About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Hashed Potato Pancakes
Easy Tomato Soup
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Saturday, July 28, 2012
Hashed Potato Pancakes

Silverside or corn beef is one of the most versatile meats. Not only does it make a very satisfying meal, but the leftovers can be put to several different uses; a sandwich of corn beef and piccalilli makes a great lunch and of course there are the well known hash brown cakes.

It was along the lines of hash brown cakes that my thoughts wandered, but wanted something with a bit more crunch that also just might accommodate my desire for a little maple syrup. Okay, not diet friendly but completely delicious!

Potato pancakes seemed the ideal way to carry this off, because really, how can you go wrong with fried potato? It was just a matter of adding some finely shredded slices of corn beef and drizzling over the maple syrup. Of course sour cream would be nice instead of maple syrup or both could come along for the ride.

Hashed Potato Pancakes

2 eggs
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
100ml milk
nutmeg, a good pinch
salt & fresh ground pepper
2 or 3 floury potatoes, grated
6 to 8 thin slices of corn beef, shredded with a knife
oil for frying
maple syrup - optional
sour cream - optional

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add the flour and milk then beat until smooth. Season with the nutmeg, salt and quite a lot of freshly ground pepper. Wrap the grated potato with a tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can and add to the batter along with the shredded corn beef. Check the seasoning again.

Place a film of oil in a frying pan and when hot, add in spoonfuls of the mixture and flatten with a spatula or egg slice. Fry until well browned, turn and brown the other side, keep warm until all the mixture is used up.

Place on plates and top with sour cream, maple syrup or any other desired topping.
  posted at 4:37 pm

Sunday, July 22, 2012
Easy Tomato Soup

With summer long gone, the taste of tomatoes has gone to pot, so to speak. Winter tomatoes are watery and tasteless, with the texture of cardboard. But, if you've been clever enough to preserve the bounty of your seasonal home garden, that sweet rich taste is at your fingertips.

No need to despair if you haven't got your own preserves though, good quality tinned tomatoes are always available, but it must be said, when it comes down to it, the Italians have tinned tomatoes down pat.

Aside from all the obvious pasta sauces one can make from them, a quick, dead simple way to have the taste of summer in the colder months is to make tomato soup with all the ingredients straight from the pantry. There's not a lot of effort involved but it's loaded with flavour and is happy enough to be made with any decent store bought stock, though homemade is always hard to beat.

Easy Tomato Soup

(serves 4)

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
pinch of chilli flakes - optional
1 litre chicken stock
800g tinned tomatoes - whole plum tomatoes are best
salt & fresh ground pepper

In a large pot, add the olive oil, chopped onion and garlic then gently fry, stirring occasionally just until the onion starts to turn golden, add the chilli flakes if using and fry for a minute more. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Liquidize the soup with a stick blender or in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Reheat and serve piping hot.
  posted at 4:35 pm


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