Jan 13, 2015

Moroccan Lamb with mint, apricots, almonds and dates

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Serves approx 4

600 g of lean lamb meat diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
700 ml of lamb or chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick (if you desire this flavour) - note take this out after one hour
one teaspoon of zest of orange and juice of one orange
1 tablespoon of fresh mint chopped
50 g almonds flaked
200 g read to eat dried apricots
1 tablespoon of honey
handful of dates pitted cut in half
Salt and pepper to your taste
12 broccoli florets

Heat a little oil in a large casserole pot to cook on stove top.  Add lamb and cook until brown, set aside.

In the same casserole pot add a little more oil and the onion and garlic.  Cook until opaque then add the lamb and the stock and stir through.  Then you can add the zest of orange, honey, orange juice, cinnamon stick (only for an hour in this casserole) and also add a little salt and pepper.  Bring this to the boil carefully slowly and cook for an hour covered.

After an hour add the apricots, almonds, dates and the mint.  This can be cooked slowly for another hour and served with either Cous cous or rice.

Jan 5, 2015

Chilli coconut prawns with rice

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

500g fresh raw tiger prawns shelled with tails intact
2 cups long grain rice
3 spring onions diced finely
olive oil for cooking
2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1 clove of garlic crushed finely
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tablespoon of ginger paste
250mls coconut milk with 1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of sambal olek (only if you like extra heat, alter to your liking)
handful of snow peas or you can use beans chopped (as i used beans)
2 Mangoes sliced into long pieces

In a large bowl prepare the marinade - Sweet chilli, light soy sauce, garlic, ginger, lime juice.  Place the prawns into the marinade and leave for 20 minutes mixing occasionally.

Boil the rice in a separate pot for ten minutes and drain.

In a large stove top pot or casserole / tagine place some olive oil and the spring onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, then place the prawns in and marinade a little more oil.  Then you can place the coconut milk, sambal olek, snow peas or beans and mango and cook for around 10 minutes until prawns cooked and taste to check the heat is how you like.

Dec 5, 2014

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

Makes around 12 muffins
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

2 cups of self raising flour sifted
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon ground
2 cups of small diced fresh apple ( i used the royal gala apples in season)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of unsalted organic butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 flat teaspoon of vanilla bean or vanilla essence (i used the fresh bean scraped)

Topping for muffins if desired

1/2 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup of granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon mixed in a bowl

Preheat oven fan forced around 160 degrees celcius.
Prepare muffin tin or muffin paper pans with some olive oil spray.

Sift together into one large bowl the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt then set aside.

In another bowl toss two teaspoons of the flour ingredients into the fresh apples and mix through.

Then in another bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then mix in eggs one at a time slowly. Then at the end mix in the vanilla beans or vanilla essence.

Then in the large bowl with the flour combine the butter and sugar mixture all together alternating with the milk. Stir to combine then add the apple mixture stirring gently.

Place large spoonfuls into muffin tin about 1/2 - 3/4 full.

Bake these for around 30 minutes or until firm.

To prepare the topping melt the butter in a saucepan then set aside in a glass dipping bowl. In another bowl you have the sugar and cinnamon.  Dip each muffin in the butter then in the sugar mixture.

Place on plate to finish cooling off.

Nov 25, 2014

Scallop and calamari soup

Serves approx 6
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Preparation Time : 10 minutes

500ml Shellfish or Fish Stock ( I used Moredoughs)
200g squid tubes
250g scallops cleaned
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion chopped finely
1 celery stalk chopped finely
1 carrot chopped finely
2 small garlic cloves diced finely
1 fennel bulb trimmed and sliced thinly
250g chopped tomatoes
handful of italian parsley chopped finely
1/2 cup of dry white wine
pinch of cayenne pepper

2 cups of white rice

Heat oil in a medium sized casserole pot over the stove top.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, fennel, garlic, tomatoes and cayenne pepper and stir through.  Then add slowly the shellfish/fish stock.  Add the white wine and the parsley and cook on a medium heat slowly for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally. Top up with water if the stock gets too low.

Cook the rice for ten minutes in boiling water when ready to serve.  Place the rice in small bowls for ten minutes and flatten the top then you can flip them over when ready into a bowl and spoon the soup around the rice mound.  

In a fry pan place some oil and a little butter and cook the scallops and calamari for around 3 minutes on each side.  Then turn heat off.

Place a few scallops and calamari onto the top of the rice mounds in little bowls and ladle extra soup around the top of each.

Serve with crusty ciabatta bread.

Nov 14, 2014

Korean Beef

Serves 6 approx
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 hours

4 - 5 large scotch or porterhouse steaks diced into 3cm cubes
1 bunch green spring onions (white part diced in one bowl and green mid section diced in one bowl)
150g Korean Kalbi marinade (BBQ)
1/3 cup of Japanese Mirin seasoning ( i used Obento brand)
1/4 cup of light soy sauce
2 tablespoons of ginger paste

steamed rice to serve (optional)
toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

In a large fry pan place the diced beef and brown with some olive oil.

In a large slow cooking pot ( i used a spanish terracotta casserole pot for stove top on low heat) place the beef and the white part of the spring onions.  Then add the combined marinade of the Kalbi, Mirin, light soy sauce and ginger paste with 1/4 cup of water. Stir to combine and cover with a casserole lid.  Slow cook on a low heat for approx 5-6 hours for best results and beef will be tender.

Serve in some little polished bowls like these from Wheel and Barrow (https://www.wheelandbarrow.com.au/servingware/bowls/indian-bowl-copper-polished-17cm)

Thinly slice reserved green part of spring onions and garnish with these and some sesame seeds.

Sep 9, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore with easy polenta

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours

6 chicken thighs
6 chicken drumsticks
2 pieces of bacon diced
2 pieces of celery diced
1 carrot peeled and diced thinly
1 onion peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs rosemary
two sprigs of oregano
2 x 400g jars of tomato puree
2 jars of water to add to the sauce
salt and pepper (a shake or two)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 cup of Marsala wine


In a large deep fry pan place a little olive oil then add the celery, carrot, onion, mushrooms and bacon and gently cook for around 6 minutes.  Set aside.  Then in the fry pan add a little more oil and the chicken pieces cooking until browned.

When the chicken is browned nicely add the vegetable and bacon mix and add the tomatoes, all the herbs, water,  sugar, Marsala and the salt and pepper.

Cook in oven in a large casserole pot with lid for around 180 degrees Celsius for two hours making sure the liquid covers the chicken pieces.

Serve with some buttery polenta which I use 1 cup of polenta with two cups of water and a half a chicken stock cube and then add two tablespoons of organic butter.  Stir in a Teflon saucepan until blended for around 5 minutes and if too thick add a little more water then serve hot.

Jul 12, 2014

Red Snapper with carrot and spring onion and a hint of chilli

 Red Snapper is delicious!

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

I used a large cast iron baker which can be used on the stove top on the fish burner which is long (or you can use any good quality stove top fry pan which is flat based)
Lemon Olive oil
Virgin Olive oil 
6 pieces of fresh Red Snapper boned and scaled (best quality fish monger)
1 cup of rice flour
1 cup of corn flower
shake of peppercorn
shake of chilli flakes (alter to your liking or omit)
freshly grounded pink rock salt
2 Spring onions sliced thinly white end only up to light green area
1 carrot peeled then curl into large slithers

Prepare your fish by placing in a large mixing bowl the rice flour, corn flower, peppercorn, chilli flakes and a little rock salt.  Blend through and coat each piece of fish in the flour rolling on both sides thoroughly. Place each piece on a large plate and set aside.

In a large cast iron baker or stove top fry pan place around 1 cm deep of a mixture of the olive oils 50/50 and a handful of the carrot and spring onion.  Turn the heat up to medium heat and when it starts to sizzle place the fish into the baker skin side down first.  Turn heat up a little more as fish in cast iron cooks beautifully and fairly quickly.  Around 6 minutes turn over and cook other side. 

 Place the carrot and spring onion pieces on top of the fish so not to burn and the flavors of the onion and carrot melts into the fish.  Cook for around 6 minutes til perfection white and firmness and then add to your serving plates with a side salad of your choice.  

Shake some freshly ground pink salt onto the fish and enjoy!

Jul 8, 2014

Anzac Slice

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves around 10 people (depending on size of each slice)

1 cup of plain flour
2/3 cup of raw sugar
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of desiccated coconut

125g butter
1/4 cup of golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
2 teaspoons of boiling water (right at the time boil it)

Heat oven to around 160 degrees Celsius with fan force on.

Line two baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl place the flour, sugar, oats and coconut.  Make a small well in the centre. Set aside.

In a saucepan melt the butter with the golden syrup. Turn heat down low.  In a glass measuring cup place the bicarbonate of soda, add the boiling water quickly and stir and then quickly add to the butter and syrup on the stove heat.  Mix quickly increasing heat to get a foamy mixture then turn heat off and add to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until mixture is all mixed.

Pour mixture into a medium baker for the oven.  Bake for around 20 minutes and check regularly to see if it needs a little longer as heat varies in ovens.

The slice needs to be cooled down and cut when it begins to go cold.

Hint: 1 minute oats are quite suitable for this recipe as an alternative to packet oats.

Jul 7, 2014

King George Whiting with thyme and lemon

Serves : 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

4 medium sized King George Whiting fresh fillets
1/2 cup of cornflower sieved, 1/2 cup of plain flower sieved then mix together in a bowl
1 lemon
1 tablespoon of thyme herbs dried
2 tablespoons of pure butter
4 tablespoons of lemon infused olive oil
Pink rock salt grinded to garnish
1 Lemon cut up in wedges

Turn oven onto 150 degrees on fan forced.

Mix the flour mixture with the thyme herb in a large bowl.  Place each fish piece individually into the bowl and coat thoroughly.  Then get a large fry pan with the lemon olive oil and a little of the butter and fry each one on the stove top for approx 5 minutes each side.  Move to a large dish into the hot oven to keep warm while you cook each piece.  Garnish with lemon and the rock salt and serve with a Caesar salad for a gorgeous light meal.

Jun 30, 2014

Easy Paella

Preparation Time: ;10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves 6

olive oil for cooking
2 cups of fresh chicken stock  (a little extra may be required)
1 1/2 cups of white rice (i use long grain)
1 small red onion diced
1/2 small red capsicum chopped
3 pieces of bacon diced
1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads
1 garlic clove chopped finely
1/4 cup of chopped tomato
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of peas
salt and pepper
1 chorizo thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley finely chopped
24 fresh raw tiger prawns (shelled and deveined)
1 chicken breast cut into cubes
100g white fish (i use rockling) diced
100g fresh calamari cut into fine rings

In a large bowl place the rice and the chicken stock with the saffron threads and stir a little then let it sit for ten minutes so the saffron starts to infuse into the rice.

Heat a little olive oil in a large fry pan or electric wok.  Add the diced chicken and cook for around 5 minutes or until cooked.  Place chicken aside in a covered bowl. Then cook the fish, calamari and prawns in a fry pan with a little oil for around 5 minutes until cooked and set aside in another bowl.

In your pan/wok add the bacon, capsicum, onion, cayenne, tomato, garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.  Then add the chorizo, peas, parsley and a little shake of salt and pepper.  Add the rice and saffron stock mixture and mix well.

Bring to the boil slowly and then reduce the heat to low simmering for around 10 minutes.  Add more stock if you need to so it cooks the rice.  Add the chicken, prawns, calamari and fish to the top of the rice and push down gently . Cook for another 3 - 5 minutes until the rice is tender.

Serve in bowls with extra parsley on top.

The freshest seafood make the best paella.  If you like mussels you can cook some in a little white wine and onion first and wait until they open. Discard any unopened ones.  Set aside the cooked mussel in the liquid and add to your rice at the part where you add the seafood.

May 13, 2014

Singapore noodles

Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

250g vermicelli
2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons of madras curry paste or powder
2cm ginger peeled and grated
1 cup of chicken stock
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
10g of Porcini dried
1 tablespoon of sambal oelek
2 sticks of celery sliced and leaves reserved
2 long green chillies sliced
1 small roast chicken, cut into small pieces with no bones
1 red capsicum seeded and diced
6 shallots cut into 5cm pieces
1 cup of bean sprouts
400g cooked prawns, peeled and deveined, tails
1/4 cup of oyster sauce
300g  Chinese BBQ pork (if you can find it)

Place the vermicelli in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside with a lid.

Heat some of the olive oil or vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the curry paste/powder, half the ginger and half the garlic.  Cook for two minutes.  Then add the soy, sambal oelek and the chicken stock. Bring to the boil for around 5 minutes.  Turn off heat then set aside.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and add the other half of the garlic and ginger.  Then add mushrooms, celery, chillies and capsicum.  Cook for 5 minutes until softened then add the liquid curry mixture with the shallots and vermicelli.  Cook until mixture liquid absorbs a little then add in the bean sprouts, chicken pieces, pork and prawns.  Add the oyster sauce at the end and mix through.  Top with some celery leaves and serve.

May 12, 2014

Lamb and date Tagine

Serves approx 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours

1kg Lamb diced
1 teaspoon of oil
1 small red onion chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
2 large tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
400g sweet potato peeled and diced up
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups of beef
8 fresh dates pitted and halved
Couscous make as per pack instruction
Coriander leaves

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook lamb meat in two batches until brown and set aside.

In a saucepan cook the onion for two minutes til softened.  Add paprika, cumin and a dash of honey.  Add the sweet potato and cook for another five minutes slowly then add the stock with the cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil and add dates.

Slowly add the lamb meat and then transfer into a 1.5 litre tagine on stove top on a slow simmering heat or you can cook in a casserole dish covered with foil or a lid and placed in an oven at temperature 160 degrees celcius.  Check the water level is always over the meat for the first hour in oven. Remove the cinnamon stick after the first hour.

Cook for 2-3 hours slowly and then serve with the cous cous and top with coriander leaves.

You can always top with almond flakes if you desire.

Mar 24, 2014

Amazing Lamb Ragu !!

Serves around 6 people as a sauce over any type of pasta
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours simmer minimum for maximum flavor if possible

One stick of celery grated 
1 small clove of garlic finely chopped
Half a brown onion chopped finely
Olive oil for pan
5 Lamb Sausages (i used coles brand with thyme and fennel) 
1 can of tomatoes with one can of water
Basil leaves fresh (handful of leaves)
1/2 chicken stock cube

In a deep fry pan place some olive oil and add the garlic, onion, celery and simmer gently until beginning to become opaque.  Then add the inners of the sausages discarding the casings.  Using a large wooden spoon break the meat down gently and keep cooking on a medium heat adding more oil if it gets a little dry.

Add the tomatoes and the can of water, the stock cube, basil leaves and stir gently.  

Cook gently simmering for 2-3 hours for a very soft meat and full flavour and serve over pastas for example : fettuccine, penne, spaghetti etc... amazing...  delicious!!! 

Feb 27, 2014

French Lentil vegetable soup with a hint of chilli

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup French lentils soaked and drained
250ml of vegetable or chicken stock
50ml water
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1/2 red chilli cut in large pieces
1 potato peeled and diced in small squares
1 small carrot peeled and diced finely
1 small baby bok choy

Place chicken stock, water and lentils into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, add the chilli, potato, carrot and bok choy and stir through gently as bok choy will need to wilt down (break down smaller pieces if does not fit the pot).  Test the soup to your desired salt levels.

Cook the soup for around 30 minutes simmering.  Serve with crusty bread and butter. Delicious!!

Feb 9, 2014

Beef Braised and oven baked in a savoury casserole

Serves approx 6 people
Preparation and cooking Time: 2.5 hours

 500g topside roast
250g chopped beef pieces
2 garlic cloves halved
4 sprigs of rosemary
8 -10 slices of proscuitto
10 mushrooms halved
1 carrot chopped
1 onion chopped
2 potatoes chopped
1 cup red wine
1 tin tomatoes (if you like more tomato based)
1 packet of savoury casserole seasoning (any brand as per pack instructions)
this particular one is a hot pot one which requires approx 1 1/2 cups of water

Place the beef in a hot fry pan and seal on medium heat until brown.  Then place into a large casserole dish set aside.  Add the chopped vegetables (add any extras you desire). 

Place the topside roast on a large chopping board and make small incisions in four areas of the beef and insert the garlic cloves and then four more on the underside insert the rosemary sprigs.  Place a strip of proscuitto over the beef and wrap around and around to make a covering over the beef. 

Place this covered beef into the fry pan and seal with a medium heat. Sear until golden brown and well sealed.  Move this sealed beef into to the casserole pot and place into the centre adding the wine and water and (i used hot pot brand) savoury based dry ingredients.  Make sure all vegetables surrounding the beef and that the water level is half way up the meat piece.  Then place lid on and place in a 180 degree celsius oven fan forced for around 2 -  2 1/2 hours.

When ready remove from oven and take the roast meat from the centre and slice with sharp carving knife.  Place the casserole juice, vegetables, meat and slices of the roast beef into large serving bowls.  Enjoy with crusty fresh bread.

Feb 2, 2014

Spicy Vegetable and Lamb Couscous

 Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Olive oil for each frypan (2)
1 small red chilli diced finely
1 white end of leek diced up finely
1 teaspoon of cumin ground
1 teaspoon of turmeric
shake of black pepper
1 sweet potato peeled and diced
500 ml vegetable stock
1 zuccini diced
1 bunch of broccolini (just the florets)
1 small tomato diced
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of thyme

400g lamb diced
6 pitted dates chopped
1 cup of vegetable stock
shake of black pepper
1 teaspoon of moroccan spice

1 cup instant couscous
30 g butter
1 cup of hot vegetable stock

 Add a little oil to a frypan and add the lamb pieces, dates, vege stock, pepper and moraccan spice. Simmer on medium heat on stovetop making sure to add stock to just cover the meat. This makes a gorgeous thick sweet lamb after around 30 min simmering.  

To make the vegetables place some oil in a deep frypan and add the chilli, leek, cumin and turmeric and cook til leek is slightly opaque.  Then add the sweet potato and half the vegetable stock and simmer.  Add the broccoli florets, tomato, parsley and thyme and simmer uncovered for around 20 minutes (or until vegetables are tender). Add stock as required .

Make the couscous by placing the couscous grains in a large glass bowl and place butter and hot vegetable stock over the cous cous.  Leave to absorb for around 5 minutes then fluff gently with a fork to separate the grains.

To serve place Couscous in serving bowl then place vegetables and meat on top or you can mix meat into vegetables first then onto couscous.  Delicious food!

Oct 14, 2013

Pavlova filled with cream and fresh fruits

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes one medium sized pavlova shell serves 4 approx
Cooking Time: 40 - 50 minutes on low heat 110 degrees celcius

6 egg whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup triple or double cream
shake of white vinegar
fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit or what is fresh in season to dress over the pavlova

Preheat the oven for 110 degrees celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat the egg whites at room temp (or if not place a bowl of hot water underneath to warm them up while beating) until soft peaks form.  This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 minutes.  Start to add the sugar and test the sweetness to your liking.  Sometimes 1/2 a cup of sugar is enough.

Shake a little white vinegar into the mix at the end which will gloss up the mix and beat through quickly for around 1 minute, stop beating and pour the glossy blob onto the baking paper.

Form into a tall tower and hollow the centre.  Place in fan forced oven for around 40-45 minutes. Check this after 30 minutes as it may need a little longer.

When the meringue is dark and looks ready turn off the heat and let sit in oven for a little while longer (say 10 minutes).  Then remove place on large plate.

Add your cream and fresh fruits and enjoy!!


Aug 6, 2013

Chicken honey chilli with broccoli on vermicelli

Note: This recipe serves one so adjust to the amount you are serving

1 portion of rice noodle (vermicelli) soaking in boiling water
200g diced chicken (best quality hormone free chicken)
2 teaspoons of sweet chilli sauce
4 teaspoons of honey
small pinch of dried garlic
1 tablespoon of water
1 cup broccoli florets pre steamed in microwave
Cashews for top (optional)

Mix the chilli sauce, honey, garlic and water in a small cup and blend into the chicken pieces.

Set a large fry pan on your stove top and add a little olive oil.  Heat on low heat and add the chicken with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes stirring with wooden spoon.  When the chicken is cooked add the broccoli and just through gently with wooden spoon.

Drain vermicelli and place into a bowl and arrange the chicken with broccoli and cashews if desired.

Jul 2, 2013

Lamb and Rosemary pie

Makes one medium sized pie in a glass pie dish
Preparation Time: 10 minutes approx
Cooking Time: 15 minutes for contents and then 40 minutes approx in oven when ready to bake

Use frozen puff pastry from supermarket for the lid. Follow the directions on the pack.

To make the meat inside the pie:

700g lamb shoulder meat from butcher diced (must be shoulder as its the soft meat)
1 onion diced roughly
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock (this can vary so add more if its too dry)
50g sachet of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon of fresh garden rosemary chopped fine
Optional use of Moroccan seasoning on the meat while cooking ( i use a pinch)
Handful of dates chopped (optional)

Place the lamb meat in a fry pan with a little low fat butter or oil and cook in batches until brown. Set aside and then cook the onion until soft in the same pan and add the cornflour with the stock, paste, sauce and wine. Add dates chopped if you like with additional Moroccan spices.

Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes then add the lamb meat and cook for a further 40 minutes until thickened.

Pour meat mix into the pie dish and let the meat cool for around  10 - 20 minutes then you can place your pastry lid on and glaze pie lid with a little beaten egg.

Make a little hole in the lid somewhere so the heat can escape while cooking.  Bake for around 40 minutes on 180 degrees celsius fan forced.  Check often with your oven as some may cook faster. Cover with foil if over browning.

This pie can be prepared a day ahead and placed in fridge until ready to cook and eat.