Friday, March 30, 2012

Cheesy Fluffy 2 egg Omelette - Salad with Nan's dressing

Cheesy fluffy omelette - Nan's salad and dressing
This was lunch at my Nanna's house in the sixties... I would cross the road from the school yard Monday to Friday to enjoy either this or the same salad with cold chicken. Today this is still one of my favourite quick meals and I am sure will become one of yours also.

  • Prepare your salad on the side before starting the omelette...I have prepared it as she would have back then, starting by taking the skin off of the cucumber and forking the side (unheard of to eat cucumber skin back then) a finely shredded bed of lettuce, grated cheese and grated carrot. (not pictured as I didn't have any) It was  all about colour with each meal requiring a minimum of at least three different colours in the salads of veggies for them to have been considered a healthy family meal...
Nan's home made mayonnaise 
Nan's Dressing... So simple you will wonder why you ever buy it. Can be made in about 2 minutes and tastes better as the flavours develop day by day... Get yourself a fancy cute teddy bear jar like mine and make this often, keeping this tradition alive...

◊ 1 can of condensed milk ◊ 1 can of vinegar  ◊ 1teaspoon of salt ◊ 1 teaspoon of mustard 
Mix until thickens and store in a sterilised jar... 
makes a great dipping sauce for fish, chicken, chips, anything and everything.
Fluffy Omelette
And now for the very special 2 egg omelette just like everyone's Nanna made I am sure... The most important and most readily available ingredient in this is "air".

  • Separate the egg whites add a pinch of salt and beat with an electric beater until soft peaks form... when firm add the yolks one at a time continuing to beat until both added.
  • Pour the mix into a pan with melted butter (again no oil in the sixties most cooking was done in butter) Immediately add some grated cheese to one half and wait until the bottom is firm and golden.
  • Gently work your spatula around the edge just gently pulling back towards the centre... flip one half over onto the other, again gently working your spatula around the edge flip completely over to cook all the foamy egg mix... this process looks more difficult than it is, this mix is actually quite simple to work worth be confident, people will be impressed with the outcome...eat immediately no waiting or all the air will disappear.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gnocchi with tomato sauce

Gnocchi with tomato sauce
This tomato sauce can be used in a multiple of ways... 
the next time you need a simple home made sauce for what ever don't be tempted to open a jar... grab your saucepan instead.


Pasta, gnocchi, lasagne, steak, chicken, fish, prawns,  vegetables  or anything else you can think of this is the way to go... 



  • Fry in a little oil until softened some onion and garlic.
  • If adding meat, lightly brown on all sides at this point.
  • Add a tin of crushed tomato or a bottle of tomato puree and cirio paste (tomato paste, the more of this the richer the sauce)then and at least a tin or two of water enough to make sure your meat if added is covered...by adding more water thinner sauces for fish or vegetables can be achieved. Lasagne needs quite a thin but tomato rich sauce as the sheets will absorb the moisture content.
  • Fresh herbs of your choice parsley, thyme, basil etc.
  • Add a splash of vinegar, a table spoon of sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer this very gently for a few hours removing your meat when it is cooked through... by reducing the water down slowly and really cooking the tomato and tomato paste you will end up with that rich Italian flavour and look, this can't be rushed. 
(History has taught me that it takes two big brown bottles to make this sauce and a splash in the pot won't hurt either).
Gnocchi with baby spinach

Spaghetti

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stuffed Whole Pumpkin with Spiced Seeds

Stuffed Whole Pumpkin with Spiced Seeds
This is quite a simple recipe which doesn't take too long to prepare, cooking time is fairly slow but worth the wait... 
I have used a 2-3 kilo round pumpkin... cut out the lid and scrape out the seeds and strings with a metal spoon and season the inside of the pumpkin... rinse off the seeds and allow them to dry on paper towel while preparing the pumpkin for baking.


This sized pumpkin will serve 10 - 20 people as a side dish

or 6 chunky appetites as a meal






















  • In a large bowl tare into small 1/2 inch pieces two large wholemeal/multi grain bread rolls.
  • In a large fry pan with a tablespoon of oil soften some crushed garlic, a large chopped onion and a couple of stalks of chopped celery... cook until just starting to pick up some colour and then add 500grams of sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until soft... add this mixture to the bowl with bread and stir through some fresh chopped fresh herbs of your choice such as, thyme, coriander and parsley, a pinch of cayenne pepper if you fancy a kick, a handful of grated tasty cheese, a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 large eggs and finally 1/2 cup of milk... squash this into the pumpkin shell, replace the lid and bake in a 180 oven for 90 minutes.
  • At this point remove from the oven, remove the cap and fluff up the stuffing so that it comes up higher than the top... pop it back in the oven without the cap until it is cooked through when pierced with a sharp knife probable another 30 minutes or so... rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with spiced seeds which can be prepared and cooked while the stuffed pumpkin is happening... To make these yummy morsels stir together in a small bowl put 2 teaspoons of peanut oil or similar, 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper and mix through the dried pumpkin seeds... lay these on a sheet of baking paper in a single layer and bake them until crunchy and golden brown on the top shelf of the oven - about 20 minutes (watch closely or they will burn)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5 Minute Spaghetti

5 Minute Fresh Spaghetti 
This whole experience comes together and is served in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Home made pasta is by far the best Italian experience ever... however if you don't make your own then this is the next best thing... third option is dried but still the hand made one...  I buy mine fresh from a growers market near me and use it on the same day with any simple sauce... or any sauce that you create... be creative you can't be wrong the choice is yours.

  • Start cooking the pasta as instructed... about 3-5 minutes for fresh pasta from adding it to the boiling water to serving it at the table.
  • In another large fry pan... let the creative juices flow or follow me... today (pictured above) I have soft fried an onion with some garlic and a half dozen anchovies (you won't taste these they just give your sauce some extra depth and flavour), when softened toss in some red capsicum, chopped Roma tomatoes and a couple of spoons of home made basil pesto. (Recipe is on this blog page) In this instance I have added at the last minute a drained tin of Cannelloni beans to warm through and a large handful of freshly chopped Italian parsley.
  • Add the drained pasta to the fry pan and reserve enough pasta water when draining to make a nice dressing consistency to coat the freshly cooked pasta if necessary. Top with freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, some fresh herbs and ground black pepper to serve.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chilli Con Carne Stuffed Spud...
Quick ... Healthy ... Family Favourite ... Comfort Food ...

  • Con Carne first - Soft fry a sweet onion with a little garlic and then brown 500 grams of mince. Add some chilli powder and chilli flakes to suit your taste buds and then 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Next a tin of crushed tomatoes along with a tin of water and a large handful of freshly chopped parsley. Finally a tin of red kidney beans and cook gently until the water has reduced and all of the flavours have developed.
  • Pick your favourite large spuds and pierce them all over with a fork and microwave them turning them at 3 minute intervals until they are cooked through. (Whole baked potatoes done in the conventional oven have a nice crunchy skin if preferred but will need extra time.)
  • Top with a finely sliced coleslaw made very simply from carrot and cabbage and whole egg mayonnaise.
  • To serve as pictured top the open spud with butter, grated cheese, a layer of chilli con carne mixture, sour cream, chopped fresh chives and ground black pepper.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mixed Roast Veggies, Greens and Gravy

Mixed Roast Veggies, Greens and Gravy
Don't be frightened to be a little unconventional with this dish... I slow roast anything and everything. You most likely think anyone can roast veggies however this is my cook book, to be a reference that my children can use when I don't answer the phone... here goes... my version of the best roast spuds. 
  • I like to partly boil my quartered beetroot for two reasons. Firstly I want them to be ready at the same time as the others. Secondly because the water from them is used in my baking process for extra flavour and to stop the possibility of any drying during cooking.
  • Finely dice a half dozen mushrooms and lots of fresh herbs. I have used rosemary, parsley and basil and these will add to the flavour of the gravy as I am not using meat today.
  • Add these to the baking dish and next cut veggies similarly sized ... anything you fancy putting  the heavier root veggies in first to give them a little extra time, I have used but am not limited to the following ...
  • Potato 
  • sweet potato 
  • swede 
  • parsnip 
  • turnip
  • beetroot 
  • pumpkin
  • carrot 
  • Season with a little salt and cracked black pepper and toss with a little olive oil and a splosh of balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat everything and then add half of the beetroot water. Bake in a 160 oven quite slowly and when they are about half cooked give them another toss and add the remainder lighter veggies along with the remaining beetroot water to finish all at the same time. 
  • baby zucchini
  • whole mushrooms 
  • tomato  
  • pear 
  • While these are are finishing baking steam some green veggies for a healthy balance and use the water from these to make your gravy.
Gravy is then made by frying a sliced onion in the residue oil and grabbing up all of the herb and diced bits of flavour (add a little oil if necessary) when the onions are softened fry off a couple of fork fulls of a commercial gravy mix into the pan and then gradually add your steamed veggie water until the correct thickness is achieved... This gravy is the best ...as it has lots of flavour without any meat juices...
  • All of this process can be turned into a meat meal by adding a whole chicken right in the middle of the baking dish or chicken thigh pieces throughout...turn the chicken at the break when adding the last of the veggies and all of the herbs and flavours will enhance its flavour.
Delish Delish Delish... 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Egg and Breadcrumb Lambs Brains

Egg & Breadcrumb Brains
 This recipe needs to be on your bucket list of things that you are wanting to try before you die. 



To have you understand the 
texture and taste of breaded lamb brains 
I would say they are...

Crunchy and salty on the outside
(like all things crumbed and pan fried in butter)  
soft and delicate on the inside 
(you know that tiny morsel of heavenly marrow on a lamb chop that we secretly love so much)

  • Cut the brains in half and separate the extra piece so you will end up with either bite size or two bite size pieces...
  • Egg and breadcrumb each piece and place them straight into a heated pan with 50/50 olive oil and melted salted butter. 
  • Season with salt and cracked pepper.
  • Cook gently over a medium to low flame until crunchy golden brown ... turning several times to ensure they are crunchy all over, don't burn and the inside is cooked through.
Serve as they are on there own, with a salad or any way you choose.

One of my Mum's favourite dishes...she wouldn't share...
One of mine also and I don't much like to share them either... 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So so simple soup... Chicken, Couscous & Lentil

Chicken, Couscous & Lentil Soup


Low fat, healthy and so so simple to make ... 

  • Start by thinly slicing a leek, grating a large carrot and  a zucchini and thickly slice two sticks of celery. Soft fry all of these with a couple of cloves of crushed garlic for about 1 minute in a large saucepan.
  • Then add 1 tin of crushed tomatoes, 1 tin of Lentils (drained), 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce and then submerge a whole chicken under 2.5 litres of chicken stock... bring this to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the chicken... skin and bone it and return the best shredded bits back to the pot along with 1/2 cup of couscous and a large handful of fresh chopped parsley... simmer this gently for a few minutes until the couscous is tender and serve.
You can't have too much crusty bread with this hearty soup although it may loose some of the healthiness factor...flavours improve the next day if you have any leftovers ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baked beans with chilli jam, chorizo & maple syrup

Baked beans with chilli jam, chorizo and maple syrup
Home made baked beans with chilli jam, chorizo, maple syrup and a soft poached egg.


Nachos with the baked beans
One pan meal... 

Simple simple simple...
Breakfast, dinner or tea tonight...

  • Soften in a little olive oil a diced onion in a large oven proof pan and then add sliced chorizo sausage or maybe some diced bacon if desired and brown this lightly (obviously vegetarian if the meat is left out). Next 3 large tablespoons of chilli jam and fry for a couple of minutes to bring out the chilli flavour... finally into this frying section add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and cook for a minute or so to caramelise
  • De-glaze the pan with 1/2 cup of stock and then add a tin of crushed tomatoes. Now include your choice of beans, 4 tins and the juice for extra flavour,I have used butter & white beans and a large handful of chopped parsley.
  • Bake uncovered for about a half hour to thicken the sauce and intensify the flavours...
Serve with soft poached eggs for breakfast...
Serve in toasted sandwich maker for a lunch idea...
Chips, cheese and sour cream as nachos for tea tonight...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fideo


Fideo ... can't stop at one bowl





This recipe has its origins in Mexico and has become a Xmas favourite in our family... it can however be enjoyed any day of the week and is always best of all ... the day after.
Two cooking pans on the go for this one. In this recipe amount of 500 grams of pasta you will need a large fry pan or stove top suitable baking dish and a medium saucepan (for half quantity 250 grams of pasta use a small saucepan).

  • In the medium sized saucepan soften a half dozen sliced spring onions in a little olive oil and then add any diced fresh or frozen veggies your family like I have used  frozen peas, tin corn along with the liquid and a tin of crushed tomatoes, fresh, a little fresh chili,chopped butter beans,fresh mushrooms, fresh carrots and fresh capsicum and then top the saucepan up with liquid stock (about 3 cups keeping a little extra on hand if required)... when all of the veggies are cooked through start the pasta this step requires constant stirring.
  • Before commencing crush the two sealed bags of  Vermicelli Egg Noodles, the ones that look like little birds nests. In the large fry pan or baking dish (the more room the better) heat about half a cup of olive oil... then add the crushed noodles and start stirring until they are all coated and golden brown and they start to make a rustling sound. This will take about 5 or 10 minutes over a low to medium heat and this step needs to be thorough or the noodle wont absorb the liquid properly.
  • Finally add the whole saucepan of veggies gently (very hot) and continue to stir until all the liquid has be taken up about 10 or so minutes... check to make sure the noodle is soft if still a little hard add a touch more of the extra stock and continue the process.
Bet you can't stop at one bowl ... very moorish...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Healthy STEAMED veggies with mushroom gravy

Healthy steamed veggies with mushroom sauce

Filled Full of Flavour
  • Chunky chop all of your veggies and place the heaviest root vegetables down on the bottom of a double steamer saucepan system through to the light leafy vegetables on the top. I have steamed potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, Zucchini, broccoli, cabbage and asparagus and then topped them all with a thin mushroom  gravy. Reserve some of the water after cooking as this is used to make the gravy.
  • Mushroom gravy is made by sautéing sliced mushrooms in a little olive oil, add a heaped fork full of a commercial gravy mix and stir into the mushrooms. Gradually start adding a little of the steamed veggie water until a thin gravy is achieved.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach
Short cut for this recipe is to purchased the spinach & ricotta fresh Agnolotti from the cold section of your supermarket... looks hard and awful but if cooked for longer than they recommend it comes up wonderful. That said I have made my own pesto because it is so simple I can't bring myself to buy this...make the pesto prior to commencing the cooking process. 
  • To create your pesto place into your whiz machine fresh basil, pine nuts, finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and enough olive oil to create the desired consistency.
Three things at once should keep everyone busy making this dish but worth the small amount of juggling...  
  1. Boil your pasta until soft and wonderful...probably closer to 12 minutes than the recommended 6 and in the last 3 minutes pop in your asparagus spears. 
  2. Gently pan fry your fresh lightly seasoned salmon until just cooked as this will continue to cook in the hot pasta. Please take care not to over cook the delectable portion of melt in your mouth heaven...dry salmon is yuk!
  3. In another large fry pan soft fry lots of thinly sliced spring onions and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. Then add 2 large spoons of pesto and 1/2 tub of thickened cream. Bring it all together by adding the cooked drained pasta (reserve a little water), asparagus, broken up cooked salmon and two large handful of fresh baby spinach. Cover and allow to wilt. Finally just before serving add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whiz bang wonderful...

Chief by Mistral

I use one of these machines in my kitchen almost everyday . If you don't have one or something similar I would like to suggest a small investment of somewhere around $25 AU. Breadcrumbs, Pesto,  crushed nuts, chopped herbs, diced onions without tears and the list goes on and on...
My kitchen tip for today.
Not used in the Crumble but was used in yesterdays Stuffed Baby Eggplant and tomorrow's tea of
Creamy Pesto Pasta with Salmon and Asparagus.


Apple, Dried Fruit & Almond Meal Crumble

Apple,Dried Fruit & Almond Meal Crumble

Serve this dessert warm with custard, cream or yoghurt.
It doesn't get any easier than this...

In a large saucepan over a low heat place what ever dried fruit you fancy...Today I have used Golden Raisins,Cranberries and Goji Berries add to this about 1/2 cup of a fruit juice to rehydrate...I have used a berry but any will do.
Simmer this gently to rehydrate the fruit and add a couple of kilos of chunky chopped apples...stir while the apple sort of steams and softens and make sure the juice doesn't disappear...just enough to keep the pan bottom moist.

Crumble is about 100gm almond meal in a bowl, a couple of tablespoons brown sugar  and I have added that yummy moist shredded coconut that is available everywhere. Crumb through with your finger tips about 60 grams of cold grated butter until you get that crumbly look.

Oven proof dish ...
Apple and Fruit (no juice)...
Crumble on the top ...
Bake in a 180 oven until golden and delicious...
Serve with your choice ... custard, cream, ice-cream,yoghurt or just as it comes out of a hot oven.

Can you stop at one serve?



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stuffed Baby Eggplant

Stuffed Baby Eggplant

Filled Baby Aubergine and side salad
Again a simple recipe that is delicious and shhhh! good for you to boot.  I have used fresh bread crumbs because they give the best result however you can use any bread you have to hand. Tear it up and process it until crumbed ...simpler, tastier crumbs you won't find anywhere.

  • Cut four baby eggplant length ways and you will need a finely chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Add this along with your scooped out and tiny diced egg plant  to a fry-pan with a splosh of oil and sauté until soft. While you are doing this bring some water to the boil and pop the skins in for a couple of minutes and then remove them to cool.
  • When the mixture is softened mix it in a large bowl with the following ingredients... 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 1/3 cup of Romano cheese, 4 slices of bread crumbed made into fine crumbs, 1 lightly beaten egg and some salt & pepper... If the final mix is too wet add a few more crumbs if too dry add a spoon full of water.
  • Fill the cooled shells with the mixture and quickly pan fry them top side down in a fry-pan with a little oil to brown the tops...
  • If you want them hotter or cheesier or juicier you can finish them off in a 180 oven from this point with or without some mozzarella slices on top and/or Italian tomato sauce home made or shop bought poured over them... or this step can be missed completely... your choice to suit your family is always the best one.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese

Nothing beats home made Macaroni Cheese. Takes a little longer but is so much nice than anything out of a packet. 
  • Pre cook about 300 grams of a macaroni. 
  • While this is happening melt about 80 grams of butter in a pan and gently fry off until softened a finely diced onion... then add 3 tablespoons of plain flour and cook for a minute (make sure you do this step or the end product will taste floury)... gradually add two cups of milk stirring all the time so you don't get lumps and then bring this up to the boil and simmer gently for a couple of minutes until thickened and then remove it from the heat.
  • Stir into the thickened sauce about 200 grams of your favourite grated tasty cheese and a couple of teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, salt & pepper to taste.
  • Finally add your cooked pasta pop it in a casserole dish, sprinkle the top with some freshly made bread wholegrain bread crumbs and a little more grated cheese and  then bake it in a 180 oven until bubbly, golden and delicious.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Stuffed Peppers (Filled Capsicum)

Stuffed Peppers

Baked Stuffed Peppers
I have done a little cheating with this recipe so that it is guaranteed  not to fail. I have used cooked rice and I have grated the veggies rather than diced them and I have also very quickly blanched the peppers whole to ensure everything is evenly cooked when serving. Quick and simple with a little prep.

  • For about 6 large peppers you will want about  a cup of cooked cooled rice or couscous.
  • Fry off half an onion in a couple of tablespoons of oil and add to this a grated zucchini and the equivalent of either carrot or pumpkin or a bit of both. 
  • Then add a tin of drained crushed tomatoes reserving the juice for the baking dish.
  • Add fresh herbs of your choice I have used parsley and dill and season with salt & pepper.
  • A dash of water added if needed to make a moist but not wet mixture will also capture all the flavourings from the bottom of the pan. 
  • Blanch your whole peppers in boiling salted water for about a minute. You can leave this step out if you like a crunchier finished product.
  • Cut off the tops scrape out the seeds and fill with the mix and place them in a baking tray with the reserved tomato juice and about half cup of water.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pumpkin Soup - "anyway you choose"...

Pumpkin Soup
What can I say ... this adaptable little gem is the simplest nourishing meal or snack... Any way YOU choose it...

  • Soften onion ... red, white, brown, leek, spring onion-anyway you choose.
  • Bacon diced ...tin lentils, butter beans-anyway you choose.
  • Add about 1kg chopped pumpkin ... butter nut, jap, sweet potato, carrots-anyway you choose.
  • Cover with liquid ... vegetable stock, chicken stock, whey from cheese making or water-anyway you choose.
  • Coconut milk, cream or not-anyway you choose.
  • Seasoning's ... cracked black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili-anyway you choose.
  • Blend smooth and serve as pictured ... hot or cold-anyway you choose.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Salmon Patties ... Simple, Simple, Simple...

Simple Salmon Patties
This recipe is so simple and delicious that I almost feel guilty sharing it with you. Everyone must have used this method at some stage in the lives. I originally stole it from a girl friend of mine who shall remain nameless but she will recognise it immediately and I never tire if eating these at least once a week...

  • The simple, simple simple, secret is the use of Deb mashed potato with onion straight from a packet adding as much or as little hot water as required to get the right consistency ... this product is used because of the light texture I can obtain with no effort. Half a packet makes 6-8.
  • To this I add finely chopped spring onions, herbs and the best quality salmon crumbled through, either tinned or cooked fresh... quality fish makes all the difference to the end product.
  • A half to 1 lightly beaten egg added now to make a nice firm mixture and roll the patties into fresh or good quality breadcrumbs. 
  • Pan fry these in a mixture of oil and butter until golden brown.... Serve hot or room temperature. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thai style Roast Pumpkin

Thai style Roast Pumpkin
Using the seed end of the butter nut pumpkin left over from tea last night ... cut this into wedges and remove the seeds leaving the skin on. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them standing up if possible until cooked and golden all over.

  • Make the dressing while this is happening. Into a saucepan place all of the following ingredients...1 clove of crushed garlic, 1tea spoon ground cumin, 2 table spoons sweet chili sauce, 4 table spoons rice wine vinegar, 1 table spoon brown sugar, 2 table spoons ketjap manis, 2 table spoons olive oil and 2 tea spoons sesame oil ... bring to the boil and simmer gentle for 2 minutes.
Toss the baked pumpkin and dressing together in a large bowl and let them cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes...serve sprinkled with any of the left dressing and roughly chopped coriander.

This twist on delicious roast pumpkin that you may not be able to resist will be served for tonight's tea of simple home made salmon patties (tomorrows recipe) and a two minute tossed salad... tasty finger food option for a party serve with a serviette.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pumpkin & Rice Tart (with/without Prosciutto outer layer)

Pumpkin & Rice Tart

Pumpkin & Rice Tart with Tomato salad
Pumpkin is in great supply at the moment and so I am utilising it in as many different ways as possible. This recipe has been made with left over cooked rice and butter nut pumpkin...  As a meat variation line the heavy based pan with over lapping slices of prosciutto trimming to fit if necessary, at the beginning before adding the mix and this will become a crunchy outer tart layer....

  • Firstly slice up 6 spring onions, a stork of coriander and a bunch of dill and place these in a large bowl.
  • Add to this 2 cups of cooked rice, 8 eggs, 150gms crumbled feta and salt and pepper. Whisk the mix with a fork to combine and place it into a greased heavy based ovenproof frying pan on your stove top over a moderate heat for 5 mins to start to set the base. 
  • While this is happening grate 1kg of pumpkin and toss with 1 tbs oil in a bowl.
  • Top the egg mixture with the grated pumpkin and another 50gms of crumbled feta.
  • Transfer the pan to a preheated 200 oven for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven over to the grill setting and cook the tart for a further 5 mins until the egg is set and pumpkin and feta are golden.
I have served our tea tonight with a simple tomato salad... Tomato, spring onion, dill, olive oil and lemon juice.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mini Penne Rigate with Mushrooms (chicken liver meat addition)


Mini Penne Rigate with Mushrooms (Right)
Mini Penne Rigate with Mushrooms & Sage Butter Chicken Livers (Left) 
I don't often get the opportunity to purchase offal  here in my town so when I get the selection I jump at it. A special "treat" (in my opinion) meat addition to my serve only for tea tonight. Simply by adding one extra step I hope to show you how simple it is to adapt most vegetarian meals into meat meals and vice versa. Try not to be limited by any preconceived ideas of having to follow a recipe exactly.
  • In a large pan fry off in butter and olive oil a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and the white section of a half dozen thinly sliced spring onions. 
  • When softened toss into the flavoured butter about 4-500 grams of sliced mushrooms of your choice. Stir until softened and a little golden in colour. Then add 1/2 small tub of cream or sour cream and a glass of white wine. Bring up to the boil and then simmer gently until the sauce has reduced by about a third.
  • While doing this cook separately about 200 gms of pasta (again this is your choice I have used a mini penne rigate). 
  • To serve toss the cooked pasta, along with a handful of fresh herbs lightly chopped... today I have used coriander, rosemary (which loves mushroom) and roughly torn basil through the mushroom and sauce mix, the remainder green sliced spring onions and finally stir in about a half cup of freshly grated parmesan and heaps of black cracked pepper to taste.

  • For the meat alternative... Melt a little butter add some sage leaves and gently fry to instil the delicate sage flavour into the butter and then very quickly stir fry a hand full of chicken livers until golden on the outside but still pink on the inside. Toss these as an extra through only into the servings requiring them.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simple Pineapple Curry

Pineapple Curry

Simple Pineapple Curry
This simple curry is made so quickly it takes less time than it does to boil the rice to go with it. Mine tonight is served with couscous I have in the fridge...however it could be served stand alone or add any stir fry (quick to cook) vegetables you may have to hand... such as peas or beans.

  • Fry off all of the following together in a little coconut oil 2 tsp Red Mustard seeds, 3 Cardamom pods, 2 tsp crushed Cumin seeds a handful of dried Curry leaves, 2 tsp Turmeric, Chilli powder to taste and a heaped tsp fresh sliced ginger.
  • If adding any extra veggies do so now and cook until ready to serve because the fruit will only require heating through.
  • Add chunky chopped fresh pineapple and 2-3 bananas.
  • Finish off with Coconut Cream and a good handful of fresh coriander.