Baklava

Ingredients

2 cups finely ground almonds
1 cup superfine (caster) sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
16 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
1 cup butter, melted

Syrup

3 cups superfine (caster) sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece orange or lemon zest
1 tablespoon honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C)
  2. Mix the almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Brush a 10-inch square pan with the butter.
  4. Cut the sheets of phyllo to the size of the baking pan.
  5. Brush a sheet of phyllo with butter and place in the prepared pan. Brush with more butter. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo. Sprinkle with the nut mixture. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo and nuts until all the ingredients are used, making sure the top sheet is well buttered.
  6. Cut the top layers of pastry lengthwise into parallel strips. Then cut into diamond shapes about 2 inches in length. Cut through all the layers to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Lower the oven to 300°F (150°C) and bake for 1 hour.
  9. To make the syrup, bring the superfine sugar, water, cinnamon, orange zest, and honey to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Pour the hot syrup over the baklava. Let cool.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

Belgian-style Beef Casserole with Beer

Ingredients

4 cups beef stock
5 lb lean stew beef
1/4 cup margarine
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
24 small whole onions or shallots, peeled
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups strong beer or ale

Seasoned Flour

1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tbsp dry English mustard
1/4 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp chervil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp parsley flakes

Method

  1. Pour the stock into a saucepan and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup of liquid.
  2. Cut the beef into large chunks.
  3. Mix the seasoned flour ingredients in a bowl. Place the seasoned flour in a plastic bag. Add the beef and shake until coated. Remove the beef and reserve the remaining seasoned flour.
  4. Melt the margarine in a heavy skillet. Add the beef and cook until brown, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside.
  5. Coat the chopped onions with the reserved seasoned flour, then brown in the skillet, adding margarine, if needed.
  6. Arrange half of the chopped onions in a casserole and cover with half of the beef. Cover the beef layer with the remaining chopped onions and top with the remaining beef.
  7. Add the whole onions, then season with salt and pepper. Pour the stock and beer over the beef mixture.
  8. Bake, covered, in a preheated 350ºC oven, 1 rack below center, for 2 hours or until the beef is tender.
  9. Place in a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: The Creative Cooking Course

Pan-fried Pork Chops with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

6 boneless pork chops, cut into very thin slices
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp seasoned salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried chili flakes (optional)
2 tbsp dry sherry or Chinese Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Method

  1. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Using a heavy knife, cut each pork chop into 3 or 4 pieces.
  2. Combine flour, cornstarch and salt in a plastic bag and shake to mix well. Divide pork chops into 2 or 3 batches. Add to flour mixture and toss until well coated.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Shake off excess coating from floured pork pieces and fry until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain well and keep warm. Repeat until all pork is cooked.
  4. Drain all but 1 tbsp oil from wok. Add tomatoes, shallots, garlic and chili flakes, if using. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  5. Add pork and stir-fry to mix well. Splash with wine and toss until liquid is absorbed.
  6. Add cilantro and toss to mix. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: New World Chinese Cooking

Spicy Cauliflower Stir-fry

Ingredients

1-1/2 lbs head cauliflower
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 cup sugar snap peas
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
crushed dried chilies, optional
cilantro sprigs and lime wedges

Sauce

2 tsp low-sodium tamari soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp grated fresh peeled gingerroot
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce

Method

  1. In small bowl, whisk stir-fry sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  2. Cut cauliflower into chunks, including stem. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse cauliflower florets until it resembles rice. You should have about 5 cups (1.25 L). Set aside.
  3. In large frying pan or wok, heat oil. Add onion and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 1 minute, or until softened and clear.
  4. Add garlic. Cook and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes until they start to soften.
  6. Add cauliflower rice and snap peas and stir-fry for 4 minutes, or until cauliflower is done as you like and snap peas are hot and crispy.
  7. Fold in green onions and sauce. Sprinkle with crushed chilies, if using. Add more seasonings to taste, if you wish.
  8. Serve with generous sprigs of cilantro and lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Source:Alive magazine

Cherry Pancakes in Cinnamon Cream

Ingredients

4 oz all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp melted butter or oil
3/4 tbsp kirsch

Filling

8 oz black cherries
1 tablespoon kirsch

Topping

caster sugar (for dusting)
1/3 cup double cream
pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon toasted almonds, chopped

Method

  1. To make the batter, sift the floir with the salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the egg, yolk and kirsch. Add milk slowly, stirring all the time.
  2. When half of the milk has been added, stir in the melted butter and beat well until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining milk and leave to stand for 30 minutes before using. The batter should have the consistency of thin cream. If it is too thick, add a little extra milk.
  4. Stone the cherries, pour over 1 tablespoon kirsch, cover and leave for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  6. Fry the pancakes. Put a tablespoon of cherries on each. Roll up pancakes, put them on a baking sheet and dust well with caster sugar.
  7. Heat pancakes through in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Place in a hot serving dish.
  8. Boil the cream with the cinnamon, pour this over the pancakes and scatter the almonds on top. Serve at once.

Source: Cooking with Eggs