Friday, 19 July 2013

Limoncello - in 2 days!!!

This is such a great quick. I enjoy limoncello on the rocks after dinner on a special occasion. It also works well as a cocktail topped with bubbles or in a long tumbler with ice and soda which is how I served it at an Italian themed baby shower recently!

Makes 700mls

4 lemons (washed, peel on, chopped into large chunks)
2 cups castor sugar
Rind of 1 lemon
350mls vodka
375mls water

Place lemons and sugar into a large bowl and bruise the fruit to extract some of the lemon oil by squashing with the muddler. Add rind, vodka and water to the bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. If it doesn't dissolve easily leave for an hour and then stir again.
Cover with plastic wrap, leave in a cool place and allow to infuse for 48 hours
Strain liquid through a sieve, discarding lemons. Pour through a funnel into a bottle to store in the fridge or plastic bottle in the freezer
Serve well chilled from fridge or better still from the freezer.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Spicy red lentil soup

I really love spicy food! And the spices in this recipe do wonders for the otherwise bland lentils. It's a lovely healthy & filling bowl of yumminess.

1 litre stock, could use vege to make it completely vegetarian but I used chicken
1 cup red lentils
3 large carrots
1 med onion, roughly chopped
5 vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
2 red chillis
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp olive oil

In a large saucepan, heat oil and add garlic, onion and chilli to the pan. Fry gently till soft
Add tomatoes, puree and spices to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients, stirring well, then pop a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 mins until lentils are soft. Add some water if necessary. Blend the soup until smooth and creamy
Serve with a dollop of plain unsweetened yoghurt and some chopped coriander.

Salmon & celeriac hash

This is such a tasty hash thrown together from leftovers of weekend meals. I really hate wasting good food so it's meals like this I get great satisfaction in creating.
You could use chopped corned beef or ham in place of the salmon but I particularly like the marriage of salmon with the mustardy buttered celeriac and peas.

Serves 2
1/2 cup cold smashed potato (mine is roast spud with the skins still on)
1/2 cup celeriac & pea mash (see below)
100g wood roasted salmon

Combine cold ingredients and roll into balls, then flatten and fry on a high heat for 3 minutes each side or until crisp on the outside and warmed throughout. Serve with a poached egg on top. Yum!

Celeriac & pea mash
1 celeriac, trimmed and chopped into small pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1/2 tsp hot mustard
30g butter
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Boil celeriac for 10 mins, add peas and boil for another 5. Add all other ingredients and mash.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Toastie heaven

I've been loving this toastie combination ever nice having it for brunch at Joe's Garage in Queenstown last year.

Toast a nice grainy ficelle, Paneton half baked is what I used. Slice open longways and spread some crushed pineapple on one side, top with grated tasty cheese then some good quality bacon and smear over some brown sauce (smokey bbq). Pop it back in the oven till cheese starts melting. Delicious!!!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Spud dauphinois

This is such a yummy way to eat potato! But I'm not going to pretend its good for you as it's cooked in cream and butter but from time to time we're all allowed a treat. It's a perfect dish to go with barbecued or roasted meat and serve with something green to keep the health conscious happy.

7 large potatoes
250mls cream
1 onion
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp butter
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
1 cup tasty cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Very thinly slice potatoes and onion. The finer the better
Cut up the butter and smear a little on the bottom of a baking dish, then start layering potato, onion, a touch of garlic and butter. Be sure to season each layer. Finish with a layer of potato and then sprinkle with the grated cheese. Drizzle the cream all over and then bake for 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Carrot, zuchinni & apple slaw

You can't get much healthier than this!!
The sweetness of the apple really makes this salad, I used it to accompany pork loin chops...a fab combination, apple and pork are a classic complimentary pair.

Serves 4

2 small carrots, grated
2 small zuchinni, grated
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Grate the carrot, zucchini and apple into a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over immediately to prevent the carrot and apple turning brown. Finely chop the mint and add to the salad
Add some salt and pepper to taste.
When about to serve, toss through the toasted seeds

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Savoury Pinwheel scones

I first tried these scones at a conference in Wellington. My colleagues and I were so impressed we asked the conference centre for the recipe and they obliged. No harm in asking!
The great thing about these scones is you can adapt the filling to what you have in the fridge; use a chutney instead of pesto, shaved ham or salami instead of bacon and whatever cheese you please.

Makes 12

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
125g butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sundried tomato pesto
2 cups baby spinach leaves
300g diced bacon, cooked
1/2 red onion, cooked and finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper
To make the dough, place flour, butter and baking powder. Process until a breadcrumb like texture. While the processor is running, add the milk and buttermilk down the feed tube. Let the ingredients combine, place onto a floured bench and form dough into a ball
With a well floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a rectangle 50x30cm and about 1/2 a cm thick.
Evenly spread pesto over the rectangle. Place on the spinach, bacon, onion, feta and grated cheese. You only want to cover 3/4 of the dough with the filling, leaving about 5cms at the top to help with rolling and stop the filling from falling out.
Roll up like a sponge roll. With a sharp knife cut log into 12. Evenly space onto the lined tray and cook for 15-20 mins. They should be golden brown and oozing cheese.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Slow cooked Moroccan lamb

I'm so pleased with this dish, its absolutely delicious! Inspiration is a cooler, wet autumn day, some lamb shoulder chops crouching in the fridge & the desire for something stewed long and slow.

Serves 4

1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried hot chillies
2 garlic cloves
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp rosemary paste, or use fresh if you have it
1 tbsp olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
1 can tomatoes
10-12 pitted prunes
4-6 shoulder lamb chops

Preheat oven to 160 degrees
In a mortar and pestle, grind fennel, coriander and cumin seeds. Add chillies, garlic, ginger, rosemary, olive oil and bash into a paste. Smother over the lamb chops and set aside.
In a le creuset, sauté onion, celery and carrot for 5 mins then remove from pan and set aside
Add some rice bran or other cooking oil to the pan and brown chops for 30 seconds each side then return vege to the pan. Then add wine, tomatoes, prunes and water. Stir for 2 mins then put the lid on and place in oven for 2 hours lowering the heat after 20 mins to 150 degrees and remove lid after 1.5hrs leaving stew exposed for last 30 mins of cooking. This allows the sauce to thicken. The meat should completely fall off the bone and is to die for!
Serve with rice or couscous, a dollop of natural yoghurt and chopped coriander. Enjoy!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Best Lasagne!

I've been making lasagne for so many years and I never use a recipe. I like to be able to mix it up with the vege you have on hand or no vege at all depending on who you are cooking for. Sometimes it's nice to use fresh herbs, ricotta or cream cheese in the cheese sauce but this one seems to have hit a high note at my house so give it a go and let me know what you think! I reckon the secret is in the meat sauce...

Serves 6

1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried tarragon
250-300g of lasagne sheets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
800g prime beef mince
1 large onion, chopped
1 large fresh tomato thinly sliced
2 green peppers, pith & seeds removed then thinly sliced
8-10 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can tomatoes
200mls fresh cream
1-2 cups grated cheese for sauce (I used a mix of Tasty & Edam)
1 cup grated cheese for topping (parmesan works well as it goes nice and crispy)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Sauté onions and garlic in a pan for 2 minutes before adding the mince and red wine. Use a wooden spoon to break down the mince as it browns and simmers in the wine for 5 minutes. Add dried herbs, tomato paste, can of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, sugar & season to taste. I like to simmer it for 15-20 mins then resting before layering into lasagne
To make cheese sauce, heat cream in a pot and add cheese. Stir until smooth
Before the cheese sauce cools, you need to start building your lasagne. Always begin with a layer of the meat sauce so there's moisture in the bottom of the dish and its easier to get out. Then a layer of lasagne sheets, a layer of vege then cheese sauce. Then repeat till you have used up all your ingredients. I topped mine off with a layer of fresh tomato and grated cheese (parmesan and edam)
Bake for 40 mins

Best Lasagne tastes even better the following day!