Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Coconut Curry Vegetables from Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites by Paulene Christie.

Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites by Paulene Christie

About a month and a bit ago a made a vegetable curry in the slow cooker that lasted me until last week, divided up in portions in the freezer, it was my grab and go lunch I didn't need to think about. It was so easy to make I should have shared this earlier so you could have also been making it while it's been crazy cold here. But anyway - here it is now so now you too can know how to make this delicious and very easy vegetable curry which takes no time and all except some forward thinking and then forgetting about it for about 6 hours. 

The recipe is from a cookbook I received called 'Slow Cooking Central - Family Favourites' by Paulene Christie. This book shows that you can make pretty much anything in your slow cooker, from cauliflower cheese to pull-apart bread to all sorts of curries, stews and soups to meatballs to even a whole chicken (yep a whole chicken in the slow cooker). There is no faffing about in the kitchen or hunting high and low for weird ingredients with this book. It's simple and has some great classics that you can make in the slow cooker to make winter a little easier.

Coconut Curry Vegetables from Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites by Paulene Christie | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Coconut Curry Vegetables from Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites by Paulene Christie | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

I decided to make the Coconut Curry Vegetables one Sunday so I had a warm and comforting dinner when I came in from my basketball game because it's all too easy to order takeaway and pick it up on the way home when it's just you and its cold and it's Sunday. I chucked all the veggies in the pot, along with the curry powder and coconut milk at about midday and let it bubble away on low for pretty much all afternoon until I came home at 6:30pm. The kitchen smelt so delicious and all I needed to do was whack on the rice cooker and I'd have dinner in 15 minutes. Perfect amount of time for a shower and to get into winter pyjamas, uggs and a dressing gown.

To make this recipe even easier, she suggests you can use frozen vegetables which means this is a recipe to always have up your sleeve even when there are fresh veggies or even no sad veggies in your crisper, which is what I had to use up. I used a mixture of sweet potato, carrots, potato, kale, cauliflower and broccoli. I had to add about a cup of water when I checked on it able halfway through but I think this is only because I didn't use frozen vegetables which would have given off a little water when thawed and cooked. At the very end I added a splash of fish sauce and soy sauce to give it some extra saltiness. Yum.

Coconut Curry Vegetables from Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites by Paulene Christie | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Coconut Curry Vegetables


A great vegetable side dish, or even a main course for our vegetarian fans. This is mild enough for the whole family to enjoy, but if you like a little heat you can always add more curry powder.

Serves 6 as a side dish
Preparation 15 mins
Cook 4 hours
Cooker capacity 5 litres

1 small sweet potato, cut into chunks
5 baby red potatoes, quartered
1kg frozen mixed vegetables, such as carrot, beans, broccoli and cauliflower (see note)
400ml can light coconut cream
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1. Combines the sweet potato, potato and frozen vegetables in the slow cooker.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables.

3. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 3 hours or until the potato is tender. Serve.

Notes: 
You can replace the frozen vegetables with the same quantity of fresh ones if you like. Use whatever you have on hand and cut into smallish chunks.

Some slow cookers cook more slowly than others, so use the high setting for longer if the potato is taking a long time to become tender. Keep the size of the potato chunks small, mo more than half the size of a golf ball.

If you want a thicker sauce, stir in extra thickening 10 minutes before serving: use a slurry of another 1 tablespoon of cornflour and 1 tablespoon of water.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast: spring, summer.

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast: spring, summer | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Pasta again, I know. But it is one of my favourite foods of all time so naturally, I am drawn to every pasta recipe ever created. Also, yes I can read. I know that we are currently in winter and this book is named Greenfeast: spring, summer. But when you get sent as lovely a cookbook as this, you can't wait six months to share it and plus, peas are available all year round thanks to Mr McCain and his trusty freezer. So now you can enjoy the taste of spring and summer after the cold, dark commute home from work midweek with me. Thank me later :)

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast: spring, summer | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast: spring, summer | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Greenfeast; spring, summer by Nigel Slater is a bit like a handbook for summer and spring vegetables and how to eat them in a non-boring way. I'm surely not the only one who stares at a zucchini for longer than anyone should ever stare at a zucchini for wondering what to do differently with it. Well, this book will give you a whole bunch of new ideas of how to use summer and spring produce and you won't be staring blankly at your zucchini's ever again. It is the first of a duo. Summer, spring is out now, for the UK summer months and then autumn, winter will be released later on in the year for the UK's, well duh! winter months. Backward for us southern hemisphere folk but that didn't stop me from sticking tabs throughout half of the book of things I want to make now. If you are looking for some fresh ideas for your veg, this book would be a winner, plus the way Nigel writes about food is almost romantic and a joy to read. Even something as simple as toast, he can make it sound like it should be on a degustation menu.

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast: spring, summer | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Next time you are at the shops, pick your self up a bag of frozen peas, some pappardelle pasta nests, a parmesan block and some fresh goats cheese or ricotta which is what I used. And dinner is done in fifteen minutes, tops! You'll have a bowl full of steamy comforting, yet fresh pasta that will remind you that the clocks do change again and we'll be complaining about how hot it is before we know it.

I know when the warm days start, this book will get a workout. But right now I am enjoying the cooler nights, rugged up in a dressing gown on the couch in uggs with a bowl of steaming pasta. I'm getting my winter warmer coat on you see while eyeing off the mustard guacamole, mozzarella, bagel for lunch this week and the rice, pickles, nori for dinner (need to find tsukemono pickled vegetables) or even the shitake, coconut, soba noodles. YUM! A little taste of summer in the mid-Australian winter.

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast: spring, summer | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Peas, Pappardelle, Parmesan

Quiet Flavours.

Recipe from Greenfeast: spring, summer by Nigel Slater
Serves 2

vegetable stock 600ml
peas 300g (podded weight)
pappardelle 300g
parmesan 25g, grated
fresh young sheep's or goats cheese 200g

Put the vegetable stock on to boil (you can use water at a push). Keeping a handful of raw peas to one side, cook the rest in the boiling stock for five to seven minutes, depending on their size. Whilst the peas cook, boil the pappardelle for seven to eight minutes in generously salted water.

Put the peas and 150ml of their cooking liquid into a blender and process till smooth, introducing more stock as necessary to produce a thin, brightly flavoured sauce. Drain the pasta and return to to the pan, pour in the pea sauce, scatter over the Parmesan and fold in. Check the seasoning. Divide between two deep plates.

Break the sheep's cheese into large pieces, scatter over the pasta with the reserved raw peas and serve.

* Start the pea sauce before putting the pasta on. The sauce will hold in good condition whilst the pasta cooks. If you are using fresh peas, check them every minute or so throughout cooking; they can take anything from four minutes to much longer to become tender. Much depends on their age and size. If you are using frozen peas, they should be done in four to five minutes. Process the peas and their stock in two goes rather than risk overfilling the blender. (sorry. Obvious, I know, but it is so easy to.)

* You can make a similar sauce the broad beans. They are more starchy than peas, so be prepared to add a little more vegetable stock during bending.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Pasta all' Amatriciana with Conflict Tomatoes from Where Cooking Begins by Carla Lalli Music.

Pasta all' Amatriciana with Conflict Tomatoes from Where Cooking Begins by Carla Lalli Music | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Pasta all' Amatriciana with Conflict Tomatoes from Where Cooking Begins by Carla Lalli Music | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Did you ever play that trust falling game when you were younger? Close your eyes and fall backwards in the hope that your friend catches you. Well, I made this pasta dish the other day and it reminded me of that game. I didn't fall backwards int the kitchen and land in pasta, no, but it did go against everything I've ever done before. I trusted and it worked and it was one of the best homemade tomato spicy pasta dinners I've made.

The recipe, Pasta all' Amatriciana with Confit Tomatoes is from a cookbook called Where Cooking Begins by Carla Lalli Music (thank you!). The book itself is split into two sections, technique and recipes that use the techniques you've learnt in the first half of the book. Some of the techniques I am not so confident in such as confit and she simplifies and breaks them down into easy-to-do steps. She then gives you a whole bunch of ideas to use that technique. Such as with confit, she gives you a dozen things that you can confit and shows you step by step how to do it. Garlic cloves, carrots, chicken thighs, potatoes, leeks, lemons, parsnips, tinned tomatoes, salmon, turkey legs, tuna steaks and butternut squash. Other techniques she guides you through are, saute, pan-roast, steam, boil and simmer, slow roast and pastry dough. Each of them then has their own dozen of examples. It's definitely going to become one of my go-to reference guides and that's before even getting to the recipes.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford


Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

A couple of weeks ago, amongst the cake madness (see previous post) I received a beautiful book in the mail. Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford. I had a brief flick through and thought wow, yum, um I need this now, ooo I think I had that in Bali, mmm noodles, but had to put it down to get back my cakes. It wasn't until last week I finally got the chance to have a real read and start cooking from it. And let me tell you, this book will make you hungry. It will make you hungry to source fresh turmeric and water spinach, and it will make you hungry to go and book a flight to Indonesia and not just sit on the beach of Nusa Dua drinking beer and eating Nasi Goreng every day, as delightful as that is.

The flavours and colours of the dishes in this book show waaaaayyy more variety of Indonesian foods than what we experienced. I have been completely oblivious of Indonesian cuisine before this year, and I'm embarrassed to say, the only Indonesian food I'd had was Mi Goreng from a packet, cooked in the microwave. Don't judge, I know you love the stuff too! Spicy and salty noodles, perfect street food/late night snack after too many drinks.

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

Thursday, 16 May 2019

LOVE and Carrot CAKE.


I have been a little MIA for the past month and the reason is because of love. Well, a wedding to be exact but a wedding really is just a big ball of love so, I have been MIA because of love. And cake. Lots of cake.

Cake has been all I've thought about for the past couple of months and now the love birds are husband and wifey, I'm not quite sure what to do to fill my nights after work. No more cake testing or tasting or making. I'll tell you what... it was very fun to be back in a kitchen. I know it was just my own kitchen but I was making cakes with almost a kilo of butter in them and 15 eggs. I think our apartment must have smelt amazing to the neighbours all month long.

I made three cakes. A carrot cake with cream cheese icing, a rich chocolate cake sandwiched with dark chocolate ganache and iced in chocolate buttercream, and a vanilla butter cake layered with vanilla buttercream and rhubarb and vanilla jam. All topped with beautiful blooms on the day.


Thursday, 4 April 2019

Turmeric & Carrot Soup from The Weeknight Cookbook by Justine Schofield

I got my ugg boots out of the cupboard this week and I've been wearing socks to bed. Autumn is finally here and I can't get enough of it. Cool nights, snuggles under the doona, kitty cuddles, the smell of a neighbours wood fire and best of all... the food. The chunky soups, the blended soups, the noodle soups, the stews, the curries, the slow cooker and alllll the pasta bakes. Self saucing baked chocolate puddings, vanilla rice pudding, jam topped college puddings and fruit crumbles. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin. The cooler months are all about the food and I'm feeling it. (I do realise I have probably jinxed this and it's hot while you are now reading it).

To kick off my week, I prepped lunch for the week and cooked lentils to utter smoosh, proper smoosh to the point I could probably have made mashed lentils, is mashed lentils a thing? I didn't chuck them, I froze them to add to a soup or hide in bolognese or to be chucked out when I do a freezer clean out. I ended up cooking another batch and didn't turn the later into smoosh. Lunch prep for the week done. Tick. Now on to dinner...

Monday night's are a bit of a non-event evening. You survived the first day of the week at work, you started head-strong by heading to F45 (or you thought about it at least, thats sometimes enough), it occasionally includes some lunch prep if Sunday disappeared on you, and you are just happy to be at home back in pyjamas again. Ah *sigh* we survived Monday. Oh and dinner needs to be tummy-filling satisfying, easy and somewhat healthy. You know, starting the week off on the right foot and all.



Monday, 1 April 2019

Pasta alla Norma from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

Pasta alla Norma from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi | salt sugar and i blog | Dani Elis

Last week I was stuck indoors with a virus that after going to the doctor I was told, had to run it's course and just to rest. I feel like I went slightly mad being stuck inside all day, waiting to feel better. Waiting to snap out of it.

Cooking dinner for myself helped. On Monday I felt so rotten I couldn't get off the couch so ordered Thai take away for one. Tuesday I escaped the house for dinner and had Chicken Curry at Kate's (sooo good!), Wednesday I made a one-pot mac and cheese from Hetty McKinnon's cookbook Family. That was the easiest and probably the tastiest mac and cheese I've ever made. It had sweet potato smooshed in it and I didn't have 100 pans to wash up after! I'll have to share the recipe for that when I make it again next time and can snap a photo or two. Thursday my fruit and veg box arrived which had a lovely eggplant in it just waiting for me to douse it in olive oil and add it to a pasta. Which I did and it was insanely good. Friday I made a vegetable curry of sorts... it was strange but it was comforting which was all I wanted.


Thursday, 21 March 2019

Lion's Head Meatballs from A Common Table by Cynthia Chen McTernan

Just Arthur and I here again. With my mountain of new books, of course, cookbooks. *Sigh* they are my happy place. For some, it's handbags and shoes, for me, it's cookbooks. I can't help it. I also went to a beautiful book launch the other week with a friend and there were three very talented authors there who I follow on instagram, read their blogs and listen to their podcasts (multiple times over) so it was ONLY polite to buy all three books (A Tree in the House by Annabelle Hickson, A Basket by the Door by Sophie Hansen and Tortellini at Midnight by Emiko Davies). I left with my arms full, a delicious biscuit in hand (Golden Syrup Biscuits from Sophie's book) and a buzz in my tummy. Such a lovely afternoon that finished with an indoor picnic on my couch and chats. Pretty darn perfect if you ask me. I think we were both on a high from prosecco (only a glass!), cake and books.

There are also a few books from other bloggers and chefs that I've bought this year... I know, I know, shhhhh. (New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thomson, A Common Table by Cynthia Chen McTernan and Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger) Some were from Christmas & Birthday too, calm down (Strudel, noodles and Dumplings by Anja Dunk and Family by Hetty McKinnon). I am practically bouncing with all the recipes I want to cook, but most importantly, EAT. Not enough time in the day or enough mouths at home to feed. I can fix the later of those two.
I am sitting here hungry writing this... mmmmm.

Shanghainese Lion's Lead Meatballs from A Common Table | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis
  

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Bali 2019

Where have I been? What have I been up to? Well... I've been a little distant over February but also, we went to Nusa Dua, Bali last week! It was delicious, humid, fun, spicy, relaxing and well needed I think.

I ate Nasi Gorang almost everyday, drank Bali Hai beer on the beach, ate satay with the Bali Hai, read a book (The Edited Life by Anna Newton) on the beach on large beach bean bags, got lobstered because I didn't reapply (Kate where were you to remind me??), went to the Monkey Forest in Ubud and got hissed at by an angry monkey for trying to shoo it off our bag (they can open zips!!), tried Kopi Luwak (poo) coffee and mangosteen tea and found out that Indonesian food is quite spicy but I think my spice tolerance has gone up which is a good thing.

We swam in the (overly warm) resort pool a couple of times and the ocean everyday (it was much nicer/cooler), watched some hilarious 'photoshoots' happen on the beach (live entertainment at it's best!), took advantage of the omelette bar at breakfast each day, paid probably too much for trinkets as I'm no good at bartering, realised I am a sweat monster in humid weather, ate lots of mini bananas, watched a traditional Balinese show with dancers and an all male choir who sung to make the music, ate Gado Gado and Babi Guling and drank more Bali Hai.

We left on Balinese New Years Eve and got to see the Ogoh-Ogoh statues that each village in Bali make for the nights celebration. We also learnt about Nyepi, the 'day of silence' that follows, the entire island (Bali) shuts down. Our driver Agus, told us about the traditions that happen in the home and the preparation for the day of silence. No internet, phone reception, television signal or electricity for 24 hours. You aren't allowed to swim in the ocean or leave your home. It is a day for family.

After a sleepless red-eye flight we came home with two suitcases full of washing and a fluffy Arty to snuggle (aka somewhat forcefully hug).



Friday, 18 January 2019

Frozen Raspberries with Greek Yoghurt and Honey

Hello! How was everyones weekend/week? My weekend was lovely but this week has ended on a sad note for reasons I'm not going in to. Instead, I will tell you about my weekend that feels about 100 years ago but was in fact only 5 days ago.

On Saturday night I had a couple of the girls around for dinner and a movie, with air con - praise the air con! I was umm-ing and ahh-ing if I should cook because it was so damn hot and I had no inspiration. All I could think about was cold things. Knowing one of my lovely ladies was slightly shady from the night before, salad was out of the question and carbs were most definitely in. I was tossing up between trying a new Japanese dish I've wanted to give a go for a while and doing something I've made a few times already. After a quick group chat it was decided, Italian not Japanese. I made the Green Chicken Meatballs I've made before and served them with a rich tomato based pasta sauce and spaghetti. I feel I should have made a brighter more summery tomato sauce for the chicken balls but I over splashed the wine and used red wine instead of white because thats what I had on hand so I needed to cook it down more. White wine is now on my shopping list.

Frozen Raspberries with Greek Yoghurt and Honey | salt sugar and i

I was definitely not baking dessert with the heat which meant no cake or pie or crumble because that meant turning on the oven. Instead, I scoured Alison Roman's cookbook 'Dining In' for inspiration. I've owned her cookbook for a few months now but haven't made a thing from it. I seem to pick it up, oooo over all the recipes and then realise I'm missing an ingredient and the book goes back on the shelf. It's got some delicious looking recipes to share and make with friends, and it's definitely got a summery feel to it, no heavy wintery stews like her current NY Times recipe that's gone viral.