Uforic Food Cafe Torquay

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Hainanese Chicken and Rice – slow food at its healthy best

Hainanese Chicken and Rice – slow food at its healthy best

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You know how sometimes you just feel like simple food? Well, this Asian dish is clean, beautiful, – and really rather healthy. But, I admit,  it’s not exactly the most straight forward dish.

It seems that in this day and age we are always looking to cook stuff which is quick and easy – but I really do think there is a lot of merit in slow food. It’s the kind of cooking you do when you have some time free on the weekend – or you just feel like being in the kitchen and chopping a bit of this and stirring a bit of that.

It’s not a stressful dish – in fact, there is a decent length of time when you can sit back, Kylie Kwong style, and just wait, and read and ponder the world. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago – the only celebrity chef I have ever seen in real life – and just chat to her. She also has the best mannerisms. If you haven’t seen Kylie in action before – pop over to YouTube and have a look. She’s great.

But, I digress.

This recipe isn’t a Kylie Kwong dish – it was actually inspired by Justine Schofield. I really like her food too and when I watch her show – I’m always inspired and ready to get into the kitchen!

So, this is my version of Justine’s Chinese Hainanese Chicken and Rice. She serves it in separate components, which was really lovely, but, when I had the left overs a few days later – I made it more into one dish – and enjoyed it immensely as that is how I like to eat my food. For all your work you get beautiful poached chicken, an amazing clean and delicious soup, as well as a fantastic dipping sauce you are sure to find many other uses for.

So, here goes …

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Stock – here’s how to make it at home

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We kick off our look back into the Uforic Food archives with a recipe I posted way back when the blog first started, just over two years ago. Many of you weren’t around way back then – so a lot of these recipes will be brand new for you – and if you have seen them before – why not whip them up again?

So, while the weather is still cool – why not take this opportunity to make your own stock? Here is my recipe for chicken stock. To make vegie stock – simply leave out the chicken! Both versions will make your soups, risottos and casseroles taste amazing. It’s incredible what happens to food when you take the time to make everything from scratch – and with love. Sure, we don’t always have time – but, if you have a moment on a Sunday afternoon, why not stick this one the stove and fill your house with lovely smells? It freezes really well for future use and convenience as well 🙂

Chicken Stock

– 1 whole free-range chicken
– 3 stalks of celery – roughly chopped (include top leaves for extra flavour)
– 3 carrots – roughly chopped
– 3 large red onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
– 1 handful of fresh parsley
– 2 leeks (use only white parts) roughly chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic – whole with skin on
– 6 peppercorns
– 2 bay leaves
– A few good pinches of sea salt (to taste)
– I stalk of lemon grass – bruised (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and pour over enough cold water to cover all the vegetables and to ensure the chicken is submerged.
Cover and simmer very gently for about 1 hour.
Remove from heat, retrieve the chicken and set aside.
Strain the liquid into a clean bowl, pressing the vegetables to extract the flavour. Transfer back into the saucepan and allow to cool. Pop into the fridge. Once cold, remove from the fridge and a skin will have formed on top. Skim this off with a clean metal spoon.  You are now ready to cook your favourite dish!
I hope you enjoyed the first contribution from the Uforic Food archive. Stay tuned for more to come!

Day 12 – Brew your own stock

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Day 12 of the Inspiration Challenge has arrived and today I’m going to say that everyone should be making their own stock.

However, I do wholeheartedly admit that I sometimes use stock that comes in a carton and I even sometimes use stock powder. If you told a chef about this, then they would probably have a hissy fit! But hey, lets face it – we’re all busy people and we don’t always have time to brew up our own stock of a weekend.

In saying that, making your own is incredibly rewarding and sooo much healthier and tastier then the stuff from the supermarket. The other great thing is that you can make it in a massive batch and freeze it for later use – which is very, very convenient and when stored this way, is just as fuss-free as the non-homemade stuff.

So next time you have some free time, I urge you to make your own stock. I have a basic vegie stock recipe that I use – and then I just add the relevant bones I want depending if I want chicken, beef, lamb or fish stock.

Basic Stock
  

 
– 3 stalks of celery – roughly chopped (include top leaves for extra flavour)
– 3 carrots – roughly chopped
– 2 large brown onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
– 1 handful of fresh parsley
– 2 leeks (use only white parts) roughly chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
– 8 pepper corns
– 2 bay leaves
– A few good pinches of sea salt (to taste)
  
Add about 1kg of beef or lamb bones, or 2 chicken carcases – depending on what kind of stock you want to make.
 
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and pour over 4 litres of cold water.
Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl, pressing the vegetables to extract the flavour.
Make sure you taste the stock at this point and adjust the seasoning to taste.
 
You can use the stock from this point – however, unless I’m using vegetables only – I like to let the stock cool – transfer it into an appropriate container and then refrigerate overnight.
 
What then happens is any fats in the stock rise to the top and harden flightly. It’s easy to then get a large spoon and skim the yuckiness of the top. This makes the stock taste clean and lovely, and ensures you don’t eat all that fat!
These stock are so versatile – they can be used for soups, risottos, casseroles – anything and anything really.
Be Inspired~
Lisa
 
 
 

Inspirational recipe #1 – Vegetable stock

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Ok, I know vegie stock doesn’t sound really all that inspiring – but the most awesome thing about it – and chicken stock too – which I will post in coming days – is that it can be the foundation to make many fantastic dishes – vegetarian risotto – curries, soups and much, much more.  I actually penned this recipe for my brother, who recently took over a fruit and veg shop on the Surf Coast called Anglesea Fruitz

 

Now if you want to go somewhere and be inspired by fresh produce and amazing gourmet stuff including olive oil, awesome pasta, the most amazing yogurt on the planet (I’m not joking!!) – then this is definitely a place to stop by – fill your basket and go home and have some fun in the kitchen. It can be found at the Geelong end of the shopping strip in Anglesea – which is at the start of the Great Ocean Road, Victoria Australia. Here is the website to learn more about Anglesea – it truly is a beautiful seaside town and the gateway to many other natural wonders of the world – including the Twelve Apostles 

The Twelve Apostles

http://www.travelvictoria.com.au/anglesea/ 

Ok, so onto the recipe!! The best thing about it is it is simply, healthy, delicious and you can freeze it for future use. Normally I’m not a big fan of freezing, but this works really well 🙂 

There is also no need to peel any of the ingredients and only very rough chopping is needed as the vegetables are strained away later, leaving behind only their natural goodness. 

Vegie stock
 
– 3 stalks of celery – roughly chopped (include top leaves for extra flavour)
– 3 carrots – roughly chopped
– 2 large brown onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
– 1 handful of fresh parsley
– 2 leeks (use only white parts) roughly chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
– 6 pepper corns
– 2 bay leaves
– A few good pinches of sea salt (to taste)
– I stalk of lemon grass – bruised (optional)
 
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and pour over enough cold water to cover all the vegetables.
Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl, pressing the vegetables to extract the flavour. Refrigerate and use as required.
Makes around 5 cups.