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Simplest Stuffed Mushrooms

June 15, 2022

Serves 2
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large flat mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Baby spinach
  • Black olives, pitted and sliced
  • Semi-dried small tomatoes in oil and herbs (from the deli counter), roughly chopped
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Pesto
  • Cheddar or other bitey cheese
  • You can add any other bits and pieces you like to this dish, or leave out any you don’t like 🙂

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c on a fan grill setting. Remove stalks from mushrooms and chop the stalks finely. Add some olive oil or butter to a frying pan and add the mushroom stalks along with the crushed garlic and stir. Throw in the olives, tomatoes, chili flakes if using and some baby spinach. Once the mixture is starting to wilt add some grated parmesan if you like. Add pepper to taste and salt only if required. The Parmesan is already quite salty. Mix gently.
  2. Lay the mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking tray. Spread about a teaspoon of pesto or to taste onto each mushroom and then spoon over the mixture from the pan. Top with Cheddar slices to cover each mushroom and its stuffing.
  3. Bake/grill for 10-20 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.

Vietnamese Mint & Prawn Stir Fry

June 15, 2022

A friend gave me some Vietnamese mint from her garden so I sought out a recipe.

Serves 2
Cook time:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 4 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 12 large raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large spring onion, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 10 Vietnamese mint leaves
  • 1 small chili, diced

    For the sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish stock, or water
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • dash sesame oil

Method:

  1. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic, ginger and prawns and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the spring onion, Vietnamese mint and chili. Stir fry until the prawns are pink and cooked. Place aside.
  2. Add the sauce ingredients to the wok and simmer until reduced. Add the sesame oil and pour over the prawns. Serve immediately.

DIY Baked Beans

June 15, 2022

I never eat baked beans from a tin but I find these addictive and so easy to make.

Serves 4
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 rindless bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 250 ml / 1 cup passata
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsely

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and onions. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until bacon is crisp and onion is soft.
  2. Add passata, water, golden syrup and paprika and stir until well combined. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add cannellini beans and cook stirring for 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper.

Thai Fish Stir Fry

June 15, 2022

Serves 2
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 300g firm white skinned fish fillet such as rockling, cod, haddock, hake, bream
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

    For the marinade:
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 green Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

    For the stir fry & noodles:
  • 100g medium egg or flat rice noodles
  • chili oil
  • 1 red pepper / capsicum
  • 100g cup mushrooms
  • Handful sugar snap peas / mangetout
  • 50g beansprouts
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded
  • 4 spring onions
  • quartered lime, to serve

Method:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the fish. Cut it into 5cm chunks. Mix all marinade ingredients into a bowl, add the fish and chill for 30 minutes or more.
  2. Core and chop the pepper into strips or dice; slice the mushrooms, slice the beans lengthways, trim the spring onions and chop into 1 cm pieces.
  3. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the noodles and soak for 5 minutes (or according to pack instructions).
  4. In the meantime, heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the fish with the marinade and spread it over the bottom of the wok in a single layer. Cook for a minute then turn the pieces over. When the fish has barely turned opaque remove it back to the bowl & set aside.
  5. Add all the vegetables to the wok except the spring onions and increase the heat a little. Stir around to dislodge the marinade that might have stuck to the bottom, add 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring now and then.
  6. Drain the noodles, stir a little chili oil into them and keep warm.
  7. Once the veggies are cooked, return the fish with its sauce into the wok, add the spring onions and stir gently. Cover with a lid and let the fish steam for a minute or two.
  8. Divide the noodles between serving dishes and pile the stir fry on top. Serve with lime quarters.

Chicken Liver Pâté

June 15, 2022

Cooking this might make you gag but the end result is delicious.

Serves 16 – you can easily halve or double the quantity
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup minced shallot
  • 500g chicken livers
  • Salt
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste or +/- 3 chopped jar anchovies according to taste, optional
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup cream

Method:

  1. Trim any fat and connective tissue from the livers.
  2. Heat TWO tbsp butter in a large frying pan on medium heat and let the butter just brown (3 – 5 minutes) but do not let it burn.
  3. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the livers. Be sure to space them well in the pan so that they brown easily. Sprinkle salt over the livers and then flip them when one side browns, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the capers, thyme, garlic and anchovy once the livers have browned and cook another minute.
  5. Remove pan from heat and add the brandy. I don’t like brandy but it really works well in this recipe. Replace on the heat and increase to high, letting the brandy boil and reduce to the consistency of syrup, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
  6. Put the mixture into a blender and pulse a few times to combine. Add the remaining butter (I don’t add all 4 tbsps, it just seems a bit much to me), add cream and then purée. The mixture should be a little loose but will firm up in the fridge.
  7. Pack the pâté into ramekins and cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving. It will last a week or so in the fridge. If you want to preserve it for up to a month, pour a little clarified butter or melted lard on top to seal. Each time you dip into the pâté, you will need to reseal the top to preserve it. I usually put it into a screw top jar and have never kept it beyond a week.

Delicious Lentil Salad

June 15, 2022

Serves plenty!
Cook time: Not sure

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups Du Puy or dark green lentils
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 cup dried currants or other dried fruit
  • 1/3 cup capers

    Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp strong mustard
  • 2 tsp salt (?)
  • 2 tsp pepper (?)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

    Optional add-ins:
  • arugula
  • walnuts
  • goat cheese
  • fresh herbs :- parsley, coriander, basil…

Method:

  1. Cook lentils or open tin and drain!
  2. Make vinaigrette:- place all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake well.
  3. Finely dice red onion, capers, raisins to same size pieces.
  4. Place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add onion, capers and currants. Add and other ingredients just before serving. This salad will last in the fridge for a couple of days.

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo & Potatoes

June 13, 2022

Stolen from Nigella…

Serves 6
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin and bone still on (or use Marylands)
  • 750g chorizo sliced into 4cm chunks
  • 1 kg potatoes, halved
  • 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • crushed garlic
  • lemon juice & zest
  • s & p

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220c. Put oil in the bottom of 2 shallow roasting tins, 1 tbsp in each. Rub the skin of the chicken in oil then turn skin side up.
  2. Divide the chorizo, potatoes and onions between the tins. Sprinkle over the oregano, grate lemon zest over and pour in a little juice.
  3. Cook for 1 hour and swap the tins around after 30 mins if you have a single width oven. Bast with the juices.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

June 12, 2022

Makes 1 pizza base
Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g cauliflower rice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup / 75g soft goat cheese or grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Cook cauliflower rice in the microwave according to packet instructions. Tip onto a clean, dry tea towel and leave to cool. Once cool, twist the rice in the tea towel as hard as you can to squeeze all the liquid out. Once you have squeezed all the water out, squeeze it some more. It’s vital to get as much of the liquid out of the cauli as possible to prevent a soggy pizza base.
  3. Mix the squeezed out rice, egg, cheese and herbs together in a large bowl to form a dough.
  4. Press the dough out to about a 1/2cm thickness onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until dry and golden. Use the paper to flip the crust over and bake another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, add your toppings and return to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes.

Balsamic Soy Roasted Mushrooms

June 12, 2022

Serves 4
Cook time: 15

Ingredients:

  • 1kg button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp (?!?) chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp (again ?!?) thyme
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • S & P

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl combine the mushrooms with the melted butter, oil, balsamic, soy, garlic, parsley, thyme, brown sugar, S&P. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Place mushrooms in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes until tender, mixing them halfway through cooking.

Korean Fish Stir Fry

June 12, 2022

Serves 4
Cook time: 10m

Ingredients:

  • 600g fish fillets
  • 180g rice noodles
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 green chilis, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum

    Marinade
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine shaohsing
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Method:

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl, add fish and turn to coat. Stand for 10 minutes. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, then drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add drained fish (reserving marinade), and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add onion and capsicum and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add reserved marinade and simmer for 2-3 minutes until fish is cooked and sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and serve the stir-fry on the noodles.

Potato, Parmesan and Red Pepper Cake

June 10, 2022

This is delicious and Irish. Win win.

Serves 4
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 1 cm chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (I use reglar pap as I’m not a huge fan of smoked but both are mouth-wateringly delish
  • 850g potatoes, peeled, boiled and drained
  • 100g butter
  • 150ml milk
  • s&p
  • 150g grated Parmesan
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 mozzarella ball, sliced (what???)
  • 40g butter
  • 4 tbsp white bread crumbs

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees or gas Matthew Mark Luke and John 6.
  2. Cook the red peppers gently with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and smoked paprika. Allow them to become soft and jammy. This will take about 15 minutes over a low heat. Season and set aside.
  3. While they are still warm, mash the spuds with the butter and milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg (yeuck, nutmeg). Allow to cool a little. Beat the eggs and add to the potatoes, along with the Parmesan.
  4. Butter a 20cm spring-form cake tin and sprinkle in some of the breadcrumbs. Spoon half of the potater mix into the tin.
  5. Layer the red peppers on top, followed by the mozzarella (or Parmesan) then spoon the remaining potatoes on top of the peppers.
  6. Smooth over the potatoes with the back of a spoon.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top and dot with the butter.
  8. Bake for 30 mins until golden and crisp. Allow to stand for 10mins before unclipping the tin.

Savoury Jam

June 10, 2022

Serves 4
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 sliced onions
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil., stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until a jam-like consistency s reached.

Danish Seed Crackers

June 10, 2022

Totally delicious and completely addictive.

Serves plenty
Cook time: max 14 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup linseeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to form a dough.
  2. Roll out half of the dough thin between two sheets of baking paper. Roll it down to pumpkin seed thickness and place on a baking tray. Pre-cut lines in the dough if you want regular shaped crackers. Repeat the process for the other half of the dough.
  3. Bake each batch separately at 180C for 11 – 13 mins or until golden brown. Let cool, break up crackers and store in an airtight container. I break mine up into irregular shapes instead of cutting into squares as I don’t like matchy-matchy but if you’re OCD just roll with it. Whatever floats your boat.
  4. TIP: Roll out your dough as thinly as you can and cook until nice and golden. Ensure the edges are not overcooked. They will cook faster as they are thinner than the centre so take them out of the oven and cut off the edges if they are looking too brown and return the tray to the oven.
  5. Oh my god, yum. Serve with cheese or just nibble on them, they are irrestible.

Marinated beef rolled in fresh herbs

June 10, 2022

Our Christmas Dinner since we came to Aus in 2011

This is the absolute dog’s bollocks alternative to a roast turkey for Christmas dinner. We’ve had it every year since we moved to Australia, where Christmas day falls in summer.

Serves 8
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2kg piece eye fillet (centre cut) trimmed of all sinew
  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 cup coriander leaved, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaved, chopped

Method:

  1. Combine soy, honey, sesame, garlic and ginger in a shallow dish. Add beef and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in fridge for 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 190C. Remove beef from dish and pat dry with paper towel. Heat sunflower oil in a large roasting pan over medium high heat. Add the beef and sear on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 – 25 mins for medium. Leave to rest for 10 mins.
  3. Gently heat any remaining marinade to use as extra gravy.
  4. Spread chopped herbs on a large sheet of baking paper. Brush beef with sweet chilli and roll in herbs, pressing to coat. Serve thickly sliced.

Borland Noodle Salad

June 10, 2022

Serves loads
Cook time: approx. 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets instant noodles
  • 3 shallots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 red chillis, deseeded & finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper / capsicum, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbs sesame or peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup snow peas finely sliced
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions sliced

Method:

  1. Cook noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and leave to coolio.
  2. Heat oil in a wok. Add shallots, garlic, chilli & ginger. Cook 2 mins but do not brown.
  3. Add capsicum, snow peas, carrots & sesame seeds and cook further 2 mins until veges are tender but still crisp.
  4. Add soy sauce and bring to the boil.
  5. Add noodles and heat for 4 – 5 mins & toss in spring onion.
  6. Cool and serve. Yuuuuuuum!!!!! Thanks, Borlands x