Friday, August 31, 2012

Dondurma Maraş

Chewy Turkish Ice Cream

This month I am excited to be taking part in my first blog event. The theme is Street Food  and it is being hosted by Zita of  Zizi's Adventures. It's part of the Monthly Mingle event created by Meeta from What's For Lunch Honey?

What a great theme to get started on. Turkey has some great street food and as it's the only country I've been to I thought I would make this delicious ice cream. Dondurma means ice cream or literally 'freezing' and Maraş is the town where this famous ice cream originates.

I found three published recipes for Dondurma Maraş from Tessa Kiros, Greg Malouf and Ghillie Başan and they more or less the same. More milk than cream because it is already such a thick ice cream. A grain of mastic pounded with a little sugar for that resiny piney taste and chewiness and some sahlab powder for that thick silky texture. 

Sahlab is the ground root of an orchid that grows in Anatolia. It has thickening properties and a delicate flavour comparable to vanilla which is also from a species of orchid. Pure sahlab is impossible to find outside of Turkey and I've been told it's endangered but you can buy a powered version from middle eastern stores. It wont be quite as stretchy but you will still get that unique texture.

Here's my take on all three recipes.


900ml of milk
300ml of cream
200g of caster sugar
1 - 2 grains of mastic
3 tablespoons of sahlab


In a mortar grind the mastic with a little sugar to a dust and add to the sahlab. Heat the milk, cream and sugar in a heavy based saucepan. Add a little of the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir so you don't get any lumps then whisk into the heating milk. When the milk reaches the boil simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat stirring regularly. It should be nice and thick by now. Cool in a ice bath and pour into your ice cream maker then freeze in a sealed container.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Gingerbread House

This house was so much fun to make and now I've done it I hope I can keep up the tradition every year. I wanted to make something a bit more simple and understated than the usual bright candy covered creations that people make not that there's anything wrong with that but I am so pleased with how my little house turned out.

I made the template with cardboard then traced around it onto rolled gingerbread. Then it was baked and cooled and assembled with royal icing. I also made some window boxes with scraps of leftover gingerbread, very effective and not too fiddly. Toffee windows and a royal icing wreath and flowers, drizzle on some icing snow and a dust of icing sugar. Pine needles shaken of bugs look lovely around the house and I put a little battery pack with a light inside. I got my brother to wire it with a little switch and tucked it under the wall of the house so it can be turned on and off.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coconut Milk

To make fresh coconut milk you need to drain your coconut of juice and break it up into chunks. Then all you need to do is pour on hot (not boiling) water till it's generously covered and blend. Then strain it through muslin or cheese cloth and repeat. From one coconut no matter how much water you add you will get about one cup of cream, which can then be made into oil if you wish. The rest will be the milk which you can make richer or more dilute depending how much water you add.

Always pick a mature coconut to make coconut cream, the young ones will not separate in the muslin.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas Ice Cream Cake


two litres good quality vanilla ice cream
glacé cherries
candied peel
orange zest
heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of mixed spice
tablespoon of rum
tablespoon of cointreau
200g milk chocolate


Chop 2/3 of the chocolate and set the rest aside for decorating. Stir all the ingredients together and spoon into a bread tin lined with cling wrap. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight. Turn out onto a plate and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve with berries.

Braised Lamb w Parmesan Polenta and Cumquat Gremolata

My own recipe


carrots, chopped
one onion, roughly chopped
tomato paste
garlic, unpeeled whole
tomatoes, roughly chopped
chicken stock
white wine
olive oil
sea salt and black pepper

For the Polenta


For the Gremolata

two cumquats, peel finely chopped, juice squeezed
squeeze of orange juice
small garlic clove, finely chopped
flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
olive oil


Salt and pepper the lamb and fry until browned. Heat olive oil and fry carrots and onion for 10 minutes then add tomato paste and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the lamb to the carrot mix and deglaze the pan with the wine and pour in with the carrots. Add all the other ingredients, top with water and simmer until the meat is falling off the bone.

Put water and polenta in a saucepan and stir until thick and cooked then add a knob of butter and some finely grated Parmesan.

Add all the gremolata ingredients together and stir well.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food Goals 2011

My food goals for this year

1. Learn about and cook food from:
- Sri Lanka
- Southern USA Fried Chicken
- Ethiopia Doro Wat

2. Learn to make:
- Kedgeree Complete
- Tapas Complete
- Popcorn crocodile
- Preserves
- Tamales

3. Buy these books
- The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz Complete
- The Cooks Companion by Stephanie Alexander

4. Cook with these ingredients
- Goroka - a Sri Lankan tart orange fruit used for souring
- Black lime
- Quinoa - I've had this in my cupboard for ages but haven't got around to making something with it yet
- Jamaica flower tea

5. Jump on the bandwagon and make macarons like every other blogger in cyberspace.

6. Blog about my favourite cocktails and put lots of photos up.

7. Make more cakes. Baking has never really been my thing and I've had a few baking disasters but this year I plan to bake cookies and cupcakes and lots of cutesy baked goods.

8. Make an over the top gingerbread house. Complete

I really will eat just about anything but over time there are foods that come and go as my favourites. The only food I've never been a big fan of is mushrooms. I will eat them but I haven't got past the smell of mum cooking mushrooms when I was a child. I don't know what she did to them but they really stank.

Some of the foods I'm loving at the moment are:

White bread - I usually prefer dark, heavy breads like rye but lately I've really gone onto soft white Turkish breads and crusty French loaves

Some of the foods that have faded into the background:

Lamb - my all time favourite meat but it's time for a change
Asian food - I really love Asian cuisine, Thai being one of my all time favourites along with Mexican and Moroccan but after ending up in hospital with a stomach flu after eating Japanese (not necessarily related) and a bad reaction to MSG after eating in a Chinese restaurant my poor tummy needs a break.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pan Roasted Venison w Creamy Baked Potato and Celeriac

From 'Jamie at Home' by Jamie Oliver


50g butter, melted plus extra
1kg potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 celeriac; peeled, halved and sliced
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
500ml thick cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 small bunch of fresh sage, roughly chopped
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
10 juniper berries, crushed and chopped
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1kg venison loin in one piece, trimmed
olive oil
1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled and smashed, papery skin removed
a wineglass of good quality red wine, like Pinot Noir


Preheat oven to 180° and butter a large baking dish. Place the sliced potato and celeriac in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, drain and steam for a minute or two. Place in the dish with the cream, chopped garlic, sage, half the Parmesan and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes.

Rub the venison all over with olive oil then rub in the juniper berries, rosemary and salt and pepper. Heat an oven proof pan on a high heat and add some olive oil. Sear the venison for a couple of minutes on all sides, then add the garlic and a splash of water to cool the pan down and place in the oven - 8 minutes for medium.

Uncover the potato and celeriac and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes.

Rest the venison on a plate covered loosely with foil. Squash the garlic out of the skins and discard the skins. Place back on the heat and pour in the red wine and the butter, season and serve.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Masa flour is available from Chile Mojo

I have been messing around with homemade tortillas for a few years now. There is a lot of confusion as to what ingredients are used to make an authentic tortilla. But after much research its all fairly simple.

Corn flour is the starch of the corn and it is not used to make tortillas.
Corn meal is Polenta and is also not used to make tortillas.
To make authentic tortillas you need Masa Harina flour. Masa is corn meal that has been treated with lime (not the fruit, the mineral - calcium hydroxide). This is how people in Central America have been making it for centuries. The lime adds calcium to the dough and makes the niacin in the corn nutritionally available (ever heard of pellagra?) as corn is not a very high nutrient food without this treatment. It is also what gives the tortillas their lovely, distinct flavour and aroma.

I think its amazing how ancient peoples knew these little tricks, I mean who ever thought of putting calcium hydroxide in food? Or adding pine needles to tea to prevent/cure scurvy? So when tens of thousands across southern USA were dying of pellagra from their corn diet, people south of the border using the same base ingredient were healthy and nourished.
I think Thomas Edison was absolutely right in saying 'The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease'. Maybe one day it will be true.

You cannot substitute corn meal for masa because it will fall apart when cooking and it will not make a nice soft tortilla.

To make the tortillas use a dab of oil but traditionally a dab of lard would be used along with a pinch of salt and warm water. They are the only ingredients so its all very simple.

Make your dough by mixing masa with warm water, a dab of oil or lard and salt. Wrap in cling wrap and rest for about an hour.

Roll the dough out or press in a tortilla press.

Cook in a hot, dry pan turning twice until it puffs up, just a minute or two. They should be nice and soft still so you can roll them up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oysters Kilpatrick

I love oysters they are such a treat and oysters kilpatrick are so easy that they make a really good fast food snack. When I was staying in Coles Bay in Tasmania last year we would buy fresh oysters and other seafood at little shacks along the road and eat them by the dozen, they were so fresh and yummy so if you can get your hands on some fresh caught oysters definitely try doing them this way.


1 dozen oysters
worcestershire sauce
3 rashers of bacon, diced
olive oil
lemon wedges
rock salt


Preheat grill to high. Fry the bacon in olive oil until crispy then spoon onto the oysters making sure to add some of the lovely bacony oil to each oyster, then shake some worcestershire sauce onto each one, about ten drops each but more or less depending on what you like. Put under grill for about 4 - 5 minutes until they are sizzling. Serve on rocksalt with a wedge of lemon.

The beautiful Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, considered one of the ten most beautiful beaches on earth.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Bread is one of my favourite things to make and its true what they say about kneading dough, it really is therapeutic and relaxing. I'm not going to put the recipe up for my croissants, just photos of the process but if anyone wants it im happy to share it.

So the idea with croissants in true French style is to saturate the dough with as much butter as it can hold then fold it over and do it again.

Then the dough is rolled out and cut into triangles.

There are many stories about the origin of the croissant including tales that the were invented to celebrate the defeat of a Muslim invasion in the middle ages and shaped in the Islamic crescent (croissant) and others that say it was to celebrate the Polish defeat of the Turks. The truth is no one really knows and most of these stories have been disproved.

Eat warm with butter of course! Or anything else you like. Bon Appétit

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

Eggs Ranch Style

This is one of my all time favourite breakfasts. I have been making it since I was 12 years old and I still love it.


2 red capsicums, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
1 green capsicum. diced
chillies, optional
6 tortillas
6 eggs fried or poached
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese


Grill red capsicums for 10 - 15 minutes until soft and the skin is blackened. Set aside to cool then peel off the skin and chop into small pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, green capsicum, oregano and tomato paste. Cook until soft then stir in the red capsicum and chillies. Cook for one minute.

To serve, place a fried or poached egg on a warmed tortilla. Top with capsicum sauce and sprinkle with cheese.