Black bean and corn salsa

2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed or 1/2 cup dried beans, prepared (see below)
1 ½ cups corn kernels, thawed
1 capsicum, finely diced
1 cup finely diced celery
¾ cup minced red onion, salted for 20 mins, then rinsed under boiling water
1 fresh chilli, seeded and minced
½ cup chopped coriander
I avocado, diced

Lime dressing
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp  grated lime zest
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs Dijon mustard
S + P to taste
¼ cup vegetable oil

1. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients, except avocado.

2. In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients, except the oil. Mix together, then gradually whisk in the oil.

3. Pour dressing over salad, and stand one hour before serving.

To prepare black beans cover with water, heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Allow to stand for 1 hour, then drain, cover with lots of water and simmer 20-30 minutes. Don't allow them to boil at this point or their skins will split. 

Microwave Custard

2 egg yolks
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1.      Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and vanilla to a smooth paste with a tablespoon of the milk.
2.      Place remaining milk and caster sugar in a separate microwave bowl. I use a clear Pyrex 4 cup jug. That way I can see through the window when it boils and the jug is big enough for it to not boil over.
3.      Heat milk in microwave until it boils. This takes 5 minutes in my microwave, but will be different in yours. It must boil or the custard will not thicken.
4.      Remove from microwave and pour into the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you do this.
5.      Whisk until thick.

Chewy and Gooey Pistachio Friands

120g pistachios
200g icing sugar
200g butter, melted
5 egg whites
80g flour

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Prepare 6 friand or cup cake tins by either greasing and flouring, or lining with patty cake liners.
Grind the pistachios in a food processor until very very fine. This will take 3-5 minutes.
Add icing sugar and continue to grind even more finely.
Add melted butter and process  to incorporate.
Whisk egg whites until they’re foamy.
Add the pistachio mixture.
Gently fold in flour. Be careful not to over mix the flour.
Pour into prepared moulds and bake for 30 mins.
These keep for a long time, but are at their best fresh out of the oven when the outside of the cakes is chewy. The inside will be more moist than normal friands. .