Monday, July 18, 2011

Prawn Risotto

My plan was to cook a seafood risotto last night, however my Dad isn't a fan of fish, so I decided to make Prawn Risotto instead. It was really nice but it would have been so much better if it had been made with a marinara mix.

Just after adding the saffron.

Prawns added.

I'm loving the yellow lusciousness that the saffron gives to the dish!

Serves 4
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1.25L fish stock
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 500g raw prawns, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to garnish
  1. Melt butter oil in a large, heavy-based fry pan over medium heat. 
  2. Cook the onion, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add garlic and rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to coat the grains. Add a ladleful of stock and stir until absorbed. Next, add wine and saffron, stir until absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 ladleful at a time, stirring and making sure each is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente. Add prawns and stir until cooked. Season and cook for 1 minute until heated through. Serve garnished with parsley.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Aunty's Asian Banquet

Whenever we have a family meal at my Nan and Aunty's place, my Aunty usually whips up an extremely delicious and tasty Asian dinner, which I always look forward to. She has always been interested in cooking Asian dishes, so I guess I may have inherited my interest from her, and she inspires me because she's always aiming to get her dishes as authentic as she can. (The meal was also served with steamed rice, which isn't pictured).

 Beef Rendang - slow-cooked for a night and day. It delivered the perfect amount of spice (for four of us anyway!)

 Fried Rice

 Malaysian Vegetable Lemak

Honey Chicken - this is one of my favourites, as I think that my Aunty adds lemon juice as well, creating a vibrant, tangy sauce.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chicken, Preserved Lemon and Pea Pasta

After 40 long days of preserving my lemon, today was the day I opened up the jar to use it in a dish I had been waiting to cook ever since. Upon opening the jar I discovered a beautiful lemon aroma like no other, as I pulled out half the lemon to use.

The actual lemon was slightly greasy, yet waxy, and the concentrated taste was so fresh and pungent. I was so pleased with the outcome and I'm now looking forward to preserving many more citrus fruits in the future! The meal was a success, measured in that everyone came back for seconds.

Unfortunately there were no chives available, so I substituted for parsley. When I make this dish again I would not use parsley as it was too overpowering. It would be best to leave the chives out, rather than add a different herb to compensate.

 Frangipani candle...nothing like some good wine and candlelight to help me get in the mood for cooking!

The preserved lemon out of the jar....

 Preserved lemon rind, diced.

Preserved lemon vs fresh lemon.

 A handful of parsley....

Served with parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 - 6

  • 1/2 barbecued chicken
  • 500g tagliatelle, spaghetti or fettucine
  • 1 cup frozen peas 
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated 
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tbs chopped preserved lemon rind (white pith and flesh discarded)
  • 80g pine nuts
  • Chives (I had to use parsley)
  • Grated parmesan, to serve
  1. Shred the barbecued chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water according to packet instructions,adding the peas for the final 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add lemon juice, preserved lemon, oil and garlic to a large pan. Stir over heat for 30 seconds. Add chicken, pine nuts and wine and cook down for 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the pasta and peas and add to the pan along with the parsely, tossing until well combined. Serve with parmesan.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rocket, Tomato and Parmesan Spaghetti

A simple, clean, fresh meal using bits and pieces from the fridge. I was pleasantly surprised with the robust taste, considering it contained no garlic or meat.

Serves 4 (large serves)

500g spaghetti
2 Tbs leftover sun-dried tomato oil
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 red onion, sliced into half rings
4 roma tomatoes, sliced roughly
50 grams rocket
1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to season

Cook pasta as per packet instructions, drain. Meanwhile, add both oils to large pot. Heat and fry the sun-dried tomatoes and onion until just soft. Add the tomatoes and stir for one minute. Add pasta and rocket until warmed through, season. Just before serving add the cheese and fold through.

Easy and delicious!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gorgonzola, Pear and Bacon Pasta

This pasta dish is amazing, and VERY rich, so don't under estimate it!

The best way to start a lazy afternoon....

Serves 4 - 6 (Easily 5)

500g pasta (I used tubular spaghetti)
1 Tbs oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 bacon rashers, sliced
2 pears, cored, peeled and chopped into small cubes/match sticks
1 cup white wine
300mL cream
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped in half
pepper, to season
parmesan cheese, grated, to serve

Cook pasta until al dente, drain. Meanwhile, fry oil, garlic, bacon, pear and wine; stirring until pear is soft.
Add cream and blue cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
Add pasta and walnuts and stir until well combined. Season with pepper, and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

This meal would be even better with rocket added when plating up.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Creamy Sweet Chilli Pasta with Peas and Broccoli

I designed this recipe myself, based on the fact that I only had $10 in my wallet and some broccoli in the freezer. I guess you could say this recipe is also inspired by a seafood pasta dish that I ordered whilst at a restaurant in Batemans Bay, NSW. I'm pretty confident that the 'creamy sweet chilli' sauce on that dish was simply an amalgamation of minced garlic, bottled sweet chilli sauce and cream.
Serves 4

500g pasta (I used tubular spaghetti)
1 Tbs oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 head broccoli
1 cup frozen peas
2-3 Tbs sweet chilli sauce (to your liking)
250mL cream
cheese of your choice

Boil pasta using packet directions. Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a large pot. Add broccoli and peas and cook until just tender, drain.
When al dente, drain pasta, and using same pot, stir fry oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add cream and sweet chilli sauce, and allow to thicken, stirring at all times. Add pasta, broccoli and pea and season. Warm through and serve, sprinkled with cheese of your choice.

Ingredients simmering in cream-based sauce.

....the added pasta.

Served with grated cheese....