Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Stuffed Marrow with Mozzarella & Herbs

Mum gifted me a rather large marrow which I had no idea how to cook. After various searches I came up with this. I was determined to use some fresh herbs from my wee garden and I'm currently having a love affair with buffalo mozzarella, so viola!

(serves 2)
Takes 60 minutes (including cooking time)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • bag spinach (depends how big your marrow is), leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly ground fennel seed (or 1/2 tsp tarragon)
  • large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper, salt to season
  • 1 large mozzarella ball, diced
  • 1 large marrow, halved & hollowed out
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large fry pan over low-medium heat & stir in garlic, cook until slightly brown, 2-3 minutes. Add rosemary and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in spinach, handful at a time until wilted.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, add fennel, basil and season. Let it cool. This mixture smells divine!
  5. Add mozzarella.
  6. Cut marrow in half & trim ends. Hollow out creating a bowl, leave a 2cm shell.
  7. Discard flesh & seeds.
  8. Place spinach mixture into each half.
  9. Whisk 2 eggs & milk in a bowl, lightly season & pour over spinach mixture.
  10. Bake until quiche filling is set & marrow shells are tender, about 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Asian Greens

These taste wonderful and the recipe is flexible as you can use seasonal greens.

(serves 2)
Takes 10 minutes
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • big bunch choy sum or bok choy
  • bunch of asparagus or snow peas
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock, or stock cube or 2tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp honey (optional)
  1. Cut veges into similar sizes, snap woody ends off asparagus.
  2. Place veges in boiling water for 30 seconds then drain.
  3. Heat ginger in a wok with sesame oil over a med-high heat for 1 minute. Add remaining sauce ingredients & cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables and toss through sauce. Cook for another minute until heated through. I served mine with Lamb Cutlets. Enjoy!

Lamb Cutlets with Parmesan Cheese

Finally got to use some of the herbs from the little herb garden I planted a couple of weeks ago (& it is little!). I served this with asian greens but you could easily serve it with couscous, mashed potato or a simple green salad. 
(serves 2)
Takes 30 minutes
  • 6 lamb cutlets, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano & thyme leaves
  • 6 slices parmesan or feta (or cheese of choice, I wouldn't go too strong though as you don't want the cheese to be the star of the dish) 
  1. Preheat oven grill to high.
  2. Place lamb cutlets into a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil & squeeze over lemon juice. Grind over a healthy serving of pepper and a pinch of salt.
  3. Grill for 2-3 minutes depending on size of cutlets. You want a slight colour on the lamb.
  4. Turn over and sprinkle with fresh herbs & top each cutlet with a slice or two of cheese. Grill until cheese has browned - few minutes on high.
  5. Turn oven to bake (keep on high temperature) & cook for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve with asian greens or a salad. Enjoy!    


Honey Salmon Salad

(serves 2)
takes 20 minutes

  • 400g diced salmon (or dice up one or two deboned fillets)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • bag of mixed lettuce leaves OR baby spinach
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh green beans, trimmed
  • bunch of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed (take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks) 
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  1. Make dressing: place all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, shake and place in the fridge.
  2. Marinate salmon: whisk together in a bowl 2 tbsp honey, lemon juice & pepper and toss the salmon pieces until they are coated & set aside.
  3. To blanch veges: fill a large pot with 2 cups of water and bring to the boil. Add trimmed beans & asparagus. Cook for 1-2 minutes, strain and place veges in ice cold water. Strain & set place into a large serving platter or salad bowl.
  4. Heat a non stick fry pan over a medium to high heat.
  5. Place marinated salmon in the pan and cook for around 3-5 minutes.
  6. To serve: Place salad greens, beans & asparagus into the serving platter, place salmon over the top & pour over dressing with some freshly cracked pepper to taste. Bon appétit!

Inspired by donna hay

Monday, 3 December 2012

Tuna Chowder

Serves 4
Takes 15 minutes

Healthy and quick to make. What more could you ask for after a hard day at work...perhaps a cold beer to match?

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & finely diced
  • 2 large celery sticks, trimmed & finely diced
  • 1 tbsp wholemeal flour
  • 500ml skim milk
  • large can of tuna in water
  • 2 cups corn kernels (can used canned or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (to serve)
  1. Heat the oil in large saucepan over a medium-low heat & add the onion & celery. Cook until both are soft, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour & cook for another minute.
  3. Turn temperature down low and slowly add in the milk, mixing it in.
  4. Add the tuna & its liquid, sweetcorn & thyme. Mix then bring to the boil. Cover & simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from heat & season to taste. Sprinkle chowder with a pinch or two of cayenne pepper depending on how hot you like it & chopped parsley.
  6. Serve immediately & enjoy!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Roast Pear, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad

(serves 2)
Takes 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1 firm pear, cored & cut into wedges
  • 50g firm blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salad leaves
  1. Heat oven 190oC & bake walnuts until brown, about 5-10 minutes. Cool.
  2. Place pears in oven and drizzle with olive oil & roast 10-15 minutes until brown.
  3. Make vinaigrette by placing vinegar & mustard in a jar and shake until mixed.
  4. Arrange salad leaves in a bowl and arrange pears, walnuts & crumbled blue cheese on top & pour over dressing. Enjoy!

Puy lentils with Lamb Loin Fillets

(serves 2)
Takes 40 minutes

This is so easy & quick to do, very healthy but boy does it taste great! Trevor & I have a 'heart' rating system aka how much do we love it and this one was rated 4!
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small leek, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary & parsley leaves (save the stalks)
  • 1 stalk thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup Puy lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 Lamb Loin Fillets (I use Silver Fern Farms)
  • 1 cup prepared lamb jus
  • New Zealand Redcurrant Jelly (I use Barkers)
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan & gently cook the leek, celery, garlic, carrot & chopped herbs with a lid on for about 10 minutes or until soft but not browned.
  2. Tie the thyme, parsley stalks & bay leaf together with kitchen string & drop into the pot.
  3. Add the lentils & stock. Bring to the boil & simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Get the loin fillets ready by seasoning to taste. When the lentils have 10 minutes to go pan fry for 3-5 minutes each side depending on how you like your lamb cooked. Remove from pan & rest under foil for at least 5 minutes before slicing in half.
  5. Warm the jus & serve alongside with redcurrant jelly. Bon appétit!