Monthly Archives: January 2013

Olive Oil Shortcrust Pastry

a3 Olive Oil Shortcrust Pastry

 The highlight of a pie or tart for me lies on the shortcrust pastry. The crumbly and buttery crust, what’s not to like?  Especially for a butter lover like myself, naturally I love butter in any shape or form, let it be its solid self, soften, melted or crumbly form of a pastry. I’m impartial to all of the above ha!

I was venturing out to an unknown territory by making shortcrust pastry with olive oil. Will it be as crumbly? Will it be as rich and flavoursome? Will it be as good as the butter version?

I was going to say it would be “healthier” but I love butter too much to give it all up. One thing for sure was olive oil makes a lighter and less oily pastry. I actually tried the olive oil shortcrust pastry on quiche (recipe will be up later this week) which worked perfectly well together. Remember when you work with butter to make shortcrust pastry, it is essential that the butter doesn’t melt when you try to work the butter into the flour. Well, you don’t have this issue with olive oil especially with the heatwave I have been experiencing of late.

a7 Olive Oil Shortcrust Pastry

Olive Oil Shortcrust Pastry

(tweaked slightly on Italy in Small Bites by Carol Field)

What you’ll need to fill a 20cm (8 inched) tart pan:-

  • 200g (7 ounces) all-purpose flour + extra to dust the rolling pin & bench
  • Salt to taste (I used about a pinch)
  • 6 tbsps of olive oil + extra to grease the tart pan
  • 1/4 cup of cold water

Other: cling wrap, rolling pin, tart pan, fork, baking brush & at least 30 minutes refridgeration time

a16 Olive Oil Shortcrust Pastry

Method:-

In a mixing bowl, mix together flour and salt.  Then add in olive oil using a fork until resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in cold water (about 1/4 cup as a guide as it may vary) until the mixture forms a dough. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you are using the dough on the same day, remember to preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/ 375F before working on the dough for the tart pan. Oil a tart pan using a baking brush thoroughly, i.e. bottom and side of the pan. Set aside. Roll the dough flat enough to cover the tart pan (you may need to dust the rolling pin & workstation with some flour to avoid the dough from sticking to them). In order to transfer the flatten pastry from the workstation to the tart pan, wrap the pastry around the rolling pin, center it over the pan and unwrap the pastry. Then try to fit the pastry into the side of the pan without stretching it too much. Use your fingers to press gently  into the fluted side of the tart pan. Make sure that the pastry fits snugly where the bottom and side of the pan meet with no air pockets. Also, trim the overhanging dough and use it to “patch up” the dough shortfall area (if any).  Lightly brush the surface with some oil and prick the bottom of the tart with a fork. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust appears to be slight brown.

Note – You can blind bake the tart shell using the ceramic beads, dry beans or rice. I didn’t blind bake the shell and it puffed a little. So what I’ve done was to flatten the puffed-up bits using the side of a mug (super gently) while it’s hot.

a6 Olive Oil Shortcrust Pastry

Lemon & thyme with Lurpak Danish Butter-Basted Roast Chicken

a12 Lemon & thyme with Lurpak Butter-Basted Roast Chicken

Despite roast chicken is one of my favourite food ever,  I resort to the store-bought version far too often than I’d like to admit. I have been relying heavily on the roast chickens from the Mills Gourmet Takeaway (in Orange) and only considered roasting my own chicken in the past holiday season.

I forgot how easy it was to make a roast chicken at home. I forgot how succulent and tender homemade roast chicken can be. Indulgence is a must when it comes to holiday season and the first thing which came to mind was the butter-basted roast chicken which Adam has made for us on Christmas eve 2 years ago. Feeling like going “all-out”, nothing feels more luxurious than basting the chicken with premium quality butter like Lurpak Danish butter.

Its creamy and distinctive buttery taste, which reminds me of the house-made butter that I had in a fine dining restaurant, makes an ideal base for a herbed butter to be smeared on a freshly toasted sourdough.

That’d be too predictable though.

So I feel it is equally delectable to showcase my amp up lemon & thyme roast chicken, basted in good quality butter. Enjoy!

a6v Lemon & thyme with Lurpak Butter-Basted Roast Chicken

Lemon & Thyme with Lurpak Danish Butter-Basted Roast Chicken

(tweaked slightly from BBCGoodFood)

What you’ll need:-

  • 50g Lurpak butter , softened
  • bunch fresh thyme, (about 5g/0.2 ounces) plus extra to serve
  • 4 garlic cloves (1 peeled & grated, the other 3 peeled,left whole but squashed)
  • 2 small lemons , halved
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 chicken , about 1.5kg (mine was about 1.2 kg)
  • Kitchen string
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups salt reduced chicken stock
  • splash soy sauce (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Original recipe calls for 2 carrots and 1 onion, both roughly chopped. Then scatter these on a roasting tin with 2 bay leaves as a base to rest the chicken on. When I made the roast chicken, I omitted the carrot, onion and bay leaves completely.

a13 Lemon & thyme with Lurpak Butter-Basted Roast Chicken a14 Lemon & thyme with Lurpak Butter-Basted Roast Chicken

Method:-

Preheat oven to 200C (392F)/180C fan (356F). In a small bowl, mash and mix the softened butter with one-third of the thyme leaves, the grated garlic, salt and the juice of half a lemon. Set aside. Use your hand to loosen the chicken skin away from the breast and push most of the butter mixture into the gap. Rub the rest of the butter all over the exterior of the chicken. Stuff the cavity the lemon halves, remaining thyme leaves  (remember to leave some for garnish later) and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string, mostly closing the cavity’s opening. Sit the chicken breat-side up on a roasting tin (note: I used a disposal aluminium roasting tin) and roast on the middle shelf for 1 hr 30 minutes, basting with the buttery juices after about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven when the chicken is dark golden, crispy-skiined and the jucies run clear. Allow it to rest in the tine for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a pair of tongs (chopsticks) to pull the lemons, garlic and thyme out of the cavity.  Tilt the chicken to let the juices dribble into the tin and transfer to a serving platter to rest for at least another 15 minutes.

a16

To make the gravy:-

Pour all the juices from the roasting tin into a non-stick saucepan. Squeeze the juice out of the cooked lemon halves into the saucepan as well. Heat the saucepan over low heat, stir in flour and saute until light brown. Gradually pour in the stock and cook for a few minutes until thickens. Add a splash of soy sauce and black pepper. Stir to combine. Strain the gravy into a jug and serve with the chicken.

a11

Disclaimer: Lurpak bought the ingredients for this post.

Chocolate @ No. 5, Hahndorf, South Australia

fc55517e502711e29fa922000a1f8feb_7

I have always wanted to visit South Australia (SA). The 2012 Eat Drink Blog was the excuse I needed to visit the foodie haven. After spending 2 full days at the conference, I make sure that I spared another full day to do the touristy stuff.

The first place I visited was Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. My friends who had been to SA recommended visiting this place is a must. There were so many shops to go through and so much shopping to do. After a couple of hours of strolling, we took a short and necessary break at Chocolate at No.5, following the recommendation of an Adelaide friend, of course!

Locating the other end of the main street away from the entrance to Hahndorf, I couldn’t have walked all the way to the cafe without my friend’s recommendation. I was delighted to discover this cosy little gem with really nice coffee, dessert and chocolate treats. If you happened to visit Hahndorf next time, it’s worth checking out Chocolate at No.5.

I shall let my photos speak for themselves now (taken from my Samsung Galaxy SII, downloaded from my Instagram). :)

a1

{An overview of the interior except for the first pic on the top right hand side. There are a couple of cosy little nooks which I thought would make an ideal dating spot. ;)}

246db506502911e2917a22000a9f1587_7

{Our dessert spread on that day.}

9849c484502811e2a7ed22000a1f8f24_7

{How cute was the stenciled chocolate powder on top of our soy cappuccino?}

b63bd6bc502811e28df922000a9f1991_7

{White chocolate and caramelised pineapple Belgium waffle. Unsual combination but I thought it worked really well together. The richness of melted white chcolate was well balanced with the caramelised pineapple. I will re-order this if I were to go back there again!}

f78b7668502811e28ddc22000a9f15db_7

{Milk chocolate and banana Belgium waffle. We all know chocolate and banana compliment each other. So it is no surprise the dish turned out to be satisfying.} a2

{Merchandise available at the shop. I ended up with the Christmas candles, one with gingerbread scented and the other one was cinnamon spiced. Oh yeah, they are super yummy scented! And I got some chocolate coated almonds and almonds chocolate bark as souvenirs for friends. Let’s just say I earned some friendly credits from these wonderful merchandise. :P}

a3

Chocolate @ No.5

Address 5 Main Street, Hahndorf SA 5245

Phone (08) 8388 1835

Website http://www.chocolateno5.com.au/

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fb.chocolate.at.no.5