No-Bake Poached Pear Flan with Lime Cream: The Good Carbs Cookbook by Dr. Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie & Philippa Sandall

Good Carbs Cookbook

Images and recipes from The Good Carbs Cookbook by Dr. Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie & Philippa Sandall Murdoch Books RRP $$39.99 Photography by Alan Benson

 

No-bake Poached Pear Flan with Lime Cream

“Sometimes a traditional pastry crust just doesn’t do justice to a spectacular filling. This is one of those times. This no-need-to-cook food processor pastry is chock full of flavour, and is refrigerated so it can be prepared the day before. So too can the ‘creamy’ cheese filling. Each pear variety has its own personality in texture and flavour. Choose a mild and sweet variety with subtle, fragrant citrus notes – bartlett pear comes to mind.” p.224

 

No Bake Poached Pear Flan With Lime Cream

PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes | COOKING TIME: 15 minutes | SERVES: 8

 

1 cup (65 g/2¼ oz) shredded coconut

100 g (3½ oz) hazelnuts or almonds

12 pitted soft dates, chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger, plus
2 cm (¾ in) piece ginger, peeled

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 medium pears

½ cup (110 g/3¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

2 whole star anise

1 small lime, thinly sliced

2 cups (500 ml/17 fl oz) soda water (club soda)

 

Lime cream 

¾ cup (200 g/7 oz) ricotta

½ cup (100 g/3½ oz) reduced-fat cream cheese

½ cup (130 g/4½ oz) natural yoghurt

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

2 tablespoons warmed honey

 

Line a 23 cm (9 in) flan (tart) pan with baking paper with overhanging sides to make it easy to lift the flan out. Put the coconut in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the hazelnuts, dates, finely grated ginger and cinnamon and pulse to a fine-crumb texture. Don’t worry if it is a bit more coarse than fine.

Tip the mixture into a bowl and, using your hands, clump it together and press it evenly into the base and sides of the prepared tin.  Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Peel the pears, cut into thick wedges and remove the core (leave the stalk on for decoration if you like). Put the sugar, peeled ginger, star anise, lime and soda water in a large pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat to low and drop in the pears.

Cover the pan and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the pears are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the liquor. Lift the pears out with a slotted spoon and drain well.

Whisk together the ricotta, cream cheese, yoghurt, lime zest and 1½ tablespoons of the honey until smooth and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the flan and arrange the pears on top. Brush the pears with the remaining honey.

 

 

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Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana & Stem Ginger Butter: Bread Street Kitchen – Gordon Ramsay

cover-bread-st-kitchenRecipes extracted from Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay and the Bread Street Kitchen Team (Hachette Australia). Available in hardcover nationally at $49.99 and in ebook at $19.99

 

Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana and Stem Ginger Butter

“These hotcakes really do sell like their proverbial cousins… made with ricotta to make them light and tasty, these delicious pancakes are never off the menu.” p.45

 

ricotta-hotcakes

Serves 4–6 (makes about 14 hotcakes)

For the hotcakes

  • 250g ricotta
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 75g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 30g butter, for frying

For the stem ginger butter

  • 60g butter, at room temperature
  • 2–3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 large balls of stem ginger in syrup (about 40g in total, drained weight), drained and finely chopped
  • 2 bananas, sliced on the diagonal, to serve

Tip

Use the batter when freshly made so that it doesn’t lose its fluffiness, otherwise it may deflate a bit on standing.

 

  1. First make the stem ginger butter. Put the butter, maple syrup and stem ginger into a small bowl and mix together using a spatula until smooth and combined. Cover and set aside while you make the hotcakes.
  2. Put the ricotta, milk and egg yolks into a mixing bowl and beat together just until combined using a balloon whisk. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, then gradually beat this into the egg yolk mixture until smooth and combined.
  3. In a separate large, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold half of the whisked whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining half until evenly combined but the mixture is still light and fluffy.
  4. Melt a knob of the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a low–medium heat until foaming. Cook the hotcakes in batches over a medium heat (adjusting the heat if necessary so the butter doesn’t burn), using 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake (you can cook two or three at once, but don’t overcrowd the pan). After spooning in the batter for each hotcake, gently spread each one with the back of the spoon to make a circle about 8–10cm diameter. Fry for 1–2 minutes until golden brown, then flip the hotcakes and repeat on the other side. Remove to a plate and keep warm while you cook the remaining hotcakes.
  5. Serve the warm hotcakes topped with dollops of the stem ginger butter and the banana slices.

Post Script: Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen: Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner to Cook at Home – Gordon Ramsay

cover-bread-st-kitchen

Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen: Delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to cook at home

Gordon Ramsay

Hachette Australia

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 9781473651432

 

Description:

‘If you think you can’t eat as well at home as you do in a restaurant – think again. I’m going to show you how to cook stunning recipes from Bread Street Kitchen at home.’

GORDON RAMSAY

From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, this is a collection of 100 fresh new recipes from Gordon Ramsay and the award-winning team at Bread Street Kitchen. Like the restaurant itself, the book is all about relaxed and sociable eating, using fresh ingredients, simple techniques all delivered with the signature Gordon Ramsay stamp so that you know it’s going to be good.

Recipes include Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter – perfect for a weekend brunch, Sea Trout with Clams or a Crispy Duck Salad for a weekday supper. For a weekend get together, get things off to a good start with a Bread Street Kitchen Rum Punch and Slow Roast Pork Belly with Apple & Cinnamon Sauce, followed by Pineapple Carpaccio with Coconut Sorbet or a super indulgent Coconut Strawberry Trifle.

 

My View:

I think this is very possibly the best all round cook book of the year! Full of contemporary soon to become classic recipes; easy to make at home, delicious and colourful meal choices.  There is something here for everyone. I particularly likes the sections on breakfasts – Get Going and Brunch – suggestions such as Bircher Muesli, Avocado and Toast, Smoothies, Spicy Scrambled Eggs, French Toast, Ricotta Hotcakes…the list goes on. I find that most cook books do not give due consideration to the important meals, breakfast/brunch.  If I am going out for a meal breakfast  (if out early) or brunch  can be a truly remarkable, fresh and enjoyable meal – I look for menus that serve something  little different to just “Eggs All Day.”  Breakfast out can be such a unique experience if one is open to new idea or fresh approaches.  I like to transfer these type of fresh approaches to my home cooking. What meal out do you enjoy the most?

 

This book is more than just breakfast and brunch ideas. I also love the section “Food For Sharing”.  Sharing a meal you have prepared or dishes to share is one of the most heartfelt ways to demonstrate your caring side, to engage your community (family, friends…whoever is special to you). In this section e have Flatbreads, Focaccia, Venison Scotch Eggs, Spiced Prawns, Broad bean, Spinach and Mint Dip And more.

 

The Big Weekend meal plans also get the thumbs up from me – again this new tradition is rapidly becoming a normal part of our contemporary lifestyle – meals to make when you have time to indulge in the slow cooking or when you have time to experiment with ingredients or recipes that are new to you, meals to share.

 

I could go on and on but I won’t. Get the book and start experimenting and sharing. It feels so good to share food you have prepared! This is a five star book that has easily earned a place in my cook book library.

 

 

Spinach and Ricotta Nudies – One Handed Cooks – Allie Gaunt, Jessica Beaton & Sarah Buckle

Cover One Handed Cooks

One Handed Cooks

Allie Grant, Jessica Beaton and Sarah Buckle

Penguin Random House Australia

Viking

ISBN: 9780670079018

Spinach and Ricotta Nudies

Makes 12

PREP TIME 15 minutes

COOKING TIME 10 minutes

 

250 g baby spinach leaves

1 cup (200 g) fresh ricotta

25 g grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

⅓ cup (50 g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 egg yolks, lightly whisked

½ cup (120 g) Tomato and basil pasta sauce (see page 237) or Hidden veggie sauce (see page 236)

Cooked pasta, fruit and vegetable sticks, to serve

 

 

Kids love the fillings in cannelloni and ravioli, so we like to serve them up as little ‘nudies’ (minus the pasta). These spinach and ricotta balls are a delicious vegetarian finger food that’s perfect for the tasting plate.

  1. Place the spinach and 1 tablespoon of water in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until wilted. Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible, then finely chop and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the ricotta, parmesan, flour and egg yolk to the spinach and mix well to combine. Shape the mixture into dumplings the size of golf balls, or smaller if you prefer, flatten them slightly and dust lightly with flour.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to hold at a simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lower half the nudies into the pan and scoop them out when they rise to the surface. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat to cook the remaining nudies. (The nudies can be served as finger food, without sauce, at this point.)
  4. Gently heat the tomato and basil pasta sauce or hidden veggie sauce in a saucepan or frying pan until warm. Add the nudies and very gently turn to coat in the sauce. Serve sprinkled with extra grated parmesan, if desired, and with pasta, fruit and vegetable sticks alongside.

 

 

NUTRITION NOTE If your baby or toddler tends to overstuff their mouth with food, make smaller balls to help them eat appropriately sized mouthfuls.

STORAGE These are best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

ALLERGIES/INTOLERANCES Gluten/wheat: use gluten- or wheat-free flour and pasta.

 

Spinach & Ricotta Nudies

‘Extracted from One Handed Cooks by Allie Gaunt & Jessica Beaton with photography by Sarah Buckle, Viking, RRP$39.99

Tomato Ricotta Tart – Good Life Great Food – Judy Phillips

Cover Good Life Great Food

When I reviewed this book a few months ago I said when it is tomato season I will make the  Tomato and Ricotta Tart. Yesterday I made the tart and tartlets.

Simple, easy, colourful and fresh.  I think I prefer the tartlets – they are easier to hold and enjoy. I think you could also cut the pastry into rounds and cook base in muffin or jam tart type tray and have the perfect starter/cocktail food/ finger food.

Tomato and Ricotta Tarts

I used store bought puff pastry sheets,ricotta, sundried tomatoes, eggs, cream and a dash of cream fraiche to thicken the base, three types tomatoes and basil from our garden. Once pastry base is just warm (cold works too) plate up with tomatoes mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.  Fresh, colourful, delicious.   ** Hint – cut tomatoes into bite size pieces and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow some of the juices to drain off.

Tartlet