Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Red wine

Red wine is a big weakness of mine.  I just love to enjoy a glass at the end of a busy day.  My favourite blend is a shiraz grenache.  I'm not a wine connoisseur so I'm not sure what it is about the blend but I just love it.  Can't go wrong I say.

Anyway I'm always trying to find new wines and this week I came across a WA wine called 'Red Right Hand'.  It's from Vinaceous winery in Margaret River.  I haven't been to the winery before but will definitely be stopping by next time I'm down there.

Really enjoyed this wine.  It cost about $24 from 1st Choice Liquor.  I'll be buying it again 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets

One of my earliest food memories is of eating Sri Lankan fish cutlets when I was a kid.  My family had Sri Lankan friends and I remember going there all the time and the smell of the spices and the food which took over their house was amazing.  It's something I will never forget.  Anyway apart from the amazing smell, I remember the fish cutlets and it is something that I think about often.

Finally I decided that I had to try and make them so I searched the net and found a couple of recipes that I like the sound of and I ended up blending the two.  The result - amazing fish cutlets.  Oh I'm a happy lady.

I could go for having more chili in them but the way I made them was probably good for anyone to eat - perhaps even my little 3 year old.  I'll give her one tomorrow and see what she thinks.

Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets


1 large tin Tuna (or salmon)
2 medium size potatoes (boiled)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 green chili, finely chopped
2tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves 
1/2 tsp turmeric
1tsp curry powder
1 lime
2 eggs, whisked


Peel, boil and mash potatoes and set aside.
Heat pan with a little peanut oil and quickly fry the mustard, fennel, cumin seeds and curry leaves until the mustard seeds start popping and the .  Remove from the pan and grind up in mortar and pestle.
Heat about 2tbs peanut oil in the pan and add onion, chili and garlic until soft.  Season with some salt and pepper.
Add spices to the pan along with the drained tuna, turmeric powder, curry powder, the juice from 1 lime and the mashed potato.  Combine well and set aside to cool.
Roll mixture into small balls (bit smaller than a golf ball), make sure they are rolled smoothly as if there are any cracks, they will split apart in the deep fryer.
Coat with the whisked egg and cover in the breadcrumbs before putting into the deep fryer at about 170*C until golden

Monday, September 23, 2013

Choc chip, Date and Oat Slice

I absolutely love this recipe.  My waist line on the other hand isn't such a fan.  I make this one with my daughter as the recipe doesn't require any electric beating or stove top cooking so it's super easy, thrown all the ingredients in and stir until combine.  Easy Peasy and the result is an amazing homemade slice or if you want, muesli bar.


Melted butter to grease
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup dates (or any dried fruit of your choice)
1/2 cup choc bits
12g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly whisked


Preheat over to 180 degrees. Grease 17x27cm slab pan with melted butter to lightly grease.  Line with backing paper.
Sift the combined flours into a bowl.  Add the oats, coconut, sugar, dates and choc bits and stir to combine.
Make a well in the centre and add the melted butter and egg.
Use a wooden spoon to stire until well combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface.
Bake in preheated over for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
Cut and serve or keep in air tight container.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Char-grilled sirloin steak with peppercorn and whiskey sauce and crispy potato and gruyere dominoes

So this was the recipe I tried out most recently from the current Donna Hay magazine.  Not much to be said - I didn't like the sauce.  To be honest I'm not much of a sauce person when it comes to steak - I much prefer to just taste the flavour of the meat.  The sauce had an odd flavour to it.  The crispy potato and gruyere dominoes were really nice and I would definitely make them again.  I added more cheese than the recipe said but not too much more.  I won't even bother putting down the recipe for the sauce as I would never make it again but here is the recipe for the potatoes which are nice and easy to do and something a bit different.

Crispy Potato and Gruyere Dominoes

1kg large starchy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
50g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup finely grated gruyere
sea salt flakes


Preheat oven to 200degrees.  Cut the potato slices into 8cm x 5cm rectangles.  Place in a large bown with the butter, cheese and salt and toss to combine.  Place potato slices, overlapping by 1cm, on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.  Repeat with the remaining potato.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Five-spice roasted pork with pumpkin puree and quince glaze (Donna Hay)

I am loving pork at the moment so I was excited to try this dish.  I enjoyed it but next time would add more five-spice to the pork as I didn't think the flavour came through enough.  I also wouldn't have as much pumpkin.  I like the pumpkin with the dish but I think only a very small amount as I just felt it was all very wet.  I absolutely loved the quince glaze and would save this recipe for if I was ever making duck as I'm certain they would go as well together as the quince glaze did with the pork.  All in all I loved it but would tweak it a bit next time round.

1kg blue kent pumpkin, skin on and chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1.5kg boneless pork belly
1tbs sea salt flakes
1tsp chinese five-spice powder
quince glaze
100g quince paste, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Place the pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with 1tbs of the olive oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Roast for about an hour or until golden and tender.  Scoop the pumpkin from the skin, place in a food processor and process until smooth.  Set aside and keep warm.

Reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees.  Using a small sharp knife, score the pork skin at 1cm intervals.  Make sure that you do not cut into the meat as this prevents the skin from crackling.
Please 1tsp of salt and the five-spice in a bowl and mix to combine.  Rub the meat with the five-spice salt and rub the skin with the remaining olive oil and salt.  Place the pork, skin-side down, in a baking tray and roast for 1 hours 30 minutes. 
Increase the oven temperature to 220 degrees.  Turn the pork and roast for a further 25-30 minutes or until the skin is golden and crispy and the meat is tender.

While the pork is cooking, make the quince glaze.  Please the quince, sugar, vinegar and stock in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until the quince is dissolved.  Increase heat to high, bring to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until thickened slightly.  Divide the pumpkin puree between places, top with sliced pork belly and spoon over the quince glaze to serve.
Serves 4.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Licorice Parfait with lime syrup

This is one of my favourite desserts at the moment.  I stumbled across it one day when I had a craving for a licorice dessert.  I had never made one before.  I hit google and found this one by Luke Mangan.  It has since become my signature dessert.  It's great for guests because it's quite easy to make, you make it in advance and they are wowed every time.


Lime syrup
250g sugar
250ml water
juice and rind of 1 lime
lime segments, pith and pips removed

Licorice Parfait
200ml cream
50g licorice
2 free range eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tsp glucose
60g sugar
2 tbs pernod (licorice liqueur)


For the lime syrup, bring the sugar and water to the boil, stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the lime juice and the rind to taste.  Stir well and refrigerate.

For the licorice parfait, in a small saucepan combine the cream and licorice and heat gently, without boiling, until the licorice is very soft.  Blend the mixture in a food processor until well combined and pour through a fine sieve to strain out the tine pieces of licorice.  Set aside to cool.

In a stainless steel bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water, make a sabayon by whisking together the eggs, yolk, glucose, sugar and pernod until the mixture turns pale and fluffy.  Have a bowl of ice at the ready and once mixture turns pale and fluffy, remove from heat and place the bowl on the ice.  Continue to whisk until it cools a little (this will stop the mix from scrambling).  Fold half of the sabayon into the licorice mixture.  Once combined, fold in the remaining sabayon until well combined.  Pour into individual moulds, or a log shaped tin and freeze.

To serve, lower the moulds into hot water for only a few seconds before turning out the parfait.  You can either pour over the lime syrup, or serve it on the table in a jug.  Garnish with lime segments.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roasted Green Chicken Curry (Donna Hay)

My mum, sister and I have decided that we will make a recipe out of the current Donna Hay magazine each week.  We take turns to choose what we are all going to cook.  Last week was the first round and my sister chose Roasted Green Chicken Curry.  I hadn't heard of roasting a curry before but I gave it a go and I was really impressed.  The chicken was cooked beautifully - so juicy and tender and the flavours were all there.  The only thing I would do differently in future would be to add a bit more chilli - just needed a bit more of a kick for me.  

Next time I make it I think I'll make a double batch of the curry paste so that it is ready and on hand for if I ever want to make the curry.  Making the paste was probably the most time consuming part of this dish so to have some stored in the fridge, would mean an easy but beautiful week day dinner.

  • Roasted Green Chicken Curry

1 x 400ml can coconut milk
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs finely chopped palm sugar
4 Kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
8 x 220g bone in chicken thighs, skin on and trimmed
Sea Salt flakes
2 tbs lime juice
sliced baby cucumbers and baby herbs, to serve

Green Curry Paste
2 tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp white peppercorns
3 long green chillies, roughly chopped
2 eschalots (french shallots), roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2cm piece (10g) fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbs coriander root, chopped
6cm piece (30g) fresh galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbs peanut oil


To make the green curry paste, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns and toast, shaking the pan frequently, for 2–3 minutes or until fragrant and light golden. Place in a small food processor and process until ground. Add the chilli, eschalot, garlic, turmeric, coriander root, galangal, lime leaves, lemongrass, shrimp paste and oil and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth. Makes 1 cup (250ml). 

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves and lemongrass in a deep-sided medium baking tray and mix to combine. Rub the chicken with salt and place, skin-side up, in the baking tray. Cover with aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour. Increase the temperature to 200°C (400°), remove the foil and roast for a further 35–40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy. Use a metal spoon to skim any fat from the surface of the sauce and stir through the lime juice. Top with the cucumber and baby herbs to serve. Serves 4