Saturday, 15 June 2013

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 appétit!

    adapted from donna hay

    Sunday, 19 May 2013

    Roasted Tomato, Fennel, Kumara, Cannellini Beans Soup

    What a beautiful rich soup, packed with vegetables and some roasted garlic & kumara to lend it some sweetness. One of my favourite soups to date.

    serves 2-4
    40 minutes to bake vegetables, 10 minutes to finish 
    • 2-3 large tomatoes, halved crossways
    • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cut into 8 wedges
    • 1 red onion, cut into 8 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 medium size kumara, peeled & chopped into 2cm pieces
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 cups vegetable stock
    • 400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
    1. Preheat oven to 200°C
    2. Arrange tomatoes (cut side up), fennel, onion, kumara & the garlic bulb in a large heavy-based roasting pan. Pour a dash of olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
    3. Gently toss vegetables to coat in oil. Roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender & caramelised around the edges.
    4. Transfer vegetables and pan juices to a large saucepan. Add stock and half the cannellini beans. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    5. Using a hand blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth.
    6. Return to low heat, stir in remaining cannellini beans. Season to taste. Heat soup until hot.
    7. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with fresh french bread. Enjoy!

    Penne Pasta with Tuna, Edamame & Parmesan

    Here's a pasta concoction I threw together the night before we did a Trail Run at Shakespear Park. Sliding through mud and crawling up hills on a Sunday morning made me question my sanity but well worth it as the views were awesome (& I came 12 out of 41 in my age division). This dish helped us "carb" up.

    serves 4
    takes 40 minutes 
    • 2 cups dried pasta (I used wholemeal penne)
    • 2 cups edamame beans, mine were still frozen in their pods
    • 1 cup peas, frozen is ok
    • 1 large can tuna chunks in water, drained
    • bunch of garlic chives, chopped (or spring onions/onions)
    • 2 cups trim milk
    • 2 tbsp cornflour
    • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
    • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

    1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
    2. Cook pasta following packet instructions. Add in edamame beans & peas for last 2 minutes of cooking.
    3. Drain pasta & vegetables. Cool slightly and then pop the edamame out of their pods. Place pasta & vegetables into a lightly oiled baking dish & stir in drained tuna.
    4. Meanwhile throw a little butter in a pot on a medium heat. Cook chives (or onions) until soft. Add flour and cook for a further minute before adding milk slowly, whisking together to create a smooth sauce. Cook until it thickens slightly.
    5. Pour over pasta & vegetables.
    6. Place tomatoes over the top & sprinkle with breadcrumbs & cheese and season with freshly cracked pepper.
    7. Cook for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown & cheese has melted. Plate up & enjoy!

    Saturday, 18 May 2013

    Salmon Tom Yum

    First time I've made Tom Yum and it is Yum Yum! This is such a balanced meal with greens, protein & a touch of carbs. I used Chi Tea Soba noodles but you can use whatever you have in the cupboard.

    serves 4
    takes 20 minutes 
    • 400g fresh Salmon fillet, skin off, pin-boned, thinly sliced
    • 8 tablespoons tom yum paste
    • 1 litre chicken or fish stock
    • 3 kaffir lime leaves, optional
    • 500ml water
    • 320g dried soba or udon noodles
    • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
    • 12 button mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 cup sliced soft tofu
    • bunch bok choy, halved lengthways
    • fish sauce or soya sauce to taste
    • large handful bean sprouts
    • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
    • 1/2 cup chopped mint
    1. Mix tom yum paste with stock, water and kaffir lime leaves, if using, in a large pot and bring to the boil.
    2. Add noodles and cook for 5 minutes before adding the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, tofu and bok choy.
    3. Cook a further 3-4 minutes or until the noodles are just cooked.
    4. Season with fish sauce or soya sauce to taste.
    5. Divide hot soup and contents between bowls and add slices of fresh salmon (the salmon will cook with the heat of the soup). Top each bowl with some mung bean sprouts and garnish with coriander and mint. Don't forget to remove lime leaves before serving. Enjoy!

    Beef Eye Fillet with Polenta and Mushroom Jus

    The jus is divine and goes perfectly with polenta. You can use mashed potatoes if you don't have polenta in the cupboard. While it looks like a long list of ingredients it's actually very easy & quick to do.

    serves 2
    takes 30 minutes

    Beef Eye Fillet & Mushroom Jus
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 100g of beef eye fillet, sliced (bring to room temperature)
    • 4 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 cup beef stock
    • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
    • 1/2 tsp brown sugar

    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 1/3 cup instant cooking polenta
    • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Cavolo Nero
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1/2 bunch cavolo nero, leaves stripped from tough stem, washed & chopped or substitute with Kale or Spinach

    1. Heat butter in a fry-pan on medium heat. Season eye fillet with salt & cook for 2-3 minutes each side (depending on thickness) for medium rare, or longer until done to your liking. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes while you make the mushroom jus. To rest meat place on a plate cover loosely with tinfoil and a tea towel on top to keep warm.
    2. Add mushrooms and a bit more butter to the pan the steak was cooked in. Sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add beef stock, balsamic glaze, brown sugar and any resting juices from the beef.
    3. Simmer rapidly until jus is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
    4. To make the polenta, pour chicken stock into a pot & bring to the boil. Add polenta to boiling stock while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook 4-5 minutes stirring frequently until thickened to the consistency of porridge. Fold through parmesan cheese.
    5. To cook the cavolo nero or kale, heat butter in frying pan on high heat, add & stir fry for 2 minutes or until wilted.
    6. To serve, slice eye fillet in half, spoon polenta onto each plate, top with eye fillet and some cavolo nero. Spoon over mushroom jus. Bon appétit

    Hot and Sour Chicken Meatball Soup

    This is adapted from Donna Hay, a very quick weekday meal with chilli...of course. Have I mentioned that my chilli plant is going crazy? So not sure why I ended up buying the chilli jam for this recipe...

    • 250g thin dried rice noodles
    • 400g free range chicken mince
    • 5cm piece ginger, peeled & grated
    • 1 1/2 tbsp chilli jam
    • 1 free range egg white
    • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
    • 2 tsp vegetable oil
    • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
    • bunch of baby bok choy, trimmed & roughly chopped
    • handful of beans or sugar snap peas, trimmed & halved
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • garnish with freshly chopped chives (I used garlic chives from my garden) or spring onions & freshly chopped chilli
    1. Place the noodles in a glass bowl & cover with hot water for 6 minutes. Drain then set aside.
    2. In a bowl mix together chicken, minced ginger, 1 tbsp of the chilli jam, egg white, salt & pepper.
    3. Heat oil in large pot over a medium heat and cook ginger stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 tbsp of chilli jam, stirring for a further 2 minutes.
    4. Add the stock, increase heat to high & bring to the boil.
    5. Roll chicken mix into small balls (about 1/2 tbsp) & add to the stock & cook for 3 minutes.
    6. Add the bok choy & beans (or peas) and cook 2 minutes.
    7. Remove from the heat & add fresh lime juice. Serve with garnish on the side & enjoy!