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.

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
  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.

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
  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!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Baked Blueberry Tart

Caught up with some good friends that I haven't seen for a while and said I would bring the roast chicken for dinner. Cheated by bringing a pre-cooked chook (Farro Fresh does a great free range chicken but note to self, not so good reheated) so thought I should put a little effort into dessert. Been waiting for a chance to try this and I'm pleased to say it was a hit.

takes 10 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to bake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 125g unsalted chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar 
  • 1 kg bag of frozen blueberries or 5 cups fresh
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 190°C
  2. Grease a non stick tart pan with a removable bottom.
  3. Pulse 1 cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar and the salt in food processor until blended. Add butter; pulse just until coarse crumbs form. Add vinegar; pulse just until blended. Turn out dough and press together.
  4. Press dough evenly onto sides and bottom of prepared tart pan. Top with 3 cups berries
  5. Mix remaining 2 tbsp flour, 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon and evenly sprinkle over berries, then drizzle with almond extract.
  6. Bake tart 50 to 60 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and top with remaining 2 cups of blueberries
  7. Let cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with icing sugar. 
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!


Steak, Guinness & Kidney Pie

Good ole classic steak n kidney pie packed with vegetables and some stout. Takes a few hours to bake but easy to prepare and I made extra pies and froze them so well worth it.

makes 4 individual pies
takes 3 1/2 hours
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 200g kidney (I used lamb), cut into 2cm cubes, make sure you remove the white tubes in the middle
  • 800g beef stew meat, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small celeriac, remove skin and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled & sliced into thick pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 can (approx. 400ml) Guinness or other dark beer or stout. I used Moa Imperial Stout - don't forget one for the chef :)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 cups mushrooms, depending on size or really how many mushrooms you want to throw in, clean and chop them in half if large
  • 1 large sheet flaky puff pastry - I use Paneton as it's made with all natural ingredients
  • 1 egg, beaten - for the glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Melt the butter over a low-medium heat in a large oven proof pot (that has a lid) and saute onion until soft but not browned. 
  3. Mix the steak n kidney in the seasoned flour then add to the pan.
  4. Brown the meat, stirring. Add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaves. Add the beer, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Gently bring to the boil. Cover the pot with the lid askew and place it in the oven.
  5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then check the liquid level. Add more stock if required. You can add the mushrooms now. Cover and bake for 1 hour longer.
  6. Dust your counter with flour and roll out pastry so it will cover 4 10oz pie dishes (approx. 1 1/4 cup each). Cut into four pieces.
  7. Fill the pie dishes with the stew, brush edges with the beaten egg. Place the pastry on top and press edges firmly, trim off any excess pastry hanging over the side. Cut a small hole in the centre to allow steam to escape and to prevent the pastry going all soggy.
  8. With any left over pastry cut out leaves or get all creative and make any shape you like and stick them on the pie tops. Finish off by brushing the top with the rest of the beaten egg.
  9. Bake the pie for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and enjoy!

adapted from yvette van boven - Homemade Winter

Smokey Butternut Soup

Beautiful smokey pumpkin soup good on a winter night and doesn't take long to make. 

takes about 30 minutes
serves 4
  • Large butternut pumpkin (1kg), peeled & chopped into 2 cm pieces (you are going to roast then puree so you don't need to be fussy, just easier if they are a similar size so they cook at the same time)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8-10 good size garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 8 fresh sage leaves (or you could use thyme or basil)
  • 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup single (pouring) cream or thick greek yoghurt
  • finely grated fresh nutmeg to serve
This recipe freezes well so you can double the ingredients and freeze some for lunch during the week.
    1. Preheat oven to 220oC.
    2. Place pumpkin, onion, garlic cloves on a baking dish & drizzle with oil, season with salt & pepper, paprika & cinnamon then toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes.
    3. Add the sage and roast for a further 10 minutes.
    4. Remove sage.
    5. Place the pumpkin & onion in a large soup pot and add half the hot stock. 
    6. Squeeze the garlic from their skins and add to veges in the pot.
    7. Use a hand blender and blend until mixture is smooth.
    8. Place pot on a medium heat and add remaining stock, cream (or yoghurt), salt and pepper and cook until the soup has just heated through - don't boil as you will curdle the cream.
    9. Divide soup between bowls and top with sage leaves.
    10. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg and pepper. Bon app├ętit!

    adapted from donna hay