Friday, March 31, 2006

FOCS#9: French Twist

A refreshing drink, perfect for sipping while watching the sun set on another balmy day. If you prefer it a little sweeter, a splash of grenadine will suffice.

French Twist© by Haalo

French Twist

40ml Vodka
10ml Cointreau
10ml Yellow Chartreuse

  • Place ice in a shaker, add liqueurs and shake well.
  • Strain into a glass and serve with an orange twist and a splash of Grenadine (optional).

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fruit Crumble

I love the contrast of the softened warm fruit against the crunchy crumble topping - it also turns simple baked fruit into something a little more tasty. Serve it with a dollop of thick cream for an easy dessert.

Fruit Crumble© by Haalo

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Chermoula is a north African paste that at it's most basic form is a combination of parsley, coriander, onion and garlic. It's deliciously fragrant and fresh tasting and a perfect compliment to fish. Although, it's also well suited for use with vegetables and other meats.

This particular version is from Neil Perry - which is probably Australia's most "eaten" chef - well, he is responsible for the food that is served on Qantas flights amongst his restaurant involvements. In regard to Chermoula, Neil's view is that you should just take the recipe as a "servant" and adapt the flavourings to your particular tastes. Don't be afraid to substitute the spices and herbs. I particularly like this version for it's depth of flavour but I do tend to modify some of the spice levels depending on the meat I'll be using.

chermoula© by haalo

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pesto and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is a simple stuffing idea - I've used wonderful chicken breasts on the bone that I get from the local market, but you could apply this idea to whole chickens as well.

pesto and ricotta stuffed chicken breasts© by haalo

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pea & Haloumi Fritters

Zucchini & Haloumi Fritters are a somewhat classical combination so when the latest issue of Delicious popped into my letterbox, their recipe for Pea & Haloumi Fritters caught my eye. Besides using a different green vegetable they have treated the haloumi differently - it's not grated but cubed. I must also admit the photos certainly had me salivating - so enough of the preamble, let's get cooking.

pea and haloumi fritters© by haalo

Sunday, March 26, 2006

IMBB #24 - Make it in 30 Minutes

For this month's IMBB, Too Many Chefs challenged us to make a meal in 30 minutes. This would be an exercise in planning. I know that when I'm pressed for time I go for a staple - Pasta. You know exactly how long it takes to cook and besides stirring the pot, it's pretty simple. To accompany the pasta I went for freshness and made up another batch of Pesto. Once again, it's made in minutes, it's vibrant and extremely tasty. Once I had the main sorted out, I could work out on filling up my free time. I decided to stick with what I know best, and settled for an Italian theme. For dessert I've adapted the Budino di Ricotta to create little Ricotta Soufflé Puddings - once again this is another make, bake and forget type of recipe.
Having written out my timesheet it seemed that I could also fit in a little appetiser and wanting to continue the theme, I choose the tasty but classic Bruschetta al Pomodoro.


Here's my timesheet
00 Put on water and pre-heat oven
00-07 Prepare ricotta puddings and put in oven
07-12 Prepare ingredients for bruschetta and pesto
12 Start cooking pasta
12-15 Toast bread, add topping - serve and Eat
15-23 Eat bruschetta and stir pasta
23 Whizz up pesto
24 Drain pasta and mix with pesto - serve and Eat
30 Take puddings from oven, dust with icing sugar and serve

Tagged with: +

Ricotta Soufflé Puddings

Ricotta Souffle Puddings© by haalo

I do like seeing how one recipe can be twisted to create another. This was adapted from the Budino di Ricotta made earlier. The major difference is in the treatment of the egg yolks. Here they are whipped with the sugar until light and fluffy. This gives extra lift when baking.

Bruschetta al Pomodoro

Bruschetta al Pomodoro© by Haalo

Bruschetta, these days, seems to mean anything whacked on top of toasted bread. But like most things, the classics are the best. It's such a simple but perfect combination of fresh tomatoes, a touch of onion and basil that have been tossed lightly with good olive oil (and properly seasoned!) then served on garlic rubbed toasted bread. It's the perfect example of letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

Friday, March 24, 2006

FOCS#8: Grown-up Milk Shake

A bit of fun when life gets too serious.

Grown-up Milk Shake© by Haalo

Grown-up Milk Shake

45ml Kahlua
125ml milk
1 scoop ice cream
6 ice cubes

In a blender, add all the ingredients and process until smooth and frothy. Pour into a tall glass and serve with a straw.

Don't try doing your homework after a few of these!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cheese Twists

Another no fuss snack that works well as a nibble with drinks or for dunking with dips. Add different flavourings or spices to suit your mood.

cheese twists© by haalo

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baked Fruit

As we shift into autumn, this makes a change from the regular fruit salad that's been a staple of summer. Just choose your favourite fruits and nuts and enjoy.

baked fruit© by haalo

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Budino di Ricotta - Ricotta Pudding

There are probably as many versions of this Budino di Ricotta as there are Italian dialects but it's another example of how good simple food can be.

Ricotta is somewhat of a staple from my mother's region (they would make their own just about every day) - so try to find the freshest ricotta you can get, steer clear of those sealed packets in the supermarket and hunt out the real stuff from a good deli, that is unless you feel like making some of your own.

Ricotta Pudding© by haalo

Monday, March 20, 2006

Muffin Mondays #2: Jam-filled Muffins

Finally! I've managed to return to Muffin Mondays and today these are quite simple muffins that contain a little surprise in the way of a core of sweet jam or jelly for those of American persuasion. As I often say, this recipe is adaptable to your own tastes, just change the filling and you change the dish - something a little more tart, try lemon curd, or for something a little more decadent, chocolate or caramel. It really is up to you.

jam filled muffins© by haalo

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Fattoush is a salad of Lebanese/Syrian origins and it's name means "moistened bread". Some versions of this dish use deep fried pita bread but I prefer the cleaner taste of toasted bread and using a sandwich press (once again I can recommend the Sunbeam Cafe Grill) is an excellent way to get that super crispy finish without the risk of burning. It dries out the bread perfectly. This salad is an excellent accompaniment to roasted/grilled meats or served by itself as an entree/appetiser. Once you've done all the prep work it's just a matter of combining the ingredients and making a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

fattoush© by haalo

Friday, March 17, 2006

FOCS#7: Emerald-Tini

Just for St Patrick's Day I thought I'd offer something green.

emerald-tini© by Haalo


30ml Gin
30ml White Crème de cacao
15ml Crème de Menthe

  • In a shaker, combine ice and liqueurs, shake well. 
  • Strain into chocolate rimmed martini glass.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blog Party #8: Brunch

I just love parties and I love the Blog Party so when Stephanie asked us to make Brunch dishes, how could I resist. I decided to offer up both a savoury and a sweet treat, since at that time of the day, people can go either way so we should cater for those needs. To drink I've focused on the best morning beverage, coffee!

Mini Savoury Muffins with sour cream© by haalo Mini Bircher Muesli with Grape skewers© by haalo

1Caffè Affogato© by haalo

On offer:
Mini Bircher Muesli with Grape skewers
Mini Savoury Muffins with sour cream
Caffè Affogato "corretto"

Mini Bircher Muesli with Grape Skewers

Mini Bircher Muesli with Grape Skewers© by haalo

This is simply some of the Bircher Muesli made in an earlier post.

I've served it in small glasses and topped it with a skewer of sultana grapes - the grapes can be eaten with the bircher or by themselves, they are refreshingly sweet.

Caffè Affogato "corretto"

I love the Italian concept of "correcting" ones coffee - usually it's in the form of a shot of Grappa but for this version, I decided to stick with the Italian spirit but use Frangelico to provide that nutty sweet kick more in line with a Brunch event.

Caffè Affogato corretto© by haalo

There's only 3 ingredients - one shot of espresso, one small scoop of vanilla ice cream and one shot of spirit.

You can drink as is, or give it a stir first - either way it's delicious.

Savoury Muffins

I love muffins whatever flavour they may be - but I love these savoury muffins, still warm from the oven and served with a touch of sour cream. Make them large for breakfast or mini sized for brunch.

savoury muffins© by haalo

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bircher Muesli

It's one of those things that I tend to gravitate towards when I'm away from home - I can't resist the mix of nuts and fruit all bound together with creamy oats, yoghurt and fruit juice.

It's something that is very easy to do at home and you can prepare enough to see you through the week, or a few days depending on how badly addicted you become to this delightful way to start the day.

bircher muesli© by haalo

Monday, March 13, 2006

Going Crackers...again

You've seen these crackers before as part of Paper Chef #16 where I'd turned them into "Ozcars" but here's the recipe behind them presented in a more traditional shape.

crackers© by haalo

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Post and EaT Everything WeekEnd Lame LeftoverS

Ed from Tomatom was a man with a mission. The mission, should we choose to accept it, was to create something delicious from leftovers (and I say that in the tone of the original not that farce with Tom Cruise that I totally refuse to acknowledge..umm, but that's a whole other story).

Luckily enough, today's warmer weather kept me indoors so I was able to whip up a little lunchy delight out of some handy leftovers - savoury pie filling (excess to my easy peasy pie making needs), marinated fetta, some run of the mill, good ole everyday cheese that's sitting in the dairy drawer and finally a couple of pita bread cases. Oh and the spiffy Sunbeam Cafe Press - that turns any stale-ish items into crispy goodies.

1Toasty© by haalo

Paper Chef #16: The Results

Joining me this evening is my partner in crime, Paalo, the roaming bon vivant. Before we get to that all important Paper Chef winner I’ll hand you over to Paalo to announce the technical awards that were given out earlier.

Good evening and welcome to the Technical Awards – these acknowledge excellence in the finer and sometimes more obscure aspects of the culinary arts.

Our first award is The Bullwinkle Prize for advancements in the field of mousse making and goes to Emma of the Laughing Gastronome.

The Iron Curtain Memorial for her inspired use of the hammer and sickle is awarded to Raspberry Sour of The Sour Patch.

Achievement in Visual Effects honours the architectural wonder and use of pasta as a structural form and goes to Béa of La Tartine Gourmand.
The Steven Bradbury Medal goes to Two Minute Noodle Cook for his ability to stay standing in the face of disaster.

The P.E.T.A (People Eating Tasty Animals) Award goes to Surfin’ Dave for his inspired use of buffalo prosciutto.

The Pete Wells Crown for outstanding achievement in the field of sandwich making goes to Jennifer of Taste Everything Once

And last but not least

Best Original Screenplay goes to B’gina from Stalking the Water for her heartwarming tale of friendship, loss and laughter.

Congratulations to all.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Paper Chef #16

It's that time again - who will be crowned this month's Paper Chef. The ballots have been cast and now it's the turn of our crack firm of accountants, IcedwaterHousedCopper to tally the results.

Come back soon to join us for that night of nights - the 16th Monthly Kitchen Academy Awards*!

(*The Kitchen Academy Awards have nothing whatsover to do with either Iron Chef©® or the Oscars©® so don't sue!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

SHF #17 : Dairy

Andrew, the gracious host of Sugar High Friday, decided upon the idea of Dairy as the theme for this month's edition. Dairy is such a huge landscape upon which to satisfy your sweet urges. Needless to say the choice was difficult and I eventually was swayed by a dessert with a touch of fun about it. It's by Gary Rhodes and it's a mousse that looks like a milkshake. Twice as much dairy for the price of one.

Chocolate Mousse with Frothy Coffee Milkshake© by haalo

Tangelo Caipiroska

I so enjoyed the "Leonardo d'Caprioska" that I whipped up for Paper Chef, I thought I might experiment with Tangelo.

tangelo caipiroska© by haalo

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Olive Tapenade

Another one of these multi-purpose basics that you can find uses for just about every day. From adding something extra to pasta or vegetables or roasts, smearing some on sandwiches or even adding to homemade pizza. It's very easy to make and keeps well in the fridge.

olive tapenade© by haalo

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Paper Chef #16

Even though I'm judging this event I enjoyed myself so much last time that I've decided to do some dishes just for the fun of it.

With the movie theme and oscar night what could be more fitting than oscar crackers - or to avoid any legal problems OzKar crackers

oscar crackers© by haalo

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Another one of those classic Italian staples, where the blending of a few simple ingredients creates something sublime. Nothing compares to the taste of fresh pesto and it couldn't be easier to make your own with this recipe.

pesto© by haalo

VRC: Italian Round-up

Alysha from The Savory Notebook has just posted the round-up from the latest VRC - the theme this time was Italian.

And don't forget that the next theme is Cinnamon and will be hosted by Sweetnicks.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Greek Yoghurt, Honey and Orange Syrup Cake

It's that time again when after scouring multitudes of cookbooks the choice has been made and I can now offer a dish for this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. Alicat and Sara had asked us to offer something in shades of orange.

A simple enough exercise one would think but as always deciding on which dish to make is always a problem. It wasn't until this week that I finally settled on the choice and once again I've picked another local author. Well, local being from this part of the world.

I've chosen a recipe from the book "feast@home" by New Zealand author Julie Le Clerc. I've had this book for a little while but have so far failed to actually cook anything from it. That's why the weekend cookbook challenge is such a useful event - it gives me, at least, the excuse to put all those books to a good use. They have to be there for more than their drool value.

Greek Yoghurt, Honey and Orange Syrup Cake© by haalo

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Paper Chef #16: The Round or Movie Edition

Owen from Tomatilla has just announced this months Paper Chef ingredients and they are....
  • Basil
  • Verjuice
  • Prawns
  • an ingredient inspired by the movies in honour of the Oscars
All entries should be emailed to owenl1998atyahoodotcom and the deadline is noon Tuesday.

Futher information about Paper Chef including an excellent FAQ can be found here.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Red Curry Paste

This is one of those rich and luscious pastes that has a real depth of flavour. It can be used in a variety of dishes and this version is adapted from one of my favourites by Christine Manfield. There are a lot of ingredients but that's the key to achieving great flavour and if you do all the prep work first then it's a very simple recipe to follow.

1red curry paste© by haalo

FOCS#5: Italian Sunrise


Italian Sunrise

30ml Galliano
30ml Vodka
15ml Campari
60ml Orange Juice

  • Place ice in a shaker and add all the ingredients.
  • Shake well and strain into glass.
  • You can top it up with lemonade.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Potato, Onion, Bacon and Fetta Bread

This is one of the moorish savoury breads that is quite addictive - especially when it's still warm from the oven. It also uses the Marinated Fetta that I've made previously and gives another example of it's versatility.

potato onion bacon and fetta bread© by haalo

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Paper Chef #16: Ingredient Nominations

Don't forget to head over to Tomatilla and put in a suggestion for this Friday's Paper Chef - you've got to be quick, there's only two days left.
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