Mixadventures

Mixadventures in bread, potato cakes and apple crumble

Potato cakes

The next thing I made in my Thermomix were the potato cakes from the Basic Cookbook. I’d had my eye on these for a while as a potato rosti/hash brown kind of thing for breakfast. I figured I would cook a up a batch, eat a couple and freeze the rest.

The recipe essentially involves throwing everything into the Thermomix (potatoes, onion, egg, other stuff…), blitzing then shallow frying in a pan. I found I didn’t need to use too much oil, and I cooked them kind of like mini pancakes. I suppose it took about half an hour to cook them all, but the whole thing was extremely easy.

I made 12 in total and they froze extremely well. I’ve found the best means of re-heating is to grill them from frozen. They go great with eggs and my beetroot relish.

There are only two left in my freezer, so I’ll need to make another batch soon. Might try a variation with different vegetables (maybe some carrot? sweet potato? Broccoli?). Yum!

Bread!

Others in my family have been baking bread for ages, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve never been particularly enthused about getting my hands dirty, so the whole Thermomix-doing-the-kneading thing was fairly attractive.

I like grainy bread, so I headed straight for the five-seeds loaf from the Basic Cookbook. (The basic cookbook is rather comprehensive!) I already had linseeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds in the pantry, so I headed out to buy pepitas (pumpkin seeds), poppy seeds and… yeast.

Oh, the excitement! The Thermomix kneaded for a whole two minutes (as per the recipe), then I transferred the dough into the tin, sprinkled seeds on top (as directed) and waited for it to rise… (I should mention I set aside an entire Sunday afternoon for my bread-making venture.)

When I couldn’t wait any longer, I threw it in the oven to bake. It could maybe have risen more, but I was still fairly ecstatic with how it turned out.

I mean… LOOK!

This is pretty much what the picture in the book looked like. Not bad for my first attempt. Right?!

As far as the eating goes, it was maybe a little sweet, most likely due to the inclusion of honey. It was also very dense and crumbly. To the point that pulling it out of the toaster can cause it to break. Not sure how to counteract that.

Because I don’t really eat all that much bread at home, I sliced it the next day and froze it in my reusable bread bag. This works for me, since I always eat it as toast. (It’s way too dense for sandwiches, anyway.) I still have a couple of slices left, and then (maybe even this weekend) I’ll make another loaf of bread — not sure which recipe I’ll use next time.

Baking bread is ticking two of my current boxes: 1) making food from scratch and 2) eliminating single-use soft plastic (although once I get into the act of buying bulk foods, this will be even better). Onwards!

Apple crumble

Last weekend I was doing some vegan catering. I had some apples I needed to cook up, so I decided to make apple crumble.

For this recipe, I hit the recipe community and picked one that 1) was vegan (or could be made vegan) and 2) could be made from ingredients residing in my pantry already. The one I ended up making was this ‘healthy apple crumble‘.

Usually, I cook up apple in the microwave, but this time I cooked it in the Thermomix (10 minutes), and I blitzed it briefly once cooked to chop it up a bit. (The ability to do this might have converted me.)

The crumble recipe contains walnuts, almonds, coconut, oats and honey. I wasn’t sure whether honey was OK for vegans, so I substituted brown sugar instead. Once again, it’s a case of blitzing all these together and sprinkling on top of the cooked apple, before shoving in the oven.

Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take any photos, but it tasted yummy, and got the thumbs up from my vegan friend. She, alas, did not get to eat it with cream… but I did and it was good. (And there were leftovers.)

I can see me making this apple crumble for myself, because it is actually really healthy. Especially if I add yogurt rather than cream. Heh.

Then again, we’re coming into custard season…

A year of Mixadventures

It’s almost a year now since I got a Thermomix. (I know!) And I can say with confidence that I have made things I would never have previously attempted. (Cue beetroot relish, capsicum and sundried tomato dip, fruit and nut muesli, creme brûlée, chocolate ganache… even vegetable stock!)

mix_beetrelish2_1

Beetroot relish – second batch!

Moreover, on the whole, I am cooking more frequently. There’s a lot more planning ahead to make things, whether it’s a meal for the week or something to take to my next social gathering. (Sometimes there’s a lot more planning than doing, but I’m getting there.) My D&D friends get experimented on frequently.

When I look at my original goal of eliminating shop-bought/processed stock, pesto, dips, relishes, cakes/slices… I’ve made excellent progress. In many cases this also aligns with my additional goal of reducing consumption of single-use plastic, so it’s win-win.

Having said that, I’m not sure that replacing store-bought cakes and biscuits with the home-cooked variety is very good for my waistline. Hmmm. (There’s been a bit of a sweet theme during January-February.)

Anyway, I’ve attempted several new recipes in the past couple of months. Here are the latest mixadventures.

Raspberry and coconut muffins

A few days after Christmas, we had a family working bee in my “garden” to get it under control. It was a short, sharp attack, over and done with in a few hours. Needless to say, when one is gifted with free labour, one needs to provide refreshments. But what to do when the cupboard is bare?!

I scrounged around my supplies and trawled through the Thermomix Recipe Community to find a muffin recipe I could whip up in the morning, before they arrived. And this recipe for raspberry and coconut muffins was the one I found (and adapted).

Frozen raspberries – check! Coconut – check! Egg – check! (I only had one egg.)

Because the raspberries were frozen into a chunk and I was in a rush, I blitzed them in the Thermomix instead of folding them through. (You could only really do this with a Thermomix.) And I used at least double the quantity. The muffins came out pink (of course) but I really liked the raspberry flavour infused through the whole muffin.

These were definitely a hit and very easy to make (my MO). I have since made the recipe again, this time cooking in a loaf tin instead of muffin cases. It certainly works very well as a cake too.

Rice salad from Basic Cookbook

We played D&D on a scorching hot day in January, so I made the Basic Cookbook rice salad for us to have as a light meal. You could make this easily without a Thermomix, but I’ve found I rather like cooking rice in the Thermomix so it works for me. (I previously didn’t tend to cook rice often, not having a rice cooker.)

While the rice cooks, you steam the vegetables and the eggs in their shells. I added a can of corn and more than doubled the eggs. The combined salad keeps really well, and easily did six of us for a light meal with leftovers. I have since made it again using half the amount of rice (minus the corn) and it lasted me for three meals.

mix_ricesalad_1

Yogurt Cake from Basic Cookbook

Remember what I said up the way about eliminating shop-bought cakes and biscuits? This is a direct result of that… That is, I talked myself out of buying biscuits in the supermarket in lieu of baking myself a cake. (Naughty.)

This cake is simple and tasty, if a bit too light for my personal tastes. After I ate the whole cake (don’t judge me) I was pretty bored of it. But it would be a good afternoon tea cake, I think.

(I’d take the raspberry coconut cake over this one…)

Tiramisu

My D&D friends copped my average first attempt at tiramisu. I absolutely adore eating tiramisu, and decided I needed to try making it… But, being a tiramisu lover, I also have high expectations. Expectations that I failed to meet. Ugh.

Firstly, who knew there were so many ways to make tiramisu? I started off looking at the Basic Cookbook recipe… then cross-checked it with the recipes on the marscapone cheese and sponge fingers. Then, perplexed, I hit google. The major variations in tiramisu recipes are:

  • Raw eggs whipped through marscapone OR eggs/egg yolks beaten and cooked in the sugar to make a saboyon before folding the marscapone through
  • Eggs used whole OR separated using the yolks in the marscapone mix, with the egg whites sometimes whipped up separately and folded through
  • Whipped cream folded through OR no cream
  • Many different ratios of “custard” to sponge fingers soaked in coffee with/without alcoholic infusions

A little reading suggested that the traditional recipe is the whole raw egg version with no cream. Which corresponds to the Basic Cookbook recipe… so that’s the one I ended up making, after all.

My attempt was… OK. I don’t think I soaked the biscuits enough, and I think I beat the “custard” too much so the eggs began to separate a little. It just wasn’t quite… right.

mix_tiramisu_1

You can see there’s disproportionately more custard on the top. And that’s a large quantity of grated chocolate you can see in the layers… Grating chocolate is one thing the Thermomix is extremely good for!

But it was edible, and after most of my friends politely ate a piece I took the rest home and gorged on it until it was gone. I’m not entirely sure I’ll make it again, or if I do I might try a few adaptations. We’ll see.

So that’s my last two months in the kitchen. I’m currently eating my way through yet another batch of soup, based on sweet potato and carrot, into which I tossed some red lentils as well as some other vegetables. The soups are always pretty yummy.

Mixadventures in the festive season

The summer festive season always seems to inspire people to get creative in the kitchen. So I figured I’d get in on the action this year. Especially since I haven’t attempted too many new recipes since my last mixadventures post in July. (Having said that, don’t get too excited. I’m still sticking to simple things.)

Beetroot relish

I’ve been meaning to make beetroot relish for ages. I love beetroot relish. And the whole chop/stir/cook thing the Thermomix has going on makes it ideal for relishes and jams.

So I searched the Thermomix recipe community for beetroot relish recipes and tried one of them out. I selected one that uses brown sugar and includes Dijon mustard, cinnamon and nutmeg. [EDITED: After sharing it with a few friends, it seems the secret ingredient may have been the rice wine vinegar I used instead of white wine vinegar.]

The process was really simple:

  • Step 1 – chop stuff up (7sec)
  • Step 2 – add more stuff and cook for 30mins

While it was cooking, it occurred to me that I hadn’t organised any jars. (oops) And then it occurred to me that one is supposed to sterilise said jars. Not to mention seal jars (ideally) for preservation purposes.

So there I was rummaging around for appropriate glasses to fill up with relish and googling how to sterilise them while the relish was cooking. Since I wasn’t going to be able to seal them, it was a good thing I wasn’t making a huge quantity.

That’s another thing about the Thermomix. It might be ideal for relishes and jams, but it only makes small quantities. It won’t really suit those who are used to making enormous vats of condiments. But it’s great if you’re happy to make relish semi-regularly (and it’s so easy, why wouldn’t you?).

In the end, the batch filled two glass tumblers (covered in cling film), and I’m just going to have to eat it all before it goes off. I don’t think this will be a problem.

It’s really delicious, and not too sweet. I tried it out first with cheese on crackers. We also had some for our Christmas meal with turkey and this morning I paired it with scrambled eggs. YUM.

Broccoli salad

Our family Christmas was fairly low key this year — cold meat, roast potatoes and a couple of salads. (The solution to not eating too much, I’ve decided, is to reduce the number of things to choose from.)

My contribution to this meal (aside from beetroot relish) was the very simple broccoli salad from the Thermomix Basic Cookbook. This is so simple it hardly qualifies as a recipe… There’s only one step: Put stuff in, chop/mix for about 10sec.

The salad has a yogurt and lemon juice dressing. It’s fresh and healthy and makes a great accompaniment to a meal. I was hoping it would be a salad I could make for a summer meal (with some chicken, say), but I think I need to tinker with it a bit. Also, this salad doesn’t really keep — it was pretty ghastly the following day.

Now I come to think of it, I seem to recall making one of the other salads in the Basic Cookbook a couple of months ago… It was an adapted version of the “Pasta salad with trout and vegetables” (using salmon instead of trout). Didn’t take a photo, but it did me a couple of meals at least.

Chocolate sweet potato slice

This sugar-free baked chocolate sweet potato slice is a fun recipe my sister came across in the recipe community. It contains sweet potato and apple — and led to my first use of the Thermomix steamer (step 1). The steamed ingredients are then blended with dates, cocoa, eggs and stuff (steps 2-4), before baking in the oven.

Yet again, so easy. The texture of the slice is really smooth and velvety and makes for a fabulous guilt-free chocolaty snack. (I made this for an evening with friends back in September, and I should acknowledge that not everyone liked it as much as I do… heh.)

So that’s kind of it as far as “new” recipes go. I’ve repeated other recipes of course (especially soups, cakes, fruit and nut/seed mixes). I haven’t been a total slacker. Now I have a few weeks off… perhaps there’ll be some more mixadventures on the way soon.

Mixadventures with banana coconut loaf and risotto

I found an awesome cake recipe in the Thermomix recipe community a couple of weeks ago when I needed to use up some skanky bananas (as you do).

I’ve been telling everyone about this gluten-free banana, raspberry and coconut loaf (below left), because it was so easy and delicious and almost healthy. Basically, it’s made from almond meal, coconut, banana, eggs and berries. And, er, sugar. But next time I’m going to try it with half the sugar, and from now on this will undoubtedly be my go-to banana cake.

I made it for an occasion, but since it half fell apart when I removed it from the tin, I was forced to eat the whole thing myself. Not that I was complaining. (Next time there’ll be baking paper involved.)

Then… I finally got around to making my first Thermomix risotto, in this case a half quantity of the mushroom risotto (above right) from the Thermomix Basic Cookbook.

I used fewer mushrooms (because I didn’t have enough on hand), but included red capsicum (which I had left over) and also tossed through spinach and beetroot leaves. There would have been plenty of room in the bowl for more vegetables using the half quantity of rice — usually I like to bulk out a risotto with vegetables to make it more healthy. The half quantity made two meals, but with extra vegetables it should do three.

The Thermomix has a reputation for being fabulous for risottos, since it does all the heating and stirring. It was certainly easy and convenient — plus I found it seemed to cook more quickly than on top of the stove. Pretty sure I’m sold. This was also the first time I used the butterfly whisk attachment, which was easier than it looked.

Very delighted to have added these two recipes to my Thermomix repertoire!

Mixadventures while entertaining and snacking

Another two months on and I’m still having mixadventures in the kitchen, although it would be fair to say things have slowed down a little, particularly when it comes to attempting new recipes.

I’ve made vegetable soup a few more times (I knew soup would become a staple for me!), plus I repeated both creme brulee and chicken cacciatore for my reading group when they came over a month or so ago — because they turned out so good the first time!

I will, however, continue to focus this series of posts solely on new things made in the Thermomix, or when I learn something interesting. And, rest assured, it will always be amateur hour on this blog!


CADA and muesli

CADA stands for coconut-almonds-dates-apple, and it has to be one of the simplest things to make in the Thermomix. Basically, you throw in 40g each of the first three, plus an apple, and pulverise it into chunks in a few short bursts. Takes about 5 minutes. (If that.)

It makes a nutritious and delicious snack on its own, or mixed with yoghurt (or porridge or custard or stewed fruit…) and easily lasts a week in the fridge (longer I daresay if you omit the fresh apple). You can of course throw in a mix of different yummy things — hazelnuts, dried figs, prunes, dried apricots etc…

There’s a fruit and nut muesli recipe in the basic cookbook resembling CADA and I made that too. Basically, anything in this family is quick and yum. I’ve made a few variations and have been eating it for either breakfast or an afternoon snack.


Beef Stroganoff

The beef stroganoff recipe in the Thermomix basic cookbook is delicious. I followed it more or less to plan, although I think I included more mushrooms (it was a month ago now!). Once again, it’s an ‘all in one’ pot kind of recipe, where you add ingredients and cook along the way. Very simple. And did I mention delicious?

The advantage for me of making these types of meals is they make three or four dinners, and if it’s yummy enough I don’t mind eating it all week.

beef stroganoff

It was good this recipe worked, despite my meddling with some of the quantities. I didn’t have so much luck with my attempted bolognese sauce, which I stuffed up completely when I tried to jam too many vegetables in and it wouldn’t all fit! I ended up chopping the vegetables in the thermomix but cooking on the stove. A trap for the unwary… Lesson learnt, I guess.


Entertaining

I mentioned earlier in this post that I hosted my reading group about a month ago. This event caused me to go a little catering crazy on the Thermomix front. (And I ended up a little crazy!)

I served the aforementioned chicken cacciatore with rice as a light meal or supper. Since cooking for friends is not something I usually do, this was a fairly big deal for me… But the Thermomix recipe is fairly foolproof (and I’d made it before)… ultimately it went down very well.

I also made a couple of fresh dips. One was guacamole, more or less as per the basic cookbook recipe. This was easy enough to make, but also kind of a fiddle… and annoyingly it needed to be made at the last minute. (Having said that, I made so much it lasted the entire weekend and was still delicious.)

dips

The other dip I made was a complete winner — capsicum and sundried tomato dip. I found this recipe on the Thermomix recipe community site, and I will definitely be making this one again.

It’s really easy to make: grate parmesan cheese then throw in the other ingredients (garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh red capsicum, cashews, olive oil and vinegar) and pulse a few times. Once again, no more than five minutes.

This dip is yummy, nutritious and lasts for at least two weeks in the fridge. I made a double quantity, since I was going on a writing retreat to Phillip Island the following weekend, so there was heaps. While great on a cracker, it also made a great pasta sauce with fresh greens and diced tomato tossed through. Highly recommended!

Mixadventures with chicken cacciatore and creme brulee

Ohmygoodness I’ve turned into a food blogger. Except not really, because this isn’t about the recipes and it’s definitely not about the food styling. It’s basically about the Thermomix exploits of someone who doesn’t usually cook. You’ve been warned.

week 3 – Chicken Cacciatore

After a most impressive opening fortnight with my Thermomix, I was on a roll, and when the next weekend arrived I perused the Basic Cookbook with gusto. World. Oyster. All that…

But the thing is, some of those recipes, albeit simple, use a helluva lot of ingredients. (Der, that’s what happens when you cook things from scratch.) All those herbs and spices. What are they exactly? Where do you even get them?

I decided to work up to all the herbs and spices and selected Chicken Cacciatore for my second Thermomix meal. It looked manageable in terms of both ingredients and procedure: chop, saute, a few stages of cooking… All done in about half an hour.

And it came out really well, even if I messed with the recipe again. (It called for white wine, but I have dozens of cases of red. Which turned out to be more than fine.) It made enough for four generous meals, so I was eating it all week. Not that I was complaining.

I ate it initially with a microwaved potato and fresh leaves — yum. But then a few nights later I was ready to put the Thermomix into action again to make… RICE.

week 3 – Boiled rice

I don’t eat a lot of rice, mainly because I can’t be bothered cooking it. That could be about to change.

The ‘recipe’ called for 350g of rice in the ‘simmering basket’. However, I cooked half a cup (105g), which typically does me for two meals, and the reduced amount worked fine. It took 20 minutes and came out fluffy and fairly perfect.

I did freak out during the cooking, when the goopy water burbled out the top, but the lid is clearly designed to deal with this type of behaviour, because there was no overflowing.

week 4 – Torta caprese

It was only a matter of time before I got into the cake section of the cookbook. And since I’m a chocoholic from way back, it was a no brainer to try out this flourless almond chocolate cake. The excuse was a family dinner. (Much as I would have loved to make it just for meee.)

The fun thing about this was I got to grind almonds into almond meal! In six seconds. The recipe called for the chocolate to be ground up as well (10 seconds), then everything got mixed together before baking in the oven.

Stage two was making a chocolate ganache icing, which I had never made before. It involved grinding more chocolate and then melting it into cream at 50C for three minutes.

To my mind, this type of thing is where the Thermomix really shines. The ganache was quick as anything to make, and took no time at all. I like the fact the Thermomix controls everything and there’s no chance of stuffing it up!

week 6 – vegetable soup

Oh no, I missed a week! But I have an excuse: I went away for Easter. Which brings me to my sixth week of mixadventures. On Friday night I made vegetable soup for me and a couple of friends who came over for Gin Night (that’s another story entirely).

Since I don’t make a habit of cooking for other people, this was kind of a big deal… but not really because it was very casual and, well, I was cooking soup. It’s hardly cordon bleu. And since Thermomix soup is one thing I can see me making rather frequently, I was keen to give it a go.

Once again, it was extremely quick and easy. I even had a kitchen helper to peel and chop the vegetables, so all I had to do was chuck them into the Thermomix and press the right buttons: dice (onion and garlic) and saute to start, followed by cooking/stirring for some 25 minutes, then blend for 1 minute. Voila! Soup! All while hanging out with friends.

It tasted pretty good too. Not to mention I went ‘manual’ for the first time — that is, I didn’t rely solely on the pre-programmed recipe chip to tell me what to do. The cookbook gave optional instructions for chopping and sauteing the onion/garlic before adding the rest of the vegetables… Negotiated successfully! (Again, hardly rocket science…)

week 6 – creme brulee

I mentioned in the previous mixadventures post that I am rather partial to custard. Which is something of an understatement. More to the point, I became a huge fan of creme brulee (crema catalana) when I was in Spain several years ago. Yum yum yum.

But I’ve never actually made creme brulee before. It’s not like I’m going to make it for myself, right? Right? I mean, what would I do with six serves of creme brulee sitting in my fridge. Eat them ALL?

Ahem. I had a pint of cream I needed to use before it expired. That’s my excuse. (Ohmygod, how embarrassing.)

The worst/best of it is that it was so ridiculously easy that I will now need to control myself of there will be more. (Add cream, eggs, sugar –> cook for 15 minutes at a controlled temperature.) Once again, there was no chance of it going wrong. And it didn’t. I ended up with several ramekins filled with delicious yum.

Of course, the key thing with creme brulee is the torching and caramelising of the sugar on top. Needless to say, I do not have a blow torch of any kind, so I attempted the ‘under the grill’ method — which took far too long and with limited success. I did it once (see photo), but I think I’ll just eat the rest as they are!


You may note I ended the last post intending to make a risotto. This hasn’t actually happened yet. Maybe next month?

Right now, I’m off to eat soup and creme brulee – heh.

Mixadventures in Thermomix

It’s time for a new series of adventures (misadventures?) — this time along culinary lines. I recently acquired a Thermomix and will now proceed to torment you all with accounts of my hapless kitchen exploits.

I say “hapless”, because I am not a “foodie” in the sense of creating — only in the sense of consuming. (And I do LOVE to consume.) But that is all about to change (kinda).

thermomix1

First, why a Thermomix?

I have to admit people are asking why I, who doesn’t cook a lot, now have a $2000 mega-appliance sitting on my kitchen bench. It was, in fact, a very generous gift from my parents, but I thought long and hard about accepting it.

In the end, I was convinced by a few things:

  1. I really like the idea of getting back to basics — i.e. preparing foods from natural ingredients, rather than relying on jars etc from the supermarket. Examples of processed foods I’m hoping to eliminate from my diet include stock, pesto, dips, relishes, cakes/slices…
  2. I want to cook more frequently and more diversely. I’ve become too reliant on Lite n Easy meals (which are healthy and good quality for frozen foods, but still…), and when I do get around to “cooking” it’s very simple. (I always try to ensure I’m eating fresh salad/vegetables whenever possible, but my repertoire is not large.) If a Thermomix can cut out a few steps, not to mention time, then I’m more likely to make the effort.
  3. My sisters each had one and I got jealous.

Now, I know that most things made in a Thermomix can be made using more traditional tools — food processors, saucepans etc. If I wasn’t making the effort before, what would make me change?

I figure it’s all about habit. And confidence. Both of which could be acquired without a Thermomix, but probably with more rigmarole. After all, I’m far more likely to adopt new habits if they are more efficient.

OK, that’s enough rationalising. I have a Thermomix now. Deal with it. There’s no going back.

My pledge

To help create my new habit, grow confidence, and avoid my fear of harboring a dormant Thermomix, I have pledged to create at least one thing every week from one of the Thermomix cookbooks.

These do not need to be new — it’s OK if I repeat recipes, but I figure the more confident I get with using the machine and creating particular dishes, the more I’ll want to try new things. Simple is fine as well. As long as I make something.

So how did the first two weeks go?

Day 1 — Vegetable stock

My Thermomix was delivered on 16 March. As part of the commissioning process, we made vegetable stock. This involved roughly chopping a bunch of vegetables and herbs and throwing them into the Thermomix with a little oil and a heap of salt.

veggiestock

It cooked for 20 minutes, then we zhooshed it while still hot. I now have SO MUCH vegetable stock for soups, casseroles, pasta sauces, risottos etc. It will last in the freezer for months, and because of the salt doesn’t freeze solid. It’s freaking cool.

  • I was really really glad I made this under supervision, because that thing growled and nearly jumped off the bench when pureeing (which took a minute). I would have freaked out and turned it off.
  • The ability to cook and blend all in the one machine is magnificent. It’s quick and easy and I will be using this functionality for soup repeatedly. Can’t wait!

Day 3 — Vitality Truffles

I went for something really easy for my first solo effort. Vitality truffles are essentially blended dried fruit (apricots/peaches, dates, figs, raisins), hazelnuts and rolled oats. The most time consuming part was the (manual) rolling into balls.

vitalitytruffles

  • I daringly made these under some time pressure, since I was taking them to our afternoon D&D session. The making of them was fine. What I neglected to take into account was the cleanup time. (Note to self!)
  • Not that cleanup was particularly arduous or time-consuming. But it was the first time, so I was naturally more tentative and careful.
  • My D&D team enjoyed the vitality truffles and I would definitely make these again as a quick and healthy snack for when I need to take a plate of food for some event.

Day 11 — Chocolate custard

I’m going to get so fat. The Thermomix has three built-in, fully automatic recipes, one of which is custard. Thick and creamy custard. I adore custard. Basically, you follow the prompts when adding ingredients (milk, cornflour, sugar, eggs, cocoa – if desired) and then press “go”. Less than 10 minutes later, there is thick and creamy custard. Noms. (You still have clean up, though. Bleurgh.) But custard!

Day 12 — Pasta in tomato sauce with ham and chorizo

Made last night, pasta in tomato sauce etc was my most daring mixadventure yet. I diligently went shopping for all the ingredients on the weekend, and made sure I started cooking before I was tired and hungry. It involved more steps than the previous recipes — grating parmesan and setting aside, chopping the meats and setting aside, then a few chopping and cooking steps involving onions (sauteed), canned tomatoes, pasta. But everything was cooked in the one vessel and it tasted delicious. MUCH more tasty than it looks. (Food styling is clearly not my thing.)

pasta

  • I’m still using the “assisted cooking” process via the Basic Cookbook electronic chip. In other words, the Thermomix touchscreen steps you through the addition of each (weighed) ingredient and cooking stage, and automatically sets the temperatures and times.
  • Even though I know you’re not supposed to mess with the recipe the first time, I messed with the recipe. I added additional vegetables and meat and considerably less pasta. It came out a little more runny than it should have (I didn’t adjust the water), but cooked perfectly and tasted delicious. It will still do me three meals. (I didn’t particularly want four meals worth.)
  • It took me an hour from start to finish — at which point I stuck it in the oven with the parmesan cheese on top to make a pasta bake. The recipe says it should take 20 minutes. Considering there is more than 20 minutes cooking time in the recipe, I think the book is delusional. You still have to gather your ingredients, wash the bowl after the parmesan, peel the onions etc. I daresay I would get quicker, but 20 minutes? No.

So I think the first two weeks went pretty well!

I’m serious about my pledge to make something at least once each week, and will continue to work my way through the Basic Cookbook (which comes with the Thermomix) as a starting point. I might try a risotto next.

My intention is to drop in from time to time to let you know how I’m going! Until the next mixadventure…