We had our last book club meeting for 2017 today. Being the start of the school holidays in Singapore, kids of our book club members were invited as well. Which kid (or adults too for the matter) isn't fond of potatoes? Its a sure winner in any party or any gathering and in any form - shoestrings, hashbrowns, tater tots or curly fries. Fried, mashed, in a salad or in a casserole like what I made today.
This dish Hashbrown Casserole is also called Texas potatoes. I'm not too sure of its origin but if its called Cheesy Potatoes or Texas Potatoes, it still tastes divine and sinfully rich!
Ingredients (for 10 by 8 inch casserole - serves 6-8)
1 kg (2 pounds) frozen hashbrowns, thawed at room temperature (Farmland)
400ml (1pint) sour cream
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (Campbell)
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
1 medium yellow, finely chopped
1/2 cup melted butter (or if you prefer something less sinful use canola oil)
4 cups of crushed cornflakes
Salt & Pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 180 deg C 0r 350 deg F. Break up the thawed hashbrowns into small pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cheddar cheese, mushroom soup, sour cream and onion. I lightly fried my onion to give it more flavor. But you can do it without.
2) Mix them up till well incorporated. Tip it over into the casserole.
3) Heat a small pot and melt the butter. Then add in the crushed cornflakes. Mix well on low heat for 3-5 mins.
4) Evenly spread this crunchy cornflake topping on the prepared hashbrown mix in the casserole.
5) Bake for 40 mins till you see it all golden brown and sizzling on the sides. Enjoy with a simple garden salad and Tomato Herb Pasta perhaps?
An easy pudding that you can whip up under an hour and is low in calories and sugar. Full of tangy lemon and passionfruit goodness, it is sure to become a family favourite. As what my sister June said after a taste test 'it was so refreshing to the palate!'
Ingredients (yields 6 servings )
75gm melted butter
10 tbsps brown sugar
185ml skim milk
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup lemon juice
50ml passionfruit pulp (about 2 passionfruits)
1 tsp lemon rind, finely grated
50gm self raising flour
Extra passionfruit pulp to serve
a few sprigs of mint leaves
6 large ramekins and a roasting pan
1) Preheat oven to 180deg C. Lightly grease the ramekins with butter. Set aside.
2) Place the melted butter,brown sugar,milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, passionfruitpulp, lemon rind and flour into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
3) Use electric beater to beat the egg whites till soft peaks form
4) Fold 1/3 of the egg white into the passionfruit mix and then the remaining egg white till well incoporated.
5) Divide the mix into the 6 prepared ramekins (I had space for only 4). Place them in a roasting pan and pour boiling water slowly to the pan till it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
6) Bake for 15 mins till its golden brown on top and the pudding slips away from the ramekin sides.
7) Top with more passionfruit and a small sprig of mint leave for a little bit of colour!
Cranberries and pumpkins are so synonymous with Thanksgiving, don't you think? I had cranberries to unload. Sure I can just gobble them up in a go but I thought I would rather use it in a batch of cookies and enjoy this delicious tart sweet fruits longer. The pretty colours of bright gorgeous green of the pistachios and deep magenta red of the cranberries are so attention-grabbing that you could use this colour combination during your Christmas food preparation as well. The dough can be prepared in advance and kept up to a month in the freezer. The night before you are gonna bake them, simply place them in the fridge section. The next day, cut the cookie dough log into slices and bake. As simple as that!
Ingredients (for 48 roughly 1.5inch cookies)
175gm butter, softened
80gm brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
220gm plain flour
75gm cranberries, chopped
50gm pistachios, chopped
1) Mix the softened butter with the vanilla essence and brown sugar granules, using a wooden spoon.
2) Add in the flour and give it another mix using the same wooden spoon.
3) Add in the cranberries and pisctachios now. You may have to get your hands all doughy and messy here. Use your fingers to incorporate everything well. Just look at these gorgeous colours!
4) Mix well and then separate the dough into two on a rolling board. At this point, switch on your oven to 180 deg C.
5) Roll each dough into logs. Cling wrap them and freeze the logs if you are going to use them later.
6) You can either just slice them into roughly irregular circular discs or if you want perfect circles or other designs, use cooker cutters. If the dough is too soft, place it in the freezer for 10 mins.
I used a scone cutter to cut out some almost perfect circular cookies. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut them out.
7) Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 mins at the most.
8) Enjoy with a light tea because as we all know these yummy shortbread babies are not exactly that light!!