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October 6th, 2009 Comments off

At the moment I am really into lentils, beans, and chickpeas. This is a great quick and somewhat healthy mid-week meal. Use the freshest bakery bought buns you can get, and good quality cured choritzo sausages.

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October 6th, 2009 Comments off

We do not eat enough fish. Whilst as school I used to work in the seafood department at a supermarket, and after seeing how many days thawed fish fillets were put out on display, tarted up with plastic parsley and at night we would put is all back in the chiller ready for the next day. So because of this, I cannot buy fish from supermarkets, and only like the freshest fish (preferably caught by myself on mums boat Zinkwazi). Fish is also a lot more expensive than other meats (unless you catch it yourself). Here in Perth we have one of the finest fishmongers Kailis Bros just down the road and on Sunday I picked up some <em>red throat emperor</em> fillets for this recipe. Sumac [wiki] is not an ingredient I have used before, but I picked some up a few weeks ago to try, and this recipe was a first attempt. Sumac is very lemony in flavour and works well with fish, and is available form Middle Eastern shops or delicatessens.

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September 20th, 2009 Comments off

Last night we went to a dance night at the local hall up the road, and it was a bring-a-plate type thing, and I made a batch of these.

Sausage Rolls-2
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September 17th, 2009 2 comments

As kids, my brothers Greg, Doug and I would spend endless summer holidays on Lemara, my Grandpa’s yacht which was moored at Richards Bay in northern Natal, South Africa. We would swim, fish off the bow, and go on day-trips to Pelican Island, a small island at the entrance to the harbour.

I remember on one trip to Pelican Island with Grandpa; we went for a walk leaving our gear on the shore, and upon returning we discovered a troop of monkeys rummaging though our food supplies. Grandpa had a sling-shot (the local South African Term is a Katty), he loaded it with a big stone and fired at the monkeys, hitting one square in the head, and as they were fleeing he hit another smack on his bright blue bum.

Back on Lemara, Gran would always cook up a hearty supper, and being three small growing boys needing to replace energy from the activities of the day; we must have eaten a lot, and I am still amazed at how Gran fed the three of us from the small galley. One of my favourites was Tuna Bake. This is a mixture of several recipes and I think I have recreated the delicious cheesy tuna flavours that Granny served up.

Tuna & Mushroom Pasta Bake-1

300g spiral pasta
40g butter
1 onion, chopped
2tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2tsp vegetable stock powder
zest of 1 lemon
fresh ground black pepper
2 cups grated tasty cheese
1 425g can tinned flaked tuna in springwater
200g large flat mushrooms, chopped
panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Boil pasta to packet directions until just cooked. While pasta is cooking melt butter in a medium pan and sauté onion until soft. Stir in flour and cook; stirring for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Heat until mixture simmers and thickens. Remove form the heat and stir in stock powder, pepper, zest and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

Combine cheese sauce, tuna (including the springwater), drained pasta and mushrooms in a large oven-proof casserole dish. Sprinkle with a generous layer of panko crumbs, a layer of the remaining cheese, and then a thin layer of panko crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and crispy on top.

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May 21st, 2009 Comments off

This is a new recipe that we picked up from the May 2009 edition of Delicious Magazine (page 61 for those playing at home). I made it a couple weeks ago and it was divine, and I tried it again last night and is was fantastic again. this is sure to be a new favourite in our house. I have never cooked with squid before really, I know if is yummy, and love salt and pepper squid, I just guess that is reminds me of baiting hooks on Zinkwazi or something. I have tried this with both fresh and frozen squid, and both work well, but of course try get fresh squid if possible.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium sized red chilli
1 tbs chopped coriander leaves (plus extra sprigs to serve)
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
200ml dry white wine
2 (500ml) cups fish stock
2 squid tubes, cleaned
500g fettuccine
lemon wedges to serve

Cut the squid tubes in half and then cut the flat halves into 3cm square pieces. Place each piece on a choppin board with the outside of the squid facing down. On the bias score 2mm strips into the squid, not cutting all the way through, do the same in the opposite direction to create a hatched pattern. Set the squid aside.

Heat half th oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add herbs and cook for further 3-4 minutes until onion is golden. Add tomato paste and cook stirring for 2 minutes or until the tomato paste deepens in colour. Degalze the pan by adding the wine and allowing it to reduce for 3-4 minutes. Add the fish stock the season with sea salt and freshly gound black pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in a separate fry pan over medium-high heat. in 2-3 batches cook the calamari until golden. I find that adding it skin-side down helps, and the hatch pattern scored into the calamari causes them ro roll up into cute little twists. Drain the cooked calamari on a paper towel.

Add calamari to the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes until calamari is tender and sauce is reduced.

Meanwhile cook the fettuccine according to packet instructions in boiling salted water. Drain, then return the pasta to the pan and stir though 2-3 spoonfuls of the sauce. Divide the pasta among bowls, top with a generous spoonful of sauce, then serve with coriander and lemon wedges.

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March 30th, 2009 1 comment

Tato Salad

This salad is great for barbeques, and every time I make it I am asked for copies of the recipe. The secret ingretient is the brand of mayonaise- I only use Best Foods Real Mayonaise. This brand can be tricky to get in Australia because it is not available in supermarkets, continental deils usually have it. In New Zealand Kato makes a great mayonaisse, this would be my second preference. Whenever I have tried store-bought potato salads, I always find the ‘tatos are undercooked and al-dente, I like them to be very well cooked and soft. My mum is an expert of the different varieties of potatoes, I generally just go for the ones that have purple skin and creamy yellow flesh, and use them unpeeled in this recipe.

8 large potatoes, washed and cubed
½ jar best foods real mayonaise
¼ cup shelled pistacho nuts
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 finely sliced spring onions
1 lime

Boil the potatoes unti they are very soft, drain. Gently mix in the nuts, red and spring onions, and mayonaise. Squeeze lime juice over the salad and garnish with extra nuts or onion. This can be served warm, or made ahead and chilled.

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March 22nd, 2009 4 comments

Friands [wiki] are very popular in NZ Cafés, but they have not really taken off in Australia, and are seldom available, however in Perth the David Jones Foodhall sells them. There is a strange tradition in Perth where on your birthday you have to take in cake, which is odd because on your special day you have to wake up an hour earlier and spend the morning baking, in NZ and the East coast the usual tradition was a pub lunch or with your workmates. Anyway this is what I took into work yesterday, they went down a treat. Be careful not to overfill the cups with mixture- nobody likes a muffin-top.

180g (6oz) unsalted butter
6 eggwhites
200g (7oz) icing sugar, plus extra to dust
60g (2oz) plain flour, sifted
120g (4¼ oz) almond meal
200g (7oz) fresh or frozen blueberries (or any raspberries, bilberries etc)

Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Use a little butter to grease a 12 hole friand pan.
Lightly beat eggwhites in a large bowl until frothy. Sift in icing sugar and flour, then stir in almond meal. Add melted butter, and blueberries, stir in until just combined, then spoon into pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning tray halfway, until tops are golden and springy to touch.
Stand for 5 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool slightly. Dust with icing sugar.

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