Saturday, 20 December 2014

Creamy lentil vol-au-vents

Vol-au-vents seem so 80s but officially in love with this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his cookbook "Plenty". Half way through making these I thought, oops, this is a recipe for starters but the sheet of pastry made about 12 bases which satisfied the two of us nicely. Note to self though, they would make awesome entrees when entertaining, as you can make the topping ahead of time.

Ingredients 
serves 2-3 (as main)
takes about 60 mins 

  • 1 cup puy or green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach, stems trimmed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 handful each fresh coriander and mint, picked and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 x sheet of puff pastry
  • dash of milk, to brush pastry

Method

  1. Rinse the lentils first in case there are any little stones,
    then add to a pot with four cups of water and the bay leaves & bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Dry fry the cumin and coriander on a medium heat for two minutes until the aromas are released, then grind. Set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for five minutes, until golden & soft. Add the ground spices and garlic, cook for two minutes, then mix in the lentils. When cool, stir in the yogurt, spinach, herbs, splash of oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
  4. Unroll the pastry so it's 3mm thick and cut out as many circles as you can get that are roughly about 8cm in diameter. If they are smaller, no worries, means you can have more. 
  5. Place them on a baking sheet & refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Brush the chilled pastry with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top and underneath. Allow to cool slightly. 
  7. To serve, place a disc on a plate, pile on a heap of lentils so you can just see the edges of the pastry, and drizzle with olive oil. So good!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Cacao Chip Banana Bread

Found some bananas hiding in the fridge that were looking a bit sad so why not make banana bread, no sugar and cacao chips thrown in for some texture & chocolatey taste.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp rice syrup 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cacao chips
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 160oC and line a loaf tin with baking paper
  2. Mash together bananas, olive oil, yoghurt, rice syrup, eggs, chips & vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda & baking powder & stir until well combined.
  3. Pour into the loaf tin and cook for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean and loaf is golden brown. So good!


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Mushroom, Leek & Israeli Couscous Risotto

That's right, risotto made with Israeli couscous! And, hardly any stirring AND on the table within 30 minutes - bonus for a week day dinner. This was inspired from The Revive Cafe cookbook #4.

Ingredients
serves 2-3
takes 30 minutes

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped or crushed (cut back if you aren't big garlic fans)
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 4-6 portobello or flat mushrooms, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp almond meal/flour (ground up almond!)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 large lemon, juiced & zest
  • parmesan cheese, finely grated
Method
  1. Pour 2 cups of water or stock and 1 cup of couscous into a pot and bring to the boil then lower heat & simmer for about 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally & check for bite (it is pasta after all). Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. While couscous is cooking, heat olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add sliced leeks, crushed garlic & sauté until soft - about 8 minutes - then add chopped mushrooms & cook for a few minutes longer. 
  3. Add almond meal & give it a good stir. Add cooked couscous. 
  4. Throw in a pinch of salt & soy sauce, stirring. If it needs more moisture add stock or water.
  5. Take off the heat & add lemon juice, zest, parmesan cheese and a good grind of freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!


Friday, 24 October 2014

Beetroot and Brown Rice Risotto

All my beets are coming up in my wee gardens and this recipe hit the spot. It's a bit messy having to peel the beet but just throw on some rubber gloves. This recipe comes from My Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich. Totally recommend grabbing a copy.

Ingredients
serves 4
takes 45 minutes to cook risotto but no stirring required
  • 4 Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 4-6 garlic gloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup medium grain brown rice (I used a mix of wild, brown & black rice)
  • 500g peeled & grated beetroot (about 6 medium sizes beets)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 block feta, crumbled or parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • fresh thyme leaves, to garnish (or sage etc works too)

Method
  1. Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion & garlic and cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until soft and slightly brown.
  2. Add the rice and cook, stirring gently for 5 minutes or until grains are toasted & fragrant.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add the beetroot, stock & 500ml (2 cups) of water. Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Stir in remaining butter and half the cheese. Add a large pinch of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Divide the risotto among 4 bowls, serve warm sprinkled with thyme and remaining cheese. Enjoy!


Source: My Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich

Petite Kitchen: Sage and Lemon Butter Beans

It's unbelievable how something so simple had Trevor & I fighting over the last spoonfuls. Awesome recipe out of one of my favourite cookbooks, My Petite Kitchen, by Eleanor Ozich. Again I didn't take a photo so using Eleanor's until I make them next.

Ingredients
serves 2 as a side dish
  • 1 can of organic butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • a good glug of extra virgin olive oil OR 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced 
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic (cut back if you aren't a big garlic fan)roughly chopped 
  • a large handful of fresh sage, leaves only 
  • juice of one lemon 
  • sea salt 
  • freshly cracked pepper

Method 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and sage, and cook while stirring, until browned and slightly crispy. 
  2. Add the butter beans, and continue to cook for a minute or so. Add the lemon juice, and a good pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes, just to let all the flavors sink in to each other. 
  3. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Add a little more seasoning, and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!


Photo source: Petite Kitchen

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Palak Paneer

This is one of my favourite Indian dishes, made with paneer, a curd cheese commonly used in Indian cooking, it is cooked in a smooth spinach curry. It's one of those dishes that just looks wrong but tastes oh so right! 

Ingredients
serves 4
takes 40 minutes

for the palak puree:
  • 1 large bunch fresh spinach leaves OR silverbeet washed & roughly chopped (I take the large stems off)
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, deseeded, roughly chopped
  • 2-4 garlic gloves, peeled
  • ½ inch ginger, roughly chopped
for the palak curry: 
  • 2 tbsp oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 4-5 garlic gloves, finely chopped 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder 
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 200g paneer or tofu, cut into 5cm cubes
  • Greek yoghurt or cream for serving
  • Rice or naan bread for serving
Method
To make the spinach puree: 
  1. Place the leaves in a saucepan, sprinkle with rock salt and cover with a small amount of water then boil until it just wilts then drain.
  2. Squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and add to food processor along with the chilli, garlic & ginger and blend until smooth. Set aside.
To make the palak curry: 
  1. Heat oil in a pan over a medium-high heat 
  2. Add cumin seeds, garlic, onion & bay leaf and cook until the onion becomes soft
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the paneer cubes and simmer gently for 5 minutes then add the spinach puree and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes
  5. Serve with yoghurt, rice or naan bread on the side and enjoy!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Parsley Pesto Pasta and Roasted Tomatoes

My little garden has produced an abundance of flat leaf parsley over winter, so far it seems to be the only thing that has done well, and there are only so many things one can do with parsley right? Then I remembered the Broccoli Pesto the wonderful Sarah Wilson from iquitsugar produced and after a bit of googling came up with a parsley version which not only went well with pasta but also scrambled eggs and chicken. I've spent the last week cooking only with ingredients in the cupboards and fridge and this pesto has added so much flavour to otherwise boring dishes.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups packed flat leaf parsley, stems removed
  • 4-6 gloves of garlic, peeled (I love garlic in pesto so if you aren't a fan cut down to 2-3 gloves)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or you can use walnuts
  • Lemon - juiced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (we had just stocked up on some amazing sheep cheese from Matatoki Farm and I used something similar to a Parmesan)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (from Azzuro Groves - the best Olive oil
    around!)
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • pasta - I just used dried
  • tomatoes - I used vine as they were on special
  • feta (optional)
Method
  1. Throw all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor and blend until a paste forms then gradually add in olive oil. Season and keep in fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 180oC. Place tomatoes on an oven tray and splash some olive oil over them and season. Bake for around 20 minutes or until they are caramelised and starting to collapse.
  3. Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
  4. Mix the pesto into the drained pasta, crumble in some feta if using and serve with roasted tomatoes on top and a generous ground of fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Steak n Kidney Pie

Oh there is nothing quite like a good ole steak n kidney pie in the middle of winter. And for those strange people that don't like kidney (seriously???) you can double up the amount of mushrooms. Check out my fancy pastry work, always the best part to eat.

Ingredients
  • 800g chuck steak, cubed (or any good stewing steak)
  • 6 lamb kidneys, remove any membranes from the kidney and slice each one in half lengthwise, cut out the hard core using a small sharp knife then cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 200g mushrooms, I used large portobellos (double if you aren't
    using kidney)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped - I used purple carrots just because they are in season
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 1/4 cup of water
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley 
  • 350g shortcrust or puff pastry
 Method
  1. Place steak, kidneys, onions, mushrooms, bay leaf, thyme, carrots, leek & beef stock in a pot, cover & simmer on lowest heat for 1 1/4 hours. Add some water if it looks like it's drying out.
  2. Stir in cornflour paste to thicken.
  3. Season well and add in fresh parsley. Cool then place in a pie dish & cover with pastry (enamel pie dishes are great with puff pastry).
  4. Bake at 200oC for about 30 minutes or until pastry is puffed & golden. Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

inspired by Annabel Langbein

Decadent Scrambled Eggs

As Mum says, if you have eggs in the house you have a meal and these would make a substantial dish for any time of the day. I use salmon chorizo from Farro Fresh to top the eggs as I don't eat pork, plus they don't have any crap in them. You can also use smoked salmon or prosciutto or some sliced avocado. The pesto adds a depth of creaminess that wins over cream and again there are options as pesto can be expensive. I've included a recipe for broccoli pesto because how cool is that, sneaking in a green vege! When I don't have any on hand I buy a dip from the supermarket that makes an inexpensive substitute. Finally, I use caramelised onions as the toast topping. With all these extras this egg meal will keep you full for hours.


serves 2
takes 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 8 free range eggs
  • freshly ground pepper and salt
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pesto or make a quick Broccoli Pesto 
  • salmon chorizo, sliced or smoked salmon slices or sliced avocado
  • caramelised onions
Method
  1. Heat a fry pan over a medium heat. I add a couple of knobs of
    butter.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl, add milk, parsley & season. Grab a
    fork & give it a good stir so they egg yolks are mixed.
  3. When the pan is heated & butter melted, add the eggs. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes then using a wooden spoon gently break them up, stirring occasionally. Just before they are set stir in the pesto. Remove eggs from pan so you can give the chorizo a quick sear on each side.
  4. To serve, on top of toast add a dollop of caramelised onion then the scrambled egg mixture. Placed the cooked chorizo on top. Finish off with some freshly ground pepper and enjoy!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pumpkin & Haloumi Burgers

My meat loving partner cooked these up and they were better than any meat burger I've had...well except for the ones I've made ;)

serves 4
takes 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 650g peeled butternut pumpkin, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 2 teaspoons zaatar
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, mashed with a fork
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 250g haloumi, sliced
  • 4 bread rolls, toasted
  • Butter lettuce leaves and tomato slices, to serve
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, scatter with 1 teaspoon zaatar and season. Roast for 20-25 minutes until
    tender and lightly caramelised. Transfer to a bowl and mash to
    a coarse paste with chickpeas, crumbs, parsley and egg. Shape into 4 patties. Chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the yoghurt, tahini and lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Season and set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frypan over medium heat. Fry the patties, turning once, for 6-8 minutes until golden. Keep warm.
  5. Wipe the pan clean, then return to medium heat. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the frypan, add the haloumi and cook, turning, for 1-2 minutes until golden.
  6. To assemble, spread the bottoms of the toasted rolls with the yoghurt mixture, then top with lettuce, tomato, haloumi, a pumpkin patty and an extra dollop of the yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon zaatar, then replace the roll tops and serve immediately. Enjoy!
from Delicious

Tofu and Pumpkin Laksa

Love, love, love this quick laksa from Donna Hay. It's worth splashing out on a good quality laksa paste.

serves 4
takes 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup (185g) store-bought laksa paste
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock 
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk 
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 800g pumpkin, peeled and sliced 
  • 400g broccolini, trimmed and chopped 
  • 250g dried vermicelli noodles, cooked 
  • 300g silken tofu, sliced 
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 1-2 long red chillies, finely sliced (take seeds out for less heat)
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. 
  2. Add the laksa paste and cook for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the stock, coconut milk and fish sauce and bring to the boil. 
  4. Add the pumpkin and cook for 12 minutes or until tender. 
  5. Add the broccolini and cook for a further 2 minutes or until tender. 
  6. Divide the noodles between bowls and spoon over the soup. 
  7. Top with the tofu, green onion, coriander and chilli to serve. Enjoy!

Roast Vege Frittata

I love how this recipe uses spinach leaves to line the dish, feels like you are sneaking one more vegetable in to a dish already packed with them. Use any seasonal root vegetables like parsnip instead of carrots (or in addition to), beetroot, potatoes, swede etc. 

serves 4
takes 40 minutes


Ingredients
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves (I used baby)
  • 1/4 pumpkin or squash
  • 1 large kumara or potato
  • 2 large carrots or parsnips
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 cups of milk or cream
  • pumpkin seeds (optional)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Spray a quiche dish with oil and line with the spinach leaves, set aside.
  3. Peel & chop the pumpkin, kumara & carrots into bite sized pieces, about 2 cm. Place on a roasting dish with the crushed garlic, season, add a dollop of olive oil and bake until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. You can chop the vegetables into smaller chunks to speed up roasting time. Cool then place into spinach lined quiche dish.
  4. Whisk eggs & milk together and pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if using.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until set and starting to turn golden. Enjoy!

Inspired by mindfood.com

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Raw Chocolate Brownies

This is from ohsheglows.com which contains some great vegan recipes. Things have come a long way from my vegan days where I really struggled with what to eat. Now I pretty much eat anything except for processed sugar, fructose and pork. I've also cut out a lot of natural sweeteners like agave (90% fructose) & honey so rice syrup & stevia are my new best friends. I made some substitutes as the recipe is quite flexible so play around with what you have in the cupboard.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw pecan or walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup linseed seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates (approx. 275g)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  • Dark chocolate for melting - I used Cavalier Dark Chocolate Buttons sweetened with Stevia but if you aren't eliminating fructose from your diet then any type of 70% dark chocolate will work
Method
  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with baking paper

  2. In a food processor, process the pecans (or nuts of choice) into a fine crumb.
  3. Add the seeds and the pitted dates and process until finely
    chopped and sticky.
  4. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and salt and process until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir or pulse in the nibs until just combined.
  6. Evenly press the mixture into prepared square pan until smooth. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. For the chocolate topping: place buttons in a heat proof dish that will fit snugly over a pot. Bring pot of water (fill about 2cm as you don't want the water touching the bowl) to barely simmering & place bowl of buttons over the top and melt stirring with a dry wooden spoon
  8. Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour on the chocolate topping. Spread out evenly. Transfer the pan to the freezer on a flat, even surface. Chill for 20 + minutes or until the topping is firm enough to slice & enjoy!

ohsheglows tips

  • Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (warming up the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking).
  • Store leftovers in the freezer for a chocolate treat anytime.
  • You’ll want to use soft, fresh Medjool dates for this recipe to make it easier on the processor. If your dates are firm, try soaking them in water for 30-60 minutes (and then draining well) before use.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Annabel's Prawn and Bok Choy Risotto

Another great recipe from my favourite kiwi chef, Annabel Langbein from Simple Pleasures - The Free Range Cook. This is the first risotto made by my partner and he found it super easy and I love the Asian fusion.

Ingredients
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25-30 mins
Serves: 2

  • 3 tbsp butter or olive oil 
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ cups risotto rice
  • 4½ cups hot chicken stock
  • finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 350g (about 2 cups) shelled prawns, halved lengthwise
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 4-5 small or 2-3 medium bok choy, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp lime juice 
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped coriander leaves
Method
  1. Heat butter or oil in a deep, heavy-based pot and gently fry onions and ginger until soft but not browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add rice and stir over heat for 2 minutes to lightly toast. Add hot stock and lime zest (reserving a little zest for the garnish) and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover and cook over a very low heat until almost cooked (about 15 minutes). 
  3. At this point, test the rice – it should have a tiny white core in the centre of each grain. If the core is bigger, continue cooking another few minutes. It needs to be almost cooked before you add the final ingredients. If the rice begins to dry out, add another half cup of hot stock or water – it should be quite soupy.
  4. Stir in the prawns and peas, cook for 1 minute then add the bok choy and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and coriander (reserving a little coriander for the garnish) and adjust seasonings to taste. To serve, sprinkle with the reserved lime zest and coriander. Enjoy!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Salmon and avocado...say no more! This perfect team is quick & easy to whip up. Recipe is from Riverstone Kitchen.

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 30mins
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 lime - juice & zest
  • 2 tbsp mango or apricot chutney
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • bunch fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pit removed and cubed
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 x salmon fillets, skin on and pin-boned
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (or rocket)
  • 1 lime, halved for serving
Method
  1. To make the salsa, place 100ml olive oil, lime juice & zest,
    chutney, cumin, coriander, chilli and onion in a bowl and combine. Add avocado and gently mix together. Season & place in fridge until ready to use.
  2. Heat a pan on high, add dash olive oil (unless you are using non stick pan). Season salmon fillets and place into pan, skin side down. Cook on high until the skin is crisp - usually takes 2-3 minutes then turn over and cook other side for 1 minute so the salmon is still rare in the middle. Let it rest for a few minutes.
  3. Divide the avocado salsa among serving plates and top with baby spinach leaves and finish with the salmon on top. Serve with half a lime and enjoy!

Chinese Vegetable Stock

All good vegetable stocks start with a base of onions, carrots, celery and garlic. From here you can experiment with whatever is hiding in the back of the fridge. I added some radishes and bean sprouts as they were languishing about however you don't want to use vegetables that are rotten and some strong-flavored vegetables, such as cabbage, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower can impart strong flavours so you might want to leave those if you need to whip up a quick stock. Read here to check out some good veges to use for your stock.

This stock went well in the Chicken Casserole and Prawn Dumpling soup. 

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • large knob of fresh ginger (8-10cm), peeled & thickly sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 6 celery sticks, sliced
  • bunch spring onions, trimmed & halved
  • bunch coriander, stems & roots only, washed & chopped
  • 6 litres cold water
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over high heat. Add onions, ginger, garlic and salt & fry for a couple of minutes. 
  2. Add carrots, celery, spring onions and coriander, reduce heat to medium-high and fry, stirring often, for a further 5 minutes or until veges are lightly browned.
  3. Add water to pot and bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, skimming the surface with a ladle to remove any impurities. Simmer for 1 hour, skimming as required.
  5. Strained stock through fine sieve (lined with muslin if required) and cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
From Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking Class

Chicken Casserole with Israeli Couscous and Mushrooms

A wonderful mixture of spices bring this dish to life. You can prepare the spice mix and store as I can guarantee you will want to make this again! If you are missing some of the spices just leave out but the key ones here are pepper, cumin, coriander & turmeric.



Spice Mix
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1/4 tsp ground caraway
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander leaves
Mix all the ingredients and keep in an airtight jar.

Ingredients
serves 4
takes 30mins
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely or crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, grated - how to grate tomatoes>
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous OR 2 cups normal couscous
  • 1 tbsp spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 cups boiling stock - I used vegetable as I had some left over but you can use chicken or just plain boiling water
  • fresh coriander to serve (optional)
Method
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a fry pan over high heat, add chicken (might
    have to do this in batches) and brown on all sides. You don't want to fully cook the chicken just seal in all the juices. Set chicken aside.
  2. Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions & garlic and saute until soft.
  3. Add carrots & mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes or until mushrooms are slightly brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, couscous & spices and pour in boiling stock or water. Mix, taste and adjust seasoning if required. 
  5. Bring to the boil, lower heat and cook covered for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken and continue simmering until most of the liquid is absorbed - another 10 minutes.
  7. Add fresh coriander before serving and enjoy!
Adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food, Janna Gur

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Beetroot Risotto with Feta & Pinenuts

Beetroot in a can was best left to my childhood with bad memories of white bread sandwiches and slices of canned beetroot. So it was with a bit of reservation that I tried this recipe as it involves two, yes two cans of beetroot but what a result. Creamy, earthy and salty - what a great combination. 

Ingredients
serves 4
takes 40mins
  • 2 x 400g cans beetroot in juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 200g goat’s milk feta, crumbled
  • bunch of baby spinach leaves
  • freshly crack pepper 
Method
  1. Process the canned beetroot and juice in a food processor until smooth. I left some chunks in mine. Add a little water if necessary and process until you have a pourable consistency. Reserve.
  2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion,
    garlic and thyme and fry gently until the onion is tender. Add the rice and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add a ladle of the beetroot puree to the rice and stir until 2⁄3 of the liquid has been absorbed before adding another 100ml. Continue adding the puree, 100ml at a time, cooking until the rice is al dente and the risotto is moist but spoonable. If you need more liquid just use water.
  4. Add the red wine and baby spinach leaves and stir until spinach is just wilted.
  5. Season heavily with black pepper.
  6. Combine the pine nuts, oil and vinegar. Serve the risotto topped with the nut mixture and crumbled feta. Enjoy!

Inspired by Cuisine

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Salt and Pepper Prawns with Noodles

Fantastic quick meal adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe I found on Pinterest. Zesty, fresh flavours. Prep time: 10 minutes, cooking time even less.

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 400 g prawns, peeled
  • 200 g dry rice noodles such as vermicelli
  • 2 tbs lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce OR another marinade of choice
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks or shredded
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh coriander
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 red chile, finely chopped or substitute with 1/2 tsp chilli flakes. I kept the seeds in as my chiles aren't that hot 
Method
  1. Combine the sea salt, pepper and chilli in a large bowl. Add the prawns and toss to coat. 
  2. Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain.
  3. Combine the juice, chilli and fish sauces in a large bowl. Add the noodles, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, shallots and half the coriander. Toss gently to combine.
  4. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the prawns, in batches, for 2–3 minutes or until the prawns change colour and are just cooked through. 
  5. Serve the cooked prawns with the noodle salad and the remaining coriander. Enjoy!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Wiremu's Smoked Fish & Chorizo Pie

Remembering my very talented brother who passed away a year ago. I know you would have loved this pie Wiremu.

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced, add some chopped up fronds if your fennel comes with them
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 garlic bulbs, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • handful chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 smoked fish, flaked, skinned & boned - I used snapper which is soft & moist
  • 1 small beef (or pork) chorizo, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • milk (about 1/4 of a cup)
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed in water to dissolve
  • 1 sheet of flaky pastry 
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  2. Pour oil into large frying pan or pot over low heat.
  3. Fry onions, fennel, celery, carrot, garlic, lemon zest & herbs until onion is soft.
  4. Add smoked fish, chorizo & paprika.
  5. Mix well then add enough milk to just cover.
  6. Bring to the boil then thicken with cornflour dissolved in cold water.
  7. Allow to cool then spoon into a pie dish & cover with pastry.
  8. Brush top with beaten egg or milk. Cut slits in the top & bake for 20 minutes. If you have any left over pastry you can make some designs for the top of the pie. Enjoy!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Bill's Lamb Meatballs in Massaman Curry

Love this easy recipe from Bill Granger. You can use a korma curry and whatever is hiding in the fridge but I love splashing out on a decent jar of massaman. This goes so well with cauliflower rice as there's lots of yummy sauce and a side of Asian Greens.


Ingredients
serves 4
takes 30 minutes
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup light evaporated milk with a couple of drops of coconut essence or just use coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • half head cauliflower, grated using your food processor
Method

  1. Place the mince, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, coriander and 3 tablespoons of mint in a large mixing bowl.
    Add plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and
    combine thoroughly. 
  2. Rinse your hands under cold water and, without drying, shape the mixture into 24 small meatballs.
  3. Place a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and, when hot, add half the meatballs and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning often, until lightly browned on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a plate and repeat with more oil and remaining kofta. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil, curry paste and ginger. Fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
  5. Tip the tomatoes and coconut milk into the pan and stir well. Add the cinnamon stick and season with a little sea salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes.
  6. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook in the curry sauce for a further 5 minutes, until tender and cooked through. 
  7. Place cauliflower rice in serving bowls and top with curry scattered with the red-onion slices & mint leaves. Enjoy!

From Bill Granger, Easy

Poached Chicken with Sesame Green Bean Salad

I choose this recipe of Bill Granger's as I needed a quick, healthy chicken recipe but boy was I surprised by the fantastic flavours and moist chicken. Definitely a repeater. For the poaching liquid use whatever you have on hand, throw in some fresh herbs, use stock or wine or vodka to give it that extra zing.

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 30 minutes
  • 3 coriander stems or parsley, leaves and all OR whatever fresh herbs you have
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 spring onions or chives, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced to serve OR sprinkle of dried chilli flakes
  • steamed rice, I used black rice but again, whatever you have on hand
Method
  1. Get your rice on as black rice can take up to 30 minutes
  2. Then get your beans on for the salad below 
  3. Place your chosen herbs, peppercorns, spring onion and salt into a saucepan and place chicken breasts on top, pour cold water over the top so chicken breasts are just covered.
  4. Bring to the boil then remove from heat, cover with a lid and leave to poach for 15 minutes.
  5. Once cool, slice chicken into 2 cm rounds, place on a serving plate and sprinkle with chilli and serve with the Sesame Bean Salad.
Sesame Bean Salad
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed & halved
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or smashed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  1. Blanch beans in a pot of lightly salted water for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green. Rinse under cold water.
  2. To make the dressing, in a small pot place soy sauce, vinegar, mirin and sesame oil & bring to the boil. Take pan off the heat and add garlic, ginger & sesame seeds. Enjoy!