Saturday, 29 March 2014

Wiremu's Smoked Fish & Chorizo Pie

Remembering my very talented brother who passed away a year ago. I know you would have loved this pie Wiremu.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced, add some chopped up fronds if your fennel comes with them
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 garlic bulbs, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • handful chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 smoked fish, flaked, skinned & boned - I used snapper which is soft & moist
  • 1 small beef (or pork) chorizo, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • milk (about 1/4 of a cup)
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed in water to dissolve
  • 1 sheet of flaky pastry 
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  2. Pour oil into large frying pan or pot over low heat.
  3. Fry onions, fennel, celery, carrot, garlic, lemon zest & herbs until onion is soft.
  4. Add smoked fish, chorizo & paprika.
  5. Mix well then add enough milk to just cover.
  6. Bring to the boil then thicken with cornflour dissolved in cold water.
  7. Allow to cool then spoon into a pie dish & cover with pastry.
  8. Brush top with beaten egg or milk. Cut slits in the top & bake for 20 minutes. If you have any left over pastry you can make some designs for the top of the pie. Enjoy!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Bill's Lamb Meatballs in Massaman Curry

Love this easy recipe from Bill Granger. You can use a korma curry and whatever is hiding in the fridge but I love splashing out on a decent jar of massaman. This goes so well with cauliflower rice as there's lots of yummy sauce and a side of Asian Greens.

serves 4
takes 30 minutes
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup light evaporated milk with a couple of drops of coconut essence or just use coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • half head cauliflower, grated using your food processor

  1. Place the mince, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, coriander and 3 tablespoons of mint in a large mixing bowl.
    Add plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and
    combine thoroughly. 
  2. Rinse your hands under cold water and, without drying, shape the mixture into 24 small meatballs.
  3. Place a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and, when hot, add half the meatballs and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning often, until lightly browned on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a plate and repeat with more oil and remaining kofta. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil, curry paste and ginger. Fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
  5. Tip the tomatoes and coconut milk into the pan and stir well. Add the cinnamon stick and season with a little sea salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes.
  6. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook in the curry sauce for a further 5 minutes, until tender and cooked through. 
  7. Place cauliflower rice in serving bowls and top with curry scattered with the red-onion slices & mint leaves. Enjoy!

From Bill Granger, Easy

Poached Chicken with Sesame Green Bean Salad

I choose this recipe of Bill Granger's as I needed a quick, healthy chicken recipe but boy was I surprised by the fantastic flavours and moist chicken. Definitely a repeater. For the poaching liquid use whatever you have on hand, throw in some fresh herbs, use stock or wine or vodka to give it that extra zing.

serves 2
takes 30 minutes
  • 3 coriander stems or parsley, leaves and all OR whatever fresh herbs you have
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 spring onions or chives, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced to serve OR sprinkle of dried chilli flakes
  • steamed rice, I used black rice but again, whatever you have on hand
  1. Get your rice on as black rice can take up to 30 minutes
  2. Then get your beans on for the salad below 
  3. Place your chosen herbs, peppercorns, spring onion and salt into a saucepan and place chicken breasts on top, pour cold water over the top so chicken breasts are just covered.
  4. Bring to the boil then remove from heat, cover with a lid and leave to poach for 15 minutes.
  5. Once cool, slice chicken into 2 cm rounds, place on a serving plate and sprinkle with chilli and serve with the Sesame Bean Salad.
Sesame Bean Salad
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed & halved
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or smashed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  1. Blanch beans in a pot of lightly salted water for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green. Rinse under cold water.
  2. To make the dressing, in a small pot place soy sauce, vinegar, mirin and sesame oil & bring to the boil. Take pan off the heat and add garlic, ginger & sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Lamb, Chilli & Pesto Burgers

You can use my poor man's pesto recipe here and throw in whatever herbs are on hand. Just think lamb and ... go together. In this case my little garden is full of coriander, rosemary, mint and some big red chilli so they all ended up in these.

takes 20 minutes
serves 2-4 (one was enough for me but Trevor managed two)

Pattie ingredients:-
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • handful fresh coriander leaves & rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped (my chilli's aren't that hot so use as much or little as you prefer)
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • 2-4 burger buns
  • salad filling such as: cos lettuce, avocado, tomato, cucumber
  • onion chutney
 Mint yoghurt to serve (optional):-
  • yoghurt
  • fresh mint
  1. Place all the pattie ingredients in a bowl and mix together
    then divide into 4 patties.
  2. Place a small amount of oil into a fry pan and heat on high. Place patties into the pan and flatten slightly, cook on high for between 4-6 minutes each side. I like mine slightly pink in the middle. Let them rest covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Assemble the burgers: split the burger buns & place under grill to warm through. Place all the different fillings on the table and let everyone make their own creations. Enjoy!

Balsamic Onion Chutney

This goes great with my Lamb Burgers or Decadent Scrambled Eggs and can be added to sooo many meals. Onions turn sweet when cooked slow & a spoonful of honey (or rice syrup now I'm cutting out fructose) helps as well!

makes 2 cups
takes 30 minutes of slow cooking, 5 mins to prep
  • 3 large onions, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp honey or rice syrup (depends how sweet you like it)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used Glaze of Balsamic which has a thicker consistancy)
  1. Place all the ingredients except the vinegar into a pan on a high heat and stir for a couple of minutes before turning down to a low heat and simmering for around 25 minutes, stir every now & then so they don't stick. You want them to soften and turn golden brown.
  2. Add the vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes. Will store in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

Raw Berry Cheesecake

For my last birthday, Trevor got me a lovely raw berry cheesecake from a local 'unbakery', which was yummy but I questioned the very high price tag. This set the wheels in motion for some experimentation so I could produce one for his birthday which also falls on Xmas Day so it needed to be enjoyed by all. It's a pity I didn't take photos of all the trial ones (for some reason I'm doing a lot of cooking at the moment but forgetting to take pixs!) but here's the final version. They are easy to make as there is no cooking involved however there is some prepping but the final product is a healthy, delicious cheesecake that I'll be making again and again and...well I'm sure you get the picture.

  • 2 cups of nuts such as: macadamia nuts; almonds, walnuts or pecan – can use one or a mix
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates (can use other dates but I noticed a big difference to the taste when you use medjool, you get a more stickier, sweeter finish)
  • 3 cups raw cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours and then drained; I
    usually do mine overnight)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup agave or honey or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen berries, can be a mix or strawberries or blueberries for example
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, processed so they are smooth & gooey
  • 2 cups fresh berries to serve 
  1. To make the cheesecake crust, lightly grease a 22cm round
    springform tin with coconut oil and sprinkle over some shredded coconut so it coats the base & sides. This helps to prevent the cake sticking. Or you can line with baking paper however I like the texture the coconut adds.
  2. Place the nuts, rest of the coconut & pinch of salt in a food processor & process until they are crumbly then add the dates & continue processing until well mixed. Press into the base of your tin and pop into the freezer while you prepare the next layer. 
  3. To make filling, pop into the food processor (I didn't bother washing mine out) process all the ingredients until smooth then pour mixture over the base and return to freezer while you make the topping.
  4. To make the berry sauce topping: stir berries, water & dates together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries begin to pop and the syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. Let cool then pour over the cheesecake and return to freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. To serve: you can either slice off what you want & leave the rest of the cheesecake in the freezer or take the whole cheesecake out & let it defrost for around 1/2 hour. Ditto with the slices as well, you need to bring to room temperature before digging in. Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Pea and Spinach Frittata

Another goodie from kiwi chef, Annabel Langbein. The only change I made was adding more feta and spinach plus I don't cook the spinach.

serves 4
takes 30 minutes
  • 8 free range eggs
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  1. Add eggs, peas, spinach, half the feta, seasoning and mint to a
    bowl, whisking to mix.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy based frypan that is oven friendly and add
    egg mixture. Cook over a low/medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the sides are just set.
  3. Cook about 15cm below a preheated grill until set and starting to puff, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool in pan then serve large wedges. Enjoy!