25 Mar 2013

my kind of lunch

Useful (and cheap) ingredients in the pantry, definitely canned tomatoes and fish! This is my kind of quick lunch at home. It might not look like much, maybe a plop on the plate, but it tastes so good especially with the addition of canned sardines!

Get the pasta boiling and sauce cooking at the same time to maximise time and efficiency. It'll be faster if you prep the ingredients beforehand, but it's fine to cook along as you go. You can stretch it out to 2-3 serves with the sauce, but I like my pasta extra saucey!

If you don't like sardines, try it with canned mackerel or tuna. Or even just with the tomato sauce itself!

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Sardine & tomato pasta for one!

1 serve of dried spaghetti
handful of string beans, top, tailed and chopped (or asparagus, ends removed and chopped)
1 small can of sardines in olive oil, drained
1 small brown onion, diced
8 baby capers in wine vinegar, rinsed
400g canned diced tomatoes
pinch of two of dried Italian herbs
sea salt, white/black pepper, sugar, to taste

Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. While that is cooking, pan fry the drained sardines until hot to remove the fishy smell. Set them aside and brown the chopped onions with a dash of salt. Add capers, canned diced tomatoes and herbs - be careful of splatter. Season with sea salt, white pepper and sugar and simmer away. In the final minute, add the prepared beans to the pasta pot. Drain pasta and beans and stir into the sauce. Add sardines on top and finish with a crack of black pepper (and a shave of cheese).

7 Mar 2013

summer rages on

With the Melbourne over-30 degrees weather set to continue and expected to go higher next week, it's a good time to make ice cream just to open the freezer door for a breeze of cool air. This no-churn ice cream is still on my to-do list, but hey, might as well use some seasonal peaches or nectarines before they're gone. Alice Medrich calls this an ice cream, but it tasted more like a creamy, tangy frozen yogurt to us.

Keep cool!

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Sour nectarine ice cream     makes around 500ml
adapted from Alice Medrich's peaches 'n' sour cream ice cream in Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts; available online over here

According to Wikipedia, peaches and nectarines are essentially the same fruit except for their skin, so neither one of them will do. The nectarines I used were kinda firm, but use soft and squishy ripe ones for a sweeter taste. I also reduced a lot of the sugar, so increase it for a less tart taste.

3 yellow nectarines
juice and zest of half a lemon
300ml sour cream
45g caster sugar

Peel and slice the nectarines and puree with lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Add sour cream and sugar and blitz until smooth. Transfer mixture into a shallow tray and freeze. 

As the mixture starts to freeze around the edges, blitz in a food processor and freeze. Repeat 3-4 times for a creamier ice cream. It will take a while, but totally worth the effort. For the final blitz, the texture should resemble something like softened ice cream. Transfer mixture into a taller container and freeze until firm enough to scoop.