Thursday, July 31, 2008

Couscous in Thermomix Varoma

Couscous is best steamed and steamed more than once, being rubbed between each steaming. It is more of an effort but I think that it is really worth the time and trouble.

The traditional couscousiere is used to prepare a vegetable or meat stew in a sauce below while the couscous steams above and absorbs some of the wondeful flavours.

The Varoma, which sits above the Thermomix bowl is perfect for this function.

The recipe below is based very heavily on a dish that Greg Malouf has prepared at cooking classes and was on the menu at O'Connells' and probably also at MoMo. It is more involved than what you can do to prepare a tasty couscous with vegetables, but hopefully you will see the logic in the method used - first steaming the vegetables, preparing the couscous and spicy stock and then finishing the vegies in the spicy stock while steaming the couscous - three times.

The Food Safari program gave a hint that I had not seen before, where a light blue vein cheese is rubbed through the couscous, to imitate the traditional addition of smem, a rancid butter.

If you can't be bothered going through the whole process, at least think about steaming couscous over a flavoursome stock and rubbing to increase the fluffiness.

Fez Style Couscous with Seven Vegetables with Seven Spices

serves 6


100 g Chickpeas
1200g water
6 potatoes, waxy (eg kipfler) cut in half
2 carrots, cut into large batons
1/2 pumpkin butternut, leave skin on, cut into large batons
2 parsnips, cut into batons
1 turnip, cut into wedges (5 cm)
1 eggplant, cut into large batons
2 zucchini, cut into large batons
500 g Couscous
1 clove garlic
I MC (100 ml) olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp crushed dried chilli
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
Juice of 1 lemon
800g vegetable stock or water
Extra oil to break up couscous
10 ml Rose water


Soak chickpeas overnight. Drain and place chickpeas in the TM basket. Add 1200g water to the TM bowl. Place pieces of potato, carrot, pumpkin, parsnip and turnip in Varoma. Place Varoma in position and cook for 30 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1. Check to see how tender the pieces of vegetable are at that point, they should be slightly undercooked before the next step. If needed, they should be cooked for a little longer. Add eggplant and zucchini and cook these and the chickpeas for another 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1. Check to see how well the vegetables and the chickpeas are at this point. Drain and set chickpeas and vegetables aside in Thermoserver or similar container to keep warm.

Soak couscous in half a cup of cold water for 10 minutes in a baking tray lined with a cloth (tea towel or muslin). While soaking, place garlic in TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds at speed 7. Add oil and sauté for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add lemon juice and stock. Drain couscous and place the cloth with couscous inside the Varoma. Place Varoma in position and cook for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1. Carefully remove towel with couscous and empty onto baking tray, let cool a bit before adding some oil and breaking up the grains with your fingers. Remove half of the stock mixture to a container and set aside. Place the butterfly over the blades and add about half of the vegetables to the stock. Place cloth back in Varoma, place couscous on cloth and steam again for another 10 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed 1. Once again, carefully remove towel with couscous and empty onto baking tray, let cool a bit before adding some more oil and breaking up the grains with your fingers. While waiting for the couscous to cool, remove the vegetables and stock and set aside to keep warm. Place the remaining stock mixture and vegetables in the TM bowl. You may like to add some light, creamy, blue cheese to the couscous grains as per the Food Safari program and rub through before placing back on the cloth in Varoma. Steam again for another 10 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed 1.

Pile the couscous high in the centre of a warm serving plate and stack the vegetables around the couscous. Pour the chickpeas and stock over the top. Sprinkle with rosewater and salt.

Serve with green harissa and tzatziki.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thermomix Fennel and Apple Soup

Fennel is one of my favourite vegetables and with the Thermomix soups are a breeze. The machine chops, sautes, cooks and blends the soup in the one bowl.

This recipe has apples added to give a bit of thickening without flour and with the Thermomix you can add the whole apple, core and all and then blend it finely at the end. It really does work. But I tend to just core them. I know some of you will be telling me that I am missing out on certain vitamins/nutrients, next time I'll leave them in.

You can add other flavourings - fennel seeds, curry powder, your choice. I like to add some cream and Anice or Pernod at the end, but that is my personal choice.

Give fennel soups a try while the bulbs are around in abundance.

Fennel & Apple Soup


1 onion, quartered
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon oil
500g fennel (approx 1 large bulb or 2 small), roughly chopped, reserve some green fronds for garnish
½ cup white wine
2 green apples (Granny Smith), cored and chopped into quarters
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (use your TM vegie stock concentrate and water)
Salt & pepper
100ml cream (optional)
30ml aniseed liqueur (Pernod, Anice, Ouzo) (optional)


Place onion and garlic in TM bowl and chop for 15 – 20 seconds on speed 7. It is best to scrape down sides every 5 seconds to get better texture. Add the oil and sauté for 4 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.

Add fennel to the bowl and chop for 20 seconds on speed 7. Again, stop and scrape down the sides every 5-10 seconds. Add the white wine and cook for 4 minutes at 100 ºC on speed 1.

Add the apple and chop for 15 seconds on speed 7. Add the stock and cook for 15 minutes at 100 ºC on speed 1. Gradually increase speed over 30 seconds from speed 1 to speed 7. Blend well. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.

If you like a creamy soup, then you can add some cream, and if you want to smell the aniseed, than you can add some liqueur. To mix through blend after these additions for 10 seconds on speed 3.

Serve with some of the reserved fronds chopped finely and some olive oil or butter if desried.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thermomix Barley Risotto

Well, that constant contributer to blogs, Anonymous, claimed on The Gobbler's site that risottos were the hoax of the century. I would like to disprove that claim but don't want to use Gobbler's bandwidth to find out more details of Anonymous' likes and dislikes before preparing a dish that may change their mind.

In the meantime, I made a barley risotto with mushrooms in the Thermomix a couple of weeks ago, so I will publish that & then let Anonymous tell me what flavours they like to find something to possibly please them, and hopefully some other passing by this blog.

I am not sure when I first had barley risotto, but it was a long time ago. I have had many versions and even seem to recall having it at Tetsuyas, so if that was the case then it can't be too bad.

The slightly chewy texture and nutty flavour that barley has, really makes it a delicious grain and a great substitute for rice in risottos.

One problem with barley is that it is best to be soaked overnight, so not the sort of dish to just come home & whip up. Use rice for that time. There is a recipe in August Australian Gourmet Traveller for a brodo with barley and spinach, which does not soak the barley first, yet is cooked in 12 minutes. I'd like to see that. I will have to try it out and get back to you.

Thermomix Barley Risotto


1 cup pearl barley
50g Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-2cm cubes
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g mushrooms
2 cups vegetable or beef stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 MC (100ml)cream (optional)
Fresh parsley or spring onion.


Soak barley in water overnight.

Next day, strain off the water and leave the barley aside.

In a dry TM bowl, place the Parmesan cheese and blitz for 15 seconds at speed 9. Remove and keep aside.

Place the onion and garlic in the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7, scrape down after 5 seconds for best results. Add the olive oil and saute for 4 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.

Place mushrooms into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5. Check to see how well chopped they are and if there are still large chunks go for another 5 - 10 seconds on speed 4 or 5.

Add drained barley and stock to the TM bowl and cook for 20 minutes at 100ºC on Reverse speed 1. Check to see if the barley is soft, but chewy. You may need slightly longer.

Add the grated Parmesan, pepper and cream if you are using and mix for 10 seconds on reverse speed 4. This should make it creamy and mimics the mantecare technique used to make risottos creamy.

Check for salt levels and then serve with a sprinkling of parsley or spring onion.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thermomix Smoky Tomato Sorbet

I love cooking classes.

Over the years I have attended far more than I really should have, but it's an addiction. Probably therapy is needed.

It was amusing to see in an article in Epicure earlier this year, that certain chefs attract groupies "who turn up, batting their eyelashes, to every public appearance". Certainly have been to more than my share of Andrew McConnell's appearances, but also hope that he doesn't get the wrong idea. No, I haven't been batting my eyelashes at him, just drooling over his food.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a day at Lake House which included sessions with Frank Camorra, Chui Lee Luk, Ben Shewry and Andrew McConnell. Lots of great ideas to get the grey matter firing.

Frank prepared his Ortiz anchovies topped with a sorbet made from Tom Cooper's smoked tomatoes. It appears that they would be difficult for most of us to obtain, but previously I had tried to imitate the sorbet using ordinary tomatoes with some smoked paprika. It worked out fairly well, and Frank said that he had also used the same combination, so I decided to give it a go at the weekend.

Earlier in the year I prepared number of ice cube trays with blended tomato. The power of the Thermomix allows you to take the cubes of tomato or other fruit/vegies or stock and blitz it into a sorbet or just reduce it to a state where you have thawed tomato/stock in seconds. To make the sorbet it was a simple matter of pulling out a few cubes, adding some pimentón and blitzing. Voilà ( o increíble!). Perfect for those poor souls such as Ximena Maier of Lobstersquad sweltering in oppressive heat in the northern hemisphere.

Andrew McConnell prepared his blood sausage, which he says is more like a blood pudding. It has been part of his menu for some time and something that I really love. During the session Andrew discussed the new venture Cumulus Inc and the style of menu that would be available. After the class I suggested to Andrew that it would be an idea to make the puddings in small muffin tins (an idea that John Lethlean wrote about) and serve them in crostini moulded in the muffin tins. That way they would be easy to lift up and pop in the mouth.

After reading a blog last week, I hit on an even better idea ( my apologies to the blogger - wherever you may be). There were pastries made in the shape of the spoons you use in Chinese restaurants. So, yesterday I made some spoon-shaped crostini using day-old bread, buttering it and moulding it into spoons before cooking/drying in the oven. They are perfect for serving up my imitation of Frank's anchovies and smoked tomato sorbet.

My sincere thanks to all involved who have been ripped off in my pursuit of recipes for my Thermomix.

Tomato Sorbet with Pimentón


250g frozen tomato pulp or juice (in cubes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
possibly some liquid tomato juice or water.


Place frozen tomato cubes, salt and pimenton in Thermomix bowl. Slowly increase speed up to 9 over 5 seconds. Blend for 20 seconds on speed 9.

Scrape down the mixture and check the consistency. You may need to add a small amount of liquid and blend again for 10 - 20 seconds on speed 9 to get a smooth result.

Serve on crostini(wanky spoon-shaped ones if you must) with boquerones or anchovy UNDER the tomato sorbet (not like in the picture!) and some peppers or capers to accompany.

Update: 28/8/08 - Jules at Stonesoup has posted another Smokey Tomato with Boquerone dish based on Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish's book MoVida

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rice Pudding in the Thermomix

I love rice pudding.

It is one of those comfort foods that just warms the cockles. If you have a slow combustion stove that is needed to drive the hot water service (as I used to), then doing dishes like this in the oven are a great way to use the heat. Slowly cooking stock or casseroles on top of the stove was also a constant part of life.

Now though, cooking a rice pudding in the oven for 2 hours, stirring every 20 or 30 minutes, just does not fit my lifestyle. I love the skin that develops on top (disgusting as that may sound to many) so the Creamed Rice Pudding recipe that Maria Stuart made for Thermomix users is not good enough. I am sure that it tastes superb, but where is that chewy layer?

I made the rice pudding photographed a couple of weeks ago and forgot about it until Maria's recipe came via the email. It was served with kithul treacle, which you can obtain from Indian/Sri Lankan grocers, and has a flavour similar to caramel.

The egg is not essential and not a feature of the recipe that I have used previously, but helps thicken/amalgamate the pudding so that it holds better for serving.

Cheats' Rice Pudding


150g short-grained rice
3 cups milk
30g sugar
25g butter
1 egg
cinnamon sugar
extra butter


Place rice, milk, sugar & 25g butter into the Thermomix bowl.

Cook for 45 minutes at 90˚C on reverse speed 1. Keep a check as you may need to add some more milk if it becomes too thick.

Once rice is cooked, add egg and mix for 5 seconds on reverse speed 5 to mix through.

Place mixture into buttered baking dish, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar, place pieces of extra butter on top and grill for a few minutes.

Serve with some cream, maple syrup or kithul treacle.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spinach & Chickpeas in the Thermomix

I love the combination of chickpeas and spinach. The recipe below is not authentic, but my adaptation that should be easy enough to produce and not be too far from the real deal.

The first time that I recall seeing the dish was at a Tapas class at the Unlimited Cuisine Company run by Tony Tan in Toorak. Since then we have eaten it on many occasions and saw it cooked in Seville by Ruth Roberts, an Aussie teaching cooking in an apartment with wonderful views of the city.

It is an easy dish to prepare, especially if you "cheat" and use canned chickpeas as Janet Mendel, an expert on Spanish food, does in her recipe for chickpea & spinach stew. I must admit that I often use the canned ones too!!

The dish may have other ingredients added. 1080 Recipes has aversion with salt cod added. The one that I made for the photos had some pork rind added after it had been diced and slowly cooked to give an unctuous finish (but then it wouldn't be accepted by the vegetarians). Don't be afraid to experiment, try different herbs and spices.

It is simple and delicious.

Spinach and chickpeas, Seville style


2/3 cup dried chickpeas (or 1 can drained)
500 g spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium red onion, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 thin slice sour dough bread, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Spanish sweet paprika
salt to taste


Place chickpeas in TM basket and insert into TM bowl. Add 1200ml water and place lid on. Place Varoma on top. Cook chickpeas for at least 1 hour at 100°C on speed 1. While the chickpeas are cooking place the spinach in the Varoma and steam for 3 minutes. Remove and refresh in cold water, drain well and squeeze dry.

Once the chickpeas are cooked, remove basket and drain. Empty the water from TM bowl (but don’t bother washing) and place garlic and onion in bowl. Chop for 15 seconds on speed 7, (I prefer to scrape down contents after each 5 seconds). Add oil and spices (except paprika) and cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add bread and cook for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add vinegar and paprika and blend for 20 seconds at speed 5.

Add chickpeas and spinach to bowl and set for 3 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed soft. Add some water if the mixture appears to be too thick. Check and add salt to taste. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thermomix Salmon Sausage

What do you do when your tartare suddenly looks like paté? Early days with the new Thermomix were interesting. Rather than just try anything I decided to religiously follow the cookbook. Well, the tuna tartare that was supposed to emerge from my magic machine looked like tuna paste. So, then where to go? I recalled a dish that Alla Wolf-Tasker had prepared at a cooking demonstration years before & so tossed the TMX cookbook aside and flew by the very big seat of my pants.

There is a recipe in Alla's book "Lake House, a culinary journey in country Australia" for Smoked Salmon Sausage, on which the following is based. Stephanie Alexander has a similar idea steaming balls of fish, but I like the sausage.

The mixture needs to be fairly firm, not too watery, but you may need more or less cream than specified. Please use your judgement and don't blame me - like I did the TMX book.

Salmon and Coriander Sausages


500g Fresh Salmon, raw
Juice of 2 limes
1 small onion (preferably red/Spanish)
Small handful of coriander leaves
50ml cream (35%)
1 egg white
Salt & Pepper


Place coriander leaves and onion into TM bowl and chop for 7 seconds on speed 7.

Add salmon, lime juice, salt & pepper and egg white and set dial to closed lid position. Chop and mix by pulsing the Turbo button 5 times. The mixture should be a coarse paste.

Add the cream and mix for 5 seconds on speed 4 to blend.

Take 3 tablespoons of the mixture and place on plastic film, mould into a sausage shape and then fold over and roll the plastic film twisting both ends tightly to close the sausages.

Place these in the fridge for an hour before cooking.

Place 500ml water in the TM bowl and set to Temperature Varoma and speed 1 with Varoma in position. Once temperature has reached Varoma place the sausages in the Varoma and cook for 4 - 6 minutes.

Remove sausages and allow to cool in the plastic film for a few minutes before unmoulding.

Serve warm as part of a salad or with a sauce of your liking such as sweet chilli sauce.

The sausages may be left in the wrap and cooled before placing in the fridge for service later. If serving later then bring to room temperature before gently cooking unmoulded sausage in some oil.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thermomix Fennel & Tomato Gratin

This is one of the good old family favourites. A dish that I first cooked about 25 years ago. I recall going to the local green grocer's shop in Union Road, Ascot Vale and seeing these wonderful bulbs of fennel for 20c each. I couldn't resist a bargain and so took some home. Then, to find a suitable recipe. Back then, my Magimix was my first love, having bought her in 1978, she had provided me with many a great meal.

I had a recipe book called "The Magimix and food processor cookery book" by Marika Hanbury Tenison that came to the rescue. The author has written a few cookbooks and while still a student back in the 70's (my God how bloody old am I??) I had purchased her "Left Over for Tomorrow" cook book. Ahh, the memories of resurrecting the night before's meal and producing a "feast" that others would consume, and relish.

Back to the task at hand before the Alzheimer's sets in. MHT's Magimix book had a reecipe for "Baked Fennel with Tomatoes. It was described as "A deliciously rich vegetable dish that I often serve as a first course." It didn't read as anything wonderful, but I made it.

Wow - it really is something else. The strong fennel flavour that many do not like was almost not present, but a deliciously rich vegetable dish that I have now often made for first course. The crust on top is a winner with the combination of breadcrumbs, garlic, Parmesan and lemon zest.

I have made the dish from memory for some time now, having lost the book, but when I made it last week I decided that I should try to find a similar recipe to refer to for this blog. There it was. In "Grower's Market, cooking with seasonal produce", a Murdoch book that Leanne Kitchen edited, was the very recipe.

"The Magimix and food processor cookery book" has lots of recipes that could easily be adapted for the Thermomix and so I decided to go ahunting. Having seen Johanna's report of a Vintage Cookbook store, that was my first stop. Surprise, surprise, Barbara had not one but a choice of 4 copies - so my replacement copy arrived today.

Please try the dish - the original used the slicing blades in the Magimix for the onions and fennel. The Thermomix just dices/chops, but the result is just as good as the fennel eventually just melts down in the cooking. It is important not to overprocess the fennel as you need some texture.

Thermomix Fennel & Tomato Gratin


50 g parmesan cheese, cut into 1 cm cubes
Grated rind of 1/2 medium lemon (you can grate in the TMX)
1 garlic clove
75 g fresh white bread, crusts removed, partially frozen
1 large brown onion, quartered
1 MC (100ml) olive oil
1 kg (approx 2 large or 4 small) fennel bulbs
400 g tomatoes, peeled (or 1 can, drained)
Pinch oregano
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease an ovenproof serving dish.

Place parmesan in TM bowl and grate for 15 seconds on speed 8. Remove and set aside. Without washing bowl, add garlic clove and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7. Add bread to TM bowl roughly broken up and grate for 15 seconds on speed 8. Mix breadcrumbs and garlic with parmesan and lemon zest and leave this gratin topping aside.

Place onion into TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7, scraping down the onion after 5 seconds and then again when chopped sufficiently. Add the oil and cook for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.

While the onion is cooking, remove the tough outer leaves and green tips from the fennel (the tips can be used for decoration), then chop into pieces approximately 3cm x 3cm. Once the onion has sautéed, add the fennel. Chop for 10 seconds on speed 7. Check the progress and scrape down the sides. Repeat for another 5 seconds on speed 7. You need to have small pieces about the size of small peas. Cook the onion & fennel mix for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Once the fennel is cooked it should be softened and golden brown.

Place the tomatoes in the TM bowl with the onion and fennel. Cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1, or until the tomato is softened. Add oregano and season with salt & pepper. Pour into the serving dish. Sprinkle the gratin topping over the vegetables and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crisp.

Serve immediately

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thermomix Celeriac Remoulade

The first time that I recall having celeraic remoulade was at a cooking class at Howquadale with Damien Pignolet. I love vinegary dishes and we prepared pickled herrings and celeriac remoulade, among many other wonderful dishes.

I have since made celeriac remoulade on numerous occasions in my faithful old Magimix with the grating attachment. On Saturday I saw some celeriac and thought, "Time to try it out in the THermomix!!"

The reecipe below is adapted from the French book "à table avec Thermomix". I used slightly higher speed for chopping the celeriac, it may be that mine was not as tender as the French equivalent. So, please start low with the speed for chopping - the French vb

The good thing that I discovered with the celeriac, was that, unlike many other vegetables, it is forgiving of longer blending in the TMX. The result was a dish with texture reminiscent of my old recipe. Sorry Magimix, but there is a new love in my life.

Celeriac Remoulade


500 g of celeriac, peeled and cut into pieces about 3cm x 1 cm
1 egg
1 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons wine vinegar
1 cup oil
Salt and pepper


Insert the Butterfly over the blades in the TM bowl.

Put the whole egg, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper into TM bowl and mix for about 1 minute on speed 3.

With blades rotating on speed 4 and the MC in place, slowly add oil, drizzling it onto the lid. Stop when you you have the consistency of mayonnaise. Remove Butterfly and pour most of the mayonnaise into a container. Do not worry about cleaning out the TM bowl.

Place the celeriac pieces into the TM bowl. Chop celeriac for about 40 seconds on speed 5, stopping to scrape down the edges with spatula every 10 seconds. Once a fine texture has been achieved add back mayonnaise and mix for 5 seconds on reverse speed 5. It may not be necessary to add back all of the mayonnaise and you don’t want it to be sloppy.

See also here

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thermomix Jaffa Cake

What do you do when you've gone crazy and bagged a bargain with heaps of cheap good quality mandarins? There aren't that many recipes spring to mind, but I thought that I could change the oranges in the old-faithful boiled orange and almond cake for mandarins and add some chocolate pieces. Brilliant. How original??

Well, not very as it turns out. A check of the old 'net shows that somebody has been here before me!!!

Oh well, never mind. They didn't do it in a Thermomix.

The proportions and timing are not set in stone. The size and juiciness of the mandarins and the vagaries of your oven will need to be taken into account.

Good Luck.

Boiled Mandarin, Almond and Chocolate Chip Cake


5 mandarins, washed
250 g almonds
250g Sugar
5 eggs
1tsp Baking Powder
100g chocolate chips


Place the whole mandarins (with skin on) into the Thermomix basket and place 1000ml of water into the TM bowl. Cook for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed 3. Drain off the water and replace with another 800ml water cook for 40 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4. Remove the basket from the TM bowl and allow mandarins to cool. When cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove any pips.

Lightly dry TM bowl and add almonds. Grind for 10 seconds on speed 8. Scrape down almonds from side and repeat for another 10 seconds. Add mandarin pieces to TM bowl and blend for 10 seconds on speed 5. Add sugar, eggs and baking powder and blend for 30 seconds on speed 5.

Lastly, place chocolate chips into TM bowl with mixture and mix for 10 seconds on reverse speed 5.

Pour into greased 20cm springform cake tin. Bake at 180°C for approximately 45 minutes, until nicely browned and either firm to touch or a skewer comes out clean. It may require an extra 10 - 20 minutes depending on your oven, size of mandarins, etc.

When cool dust with icing sugar (made by grinding A1 sugar in TM bowl for 10 seconds on speed 9), chocolate shavings (if you are a diehard chocolate fiend) and serve with whipped cream.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thermomix Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a great dish that, along with its Indian cousin, raita, makes a great simple dip. They are also useful accompaniments for spicy dishes as the casein in yoghurt helps neutralize the capsaicinoids and remove them from the receptors in the mouth. Better still for that purpose is a "plum juice" available in some Chinese stores made from yang mei, and sometimes labelled arbutus juice. But I digress.

Lobstersquad made a yoghurt dip recently and reported that she doesn't use her Thermomix for producing tzatziki, or chopping any vegetables, as it tends to make slush out of the vegies. I must agree that it certainly has the tendency to want to puree anything that it can. Be with a bit of cajoling it is possible to make a delicious tzatziki in the Thermomix.

The secret is to chop/blend for short bursts, scrape down the vegies/fruit/whatever and repeat until the desired consistency is reached. The Australian Thermomix cookbook book has a number of recipes that appear to have longer blending times than needed and so be careful.

Just what the world needs - another tzatziki recipe. Sorry, but hope you will try the technique behind it, including draining the yoghurt to get a thicker, creamier texture.

Thermomix Tzatziki


250g yoghurt
1 telegraph ( or Lebanese) cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, cut in pieces2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp fresh mint
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt and Pepper


Place yoghurt in sieve lined with paper towel or clean tea towel and leave in fridge to drain for 4 hours or overnight.

Place cucumber pieces into Thermomix bowl and pulse Turbo button once. Scrape cucumber down from sides of bowl and pulse Turbo button again. Sprinkle with salt and place in a fine plastic sieve or colander lined with paper towel, leave for 15 minutes to drain off excess juice.

Place the garlic and mint in Thermomix bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down sides and repeat twice. Add the yoghurt, oil, lemon juice, coriander and cumin and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.

Rinse the cucumber mixture under cold water, squeeze out any excess moisture and add to the yoghurt mixture. Blend for 10 seconds on reverse speed 2.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle paprika over top and serve.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chinese Steamed Eggplant in Thermomix Varoma

This recipe was inspired by an article by Terry Durack in the Good Weekend magazine about Chinese pickles. A similar article with recipes by Sui Ling Hui appeared in the Epicure section of The Age many years ago. Her recipes included Steamed Fish with Preserved Vegetable and Steamed Chicken with Sichuan Cabbage. Although I am very Australian in origin, I still like these pickles and preserves and so started checking out some other recipe books.

I found Bowl Steamed Aubergines with Winter-Sacrifice Beans & Salted Greens in Fuchsia Dunlop's book "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook" and thought "Yes". But then, I don't know how many people would be bothered trying the dish, so found Sichuan-Style Spicy Eggplant in a Murdoch Book entilted "The Food of China, a journey for foodlovers". The ingredients are likely to be found in most of the pantries of the readers (if there are any) of this recipe.

If you have not tried steamed eggplant, then please try steaming it and using whatever sauce you like. Steaming gives it an unctuous mouthfeel that I love, think okra - now some of you have left the page, more for me.

The recipe is apparently best done with thin Chinese, if you can source them, or even Japanese eggplants. I just had an ordinary old fat eggplant in the fridge, but it tasted beautiful (just have to trust me on that). You are supposed to peel the eggplant, but I only peeled half to see what variation there is - it was OK with the unpeeled sections, but much better when peeled. So do peel them.

Sichuan-Style Spicy Eggplant


500 g Chinese eggplants or thin eggplants
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons clear rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 spring onion (shallot for NSW), chopped
1 teaspoon chilli bean paste (toban jiang)


Peel the eggplants and trim off the ends. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways and cut each half into strips 2 cm thick. Cut the strips into 5 cm lengths. Place the eggplant in a bowl, add the salt and toss lightly, then set aside for 1 hour. Pour off any water that has accumulated.

Arrange the eggplant on a heatproof plate that will fit into the Varoma. Place inside the Varoma and cover. Add 700ml water to the Thermomix bowl, place Varoma on top and set to 25 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. Check to see if the eggplant is tender. You may need to go for 5 more minutes, depending on the breed and age of the eggplant. Empty water out of Thermomix bowl and lightly clean.

Place the garlic cloves into the Thermomix bowl and crush the cloves for 5 seconds at speed 7. Add the remaining ingredients into the Thermomix bowl, mix for 5 seconds at speed 3 then pour the sauce over the eggplant, tossing lightly to coat.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thermomix Macaroni Steam

This was inspired by brazen during her visit to her Mum & Dad's. Although there was no method included it seemed like a dish for the Thermomix with the good old Varoma steamer.

Although it is basic it had a wonderful soft custardy texture and was a success.

Please do not take the times as gospel. Better to underdo the chopping, mixing and cooking and do some more if needed.

Thermomix Macaroni Steam


200g tasty cheese, cut into 2cm cubes
800ml water
1/2 tsp salt
250g macaroni (uncooked)
1 onion, peeled & quartered
3oz butter
1/4 cup celery, sliced
1/4 cup capsicum, cut into dice
1/2 cup creamed corn (or fresh corn kernels creamed in TMX)
3 eggs
2 cups milk


Grate cheese for 10 seconds on speed 8. Remove & set aside.

You can boil the water in the Thermomix as per instruction to cook the pasta, but I usually cheat and place boiling water into the bowl then heat for 4 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add the macaroni and set to 5 to 8 minutes (depending on size of tubes) at 100°C on reverse speed soft. Drain and set aside.

Without cleaning the bowl, add onion and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7. Add butter and cook for 4 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add celery and capsicum and cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed 1. Remove and set aside.

Place the corn, eggs and milk in TMX bowl. Mix for 5 seconds on speed 5. Add cheese, onions, celery, capsicum and macaroni to the bowl and mix for 5 seconds on reverse speed 5 or longer until mixed through. Check seasoning and adjust with salt & pepper and mix through for 3 seconds on reverse speed 5.

Pour mixture into a greased baking dish that fits into your Varoma without blocking the steam holes below. ( I will do a post on dishes etc that I use). Cover the dish with some paper towel & then tin foil and secure. Place 1000ml water into the TMX bowl (no need to clean out bowl) and place lid on top then position Varoma and place baking dish inside. Set for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. After 20 minutes carefully remove foil & paper & check to see if the custard is setting in the middle. You may need to cook for another 5 to 20 minutes depending on shape of the dish used. The custard will continue to firm after you remove it from the Varoma so don't overdo the steaming.

Once firm, remove the Varoma from the lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes before lifting the dish out to serve.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Luv Thermomix Crumpets

Who doesn't like crumpets?

These were for our breakfast yesterday. The recipe has evolved since I first made them and thanks to brazen for reminding me that I had purchased the heart-shaped "rings".

I first made crumpets more years ago than I care to remember, having seen a recipe in the Weekly Times. Don't know if they still have a cooking section.

The main modifications in the recipe use the ability of the Thermomix to warm the batter/dough on constant heat at 37°C, so do that for a few minutes before leaving to prove. The other addition is some bicarb soda just before cooking to add some extra carbon dioxide bubbles to make them more airy.

You don't need a Thermomix and you don't need heart-shaped "rings", but you will need to loosen the belt after.

Have fun

English-style Crumpets


375g bakers flour
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1 heaped tsp dried yeast
about 300ml tepid milk
about 200ml tepid water
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
4 egg rings
Oil for greasing


Place 1 Tbsp of the flour, sugar and yeast into TM bowl with 100ml of the milk into the Thermomix bowl. Set to mix for 3 minutes at 37°C on speed 2. The mixture should start to become frothy.

Add remaining flour, milk, water, egg and salt. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 7.

The mixture should resemble a thick batter rather than a bread mix. Add some more tepid water and mix again at speed 7 if necessary. Then mix for 8 minutes at 37°C on speed 1.

Leave the mixture in the TM bowl to prove for about 1 hour or until the surface bubbles.

Add the bicarb soda and gradually increase the speed to beat at the mixture for 2 minutes at speed 5.

Oil the egg rings and frypan. Place the rings in the pan and heat for 1-2 minutes.

Pour batter into each ring and cook for 5 minutes, or until the surface has dried and is full of holes. You may need to puncture a few holes for visual effect if you like. Lift off the rings and turn the crumpets to cook on the other side for a minute or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Clean and oil rings and frypan and repeat process until all batter has been used.

Serve warm with butter and your favourite topping.

The leftovers (ha ha ha !!) may be frozen with pieces of baking paper between crumpets and toasted as needed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grossi Florentino Tripe

This recipe has been a long-time favourite of mine.

I first had it at Cafe Grossi in South Yarra about 1996. The first time that I saw the recipe was in November 1998 at a cooking class given by Guy Grossi at Vital Ingredient in South Melbourne, on the night that the Grossi family signed to buy the Florentino restaurant from Lorraine Podgornik.

It is a regular in the restaurant and Cellar Bar. The Thermomix makes it so easy to cook at a simmer.

Tripe with tomato, white wine, pine nuts & muscatels

Serves 6


1 generous handful of continental parsley
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli, seeded
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, cut into small batons
2 sticks of celery, cut into small batons
4 cloves
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp pesto
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 kg cooked honeycomb tripe, cut into thin strips
250 ml white wine
250 - 500 ml water or chicken stock
100g dried muscatels
100g pine nuts
Grated parmesan for service


Place parsley in bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down during the chopping to produce a finer result. Set aside.

Place the onion, garlic and chilli into TM bowl and chop for 3 – 5 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down the sides of TM bowl and add the olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed 1. Add spices, pesto and most of the parsley (hold some for garnish), and season to taste with salt & pepper. Add tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed 1 with MC out of lid.

Add white wine and cook for 5 minutes at Varoma temperature on reverse speed 2 with MC out of lid. Add tripe and then enough water or stock to just cover the tripe. Set Thermomix for 45 minutes at 80°C on reverse speed soft with MC in place. Add muscatels and pine nuts and cook for 10 minutes at 80°C on reverse speed soft.

Serve scattered with reserved parsley and some freshly grated Parmesan.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bread & Butter Pud in the Varoma

I am not a dessert person, but the other half most certainly is a lover of last course.

The other night I decided to try whipping up a sweet in the Varoma. Because I had not planned on dessert there was not much available, so hunting around I found enough to please my beloved.

One good aspect of using the Varoma is that generally you don't have to give the bowl a thorough clean after mixing ingredients and then steaming. This is another example where a light clean is all you need & then the steaming action helps reduce cleaning later.

There are so many recipes for B&B pud. You can adapt you favourite, whether it be with croissants, panetone, brioche, raisin bread or good old white bread. You can add or leave out dried fruit or peel. Add chocolate pieces, spread the buttered bread with marmalade or jam. The combinations are endless.

The photos here are of the pud after I sprinkled it with sugar and placed it under the grill for 10 minutes to give that extra crunch and caramelisation. It is not necessary to grill it and so the whole can be completed in the Thermomix.

You need to have a bowl that fits into the Varoma in a steady and secure manner to prevent it tipping. I placed a lid from a Pyrex casserole on another dish, but play around with what you have at hand. If you are not going to grill it then it need not be ceramic or metal.

Please try it out - you could even try steaming on top of the stove for this one if you don't have the Thermomix and you don't have an oven.

Good luck and please report any failures.

Bread & Butter Pudding in the Varoma


6 thin slices of buttered bread (or equivalent) with crusts removed
Dried fruit or marmalade if using

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp sugar (vanilla sugar is good)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (if not using vanilla sugar)
1 1/2 cups milk ( or 1 cup milk & 1/2 cup cream for extra richness)

Cream for serving


Cut bread into triangles and spread with marmalade or jam (if using). Layer bread in buttered dish, sprinkling with sugar, dried fruit and peel, chocolate or whatever combination, between layers. I tend to place pieces of bread on end to have little peaks popping out the top.

Place eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla and milk/cream into Thermomix bowl. Mix for 15 seconds on speed 3. Pour mixture carefully over the buttered bread and allow to settle for a minute or two. Cover with plastic film, or if using a suitable bowl you can place a lid on top.

Lightly clean out the Thermomix bowl and add 750ml of water. Place thermomix bowl on top and place Varoma above in postion. Place dish with pudding into Varoma and cover.

Set Thermomix to 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. The timing will depend on the depth of the dish used and so check at this stage for a shallow dish. Mine was cooked at this time. It may take another 5 - 25 minutes and the custard should be set and the pudding fluffy.

If you wish to have a crusty top then turn on your grill and allow it to warm up. Carefully remove the pudding from the steamy Varoma and leave on a place mat for a couple of minutes. gently remove the plastic cover or lid and sprinkle with some sugar. (Think of the exercise you will need to do to get this off your hips). Place the dish under the grill and watch carefully to ensure that it browns and does not burn.

While the pudding is grilling or simply resting, clean the Thermomix bowl out with cold water and dry thoroughly. Insert the butteflyand pour at least 200ml of cream into the bowl. Whip it at speed 4 until thick. You may need to scrape down the cream from the side of the bowl. Don't let it whip too much or you will have butter to spread over your pudding.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Classic Janni Kyritsis Beef

This is a dish was described in the last paragraph of the page on Janni, in Mietta O'Donnell's "Great Australian Chefs" , as a classic dish. It was on the menu at Berowra Waters , Bennelong and MG Garage.

It is a dish that shows the versatility of the Thermomix as it can be wholly produced from base ingredients in the machine. It is almost as if Janni had created the dish for the Thermomix.

Many may not know of Janni Kyritsis, photographed above after lunch service at MG Garage, the week before he retired from full time work as a chef. He can be seen in the July edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller with Stephanie Alexander in France. Janni has produced a cookbook "Wild Weed Pie" in which this recipe appears. I recommend the book, but to get a quick, non-Thermomix version you can check out Janni's recipe online.

The dish requires some preparation, but is not beyond the home cook, like myself. One of the biggest positives is that most of the preparation is done a day or so before service. This is a dish to have for a relaxed dinner party while impressing the guests, especially when you know the history of it.

Janni says that it is "Australian beef flavoured with Mediterranean tapenade, wrapped around English bone marrow dumpling, served on spinach wilted in an Asian wok, with a classic French Madeira sauce, and all created by a Greek chef who used to be an electrician." Well, I didn't use the wok, but now you can also say that is can be prepared in a German machine by a . . . .(insert Nationality and profession here).

Please share it with friends and honour Janni.

Steamed Fillet of Beef in a Bone-Marrow Dumpling
With Tapenade & Madeira Sauce

Serves 4


600 g piece of beef fillet, trimmed from centre of large piece
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
400 g baby spinach
30 g butter
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt & Pepper, to taste

125 g black olives, pitted (nicoise)
25 g drained anchovy fillets
25 g small salted capers, blanched
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon strained lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 firmly packed cup basil leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
30 g fresh breadcrumbs (prepared as per TM book)

Bone Marrow Dumpling:
75 g clean bone marrow (I got it from some beef shin and used the meat to make osso buco in the slow cooker)
150 g fresh breadcrumbs (prepared as per TM book)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
60ml 35%-fat cream
1/2 tablespoon chives
1 teaspoon thyme leaves

Madeira Sauce:
1/2 cup dry Madeira
1/2 cup veal glaze
Pinch ground allspice
Salt & Pepper, to taste


Start with cleaning the bone marrow by leaving it in salt water in the fridge for 2 days if possible.

Two days before, make the tapenade by firstly placing the garlic into TM bowl and chopping for 3 – 5 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down the sides of TM bowl and add all the remaining ingredients except olive oil and breadcrumbs. Process for 10 seconds on speed 7. Set to speed 4 and, while blades are running, gradually add the olive oil to form a paste. Finally add the breadcrumbs and process for 5 seconds at speed 3 to incorporate. Refrigerate until required.

To make the bone marrow dumpling mixture, pass the bone marrow through a fine sieve to remove any spicules of bone. Keep 50g of the marrow and blend for 20 seconds at speed 7 before adding the herbs. Process for 5 – 10 seconds on speed 7 until herbs have been chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process for 10 seconds at speed 3 to combine. Do not over process. Divide dumpling mixture into 4 portions and refrigerate.

Cut tenderloin into 4 pieces and sprinkle with the allspice and pepper. Spread 1 ½ teaspoons of tapenade on each end of the fillet. Place a piece of plastic film on the bench and spread a piece of the dumpling mixture out into a 3cm wide strip that will be long enough to just enclose the piece of fillet. Place a piece of the fillet on the dumpling at one end and roll so that the dumpling encloses the fillet with tapenade exposed at each end. Roll very tightly in the plastic film and twist ends like a bonbon. Wrap each of these in some aluminium foil twisting the ends to close tightly.

Place these in the refrigerator overnight (or at least a few hours).

When ready for service remove the fillet parcels from the refrigerator and leave for about 20 minutes to reach room temperature.

To make the Madeira sauce, place the Madeira in the Thermomix bowl. Set to 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4. The Madeira should be reduced by half. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 2. Remove from bowl into container to keep warm.

Without cleaning Thermomix bowl, add 750ml water, replace lid and position Varoma. Place parcels in Varoma and cover with lid. Set to 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. Test beef by inserting a metal skewer into the centre of the beef. Leave it there for a count of 10 and then touch against your skin just under your bottom lip. For medium-rare it should feel warm. Steam for another 5 – 10 minutes if needed to reach desired state. Place in Thermosever to keep warm for 5 minutes.

While Thermomix is still warm place spinach in the Varoma and set for 5 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4. Remove spinach when wilted and mix through butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Take the rested beef and unwrap from the foil. Using a very sharp knife, cut the beef in half across the grain of the beef. Place with cut side down on a spatula and remove plastic film. Turn fillet over and place in centre of plates. Surround with some spinach to hold bone marrow dumpling in place. Pour some sauce over beef and spinach.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Second of the Pair of Pears - Saffron

Well the Varoma has been in overdrive since it arrived home and pears are flavour of the moment.

This recipe has been adapted from a book published by Murdoch Books entitled “Spice Market” by Jane Lawson. The back cover of the book has a photo of a pear with a toffeed saffron syrup. It looks delicious and good enough to eat straight off the page.

I first met Jane on a trip to Spain, which was to research Spanish cuisine for her book "Cocina Nueva". ( Now also in paperback). She has a great passion for food and I recommend her books for great ideas ( the photos are fantastic too) . She has been involved in many of the food related titles from Murdoch books recently.

The cream for the photo was whipped in the Thermomix also. It is a great machine.

Poached Pears in Saffron Syrup


1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 Tbsp water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways & cut into 4 pieces
200g sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
500g water
4 pears, peeled and cores removed from underneath with a corer or parisienne spoon
500g water for steaming


Place the saffron threads in 1 Tbsp water and leave for 1 hour to allow them to soften.

Put half of the saffron threads and their soaking water, the vanilla bean pieces, sugar, lemon zest and 500 g water into the Thermomix bowl. Cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 2 to dissolve the sugar and develop the flavour of the poaching liquor.

Place the pears in a bowl that fits into the Varoma and cover with the poaching liquor. Place a lid or plastic film over the bowl.

Add 500ml of water into the Thermomix bowl (there is no need to clean it) and place lid on and Varoma over lid. Steam the pears for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. You may need to move the pears in the poaching liquor to ensure they are evenly coated with liquor and cooked. Cook until tender when tested with a skewer.

Once cooked, carefully remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon, place in Thermoserver or oven to keep warm.

Empty the water from the Thermomix bowl and lightly clean. Pour the poaching liquor into the bowl and put lid on. Cook for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3 without the Measuring Cup in place to allow the syrup to reduce and thicken slightly. Add the remaining saffron threads and mix for 30 seconds on speed Soft to incorporate the threads.

Serve the pears with the sauce spooned over and some whipped cream on the side.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Pair of Pear Recipes in the Varoma

Pears are in season and great eating at present so a couple of recipes that have been modified from books on hand to cook in the Thermomix.

Although many out there in blogosphere don't like food processors, I will press on with trying to convert you. These pear recipes have been done solely in the Thermomix.

Firstly, a take on an old favourite from a Paul Bocuse cookbook for pears in red wine.

I would suggest a light red such as Brown Brothers Cienna and Cabernet or Dolcetto & Syrah. You don't want a strong gutsy cabernet or zinfandel here, a mild peppery shiraz would be interesting.

Pears in Red Wine

2 pears, peeled, halved and cored and held in acidulated water
(water with juice from half a lemon)
300 gr red wine
300 gr water
200 grams sugar
juice of half an orange
juice of half a lemon
1 Vanilla pod, split and scraped to release the seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves


Put all the ingredients except for the pears in the TMX bowl. Cook these for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed 2. Place the pear halves in a bowl that easily fits into the Varoma. Pour the mixture from the TMX bowl in to cover the pears. Add 500ml of water to the Thermomix bowl (there is no need to wash it out !!). Carefully place the varoma on top of the TMX.

Set the Thermomix to cook for 15 - 20 minutes (depending on the size & ripeness of the pears) at Varoma temperature on speed 3. You may need to turn the pears during cooking to ensure that they cook evenly and that the wine permeates them completely.

The pears should still be al dente when removed from the Varoma and allowed to cool covered in their cooking liquor. Again make sure that the pears are moved to allow good penetration of the wine mixture.

For service you can slice the pears if you are feeling creative, or turn them belly up and fill the core with cream whipped up in that wonderful machine we know as the Thermomix and Italians call a Bimby (no not bimbo).

Bon Appétit mes amis. Tomorrow, Pears in Saffron Syrup.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thermomix Recipes for Kedgeree

This is a dish that usually is trotted out for Easter. While I simply adore smoked fish, many people simply abhor it and perhaps it is related to how it was served to them in their childhood.

Kedgeree is a dish that conjures up pleasant memories and make my mouth water.

Recently it appeared in the Australian Gourmet Traveller as a Classic Dish.

This version has been adapted for the Thermomix and has been changed since I first produced it for others to try. Now I use the Varoma to poach the fish while the rice and eggs are cooking in the basket inside the Thermomix bowl.

Their are numerous variations that have been published and you can certainly add in extra bits or delete bits, but eggs, rice and smoked fish are a constant.



200g long grain rice
Pinch of saffron threads
3 eggs
400g smoked haddock or cod
300ml milk
80g butter, chopped into small pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml cream (35%)
Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper
Parsley to garnish


Wash the rice thoroughly with cold water, and preferably soak for an hour or so before cooking, add saffron threads and mix through the rice. Wash the eggs thoroughly. Place 1000ml water in TM bowl, insert basket with rice and eggs on top of rice.

Place haddock in a bowl that fits easily into the Varoma. Place milk in bowl to just cover the fish. Place in Varoma and position it over the Thermomix bowl.

Cook for 14 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4. After 10 minutes it may help to open lid of the Thermomix & fluff the rice around the eggs.

Remove bowl with fish from Varoma, drain and leave to cool.

Remove basket from inside the Thermomix bowl with aid of spatula. Remove eggs, cool and shell before setting aside. Place rice in Thermo server or bowl and mix through 50g of the butter.

Remove skin and any bones from fish before flaking.

Cut 1 egg lengthwise into quarters and hold for garnish later. Chop other eggs and mix with rice, fish, cream, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grease an ovenproof dish and gently place kedgeree mixture in, dotting with the extra 30g of butter. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes at 180°C.

Garnish with remaining egg and parsley and serve immediately.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Crème Caramel in Varoma

More fun in the Varoma last night, lots more ideas, more recipes to follow.
This dish was trialled though a few weeks ago in my old model and produced suprisingly good results from a first attempt. There is more caramel in the photo than was needed - not the fault of the machine. If I were a professional then I should have sucked some up with my handy syringe (that's another use George !) before the photo shoot.
Crème caramel

Ingredients: (4 serves)
Caramel to line 4 ceramic moulds
70g sugar
250 g of milk
2 eggs (60 g eggs)

500 g of water
Pour the caramel into the ceramic moulds (about 3cm high that can fit into the Varoma upper tray). Allow caramel to set.

Once the caramel has firmed place the sugar in the TMX bowl, blitz for 40 seconds at speed 10.  Add the milk & eggs & mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.

Pour the mixture into the moulds. Cover with a sheet of paper towel (to absorb excess water ) and then a piece of aluminium foil. Place moulds on the tray for the Varoma. Place the tray inside the main section of the Varoma and cover with the lid.

Pour the water into the TMX bowl (you don’t need to clean it out) and position the Varoma on top. Set the Thermomix for 30 minutes at Varoma temperature and speed 1.

Carefully remove the foil and paper to check for firmness. The custard should not be liquid in the centre but should wobble. It will continue to cook a little after removing from the steam so don’t overcook it.

Allow to cool for an hour and then put in the refrigerator for at least another hour.

When ready for service remove from the fridge at least 10 minutes beforehand to allow the custards to warm slightly. Carefully turn on plates, remove the mould and serve.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Varoma Mushrooms for Rick

I picked up my new Varoma attachment on Monday and so have been trying out a few dishes.

One of the benefits is that you can harness the steam produced from cooking other food in the main bowl to produce some magic in the Varoma.

Rick requested more Varoma recipes and so next week I will post an Aussie classic, but until then just another quickie.

Thanks also to Rick, for reviving my memories of going up into the countryside (to Doncaster/Templestowe!! -long time ago) to hunt for mushrooms. Running around in the fields to find the fairy rings of little white fungi. Before my uncle educated us, we thought that the bigger they were the better that they would be. Depends on what you are going to do with them.

I needed to crank up the Thermomix for another dish but decided to make us some of Rick's garlic butter and cook the mushies in the Varoma. It worked a treat - thanks for the idea.

Varoma Mushrooms with garlic Butter.


8 - 12 large flat mushrooms

Rick's TMX garlic butter


Carefully remove the stalk from the mushroom trying to preserve as much of the gills as possible. Place a dessertspoon of garlic butter in the centre of the mushroom from where the stalk has been removed. Place the mushrooms in the Varoma.

Place 500ml water in the bowl (if not using the TMX bowl for cooking something else). Set to 20 minutes at Varoma temp on speed 4 (if not cooking somehting else). Check after 20 minutes and cook longer as needed. The ones in the photo took 20 minutes from the time that the machine reached Varoma temperature, but yours may be smaller.

Serve as an entree or part of main meal & enjoy.