Kitchen Therapy


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Dukkah Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower

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Who would have thought cauliflower could taste so morish?!
When I first explained to my 3 children (and husband) what we were having for dinner they screwed up their faces.
Thank goodness for the Cook the Book Fridays group!
Once I explained the Dukkah Roasted Cauliflower was the recipe of the week they were still skeptical however they take their food taste tester jobs seriously, so they approached the dinner table with an open mind… kind of.
I threw in some carrots to the recipe for colour and served this along side grilled scotch fillet steaks.
I’m not big on red meat so I was worried about the meal being bland however the Dukkah had more than enough flavour to carry it.
It was a satisfying and healthy meal that packed some punch!
(I didn’t even need the usual sauce I slather my red meat in so I can eat it).

My 8 year old was the hardest to sell on the carrots and cauliflower, picking up the first floret with so much hesitation and suspicion I was prepared for his usual reaction. Wrapping his hands around his throat, then his stomach while his declaring he just can’t eat it ok? He just can’t!  I was watching him out of the side of my eye, not risking drawing his attention. If he sees me watching, he thinks he has an audience and the theatrics begin before the food goes anywhere near his mouth! Seeing me busy and not paying attention (on the outside) and watching the older two start eating I saw him put a cauliflower in his mouth. Pause. Chew a little. Then as he chewed a little more, his screwed up little face started to relax. He picked up another bit of cauliflower and then a carrot and in the end he asked for more vegetables and left most of the meat on his plate. We have a winner! Yes!

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The dukkah I made had to be nut free as my 8yr old is anaphylactic to some nuts. He eats Nutella without problems and it’s made with hazelnuts however I didn’t want to take a risk so I substituted the hazelnuts in this recipe with sunflower seeds.
I’ve always avoided dukkah because of the nuts, it was great to make my own and know exactly what went into it. I think the nuts would have smelled and tasted amazing, especially coming out of the oven! I don’t think mine smelled as amazing as David Lebovitz described in his book, My Paris Kitchen, but it wasn’t far behind!

I am looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook the Book Fridays group thought!

 

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Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes Recipe – Cheesecake Factory Fabulousness

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It’s summer time here on the Northern Beaches of NSW, Australia.
We live a few minutes drive from Manly Beach and I feel blessed to live here.
It is absolutely beautiful.

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We decided to not go away these holidays as we are about to start building a new house.
However living here, a popular tourist town, has made me miss our favourite holiday getaway…
Hawaii!

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We stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in the Rainbow Tower.
We have a routine we have carved out for ourselves over a few years now.
We head over to Duke’s for breakfast and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!
We don’t have the Cheesecake Factory in Australia and it’s usually the first stop after we’ve checked in, had a nap after our overnight 9 hour flight and wake up famished!
On our last trip I discovered the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes and I’ll be honest, I haven’t stopped thinking about them!
I have a clear memory of taking a bite and stopping. There was so much flavour in one bite I just sat, smiled and savoured the explosion in my mouth. A year later I couldn’t remember the exact taste, but I remembered the impression they made on me and everyone else at the table who tried them.

I found the recipe here and after sourcing a can of tomatillos and a bag of masa harina flour I knew the day had come to commit to this recipe. The list of ingredients is long so it did make me hesitate and put this off for way longer than needed. However once I committed to it, I realised I had quite a few of the ingredients in the pantry and the rest were easy to source.

I also realised that the first three components could be placed into my processor and blitzed!

The Salsa Verde:
I doubled the recipe so I put in 4 tomatillos from a can (I had read that it was ok to substitute canned if I couldn’t find fresh and I could not find any tomatillos here on the Northern Beaches). A few slices Jalapenos from a can as I wasn’t sure what type of green chilies the recipe called for, 2 green onions, 4 Tablespoons coriander leaves, 2 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 pinches ground black pepper. You can see the gorgeous and vibrant colours in the salsa verde after a few blitzes in the food processor. Now put in the refrigerator to chill.

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The Tomato Salsa:
Again I doubled the recipe.
I had read a medium tomato weighed about 120grams so I put in a 250g punnet of sweet cherry tomatoes, 1/2 a medium spanish onion, 2 Tablespoons coriander, 1/2 tsp lime juice, a few slices of jalapeno from a jar some salt and pepper. The recipe calls for a dash of salt and a dash of pepper, I found out that a dash is 1/8 teaspoon so since I’m doubling the recipe I added about 1/4 teaspoon of each. I drained a lot of the liquid after blitzing the ingredients in my food processor and then placed in the fridge to chill. The smell was absolutely amazing!

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The Southwestern Sauce:
I also doubled this recipe however for future reference I only need the amount specified in the recipe for double the amount of tamale cakes. This is 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp water, 3/4 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1 pinch cayenne powder, 1 pinch onion powder, a dash of salt and a dash of garlic powder. I placed all the ingredients in a bowl, gave them a quick stir and into the fridge to chill! It was that easy and now I had 3 out of 4 components for my recipe. I wish I realised how simple this recipe was  earlier!

southwestern sauce

The Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes:
I doubled the recipe and placed 2 cups of frozen sweet corn in the processor along with 1 cup of softened butter, 5 tablespoons sugar and 2 pinches salt. I then placed this mixture in a bowl with 1 cup of masa harina flour, 4 tablespoons all purpose flour and 1 extra cup of frozen sweet corn. I mixed everything through and was ready to cook my tamale cakes!

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The mixture was cold and at first I struggled to get the cakes to stick together however I found using slightly damp hands made a huge difference. The recipe called for them to be baked however I cooked them about 3 minutes each side in a frying pan over medium heat.

I then placed sweet corn tamale cakes on a plate, topped half a side with salsa verde and the other half with the tomato salsa. I added some diced avocado over the top, a small dollop of sour cream and some chopped coriander for garnish.

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As I said earlier I remember they were good however biting into these was orgasmic! The flavour exploded into my mouth and I actually moaned with pleasure. Yep. They were that good! To be honest I don’t think I can do them justice with words. I am so glad I made these and will be making them again soon!