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