SISTER vs SISTER: SUMMER SALADS

ratatouille

RATATOUILLE SALAD

{INGRID} Post New Year’s Resolutions – So who’s on a diet? and who is still sticking to it? Mine is the ‘Get Real’, or the ‘Be Honest’ diet which is basically mind games I play with myself, saying ‘Seriously you really don’t need that…or quite often it’s ‘ treat your body with respect…don’t shovel that beautifully crafted custard square into your gob – it can wait till another day when you didn’t already eat that brioche. I’ve also started planking, signed up by Vanessa to the 30 day challenge, and boy it’s a challenge. I’m up to 1.30sec and I’m a shaking like a saggy baggy leaf, but as I’m signed up and accountable to all the others that are planking, I’m on my way to 6 pack town. Yah….diet or no diet, this salad is a summer stunner. Full of colour and big hearty vegetables that will fill you up and make you not feel like your not missing out on anything. If you want to make it your main meal – add some crumbled feta. Enjoy x  This Warm lentil and tomato salad will also fill you up.

Summer ratatouille
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4-6

What you need
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 2 yellow or green peppers
  • 2 courgettes, diced
  • 1 aubergine (eggplant), diced
  • 2 punnets cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • Basil leaves, torn
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Dressing – Garlic vinaigrette‎
  • 6 garlic bulbs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ Tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make
  1. Place the garlic bulbs with skin on, diced aubergine and diced courgette in a frypan with a dash of oil and saute on low until soft – this will take about 20 minutes.
  2. Place the peppers under a hot grill and grill until the skin has blackened and separated from the flesh of the peppers. (This is an optional step – having them with the skin on is totally fine too). When cool peel off the outer skin, discard stalks and seeds and roughly chop .
  3. In a bowl add the cooked aubergine and courgette, finely diced onion, halved cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped peppers and torn basil leaves and combine. Add a few grinds of salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Dressing
  5. In a food processor squeeze the soft garlic out of its skin, add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt/pepper.
  6. Blitz until smooth. Taste – and add more sugar if you like a sweeter dressing or more lemon juice if you like it tarty and sour.
  7. Arrange the summer ratatouille on a large platter/bowl and pour the dressing over and garnish with more torn basil leaves and extra cracked pepper.

 

asian slaw

ASIAN SLAW

{VANESSA} This is a fresh, healthy and tasty coleslaw to take to your next BBQ. It uses daikon (sometimes called Chinese radish) a vegetable you have probably seen especially if you shop at Asian vegetable shops but never had the guts to try. It’s super easy to prepare, just peel and  grate or finely shred and has  great crunch and a mild taste. The dressing for this slaw is based on the expensive and delicious Japanese sesame dressing that’s often served on your salad in a bento box lunch or in the International aisle of the supermarket. It’s a great idea to make extra dressing to keep in the fridge to dress any salad greens. This salad looks vibrant, it’s good added to a wrap or a crusty roll, served alongside any meat or even taken to work and eaten with a tin of salmon or tuna. PS if you prefer the creamy style dressing and aren’t on any New Year diet, add more mayonnaise and  less vinegar. The dressing can be adapted to suit your tastes. If your in the mood for more easy salad combinations try the Red cabbage and Apple Slaw.

Asian Slaw
 
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This is a fresh, healthy and tasty coleslaw to take to your next BBQ.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4-6

What you need
  • Slaw
  • 1 cup shredded white cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 2 carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 raw beetroot peeled and grated
  • ½ daikon (or 4 radishes) peeled and grated (daikon is sometimes called a Chinese radish)
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion or finely chopped mint for garnish
  • Sesame Dressing
  • 6 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds (place in a non-stick pan and toast on a low heat until they start to colour)
  • 4 Tbsp mayonaise
  • 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pince of salt

How to make
  1. Using a food processor (easy) or a hand grater prepare the Slaw ingredients and mix in a large bowl.
  2. Dressing
  3. Place seasame seeds in a non-stick pan and toast on a low heat until they start to colour.
  4. Set a few seeds aside as garnish. Using a mortar and pestle grind the warm sesame seeds to a coarse consistency.
  5. Combine all ingredients including the seeds in a food processor and blitz until combined. (Or shaking it in a tightly sealed jar will work too)
  6. Pour over the coleslaw and mix well.
  7. Garnish with finely chopped spring onion or mint and toasted sesame seeds.

 

CHRISTMAS PAVLOVA: STRAWBERRIES AND PASSIONFRUIT

passionfruit and strawberry pavlova
Christmas Pavlova
 
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Christmas is just not Christmas without Pavlova
Author:
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: New Zealand (although some may not agree!)
Serves: 8

What you need
  • 150ml egg white (4 eggs)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup single pouring cream
  • ½ cup passionfruit pulp
  • 250g strawberries, stalks removed and sliced

How to make
  1. Set oven temp to 150C. In a glass or metal bowl, add egg whites and beat with a mixer until they form white soft peaks. I whisked on a low setting and it only took 3 mins.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time and whisk well until it feels thick and looks glossy. Add cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined.
  3. On a baking tray lined with baking paper, pile meringue high in the centre and using a spatula spread the mixture out to the edges so you get an indented top but the sides are high all the way around. This is your space for the cream.
  4. Reduce oven to 120 C. Bake for 1hr 20mins.
  5. Turn off oven and leave pavlova to cool completely in the oven. I opened my oven up just a little bit at this point, as a previous Pavlova went a light brown colour, so I didn’t want to overcook it. Its hard as every oven is different but this technique worked for me, my pavlova stayed white.
  6. To serve:
  7. Whip cream until soft peaks form and spoon into the middle indented space. spread over top. Add strawberries and drizzle over passionfruit.

 

SISTER vs SISTER: BAKED PANCAKE

baked pancake balsamic summer berries

BAKED PANCAKE WITH BALSAMIC SUMMER BERRIES

{INGRID} I’m a cheat! I’m always looking for ways to miss out cooking steps, to create delicious meals without having to slave in the kitchen for hours. With two crazy fun kids glued to my side most of the time ( Miss 18 month old has perfected the barnacle hold around my leg so I drag her around the kitchen – my only exercise right now!) So, baked pancakes are fantastic in my household right now – I serve them as a weekend breakfast, Vanessa’s savoury pancakes are an easy dinner option and this year I’m thinking they will make the perfect Christmas morning brunch. Easy peasy pancakes that look amazing straight out of the oven, and they can be adapted in so many ways. Keep the basic batter recipe, but instead add chopped bananas and a drizzle of honey or what about caramelised apples or chopped up nectarines (throw them in the oven at the same time with a sprinkle of sugar, a dollop of butter and a little bit of cinnamon). These glorious baked pancakes were the star of our Live TV moment.

Baked pancakes with balsamic berries
 
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The best way to make pancakes when you don’t have time to stand at the stove top flipping!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast and dessert
Serves: 2

What you need
Batter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs butter
Balsamic berries
  • 1 punnet, strawberries, quartered
  • 1 punnet blueberries
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1- 2 Tbs white sugar

How to make
Pancake
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Lightly whisk eggs and milk together.
  3. Add sifted flour and salt and whisk to combine and remove the lumps. (Do not over mix as your pancakes will be rubbery – if in doubt under whisk! and leave the lumps)
  4. In a 24cm oven proof dish, cast iron frypan or cake tin, add butter and place dish in the oven to let the butter melt and bubble. A few minutes is fine.
  5. Add batter to dish and cook pancake for 20 – 30 minutes until the sides start to puff up and the pancake looks golden.
Topping
  1. In a bowl add strawberries and blueberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Mix to coat. Leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes.
Assembly
  1. Pile berries in the middle of the pancake, and serve with runny cream, creme fraiche or greek yoghurt.

 

Bacon cheese baked pancake

BACON AND CHEESE BAKED PANCAKE

{VANESSA} After our taste of fame on the Mikes new show Family Recipes we were stoked to be asked to do a 7 minute cooking segment on the Good Morning show. The only problem is – it’s LIVE! For Family Recipes (27 mins of actual TV) we did 2 full days and a 2 hour interview so there would have been lots of chances to pick and choose the best bits and thankfully delete out the stuff ups! There was a spillage of beef stock, a near miss with the food processor, lots of giggles and more than likely a few inappropriate comments out of our mouths. We decided to cook baked pancakes – a cross between a Yorkshire pud and a Dutch baked pancake. Being more a savoury fan (cheese over dessert most times) I decided to turn what is a very basic batter into a delicious brunch. I used bacon and cheddar cheese with a few grilled tomatoes but any flavoursome cheese will work and change the bacon for ham, pastrami, sausages, smoked fish or even salmon. Fingers crossed we our pancakes behave on the day and our “one I prepared earlier puffs up on time” Phew feeling a tad nervous now…

Bacon and cheese baked pancakes
 
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I have doubled my recipe – both Ingrid and I have used the same batter mix but I have done mine in a large rectangle dish. This serves 3-4 people
Author:
Serves: 3-4

What you need
  • 25 grams butter (for greasing the pan)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 8 rashers of bacon
  • 4 tomatoes quartered or 12 cherry tomatoes halved
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

How to make
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Lightly beat the eggs and milk until combined.
  3. Add sifted flour and salt.
  4. Lightly mix to combine – don’t over mix and don’t worry about a few small lumps.
  5. Grease the baking dish (cast iron works best) with the butter and put into the oven for about 3 minutes.
  6. Pour the batter into the hot dish, add the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Dont peek!
  8. Whilst the pancake is cooking fry the bacon and tomatoes in the same frying pan. If its a non-stick pan you wont need any butter or oil.
  9. When the pancake is brown and puffy at the sides its ready.
  10. Serve in the baking dish topped with crispy bacon, sweet, juicy tomatoes and parsley to garnish.
  11. Chilli sauce, tomato sauce or a chutney would be the perfect match.