the best quality ingredients you can afford so I start with organic shredded coconut 300g.

coconut

Mill for 20 secs on speed 9

milled coconut

Next add 800g water & chop for 1 min on speed 9. Strain using a nut bag. And I usually start the straining like this with my nut bag over the simmering basket to let the first lot of milk through & then I love to pick up the nut bag & squeeze the milk through – I imagine it’s sort of like milking a cow?!

Straining the coconut milk

Yes I made coconut milk!! And I know what’s in it too – I hope this post has inspired you to give it ago too!

COCONUT MILK

If you want to make this into coconut cream you then add melted coconut oil slowly to emulsify into the warmed coconut milk as per Jo’s recipe.