It’s my last day in Italy & what an amazing holiday it has been. I’m on a train on my way to Rome from the east coast Ancona. The almost 4 hour train ride gives me a chance to stop & reflect as I watch the gorgeous scenery go by from the ocean to mountains, the rolling hills of the countryside with an abundance of farmhouses, grape vines, olive & fig trees. The rustic charm of pastel coloured Italian villages etched into the hillsides. Bay tree hedges, fresh herbs & vegetable gardens scattered everywhere.
I am just so grateful to have experienced such diversity in the 2 weeks I’ve been in Italy. The first 4 days was the Emerald Class trip organised by Thermomix in Australia.
Afterwards I travelled with my 2 friends Adriana & Susie best friends & Thermomix consultants from Sydney, I travelled with them last year after the Emerald Class trip to Las Vegas. Adriana is originally from Italy so it was good to be travelling with her as she can speak Italian & we got to meet & stay with her friends & family throughout our journey. It was such a good way to experience the authentic Italian life.
I only learnt a few words of Italian but just loved sitting at the dinner table listening to everyone speaking in Italian, laughing & enjoying good food & wine. You can really taste the love & generosity of an Italian shared meal & you are guaranteed to be completely full (& in a major food coma).
We caught a train from Lake Como to Milan for a few hours to meet one of Adriana’s cousins for lunch, walking past the awesome duomo on the way. We went to one of his favourite casual restaurants just opposite his apartment known for the authentic Puglia style food. We had a fried dough filled with mozzarella, mushroom, basil & tomato. It was great & I also had a chinotto. (Bitter Italian soft drink).
Then we caught the train to Padova to stay 3 nights with Adriana’s Aunty & Uncle.
We explored the city of Padova for the day. Did I mention Adriana & Susie are expert shoppers? They also love good quality food like me. So between site seeing the local churches of Padova, we explored the food markets, bought some fresh focaccia, mortadella & prosciutto to make a picnic brunch. We had our Italian breakfast at home, sweet biscuits, short black coffee (I had hot milk with mine) homemade jam & small toast style crackers.
We fell into the Italian routine & made it our own. After breakfast we would have another coffee. We would have a late lunch & apperitivo. Dinner is always late normally about 8.30pm. Plus I was on my gelato challenge so would have at least one gelato stop a day & 1 day I had 5 in one day!!
My Thermo Family: Thermbot, Paris Heston & Bimby with the Cook- Key attached.
As you know I do get rather excited about all things Thermomix & the Cook-Key is no exception. The Cook-Key attaches to your Model 5 Thermomix, where the recipe chip would normally sit. Then the first time you set it up you connect it up to your home wifi. It will automatically update to the latest updates available for the Thermomix Model 5, like sound options – you can turn the sound down or you can get it to chime for less time 🙂 There is a Cook-Key website to answer all your questions too. The most exciting thing about the Cook-Key in my opinion is that you can now use any of the recipes on Cookidoo (all tested recipes) as a guided recipe on your Thermomix Model 5.
Simply log onto Cookidoo & activate your Cook-Key by putting in the code on your Cook-Key. Then choose any of the the recipes on Cookidoo from any of the Cookidoo sites (12 countries to choose from) & create your own recipe lists, add them to your favourite recipes, or your favourite collections or even add them to your weekly planner. Turn on your Thermomix with the Cook-key attached & sinc the recipes so they now appear on your Thermomix 🙂 (If you are using another country’s Cookidoo & you don’t speak the language you can use use chrome translate so you can read the recipe in English (which can sometimes be amusing :-))
Plus special offers available – right now pre-order your Cook-Key for $189 plus $10 postage either through the Thermomix Shop selecting your consultant or contact your Thermomix Consultant directly & they can process your Cook-Key order including the option to put it on your zip money payment plan (12 months interest free) you will get 2 free mini Thermoservers – while stocks last 🙂 Your Cook-key comes with a 6 month subscription to Cookidoo & then if you choose to continue the subscription it will be $49 a year. Otherwise you still have the option to purchase individual collections that you love.
30 Day Free Trial Cookidoo Subscription – Simply log into Cookidoo or register if you haven’t already & under the browse dropdown box is the get subscription tab, once you select this is gives you the option of the free trial & this can be used by all Thermomix owners. What a great way to explore all the recipes before your Cook-key arrives.
I didn’t think it was possible, but Thermomixing is going to be even more fun!! HAPPY THERMOMIXING!!
I have made this recipe in the Thermomix too you just need to make sure you don't go above the max line so you may need to adjust the quantities. Also cook on 90 degrees on speed soft & keep checking it to see if it is tender, the time will depend on the type of meat you have used & how large you have chopped it up - don't forget to use reverse.
1 kg meat (*see note below)
½ kg potatoes (approx)
1 onion, medium sized
2 cinnamon sticks
6 star anise
4 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon tamarind block/paste
25 ml fish sauce
25 ml palm sugar
1 can coconut milk (might need extra)
1 small can Maesri (114 gm) massaman paste or ⅓ cup of massaman paste (see previous post)
HINT Buy palm sugar in the round blocks, then break up into lumps with pestle and chopper, and keep in an airtight glass jar
HINT Buy the 1 ltr cartons of coconut milk. The oil separates much better in carton coconut milk.
*Can be chicken, beef, lamb….whatever you want it to be. On the bone is best, chicken marylands can be halved. Chicken thighs are fine, halved too, or chuck steak or leg of lamb with the lamb cut off.
For 1 kg of meat, use a ratio of the ingredients below to make a slurry mix (to be added to the massaman at the start of the cook):
25 ml fish sauce
25 g palm sugar
25 g tamarind block
Dry Spice Mix
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 star anise
NOTE This recipe may seem complex. It’s not. But there are a series of separate different things that need to be done to ultimately lead to the finished product.
Slurry Mix - Blend with enough water to make a slurry, then set aside
Dry Spice Mix - After dry roasting the ingredients for about 5 mins, add all except the cinnamon sticks into muslin or a chux wipe, tie up with kitchen string, and set aside, so then that little muslin bag too can be added to the massaman at cooking time.
Chop up dutch cream potatoes (approx 1 kg) into large chunks
Chop meat into large chunks
Quarter a medium sized onion
Pour approx ½ cup coconut milk into your large saucepan.
Add massaman paste, and stir fry mix till the oil in the coconut milk separates (approx 10 mins)
Then add to the saucepan: the tamarind slurry, chicken pieces (or beef, or whatever meat you’re using) the muslin bag containing the dry roasted spices, the cinnamon sticks, the quartered onion & approx half cup water.
Let the onion cook for approx 5 mins in this mixture, then add the chopped potatoes, ½ cup coconut milk (can add more if required later too)
Cook on a low heat for approx 45 mins. (For a beef massaman, if using a cheaper cut of beef, like chuck steak, you'll need to cook longer till it reaches the pull apart, fork tender stage). Obviously, the cooking time is also dictated by the size you have cut your meat pieces.
You want the onion and meat to be slow cooked, and for the sweetness of the onion flavour to come out into the massaman.