Saturday, November 26, 2005

These two recipes are from Jamie Oliver, so forgive the frequent "handful" measurement.

Pork Chops With Thyme, Lemon & Pesto

Serves 4

1 handful thyme, leaves picked
sea salt & ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
4 two-rib pork chop loins, or regular chops
1 small jar store-bought pesto, or use 1 batch of the recipe below

Using a pestle & mortar pound, or very finely chop, thyme with 1 tsp salt.
When pulped, add garlic & 1 tsp black pepper & pound again.
Stir in lemon juice & zest & olive oil.
Smear mixture over chops & leave for at least 10 minutes.
Place chops on very hot griddle or in hot frying pan - make sure the fan is on, they tend to smoke.
Try to get each side nicely charred & golden, but take care & don't let them burn; if it looks like they are getting too much colour, turn the heat down as you really don't want to overcook them.
They take about 8 minutes to cook at medium-high heat.
Rest chops once cooked, then spoon some pesto over them.
Serve with mixed salad & mashed or jacket potatoes (rub with olive oil, roll in sea salt & bake), or basic risotto.

Pesto Sauce

Serves 4

1/4 clove garlic, chopped
3 good handfuls fresh basil, leaves picked
1 handful lightly roasted pine nuts, cooled
1 good handful grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & ground black pepper
small squeeze lemon juice (optional)

Put garlic into a mortar & pestle or food processor.
Pound or pulse with fresh basil leaves.
Add pine nuts to mixture & pound or pulse.
Turn out into bowl & add half the parmesan.
Gently stir in & add olive oil, just enough to bind sauce & get it to right consistency - semi-wet but firm.
Taste mixture, & add little salt & pepper & rest of cheese.
Add more oil & taste again.
Keep adding little bits of this & that till you get the flavour as you like it.
When you taste it for the last time, you might want to squeeze a bit of lemon juice to bring out the fragrance of the basil.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Mami's Bolognese

Serves 4-6

2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1kg minced beef
1 tbsp mixed herbs (or to taste)
2 sachets tomato paste
2 x 400g cans whole or chopped tomatoes
1 bottle tomato sauce (for pasta, not ketchup!)
2 bay leaves
sea salt & cracked black pepper
additional fresh herbs of your choice, eg flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Add garlic & onion & cook for 3 minutes or until just soft.
Add mince & cook, stirring, until brown.
Add mixed herbs & tomato paste, stir till evenly dispersed & then stir through tomatoes.
Add tomato sauce, then fill bottle with water & add to sauce with bay leaves.
Simmer sauce for 1 hour or until thickened to your liking.
Stir through salt, pepper & extra herbs & serve over pasta or use in lasagne (below).
Note: if you have limited time, omit water & simmer for 15-20 minutes.


Serves 4

1 quantity bolognese sauce
500g fresh lasagne sheets
3/4 cup grated mozzarella
white sauce
80g butter
4 tbsp plain flour
4 cup milk
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
sea salt & cracked black pepper

Make bolognese sauce & set aside.
To make white sauce, place butter in saucepan over medium heat & allow to melt.
Add flour & stir to smooth paste.
Whisk in milk & stir until sauce has boiled & thickened.
Stir in parmesan & add salt & pepper.
Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 190ºC.
Grease 20cmx20cm square ovenproof dish & line with some of lasagne sheets.
Thinly spread over 1/4 of bolognese sauce, cover with more sheets, then spoon over 1/4 of white sauce.
Repeat layers, finishing with white sauce.
Sprinkle with mozzarella & bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown & cooked.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Serves 4-6

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 kg smoked ham hock, chopped (ask your butcher to cut hock into 4 pieces) [I just use 500g rindless bacon, diced, instead]
400g can peeled whole tomatoes
5 cups beef stock
1/4 cup small pasta, such as macaroni
150g broccoli, chopped
100g green beans, chopped
310g can cannellini beans, drained
sea salt & cracked black pepper
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cook oil, onion, garlic & carrot in large saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Remove skin & visible fat from ham hock then add to pan with tomatoes & stock.
Cover & simmer for 35 minutes.
Remove hock, cut ham from bone & dice.
Add to pan with pasta, broccoli, green & cannellini beans, salt & pepper.
Continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir through parsley, ladle into bowls & serve with shaved parmesan cheese & crusty Italian bread.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Banana Ice Cream

375ml milk or cream or a mixture of both (according to taste)
100g sugar
3 ripe bananas

Purée the bananas place in a mixing bowl.
Pour in the milk/cream and sugar, mixing in well as you do so.
Transfer the whole mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.