Saturday, July 28, 2012

Red Honeyed Chicken

Sweet and spicy!

4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs, trimmed
2 onions, roughly diced
2 tomatoes, quartered
5 cloves garlic - chopped

2 tbsp sambal oelek
2  tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 1/2 tbsp honey
Salt, to taste

Marinade for chicken
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder

Mix together the chicken with all the marinade ingredients and let stand for at least 2 hours.

In a large pot or wok, heat up some oil and fry chicken until just browned. Remove chicken and return wok/pot to medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Stirfry until fragrant. Add in tomato paste, tomatoes and sambal oelek. Cook until it softens.

Add in the sweet chilli sauce, honey and a few tablespoon of water (if needed). Mix well and add in some salt. Add in the chicken and stir thoroughly to coat with the sauce. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, check seasoning. Serve with steamed rice.

Marinating chicken.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Pierogies are dumplings of unleavened dough traditionally stuffed with potato fillingsauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. Of central and eastern European provenance, they are usually semicircular (Wikipedia).

In this instance, we boiled and then fried some sauerkraut and mushroom pierogies, and potato pierogies. They were one of the most delicious and simple dumplings I've tried, possibly my new fav meal! We also served these with some fried Polish sausage, which was extremely lean and beautifully smokey.

Polish sausage - served with the pierogies.

Frying the onion, boiling the pierogies.

The addition of dried herbs......

...whole peppercorns....

...browning the pierogies.

Traditionally served with sour cream.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fish Tacos

Serves 4

10 flour or corn tortillas

For the fish marinade
2 - 3 firm white fish fillets (I used frozen beer-battered fish)
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp mild chilli powder

For the cabbage salad
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup coriander, coarsely chopped
2 cups freshly shredded purple cabbage

For the bajar sauce
1/3 cup plain yogurt
½ tsp mild chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp lime juice
Pinch of salt

For the chipotle salsa fresca
1 cup chopped red tomatoes
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped coriander
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch of cumin
Sea salt

Place the fish fillets in a large, shallow dish and brush with olive oil. Pour over lime juice, a sprinkle of salt, chopped coriander and half the chilli powder. Allow the marinade to infuse the fish for 30 minutes - 2 hours in the fridge. In the meantime, toss the cabbage salad ingredients together.

For the salsa 
Mix the chopped tomato, onion, chilli, garlic and coriander together in bowl. Drizzle with lime juice. Add pinch of cumin and some sea salt and stir through. Set aside.

For the bajar sauce
In a small bowl, mix together - yoghurt, chilli powder, lime juice and salt.
Preheat a grill or barbeque to medium-low. On a very clean grate brush the grill with oil and place the fish seasoning side down to cook. Sprinkle the rest of the chilli on the top side of the fish and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until the fish is cooked through.
Remove the fish to a clean platter, allow it to rest 10 minutes and then slice into thick strips. Heat the tortillas.

To serve
For each taco, place a warm tortilla on a plate, add a few chunks of fish, drizzle with the Bajar sauce, and add a handful of salsa and cabbage salad.

Make a small fold along the bottom edge of the tortilla and close from both sides, creating a little parcel that won’t drip out the bottom.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Slow Simmered Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 6 - 8
2 tsp olive oil
1 kg minced beef
1 brown onion, diced
3 small carrots, diced
270g jar roasted capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Tbs dried Italian herbs
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup of beef stock
2 Tbs tomato paste
800g jar puréed tomatoes
2 400g cans crushed tomatoes
2 Tbs sugar
1 packet spaghetti
parmesan cheese, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced beef and the onion. Cook, stirring often to crumble the beef, for 4-5 minutes. Add the carrots, roasted capsicum, garlic, dried herbs, and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add the stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and the puréed tomatoes to the beef mixture as well as the sugar. Stir until well combined. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 3-4 hours.
Remove the pot from stove top. Skim the surface for any fat, then taste and re-season if needed. Cook the spaghetti per instructions, drain. Serve the sauce on top of the spaghetti then top with Parmesan if desired.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

''German'' Hotdogs

Makes 3 Hotdogs

1 Tbs olive oil
150g bacon, chopped roughly
200g sauerkraut, drained
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1/2 Tbs mustard
1/4 cup beer
salt and pepper, to season
1 cup beer, extra
3 Polish sausages
3 hotdog buns

Saute bacon in oil until crispy. Add sauerkraut. Stir in garlic, mustard and 1/4 cup of beer. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Place remaining beer in a frypan, over medium heat. Bring liquid to a boil. Add sausages and fry for 10 minutes.

To serve, place sausages between each bun. Top each sausage with some of the smothered cabbage mixture.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beef, Rosemary, Olive and Port Pasta

This is a pasta winner!

Serves 6-8

cooking spray
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g bacon, chopped
1kg beef mince
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup port
2 teaspoons salt
1 teapsoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato paste
440g can diced tomatoes
150g Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
500g pasta of your choice
100g fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add beef and cook until beef has browned.

Add the rosemary and port. Increase heat to medium hight and cook until liquid has almost absorbed. Stir through salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Stir through diced tomatoes and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook pasta according to packet directions. Drain. Stir through olives and cook for 5 minutes to ensure they are heated through. Serve pasta topped with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

Beef and Blue Cheese Burgers

These burgers were great, however the patties were a little too lean and slightly overcooked. The addition of aioli would have been perfect!

Serves 4

4 bread rolls, sliced in half and buttered
500g lean beef mince
2 eggs
2 Tbs plain flour
2 handfuls rocket
4 Tbs tomato chutney
120g blue cheese

1. Combine mince, eggs and flour. Mould into four large burger patties. Cook to your liking.
2. Meanwhile, place rocket and chutney inside bread roll.
3. Five minutes before serving the burgers, crumble the cheese evenly over the four burgers, allowing to melt slightly.
4. Place burgers in buns, serve.

Chicken and Sweetcorn Cannelloni

The dill coupled with the sweetcorn was extremely appealing!

2 chicken breast fillets, poached and trimmed
olive oil cooking spray
1 leek, halved, washed, thinly sliced
150g baby spinach
250g reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 eggwhite
310g can sweetcorn kernels, drained
1 large bunch fresh dill, chopped
250g packet dried cannelloni pasta tubes
700g bottle Italian tomato pasta sauce
100g mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat frying pan over medium heat. Spray lightly with oil. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute or until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Allow to cool.
  3. Add chicken, ricotta, eggwhite, corn and dill to leek mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into cannelloni tubes. Place, in a single layer, in a 4cmdeep, 23cm x 30cm (base), lightly greased baking dish. Pour over pasta sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve.