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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Artichoke Tapenade

So easy, so tasty.

1 small tub marinated artichoke
1/3 jar olives
3 tbs creamed cheese
Juice of half a lemon
1 handful of parsley leaves

Blitz it.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Avocado and Dill Yoghurt Sauce

An incredibly quick and tasty way to finish preparing a meal. We had this the following night with some barbecued prawns which was also rad. I didn't use a great deal of dill as I can find it overpowering but go nuts if you love it. Oh, and the potatoes there, honey mustard dressing, hell yes.

1 avocado shelled
1 tbs dill sprigs
3 tbs Greek yoghurt
A little salt and pepper

Blend it.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Chilli Oregano Sardines

I haven't eaten sardines in years. Quick and simple.

1 chilli sliced
Sardine fillets
1 tbs fresh oregano leaves
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Rind from 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

Combine the lot (don't use much salt however) and fry in a hot pan.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Hash Browns with Corn

So rad. I have tried to make hash brown a few times before and consistently sucked at it. I made breakfast for the kids last week and gave it another crack, went super simple and it worked. So much so that the kids demanded I make another batch immediately. Made them again today but added corn. Wicked. I served this with poached eggs and snow peas and used the little bits of errant corn as garnish.

1 large potato washed and grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Some fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Kernels from 1 cob of corn
Oil for frying

Pat the potato dry with absorbent paper. Combine the ingredients. Heat the oil to medium high. Pinch about 1 tbs or more of the potato mixture and lay it into the oil and spread it out a bit. Don't overcrowd the pan and cook in batches. Remove to a wire cooling rack to become dry and crispy. Nom nom nom nom....

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Pork Rack Cassoulet with Cherry Tomatoes

I've been meaning to make this for some time now. I had intended on making it slightly differently but I left some diced lamb in the butchers. Thankfully however the apple and cinnamon pork sausages that I bought easily had enough flavour. I thought that this would have been more labour intensive than it was, it was really very simple actually, give it a crack.

1 pork rack
2 pork sausages (apple and cinnamon)
1 tin crushed cherry tomatoes
1 tin cannelini beans, drained
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic diced
2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 slice of bacon, diced
4 or 5 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
A little Pesto Aioli
Olive oil

Colour the sausages in the pan you are going to cook the dish in, with a little olive oil - remove to a clean plate. Saute the garlic, onions, rosemary and bacon. Pour in the cherry tomatoes and cannelini beans and the chicken stock. Slice the sausages and place them in too. Give it a good mix along with the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, turn down to very low and let it do its thing four a couple of hours.
Oil the pork rack and rub plenty of salt into the rind. Place on a roasting tray then place into a preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes. Increase the temperature to 220C for another 15. Keep an eye on the rack that you don't overcook it or burn the crackling. Remove to a plate and allow to rest covered loosely with foil.
Check the cassoulet for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as required. Remove the bay leaves. Slice the pork rack between the bone. Spoon the cassoulet into bowls, bang on your piece of pork, drizzle over some pesto aioli and a sprinkling of chives.

Pesto Aioli

Hooray! Not for the faint hearted however, it is rather strong... Would work very well with some rare beef or would be great with some hot chips.

1 handful of basil
250ml extra light olive oil
1 head garlic
1/2 an anchovy fillet
1 handful pine nuts, toasted
2 egg yolks
1 tsp white vinegar
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Wrap the head of garlic in some foil and drizzle over a little oil. Roast in a 180C oven for about 20 minutes or until soft, remove and allow to cool. In the meantime, blitz the basil with the oil and allow to infuse while the garlic cooks and cools. Drain through a fine sieve or muslin wrap and discard the solids. Grind the garlic, pine nuts and anchovy fillet in a mortar and pestle until it is a fine paste. In a mixing bowl using an electric whisk incorporate the garlic mixture with the egg and vinegar then gradually introduce the oil in a thin stream until it is all gone. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix and check for seasoning adding more of what is missing.

Crumbed Stuffed Mushrooms

Some people I know made this a few years ago at a New Years Eve bun fight which was later topped off by eating 700gms of meat-sweat-inducing rib on the bone steaks. I have tweaked it a little but it is still pretty close the original. Tastes good.

200 gms cream cheese
1 rasher of bacon
Some rosemary
1 clove garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Porcini salt
Bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
Some milk
Light olive oil

Chop up the bacon and garlic and fry with rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. Remove and mince the stems from the mushrooms with the bacon etc with a knife. Stir the mushroom/bacon mix through the cream cheese with some porcini salt and cracked pepper until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. In batches dip the mushrooms in the milk then flour then egg and finally the bread crumb so that they are well covered. Heat some light olive oil to medium high. Fry the mushrooms in batches on both side until they have great colour.
(If you have some lemon, squeeze some over the finished product once cooked - I didn't but it would taste nice)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Golden Syrup and Rosemary Wingettes

I didn't have honey but the syrup was an excellent substitute.

Chicken wingettes
2 tsp garlic oil
1/2 sprig rosemary roughly chopped
1 tbs seeded mustard

Combine them all, marinade for a bit then roast at 170C until they have nice colour (about 30 minutes).

Garlic Cannellini Beans with Mushroom and Chilli

Awesome - 5 minutes. Maybe add some herb. I had this with a dirty filthy massive t-bone. Would be brilliant on little toasts or for breakfast.

1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 mushrooms sliced
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Porcini salt
Splash of red wine vinegar
1/2 a fresh chilli sliced

Heat the oil to medium high and when hot toast the garlic. As soon as the garlic starts to take on some colour, add in the mushrooms and fry until they have great colour. Pour in the beans and toss about in the flavoured oil. Season with some porcini salt and some pepper and a little splash of red wine vinegar. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with sliced chilli.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin Rocket Parmessan Barbecued Broccolini and Almond Salad

This according to my wife was the best salad she has ever eaten. I often find that the 'I need to use that up very soon' approach to making food to be the most rewarding. In this case it was rocket and pumpkin. Again, this was low maintenance, cheap and tasty. The cumin touch came from a pumpkin soup some mates made in South America, really great combo. (Photo soon).

1/2 a pumpkin in bite sized chunks
1/2 tsp cumin
Splash of teriyaki sauce
1 bunch broccolini
5 or 6 garlic cloves, skin on
1 bag of rocket
1 handful slivered almonds
Parmesan shavings
Olive oil

Coat the pumpkin in oil, cumin and a splash of teriyaki. Coat the garlic in oil. Place the pumpkin on some grease proof paper and roast for about 20 minutes or until it has great colour. Barbecue the broccolini. Remove the pumpkin and garlic from the oven, when cool enough to handle remove the garlic from its skin. Combine all of the ingredients and tuck in.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Salmon Dish

This recipe is up to celebrate the unimaginable which is 10K hits on my blog. Odd title but that's what we call it. This is probably the first recipe I can say was really a creation of mine and unlike most of my other recipes (only due a love of gastronomic experimentation), I regularly cook this dish. When I say "I" I mean my wife, because she makes it so much better than me (I try to mess with it). Fast, simple, cheap, keeps well, healthy and most importantly, tasty.

Salmon (smoked, tinned, doesn't matter)
Cooked rice
Fresh veg just steamed or raw (shrooms, asparagus, capsicum...)
Sour cream or yoghurt
Kikkoman Teriyaki (best in my opinion)
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Sliced chilli

Rice - veg - flaked/torn salmon - flecks of sour cream or yoghurt - splash of teriyaki - squeeze of juice - salt and pepper - the herb.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Sage and Anchovy

Cooked anchovy rules. Hard. I was watching a cooking podcast from Strada and the dude did lamb rump with an anchovy, oil and rosemary sauce which I thought was a great concept so I tweaked it to get this. My wife who does not dig on anchovy loved it (best ever lamb roast apparently) and the kids smashed it too. Anyhow, quick and easy to prepare and could be applied to any cut of lamb I would imagine.

5 or 6 anchovy fillets
1 handful sage leaves
6  garlic cloves
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 leg of lamb (mine was boned out)
1 leek chopped
2 piece celery chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup sparkling white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

Blitz anchovies, sage leaves, 3 cloves garlic, pepper and olive oil along with some of the oil from the anchovies. Paint the lamb with about half of the flavoured oil. Sear the lamb on all sides in your roasting dish on the stove top then remove. Add in the leek and celery and remaining garlic and soften a little in the flavoured oil then deglaze with the wine, cook out the alcohol for a minute then add in the chicken stock. Add a lid then place into a pre-heated 140C oven for 2 hours. Remove the lid, paint with some more of the oil then return to the oven for another 45 mins. Rest the meat and strain the sauce. I served this with fresh beans and mash and if you want an extra hit of anchovy, spoon some more oil over your meat.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Calamari Balls

This recipe (though slightly bastardised) came from a student of mine. Good bloke with a real love of food. This is as simple as it is cheap. Squid tubes are very economical and as the mixture is combined with milk, you effectively cannot over cook it! Hooray! Thanks Josh.

500 gms squid tubes
1 chilli de-seeded
Zest of 1 lime
1 coriander root (or leaves)
1 tsp garam marsala
Bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
Oil for frying

Rough chop the squid tubes then blitz with the chilli, lime zest, coriander, a little salt and 1 tbs of milk until it forms a paste. If it is too dry, add a little more milk. If you've added too much you can drain it later. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Heat the oil to a high temperature. Make 1 tbs sized balls of the squid goo. Season the flour with salt and the curry paste (garam marsala). Dust the balls in the flour, pass through the beaten egg then crumb. Deep fry in batches until they rise to the surface and have great colour. Drain and season with a little more salt while hot. Serve with whatever takes your fancy - I had lime wedges, teriyaki sauce and some home-made chilli jam.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Crispy Spanish Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

This was outstanding. Do it. Only bummer is I didn't take a photo of the cous cous I made to go with it, it was brilliant.

6 chicken thighs skin on
2 chorizo
3 potato in wedges
2 small sweet potato in chunks
1/2 a fennel bulb sliced
4 cloves garlic sliced
2 tsp paprika
1 bunch coriander
1 tbs coriander seeds crushed
1 tbs red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup cider
1 cup water
1 handful cherry tomatoes chopped
Natural yoghurt
1 cup cous cous

Remove the stalks from the coriander and chop. Combine the paprika, coriander stalks, garlic, coriander seed, salt and pepper and the red wine vinegar. Pass the chicken through the paprika oil then set aside. Pass the veg though the paprika oil and set aside. Fry the chorizo in a large frying pan then remove. Fry the chicken in batches skin side down first  in the same pan then remove when it has nice colour. Arrange the veg in a roasting dish along with most of the coriander leaves (reserve some) then place the chicken on top, slice the chorizo and place around the chicken. Deglaze the frying pan with the cider. Pour the cider into the roasting dish along with the water. Pour any remain paprika oil over the top then roast for about 30 minutes at 180C with
the last 10 at 220C for a blast.
Remove from the oven, set the meat aside to rest, set the veg aside. Place the cous cous into a large bowl, pour in the water/cider, mix through the remaining coriander and the chopped tomato. If necessary place it in the microwave oven for 1 minute to cook if the liquid has cooled too much.
Slice the meat. Spoon some cous cous into bowls, add some veg, top with some chicken and chorizo and blob on some yoghurt.
Very very nice.

Chorizo Fish and Prawn Chowder

This was how I intended to start soup season and would have if those pesky leftover vegies hadn't gotten in the way. This was absolutely delicious although a little labour intensive. My understanding of chowder is that it is meant to be a complex, full flavoured, thick soup with a little kick. To help achieve this I made my own fish stock using some fish wings, prawn shells, garlic, chicken stock, lemon rind, carrot, 1 roughly chopped chilli, onion, coriander stems and roots, silverbeet stem, bare corn cobs and 3 start anise. After that I strained the stock and built me some tasty soup with bits. Unreal.

3 litres fish stock
1 kg chopped peeled potato
1 handful mushrooms in fine dice
2 carrots in fine dice
1 onion fine dice
1 leek in fine dice
2 cobs corn striped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp harrisa
Leaves from 1 bunch coriander chopped
300 gms green prawns shelled in big chunks
2 pieces reef fish in big chunks
1 chorizo
2 slices prosciutto, grilled and crispy
1 handful cherry tomatoes
2 tbs sour cream
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender then blitz till smooth. While this happens, cook the chorizo in a frying pan then remove, throw in mushrooms and cook those, remove to a clean bowl. Saute the carrot, onion, leek and garlic with the harrisa in some extra virgin olive oil. Chop the chorizo into small chunks. Add the onion mixture to the potato soup along with the mushroom and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse. Add in the corn, fish, chorizo and prawns and turn off the heat. The fish/prawns should take about 5 minutes to cook. Mince the coriander with the cherry tomatoes and prosciutto. Add the lemon juice to the chowder then test for seasoning and mix through the sour cream. Spoon into bowls, top with some coriander/prosciutto gear, serve with some great toasted  bread.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Roast Pork Brined in Pear Juice

Another concept I have been toying with, brining in pear juice. I watched Heston brine a chicken a while ago and it looked great, I have also heard of brining as 'marinading with water'. Great result very next to no work. Pear and pork work very well and I thought I would see if this process worked. The information I read on-line recommended that I do so for between 2 and 4 days, Heston said overnight (it was for chicken) but I only had time for about 8 hours. The result? More moist, sweet flavour, more colour than I would have aimed for though on the crackle. Absolutely doing this again.

150 gms salt
1 litre pear juice
1.5 litres water
Pepper corns
Fresh bay leaves
Joint of roasting pork

Cover the meat in the water/juice in a large saucepan - you may need more (use 60 gms salt per litre liquid), bung in the bay leaf and pepper corns. Refrigerate until required, roast as usual (20 mins at 220C, cover then roast at 20 mins per 450 gms, finishing with the last 20 at 220C).

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Coriander, Almond and Roast Garlic Aioli Slaw

Any crunchy veg would do, meant to use Nashi pears but forgot. Surprisingly, this is the first time I have ever made coleslaw. Happy end result.

1/4 purple cabbage
1 capsicum in thin slice
1 bulb fennel in very thin slice
2 handfuls green beans in small bits
2 handfuls almond sliced thickly
1 big handful roughly chopped coriander
1 head garlic roasted in foil with some oil
3 tbs mayo
Salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Thinly slice the veg, combine the roasted garlic and mayo. Mix well.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Boned Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Ricotta and Corn, Almonds and Mushroom

Mothers Day din dins. For maximum effect make a trivet of veg for the lamb and half fill with water to sit on and blitz at the end to make your gravy

1 leg of lamb boned
3 tbs Barbecued Corn and Ricotta Dip
1 handful almonds
2 handfuls chopped mushroom
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tbs thyme
1 handful sage
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Root veg

Blitz the almonds, 2 cloves garlic, mushroom and thyme, some salt and pepper and enough extra virgin to make it moist. Paint the Barbecued Corn and Ricotta Dip on in the inside of the meat then evenly spread out the almond/mushroom mixture. Carefully and firmly tie the lamb back up, shoving as much stuffing back inside as you can. Oil, salt and pepper and sage the lamb and rub well. Place on a trivet of veg and remaining garlic, pouring in enough water to come up to the bottom of the lamb and cover with foil. Cooking a preheated 220C oven for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for 20 mins per 450 gms. Remove the foil 20 minutes from the end. Once finished, remove, cover, rest, make gravy, stuff yourself.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Barbecued Corn Ricotta Dip

All of my favourite boxes ticked: tasty, cheap, quick. I used this to fill Mothers Day bagels. Hmmmmm, home made bagels with salmon and stuffffff.

2 corn cobs barbecued
3 tbs ricotta
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 handful parsley
1/2 handful coriander
Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tbs water

Cut the corn from the cob and blitz the lot (only
1/2 of the vinegar) except for the water. Check for seasoning and add more vinegar if necessary. If the dip is too thick, add the water then re-blitz. Nice.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Smashed Roast Garlic and Pumpkin with Toasted Almonds

Really very basic but very delicious. I was hoping to make more of a purée for some spatchcock I had roasted but part way through decided that the chunks looked cooler. The big bits of garlic were the real winner.

1/2 a butternut pumpkin in wedges
5 cloves garlic, skin on
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 slice bacon diced
1 handful sage leaves
1 handful sliced almonds

Oil, salt and pepper the pumpkin and garlic - roast at 180C until cooked (45 mins-ish). Remove from the oven and cool 'til you can handle. In the meantime, fry the bacon and sage leaves, when almost ready throw in the almonds to colour a little. While this happens, spoon out the flesh of the pumpkin and garlic.
Mash about a bit, top with the almonds then eat.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Seafood Carbonara Risotto

Nice. Having never made Carbonara this was interesting. In retrospect, I would only have used half the amount of carb sauce and twice the amount of blue cheese. I have written here my amounts for the carbonara sauce, cut it in half if you try this. If you're a carbonara fan, give it a go.

2 cups risotto rice
1 litre chicken stock
1 onion in fine dice
300 gms green prawns, shelled and deveined
10 fresh sea scallops
1/2 cup bubbling wine
1 tbs butter
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 tbs blue cheese
1 tbs cream
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Sliced chilli
1 tbs butter
1/2 tbs porcini oil
2 slices of pancetta cut in batons
1 clove garlic minced
1 whole clove garlic
Parsley stalks
2 tbs minced parsley
1 wedge of lemon

Simmer the chicken stock with the prawn shells and head, lemon wedge and whole garlic clove for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Place to stock back on the heat and return to a simmer.
Combine well the Parmesan, blue cheese, eggs, egg yolks, half of the parsley and cream along with some salt and pepper, cover until required.
Sauté the onion with the butter and garlic until soft and translucent in a large, heavy based frying pan. Throw in the rice and toast for a couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with the bubbles then once almost absorbed spoon in some stock, stir occasionally until reduced. Repeat until you are down to your last 2 ladles. Pour in the last 2 ladles of stock along with the lemon juice, and half of the parsley, stir, remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes to cool and finish cooking.
Heat the porcini oil, fry the pancetta until crispy, remove and cook the prawns until just tender. Add a little more butter to the pan and when foaming, cook the scallops allow for nice colour on each side. Remove and keep warm.
Stir the carbonara sauce through the risotto, along with half of the pancetta, test for seasoning then spoon into warmed bowls. Top with seafood and pancetta and a sprinkling of chilli. Some more lemon probably wouldn't hurt either.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Chilli Rosemary Oven Fondue

I have been meaning to try this for a while. Straight forward, painless and really great. The flavours can swing as wildly as you like here by using different herbs and spices, citrus rind or inserting something smoky like fried bacon pieces. It is important though that you find a cheese wheel that has a wooden container and is wrapped in foil or grease proof paper or you may find melted plastic which aint cool.

1 small cheese wheel
Garlic slivers
Chilli slices
Rosemary sprigs

Peel back the wrapping from the top of the cheese. Use a small sharp knife to make incisions all over the cheese and insert your flavourings. Re-wrap with the foil and place the wooden lid back on. Place into a 120C preheated oven for 20 minutes or so. Remove and tuck in with biscuits, bread or vegetables.

Garlic Prawn and Lemon Cous Cous with Shaved Fennel

With Mum at work and the boys in bed, this was a super quick supper for the big girl and I. 10 minutes maybe?

1/2 a small fennel bulb in thin slices
200 gms green prawns peeled
1/2 a lemon
1 cup cous cous
1 tbs garlic oil
Salt and pepper
1 handful chives chopped

Add the cous cous to a bowl along with the lemon, cover with boiling water then cover with a tea towel and allow to infuse/cook.
Mix the prawns and garlic oil together. Heat a medium frying pan to medium high then throw in the prawns along with some salt and pepper, toss until just cooked through. Remove the prawns to a clean plate then cook the shaved fennel for a couple of minutes in the garlic oil. Remove from the heat.
Remove the tea towel from the cous cous, squeeze the juice out of lemon and fluff the cous cous with a fork.
Add the cous cous to a clean plate, top with the prawns and fennel and the chopped chives. If necessary add more lemon juice.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Prawn and Chicken Satay Patties

10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking, heaps ace.

400gms chicken mince
200 gms green prawns shelled
2 tbs cashew and macadamia satay paste
1 shallot finely diced
1/2 bunch coriander chopped
1 tbs teriyaki sauce
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup rice flour
Oil for semi-deep frying

Mince the prawns well with a knife. Combine the chicken mince, prawn mince, satay paste, shallot, coriander, teriyaki sauce, half of the bread crumbs and the egg for a couple of minutes to work the proteins. If the mixture is too wet, add more bread crumb until it holds together. Wet your hands and form the mixture into patties of whatever size you like. Set them aside until required.
Pour about 1cm of oil into a large frying pan and heat to medium high. Dust the patties in the rice flour. Fry on both sides until golden.

I served this with a ginger and coriander teriyaki dipping sauce and some srirachi chilli sauce. Unreal.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Thyme and Start Anise Potted Prawn

Wow. Ticks all of the boxes - simple, cheap, quick, stupidly tasty. Some chilli would have been good too.

200 gms cooked prawn, peeled
200 gms unsalted butter
1 clove garlic sliced
2 pieces lemon rind
Small handful of thyme leaves
2 star anise
1/2 tbs mayonnaise
Rind of 1/2 a lemon
1 spring onion minced finely
Salt and pepper
1 baguette thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil

Melt the butter over a low heat and throw in the garlic, star anise, lemon rind and thyme. Infuse for 10 or 15 minutes but don't allow to colour. While the happens, mince the prawn with a knife then combine with the remaining ingredients, then spoon into a ramekin. When the butter is ready carefully pour half into the ramekin and gently fold through with a teaspoon. Squish the prawn down flat lightly. Place some of the thyme on top and then 1 star anise before pouring in the remaining butter. If necessary squish down the star anise to submerge. Refrigerate to solidify. Take out of the fridge 10 minutes before you wish to use it. To serve drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the baguette slices and grill on one side until crunchy. Tuck in.

Honey Chicken Souffle

Nom nom nom.
There are a couple of processes here but they are simple and the result is good. I essentially made a double batch of Cheese Souffle with Crab and Prosciutto but stuck sausage meat in it. These were helped by the fact that the butcher over the road, does awesome everything - particularly sausages. Hooray! Happy kids!

8 eggs, separated
1 small onion in small dice
2 cloves garlic minced
100 gms butter
6 tbs flour
2 cups milk
4 tbs parmesan
1 tbs blue cheese
3 tbs Tasty or other grated cheese
3 honey chicken sausages

Preheat an oven to 180C. Grease 8 ramekins with a little of the butter. Remove the skins from the sausages and fry the minced met in a frying pan, breaking them up as finely as you can as you go. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Make a white sauce by sautéing the onion and garlic with the remaining butter over a medium low heat until translucent. Strain the butter through a fine sieve to remove the onions then return the butter to the pan, discard the onion. Add the flour to the butter and cook, stirring for 4 or 5 minutes. Pour in the milk. Continue cooking until it thickens like thickened cream. Stir the white sauce and cheese together until the cheese melts then mix through the egg yolks and chicken. Semi-carefully stir through half of the egg white. Carefully stir though the remaining egg white then spoon into the ramekins until 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top.
Served with a salad.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Mushroom and Bacon Soup with Poached Egg

Hmmmmmm, breakfast in soup format. Except I ate it for dinner... I have been meaning to poach an egg in soup for a while to see if it would work. It kind of does - if you use a microwave after adding it to a bowl. Is it necessary? No but it does taste very good. When I next decide to poach an egg in some soup I will do it separately as the soup was too hot. I used 3 rashers of bacon here but as I used so much mushroom, it was a little hidden. If you try this, use 5 or 6 instead. Seriously worth trying.

1 big bag of mushrooms chopped
1 handful porcini mushrooms (optional)
1 1/2 onions diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
3 rashers bacon chopped
1/2 sprig rosemary stripped
1 L chicken stock
1 L water
1 cup white wine
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 big knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Natural yoghurt
Porcini oil (optional)
1 poached egg per person

Heat the butter over a medium high heat until bubbling, add in the extra virgin. Cook the onion until soft. Throw in the nearly all of the bacon and rosemary and fry until it has some nice colour. Add in the garlic until fragrant then throw in all of the mushroom and porcini mushrooms along with some salt and pepper. Cook down until almost all of the liquid has evaporated (about 15 minutes) keeping an eye on it and stirring occasionally. Deglaze with the white wine and cook until it has all absorbed. Pour in the stock and as much water as you require, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning, blitz with a stick blender and turn off the heat.
Heat some more oil, fry the remaining bacon and remove. In the same pan toast your croutons with some more rosemary.
Poach the eggs.
Spoon into bowls, add a dollop of yoghurt, a poached egg, top with some croutons and bacon, sprinkle with chives and drizzle with porcini oil.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Papadom Crusted Tandoori Pork Chop

This was good but when I do it again I will probably crust the meat afterwards in precooked papadoms as the papadoms didn't expand nearly as much as I though they would. Regardless, these were still fun.

5 pork loin chops
1 tbs tandoori paste
1 tbs natural yoghurt
1 packet small papadoms
Olive oil or other

Blitz the papadoms in a blender to as fine a consistency as possible. Combine the tandoori and yoghurt. Coat the pork chops in the tandoori and yoghurt mixture and set aside to marinade until required. Heat about 1cm of oil in a frying pan to medium high then reduce the heat to medium. Coat one side of each chop in the papadom crumbs then place in the pan, cooking in batches. When blood starts to come through each chop, crust the remaining side and press in. Turn the pork and fry on the remaining side until firm but with a little give (usually by the time you have nice colour). Remove to a clean plate, cover and rest.
I served this with a spiced pilaf, some dobs of yoghurt, a sprinkling of coriander and some sliced chilli for Mum and Dad. I think that a squeeze of lemon would be radical too but I didn't have any...

Beef Tarts with Pesto and Cummin

Simple and another opportunity to make pesto. Could easily be done on a smaller scale as a tapa or canapé.

500 g mince
2 cloves garlic minced
1 slice bacon diced
1 onion, 1/2 sliced 1/2 diced
1 tsp cumin
4 tbs pesto
2 tbs sour cream
1/2 hanful coriander leaves
3 sheets puff pastry
Salt and pepper
1/2 a capsicum sliced
1 handful mushroom sliced
1 - 2 cups grated cheese
1 tbs milk
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Preheat an oven to 180C. Sauté the diced onion and garlic in 1/2 of the oil with the bacon and cumin until soft and fragrant. Add in the mince and brown with some salt and pepper. Add in the sour cream and reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until almost dry. Stir through the coriander and remove from the heat to cool. Spread about 1 tbs of pesto over each puff pastry sheet leaving a 1cm border. Evenly divide the flavoured mince between the pastry sheets and spread to a thin layer. Scatter about the capsicum, onion and mushrooms and top with a little cheese. Brush the sides with some milk. Drizzle over the remaining oil and some salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until golden, turning if necessary.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Cashew and Macadamia Nut Satay

I watched a TV chef recently smash together a satay sauce in about 2 minutes and I thought well I want to do that too. My recipe differs quite a bit from his but as my research after the fact discovered, it don't matter. I think satay is one of those 'satays are like opinions' scenarios. They can be simple or complicated. In any case, what I have done here is very very good and I can thoroughly recommend trying it. My bother in law who doesn't like satay had two helpings and was kind with his review. There is enough satay to marinade 1 - 2 kg of the meat of your choice, have enough left for being a sauce and, an additional purpose like making satay and coconut milk rice for the kids.

2 handfuls salted cashew/macadamia nuts
2 heaped tbs crunchy peanut butter
Rind of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes (maybe more)
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb ginger roughly chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, roots and all
200 ml of coconut milk (or to taste)
1 long red chilli
1 tbs palm sugar (or brown)
2 tbs light olive oil or peanut oil
1/2 cup water

Leaving out the water, blitz the lot until it is in a smooth paste. Check for flavours and add more lime juice, coconut milk or sugar until you reach a tasty result (there should be enough salt from the nuts). Aim for a good balance of nut, sweet and importantly, lime. Pour in half of the water, blitz, check the consistency and add the remaining and more if required.