November 28, 2009

Pip's Potato Latke




2 cups of grated potato :: peel and coarsely grate the potatoes and then put in your salad spinner and spin dry :: pat dry with a paper towel if they are still a bit soggy.
1 small onion, grated as well
3 tbsp plain flour
2 eggs
salt and pepper
oil for frying :: we need to shallow-fry in around an inch of oil
Optional extra ingredients:: clove of garlic, freshly chopped herbs, grated lemon rind, smoked paprika, chilli

NB :: don't let your grated potato sit around - it will go brown and yicky - grate and use it straight away.

Mix the grated, dried potato with the other ingredients (except the oil).

Heat the oil until a pinch of the mixture fries up nice and golden quickly. Now plonk spoonfuls of your potato mixture into the oil and flatten with a spoon until a cm or so thick. They don't need to be perfect - kind of poke the spoon into the centre of the plonked mixture to make a few little holes for the oil to seep up into. This helps the middle cook evenly. No one likes raw potato! Cook until golden and then flip over and cook the other side. Drain on kitchen towel and transfer to the oven to keep warm. These are nice cold too, though!

November 20, 2009

Simplicity Chocolate Cake - via NMAA




I made this today. It turned out great. I used a bit more butter and dutch cocoa and a tablespoon of espresso instead of instant.


2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup SR flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp instant coffee

Grease a ring tin very well and heat oven to 350F

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add cocoa, vanilla and coffee. Add flour and milk alternately. Bake for 30 mins. Cool in tin and then turn out.

Upside Down Pear Cake




3 pears, peeled, halved and cored
175g butter
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
3 eggs
3 tablespoons of milk

grease and line your 20cm cake tin with baking paper. preheat oven to 180C.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Fold in flour, then milk.

Place pears into bottom of the lined tin. Spoon mixture evenly over top of pears and smooth out.

Bake for 45minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and then turn out onto serving plate.

Y to the UM.

via Eat Drink Live by Fran Warde

Things To Try :: Zucchini and Cheddar Toast




2 grated zucchinis - with all the moisture squeezed out of the gratings
200g good cheddar cheese, also grated
1 finely diced shallot
1 small egg
a slosh of worcestershire sauce
bread for toasting
salt and pepper.

Mix all ingredients except the bread together.
Plonk spoonfuls onto bread making sure it's not layered super thick and it's pushed to the edges of the bread nicely.
Grill and eat with a big glass of wine (or beer) or if you are saintly, iced water.

via Eat Drink Live by Fran Warde

Chocolate Apricots




250g Callebaut dark chocolate or other high quality chocolate
250g dried apricots

Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second bursts - stirring well between each burst. Be careful not to heat it too much or too often as it will separate. Yick. Now when it's melty and smooth spear your apricots with a fork and dip into the chocolate until well coated. Pop onto some wax paper to cool - in the fridge if it's hot at your place. Eat when set. Try not to eat too many. It is VERY hard!

NMAA Banana Loaf :: from NMAA Cooks




125g butter
2/3 cup raw sugar
1 egg
1 cup wholemeal plain flour plus
1/2 cup wholemeal self raising flour mixed with a pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups mashed banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup yoghurt or 1/4 cup milk mixed with some lemon juice (to make buttermilk!)

Grease a loaf tin and heat your oven to 375f

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Now mix the mashed banana, vanilla and yoghurt/buttermilk together. Add this mix and the flour alternately to the creamed butter until all is mixed in. Pour into a greased tin and bake for 40 - 50 minutes! Cool for ten minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.

I sprinkled the top with cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar before I baked it - for a bit of a spicey crunchy top!

September 10, 2009

:: Super Delicious Super Simple Pot Roasted Potatoes




A simplified version of Nigel Slater's spuds. My kids don't like Taleggio :( I do!


You Need ::
1kg of peeled potatoes, sliced into fairly thinnish slices
30g butter
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed

Melt the butter and the olive oil together in a big frypan with a lid- over a medium high heat. Throw in the onion, fry for 30 seconds. Chuck in the garlic. Fry for a few seconds.
Now plonk in all the sliced potatoes and toss them really, really well until they are coated in butter and oil (!) Season with salt and pepper and put the lid on.
Turn the heat down to very low. Leave for 20 minutes, simmering away on the low heat. Now open the lid and toss them. Add any fresh herbs you might like. Nigel Slater puts a few bits of Taleggio in. You could put some brie... or whatever cheese you like at this point in there.
Lid back on - still over the low heat. 5 or 10 more minutes. Check for tenderness. And serve when tender. Sometimes they get a little brown and crunchy on the bottom. But I like that!

:: Warm Roasted Pumpkin Salad



Illustration : Joseph Giordano


1kg of pumpkin - cut into 1" chunks or thereabouts
1 onion, chopped roughly
1 cup of frozen peas
2 cobs of fresh corn, kernels removed (just cut them off roughly with a knife)
1 clove of chopped garlic
some sprigs of thyme or whatever fresh herbs you have
a good slosh of olive oil
salt and pepper
a teaspoon of sweet paprika
juice of a lemon

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Plonk onto an oven tray, slosh on some more oil and cook in a medium oven for half an hour to forty minutes (or until the pumpkin has a bit of colour and is nice and tender)

Serve warm - or let it cool and serve cold. You could throw some chopped pinenuts or cashews through this and it'd be nice too!

:: Yummy Tofu with Edamame Beans



We made this after seeing it on the Telly. It was delicious. Click the link right down the bottom for more recipes from this program.

For the bean curd stir-fry
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 400g/14oz firm fresh bean curd (dofu/tofu), drained and cut into rectangles 1cm/½ inch thick (I like to use deep-fried tofu here!)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
For the rest of the stir-fry
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 75g/3oz fresh or frozen edamame beans, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped

  • Make the bean curd stir-fry. Heat the groundnut oil in a large flat-based pan over a medium heat, add the bean curd and cook for 2 minutes. Add the light soy sauce and cook until the sauce has reduced and the bean curd is browned on one side. Using a small palette knife or fork, lift and turn each piece (careful not to break the bean curd) and cook to colour the other side.
  • Add the dark soy sauce and vinegar and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Season with the dried chilli flakes. Transfer the bean curd to a serving plate and put to one side.
  • Cook the rest of the stir-fry. Heat the pan and add the groundnut oil. Stir-fry the chilli for a few seconds, then add the edamame beans. Add a sprinkle of water to help create steam and cook for less than 1 minute. Season with the light soy sauce and vinegar and then stir in the chopped coriander.
  • To serve, pour the beans over the bean curd and serve immediately.
  • Tip: For a fuller meal, serve with steamed rice.

via

July 8, 2009

Simple Crunchy Winter Salad



image via

Ingredients
500g sugar snap peas, cooked for 30 seconds in boiling water - then cooled completely by running under the cold tap or plunging into very cold water.
3 punnets of cherry tomatoes - halved
200g fetta, diced
1 cucumber, halved and seeded, then cut into thin slices
1 red onion, finely diced
1 bunch of basil, roughly torn

Dressing - put in a jar and shake the bejeezus out of:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp seeded mustard
1 clove crushed garlic
6 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method::
Cut the cooled, blanched sugar snap peas into smaller pieces (cutting them in half or into thirds - depending on what you like!). Now in a big mixing bowl, toss the sugar snap peas, the halved cherry tomatoes, the cucumber, the red onion and the basil. Mix well. Then add the fetta. Dress with the shaken-and-nicely-mixed-up dressing and toss well. Plonk into a serving bowl and VOILA!

Serves 6

July 7, 2009

'The Brown Owl' :: Mulled Wine for Teetotallers (or Not!)


image via

Brown Owl Mulled Wine

Makes 3 Litres - enough for 6 people!

1 litre of non alcoholic dark grape juice
1 litre of cranberry juice
1 bottle of red wine*
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
2 star anise
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

Mix all ingredients in a large pot whilst stirring - heat until nearly boiling - but don't boil it! Set aside for a couple of hours for the flavours to develop. Reheat gently until nearly boiling again and serve. Delish! (Be sure to cool it a little if you're giving it to kids!)

*Note - You can make this WAY boozier if you like - or you can omit the alcohol and add another litre of grape juice and the kids can partake too. That's a nice idea, huh?

Pip's Tomato and Fish Curry



image via

Please note :: you can substitute steamed or roasted pumpkin for the fish if you are not fishy! Or even tofu would be good! ALSO this is a really mild, gentle curry, perfect for everyone in the family - but you can heat it up if you like by adding lots of fresh or dried chilli!


Ingredients:
1kg of roughly chopped tomatoes
1kg of trevally fillets - cut into generous bite-size chunks (no bones please!)
200 grams beans, topped and tailed and cut into small pieces and steamed for just a couple of minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped finely
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped finely or grated
1 tsp of mild curry powder
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of mild paprika
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
a slosh of soy sauce
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of stock (fish, chicken or vegie is fine)


  1. Heat the oil and fry the onion until golden brown (this takes time!) Meanwhile - make a paste with the rest of the spices, the soy sauce and 1 tbsp of water.
  2. When the onion is nice and golden, throw in the ginger and fry for 30 seconds, then the garlic and mustard seeds and fry for another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Next add the spice paste you just mixed up and fry for a minute or so, stirring as you go.
  4. Add the tomatoes and give it a good stir. Put a lid on the whole schmozzle and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Now blend this tomatoey and spicy base until pureed (use a food processor or a stabby mixer or even a good go with a potato masher). You want to get a nice even sauce - no big lumps allowed. No need to strain it though - rustic is good.
  6. Now back on a gentle heat with the blended curry-tomato base - add the coconut milk - and the stock. Slowly heat the mixture until it's nearly boiling. Do not let it boil though!
  7. Add the fish pieces and the beans, pop on the lid and turn off the heat. Let the curry sit for half an hour or so so the flavours develop - or overnight even in the fridge - and then reheat it gently and serve - the fish really doesn't need much cooking at all - the residual heat and the gentle reheating will do the trick - taste a piece to see!
  8. Serve with rice or roti or naan even! YUM!

Serves 4 - 6 people

xx Pip

July 2, 2009

Overnight Rise Casserole-Dish-Baked Bread



Makes one big loaf - or break dough into 3 sections before putting it in the dish and you'll have 3 pull-apart loaves


6 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
3 cups of tepid water
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
a sprinkle of polenta - optional

Mix the yeast with the water and sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. In a mixer with a dough hook (or a big bowl with a wooden spoon), combine the flour, salt and the yeasty water. Mix well. It will be lumpy and a bit sloppy. Sloppy is good.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight to prove. Somewhere cool is good - the fridge is fine too.

In the morning - punch the dough down and flop it onto a lightly floured benchtop. Knead it as best you can for a minute or two. Grease a heavy, ovenproof casserole dish (round is best - ceramic or heavy metal is the go) The dish needs to have sides at least 5cm high (or higher!) for this to work well and for the bread to rise up (rather then spread out) Sprinkle the dish with polenta if desired. Carefully pop the dough into the greased dish. Dust the top with flour.

Cover with a clean teatowel and let rise for a couple more hours in a draught-free spot.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Then pop the risen dish full of dough into the hot oven. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden and hollow-sounding when you tap it. Turn out and eat it up! Yum!

Porcupine Meatballs w Tomato Sauce




Sauce
2 440g tins of crushed tomatoes - nice ones
1 onion, finely diced
1 large jar of tomato sugo
250ml of stock - whichever you like (not fish though!!)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
a bunch of basil

Meatballs
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
1 cup of cooked rice
1 egg, beaten
1tsp of dried oregano
salt and pepper

For the Sauce
In a BIG POT. Fry the onion in the olive oil until transparent. Add the garlic and give it a quick fry before tipping in the crushed tomatoes, sugo and salt and pepper. Add half the basil - just tear the leaves and throw them in. Leave to simmer away nicely while you make the meatballs.

For the Meatballs
Mix all the ingredients up until well combined. Roll into small balls (wet your hands so they don't stick to you! and have the sink full of nice warm soapy water so you can clean up when you get to meatbally!). Drop the balls into the simmering sauce.

When you've rolled all the meatballs and they are sitting in the sauce - simmer slowly over a gentle heat for 20 minutes. Serve with hot rice, pasta, mash or in a nice soft roll! Yum!

Make Salmon Patties....



via

We cook some fancy stuff at our house sometimes - but usually we cook simple stuff. The kind of old fashioned food that kids will eat two helpings of. I like to see the kids gobbling their dinner down. No point serving them fancy schmancy if they won't eat it. Well. Max doesn't mind fancy schmancy if he can pick the meat and potatoes out of it. Ari = no fancy schmancy.


1 440g (or thereabouts) tin of pink salmon
1kg of nice potatoes, mashed
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard - or seeded is good too
a squeeze of lemon
2 eggs
salt and pepper
breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying


Mix the salmon, mashed potato, mayonnaise, mustard, egg and salt & pepper together. If it seems super moist, throw in some breadcrumbs until it's a dry enough to shape into patties. Next, tip some breadcrumbs onto a plate. Now form a heaped tablespoon into a pattie shape, using your hands, then roll in the plate o crumbs until well covered. Set aside and continue until you've pattied and crumbed all the mixture. You can store these in the fridge until you are ready to eat, if you like! To cook, heat about half an inch of oil in a big frypan over a medium-high heat and cook each side of the patties until golden. Keep warm in a lidded dish until you've fried all the patties. (Don't stop - you need to fry them all - they are super good cold too!)

You can serve them with more mash, or a salad, or in a sandwich with sauce if you're finiquey. You can also add other things to the patty mix - like fresh herbs, peas, chilli and garlic.. whatever takes your... fancy.

Soft and Sweet Dinner Rolls



via


6 cups of plain flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp dried yeast
1/2 cup soft butter
1 egg

makes 30 more-ish rolls

Dissolve yeast in 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm tap water. In your mixer using a dough hook, plonk the flour, beaten egg, sugar, salt and butter - begin to mix it up gently, pouring in the water/yeast slowly. Knead until smooth and elastic. (You can do this by hand too - it'll just take longer).

Leave to rise for a couple of hours. Then punch down and knead again until smooth and elastic. Let it recover for 15 mins and then split your dough into 3. Each third will make 10 dinner rolls - so divvy up the dough into tens. To shape the rolls - flatten each little piece of dough and then roll it into a 'roll like' shape, tucking the ends under and putting it seam/join side down on a well greased oven tray. You'll need a couple of trays - be sure to grease them.

Let your dough rise again for an hour or so - until the rolls are a bit puffed up and nearly twice as big. Bake in a HOT oven for around 15 minutes until nicely browned.

July 1, 2009

Simple Eggless Tiramisu




4 tbsp icing sugar
250g marscarpone
250ml cream
100ml espresso coffee (cold)
1 packet of savoiardi biscuits
100ml kahlua or liqueur of your choice
good quality chocolate for grating on the top


Whip the cream and the icing sugar until fluffy. Add the marscarpone and beat until well combined. In a separate dish, mix the coffee with the kahlua. Dip the savoiardi into this coffee mix and pop into a shallow serving dish. Continue dipping and popping until the dish is lined with a layer of coffee soaked savoiardi. Now spread half the cream/marscarpone on top of the biscuits. Add another layer of soaked bickys. Then finish with the rest of the marscarpone/cream. Grate some chocolate over the top and refrigerate for a few hours.

Pikelets




1 cup of SR Flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
3/4 to 1 cup of milk - until a dropping (not pouring) consistency!

Mix together until lump free. Drop spoonfuls into well buttered frypan and turn when bubbles form on the top (uncooked) side. Cook other side for 30 seconds and then transfer to a dish lined with a tea-towel. Put another tea-towel on top to keep the pikelets warm until you have made enough for the family! YUM!

Basic Sweet Pastry - For Dessert Tart




Blitz the following in the food-processor until it forms a ball

2 1/4 cups of plain flour
1/4 cup of sugar
180g butter
2 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 tbsp cold water

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
Roll out and top/fill with whatever fruit takes your fancy

Nanna-rific Raspberry Jelly Cake




via

from 1977 Royal Flying Doctor Women's Auxiliary Historical Cookbook



two and a half cups self raising flour
one tablespoon custard powder
four dessertspoons of raspberry jelly crystals
three tablespoons of boiling water
four ounces of butter
six ounces of sugar
three eggs
two tablespoons of milk


Sift the flour and the custard powder. Dissolve the jelly in boiling water. Cream the butter and sugar until pale, add the eggs and beat well. Add the milk to the jelly (it will curdle). Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the jelly/milk. Place into a greased 7" cake tin. Bake in a moderate oven for 50 minutes. Ice with soft icing and sprinkle with jelly crystals.

Pip's Gluhwhein



For those ecstatically cold Wintery evenings on the bearskin rug. Or in a thermos for a picnic!

3 bottles of red wine
1 litre of orange juice
2 cups of water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2tbsp honey
1 tbsp golden syrup
a slosh of vanilla essence
1 tsp mixed spice
4 cinnamon sticks
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced orange - peel and pith removed

Put all these things in a big pot and heat gently until nearly boiling. Taste it and make sure it's sweet enough for you - if not add more sugar. Turn off the heat and let the flavours develop for a couple of hours. Reheat until steaming but not boiling and serve. Serves 8 wine liking people.

Pour into thermoses and take on outdoorsy type trips to stay very, very warm.
Substitute cranberry juice for orange juice if you prefer

June 13, 2009

Vegies In A Bag

8 baby potatoes - halved
1 small onion - chopped roughly
4 cloves of garlic - chopped roughly
1 cob of corn - cut into 4 pieces
1 tub of cherry tomatoes
a handful of mushrooms, halved
1 bunch of baby carrots washed and trimmed up a bit
1/2 cup of chicken stock
pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander
a few leaves of fresh herbs - or a tsp of dried herbs
1 large oven bag
1 tbsp flour

Put flour into bag and toss about a bit to coat inside of bag. Toss all other ingredients into bag. Combine well by jiggling and massaging (!) Tie closed with the tie provided. Put a couple of teeny holes in the top of the bag. Pop onto oven tray and cook at 400 degrees (or 200) for 40 minutes. Eat with whichever condiments you like...! Pesto, mayo, chutney. Excellent alongside a nice cut of meat - if you are so inclined. You can use this method to cook lots of different combinations. You could make a curry like this - easy peasy. Or you could add tinned tomatoes and go down the Italian route. So many things you could do!

Quiche Lorraine...

This is super delicious - via the Hairy Bikers..

For the pastry
180g/6¼oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
50g/2oz parmesan, grated
2 tsp thyme, leaves only
1 free-range egg yolk
1 tsp chilled water (more if needed)


For the filling
3 free-range eggs
150g/5¼oz pancetta, cubed
250ml/9fl oz crème fraîche
150g/5¼oz Gruyère
freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the pastry, sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, parmesan and thyme and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk and the water and mix to form a firm dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit one large flan tin. Line the tin with the pastry, then place a circle of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for five minutes.
6. For the filling, place all the ingredients (except 50g/2oz of the Gruyère) into a large bowl and mix gently, to avoid filling the mixture with air.
7. Spoon the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle the remaining Gruyère on top.
8. Bake the quiche for 15 minutes, or until the filling is set. Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

Never Fail Chocolate Cake



Okay.. this cake is missing two pieces.. but that's because they've scooted into the lunchboxes of two hungry boys. I got up early to face the week and make soup and cake for the boys and cake for Brown Owls too. Lots of early making makes me happy, I can tell you! I'll show you the cherry cake a bit later on (it's still in the oven.)

Never Fail Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
pinch salt
1 cup of milk
dash of vanilla essence
2 cups of SR Flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating constantly. Add salt and vanilla. Mix cocoa and milk together in a jug. Add this cocoa/milk mix alternately with spoonfuls of the flour until nicely combined. Bake in a moderate oven in a 7"pan for 40 mins or until done!

*adapted from 'Royal Flying Doctor Women's Auxiliary Cookbook'

Cherry Cake





Cherry Cake

2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
100 g butter
1 cup of sugar PLUS 1 extra tablespoon of sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen or fresh pitted cherries
rind of a lemon


Cream the butter and the sugar until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the lemon rind, salt and the vanilla. Beat in the sifted together flour and baking powder, and the milk alternately until just combined. Pour into a well greased 7" tin and dot with the cherries, then sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake for 40 minutes in a medium/moderate oven - or until a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Enjoy! Yum!

* adapted from this recipe

I think I cooked this one a bit long... it was a tiny bit gooey in the centre after 40mins... but I'll just be sure to douse it with lots of cream and I think it'll be fine.... perhaps I might even warm it to serve?!

Pip's Brownies



via

200g dark cooking chocolate
200g butter
200g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
150g plain flour
100g cocoa
1tsp vanilla


Melt the cooking chocolate with the butter very gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Meanwhile beat the sugar and eggs in a mixer until light and fluffy, add vanilla.
Next mix in the chocolate/butter melted mix.
Now fold in the flour and cocoa.
Pour into a very well greased tin - i use a pastry brush to paint melted butter on every mm of the tin! And I do that twice!
Bake in a moderate oven for about half an hour until the centre is ALMOST cooked (a skewer in the centre should come out a bit chocolaty, but the sides should be pulling away from the tin and the top should be shiny and cracked). YUM!

February 3, 2009

Chicken Curry for the Faint Hearted - Not too spicy!

1 kilo of assorted chicken pieces to your liking - NB you MUST include some wings in the curry because they add HEAPS of flavour
1 440g tin of tomatoes
1/2 kilo of peeled, chopped potatoes (nice ones!)
1 tablespoon of good quality curry powder
1 440g tin of coconut milk
750ml of chicken stock
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, smooshed
1 inch piece of ginger, grated finely
1 tbsp of nice quality oil

Heat the oil over a medium/high heat. Fry the onion until golden (it takes a while!). Mix the curry powder, soy and 1/4 cup of water together to make a paste. Add to pan and fry until combined well with the onions. Add the chicken pieces and seal as best you can. Add the garlic and ginger. Toss it all together nicely. Now throw in the coconut milk, tomatoes, potatoes and chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes and serve with plenty of rice or roti or sliced white bread if you are a heathen!

January 2, 2009

Skordalia de Mike - A Dip for Lovers of Mashed Potato and Other Such Good Things



1 kilo of very nice potatoes, boiled until tender and mashed roughly and lumpily
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly chopped mint - half a handful

Mix all ingredients together - but not too much - we're going for rustic and lumpy here.
Spread on toast and gobble down.
Or serve as part of a mezze meal - or with a nice lamb chop.

Super Dooper Easy Peasy Peppers with Capers

3 nice medium sized deep red peppers - chopped roughly
1 head of garlic, sliced in half across ways
1 tbsp of capers - rinsed and drained
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of sherry vinegar
half a handful of fresh basil

Heat oil and plonk in the garlic (cut side down). Fry gently until fragrant. Throw in the capers. Fry for a minute. Then add the peppers. Put a lid on and allow to cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until soft and juicy. Lid off now. Turn the heat up and reduce the juices down until it looks oily and yummy. Add the vinegar and half the basil and pile into a big bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature and garnish with the remaining basil. Serve as a salad or on toast.


Extremely Good Gazpacho

1 kilo of tomatoes - chopped roughly
1 small red pepper
2 slices of nice bread
2 small cucumbers
2 cloves of garlic
2 cup of water
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
2 tsp of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Process the tomatoes, red pepper, bread, garlic and cucumber until well pureed.
Place in a big bowl or bucket or vessel of your liking.
Add the rest of the stuff.
Let it sit in the fridge and chill until very cold and nicely gazpached.
Pour into tiny tea cups or shot glasses.
You can add vodka if you are naughty.


Mike's Poinsettia - A super festive and delicious cocktail

This is what you should drink over the foggy, delicious haze of Christmas and New Year's...

Make it like this, please:



500 ml decent champagne or prosecco
300 ml cranberry juice
200 ml pomegranate juice
100 ml grand marnier or cointreau




Mix. Chill very well. Garnish with orange segments or pomegranate seeds or festive berries