Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sesame Chicken Salad

Serves 4

4 chicken breast fillets
1 egg white
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small butter lettuces
4 green onions, shredded

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce

Lightly brush chicken with egg white & press both sides into sesame seeds.
Heat frying pan over medium-high heat.
Add oil & chicken to pan & cook ofor 1-2 minutes each side or until golden.
Reduce heat to low, cover & cook for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.
To make dressing, combine honey & soy.
To serve, slice each chicken breast into four pieces.
Cut lettuces in half & top with onions, chicken & dressing.

Caramel Banana Tarte Tatin

Serves 4

80g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp single cream
3 bananas, sliced lengthwise
1 sheet ready-prepared puff pastry

Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Place butter, sugar & cream in 22cm ovenproof frying pan.
Stir mixture over medium heat until sugar has melted & caramel is simmering.
Remove from heat & add bananas, cut side down, to fit over base of pan.
Cut out rough circle of pastry to fit on top of bananas, place over & bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is puffed & golden.
Stand for 5 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.
Serve with thick (double) cream or ice-cream.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Caramalised Lime Fish

Serves 4

1kg firm white fish fillets, skin removed
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 small cucumbers, sliced into ribbons (ie lengthways)
1/2 cup coriander leaves
4 green onions, sliced

Cut fish into large pieces.
Heat non-stick frying pan over high heat.
Add oil & fish & cook for 1 minute on each side or until brown & sealed.
Combine lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, soy & chilli, add to pan & cook, turning fish once, for 4 minutes or until fish is just cooked through & sauce has reduced & is sticky.
To serve, place cucumbers, coriander & onions on plates & top with fish.
Spoon over pan sauce & serve.


Scallops - Replace fish with 16 scallops. Cook sauce first for 4 minutes, then add scallops & cook for 1 minute each side. Replace cucumber salad with 2 sliced celery sticks, 1 cup mint & 4 sliced green onions.

Salmon - Replace white fish with 4 x 200g skinless salmon fillets, cooking for 2 minutes each side before adding sauce to pan. Replace cucumber salad with 400g trimmed blanched asparagus & leaves of a baby cos lettuce.

Prawns - Replace fish with 32 green (raw) shelled prawns. Replace cucumber salad with 100g baby rocket leaves & 2 small sliced avocados.

Chocolate Dessert Cakes

Serves 4

185g butter, melted
1 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup cocoa
vanilla bean ice-cream or thick cream to serve

Preheat oven to 160ºC.
Place butter, sugars & eggs in bowl & mix until combined.
Sift over flour, baking powder & cocoa & mix until combined.
Place in 4 x 1 cup capacity overnproof tea or coffee cups & bake for 20 minutes or until fudgy.
Serve warm or cold in cups topped with ice-cream or cream.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Lord Help Us

With thanks to the barman at the Lord Robert cocktail bar.

Makes 1

60ml vodka
10 mint leaves
2cm piece lemongrass
2 thin slices fresh ginger
30ml sugar water (or more to taste)
1/2 lime, cut into 2-3 wedges

Put vodka, mint, lemongrass, ginger & sugar water together in a cocktail shaker.
Squeeze juice of lime wedges into shaker then drop wedges in.
Muddle for ~30 seconds.
Add ice & shake well.
Strain into a cocktail glass & enjoy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pineapple & Lychee Spearmint Colada

To get you in the summery spirit, regardless of the weather.

Serves 6-8

200ml vodka
750ml pineapple juice
500g canned lychees
2 tbsp spearmint leaves
2 cups chopped pinapple
125ml coconut cream
crushed ice

Put vodka, pineapple juice, lychees & their juice, spearmint & pineapple in blender & mix until smooth.
Add coconut cream & ice & blend until thick & smooth.
Serve immediately.
Papas a la Huancaína (Potatoes, Huancayo Style)

Serves 4-6

2 cups cottage cheese
3 hard-boiled egg yolks
4 hot red chillies (for hotter sauce, use more, to tase)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
few drops of lemon juice
1/4 cup Spanish (red) onion, finely chopped

10 desiree potatoes, peeled
5 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
10 black olives
1 hot red chilli, extra, finely sliced
lettuce leaves, to serve

Chop chillies using a blender, adding a little of the oil for smoothness if necessary.
In a bowl, mash together cottage cheese & egg yolks with fork.
Add chillies, salt & pepper to taste & mix well.
Pour in oil a little at a time while stirring.
Add evaporated milk & lemon juice, beating well.
Lastly add onion & mix.
Set sauce aside.
Peel potatoes, halve & cook in boiling water.
Drain & arrange on a plate.
Cover potatoes with sauce & garnish with remaining ingredients.
Serve as an entrée or light meal.

Banana Cake

This recipe works well for cupcakes as well (cook for 20-25 min) & you can use a lemon icing to decorate, if you want.

60g butter, softened
2 over-ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 small tub (~100g) natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Blend butter, bananas & sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition.
Add yoghurt & blend again.
Add vanilla & flour, blending once more.
Pour into a lined baking tin or muffin tray & bake for 50 minutes or until cooked.
Cool in tin, then turn onto a wire rack before serving.

Add 1/2 cup choc chips for a sweeter treat.
Add 1 small can of passionfruit pulp for a tropical flavour.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Recipe for a Good House Party

1. Lights
Fairy lights and/or candles are best. Mix them up with some dim, coloured lamps if you have them too for a nice chilled effect.

2. Music
The most important thing is not to have the music loud. It needs to fill the background without dominating so that people can still talk. I like more chilled sounds of Late Night Mix CDs and Cafe Del Mar, but anything works as long as it's not to loud. Also try to mix in less popular but still great tracks with well-known music for that perfect cool blend and so that people can pick out favourites even in the background.

3. Food
A balance of sweet and savoury, hot and room temperature, vego and not is the best way to make sure everyone has something they can munch on. I like having bowls of lollies scattered around the place, plus chips & dips and cheese & biscuits for general munching. Then I do the oven-baked party pies, cheese triangles, wedges and other assorted warm goodness which are really popular and are very much appreciated by all in attendence. Of course, if you want low effort, just go with the lollies and room temp stuff. Oh, and fairy bread is also really popular and yummy if you have the time to prep it.

4. People
Invite all your friends! I do not hold with all this "different groups" crap. Just invite everyone - they're all your friends, so they'll have at least one thing in common - they'll meet new people and sort themselves out. Hell, I had two completely different "sets" of people exchanging phone numbers by the end of one party.

Have fun and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Time for some sweet stuff!

Sweet Sage, Apple & Cinnamon Toddy

Good for keeping warm in all this cold weather.

Serves 2

4 slices dried apple
2 sage leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
60ml scotch whisky
2 tsp honey
boiling water

Put 2 slices of apple in each of 2 glasses or clear mugs.
Add a sage leaf & cinnamon stick to each.
Add 30ml whisky & a teaspoon of honey to each glass & 3/4 fill each one with boiling water.
Serve immediately.

Grown-up Hot Chocolate

For sweeter dreams.

Serves 1

30g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp coffee-flavoured liqueur
1 cup milk, warmed

Place chocolate & liqueur in glass or mug.
Pour in warm milk & stir to melt chocolate.

Marshmallow Affogato

Serves 2

4 marshmallows
2 shots espresso coffee
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
extra marshmallows, to serve

Put 2 marshmallows in each of 2 espresso coffee glasses or cups.
Pour 1 coffee shot into each glass & stand for 1 minute, allowing marshmallows to melt slightly.
Add ice cream & serve immediately with extra marshmallows.

Chocolate Risotto

Serves 4

6 cups milk
1 cup cream
20g butter
1 cup arborio rice
100g dark chocolate, chopped
brown sugar, to serve
warm milk, extra, to serve

Place milk & cream in saucepan over medium heat & bring to boil, then reduce heat & keep warm.
Heat large saucepan over medium heat, add butter & rice & cook stirring for 2 minutes or until grains are translucent & coated with butter.
Add warm milk mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup of milk is absorbed & rice is al dente.
Add chocolate & stir until melted.
Serve topped with brown sugar & extra milk. Mmmmm...


Makes 24 slices

1 cup blanched almonds
3/4 cup hazelnuts
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cup honey
1 cup caster sugar
rice paper for lining

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Place almonds & hazelnuts on separate baking trays & bake for 5 minutes or until golden.
Set almonds aside.
Place hazelnuts in clean tea towel & rub to remove skins.
Roughly chop almonds & hazelnuts.
Place apricots, flour, cocoa, cinnamon & allspice in large heatproof bowl.
Place honey & sugar in saucepan & stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Brush sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals.
Increase heat & allow mixture to simmer for 1-2 minutes until 'soft ball' stage (113-115ºC, use sugar thermometer).
Pour into flour mixture, add almonds & hazelnuts & stir quickly to combine.
Line 20cm x 30cm slice tin with sheets of rice paper, trimming edges to fit.
Press mixture into tin.
Cook for 20 minutes or until springy.
Cool in tin, then cut into slices.

Jam Donuts

These are my personal favourites.

Makes 22

4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g butter, melted
4 1/4 cups plain flour
3 eggs
vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 cup caster sugar, extra
1 tsp ground cinnamon
raspberry or strawberry jam

Place yeast, water, milk & 1 tbsp sugar in bowl & set aside for 10 minutes.
Mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
Add butter, flour, eggs & remaining sugar to yeast mixture & mix with a butter knife until sticky dough forms.
Bring dough together by kneading on lightly floured surface.
Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with tea towel & set aside in warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until it feels smooth & elastic when pressed.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until 1cm thick.
Cut 8cm rounds with a cutter.
Place on tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with tea towel & set aside in warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
Heat oil in saucepan (or deep-fryer) over medium-low heat.
Cook donuts a few at a time for 1 minute each side or until golden.
Drain on paper towel, then pierce each donut with the tip of a knife & pipe in a little jam.
Toss in combined sugar & cinnamon & serve. Yummm!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Lamb, Mushroom & Capsicum Risotto

Made this tonight from what I had in the fridge and it was actually really good, if I do say so myself.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 Spanish (red) onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp olive oil, extra
2 lamb steaks, cut into stips
4 medium field mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red capsicum, sliced
mixed herbs
cracked pepper
sea salt
parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion & garlic & cook, stirring, until soft.
Add rice & stir until translucent.
While rice is cooking, heat wine & stock in another saucepan over medium-high heat to a gentle simmer.
Add warm stock mixture to rice, 1 cup at a time, waiting for each cup to be fully absorbed, & until rice is al dente (approx. 25-30 minutes).
While rice is cooking, heat extra oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat.
Fry lamb, mushrooms & capsicum with herbs & pepper until cooked.
Once rice is cooked, stir through meat & vegetables, adding salt to taste.
Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Pasta a la Dive

For maximum effect, enjoy with a good wine while watching Casablanca ;-)

Serves 4

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
4 medium field mushrooms, sliced
enough pasta for 4
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
500g chicken breast, cut into strips
1 red capsicum, sliced
1/2 cup white wine

Mix egg & cheese together & set to one side.
Fry chorizo & mushrooms in medium, non-stick frypan over medium heat till cooked.
Set aside until needed.
Cook pasta.
While pasta is cooking, fry garlic & onion in large, non-stick frypan over medium heat until soft.
Add chicken & capsicum till cooked, then add the pre-cooked chorizo & mushrooms.
Add wine & keep warm over low heat till needed.
Drain pasta & add to meat & vegetables, stirring well.
Finally, add egg/cheese mixture, stir thoroughly through pasta & serve immediately.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Roast Cherry Tomato, Fetta & Olive Bites

Makes 24

1 sheet ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
30g butter, melted
60g fetta cheese, crumbled
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
100g pitted black olives
cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Place pastry sheet on a lined baking tray.
Cut sheet into 4cm x 4cm squares, without separating squares.
Brush squares with melted butter.
Place fetta on each square & top with tomato halves, olives & pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes or unitl squares are puffed & golden.
Serve with the 2003 Moondah Brook WA Verdelho for a great wine match.

Szechuan Pepper Squid

Serves 4

1 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp five spice powder
4 small squids, hood & body separated
oil for deep-frying
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup rice flour
lemon wedges to serve

Place peppercorns, salt & five spice powder in non-stick frying pan over low heat.
Heat for 1 minute or until aromatic.
Place in mortar & pestle & grind roughly. Set aside.
To separate squid heads & bodies, gently pull them apart with your hands.
Peel tough outer skin from squid hoods, rinse & pat dry.
Cut hoods into pieces & use a sharp knife to score the pieces.
Clean body, discarding head & reserving tentacles, & pat dry.
Heat oil in large, deep frying pan over medium heat (or deep-fryer at 180ºC, if you have one), making sure oil is hot before frying squid.
Toss squid hood pieces & tentacles in egg white & then in rice flour, dusting off any excess flour.
Deep-fry for 1 minute or until just golden.
Drain on absorbant paper & sprinkle with szechuan pepper mixture.
Serve with lemon wedges.

Cinnamon Baked Apples

Makes 6

1/3 cup flaked almonds
6 apples, cored
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
10g butter, softened
pinch of ground cinnamon
6 cinnamon sticks

Preheat oven to 160ºC.
Bake almonds on baking tray for 5 minutes or until golden.
Set aside to cool.
Make 5mm ridge around middle of apples using paring knife.
Combine almonds, sugar, flour, butter & ground cinnamon & spoon into apples.
Insert cinnamon stick into each apple & bake for 25 minutes or until apples are just soft.
Serve warm with double cream or crème anglaise (below).

Crème Anglaise

Makes 2 1/4 cups

1 cup milk
1 cup (single) cream
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1 tbsp caster sugar

Heat milk, cream & vanilla in saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
Whisk together yolks & sugar.
Slowly pour over milk mixture, whisking well to combine.
Return to saucepan & stir over low heat for 5-6 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of spoon.
Strain, cover & refrigerate until needed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Serves 4-6

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 kg lamb mince
700ml tomato puree
1 cup beef stock
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt
cracked black pepper
3 eggplants (~1.5kg), thinly sliced
olive oil, extra
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place large, deep frying pan (I used a big saucepan) over medium heat.
Add oil, garlic & onion & cook for 4 minutes or until soft.
Add meat & cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
Add puree, stock, cinnamon, mint, parsley, salt & pepper & cook for 15-20 minutes or until reduced & thick.
Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt & set aside for 15 minutes.
Rinse & pat dry with paper towel.
Brush eggplant lightly with oil & cook in batches in large, non-stick frypan over medium heat until golden.
To assemble, place 1/3 of eggplant slices in base of 22cm square ovenproof dish.
Top with 1/3 cheeses & 1/2 meat sauce.
Continue layering, finishing with layer of cheese.
Place in preheated 170ºC oven & cook for 35 minutes or until cheese is golden.
Serve with crusty bread (& Greek salad!).

Monday, April 26, 2004

Chilli & Vanilla Syrup with Fresh Mango

Serves 4

1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
1 large red chilli, seeded & finely chopped
2 cups water
1 lime, juiced
3 mangos, peeled & flesh cut into thick strips
lime sorbet (bought or home-made)

Put sugar, vanilla bean & chilli into small saucepan with water.
Bring to boil then reduce heat & allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool then stir in lime juice.
Divide mango between 4 chilled bowls & top with scoops of lime sorbet.
Drizzle over chilli syrup & serve immediately.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Roast Beef Fillet with Soft Polenta & Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

1kg beef fillet, trimmed
sea salt & cracked black pepper

mushroom sauce
20g butter
3 field mushrooms, sliced
100g button mushrooms, halved
3/4 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
100g cold butter, extra, chopped
1 tbsp tarragon leaves

soft polenta
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups water
60g butter
1 cup instant polenta

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Heat large non-stick frying pan over high heat.
Sprinkle beef with salt & pepper.
Brown beef well on all sides & place in baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
Roast for 20 min (for still mooing) or until cooked to your liking (I'd say at least 1-2 hours, & lower the heat to 150ºC).
Remove from oven, cover with foil & rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
To make sauce, add butter to frying pan & cook mushrooms in batches over medium-high heat until golden.
Remove & set aside.
Put wine in frypan & simmer for 3 min.
Add stock & mustard & simmer for 5 min or until reduced by 1/3.
Whisk in extra butter, a little at a time, until sauce thickens.
Return mushrooms to pan, add tarragon & cook for 1 min.
Set asid & keep warm.
To make polenta, place milk, water & butter in saucepan over medium heat.
When simmering, add polenta in a thin stream, whisking to avoid lumps.
Stir mixture for 5 min or until it comes away from sides of pan.
To serve, slice beef & serve on polenta. Spoon over sauce.

Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Espresso Syrup

Serves 4

2 tbsp water
2 tsp gelatine powder
2 cups cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (not essence or flavouring)

espresso syrup
3/4 cup espresso coffee
1/3 cup sugar

To make panna cotta, place water in a bowl & sprinkle over gelatine. Stand for 5 minutes or until gelatine absorbs water.
Place cream in saucepan over medium heat with brown sugar & vanilla extract. Stir occasionally, allowing cream to come to boil.
Add gelatine & cook, stirring, for 1-2 min to dissolve gelatine.
Pour mixture into 4 x 1/2 cup capacity moulds (anything will do, really) that have been very lightly greased with vegetable oil.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until firm.
To make syrup, place coffee & sugar in small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until sugar dissolves, increase heat & boil for 5-8 min until reduced & thickened.
Refrigerate until cold.
Remove panna cotta from fridge 5 min before serving & unmould.
Pour over syrup & serve.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Raspberry Fool

Serves 4

120g crushed meringue
4 cups (440g) frozen raspberries, defrosted
1 cup thick cream

Layer ingredients in glasses and serve immediately.

Bellini Mix

Serves 4

250ml peach nectar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 x 250ml sparkling wine

In a jug, combine peach nectar, sugar & lime juice, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Store mixture in a bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serve bellini mix topped with sparkling wine.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Mint & Cucumber Lamb Salad

Serves 2

1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp olive oil
sea salt & cracked black pepper
4 x 100g lamb fillets, trimmed
1 small lebanese cucumber, halved & sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 vine-ripened tomato, cut into wedges
1 cup mint leaves

yoghurt dressing
1/2 cup (125g) thick natural yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chopped mint

Preheat barbecue or char-grill to medium-high.
To make dressing, combine ingredients & set aside.
Combine the cumin, oil, salt & pepper & brush over lamb fillets.
Char-grill for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking, then slice.
Combine cucumber, onion, tomato & mint.
Top with lamb & spoon over dressing.
Serve with lebanese or turkish bread.

Peach & Rosewater Tartlets

Makes 6

1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
75g butter, chopped
2-3 tbsp iced water
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sparkling wine
1 1/2 cups caster sugar, extra
1 1/2 tsp rosewater
2 x 5cm pieces lemon rind
3 white peaches
eggwhite, for brushing
sugar, for sprinkling

ricotta filling
1 cup (250g) fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup caster sugar

Place flour, sugar & butter in food processor & process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
With the motor running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough. Process until just combined.
Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap & place in fridge for 30 minutes.
Place water, sparkling wine, sugar, rosewater & lemon rind in saucepan over low heat & stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add peaches, increase heat & simmer for 8-10 minutes or until soft.
Remove peaches & cool slightly.
Remove skins & halve, removing stone.
Rapidly simmer poaching liquid for 30 minutes or until thick & syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Roll pastry between sheets of non-stick baking paper to 2mm thickness.
Cut into six 12cm rounds.
Cover & place in fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180?C.
Brush pastry rounds with eggwhite, sprinkle with sugar & bake for 10 minutes or until crisp & golden. Cool.
For ricotta filling, place ricotta & sugar in food processor & process until smooth.
To serve, spread pastry rounds with filling, place a peach half on top of each round & spoon over some of the syrup.
Well worth all that effort!

Watermelon Mint Daiquiris

Use whatever fruit's in season - mango, raspberry, pineapple, guava...

Serves 2

120ml white rum
2 tbsp sugar syrup (see below)
juice of 2 lemons
2 cups chopped watermelon
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

Put ingredients in blender & mix till ice is crushed & daiquiri is smooth & pourable.
Alternatively, crush ice, put into glasses, combine remaining ingredients & pour over top of crushed ice, like a snow cone.

Sugar Syrup

1 cup sugar
125ml water

Mix ingredients in saucepan over low heat till sugar dissolves.
Boil for 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy.
Chill before using.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Food from the last 2 nights:

Risotto with Chicken, Spinach & Asparagus

Serves 4

8 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups arborio rice
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 chicken breast fillets, trimmed
oil, for brushing
sea salt & cracked black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, halved (lengthwise) & cut into 4 cm lengths
75g baby spinach
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
shaved parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat stock & wine in a saucepan over low heat. Cover & bring to slow simmer.
Heat large saucepan over medium heat.
Add oil, onion & garlic & cook for 3 minutes or until soft.
Add rice & lemon zest & cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until grains are translucent.
Add hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup is absorbed & rice is al dente (25-30 minutes).
While risotto is cooking, brush chicken with oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Cook in non-stick frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Set aside, then slice.
When risotto is al dente, add asparagus, spinach, basil, pepper & sliced chicken.
Stir until spinach is wilted.
To serve, divide between bowls & top with cheese.

Trout with Green Beans & Dill Dressing

I served this with mashed potato as well, but you can have potato in other forms, or whatever you want, really!

Serves 4

200g green beans, trimmed
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped dill
sea salt & cracked black pepper
2 tsp olive oil, extra
4 rainbow trout fillets, pin boned, with skin on

Blanch beans in large saucepan of boiling water (~2 minutes), then plunge into iced water.
Drain & toss with lemon juice, oil, dill, salt & pepper. Set aside.
Heat extra oil in non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
Sprinkle trout with salt & pepper.
Cook, skin side down, for 3 minutes or until golden & crisp.
Turn & cook for 2 minutes.
Serve trout on beans with lemon wedges, if desired.

Nashi with Lime & Ginger

Serves 4

1 cup sugar
4 cups water
5cm piece ginger, shredded
3 tbsp lime juice
rind of 1 lime, cut into thin strips
4 nashi

Place sugar, water, ginger, lime juice & rind in saucepan & stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
Increase heat & allow mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
Peel & halve nashi, & brush with extra lime juice to prevent browning.
Place nashi in bowl & pour over syrup.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve with syrup & a scoop of toasted coconut ice cream.

Honey Biscuits with Mixed Berries

Serves 6-8

1/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup flour
1 egg white
45g butter, melted

3/4 cup thick cream
2 tbsp pure icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp grated lime rind
500-600g mixed berries

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
To make biscuits, place sugar honey, flour, egg white & butter in bowl & stir until smooth.
Drop teaspoonfuls of mixture onto greased baking trays & bake for 8-10 minutes or until biscuits are a dark golden colour.
Cool biscuits on wire racks until they are crisp.
To make filling, mis together cream, icing sugar & rind.
To serve, place biscuit on plate & top with dollop of cream mixture & berries.
Top with another biscuit & sprinkle with extra icing sugar.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Chicken & Lime Stir-Fry

Serves 4

1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
3 chicken breasts, trimmed & thinly sliced
200g rice vermicelli noodles
1 tbsp peanut oil
4 green onions, sliced
1 bunch (300g) baby bok choy, leaves separated

Combine the lime juice, chilli sauce & fish sauce in a non-metallic bowl.
Add chicken breasts, toss well to coat, cover & place in fridge for 15 minutes to marinate.
Place noodles in heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water & stand for 6 minutes. Drain & set aside.
Heat oil in wok over high heat.
Cook chicken, in batches, until golden.
Return all chicken to wok, add green onion & bok choy & cook for a further 3 minutes or until bok choy is wilted.
Stir through noodles, tossing to coat & serve immediately.