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Monday, November 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

When I was in the states I discovered that americans love their sweet potato pies. I tried a few different versions of this famous pie and loved them all. They serve it up for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I got this recipe off my friend in Seattle. I have made it several times for friends here and they all loved it. I am sure that once you try it, you will become a fan of this great american traditional pie. You can always substitue the sweet potato for pumpkin if preferred. I would recommend that you use either butternut or jap pumpkin as they are sweeter.
It is easy to make. I have made it using my own shortcrust pastry recipe and also just using the bought frozen ones from the supermarket. Either way, the pie will taste really yummy.
You can always halve this recipe if you only want to make 1 pie but advise making the 2 pies as they will disappear very quickly.

3 large sweet potatoes - about 1 kilo (2 1/2 lbs)
1 1/2 cups sugar
125g butter (1/2 cup)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 x 375ml can evaporated milk(12 ounces)
2 x 22 - 24cm (9 inch) shortcrust pie cases

Preheat oven to and a baking tray to 180C (375) or 170C if fan forced oven.
Place potatoes unpeeled in a large pot of water and boil until cooked. Remove and cool slightly by running under cold water. Remove skins from them.
Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl on electric mixer and beat until smooth.
Add butter and sugar and beat well. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in spices, vanilla essence and milk.
Pour into unbaked pasty cases and place on a baking tray, nearer to the middle of your oven.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, then test if cooked. Insert a clean knife into pies and if it comes out clean then you know they are cooked. If not, continue cooking for another 5 -10 minutes and check again.
Remove from oven and let them cool down on a wire rack.
The pies will rise up similar to cooking a souffle but will subside as cooling.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
They are suitable to freeze for up to 3 months.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spiced Roast Chicken

A friend served this up at a luncheon I went to at her house. It was so delicious I asked her for the recipe to test it out on David. He loved it as much as I had and so I now want to share it with you. This is one of the best recipes I have made and know that you will love it once you have made it for yourself. It is one of those recipes that you will make again and again.
It calls for fresh herbs but when I made it, I didn't have them so just used dried instead. It was still delicious so you could use either and still love it.

12 chicken portions with skin on (drumsticks and thighs are best)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds - roughly ground (or dried)
1/2 bunch fresh thyme - chopped (or 1 large teaspoon dried thyme)
4 cloves fresh garlic - finely chopped (can use bottled)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
zest and juice of 1 lemon
60ml good olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.
Score the skins of chicken and place in a large baking dish.
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over chicken pieces, making sure that you rub it into the skin really well.
Roast in oven for approx 1 hour or until the chicken is lovely and golden and the skin crisp.
Serve with homemade potato salad and some crusty bread.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Broccoli Salad

My sister-in-law Angela dished this yummy salad up at a barbecue at her place. She was given it by a family member in Canada. Everyone at the party loved it and so I asked her for the recipe to add to my site. She didn't give me the exact quantities of each ingredient in it so I made a salad up myself and have hopefully got it right. It tasted great so I am happy with my results. I found that it tasted even better the following day and that is because the sultanas had a chance to swell overnight.
You can always play around with salads and either add or take away, depending on personal taste. I know that once you make this wonderful dish, you will want to make it again and again.

1 large broccoli or 2 small
3/4 cup sultanas
1/2 medium size red onion (could use a white salad onion)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup grapes (if out of season use 1 - 2 kiwi fruit instead)
1/2 cup Miracle Whip mayonnaise
3 - 4 rashers of lean bacon

Fry or grill bacon till nice and crisp. Remove from heat and dice while still warm. Set aside to cool down.
Wash broccoli thoroughly and cut into small florets. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Finely slice the onion and add to bowl.
Toss in the sultanas and grapes, or if using kiwi fruit, peel and dice, then add to bowl.
Add the sunflower seeds, bacon and mayonnaise and give a really good stir so it is well combined.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Leave for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.
Serve with meat, chicken or fish. Especially great with a barbecue.