Thursday, 25 July 2013

Spicy Fish Tacos

Love soft tacos, love fish soft tacos even more. For the filling you can use whatever you have hiding in the fridge. I make a simple coleslaw so I can throw it all into one plate and people can help themselves. I am careful about the type of wrap I use as a lot of them are filled with crap. Mountain bread works well.


Ingredients

serves 2
takes 15-20 minutes
  • 2 white fleshed fish fillets: I've used Snapper, Trevally, Gurnard and Cod. I found the Trevally too firm, would be great for a fish curry
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Chilli oil OR 1 small fresh chilli, sliced finely mixed with oil
  • 1 packet soft flour tortillas or Mountain bread, warm as per packet instructions just before serving
  • Coleslaw: 1/4 of a cabbage (red/white) sliced thinly; 1 large carrot grated ; 2 large tomatoes diced; zest of 1 large lemon; chia seeds (optional)
  • Dressing: 1/4 Greek yoghurt mixed with 1/3 mayonnaise
Method
  1. Place the fish in a shallow oven tray & cover with paprika, salt & pepper and as much chilli oil as you like. Give it a good mix so fish is covered with spice & oil. Leave to marinate while you prepare the coleslaw.
  2. Turn oven grill on high.
  3. Grab a big platter and throw in the sliced cabbage, grated carrot, tomatoes and zest of the lemon. Dress then place on the table.
  4. Place fish under the grill for 2-3 minutes depending on thickness. Place onto a serving plate and take to the table.
  5. Heat tortillas according to the packet. 
  6. Serve with Greek yoghurt/mayonnaise mix and enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Spiced Lamb, Spinach and Chickpea Couscous

On the table within 15 minutes...lovely succulent lamb served on top of lemony couscous. Fantastic week day meal.

Ingredients

serves 2
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, smoked paprika (plain can also be used)
  • 2 lamb short loins (back straps) at room temperature
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • several handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • couple of small handfuls mint, roughly shredded
  • handful toasted pine nuts
  • thick Greek yoghurt to serve
Method
  1. Place couscous & turmeric in a small pot, pour hot water over,
    stir briefly and cover. Leave for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine dried spices in a bowl along with salt & pepper and rub lamb loins in the mix so both sides are covered.
  3. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, add a spray of oil and pan fry lamb for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare. Remove from heat and let lamb rest for 5 minutes, then slice thickly.
  4. Grab a big platter and throw in the spinach leaves, chickpeas, pine nuts & mint. 
  5. Add the lemon juice to the couscous and fluff up with a fork then mix it in with the platter ingredients. Drizzle some olive oil on top and season before adding the sliced lamb. 
  6. Serve with the yoghurt with a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!
Inspired by Next Magazine

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pumpkin, Apple and Fennel Soup

This is a smooth, creamy soup with a sweet, perfumy, anise-like flavour imparted from the fennel. Roasting the vegetables helps to bring out all the flavours. 

Ingredients
serves 4
takes 1 hour to roast, 10 minutes to prepare
  • 1kg pumpkin, peeled & cut into 5cm cubes
  • 2 apples, quartered & cored
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 garlic bulb, peel away the outer layers of the bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Place pumpkin, apples, fennel & onion in a large roasting pan with the garlic bulb in the centre. Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with fennel seeds. Season well with sea salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Roast for one hour, turning half way through.
  4. Let vegetables cool slightly then transfer to a large pot and add stock.
  5. Using a hand blender, whiz until smooth.
  6. Add 1 cup of yoghurt. Cover and reheat slowly on the stove top.
  7. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Bill's Moroccan Chicken Pie

I invited one of my nieces over for dinner promising her a slow cooked pie but ran out of time so pulled out some good ole Bill Granger Moroccan Chicken Pie instead and it was just as good.

Ingredients
serves 4-6
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 750g free range chicken thighs, skinned, boneless, cut into 3cm dice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2-4 tsp grated ginger
  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded & cut into small chunks
  • 100g (3/4 cup) dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 100g (3/4 cup) pitted green olives
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
  • 375g puff pastry block or sheet
  • 1 free range egg yolk, lightly beaten
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Combine the flour, cinnamon & turmeric in a bowl and season with sea salt & freshly ground pepper. Toss the chicken to coat, shaking off any excess flour. Place the oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  3. Brown the chicken in batches and set aside. Lower heat and add onion, garlic & ginger stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until onion is soft.
  4. Add the chicken back in. Throw in pumpkin, apricots, olives, stock and lemon. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and season to taste. Set aside in the fridge until cold.
  6. Add the mixture to the pie dish and roll out the pastry to size. Brush the rim of the dish with egg yolk and cover with pastry pushing down lightly to seal. Brush the pie top with more egg yolk and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy! 



Seared Tuna Steaks with Green Tea Noodles & Ginger Broth

Love the taste of fresh ginger and seared tuna. Pour some broth over and you have a super quick & easy weekday winner adapted from Mindfood's Winter.

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 30 minutes
  • 2 tuna steaks
  • Olive oil
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2 cups vegetable stock - I added about 2 cups of water as well, depends how thick/thin you like your broth
  • 1/2 pack dried noodles - I use Hakubaku Cha Soba - Green Tea - noodles, but any type will be fine, just adjust cooking time
  • handful garlic chives or spring onions, sliced thinly, to serve
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (white/black), to serve
Method
  1. Heat about 2 tsps of olive oil in a large pot over a low-medium
    heat. Add freshly grated ginger and cook until aromatic. Add stock; bring to the boil then add noodles. Reduce heat & simmer for 4-6 minutes depending on type of noodle.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray tuna with olive oil & season with salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Add steaks & sear 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other then transfer to a plate. Let is rest for a couple of minutes before cutting into thin slices. 
  4. Place some noodles in a soup bowl, ladle some broth over finishing with the tuna.
  5. Serve sprinkled with chives & sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Saffron & Coriander Fish Stew

The fennel and bell peppers give this Fish Stew a beautiful sweet and sour taste. I haven't changed much from the original recipe taken from The Lebanese Kitchen as you don't need to mess with perfection.

Ingredients
serves 4
takes 40 minutes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded & sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 700g firm white fish, cut into chunks
  • 4 uncooked king prawns, peeled & deveined
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • salt & pepper
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan, add the onion, celery and fennel & cooked over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until softened but not browned.
  2. Add the tomatoes & bell peppers and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the fish, king prawn and all the spices then reduce heat & simmer for 5-10 minutes until fish is slightly opaque in the middle and flakes easily.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander.
  6. Season to taste. I served mine with a dollop of mint, chilli & coriander paste or you could use pesto or nothing at all. Enjoy!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Chilli Jam and Tomato Soup with Pan-Fried Snapper

A sweet chilli soup adapted from donna hay with some short cuts to make it an easy after work dinner. I reckon you could try this with salmon fillets too.

Ingredients
takes 30 minutes
serves 2
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chilli jam
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised (trim off the spiky top and the base, remove and discard the first few outer layers, and then bruise the lemongrass stalk by lightly crushing it with a pestle, a meat mallet, or the side of a large knife or cleaver)
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled & minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
  • 2 tsp superfine sugar (I used granulated)
  • 2 x snapper fillets, skin on if you can get it, without works too
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • handful of dried rice noodles, cooked
  • fresh coriander leaves to serve
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over a high heat. Add the chilli jam, bruised lemongrass, ginger & garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring.
  2. Add the can of tomatoes & cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, fish sauce, lime juice & sugar, bring to the boil, turn heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes. While the soup is cooking, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.
  4. Brush the fish with oil, season and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and take pan off the heat and leave fish to finish cooking.
  5. Divide the noodles between bowls; break fish into big chunks and place on top of noodles; spoon soup mixture over the top and throw some fresh coriander leaves over the top. Enjoy!