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Mar. 24th, 2011

yeeeuuuummm (in a furby sort of way)


Bolinhos de Arroz

Been awfully quiet over here! You all still alive? Watching? Cooking?

Anyway, I've been interested in trying my hand at these for some time now. Finally went hunting for an easy recipe that uses leftover (rather than making fresh) rice. Adapted from a recipe found on About.com. ;)

Sorry about the picture. Couldn't seem to keep my hands still. :P

Bolinhos de Arroz

2 c. Leftover Rice
1 c. Water
3 TBL. Heavy Cream
1 Egg
1/4 c. Finely Chopped Red Onion*
1 Green Onion, Finely Chopped*
2 TBL. Finely Chopped Parsley*
1 tsp. Baking Powder
4 TBL. Grated Parmesan Cheese (opt)
3/4 c. AP Flour**
1 tsp. Salt
Oil For Frying

Combine rice and water in saucepan and bring to low boil. Cook until water is absorbed. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except oil and mix well. Add more flour if necessary to form a dough that can be form into balls. Heat oil in heavy pan or deep fryer to 350 degrees. Flour hands and roll dough into small balls about the size of a walnut***. Fry 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Let drain on paper towels.

*Finaly chopped in this case means fairly close to minced. ;)
**The original recipe called for 1/2 c. I put in closer to a cup of flour and the dough was still a little sticky. Might try refrigerating it or trimming down the water in the rice next time.
***Watch the size. Smaller ones will cook through better. I had some that were a bit on the large side and they were a bit doughy on the inside despite being quite browned on the outside.

Mar. 3rd, 2011

yeeeuuuummm (in a furby sort of way)


Scallion & Goat Cheese Muffins

I've been wanting to try these for awhile now. You can find the recipe in a number of places over the net, and I'm not sure where I found mine. I thought it might have been at the James Beard site, but I quick search says their recipe is different. Anyway, as I said, I've been wanting to make them for some time now, and I finally made sure to gather the ingredients specifically to make them. The recipe as shown here makes the medium sized muffins, but I think they'd be a wonderful addition to any bento box if made as minis. :)

Scallion & Goat Cheese Muffins

2 c. AP Flour
1 TBL Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper (or to taste)
2 Lg. Eggs, room temp.
1 c. Buttermilk, room temp.
6 TBL Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
5 1/2 oz. Goat Cheese, cut up or crumbled
4-6 Green Onions, thinly sliced*
Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 400. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin pan. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, mixing with a whisk until well combined. Lightly beat eggs. In another bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Add cheese to egg mixture and blend until cheese is in small pieces. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix until just combined; stir in onions. Dough should be a consistency between softer muffin mix and really soft bread dough. Divide evenly between muffin cups (I used a table setting tablespoon and it took about 1 1/2 spoonfuls for each cup). Sprinkle Kosher salt over the top. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool 5 minutes, turn out to wire rack. Can be stored up to 3 days.

*Depending on size of the green onions. When sliced, you want 3/4 to 1 cup.

Dec. 24th, 2010

reads, cool stuff, wips


Sake Nigiri

Not a bento, but showing off my first attempt at sushi: Sake Nigiri.

I'm using this book to learn the how to's of sushi, so hopefully I'll be making more to show off: Sushi: The Beginner's Guide. The author has been making sushi since she was 5! :) And her directions are fairly well illustrated and easy to follow.

And a new tag added for cookbooks. :)

Dec. 8th, 2010

food, recipes


Mini Cherry Cobblers

I found this on Cooking.com and did some very minor adjustments. With my little ramekins, it serves 10-12 rather than 8. I'm adjusting again in the recipe below just a little because the original amount of butter overflowed.

Mini Cherry Cobblers

1 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 c. Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 c. Milk
2 - 20 ounce cans Cherry Pie Filling

Set ramekins out on a cooking sheet, place about 1 1/2-2 tsp of butter in each. Place in oven while preheating it to 350 degrees to melt the butter. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and milk. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each ramekin (I used a small ladle). Open cans of filling and using a tablespoon to put 2 or 3 spoonfuls of filling into each ramekin. Bake 45 minutes to an hour.

Now, I used ramekins, which aren't very bento friendly, but I bet these could be made the same way my Blueberry Bread Pudding was for bentos. :)
rhysa & her dragon


Spam Not Tolerated

I checked the LJ of the poster for the last entry, and it turns out it is a journal for a spammer. The user no longer has posting access to this comm.

This will be the result of anyone who spams this comm.

To our other members, my apologies for both the recent silence (where are YOUR recipes?) and the spam. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you receive comment spam as I know this has been going around as well.

Oct. 20th, 2010


Chickpea and Mushroom Rissoles

These rissoles/pattie kinda things are lovely hot or cold. When i pack them into a bento box, i put them in there, with a little pot of natural yoghurt to dip them in, and as you can see here, a simple lamb lettuce and cherry tomato salad. Its really scrumtious and does'nt take very long to make. If you like this recipe i have a bunch more bento-suitable recipes up on my blog: http://chef-mels-kitchen.blogspot.com/

Chickpea and Mushroom Rissoles (Makes 4- serves 2)

2 tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
250g mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50g thinly sliced spring onions
2 tsp medium curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
Zest of 1 lime, juice from half the lime
50ml water
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and mashed roughly
100g fresh seedy wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 egg
Salt and pepper.

1. Fry the mushrooms, garlic and spring onion in the oil and butter for about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and garam masala, and cook for a further two minutes.
2. Add water, lime zest, lime juice, and the fresh coriander, and cook down until the mixture is fairly dry and most the liquid has evaporated.
3. Mix the mushroom mix into the chickpeas, breadcrumbs, egg and seasoning together. Shape the mixture with your hands into 4 patties.
4. Fry the patties in a hot pan with oil, for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve!

Sep. 20th, 2010


Heya Everyone!

Im new to this community, but been having a look through previous entries and there are some really tasty ideas for me to try out! I've been a chef for almost 5 years, and food has always been a major passion for me. I thought i'd share this recipe with you. Its nice hot or cold to pack in a bento box. Eaten cold i guess its like a flavourful creamy pasta salad with rocket i spose. It doesnt take very long to make so you can actually make this in the morning for your bento box if you want to have it warm for your lunch!

Creamy Cherry Tomato and Rocket Penne (serves 1)

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 sprig rosemary, destalked and finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
100g dried penne
40g mascarpone
5g rocket and extra for garnish
Grated Parmesan

1. Cook the cherry tomatoes, garlic and rosemary in the olive oil, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with some salt and black pepper.
2. Meanwhile, cook the penne according to the packet instructions.
3. Drain the penne, reserving 2 tbsp of the pasta water. Add the pasta, water, mascarpone and rocket to the cherry tomatoes, and cook for 1 minute or until the rocket has wilted, and everything is well mixed.
4. Garnish with a handful of rocket on top, some cracked black pepper, and grated parmesan, serve!

If you like this recipe i have lots more on my blog, if you fancy a look: http://chef-mels-kitchen.blogspot.com/

Aug. 27th, 2010

food, recipes


Spinach & Garlic Pesto

I picked this up from Cooking With Caitlin to go with some pork tenderloin for dinner one night. The pork didn't come out so well, but this pesto was wonderful, aromatic, and easy easy. I've cut the recipe in half here.

Spinach & Garlic Pesto

1/4 lb. Spinach
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 c. Fresh Parsley
1/2 c. Parmesan
1/2 TBL Dried Tarragon
1/2 tsp. Fresh Basil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/2 c. Olive Oil

Put everything except the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until almost completely smooth. Add oil in a slow, steady stream until completely combined. Makes 2 c.

Pesto can be used as a kind of dip (I used it with the saj bread) or a spread over breads, in pasta salads, brushed on shrimp or rubbed over meat, as a marinade, added to or over eggs, and so on. It's a condiment that's easy to make and has a variety of uses.

Aug. 4th, 2010

food, recipes


Saj Bread

I found this bread recipe from here when I first started learning how to bake bread. Since then, I've learned a lot about bread making and have been playing with the recipes I use, including this one.

This bread, when made small enough, is great for bentos. My kids love dipping it in Ranch dressing, and I've found if you set it up when it's still soft, it can make a great mini flat bread for sandwiches—you just need to curve it before you freeze it if you're storing it. The recipe below includes my adjustments, changes, and tips that I find help make it work better for me. And if you've never made bread, it's a simple place to start. :)

(Honestly, I know the recipe looks long, but it's not that hard, promise!)

Saj Bread
1 TBL Active, Dry Yeast
1 TBL Sugar
1 1/2 c. Warm Water (110-115*—no higher, no lower!)
3 1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Finely Chopped Green Onion (opt)
1/2 - 1 tsp of Herbs of your choice (opt; the one below has dried Rosemary)
Olive Oil as needed

Heat oven to 100*. Combine flour and salt; whisk together, set aside. Combine yeast and water, add sugar. Stir until creamy. Add any herbs or seasonings (fresh garlic, green onion, whatever) as desired. Sift in flour/salt mixture and combine, making sure to get all flour into the dough and to clean off the sides of the bowl. Roll onto lightly floured bread board and kneed, adding more flour as needed (be very careful, you still want a soft dough when done), until bread is only slightly sticky (the recipe says until it's no longer sticky, but in my experience, bread doughs always have a slight stickiness to them). Form into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl and roll around until the entire ball is coated. Turn oven temp down halfway to off, place a towel over the bowl and place bowl in oven. Let rise 1 hour OR until bread is doubled in size (size is more important than time).

Punch down and turn dough out onto lightly floured board and kneed at least 5 minutes or until no longer sticky (yes, again, lol). Separate into two halves and make sure to have dough resting on a floured section of your bread board. Work with one half at a time to form and cook the bread. If too much uncooked dough is stacked on top of uncooked dough, they start to stick even with the oil coating them; using only half the dough at a time and stacking on 2 separate plates should prevent that. So, using half the dough, break of small amounts and form small balls this size or smaller:

If you make them too much bigger, they'll be too big for the boxes, so I tend to error on the side of smaller. I use a tortilla press to flatten them, but you can roll them out, use two plates, or even just your hands. Regardless, you will need to place them between oiled pieces of wax paper. What I do with the press is use a piece of folded wax paper on top, a piece of wax paper on the bottom plate, oil the both, put the ball down, press, then just remove the bottom wax paper with the flattened bread to a plate (alternate plates to avoid getting a stack so heavy that the bread sticks to the wax paper despite the oil). The wax paper used for the top gets used over and over until done with the pressing.

One you have half the dough made into flattened circles, heat up a pan to about low to medium heat and place the circles in 2 or 3 at a time (I lift from the stack with the wax paper, turn them over and gently drop into the pan). Cook each side until a golden color (I use the spatula to flatten a bit when I flip them) and move to a clean plate to cool.

When finished cooking the first set of breads, repeat the whole process with the second half of the dough. Let all the bread cool completely before storing. Once cooled, can be stored in a freezer bag in the freezer until you want to use them. Makes about 3 dozen small flat breads.

As noted above, they can be used to make flat bread sandwiches (I made a meatball one a bit back) or can be dipped in hummus or dressing. I'm sure there are other creative ways to use them in bentos as well, and I'd love to see what you guys come up with.

You can find my tips for bread baking at the bottom of this post.

Jul. 8th, 2010

food, recipes


New Tag

Added a new tag: Stuff for Sale.

PLEASE keep in mind, this is NOT the primary use for this comm. If we get overwhelmed with sales posts, I'll have to disallow it and delete said posts, but for now, I don't mind helping the occasional person unload a few things.

Now...where are all those new and old recipes? Come on peoples, wake up! Post! ;)

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