Making The Lasagne

Making lasagne completely from scratch is so easy with a Thermomix, I even had a customer who was “allowed” to buy a thermomix if she promised to make her hubby lasagne once a week ūüôā I must say it is a family favourite comfort food recipe that’s for sure an awesome way of earning brownie points with the rest of the family to to serve homemade lasagne.

Today I needed to make a double batch of Lasagne one for our family & one for my friend who has a new baby. Fresh pasta dough is so easy, you can use the guided recipe. Then I chopped cheddar cheese on speed 5 for about 5 secs & parmesan cheese on speed 10 for 5 secs.

cheese & pasta dough

Making white sauce is super easy another great guided recipe on the Thermomix recipe chip.

cheese sauce

Then adding the cheese & mixing it in YUM!!

close up cheese sauce

Rolled out fresh pasta using a pasta machine.

Pasta

After cooking the pasta in boiling water for a couple of mins it’s time to build the lasagne. A layer of pasta.

Pasta placing

Then the bolognese sauce another guided recipe, for great bolognese sauce be careful if you use low fat mince it is ground up super fine & even being stirred constantly on low speed & reverse it will give your sauce a grainy texture. You can either make your own mince meat or don’t chop it up so much or put the mince in the simmering basket as you do the cooking it will still be in the sauce but away from the blades. I love using at least 2 cloves of garlic & onion, fresh basil, oregano & parsley, bacon or half pork & half beef mince, a splash of red wine & if I have them cherry tomatoes add a bit of sweetness, not to mention all the veggies I throw into the Thermomix, celery, carrot, mushrooms, red capsicum & zucchini And some tomato paste & Thermomix Veggie stock paste to boost the flavour even more.

Pasta placing_1

I like to put a pasta layer on the bolognese layer & then the cheese sauce. repeating this process twice.

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It’s messy fun!! Then sprinkle more cheese on top & bake till crispy on top about 30 mins at 180 degrees.

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Then ask your son to take it our of the oven & serve ūüôā

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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.

Bangor Long Table Lunch

This was a foodie dream come true, especially for my friend & Chef Eloise Emmett see her blog post here. What a magical spot at Bangor¬†with a glorious view & we say long table – yes it was a looooooong table – It don’t even think the person at the other end of the table would even hear you asking to pass the salt!

We got to help pick the last of the grapes – pinot noir (we found out later the wine won’t be ready till another 3 years from the grapes we picked today)

Matt gave us a lesson in grape picking before we could start – one of the main things was don’t cut yourself, we all managed to get that one right – It was also important not to pick any under ripe grapes at this will effect the wine in a negative way! No pressure at all!!

grapes picking

 

grapes

grapes bucket

 

vines & grapesvines

head of the table

 

side table more

the long table

So what about the food & the menu?The menu¬†featured¬†seafood & local produce of course. We started with mugs os creamy seafood chowder – this was good because it gave a bit more time to take more photos of the food on the table before everyone sat down & ate ūüôā And of course we had to have the Bangor oysters too – They are amazing! I think I sat in the right spot because the people around me either couldn’t eat them or didn’t like oysters!!

Oysters

One of my favourite Ellie salads – Greek salad with octopus!!

Octopus salad

 

Smoked salmon & potato salad

Potato & salmon salad

Quail salad

quail salad

Of course there was delicious Bangor Wine & we had a Seafood Lasagne too not to mention freshly baked bread & cheese plates.

For dessert we had chocolate profiteroles, apple & rhubarb crumble cake, brownies by Isobel & poached pears with a red wine syrup.

dessert

And just like that our magical lunch was over & it was time to pack up! I am so grateful to have been a part of this wonderful day. I left full & happy, what wonderful bunch of people we met while picking grapes & eating a gourmet seafood feast!

 

Making Thermomix Butter

Butter_1

My friends from A girl, a guy, furkids and food have the best  butter recipe or check out Dani Valent’s video on making butter here along with some great flavoured butter ideas. Of course if you have the model 5 Thermomix you can use the guided recipe which is super easy too!

So why would you make your own butter? It tastes so good!! You can save money & you also get buttermilk to cook with as well!

I love to use Ashgrove Cream. There are lots of places around Tassie where you can buy it in 2 litre bottles. Always use the best quality you can get, pure cream & not low fat cream.

Yes you start with cream, I normally do a litre at a time but you don’t have to do that is you are just starting out & you can always make another batch straight after making the first batch.

 

You insert the butterfly whisk & take it up to speed 4 (which of course you are not allowed to go higher than speed 4 with the butterfly in) & you will have whipped cream in about 20 secs depending on how fresh your cream is.

 

Whip it for a bit longer & then you have butter!!

And buttermilk!! remove the butterfly whisk & set aside.

 

Insert the basket

 

Time to strain off the buttermilk. Set it aside for some yummy baking. Cover the strained butter with cold water & rinse a few times – saving the first lot of rinsing water to put into soups. It is your choice how many time you rinse. It has been said the more you rinse it the longer it will keep.

 

My friend’s hubby makes these awesome butter paddles or you can use your clean cold hands to remove all the last of the rinsing water.

 

Then it’s time to put the butterfly whisk back in & add salt, I love salt but it also helps to preserve the butter. you can also add a non flavoured oil about 100g at this point if you want to have spreadable butter. Whip it up! it gives you that texture of buttercream icing mmmm.

 

After scraping out the bowl you may need to do what i call the “blade fling” put the bowl back into the Thermomix & if you have the butterfly on only go to speed 4 for about 1 sec.

And now the rest of the mix has been flung to the sides of the bowl making it easier to scrape out. Extra Tip – time to “flavour save” don’t wash the bowl & you can make something that has butter in the recipe straight away- a cake or a soup – this means you don’t waste a drop of butter & less washing up!

 

Then I like to store my butter in this butter dish my Mum gave me – how cool is that?

What is the best thing to do with your homemade butter? Spread it on something delicious some freshly made bread or crumpets – you can also freeze some of it to use later.

Happy Thermomixing!

 

Weekly Staples made in the Thermomix

Weekly Staples

If I have these in my fridge/pantry already made my life is so much easier – here is my list!!

Veggies Stock Paste

The first thing you make when you get a Thermomix, it saves you money & it adds extra flavour to soups & casseroles. Made from fresh veggies & herbs & a lot of salt to preserve it. It can last in the fridge for up to 6 months if you didn’t use it up first! 1 teaspoon is equal to 1 stock cube. Here is the¬†ingredients¬†list or you can put other things in too like mushrooms or leftover green parts of your leeks. So versatile & it packs a flavour punch!

Veggie stock paste

Thermomix made natural yoghurt

The automated recipe on the Thermomix model 5 is fantastic, with the option of using cream (yes please) and using powdered milk. it is one of 2 recipes where the blades stop moving & it keeps it at 37 degrees for 8 hours.¬†Yoghurt is a great substitute for anything with sour cream if you don’t have any on hand, good for smoothies & also if you strain it over night you had labne – the most delicious yoghurt cheese!!

yoghurt

Tikka Paste

This paste is pure gold, so full of flavour. There are many variations on this paste recipe, I love the one from the Indian book so I am going to stick with that. Not only is this paste the start of the butter chicken recipe, (once you have your chicken marinating you can have butter chicken on the table in about 1/2 hour a perfect weeknight meal.) You can also use it to marinate any meat before grilling it. It makes a good marinade for a whole chicken before you steam it too. PS Yes you can store chillies, ginger or other fresh herbs in the freezer until you need them.

Tikka paste

Pesto

This is just so versatile, a dip or spread or toss through fresh pasta. So many varieties of pesto to try, pictures here is Jude Blereau’s recipe for pumpkin seed & coriander pesto. Here is my regular pesto¬†recipe¬†or my kale pesto recipe. You can use different nuts or a mixture of herbs, or even add some spinach leaves in for some sneaky veggie smuggling! Pesto is also an awesome filling in scrolls with cheese ūüôā

pesto

Mustard

I hope you like it hot? This is my recipe for spicy mustard yum!! I use it when I make mayo or spread onto cold meats. I also use it in the famous veloute’ sauce we do at the Thermomix demo.

Mustard

Vanilla Bean Paste

My friend Charlie did extensive testing to create this awesome recipe that I use all the time. TIP: After making it add milk to the bowl and make the best vanilla milkshake ever!! Flavour saving is awesome!!

IMG_7365

 

Butter made in the Thermomix

My friends from A girl, a guy, furkids and food have the best ¬†butter recipe¬†or check out Dani Valent’s video on making butter here¬†along with some great flavoured butter ideas. So why would you make your own butter? It tastes so good!! You can save money & you also get buttermilk to cook with as well! Here is my butter post.

Butter

Milled Pink Salt with Dulse (seaweed)

I know I store my pink salt in a pink chook? It’s kind of a bit strange but it’s worked for me the last 4.5 years!! I was first introduced to this salt by Fiona Hoskin at the first demo at my house when I had just decided to become a Thermomix consultant. It’s got lot’s of minerals etc but I just love the taste, it’s a recipe from Cyndi O’Meara.¬†I used to use a recipe for it, but i make up a big container of it & then use it for everything even in my stock paste. I use¬†about 500g of Himalayan rock salt & 50g dulse flakes & mill it up for on speed 10 for about a min until it has reached the consistency I like.

salt

Homemade Mayo or Aioli 

You can make so many different variations on mayo, using different oils, or egg free, add any herbs you like? I always love having garlic, lemon & homemade mustard in mine. I’ve even made a wasabi & lime version. So good to use as a dip on some bread or to dress a potato or sweet potato salad.

Chlorophyll Paste 

Recipe is in the In the Mix Cookbook I keep ice cubes of this paste in the freezer & add them to my smoothies or juices for an intense kick of green goodness ūüôā

Coconut Milk or Cream

I normally make this right before starting my curry recipe, and then depending on the curry recipe I use the same TM bowl for the curry without washing the bowl (flavour saving) I love using Quirky Cooking recipe here is a good video that shows how to do it. Yes you will need a nut milk bag to strain it – they are available online or at most health food shops.

coconut

Wraps

I need to thank my foodie friend Charlie again for this recipe she got it off her Indian friend’s Mum & converted it to the Thermomix. So versatile I have used different oils or fats added black sesame seeds to make it look a bit different – here is the video of Charlie cooking her roti wraps. You can store them in the freezer wrapped in glad wrap¬†& reheat them in the varoma.

flatbread