By the end of the season of any reality TV cooking show, I always find myself getting annoyed at the overuse of certain phrases. “Plating up.”Pointy end of this culinary journey.” “Balance of flavours.” Just to give you a few examples. “Favourite key ingredient” is another one.
The things is though, these phrases are generally pretty good at summing up whatever it is that the person is trying to say. Take my last example, “favourite key ingredient.”
A favourite key ingredient is an ingredient within a dish or a recipe that ‘makes it’. It’s one that brings about a bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling just by mentioning it’s name, or by simply seeing a jar, bottle, bunch of it there in your pantry or fridge.
Without this ingredient the dish would be nothing. At best, bland and tasteless. At worst, non-existent!
Apart from our favourite key ingredients, most of us have our favourite brands of these ingredients that are our “go-to’s” whenever that item is required.
Below I’ve written 5 super duper simple recipes that demonstrate clearly how some of my favourite key brands shine within a dish. All of these key ingredients are available at IGA stores across the country. Find your nearest store.
RECIPE 1) Nutella Fudge
Hero Ingredient: FERRERO NUTELLA
Ingredients(Makes approx. 25x 4cm square pieces)
130 grams Ferrero Nutella
120 butter, unsalted
225 grams icing sugar, sifted
¼ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1) Melt the Nutella and butter on the stove (low heat) by placing both ingredients into a heatproof bowl and sitting this bowl on top of a saucepan filled with simmering water, ensuring the base of the heatproof bowl does not touch the water. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until both ingredients are fully melted.
2) Remove the bowl from the heat and with the same spoon, stir in the sifted sugar.
3) Once the sugar, butter and Nutella are completely combined, stir through the nuts.
4) Line a 20cm square dish with non-stick baking paper.
5) Transfer the mixture from the bowl into the square dish, using the back of a large spoon to flatten. Cover with cling film and place in fridge for 90 minutes (minimum) to set.
6) Remove from fridge and cut into 4cm squares. Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 days.
RECIPE 2) Cheese and Chive Dip
Hero Ingredient: KRAFT CREAM CHEESE
250 grams KraftCream Cheese, softened
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ red onion, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
1) Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine together with a wooden spoon.
2) Serve with freshlycut, chilled carrot and celery sticks, and/or home made, toasted pita bread.
RECIPE 3) The Best Satay Sauce EVER
Hero Ingredient: KRAFT PEANUT BUTTER
Ingredients(Makes just over 2 cups)
185 grams Kraft Peanut Butter – smooth or crunchy
250 ml coconut cream
½ small red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds if desired)
½ clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1) Place all ingredients in a pot on the stove over a medium heat.
2) Use a wooden spoon to continuously stir until combined.
3) Serve warm over rice, chicken, meat or seafood.
RECIPE 4) Mini Pain Au Chocolate
Hero Ingredient: PUFF PASTRY
Ingredients(Makes 8 Mini P.A.C)
2 square sheets Goodman Fielder puff pastry (24cm squares)
32 large chocolate buttons or 8 ‘sticks’ of chocolate (10cm long, 1cm wide)
1) Make your egg wash by cracking the egg into a bowl and whisking with a fork.
2) Cut pastry sheet into 4 x 12cm squares
3) Using a pastry brush, brush each square on the top side with egg wash.
4) Starting 1/2cm into the square, place 4 chocolate buttons in a line down the centre and roll up pastry like a sausage roll.
5) Transfer to a baking paper lined tray.
6) Paint top of each croissant with egg wash.
7) Bake in 180 degree celsius oven for about 15 minutes or until croissants are puffy and dark golden.
8) Serve immediately.
RECIPE 5) Nut, Date and Coconut Balls
Hero Ingredient: SMITHS ROASTED ALMONDS
Ingredients(Makes 10 “just smaller than a golf ball” sized balls!)
½ cup Smith’s Pepsi Co.roasted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups of fresh dates, seeds removed, chopped
50 grams unsalted butter
100 grams brown sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling
1) Remove seeds from dates and chop until you reach paste consistency. (I remove the seeds from the dates and then stack them on top of each other. I chop a million times in every direction and all of a sudden all the dates kind of become one big “lump ‘o’ date.” This is what you want.
2) Chop the almonds and pistachios roughly. You want the pieces to be small but not to sand consistency. It’s always nice to have a piece of nut here and there in the final ball.
3) In a pan on medium heat melt the butter and the sugar together, add dates and nuts and stir. (I do this with two forks. I find that makes it easier to combine all ingredients.) This should take about 3-4 minutes. Once done, remove from heat.
4) Scatter a generous amount of the coconut on a large plate. Using a teaspoon, take just smaller than a golf ball size worth of mixture (about a teaspoon and a half) and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll this ball directly into the coconut. Toss around for a while, back and forth, sprinkle the coconut on top. You want a decent amount of it to stick to the ball. The ball should be covered. Place on a sheet of baking paper and keep rolling balls until all mixture is used up.
5) Set in fridge (minimum of an hour.) Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 days.
More of your favourite brands at IGA
Why does IGA stock so many different brands? Because our stores are independently owned and can adjust their range to give you more of what you like including your favourite brands. Find your nearest store or view your local catalogue.
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Do you have a favourite set of ingredients or brands that you stick to when you cook?