Thursday, 29 December 2016

Mussel Fritters

Love, love, love mussels, unfortunately the cyclist isn't a fan so I chop them up and disguise in a fluffy batter ;)


Ingredients
  • 24 fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 tbsp organic unbleached flour (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper
  • big handful of fresh herbs i.e parsley, coriander, thyme
  • fresh red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
Method
  1. Scrub mussels under cold water, discard any that don’t close
    then steam open in a little water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Give the mussels plenty of heat and remove them from the pan in batches as they open (don't over cook). Remove any remaining beards and chop up finely or if you don't have a mussel 'hater' I love to leave them in big chunks
  2. In a bowl, whisk together rest of the ingredients, then add mussels
  3. Heat a pan on a high heat and throw in a good chunk of butter and once it starts bubbling (but don't et it turn brown) cook tablespoon size fritters until brown, normally 2-3 minutes each side. 
  4. Serve with lemon slices and enjoy!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Kumara + Pea Fritters

Inspired by Donna Hay's version, I swapped the self rising flour for wholemeal and coconut and served these tasty little things with a yoghurt and chilli jam dressing with pesto on the side. This is a flexible recipe so play around with it including your side dressings and enjoy :0


Ingredients
serves 4
takes 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 tbsp vinegar added, set aside 5 mins (poor man's version of buttermilk)
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup kumara, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs ie basil, parsley, mint (I used lemon basil)
  • to serve: yoghurt with 1 tbsp chilli jam added and/or pesto
Method
  1. Mix flours, baking powder, eggs, milk, salt & pepper in a large
    bowl
  2. Add peas, grated kumara and herbs and mix
  3. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a dash of olive oil
  4. Cook 1/4 cup of the mixture in batches for 2-3 minutes each side or until lightly golden
  5. Serve with dressing of choice and enjoy :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Red Cabbage,Onion and Walnut Tart

This is a lovely sweet/savoury tart for a quick weekday meal.

Ingredients

serves 4
  • 30g butter or olive oil
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of walnuts, pine nuts or hazelnuts
  • Large sheet puff pastry, ready rolled
  • Crème fraîche to serve
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
Method
  1. Preheat oven 180°C/350F
  2. In a large frying pan, melt the butter on a medium heat, fry the red onions for 4 minutes. Add the shredded red cabbage and continue frying for 5 more minutes, adding salt, thyme and pepper. Finish with the balsamic vinegar, reduce for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Line a tart dish with the ready rolled pastry. Add the cabbage mixture, place the nuts all over the tart and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown
  4. Serve warm with a spoon of crème fraîche and chopped parsley. Enjoy ;)

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Creamy Apple & Celeriac Soup

Such a comforting soup on a wet & windy Tuesday. This is from Anna Jones, A Modern Way to Eat. Apples add sweetness while butter beans add creaminess. Just try it :)

Ingredients
serves 2-4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 celeriac, washed, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock or 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 × 400g tin of butter beans, drained
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
to serve
  • a handful of hazelnuts
  • 50g butter
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage, leaves picked

Method
  1. Heat a splash of oil in a large pan, then add the leek and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the celeriac, apples and thyme and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the stock (or miso paste and 1.5 litres of water) and butter beans and season well. 
  2. Simmer over a low heat for 20–30 minutes, until the celeriac is tender, then remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan until golden brown then remove from the pan and put to one side. 
  4. Lower heat, add the butter to the pan and once it is hot add the sage and fry until it is crispy and the butter is light brown. Keep the heat low for this last bit and take the pan off as soon as you see the butter turn brown, as it can burn really quickly.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with the sage and hazelnut brown butter. Enjoy :)

Friday, 13 May 2016

Loadsa of Greens Pie

This pie is loosely based on the Greek spanakopita but is much quicker and easier to put together. Recipe is adapted from "A Modern Way To Eat" by Anna Jones.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 g spring greens or kale, stalks removed and leaves shredded
  • 250 g chard or spinach, leaves shredded and chard stalks chopped
  • grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 3-4 free-range eggs
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • small bunch fresh parsley, picked and roughly chopped
  • small bunch fresh dill, picked and roughly chopped or fresh thyme
  • 4 large sheets filo pastry, or 8 smaller ones
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds or black mustard seeds

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/fan 200°C
  2. Put a 26cm non-stick oven-proof or cast iron frying pan on medium heat and add a little olive oil. Add the spring onions
    with a pinch of salt and fry for a few minutes, until soft.
  3. Next, add a couple of handfuls of spring greens or kale and cook until they have shrunk down a little. Keep adding like this until all the greens are in the pan, then cook until just wilted. Add the chard or spinach and let that wilt too. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and season with more salt if needed and a bit of pepper. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool a little.
  4. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, crumble in the feta and add the chopped herbs. Once the greens are cool, add these too. Wipe out the frying pan with some kitchen paper.
  5. Get yourself a large sheet of baking paper, about 50cm long, and lay it on your work surface. Drizzle it with a little olive oil, then scrunch it up into a ball so it’s all coated (this will stop it burning in the oven). Now lay it flat again or just spray both sides of the baking paper with olive oil spray, then lay over the oven-proof frying pan.
  6. Lay the filo over the baking paper in two layers – it will overlap here and there but that’s okay. Spray with olive oil in between layering up the pie.
  7. Pour the egg and greens mixture into the middle and level out with a spoon. Fold the excess layers of pastry over the top to cover the top of the greens mixture. No need to be too neat here, as some movement and texture looks beautiful. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds and pop the pan into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Serve this with some green leaves and enjoy!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Blueberry & Coconut Pancakes with Berry Sauce

Think these might be my best pancake attempt yet. Forget they are gluten, dairy and sugar free (processed sugar free) and the mixture does not look pretty, as they are light and decadent with a load of blueberries giving you a big dose of antioxidants. 

Pancake mix
Makes 6 medium sized pancakes
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (you seriously need to buy this one from Mexican Specialities, it changes your life!)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a small pan and bring to boil then simmer until the blueberries are soft and the sauce has slightly thickened. Keep warm.

Pancakes
  1. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy
  2. Add coconut milk or cream, vanilla and beat again
  3. Fold through coconut flour, baking powder and blueberries
  4. Heat a large frypan to medium - high and melt coconut oil
  5. Ladle 4 tablespoons into the pan and cook until golden, about 3-4mins on each side. You can keep cooked pancakes warm in a low oven.
  6. Serve pancakes in a stack with the sauce over the top. Yum :)

Monday, 7 March 2016

King Prawns with Baby Spinach and Nectarine Salad with Honey & Truffle Dressing

Whew! That's probably the longest recipe title on this blog, but it don't take long to make at all.

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 20 minutes

big bunch of baby spinach leaves
2-4 ripe nectarines (or plums, peaches...experiment with whatever is in season); stoned & roughly chopped
handful roasted pine nuts
200g feta, crumbled
olive oil
6-8 king prawns, shelled, deveined, tails intact
freshly ground pepper



Dressing
2 tbsp truffle oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced
1 tsp honey
freshly ground pepper & sea salt

Method
Place all the dressing ingredients into a sealed jar & give it a good shake
Wash the salad leaves and throw into a large serving platter with the fruit, pine nuts and feta.
Pour dressing over and mix through.
Heat fry pan to medium high with dash of olive oil, cook prawns with a grind of fresh black pepper until they change colour. Remove and add to salad. Enjoy!


Saturday, 13 February 2016

Beef and Noodle Salad

I went a little crazy on the chilli when I made this the first time - had me running to the fridge to stick my tongue on ice! Apart from that little mistake this is an awesomely fresh and quick weekday meal slightly adapted from Penny Oliver's Simple Salad cookbook - well worth grabbing one for the humid Auckland summer.

INGREDIENTS

serves 2
  • 600 grams rump steak
  • 200 grams dried vermicelli rice noodles
  • handful sweet peas, podded & used raw
  • ½ telegraph cucumber, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup each mint and Thai basil leaves (I only had normal basil on hand)
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced (don't forget to check heat of chilli!)
  • Asian Dressing (see below)
  • ¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
Asian Dressing 
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or any hot chilli sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Ground black pepper
Shake all the ingredients together in a sealed jar to combine.

METHOD
  1. Pan fry rump steak to your liking and allow it to cool.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and drain well. Add to large serving platter followed by the peas, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, herbs and chilli. 
  3. Layer sliced beef over the top followed by the dressing then mix. Serve with peanuts scattered over the top and enjoy :)

Monday, 8 February 2016

Zucchini Gratin

Fantastic way to use up the last glut of courgettes if you were lucky to get some this year - mine started off so promising, flouting their flowers then promptly got a layer of mould and died. Never mind, courgettes are still cheap in the shops :)



Ingredients
serves 4

  • 6-8 zucchinis (depending on size)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion, cut in half & sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme or parsley 
  • 1/2 cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Slice each zucchini into 4 or 5 slices and arrange in overlapping rows in an ovenproof dish
  3. Melt the butter in a very large saute pan and cook the onion over low heat until tender and starting to turn golden
  4. Add flour and cook for a few minutes stirring frequently.
  5. Add milk and stir until sauce comes to a boil then simmer over low heat for 6-7 minutes
  6. Season by adding salt, pepper & nutmeg
  7. Pour sauce over zucchini, add breadcrumbs, cheese and thyme and pour some good quality olive oil over the top
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden then serve hot. Yum :)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Curry Fish Salad

Tasty salad from Lauraine Jacobs. Recipe calls for blue cod but I could only get Gurnard and it worked well. I've tweaked a couple of other ingredients as well. 

Don't be put off long list of ingredients, it's easy to throw together.

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 30 mins

Curry Dressing

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Fish
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • a good slug of olive oil
  • 300g gurnard or cod fillets
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & shaved into fine ribbons
  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp shredded mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup puffed rice
  • 4 tbsp curry leaves, deep-fried (optional)

Method
  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients and blitz with stick blender
  2. Mix turmeric, salt & pepper with oil in a large bowl, add fish and toss to coat.
  3. Mix remaining vegetables & ingredients into large salad bowl
  4. Place a dash of olive oil into fry pan over medium-high heat, add fish and cook a couple of minutes each side. Let it cool slightly before breaking into chunks and adding to salad. Enjoy!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Turmeric Smoothie

Turmeric, the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, has long been used in Chinese and Indian medicine. There are many claims about it being the cure for some serious illnesses so I advise reading this article if you are unsure. So while there's not enough scientific proof (on humans) to tout it as a super drug I'm still loving this smoothie which is an easy way to slip this spice into your life :)



Ingredients
makes two glasses

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 tsp turmeric (I used the powder)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ice cubes

Chuck all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Greek Blueberry & Banana Pancakes

Always on the look out for quick & healthy pancake recipes I love this one which produces fluffy little pancakes of joy ;)

Ingredients
serves 2
makes about 6
  • 150ml Greek yoghurt (I use Clevedon Valley Buffalo brand, no sugar and nice n thick)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup plain flour (or just use 1/2 cup of one)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • To serve: sliced bananas and/or fresh blueberries; maple syrup; Greek yoghurt

Method
  1. Whisk together yoghurt & egg until smooth.
  2. Add flour and baking soda and mix in.
  3. Preheat a fry pan over a medium heat and use about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Place blueberries or sliced banana or half and half over the top, so these caramelise when you flip the pancake.
  4. Cook until bubbles start to show and brown underneath then flip and cook for another minute
  5. Serve with topping of choice. Yum!