Sunday, December 30, 2012

NYE Dutch Apple Fritters (Appel Beignets)

Mum's Dutch Apple Fritters (Appel Beignets) with icing sugar

This is what you will need:
  • Granny Smith apples 2kg  or as many as you want... each apple makes about 5-6 fritters (or any green, tart, apples) 
  • Crepe batter - ratio - 1 cup plain flour, 1 egg, 1 -1 and1/2 cup water (or milk and water if preferred), pinch salt. The consistency should by fairly thin, but should still coat the apple slices well (Make double quantity if you want to use about 10 apples)
  • Supafry solid white oil for deep frying - 2 pkts  (I have found this oil gives the best results)
  • Sifted icing sugar (soft powdered sugar/confectioner's sugar)
You will also need:
  • Apple corer (available in any supermarket/hardware/kitchen shop for a couple of $s)
  • Bowl with cold water and juice 1/2 lemon
  • Saucepan for frying or deep fryer
  • Absorbent kitchen paper
  • Knife
  • Potato peeler
This is what you do: 
  1. For batter - Sift plain flour into wide jug or bowl and add egg(s) and water or water/milk and whisk well together until mixture is well blended and of a runny consistency to coat the apple slices. (see ratio in ingredient section)
  2. Core, peel and slice apples and place in bowl with water and lemon so they don't go brown before you are ready to use them
  3. Dry apples in a clean tea towel or cloth and add about 5-8 slices to the batter
  4. Heat the oil till very hot...test with a little batter to see how fast it browns. Adjust heat so that the batter doesn't want the apple to be cooked through
  5. When oil is right temperature, add the coated apple slices one by one to the oil...depending on size of pan, about 4-5 at a time. Turn them over half way through browning
  6. Lift out with a fork or tongs, drain in basket and/or place on absorbent kitchen paper towel
  7. Repeat until batter/apples are used up.
To serve:
Sift some icing sugar into a bowl and dip fritters into sugar or sprinkle some over each serving to taste. The sugar adds to the flavour as the apples are quite tart (sour).

ENJOY your Dutch Apple Fritters!
ENJOY your New Year's Eve celebration - I wish you a very happy 2013.

My family's NYE traditions

NYE 2011-2012 Sydney, Australia Fireworks
NYE 2011-2012 Sydney Fireworks
Even though I'm Dutch born, I don't bother much with traditional Dutch food, however...I do like to carry on one family tradition, which is to serve Dutch Croquettes (kroketten) and Apple Fritters (Appel Beignets) on NYE.

My mum would spend most of NYE day in the kitchen, complete with apron and a towel turban around her head ("to keep the oily smell out of my hair " she said) when deep frying the croquettes and fritters. She never made the croquettes and fritters herself in her home country, because in the mid 20th Century many well to do families had live in help. The 'help' would spend days making tubs of fritters and croquettes for our large family and business and household staff.
Here in Brisbane, QLD though, where it's steaming hot at the turn of the year, mum would be perspiring over a very hot stove and feel quite hot and bothered by the time she was finished. After a cool shower she would appear changed and fresh as a daisy, ready to face the evening surrounded by her family and an influx of friends.

Anyway...rave on Tricia...better get those recipes typed up but please be WARNED! This recipe is not for you if you are on a diet, are super health conscious, gluten free, sugar free, fat free etc. This is a 'once a year' recipe which you share with friends and family. It's not a meal, although you can serve the croquettes as a meal with a nice fresh salad and I have done so in the past, but mainly it's a delicious savoury snack to serve in a serviette with a dollop of French mustard and a glass of bubbly of some kind.  I'm not a drinker as such, so a non-alcoholic or soft drink will do quite fine.
Ok, here goes and enjoy these 2 traditional recipes from my mother's recipe book.

Please click here > Recipe tab  or on the recipe tab above ^^ to find the recipe if you can't see it on this page..

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grain free 'bread' /pancakes

I'm not only an infrequent cook but I'm also an infrequent blogger! :-)
Anyway, here I am ready to roll again.

My health care giver suggested that grains are not the best for me and handed me a recipe for grain-free bread. For the life of me I cannot get that recipe to work for me. His bread is almost like wheat bread but mine turns out like a house brick.
I recently saw an ad for a charity in which an African woman just poured a great amount of batter into a pan over an open fire, then closed the lid on it and hey presto she had a massive flat bread in no time.
So...I got to thinking about how I could simplify my 'bread issues' and so I made up my own recipe with grain free flours.
This recipe doesn't quite have the texture of flat bread and are more like burritos/pancakes, but if you make it on a hot plate in the Weber Q range, it dries out more and the texture is more like pitta bread. You could also try putting a lid on your frypan, but the temperature will need to be very high, which is not always possible on a regular electric stove top. Gas cook top could be better.

I hope you'll try these as the flavour and texture are very good.
(Recipe here or Click on the Recipe tab above)

Grain-free flat bread or basic pancakes

Recipe #3
(This quantity makes about 8 made in a small 8" non-stick fry pan)

  • 1/2 cup besan (chick pea) flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 cup +/- cold water  ( or 1/2 water 1/2 milk)
  • pinch salt (optional)
  • Mix flours together well
  • Add egg and water (water/milk)
  • Beat together well until no lumps left in mixture.
  • Mixture needs to be quite runny depending on the thickness of pancakes you want to make.
  • Heat small non-stick frypan on HIGH heat, till pan is HOT.
  • Pour thin layer of mixture into pan, swirling the mixture to the edge of pan
  • Cook on one side till light brown, then turn to cook other side
For crisper 'bread' cook on high heat with lid on or in a Weber Q series HIGH setting with lid down till 'bread' crisps.
I just use this for my self, making them up freshly each time I need some. I keep the mixture in a small spill proof lidded bowl in the fridge.

Can be used as regular bread - 
For breakfast top with bacon and eggs. Spread one with marmalade. 
For lunch spread with avocado, mayo, add salad and chicken, ham etc. Roll up.
Also can be used as a dessert pancake with sugar and lemon; maple syrup and ice cream/cream etc.

I hope you'll try these as the flavour and texture is good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Afternoon tea...

Where we live, the sun goes down early.
Well it seems that way because we live in a spot where our (side) yard rises up to the north, the road rises at the front of our house to the east, and behind the house towards the west, there are massive trees in other people's yards that block the sun by about 3.30 pm. In summer this isn't a problem but now that it's winter, once the sun disappears, the temperature drops quickly and it's time to close the house up a bit and have a nice hot cuppa.
My daughter teaches school nearby, so she pops in regularly. Today I didn't have anything to eat to go with the hot cuppa, so had the 'brilliant' idea to make pikelets or pancakes. Now you might think there is no difference between pikelets and pancakes but yes, there is. She chose the pancakes. These are the one's my mum used to make and they are Dutch pancakes...not like the thick small pikelets but very thin, like crepes. They are easy to whip up on the spur of the moment but just be prepared to continue making them while others eagerly devour them.
You'll be eating the last ones...

Recipe below or click on tab above.

Mum's Dutch pancakes (crepes)

Recipe #2

You will need:
1 cup plain flour
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
good pinch salt
Some cooking oil

In a wide jug or small bowl place all ingredients and mix.
Beat with whisk or wooden spoon till bubbles rise.
Make sure mixture is quite thin and runny and if necessary add more water.

Pour oil into frypan and heat on high heat until it starts to smoke a little bit, then pour excess oil off into a cup. Repeat. (This helps to 'cure' the pan before adding the batter.) Do this once between each crepe.
Pour batter into centre of very hot frypan, swirling the batter to distribute it thinly over the entire surface.
Cook, sliding the pan across heat until one side is cooked.
Toss pancake or use egg slide to flip and cook other side.
When cooked slide onto plate.
Sprinkle with sugar and fresh lemon juice while pancake is hot.
Roll pancake up, using a fork.

Repeat until all batter is used and everyone is happy.
You can have the last ones... :-)

Note: This quantity makes about 7-8 crepes. Just double or triple the recipe for however  many you need.
Other toppings: Golden syrup, Strawberry jam, Maple syrup.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Yummy Anzac biscuits

Well, here comes my first recipe.
A few nights ago I was wanting something sweet, but not too sweet.  Something yummy, but healthy. So here is the dead easy recipe for the good old Aussie biscuit (cookie) the ANZAC . This recipe was given to me by a friend many years ago.

Recipe # 1.

You will need:
1/2 - 3/4 cup plain flour
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
Mix together in bow
Then melt together in microwave or on cooktop:
125gr butter (4ozs)
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbps boiling water
To this add:
    1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
Pour wet mix into dry and mix together with wooden spoon.
Place teaspoons of mix on greased and paper lined baking sheets - about 10cm apart to allow them to spread.
Bake in 180C oven for about 10 minutes.
Keep an eye on them as they brown quickly.
Cool on rack till they go hard and crunchy.


  1.  You can use raw or white sugar but it makes the biscuits too sweet. Brown sugar gives them a more caramelly taste.
  2. Add the 1/2 cup of flour first and if still quite wet, add the other 1/4 cup. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why this blog?

Well for a start, I love blogging. Just love putting 'pen to paper'...yeah you know what I mean. Love to type away and share my thoughts and it really doesn't matter to me if anyone will read them. Nope not at all. However, if you do choose to read on, I hope you enjoy my  scattered thoughts, crazy ideas and have a bit of fun reading my light hearted ramblings about being an infrequent cook.
Back to the subject...
...I really am not mad on cooking. Cooking of any kind does not really excite me, yet we need to eat to continue living. Hence the 'Occasional Cook', well, that's what I wanted to call this blog, but no luck. That title was already taken, by someone who is most likely in the same boat as I am...not a lover of cooking, but who has enough interest, like me, to get into the kitchen from time to time and turn out something quite reasonable. So I settled for 'An infrequent cook'...which is actually what I am. These days my hubby cooks most of our meals. After over 30 years of cooking for my now 'long left home' family, I gave up 12 years ago when I went back to work full time and hubby became the house husband and stay-at-home dad for our then 10 year old.
My cooking is simple, easy and nourishing. Don't expect to find modern, exciting ideas here that go under the heading of 'Modern Cuisine' or come from the Master Chef kitchen. No bits of salad leaves garnished with dots of some fancy sauce, sprinkled with nuts and a crumbed, deep fried prawn on top. No, not at all. From my kitchen will come recipes that my mum used to make, a friend's cake recipe that is just delicious and is easy enough for me to throw together and maybe even some meatless meal ideas from our long ago Noosa days.
So don't get too excited please.
I am ready to put up a recipe or 2 and photos to show how it's done. You really don't need the photos but I also love taking photos of almost anything, so you will get photos with the recipe whether you like it or not :-)). I refrain from giving myself the label 'Photographer' as I don't do fancy pics, but just an average pic to show you how it's done. Most come from my smart phone, others from my Fujifilm Finepix S1600, so nothing too highbrow.
I hope you enjoy my 'infrequent' cooking adventures.
Welcome to my brand new blog.