Heart-Warming Winter Recipes And Hacks To Help You Save

News| 16th May 2024
Heart-Warming Winter Recipes And Hacks To Help You Save
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Winter gives us the perfect excuse to make comforting, hearty meals, and a variety of seasonal produce to make them with.

Foodie Therese from @therese.lum has shared two delicious recipes to get you in the winter spirit. Plus, a few hacks to help you pack these recipes with flavour while reducing waste!

 Creamy Mushroom Ragu Pasta
This delicious pasta makes the most of seasonal mushrooms, with a simple trick to make an umami rich stock.

Ingredients:

·         ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

·         450g white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

·         450g portobello, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces

·         20g dried porcini mushrooms

·         2 cups reserved porcini water - you’ll make this in the cooking process

·         1 large onion, diced

·         6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

·         1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (8–10 sprigs)

·         1 cup dry white wine

·         ½ cup grated parmesan

·         ¼ cup thickened cream

·         1 x 500g packet of pasta of choice

·         2 cups of cooked pasta water

 Garnish (optional) – salt and pepper, truffle oil, grated parmesan, parsley
TIP: Choose a wide pasta to match the rich flavour of the sauce. Mafaldine pasta works best as its ruffly edges catch the sauce perfectly and add great texture. Pappardelle, rigatoni, paccheri, or a large fusilli would work well too.

 Method:

 1.      If you haven’t yet, take a moment to prepare your ingredients as listed above (slicing, grating etc.), to ensure a quick cooking process.

2.      To make your mushroom stock, rehydrate your dried porcini mushrooms in a small pot of water on the stove (approx. 1L).

3.      Once your porcini mushrooms are rehydrated, skim them out and set them aside. Do not discard the porcini water – reserve two cups of it to use later.

4.      In a large, hot pan, dry sauté your white mushrooms (no oil). Once they’re cooked through, set to the side.

5.      Repeat this process with your portobello mushrooms.

6.      Once your re-hydrated porcini mushrooms have cooled, dice these finely.

7.      Cook your pasta as per packet instructions.

8.      In the same pan as earlier, heat your olive oil, then add your diced onion.

9.      As your onion cooks, add your garlic, thyme and diced porcini mushrooms.

10.  Once cooked, deglaze with your white wine, making sure to scrape all the brown flavourful bits at the bottom of the pan.

11.  Add your porcini water, cooked mushrooms and heavy cream.

12.  Once your pasta is cooked, add this with some spare pasta water and your grated parmesan to your mushroom sauce.

13.  Serve with garnishes of your choice!

TIP: The water from rehydrating mushrooms makes for the perfect stock base for rich creamy sauces, so consider storing excess water before discarding!

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble Cake
Not only is this cake easy to make, but the layers make it impressive to serve up with no decoration required! With a few tips from Therese, you can ace this cake on the first bake.

Crumble Ingredients:

·         120g unsalted butter, melted

·         150g brown sugar

·         190g plain flour

·         30g desiccated coconut

·         ¼ tsp salt

Fruit Layer Ingredients:

·         250g rhubarb (2-3 stalks) cut into 1 cm slices

·         250g strawberries, stems removed and sliced into 1cm pieces

·         25g brown sugar

·         30g cornflour

·         2 tsp lemon juice

·         1 tsp vanilla paste

·         Pinch salt

TIP: When choosing rhubarb, avoid stalks with visible blemishes or ones that are curled and floppy. These are signs that the rhubarb isn’t fresh.

Cake Ingredients:

·         185g plain flour

·         ¾ tsp baking powder

·         ¼ tsp salt

·         169g unsalted butter, room temp & cubed

·         220g icing sugar

·         3 large eggs

·         1 tsp vanilla extract

 TIP: Eggs are best used at room temperature as they mix better with the other ingredients and makes the cake rise better. To bring cold eggs to room temp, place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

 Method:

1.      Mix all the Crumble ingredients together and set aside. This mix should have the consistency of fine pebbles.

2.      In a separate bowl, mix all the Fruit Layer ingredients.

3.      To make the cake, begin by whisking your butter and icing sugar, then add eggs and vanilla extract.

4.      Stir dry flour, baking powder and salt together. Carefully fold your dry ingredients into your wet cake mixture.

5.      Pour the cake mix into a lined cake tin, followed by the Fruit Layer, topped with the Crumble mix.

6.      Bake for 70 minutes at 200C, or 180C fan forced. When the cake 15 minutes from being done, cover it with tin foil to prevent the top from browning too much.

7.      Once cake has cooled, dust with icing sugar before serving.

TIP: Keep extra rhubarb for an extra 2 weeks in the fridge, or up to a year in the freezer!

To keep in the fridge, make sure that you discard discoloured stalks or part of a stalk piece. Then, wrap your rhubarb stalks in aluminium foil to preserve its texture and flavour. Aluminium foil is better than plastic when preserving rhubarb as it allows the stalks to aerate, which will keep them crisp.

To freeze rhubarb, discard any discoloured stalks and remove any fibres from the stalks. Wash the stalks, pat them dry, then cut them into one-inch pieces. Blanching the rhubarb (boiling it for a minute and then placing it in an ice bath) will preserve its colour and flavour.  After the rhubarb is dry, freeze it for two hours, then move it to an air-tight container.

This winter, consider shopping seasonal produce to make your meals as affordable and delicious as possible. And be sure to stop by Uptown for all your winter produce!

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