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How To Make Sizzler’s Cheese Toast

Sizzler Restaurants: The BBQ restaurant with the all you can eat Soup, Pasta, Salads and Dessert Bar.
What more do I need to say?
If you’re a certain age you’ll remember them.
They’re still going in Queensland and a few other locations.

If you’ve ever been, chances are you’ve tried to replicate their Cheese Toast recipe.
Nathan has the closest thing to the genuine article that you’re likely to find here.
If you doubt about the wonder that is Sizzler’s Cheese Toast, just Google search it and see how many pages have replicated recipes for it.
And note that currently Nathan’s page is second.
This is better



Pudim De Coco – East Timorese Dessert Recipe

My youngest daughter has to do a project on a foreign country. She chose East Timor because she knew someone who had a thousand photos of East Timor on their computer, along with a couple of books and some scarf/tais.
Part of the presentation involves preparing food from the country in question. A quick computer search offered us Pudim De Coco. A preliminary effort ended in disaster, but another search offered us a more reliable recipe.
The recipe turns up in Brazilian and Portuguese cooking sites as well. This is not a suprise, since East Timor was a Portuguese colony. As the ingredients show it is a combination of cultural ingredients.
Basically, it’s a coconut based baked custard.
After our disaster effort, the other recipes we found all seemed to have the basic ingredients in common.
Here’s a recipe I found on Recipezaar:

You’ll need a bain marie (large tray with water in it that you can sit your baking dish in it) in an oven preheated to 180 degrees. Since we’re sharing this at school we chose a rectangular corningware baking dish about 20cms by 12cms and 5cms deep. Think creme caramel. You could make this in individual ramakins or a souffle dish.

Caramel sauce.
2 tablespoons of water
1 cup of sugar
Place in saucepan without stirring, bring to boil and simmer until the sugar changes colour to golden brown. This takes some time, and the mixture will look pretty ghastly for a while. Don’t weaken. Don’t stir, just wait.
Pour this into the bottom of your baking dish. We prewarmed our baking dish in the oven. Make sure the mixture covers the whole bottom of the dish. It’s good for the mix to cool while you make the custard mix.

Custard. (This is so easy)
5 eggs
1 can low fat condensed milk
1 can coconut cream (maybe you could use low fat as well, but what’s the point?)
Break eggs into mixing bowl, whisk to make sure egg is completely broken up.
Add condensed milk and coconut cream, mix thoroughly.
Pour into the baking dish.
Cover with foil.

Place the dish in the bain marie and cook for an hour or so, until you can slide a knife or skewer in and have it come out clean. I like a firm texture anyway.
Allow to cool and spend the night in the fridge.
Slide a knife around the edge, carefully turn out on a serving platter (you may need to let the dish sit in some warm water beforehand to loosen the caramel) and enjoy.
Cream and/or icecream are good.
Some time in the future I’m going to try the custard mix in small custard tarts.
Maybe we’ll add a photo tomorrow.

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Red Bean And Capsicum Hotpot Recipe

I’ve been making this for Marg and me to eat for supper on Sunday nights for weeks now and haven’t gotten tired of it yet. Making it beforehand makes for improved flavour.
The recipe featured on the television show Better Homes and Gardens (which I almost never get to watch) and was created by Karen Martini.
It is also vegetarian – vegan if you omit the yoghourt garnish.
Why so many vegetarian options? Well its a hang over from a past adventure.

Recipe: Red Bean And Capsicum Hot Pot

100ml olive oil
2 (largish) red capsicums, seeded and diced
2 large red chillies, seeds in, sliced on an angle (I use dried chilies which are removed at the end, but also add a teaspoon of dried chili powder)
1 carrot, large or 2 small, peeled and diced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 leeks, cut into 1 cm slices (really I find one large one enough, or two small ones).
4 cloved garlic, sliced
2 brown onions, diced
5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds (worth looking for, essential)
2 x 400gr cans red kidney beans, drained
1 x 400gr can of butter beans, drained (last time I used one tin of kidney, borlotti and cannelini, so whatever you like)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
400grm tin diced tomatoes (I use passata)
salt, pepper to taste
coriander to garnish
yoghourt to garnish (I like greek)
basmati rice to serve

Heat oil,add capsicum and chili and sweat for 6 minutes. add carrot, celery,leek garlic and onion, then add herbs and spices. Cook for 15mins, stirring occasionally, until caramelised. Stir in beans, paste and tomatoes top up with water (2-3 cups), cover, simmer for 30mins (or longer, crock pot would be great). Season, garnish with corriander and serve with rice, limed avacado and yoghurt if desired.

To make limed avacado: (I cheat and use lemon juice)
1 ripe avacado diced
juice 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped coriander
salt, pepper

Combine all ingredients into a bowl, mix well.

Recipe from July’s Better Homes and Garden mag.
Their website has a link to a video demonstration of the recipe here.

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Rice Salad Recipe

Made this for my daughter’s 18th birthday party. Sort of an amalgam of recipes. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you really should get one.
This makes a fair volume of salad, so reduce quantities as required.

2 tablespoons of oil (your choice)
2 tablespoons of curry powder
1 vegetable stock cube (we use Swiss Nature, one cube is two cups of stock)
3 cups of long grain white rice
4 1/2 cups of water

1 1/3 cups of corn kernals (440gm can)
1 1/3 cups of peas
1 1/3 cups of red capsicum (diced about size of peas and corn)
5-6 spring onions OR 1 medium red onion diced
2/3 cup of roasted pine nuts (optional)

1 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger (I use a microplain style grater)

In the rice cooker fry the curry powder and stock in the oil, add the rice, stir until well coated. Add water, cook.
When rice is cooked tip into large container and stir in the peas, corn, capsicum and red onion (if using).
(I like the rawness taken off the red onion by the heat from the rice, but since spring onions are milder I’d add them at a later stage.)
Add sesame oil and ginger to lemon juice in a container and seal with a lid. Shake well. Pour over and stir through rice mixture.
Add pine nuts and spring onions (if using).
Chill, serve.

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My Dhal Recipe – Lentil Pottage Worth A Birthright

Well, maybe not a birthright, but I think it’s pretty close.
People who know me know I like to cook.
So, some recipes will turn up here.
Most of them are adapted from all over the place.

This is an adaption of a dhal recipe from Margaret and my vegan period. It is supreme comfort food. I like my lentils quite dense and broken down. Others like them firm and soupy. This is quite the pottage, but if you don’t cook it as long it would be wetter.

Gary’s Best Ever Dhal

Oil, whatever’s around
2 onions, chopped
11/2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 Teaspoon chili powder (to taste), not a hot dish
3-4cm piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

Lentils, about 2 cups (for the purposes of the exercise 1 cup of red
lentils and 1 cup of brown lentils will do, basically about 1 cup of
type likely to break down, eg red lentils, split peas, toor dhal, and 1
cup larger ones more likely to keep shape, eg brown, black lentils or
mung beans)
I like to use 1/4 cup each of yellow split peas; green split peas, toor dhal and red lentils and 1/3 cup each of brown lentils, black lentils and mung beans.

1 litre of rice milk
can of coconut cream
a cup or two of tomato puree
Vegetable stock cube

Some form of saucepan (that holds a couple of litres) and a slow cooker
are good.

So, prepare all ingredients:
In a generous amount of heated oil, first add the mustard seeds until
they pop for a bit, then put in onion and fry off for a little while.
Add ginger and garlic, stir for a bit, then powdered spices and cook off.
I generally add the tomato, stock cube, stir, then the rice milk and
coconut cream and bring up to simmer.
(This basically means when you put it in the slow cooker it warms up
quicker, but make sure you get anything cooked on the bottom of the
saucepan scraped off)

Put the lentils in the slow cooker, add the liquid and cook for ages
until it looks good. May need a bit more water if too thick, and
probably a good wack of salt to taste.

Makes a fair bit. I don’t think you need rice with it, so probably some form of Indian Bread would balance/complete the proteins for vegetarian consumption.

Guess what I’m cooking tomorrow?