Showing posts from October, 2013

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!!

Always makes me think of the show 'Just Shoot Me', when Elliot's 'special' brother is introduced to the gang and Maya tries to show Elliot that he's not actually handicapped but just pretending, in order to be waited on hand and foot.. Hilarity Ensues... If you scroll down you'll see what I'm talking about!

You will need... (two hearty serves!)
4 rashers bacon
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1/2 brown onion
1 clove garlic
2 medium chicken breasts
2 sprigs thyme
8 button mushrooms
1 Tbs cornflour
1 cup chicken stock (I used Campbell's real stock)
1 sheet puff pastry
1 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
(2 x 300ml ramekins)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and finely dice the bacon, carrot, celery and onion. Crush the garlic and pick the thyme leaves. Cut the chicken breast into 2-3cm cubes and slice the mushrooms.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the first 5 ingredients and sweat on a medium heat until softened. Remove the ingredien…

Char Grilled Lamb with Israeli Cous Cous, Oven Roast Tomatoes & Balsamic

For those of you who haven't already noticed, sometimes I can be a bit general with my measurements, ingredients and cooking methods... The reason for this being that I think that the only time you need to really stick to a recipe is when cooking desserts (predominantly baked desserts). The truth of the matter is, I treat recipes as more of an inspiration rather then a strict guide to follow.

I fully encourage you, my readers, to take my recipes and make them your own. To utilise what is available, what you like and the skills you have (however basic or great) to interpret these recipes to suit you. It really is my philosophy as a chef and as someone who has to provide edible meals for dinner every night.

There are no rules in the kitchen but the ones you make yourself, and if you try new things then you're only going to benefit- either from enjoying your triumphs or learning from your failures.

So with that in mind...

You will need... (2 generous serves)
400gr lamb (use whate…

An Observation...

Since we began our treks to the local farmers markets and growing our own herbs, there's been nothing but positive repercussions. The number one obviously being better tasting food, but also saving money.

It's amazing to think that making such a small change can have such an impact on the way we eat as well as on our wallets!

For starters, buying our fruit and vegetables directly from the markets is so much cheaper then buying from the local grocery store. You tend to buy less food, because there's no 'Special Bulk Offers' more often which means its fresher and there's a lot less chance of wastage. You're also cutting out the middle man, and not really having to pay overheads for international shipping and storage which means everything is soooo much cheaper.

Investing in growing our own herbs has had a massive impact too, because quite often I'd buy those big pre-packaged herbs, use one sprig and then the rest would sit and wilt until I found another u…

Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango, Lychee & Mint

Panna Cotta, meaning cooked cream in Italian, is a sweetened cream and milk mixture that is heated and then mixed with gelatine and set in a mould. It's a great dessert because its easy to make, light and very versatile.

Traditionally it is served with either berries, caramel or chocolate, but really its a blank canvas to be paired with anything, especially citrus or tropical fruit that tend to cut the richness of the cream.

It's funny and a little bit rude but I've always been told that the perfect panna cotta consistency should yield a wobble similar to a woman's breast LOL. Basically meaning that you should add just enough gelatine so that it barely holds its shape when turned out of the mould. If your panna cotta fits this criteria it will be light and should melt in your mouth.

I decided to share a coconut panna cotta just for something a little bit summery and a little bit more special.
You will need...
1Lt coconut cream
150ml full cream milk
100gr caster sugar

The Only Curry Recipe You'll Ever Need....

This recipe is fantastic, I adapted it from a healthy Butter Chicken Recipe from It's great because it's healthy, quite easy to make and really delicious!

The spice mix that you make up for this recipe can be made in bulk and stored in a container. I know a lot of people don't tackle home made curries because of the amount of spices you have to buy, and companies like Curry Traders make it really easy, but if you make up this mix it will last forever and you'll get more then one or two uses out of the batch.

I'll give you the measurements for the serving of spices you need for this recipe, but if you're doing it in bulk the method is- equal parts of each of the spices, except the chilli is about half (unless you like it hot!)

You will need... (4 serves)
Spice mix...
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cilli flakes
1/2 large brown onion
1 large clove garlic

Sydney Good Food Month: Noodle Night Markets

We were in Sydney visiting some friends last weekend, so we looked up somewhere to go for food. It wasn't hard to find information online about Sydney's Good Food Month, which is Australia's largest food festival and features food from all around the globe all around the city, presented in thousands of different ways.
Upon entering the noodle night markets you are dazzled with a canopy of multi-coloured lanterns, trees adorned with twinkle lights and lets not forget why we're here- the never-ending line of stalls selling any kind of Asian cuisine you can think of.

It's impossible to try everything you want to. We had heard about the new Ramen Burger craze that's taken over 'Cronuts' and now is the 'in thing', so we had to see what the fuss was about. We were lucky to get there a little bit earlier so we did the smart thing and split up and went to a couple of different stalls, which meant we only had to wait about 45 minutes for our Ramen Burger…

BBQ Swordfish with Roast Vegetables and Quinoa

I don't know if you've noticed a healthy theme over my last few posts, but coming into the warmer weather means I'm trying to be a bit more food conscious and to be honest it's better weather for seafoods and salads!

You will need... (for four)
4 swordfish steaks
1 Cup cooked Quinoa (I used black, but you can use any kind you like-cook to packet instructions)
1 zucchini, large
1 eggplant, medium
1 red capsicum
1/2 spanish onion
handful of kalamata olives
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 clove garlic
fresh oregano
fresh basil
olive oil, salt & pepper (I used smoked salt that I got from Kiama Produce Markets)
red wine vinegar

1. Prepare the vegetables by removing the top of the eggplant. slicing in half lengthways, then into semi-circles around 1cm thick. Lightly salt and sit in a colander while you cook the quinoa and prepare the remaining vegetables.
2. Top and tail the zucchini (meaning slice off both ends), cut in half lengthways and again cut into se…

Grilled Snapper with Jerusalem Artichokes, Fresh Tomato and Salsa Verde

What is a Jerusalem Artichoke? Well its not from Jerusalem and it's not really an Artichoke (although apparently they both belong to the daisy family), it looks a lot like ginger, but is kind of like a potato. It's got a bit of sweetness to it although not as much as a sweet potato.
So now you're sufficiently confused I'll tell you they're pretty good for you, being low in starch and fat and having a decent protein content (they're great for diabetics). They go well with lots of things because they don't have a strong flavour- they can be used in soups, sliced raw in salads (similar consistency to a water chestnut), and anything you can think of serving potato with. Although these suckers are better steamed and roasted rather then boiled. Oh and you can make alcohol out of them too!
You will need... (2 serves) 2 white fish fillets, de scaled and pin-boned 4 jerusalem artichokes 1 large desiree potato (to bulk it out) olive oil salt and pepper 10 cherry toma…

Asian noodle salad with prawns and scallops

You will need....
100gr udon noodles 1/2 lime, freshly juiced 2 tsp fish sauce 2 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 1 large ripe tomato 1/8 Spanish onion Small handful of baby spinach 1/4 cup coriander, washed and dried 2 Thai basil leaves 1 small red chilli, chopped (optional) 8 king prawns, peeled and deveined 6 scallops  Salt and pepper 1 Tbs vegetable oil
Method... 1. Prepare the scallops by rinsing and patting dry, remove the roe if desired.  2. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions, drain and run under cold water. 3. Chop the tomato into small cubes, roughly cut the herbs, dice the onion and mix with the noodles, spinach, and all remaining ingredients except scallops. 4. Arrange the salad neatly on a plate. 4. Heat a pan on high, season and oil the scallops then place them in the hot pan for about 30 seconds on either side. They should have a nice caramelised colour on top but still be medium rare in the middle. Quickly remove and serve either in their shells around the plate…

Over the break...

I'm straight back into it this week!

After a brief hiatus from my routine I'm back into work, cooking and blogging.

During my break I didn't really do too much, we got GTA 5 when it came out so that's been fun, I'm a maniac driver and Matt is a ruthless shooter so we make a good team when he complete's a mission and I'm the getaway driver (in the game that is... Not in real life)

I cleaned the carpets which took me 4 days, after using one of those shampoo foaming sprays that you vacuum off it looked like there had been some kind of marshmallow explosion and ended up looking all splotchy (I would not recommend using these!), I ended up buying one of those infomercial type carpet cleaning sprays and it really did the job! But being more of a spot cleaner it meant I spent the better part of those four days on my hands and knees with a scrubbing brush and bucket of water. Fun times.

After my Catching Up post I did end up at the markets, and now I have enough he…