Saturday, June 30, 2007

Spinach and Lamb Curry

I keep finding with these Mistress of Spice curries, that the longer you let them cook the more perfect and flavoursome and moreish they become. So last night I let the meat cook for three hours. With every bite I found I wanted more and more!

My other half didn't speak until he had finished eating and the first thing that came out of his mouth afterwards... "There had better be more babe!" Thats why its fantastic that each of these curries leaves plenty of left overs, and they always taste even better the next day!

The health benefits are huge too! Some of the spices in this curry include, Coriander, Cumin, Fenugreek, Tumeric, Mustard, Pepper, Chilli... And with all that spinach, you can't go wrong...

800g lamb
Diced 2 large onions
Finely chopped 4 cloves garlic
Finely chopped 4 tsp
Mistress of Spice Madras Curry Powder
500g frozen spinach, defrosted
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
¾ cup Greek yoghurt
½ cup cream (this can be replaced with yoghurt to make a lower fat version if you like)
1 bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp oil

Heat oil in large saucepan or frying pan that has a fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the curry powder. Stir this through the onions and garlic for about 20 seconds and add the diced lamb. Brown the meat, stirring to coat well in the spice mix.

When lamb is lightly browned add the can of tomatoes and about 1 cup of water. Stir, cover and simmer for about 40minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the spinach, stir, cover and simmer again for another 20 minutes. Then mix through the yoghurt (or cream if using). Do NOT let the sauce boil at this stage. A very gentle simmer is alright but boiling will cause the yoghurt to curdle. Put in the coriander, stir and season with salt to taste.

Serve with rice and yoghurt.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Teryaki Beef Stir Fry

I love stir fry because it is so quick and easy and tasty! And you can add whatever you like! My sister in law gave me this recipe and it was mighty fine! Thanks Catherine.
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
600g rump steak, sliced thinly
1 medium brown onion, sliced thickly
230g can bamboo shoots, drained
½ cup bean sprouts
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
½ cup of beef stock
450g hokkien noodles
4 spring onions sliced thickly

Heat oil in wok or large non stick frying pan; stir-fry garlic and beef, in batches until beef is browned.

Stir-fry brown onion and bamboo shoots for 2 minutes.

Return beef mixture to wok with sprouts. Stir in sauce and stock; stir-fry until the mixture boils.

Meanwhile, place noodles in medium heatproof bowl; cover with boiling water, separate with folk, drain. Serve stir-fry with noodles sprinkle with spring onion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chicken & Snake Bean with Thai Basil

Now, I know that you might think, everyone can cook a stir-fry and it is true, but not everyone gets it just right, I’m no expert but I find that effortless dishes like this can easily be made too rich so it’s important to go back to the basics every now and then…. And as you can see this meal is minimal work with maximum flavour. I’m a big fan of salt and used salted cashews instead of toasted. I also find that you can chop and change the vegetable contents as you please, or to suit what’s in your fridge, just having the core spices and sauces in your cupboard is the key.

700g snake beans
1 tablespoon of peanut oil
880g chicken thigh fillets, chopped coarsely
2 medium white onions, sliced thickly
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of five-spice powder
½ cup of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
½ cup of cashews, toasted
½ cup of loosely packed thai basil leaves

Cut snake beans into 5cm lengths

Heat half of the oil in wok or large frying pan; stir-fry chicken in batches, until browned all over and cooked through.

Heat remaining oil in wok; stir-fry onion, garlic, and five spice until onion softens. Add beans; stir-fry until beans are tender. Return chicken to wok with sauces and nuts; stir-fry until sauce boils and thickens slightly. Just before serving stir in basil. Serve with rice if desired.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Baileys Chocolate Waffles

Laura and I made these for her sister’s birthday. The chocolate mixture tasted delicious and I hear they were a great hit at the
birthday lunch. They really were very easy for such a great looking and delicious dessert! Very 80's, but very yummy!

260g dark Belgium chocolate
2/3 cup thickened cream
2 tbsp castor sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
25ml Baileys Irish Cream
Waffle ice cream cones

Depending on the size of the cone you want, break away the top of the ice cream cone. Melt 100g chocolate and dip the waffle cones in them. Leave to set. Once they're set, place them in shot glasses to help them stand up straight.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Whip the egg whites with half the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Whip the egg yolks with half the sugar until thick and fluffy.

Melt the remaining 160g chocolate and stir in the Baileys Irish Cream. Remove from the heat immediately.

Fold into that about 1/3 of the whipped cream.

Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Then alternatively fold in a spoon of egg whites, then a spoon of cream until its smooth and glossy.

Place the chocolate mix in the freezer for around 5 to 10 minutes until it is a little more set and easier to pipe into the cones.

Place half a strawberry in the bottom of the waffle cones and pipe the chocolate mixture over the top. Decorate with strawberries.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Beef Wat

By far my favourite of the Mistress of Spice curries so far... The meat was so tender. Its a hot dish but its just the right amount of heat. I've made it twice in one week already. I am amazed at how few ingredients it takes and how healthy such a great tasting meal can be!

1.5kg beef, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions, chopped
3 good size cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
3 rounded teaspoons Mistress of Spice Berbere
800g chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste

Fry the onion unitl lightly golden then add garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add the Mistress of Spice Berbere spices and fry for a minute to release the aroma of the blend.

Add the meat, allowing to brown, stirring occasionally to coate the pieces well and increase the absorption of the flavours.
Pour in the tomatoes. Salt to taste. Simmer for a good hour and a half or longer if you can.

This great spice mix is wonderful for its effect on the taste buds as well as healthy. Black pepper and cloves aid food digestion by increasing digestive juices, including natural stomach acid. Ayurvedic medicine use it to treat colds, flus and other infections. Chilies contain capsaicin, which, among its other advantages, is a natural painkiller.

Chicken Noodle Soup

My boy came home feeling a little under the weather on a cold night so I thought id do the romantic thing and make him Chicken Noodle Soup. In the end I pretty much made it up as I went along and it was more of a chicken broth, but we really enjoyed it!

I swapped noodles for pasta though, so I guess its chicken pasta soup.

6 chicken thighs
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 parsley stalks
500ml chicken stock
100g short pasta
1 sachet Chicken seasoning from Two Minute Noodles
Salt and Pepper

Pour the chicken stock and 1500ml water over the chicken thighs, add all vegetables and seasonings and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for one hour.

After one hour, strain the liquid and place back in a pot and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and boil until cooked.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tagine of Chicken & Sweet Potato

I decided not to do this one in my tagine as, well, it didn't occur to me. It was the end of a long, cold, busy day and I really wanted a comfort meal. I doubled the batch so my parents could freeze it and eat it at a later date. I just can't get past this website. Every dish is so easy, so healthy and above all very delicious. I bought the Mistress of Spice cookbook today so prepare to see a lot more...

1kg chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2cm ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 teaspoons Mistress of Spice Ras el Hanout
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
600g sweet potato cut into 3cm chunks
3 tablespoons honey
Basmati rice

Coriander Greek Yoghurt
Salt & Pepper
Lemon Juice

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and fry until soft then add garlic and ginger and continue to fry until light and golden. Add the Mistress of Spice Ras el Hanout and cook for about thirty seconds, or until fragrant.

Add a little salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the chicken. Brown slightly. Add the sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then cover and leave to simmer until the chicken is tender and the potato is half cooked (approx 20 mins).

Simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced by half or until a consistency to your liking. If the sauce is too runny, increase heat to high and boil uncovered until it reduce. You will need to stir regularly.
Carefully stir in honey, making sure you don't mash up the potatoes. Leave to bubble uncovered for a few more minutes. Taste and season as desired.

Serve with basmati rice and coriander greek yoghurt.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rocky Road

Ive never actually made Rocky Road before but it couldnt be any simpler and it tastes really yum!

250g pink and while marshmallows, halved
1 cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
100g glace cherries, halved
1 cup shredded coconut
350g dark chocolate, chopped

Line the base of a shallow 20cm square cake tin with baking paper or foil, leaving it to hang over two sides. Mix togther the marshmallows, peanuts, cherries and shredded coconut.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Half fill a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and place the bowl over the pan, making sure it is not sitting in the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted.

Add the chocolate to the marshmallow mixture and mix. Press evenly into the tin. Refrigerate for several hours, or until set. Lift out and cut into small pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sausage Rolls

I have always wanted to make home made sausage rolls as they are one of my favourites for a start and a girlfriend, Catherine, has made them for me a few times and they were delightful!

These turned out perfectly considering the dramas in making them! While they were baking a girlfriend locked us out of the house while we had a cigarette! My relaxing baking night turned to absolute DESPAIR as I tried to work out what to do! And the only thing TO DO was to smash a window! I couldnt let my little sausages burn! As I type this the glass repair man is measuring a new window! $400 to replace as it is a Friday night! Thats some expensive little sausage rolls, but they're worth every penny. Really YUM!

1 teaspoon oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
500g sausage mince
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoon spicy bbq sauce
1 teaspoon tabasco (or more if you prefer)
150ml red wine
2 tbsp mixed herbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 sheets frozen ready rolled puff pastry, thawed
egg to glaze

Prehead oven to moderately hot 200 degrees. Lightly grease two baking trays. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over low heat until soft and transparent. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the mince, breadcrumbs, wine, sauces and egg.

Lay the pastry sheets on a lightly floured board and cut each sheet into two strips. Divide the filling into six equal portions and spoon across the long edges of the pastry. Roll up to make a long sausage shape. Brush with a little beaten egg. Cut the rolls into 4cm lengths and place on the tray, seam side down.

Bake for 30 mins, or until the rolls are crisp and golden. Serve with tomato sauce.

NOTE: Sausage rolls can be frozen for up to two weeks after baking. Thaw and reheat in a preheated moderate oven for thirty minutes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mauritian Curry

This is another gorgeous recipe from the Mistress of Spice website! And so healthy!

I changed it a tiny bit and put extra veggies in. It can be modified as you see fit!

1kg chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 - 4 teaspoons
Mistress of Spice Mauritian Massalé (can be purchased from spice stores of from the Mistress of Spice website)
4 large potatoes, cut into large dice
1 sweet potato chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
Handfull green beans
1 red chilli, chopped
Salt to taste
Basmati rice
Greek Yoghurt

Start by heating oil in a large saucepan. Fry onions until lightly golden then add garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add the Mistress of Spice Mauritian Massalé and fry for a minute to release the aroma of the blend.

Add the meat, allow to brown stirring continually to coat the pieces well and increase the absorption of the flavours.

Add the tomatoes and potatoes, stir to coat with the spiced oil. Cover with water and allow to simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes break up very easily and thicken the sauce.
About fifteen minutes before it is ready add the chilli and the beans. Add salt to taste. If the sauce is getting a dry, add a little water.

Serve with rice, pappadums and greek yoghurt.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Classic Lasagne

My mother in law gave me a new recipe book and when I opened it, I opened it to page 175, Classic Lasagne. So I decided it was a sign and made it my first dish. I received the book less than a week ago and I've already cooked the lasagne twice. It is delicious and creamy and silky and yummy!

3 tablespoons oil
30g butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1200g minced beef
2 cups italian passata
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
375g fresh lasagne sheets
130g parmesan, grated

Bechamel Sauce
140g butter
3 tablespoons flour
5 cups milk
1.5 tsp nutmeg

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Cook the onion, carrot and celery, stirring, over medium heat until softened. Increase the heat, add the mince and brown well, breaking up any lumps with a fork. Add the tomato passata, wine and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce teh heaat and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter over low heat until foaming then add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. When thick, simmer for 2 minutes. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to moderate 180. Grease a 2 litre ovenproof dish. Spread a thin layer of meat sauce over the base and top with a thin layer of bechamel. If the bechamel has cooled and become too thick, warm it gently to make spreading easier. Lay the lasagne sheets on top, gently pressing to push out any air. Continue the layers, finishing with bechamel. Grate the parmesan, sprinke over the sauce and bake for 45 mins or until golden brown. Leave for 15 mins before cutting.


Friday, June 8, 2007

Easy Lemon Cheesecake

This recipe is from the girl I work with, Marika. She is undoubtedly the cheesecake queen and she assured me that this recipe is easy and so divine. I'll most definately be making this cheesecake for EVERY dinner party I attend. It takes no time or skill AT ALL, but the end result is melt in your mouth perfection!

Half a packet gingernuts
50g butter, melted
250g philly cheese
1 tin condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice

Crush biscuits in a food processor. Mix in the melted butter and press down in a springform cheesecake tin. Place in fridge.

Using electric beaters, beat the philly for a few minutes. Add the condensed milk and beat until it becomes a moussy creamy mix. About 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix again. Pour into tin and place in fridge. Takes a few hours to set.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chocolate Rough Slice

1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup coconut
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp NESTLÉ Baking Cocoa
125 g butter, melted
2 cups coconut, extra
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp NESTLÉ Baking Cocoa, extra
3/4 cup NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk
100g NESTLÉ Plaistowe Cooking Chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, mix well.

Press mixture into base of 28cm x 18cm lamington pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly.

Combine remaining ingredients, mix well. Spread evenly over base, allow to cool, cut into slices.

Combine remaining ingredients, mix well. Spread evenly over base. Allow to cool. Cut into slices.


Chicken, Chickpea & Apricot Tagine

Unfortunatley I was so keen to serve and eat that this photo is as close as I have to the final product! The left overs....

If i cook it again, and I KNOW I will, I'll be sure to update this blog and show the final product... But you get the idea! Fabulous Winter Meal!

I have cooked this dish twice and both times has been a raging success. I actually discovered it when our wonderful girlfriend Laura cooked it for me. She had purchased a Tagine and prepared this very dish. The next morning I ordered my Tagine! Although I have discovered a tagine isnt necessarily necessary for this recipe, a croc pot or large pot with a lid is fine!

I added zucchini and carrot to the original recipe. I found with the tagine that it becomes far too full to fit in all the chickpeas, the carrot AND the zucchini so I added as much of each as I could! So see how you go, if you use a crock pot or a large pot you should be fine!

6 skinless chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 large onions, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1-2tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
inch fresh gingerroot, finely chopped
180g dried apricots

2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tins chopped tomato
2 cans chick peas, drained
3 tablespoons honey
300ml chicken stock
1 pinch saffron

1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, sliced
4 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix (whcih can be purchased from the Mistress of Spice Website for $6.50!!) (or make up spice mix below)
1 teaspoon
ground coriander (Cilantro)
1 teaspoon
ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon
ground cumin
1 teaspoon
cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and black pepper
fresh coriander, to serve (Cilantro)

Heat up olive oil in a frying pan/tagine & saute chopped onions & garlic for 5-10 minutes.

Add chicken stock & gradually mix in flour or cornflour until well mixed & not lumpy.Add honey & tomato paste & mix well.

Add herbs,spices & finely chopped ginger with salt & pepper to taste.

Finally add tinned tomatoes & mix well.

Add chicken & chickpeas & mix well.

Add dried apricots making sure they are covered by juice. (Add the carrots and zucchini if using.).

Give it a gentle but good stir to mix everything together well.

If using a tagine, put lid on and place in oven at 160 degrees and cook for a good 2 to three hours. If using a crock pot or large pot, cover with lid/alfoil and simmer for a good 2 to 3 hours.

5 tablespoons greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
The juice of one lemon
Salt & Pepper
Mix together and serve along side the meal.

Turkish bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons powdered paprika
Cut turkish bread into approx 5cm by 2cm slithers.
Toast the underside under a grill.
Take out and turn over and brush with the paprika mixed with the olive oil using a pastry brush. Toast.
Serve with the meal.



Easy Kerelan Curry

Easy Kerelan Curry

I had never cooked a curry in my life when i decided to make this one my first, considering it had EASY in the name! And EASY it was!

I bought the spice from the Mistress of Spice Website. And they have certainly become my new best friend.

I adapted the recipe to suit me and I have written down exactly what I did...

3 teaspoons Mistress of Spice Keralan Curry Powder
500g chicken thighs
3 small potatoes
1/2 sweet potato
1 zucchini
600ml lite canned coconut milk
3 teaspoons grated ginger
3 teaspoons grated, minced garlic
2 onions finely chopped
3 red chillies

Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions until soft, add garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add the Mistress of Spice Keralan Curry Powder and heat until fragrant.

Then add the meat. Cook until done. Add chopped and peeled vegies.

Pour in the coconut milk, add chillies, if using, and simmer on low heat until sauce is thicker, like a cream. I simmered for probably an hour.

Serve with basmati rice and greek yoghurt.