Showing posts from January, 2014

Best Ever Roast Vegetables

These veggies are a great accompaniment for anything really, in fact, I made so much of it that I've been mixing them with everything, with my fettucini Bolognese, lightly heated on a wrap with baby spinach and hummus, as a side for steak and in a taco... Hahah.. yup... It's that versatile!

You will need... (for about 6-8 serves)
1 medium sweet potato
1 large carrot
1/6 QLD blue pumpkin (use butternut or something else if you wish)
1 large zucchini
1 large capsicum
2 largish eschalots (French shallots), if you can't find these then a Spanish onion will suffice
6 large button mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tsp of Herbies Chermoula Spice Mix*

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
2. Wash the veggies, then peel the carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, garlic and onion. Dice everything to about 2cm cubes. Remove the stalk and peel the mushrooms. Crush the garlic.
3. Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the carrot, sweet potato and pum…

Banana Bread

Ever wonder how your banana bread always looks anaemic compared to the ones you see online or in cookbooks? 'How can I get mine that beautiful caramelised, rich brown colour?' you ask? Well, it's as simple as getting a nice, sweet, over-ripe banana and mashing it a good 10 minutes before you add it to the mix so that it oxidises and goes all smooshy! Using rich brown sugar also helps a bit!

You will need... For 12 slices

Penne with Slow Braised Lamb Shoulder Ragu

I can't decide what to cook with these fluctuating temperatures! I give up on trying to cook for the seasons, lets just go free for all and do some of my favourite recipes...

Lamb shoulder is a great cut of meat, if you've never cooked with it, go to your butcher and grab a split lamb shoulder (or lamb shoulder bone-out), rub garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary on it and chuck it on a super-hot bbq for half an hour or so, make sure its nicely charred on the outside and pink in the middle, and leave it to rest for about 10-15 minutes before thinly slicing it... You wont be disappointed.

If you've been there and done that, then give this recipe a go next time you have a bit of time and a hankering for lamby goodness...

You will need... (10 serves and some leftover for freezing ;-))
2.5-3kg bone-out lamb shoulder, trimmed of most of the fat, skin and sinew
salt & pepper
2 large carrots, peeled, diced
2 large celery sticks, diced
1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
3 clove…

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chilli

I'm ashamed to admit this is actually a Dr. Oz recipe....

Yeah I know, I'm a chef and a food lover- what am I thinking?! But hear me out.. I'm trying to make healthier choices, I quite enjoy eating high-fat foods but unfortunately my metabolism doesn't agree and I don't enjoy exercise. So I have a dilemma, I can continue eating like a grub and watch my health deteriorate or I can make a bit of an effort to eat better (ok and maybe do some kind of exercise-YUCK).

So yeah, thats how I stumbled upon this recipe. Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoy healthy food! I enjoy any kind of food to be honest, I'm not fussy (hence the perpetual food baby), but this recipe actually intrigues me quite a bit. It's got a lot of stuff thats good for you in it, and it tastes quite delicious so don't be a hater and give it a go... If you don't like it, don't stress, I'll post something with meat next time.

Tips and Tricks of the Trade # 9

Bringing foods to room temperature....

When baking cakes or cupcakes, always leave the butter and eggs out to come to room temperature before mixing your batter.
The same goes for cooking steaks, leave the meat out of the fridge for 30 minutes (covered) before cooking, this will result in even cooking as the outside wont overcook or dry out before the centre reaches the right temperature.


I received a molecular gastronomy kit for Christmas and thought I'd try it out by making some passionfruit pearls to go on top of one of my favourite trusty desserts- the pavlova!

The kit I used was the Cuisine R- Evolution kit which you can purchase at and I followed the gelification technique using passionfruit juice and agar agar (which basically just turns the liquid to a jelly). Basically to make the pearls, you use a dropper to drop the passionfruit/agar agar liquid into cold oil, which then sets the liquid into small balls and ta-dah! Passionfruit pearls!

You can leave the pearls out and just make the pavlova if you wish- that's the greatest thing about pavlova, it can be topped with whatever you like!

You will need...
For the meringue...
4 egg whites
1 cup of caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp of salt

For the topping...
vanilla pod
500ml thickened cream
1/2 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
2 mangoes, pe…

Thai Beef Salad

You will need...
300gr green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2inch pieces
1 cup finely shredded iceberg lettuce
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bean sprouts, washed and drained
1/2 bunch of coriander, washed and picked
1 sprig mint, picked
2 shallots, sliced finely
1 small packet of vermicelli rice noodles
400gr beef rump

For the marinade...
1/2 bunch of coriander, washed and roughly chopped
1 shallot, sliced finely
2 dried chillies, chopped (use fresh if you wish)
2 tsp lemongrass paste (or 1 tsp ground lemongrass)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 2cm knob of ginger, minced (I peel the ginger then squish it in the garlic crusher)
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced
juice of 1/2 a lime
4 drops fish sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
salt & pepper

For the sauce...
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs hoisin sauce
1 tsp shaved palm sugar
1 dried chilli, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup water

1. Combine all the marinad…

Healthy Spring Rolls