Monday, April 30, 2012

So Simple Choc Chip Muffins

So easy! It took me just as much time to prepare and cook these muffins as a packet mix would.

(Makes 12)
  • 2 1/2 cups (375g) self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (190g) chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (310ml) skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Grease a 12 hole, 1/3 cup (80mL) muffin pan.

Combine flour, sugar and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Add combined butter, milk, egg and vanilla, mix well. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked.

I used oil spray to grease the muffin tin.

Dry mixture.

30 minutes later!

....and a heart shaped one for Zoe's birthday tomorrow!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Microwave Pea and Pesto Risotto

I couldn't believe how easy this was, and so delicious, however next time I would add half a cup cream whilst adding the pesto.

4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs oil
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 small jar basil pesto
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
extra parmesan, to serve

In a saucepan, heat the stock and wine until boiling. Meanwhile, in a microwave dish, combine the butter, oil and onion. Cook on high, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat, cook on high, uncovered, for 1 minute.

Add the stock to the rice mixture and stir to combine. Cover rice using a lid with a vent opening (or cover with cling wrap, making a slot with a knife at the top). Cook on medium for 16 - 18 minutes. Halfway through cooking, stir through peas. (Don't overcook risotto, as the risotto will continue to thicken and cook once you remove it from the microwave).

Stir in parmesan cheese and basil pesto, and season. Serve with shaved parmesan.

Diced onion.

Frosen peas.

The rice and stock mixture combines, before placing in the microwave.

Shaved parmesan.

Before adding the pesto and cheese.

Middle Eastern Roasted Lamb Leg

My first time at a roast, albeit a lamb that was sacrificed literally an hour before I started preparing it in the kitchen.

1 leg lamb

1 Tbs ground coriander
1 Tbs cardamom powder
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs turmeric
1 Tbs paprika
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil

pepper and salt, to season
juice of one lemon
lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.

Place leg of lamb in a roasting pan lined with foil and baking paper. Using a sharp knife, make shallow slits along the leg of lamb. Rub marinade over lamb thoroughly and season. Place lamb in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours, depending on size of leg.

Remove from oven, squeeze lemon juice over meat and cover with foil. Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the meat to continue cooking. Carve and serve with rice, yoghurt and lemon wedges.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Asian-Glazed Chicken Breasts

Easy and delicious, this chicken breast was surprisingly moist.

3 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs kecap manis
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs chilli bean paste (more if desired)
3 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
2 chicken breasts, cut horizontally (into two generally equal pieces)
salt and pepper, to taste
cooking spray

Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, kecap manis, sesame oil, chilli bean paste, garlic  and ginger together in a bowl. Add the chicken breast fillets and place into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Coat an oven tray with spray oil, place marinated chicken breasts on top. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the remaining marinade into a small sauce pan over medium high heat and boil for 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside.
After 10 minutes, baste chicken with remaining marinade. Bake an additional 10 minutes; baste. Bake for the last 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through; baste. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Combined marinade.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mango Chicken with Spiced Pilaf (Cheats Style)

This dish left the most amazing aroma in my kitchen!

2 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to make 4 pieces
1/2 cup of mango chutney
2 tablespoon of curry powder

Spiced Pilaf5 - 6 cups steamed rice
2 Tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 cup of frozen peas
1 capsicum, chopped
1 small sweet potato, chopped and softened by heating in microwave
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp of turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cardamon powder
3 tsp of cumin
salt, to taste
natural yoghurt, to serve

Marinate chicken with chutney and curry powder for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute onions, all spices, capsicum, sweet potato and peas in large pot in oil. Then add rice, stir until combined. Turn off heat and place lid on top.

Heat oiled frypan until hot and pan fry chicken until cooked through. Slice chicken and serve on top of pilaf. Serve with yoghurt.

One must start with a glass of wine.

Two chicken breasts, horizontally sliced.

Marinating chicken.

The combined 'cheats' Spiced Pilaf.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dan Dan Noodles

Serves 4

500g minced beef
2 Tbs oil
6 tsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
3 tsp minced ginger
10 dried red chillis, finely chopped
6 spring onions, white and green parts chopped
3 Tbs Chinese rice wine
1 tsp salt, or salt to taste

3/4 cup chicken stock
6 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 Tbs sesame seeds
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp Szechuan seasoning

choice of noodles, enough for four servings
3 handfuls dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
fried shallots, to serve
  1. Prepare noodles as per packet directions. Transfer the noodles to a serving dish.
  2. Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and Szechuan  seasoning. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the garlic, ginger, red chillis, spring onions and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and stir-fry until the meat is a little crispy on the outside and no longer pink. Add rice wine to deglaze the pan, then add the sauce mixture. Stirfry until thickened, season with salt to taste.
  4. Spoon the cooked meat mixture over the noodles, sprinkle the fried shallots and chopped peanuts on top, and serve.