Thursday, 7 March 2013

Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

Every Thermomix owner knows that making risotto is an absolute cinch - set and forget! Here's an adaption of mushroom risotto using pearl barley instead of aborio rice. The porcini mushrooms give it that extra punch of mushroom flavour. Serve with slices of fresh parmesan cheese if you can't get your hands on curd cheese.

20g dried porcini mushrooms
300g hot water
1 leek, trimmed and cut into pieces
20g extra virgin olive oil
30g butter
200g pearl barley
60g verjuice (or white wine)
750g water
3 teaspoons vegetable stock concentrate
250g portobello mushrooms, sliced
40g butter, extra
120g fresh curd cheese, to serve
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

  1. Place dried porcini mushrooms into a heat-proof bowl and fill with hot water. Leave for 5-10 minutes to rehydrate. (Put aside the mushrooms and reserve 1 cup or 250g of the porcini stock.)
  2. Place leek into TM bowl and chop for 2 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down bowl.
  3. Add olive oil and butter and sauté for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  4. Insert butterfly. Add barley and verjuice and sauté for a further 2 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/soft speed.
  5. Add water, 3 teaspoons of vegetable stock concentrate and 1 cup of the reserved porcini stock. Cook for 30 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/soft speed.
  6. Add the porcini mushrooms to the TM bowl and cook for a further 5 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/soft speed.
  7. While the risotto is cooking, heat a pan over medium-high heat, add the extra butter and sliced mushrooms and cook until caramelised. Place half the mushrooms into ThermoServer and top with the cooked risotto. Stir and set aside until ready to plate up.
  8. To serve, place risotto into individual bowls, top with some of the caramelised mushrooms, a tablespoon of fresh curd cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Serves 4

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Roast Tomato Soup

Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which has been shown to protect against cancers and cardiovascular disease. This is a wonderful way to use up what's left of the Summer's harvest.

2kg vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
370g chicken stock
3 teaspoons sugar
Pesto, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Place the tomatoes (cut side up) and garlic onto a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake for 40 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic flesh from its skin and place in TM bowl along with the tomatoes.  Blend for 2 minutes/speed 10.
  3. Add stock and sugar and cook for 10 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls and serve with a spoonful of pesto and some freshly baked bread.

Serves 4

There is no need to skin or de-seed the tomatoes - the TM blends the mixture until its silky smooth.
Add 1 MC of soup pasta at Step 3.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Cheese and Onion Pull-Apart

This cool, wet weather we're having screams for a comforting bowl of soup. And what better to serve it with than a tasty, homemade pull-apart.

270g milk, room temperature
100g lukewarm water
7g sachet dried yeast
540g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
20g olive oil

3 shallots, finely chopped
150g cheddar cheese, grated
olive oil, for topping
extra grated cheese, for topping

  1. Add milk, water, yeast, flour, salt and oil to the TM bowl and mix for 5 seconds/speed 6.
  2. Knead on interval setting for 2 minutes.
  3. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 even portions and press or roll each piece into a rough circle.
  6. Place the shallots and cheese onto the middle of each circle, fold dough in and shape into a ball. 
  7. Place the balls of dough into a lightly oiled round cake tin with removable base.
  8. Sprinkle the top with a little olive oil and/or some grated cheese.
  9. Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. 
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The flavour combinations are endless - replace the filling ingredients above with the following:

Spinach and Feta
Cheese and Bacon
Herb and Garlic
Ham, Cheese and Sweet Chilli