Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cooking: Olive and Rosemary Focaccia

This is not only simple but the result is amazing. Soft fluffy bread. Except I didn't realise how much it'd rise, next time I'll spread it over two trays. I've changed the steps a bit as there really isn't a point in preheating your oven 2 hours before you need it.
Olive and Rosemary Focaccia
Recipe from Life Magazine (Sunday Age) by Karen Martini

600g bread flour
7g dried yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
40ml extra virgin olive oil
250ml water (doesn't need to be warm)
160g olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped.
flaked sea salt


  1. Mix flour, yeast and salt in an electric mixer (dough hook). Add in eggs, oil and water. Mix for 10 minutes on medium speed. Don't worry if there are little bits of flour that don't stick to the main ball, it'll stick by the end of the 10 minutes, and if not it really doesn't matter that you're missing tiny bits of flour. 
  2. Turn out dough and knead into a smooth ball. Put it back into the bowl and cover with clingwrap. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
  3. Line a baking tray.
  4. Once risen, tip dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold in most of the olives and rosemary. Place it into the prepared tray and press it out. Let it prove for an hour. Preheat oven to 200 degrees with 15 minutes left to prove. 
  5. Snip the top if you want for a textured surface. Drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle with flaked salt and remaining olives. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cooking: One chicken chicken soup

I actually used Karen Martini's recipe that was in The Sunday Age's Life magazine earlier this year. However there are just too many ingredients and steps. The concept behind it is all you need, change it to suit your fridge/taste.
One chicken chicken soup
Serves 4.
1 whole chicken
vegies of own choice (carrots, celery, onion...)
salt and whole peppercorns
herbs of you're choice (thyme/rosemary)
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
 a few mushrooms of choice (choose strong flavoured type eg porcini, shiitake), rehydrated if dried and diced.
150g pasta, optional if you want to make chicken noodle soup
frozen peas, corn, optional.


  1. Remove the two breasts off the chicken. Chop up all the vegies however you like (not too small as they will cook for a while). Place the chicken carcass with the legs still attached, vegies, a few peppercorns and herbs in a stockpot. Fill up with water just enough to cover and simmer for 45 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile cook the shallots and garlic in some oil until cooked then cool. Dice up the chicken breasts roughly and place into the food processor with a generous sprinkling of salt. Blitz for a minute until it is quite gelatinous, add the cooled shallots mixture and mushrooms. Blitz again until combined. Set aside. 
  3. Skim the soup of oil. Then take the chicken out and place the pasta in. Shred all the meat on the chicken. Set aside.
  4. Add the frozen corn and peas, bring back to the boil. Drop spoonfuls of the chicken mince mixture into the rolling boil soup. Cook until the meatballs are floating then add back in the shredded chicken. Taste and season accordingly. 
  5. Serve.