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!