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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with fresh oregano

03Jul 12

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers

Deep-fried onion flowerThese delicious,  deep-fried onion “flowers” make for a very visually impressive appetiser with which to astound your friends!  The best thing about them is that although they look very impressive and hard to make, they’re actually very easy and will be ready in less than 30 minutes! Serve them with a side of mustard sauce for dipping.

I also recommend these aloo bonda snacks, which are deep-fried potato balls.

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions
  • 150g white rice flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml water
  • Canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Remove the skin from the onion and remove a ½ centimetre slice from the top of the onion.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, cut down from the top through the center of the onion to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom, leaving the root end intact.
  3. Turn the onion 90 degrees, and slice through the centre of the onion, again to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom.
  4. You now have an onion with 4 vertical sections.
  5. Keep rotating the onion 10 degrees at a time, cutting down through the center of the onion until you have made 16 slices.
  6. Spread apart the layers of the onion slightly so the coating can reach the innermost parts of the onion "flower".
  7. Repeat with the other onion.
  8. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour,
  9. garlic powder, salt, oregano, cayenne, thyme, cumin, and pepper. Set aside.
  10. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and water until very foamy
  11. and all the egg membrane has broken up.
  12. Using a pastry brush, coat the onion layers with the egg mixture.
  13. Place the flour mixture in a sieve and liberally dust the onions with the flour mixture.
  14. Heat the canola oil to 175ºC in a deep fryer or a deep pot. There should be enough oil to completely cover the onions.
  15. Carefully place the onions right side up in the oil and fry for 10 minutes, or until it they are browned.
  16. Using a large slotted spatula or spoon, remove the onions from the
  17. oil and drain them on paper towels.
  18. Serve immediately.

 

 

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19Apr 12

Baked Aubergine Parmesan with Tofu Pesto

Baked aubergine parmesan with tofu pestoThis baked aubergine parmesan with tofu pesto has got to be one of my all-time favourite comfort foods.  Filled with lots of cheese and literally dripping with sauce, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  If you’re not a fan of aubergine (like my son) you could substitute it for courgette, wild mushrooms or even a mix of vegetables.

You Need:

For the baked aubergine:

  • 1kg aubergines
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 750ml tomato sauce
  • 300g mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 250g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

For the tofu pesto:

  • 125g firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 500g fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 125g fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Peel the aubergine and slice into 1cm thick pieces.
  3. Sprinkle salt on each side and drain on kitchen towels for about 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the pieces over and drain on the other side for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
  5. Drizzle the oil on the aubergine and then grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.
  6. Combine the oregano and tomato sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour a small amount on the bottom of a 23cm x 30cm pan.
  7. Arrange a layer of aubergine along the bottom of the pan, cover with some sauce and the shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Continue layering until you have used all the aubergine, sauce and cheese, ending with the cheese.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  10. While the aubergine is baking, prepare the pesto topping.  Combine all the ingredients in a blender, starting with the liquid ingredients at the bottom to facilitate blending.  Process on medium speed until the pesto is very smooth. (Click here for another pesto sauce recipe.)
  11. Pour the pesto sauce over the baked aubergine and serve immediately.

Note: Some people like pesto more than others, and so I often put the pest in a bowl on the side so that my guests can serve themselves according to personal preference.

Ready In:  75 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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