Archive for April, 2009


April 12th, 2009 2 comments

This dish is very quick and easy – perfect for a busy midweek meal.


2 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless

2 T mustard (Hot and/or mild English)

2 T milk

1½ C grated mature cheddar cheese

¼ C plain flour

½ C snipped fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 180°C (360° F) fanbake

In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and milk

In another, larger bowl mix together the cheese, flour and chives.

Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 equal pieces and put them into the mustard mixture, coating well.

Doing one piece of chicken at a time, remove from the mustard mixture and coat with the cheese mixture then place on a cooking paper lined baking tray.  Sprinkle any excess cheese mixture over the chicken pieces then bake for around 30 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Serves 2

Cheddar backed chicken

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off

Although I have not been a practicing catholic for many years, I still feel guilty if I eat meat on Good Friday so this is what we had this year.


5 large mashing potatoes, peeled and diced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 eggs

1 bag baby spinach

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot chopped

2 T butter

1/3 C  flour

2 C milk

1 C grated mature cheddar cheese

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 t English mustard

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

200g (½lb) skinless white fish such as gurnard or terakihi

300g (2/3 lb) smoked fish, like trevally, flaked


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 15 minutes until cooked.  Drain.  Hard boil the eggs, when cool peel and quarter them.  Wilt the spinach in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain in a colundar and squeeze out any excess water.

In a large pot, melt the butter then add the onion and carrot and gently fry for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the lemon zest then mix in the flour and cook for a further minute.  Add the milk slowly and stir continuously until thickened and boiling.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese, lemon juice, mustard and parsley.   Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary.

Put the spinach, fish and eggs into a casserole dish and mix together.  Pour over the sauce and poke with the handle of a wooden spoon to get the sauce to penetrate to the bottom of the dish.  Mash the potatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  If too thick, mix in some milk.  Spread over the fish and sauce.  Rough up with a fork then bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until browned and bubbling.

Serves 6

Fish pie

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off

Panko crumbs (wiki) make the difference in this dish.


1 rack of lamb per person, all fat removed

Hot English mustard (or mild for wussies)

Chopped herbs, eg rosemary, flat leaf parsley, chives or a mixture of these

1 ½C panko crumbs

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Lemon infused olive oil (or plain olive oil if this is unavailable)


Preheat the oven to 180°C (360° F) fanbake

Spread a thin layer of mustard on the meat side of each lamb rack.

Place the herbs, crumbs and lemon zest in a small bowl.  Add the lemon juice and enough olive oil to bind the crumbs together.

Pack the crumb mixture on the meat side of the lamb rack.  Bake on a cooking paper lined baking tray for about ½ an hour, or until the lamb is medium rare. 

Serves 2

Lamb Rack

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off


2 T light soy sauce

2 T sweet chilli sauce

2 T oyster sauce

2 T peanut oil

600g (1.3 lb) skinless chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced

1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 C cold cooked jasmine rice

1 C Thai basil leaves

4 spring onions, sliced diagonally

Fried shallots for sprinkling (available at Asian grocery stores)


Combine the soy, sweet chilli and oyster sauces in a small bowl.  Heat a wok over high heat until hot.  Add some peanut oil.  Add half the chicken and stirfry until browned and just cooked.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Add a bit more peanut oil and the onion to the wok and stirfry for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and stirfry for 30 seconds.  Add the rice and egg.  Stirfry for a couple of minutes until the rice and egg are well combined.

Return the chicken to the wok and add the sauce mixture, basil and spring onions.  Stirfry for a couple more minutes until well combined and heated through.

Serve sprinkled with fried shallots.

Serves 4

 Chicken fried rice

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off

Whatever you do, avoid the dumb blonde potato Nadine.


1 potato per person, preferably Agria or any other type suitable for baking and roasting. 


Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) fanbake

Using a pointed knife, prick each potato several times on each side.  Microwave the potatoes for about 3 minutes per potato, or until 90% cooked.

Put potatoes on a baking tray which has been lined with cooking paper, leaving plenty of room between them.  Squash each potato with a potato masher.  The flatter the potato, the crispier it will end up.  Brush each potato with rice bran oil, or vegetable oil.  I find using a pastry brush works best.  Grind some coarse salt on each potato.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Squashed potatoes

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off

This is a different take on Herb and Feta Baked Chicken.


8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

2 tablespoons each chopped fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme (or any other fresh herbs available)

125g (4½ oz) feta cheese, cut into 8 sticks

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 slices prosciutto


Heat oven to 180°C (360° F) fanbake

Open the chicken thighs.  Divide the herbs among the thighs.   Place a piece of feta in the centre of each thigh.  Season and roll up to enclose the cheese.

Wrap each chicken piece in prosciutto. 

Put the chicken pieces on a baking tray which has been lined  with cooking paper and bake for about 30 minutes until prosciutto is crisp and chicken is cooked through.  Serve with squashed baked potatoes and a salad.

Chicken prosciutto

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off

The best mussels to use for this recipe are NZ green lipped ones.  If you can’t get these, use brown mussels as a substitute, but you will need to use more.


12 green lipped mussels

½ C butter at room temperature

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 C grated mature cheddar cheese


Heat oven grill to highest setting

Steam the mussels in a small amount of water until they open.  Remove the mussels from the shell.  Remove the beard and any gristly bits from the mussels and discard.  Keep one clean half shell per mussel.

In a small bowl, mix the butter, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest together until well blended. 

Arrange the shells on a baking tray.  Place one mussel in each shell half.  Put a dollop of the butter mixture on each mussel.  Top with grated cheese.  Place under the grill for a few minutes until golden and sizzling.

Serves 2 – 4


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April 12th, 2009 1 comment

While this bread doesn’t look terribly attractive, it is delicious and perfect at a barbecue (thanks Brian’s mom for the recipe)


1 T toasted bread crumbs

2 t baking powder

150g (5oz) cake flour

1 t bicarbonate of soda

50ml (10 t) caster sugar

Pinch salt

60g (2oz) butter or margarine

3 eggs, lightly beaten

50ml (10t) milk

1 X  410g (1lb) tin whole kernel sweetcorn, drained


Grease a round microwave ring or pan (26X12 cm, 10X5 inch) and coat the inside with the crumbs.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and rub in the butter or margarine.  Combine the eggs, sweetcorn and milk in a jug, pour into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Don’t over mix.

Turn into the prepared pan and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs.  Cover with plastic wrap.

Microwave on 70% power for 8 – 10 minutes.  Uncover and stand for 5 minutes before turning out.

Mielie bread

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April 12th, 2009 Comments off



Leg or shoulder of lamb

Lots of garlic (I use a whole head)

Lemon pepper seasoning

Roast Potatoes:

1 – 2 potatoes per person

Rice bran oil

Mint sauce:

2 handfuls mint

Brown vinegar



For the lamb:

Heat oven to 160°C / 320°F fan bake

Place lamb in a roasting pan and season with lemon pepper seasoning on the top side.  Surround with unpeeled garlic cloves.  Add water so pan is around three quarters full.  Bake for about half an hour then turn the lamb and season the other side.  Add more water until pan is again three quarters full.  Bake again for about 1½ to 2½ hours, turning every half hour.  Let the water evaporate a bit until there is enough left to make as much gravy as desired.  The lamb is done when it is very tender but not falling apart.  Remove from the pan to a serving dish, cover with foil and let rest for about 25 minutes. 

To make the gravy, squash the garlic from the husks and discard the husks.  Check the seasoning and thicken with enough cornflour mixed with water to give preferred consistency. (Some like it runny, some like it thick)

For the potatoes:

Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters for small potatoes and sixths for larger ones.  Add to salted boiling water and cook until ¾ done.  Pour into a colander, be a bit rough with them, the more you rough them up, the crisper they will turn out.  Heat some rice bran oil in a large pan.  Add the potatoes and cook slowly, turning occasionally until golden and crisp.  For even more crispness, use a knife to partially halve the pieces of potato while cooking in the oil.

For the mint sauce:

Make early and let steep for as long as possible.  Finely chop the mint and place in a small bowl.  Add enough vinegar to just cover.  Add 3 teaspoons sugar and stir until dissolved then taste.  Keep adding sugar, stirring and tasting after each spoon until desired balance of sugar and vinegar is achieved.

Roast lamb

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