Tuesday, 5 February 2008


One of my previous posts mentioned a recipe website that I discovered - and I cooked one of the recipes that I had printed out
SLOW COOKER CHEDDAR POLENTA. This was an easy way of cooking Polenta, made a large dish, and can be cut into individual portions and frozen (which I have done).

Servings 8 - so you could halve the quantities if you wish

7 cups hot water
2 cups polenta (not quick cooking) or coarse-ground
yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsps salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups grated cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)

Mix water, polenta, olive oil and salt in slow cooker; whisk until well blended. Add cheddar cheese and whisk again.
Cover and cook on high setting for about 2 hours, or until liquid is mostly absorbed. Stir together well (polenta should have consistency of thick cooked cereal).
If not serving right away, pour into buttered (large) dish, spreading into an even layer; cover with plastic wrap and let cool. When ready to serve, cut into rectangles and saute in nonstick skillet with olive oil or until golden or both sides.

I checked the mixture after about 1hr45 minutes and it was ready, so will depend on your slow cooker.
Whilst my husband had a Gluten free meat pie with vegies and mashed potato, I enjoyed a slice of Polenta with some homemade tomato sauce. Delicious.

I may as well keep going with a few more recipes and keep this posting all in the same vein.
Here is a nice PUMPKIN TEA BAG CAKE recipe, which comes from the ABC book - Homecooked.

1 cup (250ml) boiling water
4 tea bags
125g butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
500g mixed dried fruit (any combination - I take out the cherries and substitute with dried cranberries)
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin (press out excess moisture
2 eggs - lightly beaten
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup SR Flour - sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarb of soda

Preheat the oven to 180degrees C. Line a 22cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Pour boiling water onto the tea bags. Stand until almost cold, then squeeze the bags to extract all flavours. Discard the bags.
Put the brewed tea into a saucepan with the butter, sugar, golden syrup and fruit, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Add the pumpkin and eggs, mix in well then stir in the flours, cinnamon and bicarb.
Pour into the prepred tin and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the het to 160degrees C. Cook for a further 1 - 1/2 hours, until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin then turn out. The cke will keep for a week in an air tight container.


Over the weekend, Saturday 2nd February, I attended a Rare Fruits meeting, and one of the items at our bi-monthly meetings, is a cooking competition. This is a good venue for people to try out different ways of cooking the rare fruits.
The competition had 2 entries this time - SOURSOP TART and a PUMPKIN PIE. Both delicious but would have to lean more to the SOURSOP TART.

Peel soursop. Put soursop in saucepan and cover with water will cooked.
Strain, then cool.
Add 1/2 tin condensed milk, 2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp.
thicken with 1 tablespoon gelatine.
Pour into tart shell
Place in fridge to set.

I have an idea of when the next newsletter is being prepared (by me) that I will put out a call for people to submit Pumpkin fruit cake recipes and see what response I get.

Today looks like being an indoors one, as the rain has been falling since early morning, so will be spending time baking, and no doubt catching up with more family research.
The garden should be relishing this rain, as on Sunday I spread around all of the fruit trees and some other plants, a dose of Organic Garden Booster (chicken pellets).
Also shifted my 3 black compost bins to the rear of the block - filled in with compost, blood and bone and dolomite, and planted pumpkin seeds. I read an article in an issue of Earth Garden magazine, where Jacki French had recommended this to someone who wanted another use for his compost bins.
So fingers crossed and see how it works. The seeds I planted were from the lady that made the pumpkin pie for the rare fruits meeting. Think they were from a Gramma variety, which is a nice dry pumpkin.

Only wish I hadn't used up all my wood ash, as pumpkins are said to like this as a feed as well.

Another tick for a previous recipe mentioned - VANILLA SLICE.
I had put a few slices in the freezer so see how it would go. No problem, still tasted delicious after 2 weeks in the freezer.
Have a thought of next time I make this, of folding through a quantity of Black Sapote puree (Chocolate pudding fruit). There are a few containers of this in my freezer, from my first crop.
This fruit also goes well in chocolate cakes and muffins.

Would like to hear from anyone who has a good pumpkin fruit cake recipe!

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