Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spinach and Cheese Pin Wheels

What's not to love ... gorgeous crispy puff pastry with a yummy spinach and cheese filling ... bought together with a tasty side salad for a quick nutritious meal.

* To make 16 pin wheels firstly take a small bunch of fresh spinach and remove stems and finely shed the green only ... steam and strain off any excess moisture,  cool and then squeeze out all liquid.

*Place the cold spinach into a bowl along with about a cup of grated cheese, half a packet of cream cheese and a small finely diced onion.

*Using 2 sheets of ready made puff pastry divide the mixture in half and spread evenly across both sheets.

*Sprinkle thinly with a little more grated cheese and roll up quite tightly ... slice each of the rolls into 8 and place upturned onto baking papered tray.

*Pop them into a hot oven (200 fan forced) and quickly bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. A quick hot oven will result in a beautiful puff pastry.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Roast Pumpkin with Pearl Couscous

Shout out once again to the Woolworths "Fresh" magazine. Perhaps I could get a job as the local promoter! This recipe turned out way better than I expected and was absolutely delicious and once again simple to pull together. Truly a salad that will impress your guests.
The recipe below is ideal for two or three people.

*Bake a half a butter nut pumpkin that has been sliced in think slices, oiled and sprinkled with dukkah for about 15 minutes. Then drizzle with honey and bake for a further 10 minutes.
*Meanwhile heat a dash of olive oil in a small saucepan and gently fry off a crushed clove of garlic. Then add 125 grams of pearl couscous and 1/2 cup of sultanas stir to coat in oil and finally add 1 and 1/4 cups of hot water and simmer gently, stirring a couple of times to make sure it's not sticking until all the liquid has absorbed. When cooked transfer to a large bowl to cool.
*When cool stir through a handful of chopped coriander ... the same of sliced spring onions and finally some chopped pistachios and the chunky diced pumpkin.
*Finally finish off this salad with a dressing made from lemon zest a couple of tbs of olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar ... pomegranate arils for a burst of sweetness! (If you need to know how to seperate them out easily send me a message ) ☺

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pearl Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

Shout out to Woolies Fresh magazine for this recipe ... can't believe how delicious it is and so much easier than a conventional risotto.  You really must give it a try the following is a serving for two average size bowls.

*Heat a splash of olive oil and a big blob of butter in a large saucepan and fry off half a sliced leek and a large clove of garlic also finely diced until softened (about 5 mins).
*Next add 3/4 cup of pearl barley and some fresh or dry thyme if you have it. I used dry chives tonight as this was all I had to hand. Stir to coat the barley in oil and change the colour of the grain slightly (about 1 min).
*Now deglaze with a 1/2 cup of white wine and add 2 cups of hot chicken stock cover and simmer gently stirring occasionally. The grains should be softened and the liquid absorbed by the end of this time (about 60 mins).
*Meanwhile in another pan fry until softened and browned about 300 grams of mixed mushrooms ... I kept it simple with button and portobello but be as creative as you like. If any moisture is produced add this to the barley saucepan as this is all extra flavors.
*Combine the mushrooms a handful of baby kale or rocket and a blob of butter to serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Toffee Corn Cobs

This post needs to come with a couple of warnings ... "you will eat more than you expect so make sure you cook lots" and secondly I give credit for this recipe to Better Homes and Gardens stolen and tweeked unashamedly! So simple and delicious it will become one of your families veg staples very quickly.

📌Diagonally (looks pretty) cut your corn cobs and place then in a saucepan along with

✔a couple of whole garlic cloves just crushed with the back of a knife.
✔a sprinkle of chili flakes to suit your taste.
✔a heaped tablespoon of smoky paprika.
✔a couple of heaped tablespoons of sugar.
✔a couple of large pinches of salt.
✔a large knob of butter.
✔enough water to come about half way up the corn ... this will make the sauce and allow the corn to steam.

📌Cook for about 10 minutes and then remove the corn and reduce the water down to a syrupy sauce consistency (probably another 10 or so minutes).
Pop the corn back in to reheat.

📌Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Breaded Scallops ... Herb and Pomegranate salad

I borrowed this recipe today and added my tweek to it which incidentally is what in my opinion all recipes including mine are for. Sharing them around and inspiring people to create is art in food and so very satisfying. 

Firstly flour egg and breadcrumb good quality large scallops. Into my breadcrumb I mixed a spoon full of chicken stock powder which adds a nice flavour. You could add anything you fancy but I would probably not use cheese as they will go very dark when cooked. 

Next prepare the herb salad. Again what ever you like. My choice turned out delicious and we used parsley, mint, basil, coriander and stems, chives and dill topped with Pomegranate for that touch of sweetness.
Blend together about 50ml of extra virgin olive oil a squeeze of fresh lemon and in my case I added a splosh of sweet chili sauce but if you prefer it hotter perhaps tabasco instead. Let the flavours blend while you cook the scallops adding just before serving. 

I deep fried in my small saucepan using rice oil however a vegetable oil would be just as good. I cooked 18 to serve two in batches of 3 at a time for about 2 or 3 minutes on each side. They will continue to cook from residue heat while draining.

Plate up at completion of cooking ...  adding the dressing to the tossed herb salad drizzling a little tartare sauce or try making a Herb Mayonnaise onto the tip of each scallop.

We thoroughly enjoy this light and refreshing meal. Could be served as an entree at a dinner party or a luncheon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mexican inspired Quinoa Salad served with Avocado

☆ Cook a cup full of quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock as instructed on the packaging and set aside to cool in a large bowl.
☆ In a small amount of olive oil fry until slightly blackened the kernels from 2 cobs of corn and again set aside to cool.
☆ In the same pan with a touch more olive oil fry until softened, about 5 minutes, a finely diced red onion. Add to this a teaspoon each of paprika, coriander powder and cumin powder and fry for about one minute until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
☆ Dice a mango and half a bunch of fresh coriander ... I have used mint on this occasion as I had no coriander. 
☆ When everything has cooled down combine all of the ingredients into the large bowl of quinoa finally adding the juice of a fresh lime.
☆ Serve this salad with quartered avocado and enjoy a light sustaining lunch time meal on its own or as a side with any choice of meat for an evening meal. You are limited only by imagination.        :) 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chewy Anzac Caramel Slice

This is a simple recipe that takes the traditional Anzac cookie to a whole new decadent level. I bet you won't be able to stop at just one ... They are really delicious.

BASE: 1 1/2 cups SR flour 1/2 cup brown sugar 140grams butter ... mix and bake in a 20x30 baking paper lined tray in a low oven (about 170 degrees) for about 12 minutes.
FILLING: A tin on condensed milk 50mls golden syrup and 50 grams butter ... microwave to melt, mix together and set aside to cool slightly.
TOPPING: 1 cup oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup coconut and 50 grams melted butter ... mix together.

Pour filling onto the base add topping and press slightly then bake again gently for another 10 to 12 minutes until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool in the pan and slice to serve.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quinoa Mango Magic

Give this recipe a go if you like a touch of the sweet in your salad and I promise that you will love it. I adapted a recipe I found and I hope that  you will continue to adapt to suit your own tastes. Quinoa will take on the flavours of ingredients added to it and this salad is delicious with a nice balance of sweet and sour because of that fact.
Quinoa Mango Salad

  • Slowly simmer 3/4 cup of washed quinoa in 1 and 1/2 cups of chicken stock until all liquid has been absorbed. The quinoa will be cooked in about 20 minutes.
  • Place the warm grain into a bowl and add 1/2 cup sultanas or cranberries and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground fennel powder and salt. Mix through and leave to cool.

  • To the cool quinoa add 1 cup of diced mango and 1/2 pomegranate.
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped coriander leaves and stems add a nice crunch or  parsley and the juice of 1/2 a lime squeezed over the top.
  • To turn this into a meal stir through some baby spinach or other salad leaves and top with diced avocado if you desire.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Simple Tiramisu

Simple Tiramisu

This is one of my favourite desserts. I find it very hard to resist in any Italian restaurant where I expect it to be stunning. I am attempting to show you that this is a very simple dessert that any of us can make at home with very few ingredients. Give it a go and I promise it will soon become a signature dish of your own.

  • Separate 3 eggs into two bowls.
  • To the whites add a pinch of salt and beat to firm peaks.
  • To the yolks add 1/4 sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick and whitish in colour.
  • Add yolks to whites and little by little mix in a 250 gram tub of mascarpone  that has been bought to room temperature.
  • In another suitable bowl add a couple of cups of strong good quality coffee... and some marsala or your favourite alcohol if you wish.

  • Quickly pass the sponge fingers through the coffee and place directly into your serving bowl. I prefer a flat dish but any of your favourite dishes or bowl will do. The biscuit fingers will very quickly absorb the coffee so speed is essential.
  • Layering alternatively with the prepared mascarpone cream ... Large flat dish I have done two layers and I guess a loaf tin size you will most likely get three layers out of a large pack of sponge fingers.
  • Dust the top layer with a dark good quality cocoa powder
  • Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spicy Eggplant

Spicy Eggplant
I had heard of fenugreek but had never cooked with it so when I was given some I was inspired to experiment with this new found spice. It smelt delicious with a slight curry powder flavour but not spicy on its own. The resulting recipe is delicious and can be as spicy or not as you like by adding or omitting chilli and chilli powder.

  • Pan fry a large cubed eggplant in a little oil and butter until a nice golden colour. Remove from the pan.
  • Add a good splosh of oil to the pan along with a 1/2 teaspoon of each cumin, sesame seeds and crushed fenugreek seeds. Fry until the cumin go golden brown and then add a thumb sized piece of chopped fresh ginger, a couple cloves of garlic and a diced green chilli and cook for a minute or two.
  • Then add 2 finely diced onions and gently fry for about 10 minutes until everything is softened.
  • At this point return the eggplant and add 1/4 cup of tomato puree and a 1/2 teaspoon of both ground coriander and turmeric along with about 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Finally add about 1/2 cup (small can) of coconut milk and a handful of fresh coriander leaves.

No two ways about it I am not a lover of eggplant but I have to say this vegetarian meal or side dish is the exception to my rule. I really loved the soft veg and the lovely flavours created with this recipe.
* If you like it extra spicy add some chilli powder at the point you add the turmeric.