Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Lamb, Spinach & Egg Meatloaf

We fancy a meatloaf once in a while but also love lamb, so this seemed like a perfect combo. A Persian-style polpettone!

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
450g lamb mince
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup fruit chutney

2 cups spinach leaves
3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Mix onion, garlic, lamb mince, cumin, breadcrumbs, egg and chutney. On a piece of baking paper, spread mince mixture evenly into a rectangle. Place spinach leaves evenly over the mince. Mix hard-boiled eggs with the mayonnaise, curry powder and salt and pepper, and spread on top of the spinach. Roll up meat and filling from the long side. Bake for 1 hour at 180C.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cherry Raspberry Pie

I've been thinking pie since last night and wondering what I could make from what I have in the house. Half a bag of frozen raspberries and a jar of cherries will work for this pie.

Ingredients for filling
package of frozen raspberries, thawed
2 cups pitted canned pie cherries in juice
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

I'm using my mix in the dish pie crust for this one.

Drain the thawed raspberries, reserve the liquid in a measuring cup. Drain the cherries and add enough of the cherry juice to the raspberry juice to make 1/2 cup. In a sauce pan mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cherries and the cup of juice. Over a medium heat bring to a simmer and cook for approx 5 minutes. The mixture should be somewhat thick and clear. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is melted and incorporated. Then gently fold in the raspberries. Put the filling into the pie crust. Cook at 350° and bake for another approx 50 minutes.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting Ready for Xmas

Living in Australia, I'm learning to take joy in the small traditions I can claim as my own during the Christmas season. You see, this Chicago native is having a very hard time adjusting to Christmas in the sun. Last year on Boxing Day, I closed the curtains, put on Christmas movies, and pretended it wasn't warm out. Christmas eve and day had just about killed my holiday spirit, so it was time to get back to basics. This year, on top of the Wassail and Rum cake I made last year, I'm going to make a few of the meals my family traditionally makes for Chrissie. Xmas eve we'll be having homemade pizzas.

"Red" pizza
Spread some pizza sauce on crust (jar or can from the store)
Add pepperoni slices and any other ingredients you desire
Top with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella and some romano cheese
Bake according to directions on pizza dough

"White" pizza
Spread crust with olive oil
Spread diced garlic on top
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, perhaps a little oregano
Top with mozzarella (not as thick as you do on the red pizza; more like a sprinkling)
Bake according to directions on pizza dough

On Boxing Day, pasta!

Baked Ziti
1 pound of ziti
1 cup grated Romano (or Parmesan if that's what you like, or half and half)
2 cups grated mozzarella
16 oz fresh ricotta (if you can't get this use a 15 oz container from supermarket)
1/4 cup fresh or 1 TBS dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Put all the above in a bowl and mix it up - except for the pasta. Cook pasta very al dente - almost to the point of being hard as it will cook more when you bake it. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan, add a bunch of sauce to it and mix it up. Then add cheese, spice, and egg mixture and mix it all up.

In the bottom of a lasagna pan, or other large pan (13x9) pour 2 ladels of sauce, or as much as it takes to liberally coat the bottom of the pan. Then add more sauce to the pasta mixture so it's really moist because after it's baked the sauce will soak into the pasta, making it dry, mix it up and put it inot the pan you coated with sauce. Pour more sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese (mozzarella or romano or parmesan - whatever you have) cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes at 350F. When you serve it you can always add more sauce and cheese.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes with Best-Ever Mushroom Sauce

This is (finally) a healthy way to have scalloped potatoes. I just love recipes that mimic a heart-attack inducing white sauce.

Best-ever mushroom sauce
Salt & Pepper

Slice potatoes thinly, then layer 1/2 on bottom of casserole dish. Top with dabs of butter, salt and pepper. Cover with 1/2 of mushroom sauce, then repeat. Bake in 180 oven for 60 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and potatoes are tender.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Best-Ever Mushroom Sauce

I'll be using this in the (upcoming) scalloped potatoes recipe from the same blog, but also think it would be lovely on steak, or mixed into pasta.

Onion, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Lemon Juice
Yogurt (approx 1 cup)
Sea Salt

Melt butter, then add onion and saute until cooked through. Add mushrooms and saute, covered, until cooked about halfway (still slightly plump), then add yogurt, lemon juice and salt. Bring to simmer and let cook, covered, about 30 minutes, or until thickened. Add pepper at end.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baked Home Fries with Yogurt Sauce

It's been cold here, work has been busy, and I've been super lazy about cooking as a result, but I'm finally trying some new recipes. The Wednesday Chef can always be trusted for easy, tasty recipes, so I'm trying her recommendation for fried potatoes with yogurt sauce, although changing it up a bit.

Olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons crumbled Greek feta cheese
2 to 3 tsp Dijon mustard
Pepper (I used close to a tablespoon)
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

Slice potatoes into shape and size you desire, sprinkle with thyme then toss in olive oil. Bake until crispy and cooked through. Combine the yogurt, feta, mustard and pepper. Add the vinegar and stir well, until creamy. Use the sauce to dip!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

This was so good I'm never getting Chinese take away again;) I didn't use specific measurements.

Peanut Oil
Sesame Oil
Garlic Powder
Oyster Sauce
Fish Sauce
Beef strips

Heat peanut oil in wok on high, then add beef and stir-fry until browned. Remove beef and set aside. Add sesame oil to wok, then add broccoli and garlic powder and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, then add water and oyster sauce and bring to boil. Simmer until sauce thickens, then add in cooked beef and fish sauce. Mix well and serve over rice.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beef Goulash

I think sour cream just makes everything that much better, and so long as you aren't ingesting it on a regular basis, all is good.

Canola oil
1/2 kg diced beef
3 large onions, chopped
1 tsp salt
1.5 tbspn paprika
1 c beef stock
1 tbspn tomato paste
1 tbspn flour (optional, to thicken)
1/2 c sour cream

Heat oil and brown beef (*option to flour, salt & pepper beef beforehand so as to retain more flabour). Remove beef and add more oil, then add onions and saute until soft and golden. Return meat to pot and add salt, paprika, stock and tomato paste. Bring to simmer and let cook for about an hour or until the meat is tender, then add in sour cream before serving. Serve over mash or noodles.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Aunt Rose's Spinach Pie

My Aunt Rose was a fantastic cook. This is a simple recipe, but I wish I had some more of her more complicated ones. My mom sent it to me this week in hopes it would be something soft and edible, until I get my teeth fixed, so will give it a go tonight.

1 (16 oz.) tub cottage cheese
1 cup shredded cheese (whatever you have on hand)
1 pkg (10 oz.) chopped spinach (frozen)
3 eggs
2 tbspns flour
2 tbspns melted butter
½ cup chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and put in a greased pie plate.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for an hour.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coffee, Rum & Raisin Meringue 'Roll'

Obviously, I didn't get the roll part right. I'm a meringue novice, so it ended up at the bottom of the plate, which was still good.
3 egg whites
2/3 cup caster sugar (I totally screwed up because I often forget to read instructions fully, and used icing sugar, which made a nice glossy meringue but it tasted a bit eggy)
2 tbspn rum
1/2 c raisins
2 tsp powdered instant coffee, plus extra to dust
300ml thickened cream
2 tbspn icing sugar, plus extra to dust
**I also had some powdered chocolate that I used as a topping and to dust the plate
For filling, combine rum & raisins in bowl. Cover and stand for 1 hour. Dissolve coffee in 1-2 tsp water. Add to raisin mix. With electric beater, mix together cream and icing sugar until firm peaks form. Stir in raisin mixture. Chill until required.
Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Line a baking pan with baking paper and using electric mixer, beat egg whites with pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tbspn at a time, beating constantly, until sugar dissolves and meringue is thick and glossy. Spread over pan and bake for 10 minutes, until just firm and browning slightly.
Invert meringue onto large dish (dust first with icing sugar) and top with rum and raisin mix. Dust with chocolate and coffee.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Part 3, Seafood Red Curry

1/4 cup water
1 medium onion, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp bottled red-curry paste
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
bok choy and other Asian veg, as preferred
1/2 kg seafood marinara
1 tablespoon fish sauce
rice, to serve

Cook onion in oil in a wok. Reduce heat, then add garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, salt, and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in vegetables and return to a boil. Cover pot, then reduce heat and cook at a brisk simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Gently stir in seafood and simmer curry, partially covered, until vegetables are tender and seafood cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in fish sauce and salt to taste. Serve curry with rice.

Part 2, Wok-Charred Long Beans w/Black Olives

This can also be served as an appetiser or main.

1 kg fresh long beans or other green beans, tipped & tailed, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 tbspns peanut oil
1/2kg ground pork
1 1/2 tbspns minced garlic
1 1/2 tbspns minced fresh ginger
1 fresh, small, hot red chile, seeded and minced (or a jalapeno, again!)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbspns salted chicken stock
2 tbspns Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic)
1 tbspn soy sauce
1/2 cup halved, pitted dry-cured black olives

Blanch the beans: Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, immerse beans and boil them 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat wok over high heat. Add oil, then pork and fry, breaking into tiny bits. When pork has all lost its raw colour, stir in garlic, ginger, and chili; stir for a minute. Add green beans and stir fry for several minutes until just tender. Pour in the stock, vinegar and soy sauce and toss the beans until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Mix in the olives and heat through briefly.

Asian-style Tapas, part 1

It's hubs birthday weekend, so I decided to do up a few Asian/Pacific Island dishes. The first is Poisson Cru, or Tahitian Salad. It can be served as an appetiser or main,

1/2 kg fresh ahi tuna, diced into 1/2 in cubes
1/2 c fresh lime juice
1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c diced cucumber, sliced
4 to 5 scallions, green & white portions, split lengthwise and minced
1 fresh green or red chile, seeded and minced (optional, I am using a jalapeno from father-in-law's garden again)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional, I am using just a bit of dried shredded coconut)
3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium tomato, squeezed to eliminate liquid, and diced

Combine al ingredients but tomato and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Mix in tomato and serve straight away.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chana Pubjabi, with Liver

This could be a vegetarian main, but we had leftover liver, so thought it would be worth using. I'm using garam masala for the first time as well, and fresh jalapenos from the father-in-law's garden. Thank you Wednesday Chef!

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained

In medium saucepan, heat oil and saute onion until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and chili, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until tomatoes are very soft, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Purée mixture in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pan and place over medium heat. Add paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, coriander, the garam masala, turmeric and lemon juice. Add chickpeas and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

Cover and simmer until sauce is thick and chickpeas are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir pan about every 10 minutes, adding water as needed (up to 1 1/2 cups) to prevent burning. When ready to serve, sauce should be thick.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lamb & Barley Stew

Found another great recipe on Closet Cooking, and am going to change it up slightly to include some parsnips and squash. I'll also use the frozen diced lamb I have and see how it goes, instead of beef. A perfect start to the winter stew season, as we are soon to head into it here in Oz.

1/2 kg diced lamb
salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
carrots, diced
celery, cut up
parsnips, cut up
1/3 cup barley
1 cup red wine
beef stock
1 bay leaf

Season the meat by tossing in bag with flour, salt & ground pepper. Heat oil in a large pot. Add lamb and brown, then set aside. Heat more oil in the same pot, and add the onions, sauteing until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies saute for a few minutes. Add the barley and saute for a minute, then add the red wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Put the lamb back in the pot and pour in the beef stock until everything is covered. Add the bay leaves, and some additional salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour, or until meat and veg are tender.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sour Cream Apple Pie w/Mix in the Pan Pie Crust

So good it'll make you slap your momma! Seriously, this is one good pie. It's rich, and fruity, and the crust was flaky and perfect. Run, don't walk, to make it;)

Had a few apples and some leftover sour cream, so thought this was worth a go. I'd also seen a recipe for mix in the pan pie crust, so thought that was also worth trying, in place of the frozen yuck I have in the freezer. (The crust turned out so much better that I may need to toss the frozen stuff.)

Pie Crust

1 1/2 c Flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 c canola oil
2 tbspn milk

Mix flour, salt, and sugar in pie pan. Slowly add milk and oil. Mix well with a fork and pat out to fit pan. Bake at 350 until brown, usually about ten minutes.


3 tbspn unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. plus 2 tbspn sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbspn flour


1 1/3 c sour cream
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3 tbspn all-purpose flour
4 or 5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

To make the topping, in a bowl blend the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and flour until the mixture is combined well. Cover and chill the topping.

To make the filling, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, and flour until the mixture is smooth. Add the peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples and stir the filling and apples together.

Spoon the filling into the chilled shell and crumble the topping evenly over it. Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the middle of a pre-heated 350-degree oven, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. (You might need to put a bit of tinfoil on top of the pie during the last 15 minutes to prevent the top from burning.) Transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cantaloupe Shake

I got a large 1/2 cantaloupe yesterday for $1 at Central Market, so decided to make a cantaloupe shake, mmmmm....

1/2 cantaloupe
A few ice cubes
Honey, to taste

Mix it up in the blender. Drink before it separates. Very refreshing! Serves 2 very thirsty people, or 4 persons otherwise. This can be a breakfast meal.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fish in Tahini Sauce W/Roast Lemons

I only use my tahini for hummos, which I don't make that often, so I was pleased to see another recipe I could use it in. My trip to Central Market for veg isn't til next week, so I'm having to forego the onions in this one, at least this time around.

white fish fillets
salt, olive oil
3 lemons
1 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 cup water
2 large onions, thinly sliced
cilantro for serving

Preheat the oven to 200C. Rub fish with salt. Juice 2 of the lemons and slice the 3rd lemon. Combine tahini with the lemon juice and stir until the mixture is thick and lightened in color. Stir in the water to form a thin sauce. Lightly oil a baking dish and place the lemon slices in it. Place the fish over the lemon slices and rub with a little oil. Place the fish in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions in some oil until softened. Add the onions to the tahini sauce. After the twenty minutes, remove the fish from the oven, it should be thick and opaque. Pour the tahini sauce over the fish, scattering the onions on top (optional: reserve a little extra tahini to drizzle on before serving). Return the fish to the oven and bake another 30-35 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and is bubbling all over. Let cool before serving, with cilantro as garnish.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chickpea Salad

Trying to go veggie at least once a week, and also trying to use up leftover veg before I head to Central Market tomorrow, so this will be dinner tonight.

Carrots, sliced
Tomatoes, chopped
Kalamata olives
Capers (optional, will be on hubs half, not mine, as too salty)
Ground pepper
Dried oregano
Rice Vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Sesame oil

(Last three ingredients to be mixed for dressing)

Ham & Mushroom Crustless Quiche

1/2 onion, diced
1/2 c mushrooms
ham, cooked
4 large eggs
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
ground pepper, to taste
pinch cayenne pepper
herbs to taste (fresh dill and/or parsley, for example)
1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or other type of cheese)

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 10-inch quiche/tart pan (or a 9-inch pie plate). Saute onion and mushrooms with a bit of butter. Whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, salt & pepper. Whisk in milk, then stir in mushroom mixture and ham. Pour quiche into prepared pan. Top with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes (30-35 minutes in a pie plate), or until center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.
**Can also add in other veg (for example, asparagus or broccoli)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Less Boring Potatoes

Firstly, credit where credit is due. Slightly modified due to lack of or choice regarding ingrdients, but still good and simple enough. I love any kind of potato salad, and this fits in as a good side.

Potatoes, cooked & diced
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 tbspn capers
Spring onions, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbspn red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. In large bowl, mix potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, toss to coat, and roast until golden and crusty, about 30 minutes, in 200C oven.
2. In the meantime, combine in bowl the capers, green onions, mustard, vinegar, paprika, a bit of salt and pepper, and 2 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
3. When the potatoes are ready, add them to the bowl, toss gently to coat, and fold in the parsley. Taste for seasoning. Let cool to slightly warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chocolate Stout Cake w/Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting

I found just the thing to make for St. Paddy's Day, although I changed it up with Youngs Double Chocolate Stout (very lovely in it's own right) in place of the Guiness. And since I doubt I will be able to find shamrock sprinkles here in Oz without ordering them from USA Foods, some green food colouring made it's way into the frosting.

1 c unsalted butter
1 c stout
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c all purpose flour (or self-raising flour and no baking soda or salt)
2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 c sour cream

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, remove from heat and let cool a bit. Mix in the stout and cocoa powder. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix the eggs and sour cream in another large bowl. Mix the stout mixture into the egg mixture. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Pour the batter into one or two greased and parchment lined circular cake pan(s). Bake in a preheated 350F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean; about 20-30 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1 c confectioners sugar
3 tbspn Bailey’s Irish cream (or other brand, or some vanilla if you don't want to use Bailey's)
green food colouring or sprinkles to top!

Mix everything together. Frost cake when cooled.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Polpettone is described as 'the giant meatball' as well as an Italian meatloaf. It is basically a meatloaf with meatball seasoning added, sometimes cooked in the sauce before being baked, and filled with salami, cheese and hard-boiled eggs. I saw a few recipes, but made up my own, based upon my meatloaf recipe and meatball seasonings.

1 kg beef mince
4 slices salami
3 hard boiled eggs
shredded cheese (I used colby as that is what I had, although I'd prefer mozzarella)
basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, to taste (I used dried but will be using fresh in the future when I start my herb garden, and may add rosemary as well, but didn't have any)
packet french onion soup mix
bbq sauce

Mix beef mince with seasonings (including onion soup mix), in a large bowl. (You can add breadcrumbs and an egg if you have less meat, or simply prefer it this way. Some ground pepper probably wouldn't go amiss either, but you definitely don't need salt.) Spread meat flat on counter or wax paper and place slices of salami, overlapping, in the middle. Top salami with some shredded cheese. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and place on top of cheese, then roll up the meatloaf. Cover meatloaf in a decent layer of bbq sauce, then bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, on 180C.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Baked Oatmeal

Been wanting to try a baked oatmeal for some time now, as I figure I could make it in bulk, then eat it for the next few days---easy brekky. I slightly modified this recipe.

1 c large flake oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch each of ground cloves, nutmeg, cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
2 T maple syrup
1 T dessicated unsweetened coconut
1 c milk
2/3 c juice
2 T chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 170C. In a large bowl, combine everything. Using oil or margarine, grease up a casserole dish and then dump in oatmeal mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Old-Time Beef Stew

This is one of my favs that my mom makes, and it is pretty much straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which come to think of it, I have to, so I didn't need to get her to email it to me...oops;)

2 pounds diced beef
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, sliced
1 or 2 bay leaves
Ground sea salt & pepper
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp paprika
Dash ground allspice or cloves
6 carrots, chopped
4 potatoes, chopped
1 pound small white onions (optional)

Flour, salt & pepper diced beef. Saute onion il oil. Thoroughly brown meat in 2 tablespoons hot shortening or oil. Add 2 cups hot water and rest of ingredients, minus veg. Cover, simmer 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Remove bay leaves and garlic. Add vegetables. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Serves 6 to 8.

Personal Note: Mom likes to mix up some biscuits and drop on top of stew for the last 10 mins or so to serve along with the stew.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fish w/Olive, Tomato & White Wine

Yes again I should have taken a picture but I was just to keen to begin eating.

2 fish fillets (whatever you like)
olive oil
white wine
1 small onion, diced
1 large head of garlic, diced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
12 kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise

In one pan, heat up some olive oil, then fry fish a few minutes on each side or until cooked through. In the other, heat some olive oil and saute onion and garlic a couple of minutes, then add tomatoes and olives, as well as a healthy dash or two of white wine. Cook through (simmer for about 5 minutes) then place fish on plate and top with tomato, olive & wine mix.

Mash, on the side
3 large red potatoes
ranch salad dressing
sea salt & pepper, ground
fresh dill

Boil potatoes and using hand masher, mix other ingredients in.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Concord Grape Pie

Just as I am about to head off overseas the grapes in the backyard are looking mighty ripe and plentiful. Good thing hubs mentioned to me that he was planning on cutting down the grape vines while I was gone! I showed him the above picture of grape pie from Food & Spice and he was all for just slightly trimming them instead. My plan is to freeze as many of the grapes as I can fit in the freezer and defrost later to use in a few recipes. I love crumble toppings so much better than traditional pie so this one is a must try. My pics will follow in a few weeks!
4 1/2 c of Concord grapes
1 c of sugar
1/4 c flour
2 tsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
1/8 tsp salt
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell

Streusel Topping
1/2 c of oats
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 c of butter, melted
Dash or two of cinnamon
Splash or two of vanilla

Squeeze the end of each grape opposite the stem to separate the skins from the pulp. Set the skins aside in a medium-sized bowl. Put the pulp in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Press the boiled pulp through a strainer to remove the seeds. Add the seedless pulp to the bowl with the grape skins, along with the sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt. Stir well to combine. Transfer the mixture to the (pre-baked) pastry shell.
To make the topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

My mother-in-law gave us the biggest zucchini I have ever seen this weekend, along with some homegrown tomatoes. Picture a normal green zucchini, but about a foot long and twice as thick as a Subway sandwich. She told me to stuff it with onion, bacon, tomato and cheese, so I change it up a bit. I cut it in half lengthwise and scooped out the junk in the middle, then rubbed some olive oil on the inside and sprinkled salt, pepper and basil over. Next I cut up 1/2 a red onion, diced 4 tomatoes, and placed that in. I baked it on about 180-200C for about an hour. When it was cooked I shut the oven off and topped with some tasty cheese, although I think mozzarella would also do. I will attempt to take a pic of the leftover one tomorrow, although as you know, I'm very slack on the photos.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Peach & Nectarine Crumble

My mother-in-law gave us a huge bag of fresh picked peaches and nactarines this weekend, so I decided to make a crumble. You can fit more fruit into this, since you can use any size baking dish, and I didn't feel like making two pies. This is a loose recipe, so you have to determine your own amounts. I used the same ingredients for the filling as I did for my apricot pie, and based the crumble topping on a few different recipes. The topping was really really lovely, without being too sweet.

Fruit, cut into 4-6 slices per piece depending on size (In this case about 6 peaches and 10 small nectarines)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice, preferably fresh

Mix lemon juice with fruit. Whisk dry ingredients together, then gently mix into fruit. Add to baking dish.

Crumble Topping
Coconut, shredded
Cinnamon, ground
Ginger, ground
Butter, a little bit, melted

Like I said, you have to sort out your own amounts of the above and get the mix right. Mix all the dry ingredients together than add a splash of vanilla and mix in the melted butter. It shouldn't be too moist but not dry either. Top fruit with mix and bake on about 170C/350F for 45 minutes or so, until fruit is completely soft. Enjoy warm or cold. It's fine on it's own. You don't need any custard or ice cream with this one.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Roasted Broccoli with Prawns

I made the above last night (photo courtesy of The Wednesday Chef). I also added some seafood extender, and mixed it up slightly different than this recipe.

1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt (might try sea salt next time)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot chili powder
1/4 kg prawns, shelled and deveined
1/4 kg seafood extender
juice from 1/2 lemon
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 160C. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin, dash or two of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and chili powder. Place broccoli onto 2 non-stick baking sheets .In the same bowl, combine prawns and seafood extender, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, dash or two of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Roast for 10 minutes. Add shrimp & seafood extender to baking sheet and toss with broccoli. Roast until shrimp are just opaque and broccoli is tender and golden around edges, about 5 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Passionfruit Cake

Steve brought home 7 passionfruits from work Friday, so I decided to make something with them, especially as they wouldn't last long in this heat. I did a quick on-line search and found this recipe for passionfruit cake. It's really amazing, so I may need to try more from Amanda.

3 eggs
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c self-raising flour
1/2 c passionfruit pulp (about 3 fruits)

1/3 c butter (75 grams)
2 c icing sugar
4 passionfruit

Separate eggs. Beat yolks and sugar together, gradually add flour and passionfruit pulp.The mix will be very dry. Beat egg whites stiff with a clean beater. Gently fold into the mixture (will be moist now). Bake 40 mins at about 160C.

Beat butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add icing sugar and passionfruit pulp.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Coconut Rice Pudding

As if the Chicken in Heart Attack Sauce wasn't enough, I had a craving for rice pudding, which I haven't had in ages. It was my favourite dessert as a child.

1 1/2 c rice, cooked
1 c coconut milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c sugar

Place rice, coconut milk, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens.

*Optional toppings: shredded coconut and cream

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sticky Rice with Mango

This is a simplified recipe. I haven't had sticky rice in ages, but it's lovely and easy.

1 cup rice (Thai sweet rice if you can find it)
400 ml water
1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 c coconut cream
mango, peeled and sliced

Steam rice. Mix coconut cream and sugar in pot and heat through but do not overcook or you will lose the flavour of the coconut cream. Take off heat and mix in rice.

Note: can be served hot or cold and there are versions with coconut milk if you would like a lighter version

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sweets: Soul Food Desserts and Memories

I recently did a review on Patty Pinner's other book, Sweety Pies. If you like that one, you will also love Sweets: Soul Food Desserts and Memories. It's just as good but rather than only containing pie recipes it also has recipes for cakes, puddings and the like. The stories that come along with all of the recipes are delightful, and make the sweets seem that much more appealing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kangaroo Salad with Beetroot, Orange, Parsnips & Blue Cheese

This is as simple as it sounds.

Kangaroo Fillets, cooked and sliced
1 Can Beetroot
1 Orange, sliced
2 Parsnips, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Blue Cheese, crumbled

Sesame Seed Oil
Rice Vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Soy Sauce

I'm not sure you even need directions!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I found this on Adelaide Now (a fantastic site by the way) and it might have to be given a try, as the margarita mixes I usually get are quite shocking actually. I miss Lalo's!

45ml tequila
15ml Cointreau or triple sec
10ml fresh lime or lemon juice

Salt-frost the rim of a cocktail glass.
Shake the ingredients together well then strain into the prepared glass.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crockpot Kangaroo Chili

I love chili and make it differently each time, using different meats and different versions of veggie chilis, so when I saw a recipe for kangaroo chili I had to try it out. I've modified it to my taste and to make it slightly more robust. This chili is sweet, spicy, and smokey. It's a rich one, but a goodie.

1. Fry 3-4 slices bacon, non-stick pan (set aside)
2. Fry 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic in bacon grease
3. Add 1/2 kg kangaroo mince and 1 red and 1 orange capsicum/bell pepper
4. Add chili powder, cayenne and cumin, to taste
5. Cook until mince is browned
6. Put the lot in a crock pot, along with:
  • 2 cans spicy chili beans (or regular beans doctored up with spices if you can't find spicy chili beans: kidney, pinto, mixed)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 bottle of beer (any type, to taste--half for the cook and half for the pot)
  • 2-3 tbsp Vegemite, or to taste, but do not overdo it (you can do without it you can't find this in the US)
  • 1 big squeeze of maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 big squeezes BBQ sauce (must be American, preferably a nice mesquite)

Cook on low for 3 hours or so, and serve topped with some grated cheddar and sour cream, as well as come crusty bread (homemade beer bread if you have the time).

**Kangaroo, if you didn't know is a very lean, healthy meat which is similar to steak as a fillet and much tastier than ground beef/mince.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Japanese Curry

Yet another recipe hoisted from Closet Cooking, but oh so good...too good, in fact, not to share. It's like a stew/curry that is slightly spicey as well as slightly sweet.

1 tablespoon oil
1 pound (1/2 kg) diced beef
2 onions (chopped)
1 sweet potato (grated, in food processor preferably)
carrots (cut up)
2 potatoes (cut up)
1 sweet apple (grated)
1 tablespoon honey
1 box Japanese curry roux

1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
2. Brown beef on all sides.
3. Set beef aside.
4. Add onions and saute until soft.
5. Add the beef and cover in water.
6. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is fall apart tender, about 1 hour.
7. Add carrots, potatoes, apple, honey and curry roux.
8. Cover in water.
9. Stir until the curry roux is fully dissolved.
10. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Serve over rice

Friday, January 02, 2009

Plum Clafoutis

I was just watching the birds knocking some plums off the tree so decided I should try and find one more recipe. Awful timing to have to sort out sweets recipes as we're not yet done with all the xmas goodies!

6 tbsp caster sugar
14 ripe plums, halved and pitted
3 eggs
1 1/4 c low-fat milk
3/4 c plain flour
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190 C. Butter pie dish and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar over the bottom. Arrange the plum halves, cut side down, so that they cover the entire bottom of the pie dish. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of sugar over the top of the plums.
In a blender, combine the remaining sugar, eggs, milk, flour, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour over the fruit in the pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

P.S. Make sure it's cooked before you take it out of the oven...otherwise, it will fall:( I almost had a gorgeous pic for you, but I took it out too soon.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Crockpot Stewed Plums

Seems to be many ways to stew plums, although I do think I will go with the crockpot and a simple recipe.

3 pounds (1.5 kg) Ripe Plums
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup water

Halve plums and put in crock pot. Add the sugar, cinnamon and water. Put on the lid of the crock pot and cook on low for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Plums will be soft but maintain their shape. Cook on high if you prefer them to be a mushier texture. I think I'll do some of each, since I have so many freakin plums!
*Freeze for later use.

Plum Pie

I'm going to be making about 10 of these unless I can figure out some other plum recipes;) Our tree is ready to pick (I even caught the neighbour behind us helping herself!) and there are loads, despite half of them already falling to the ground.

4 c sliced plums
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie pastry

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp cold butter

1. In bowl, combine first 6 ingredients; pour into pastry shell.
2. For topping, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Cut in butter until coarse.
4. Sprinkle over plums.
5. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 60 minutes or until golden brown.