Tag Archives : lemon

Baked Salmon in Lemon Butter with Pasta

Baked Salmon in Lemon Butter with Pasta

We made this when we were desperate to get rid of the frozen salmon fillets that we bought from Ikea. Please don’t ask me why I decided that it was a good idea to buy frozen Nordic salmon fillets instead of perfectly fresh Tasmanian salmon. And no, they were not good. They were kinda terrible compared to the fresh Tasmanian salmon you can get at the market. But at least I learned, right?

Bake Salmon Fillet in Lemon Butter

Once again this is an impromptu dinner – frozen salmon to get rid off, tick. Spaghetti, tick. Lemons we got a heap of from my father-in-law’s garden, tick. Butter from the fridge, tick. Parsley growing out in our herb pots, tick. Four Ingredients can kiss my butt.

Fishy dinner for two (and a bit of leftover):

  1. 2 salmon fillets at room temperature
  2. zest and juice of a small lemon
  3. About 50g butter
  4. salt & pepper
  5. 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  6. 2 serves of cooked pasta

Preheat the oven to 200’c. Add butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and lots of salt and pepper to a baking tin.  Place in the oven until the butter is melted. Add the fish fillet and turn over a few times. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. I like them a bit pink in the middle.

Mean while, cook your pasta. Drain and add the buttery, lemony salmon to the pasta and toss through. Add chopped parsley and season to taste if required.

Last time this year I made: Insalata di Strada (Italian Street Salad)

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting (Lynnette) 18

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

People have been asking me since I received my brand new mixer, have I done any baking (and am I inviting them over for baked goods?) The answer is yes and yes! I have been baking like crazy. And it is a funny thing but if you have been looking at my blog for a while, you’ll probably realise that I am definitely not the baking type for two reasons: 1) I don’t have a sweet tooth and 2) I don’t have a lot of patience to measure things!

Well I am happy to announce that this has turned around and I have been embracing baking. I think it appeals to the scientist in me because baking, after all, seems to me a bit of an alchemy rather than an art. The boys at the office have been rather happy because they get to eat these baked things (I still don’t much care to eat them, to be perfectly honest and Josh is going to get really fat at this rate so I have to take them away from him).

So after having been given a quick lesson in cupcakes by April of My Food Trail, I have been experimenting with a few cupcake recipes and different type of frosting and I am happy to announce my own combination of these little beauties.

I baked these for my mother-in-law’s birthday dinner and I shall name them after her. With out further ado, I would like to present Lynnette: rich chocolate cupcake with lemon butter cream frosting.

rich chocolate cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcake

(Makes 12-14 standard sized cupcakes – note I use standard Australian cooking measurements)

Preheat your oven to 180’c (no fan).

Creaming butter base:

  1. 100 g. butter (salted, unsalted, whatever. I prefer cultured butter but it doesn’t make that much difference)
  2. 1 1/4 cup (280 g.) caster sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla concentrate (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

Cream butter in the mixer on low at first and then shift to high for about 2 minutes. Add half of the caster sugar, beat for further 2 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the sugar. Cream until the butter mixture is light and fluffy. Add an egg, beat for further minute. Repeat the same with the other egg and vanilla.

Good ol’ chocolatey goodness:

  1. 1/2 cup baking cocoa powder
  2. 1 heap tbsp instant coffee powder
  3. 1/2 hot water
  4. 1/2 cup water

Whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee powder and hot water to make a thick, lump-free paste. Add water and mix thoroughly.

Flour and magic:

  1. 1 1/2 cups (225 g.) plain flour
  2. 1 tsp bi-carb soda
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. a big pinch of salt (cut the salt if you’re using salted butter

Soft together plain flour, bi-carb, baking powder and salt.

Putting it all together:

Add half of the flour and half of the cocoa mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. Repeat the process. Mix just until everything is combined.

Bake in a 12-hole muffin tin for about 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack for at least half an hour before icing.

lemon butter cream frosting

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting

  1. zest 1 lemon
  2. 1/4 cup sweet lemon juice (I used home grown sweet variety which is subtler, you can try commercial lemons)
  3. 100g. butter (salted, unsalted, whatever but cultured butter is nice)
  4. 4 cups (600g.) icing mixture (you can use icing sugar but I find it too much of a pain to sift personally)

Cream butter in a mixer on low at first then high. Add half the lemon juice, lemon zest and icing mixture. Mix for another minute. Repeat the same process with the rest of the lemon juice. Beat on high until light and fluffy.

Ice with a piping bag and large star tip.

How’s that for my first ‘proper’ baking post?

This time last year I made: Char-grilled Steak, Asparagus and Burnt Sage Butter Mashed Potatoes

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Broccoli, Lemon and Shallot 10

spaghetti with asparagus, broccoli, lemon and shallot

I make this dish when the vegetables are really nice and fresh. I guess it’s my version of pasta primavera. Last week, we ended up with some really good asparagus from the farmers’ market. I also made it with broccoli and asparagus since. It’s superb. I know it doesn’t look all that interesting to many carnivores out there but when made wit fresh asparagus and broccoli, the vegetables are beautifully sweet.

blanching asparagus

For two:

  1. 6 thick asparagus
  2. 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  3. 3 shallots, sliced
  4. 1 tbsp of pine nuts
  5. 1 small lemon
  6. 250g of spaghetti
  7. 3 tbsp of spinach and almond pesto*
  8. 80 g. of butter
  9. 1 tbsp of olive oil
  10. 1/2 tsp of saltasparagus and shallot

Use a peeler and peel back the tough bit of the asparagus stems. Bring a large pot of  salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes. Before blanching the whole asparagus stems and broccoli florets in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the vegetables, set aside.


Som Tum Thai (Green Papaya Salad, Thai Style) 7

som tum Thai (green papaya salad, Thai-style)

Som tum, I’m led to believe, is actually Laotian in origin. The salad of green papaya is actually quite common among a few countries in South East Asia. The Thai version flowed through from the north east of the country, bordering Laos*

So when the dish reached Central Thailand, it became, well, I guess bastardised hence the word Som Tum Thai (as opposed to Som Tum Lao). The main difference is the inclusion of sweetness by use of sugar and the addition of peanuts. Most som tum peddlers in Thailand will sell different varieties of som tum. This one is my favourite.

som tum ingredients

(clockwise from left: payaya and carrot, palm sugar, snake beans, tomato, lemon, roasted peanuts, dried prawns, chilli and garlic)

I’m not too sure referring to this dish as a salad does it justice. The vegetables and other ingredients are pounded in a pestle and mortar with seasonings (fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, tamarind) added one at a time while being pounded and churned. Like Josh said ‘it’s strange how you people beat the hell out of your salad.’

fish sauce, tamarind paste and my awesome pestle and mortar

(fish sauce, tamarind paste and my awesome pestle and mortar)

I have this little gadget that slices the green payaya into strips which can be bought at Asian grocery store. I haven’t got a picture of it at the moment but I’ll get it up later. (more…)

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