Showing posts from June, 2014

Fancy Sausage Rolls

These were meant to be a 'healthier' option, as we all know anything that contains puff pastry can't be classified as 'healthy', but these are definitely leaner then your average ground beef/sausage mince filled sausage rolls. They are a great source of protein and you can hide almost anything in them, which is fantastic for those of you with fussy eaters in your household. And who doesn't love a sausage roll?

You will need.. (makes 36 party-sized sausage rolls)
1 small zucchini, ends removed
1 small carrot, peeled, ends removed
300gr turkey mince
3 rashers middle bacon
1/2 small onion
2 garlic cloves
canola/non-stick cooking spray
1 egg
1/2 cup panko* breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs if you can't find panko)
1 tsp dried parsley & oregano
pinch of salt & freshly cracked black pepper
3 sheets ready-made puff pastry
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius, fan-forced. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Remove the pas…

Mustard Pork Cutlets with Soft Polenta & Broccoli

I'm a huge fan of meals that don't require too much preparation and end up with an impressive result. Especially on a week night when I don't feel like coming home from a long day at work and spending 2 hours in the kitchen.

But I do like to eat nice food and I don't like eating the same thing every night either. So something like this is perfect for those nights when you want a hearty meal and don't want the fuss!

You will need... (2 serves)
2 pork cutlets, trimmed
2 Tbs seeded mustard
1/2 a head of broccoli, cut into florets.
1 cup of instant polenta
3 cups of chicken stock (or you can use milk for a creamier polenta)
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
wedge of lemon, to serve
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius, fan forced.
2. Rub the seeded mustard all over both sides of the pork cutlet. Add a little salt and pepper.
3. Heat a small amount of oil in a nonstick frypan on a high heat, then carefully add the pork cutlet…

Roast Vegetable and Chorizo Frittata

A frittata is an Italian Omelette, filled with various ingredients. They can be a lifesaver on nights when you don't have any idea what to cook or only have a fridge full of leftovers and half a dozen eggs.

You can put whatever you like into a frittata. My Nonna would slice a potato, fry until golden brown in a little oil, then pour a dozen beaten eggs over the top, with some salt and pepper, then whack a lid on it and leave it to cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes- et voila! Quick and delicious lunch!

I like to utilise ingredients I have in my fridge. The night before I had oven-roasted some sweet potato, carrot, zucchini and mushroom with some cloves of garlic, halved eschalots, olive oil and salt and pepper to have with some mixed leaves and grilled haloumi (also a nice, easy dinner!). So I used my leftover roast veggies to fill my frittata. I also like to bake mine in the oven as this makes sure you have even cooking all the way through and makes for a lighter frittata.

Gnocchi Pesto

Check out my gnocchi recipe here-
This is a simple pesto recipe, I think pesto is great- I have it as a dip with crackers, as a spread on toast (with feta and tomato), or mixed with pasta! So versatile :-)

You will need... 1 bunch of basil, leaves picked and washed 1 large garlic clove, peeled 1/2 cup pine nuts or cashews 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan (I use Grana Padano or Reggiano for a better flavour) Salt & pepper
Method... 1. Toast the nuts to a golden brown, either under a grill, in the oven or in a frypan- whichever is easier for you. Which ever way you choose, make sure you keep an eye on them and if cooking in a frypan, continuously flip them to ensure even cooking. 2. Combine the toasted nuts and garlic in a mortar and pestle (or food processor if you're in a rush or are lazy like me ;-)). Bash the nuts and garlic finely. 3. Add the basil and olive oil together in small quantitie…

Gulab Jamun, an Indian dessert

I'm going to say this was a decent first attempt... And that's going easy on myself!
I know now that temperature control is imperative in cooking these. I think the temperature was too high at first so although the balls at the back of the tray look nice and round and well coloured, they were still a bit gooey in the centre... And the ones that are mutant-looking are ones that I tried to cook on a lower temperature and they just expanded, so I turned the heat up and they burnt a bit... Oh dear.
They tasted nice though!! I'll definitely try this recipe again, I'd like to give it another go because although it's simple it requires a little bit of technique and I'm determined to get it right!
You will need... For the syrup; 2 cups caster sugar 2 cups water 1 tsp cardamom seeds 1 cinnamon quill 1/2 tsp rosewater

For the doughnuts... 1 cup full cream milk powder 1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarb soda 25gr butter, chopped 80ml water
Vegetable oil or ghee, for…

Chicken Satay with Rice

I love satay. There's a popular Vietnamese restaurant in the CBD near where I live that does one of the best satays ever (Wollongongites will know which place I'm talking about!). I have no idea how to recreate this awesome authentic satay but I like to think I've come pretty close.

Also, cooking rice... Yeah, you'd think it'd be easy but I'm sure we've all fallen into the trap of stodgy rice. My mum, being Italian, cooks it like you cook pasta, with about 10x more water then rice, boiling, then straining after some time when you determine the rice to be cooked. There's nothing wrong with this, but I've found an easier way that requires less washing up!
1 cup of rice, to 2 cups of cold water in a pot on the stove.  Bring to boil, stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 12 minutes.  Once your 12 minute timer has gone off, take it off the heat. Leave to stand, covered, for 5 minutes. There you have it. Perfect rice. Every time.

You will need...

Kale chips

Yes it's healthy... But not bad! It definitely has the cruciferous taste (think Brussels sprouts and broccoli) but with the seasoning and texture they're quite delicious!

You will need... 1 bunch (250gr) fresh kale 1 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 tsp garlic salt 1/4 tsp chilli flakes 1 Tbs olive oil
Method... 1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius (160 degrees fan-forced), line two trays with grease proof paper. 2. Trim any thick stalk bits off the kale and dice into bite-sized pieces, rinse under cold water and pat dry really well. 3. Mix with the other ingredients and toss with your hands to coat really well 4. Spread the kale over the trays in one even layer, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, kale should be crisp but not browned. 5. Enjoy immediately. If storing, make sure you keep it in a super airtight container because any moisture in the air will cause it to soften again.