Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cyber Dinner Party at Chez DKG

Since I'm suffering from total writers' block and don't want to be bothering you with my anti Climate Change bollocks, anti Labor government rants (enough of that on FB) I thought I'd write about my other favourite subject right now: food.

So here are the two recipes I'd make if you were popping over for a quick Sunday night dinner. Strangely these were the two things I did actually make today; the former for our dinner, the later to bring to playgroup.

Pasta with Chorizo Seafood Tomato Sauce

500g packet of curly fettucine (or pasta of choice)
Big dash of olive oil
500g green medium prawns, peeled and deveined
400g firm fish fillets (I used red snapper), cut into 3cm cubes
2 chorizo sausages medium diced
1 clove garlic finely chopped
6-8 tomatoes peeled and chopped or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or combination of both
1 large mushroom or 4-6 button mushrooms finely sliced
Dash of GOOD balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
3/4 cup vegetable stock or water
Zest of 1 small lemon

Cook pasta and set aside.
In a large pot (I use pasta pot) heat oil and add garlic and chorizo. Cook on low-medium heat for a couple of minutes. Turn up heat to medium and keep stirring. Add mushrooms.
Cook until chorizo is becoming crispy and mushrooms have cooked down. Be careful that garlic doesn't burn.
Add tomato, stock, vinegar, herbs and cook for 10 minutes or so, until the sauce thickens and tomato cooks down.
Add prawns and fish, mix through the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.
Once prawns turn pink and curl it's ready. Mix the lemon zest through sauce. Then the cooked pasta. Keep on the heat for a minute or two.
Serve with a sprinkle of parsley or coriander.

Chocolate Orange Tart

1 quantity Almond Shortcrust Pastry (I use the Thermomix - doh! - recipe)
125g Philly Cream Cheese, softened
300ml Thickened Cream
120g Chocolate (I used good quality dark chocolate)
2 Tablespoon Caster Sugar
2 large Free Range Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
Zest of 1 Orange
Optional: Pear Jam or Marmalade

Roll out pastry and line an oiled tart tin (20-22cm).
Place baking paper on the pastry and fill with baking beads (??) for blind baking.
Bake at 200deg for 10 minutes. Remove beads and paper. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
Turn oven down to 170 deg.
While the pastry is baking make filling.
Melt Chocolate in the microwave - in 30 second bursts at 80% power.
When chocolate is melted whisk through sugar until smooth.
Add soft cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
Add cream, eggs, zest and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
At this point I spread the pear jam in a thin layer over the base of the tart, then pour in the chocolate mixture. If you're not using the jam just pour in the filling.
Don't over fill. You need a couple of millimeters of visible crust at the edge.
Bake for about 25-35 minutes. You want it to be set but not dry or cracked, it should still look a little wobbly in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then chill.
If I have leftover filling I bake in oiled patty tins or muffin tins. It's yummy.

There you go. I hope you enjoyed dinner.

If you give these recipes a whirl let me know how they turn out. The tart is a bit fiddly but I love the Jaffa flavours. The pasta is a real winner, those flavours really zing along.

Bon appetit.

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