All posts filed under: dinner

Persian inspired Lamb Shanks with paprika, saffron and rosewater

This is my version of Persian lamb shanks slow cooked in a mixture of lime juice, orange juice, rosewater, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, paprika, pepper, thyme, garlic and saffron. The combination of spices and citrus permeates the lamb and the resulting dish is fragrant and delicious. Don’t be scared off by the long list of ingredients, the end result is worth the preparation and slow cooking. We had these with a spinach salad with orange segments and pomegranate seeds which complemented the flavours of the lamb perfectly. It would also go well with Caramelised Brussel Sprout, spinach and pomegranate salad. A definite new favourite winter comfort food dish! Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 2-2.5 hours Ingredients: 4 frenched lamb shanks Powdered/ ground spices: 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon cardamom powder 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 2 teaspoons smoked paprika Fragrant mix: 2 teaspoons saffron threads 1 teaspoon rosewater Juice of 2 limes Zest of 2 limes Juice of half an orange Zest of 1 orange …

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Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

My friend Jennifer recently went to Sri Lanka and came back bearing gifts of Sri Lankan spices…a roasted fenugreek and mustard seed mix and a meat (Masala) spice mix. Looking for inspiration to use these spices I found a chicken curry recipe in Australian chef Peter Kuruvita’s recipe book, Serendip. This recipe is based on his with a few tweaks, it is really a 4 step process beginning with making the thickening mixture, marinating the chicken, getting the ingredients for the braising prepared and then actually cooking the curry. The result is a creamy curry with well balanced spice. Thanks Peter! Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients 1. Thickening Mixture: 1 tablespoon long grain rice 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut 2 red chillies, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 green cardamom pods 2 cloves 2. Marinating mixture 1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets, fat removed and cut into medium size chunks 2 teaspoons cumin powder 3 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon roasted fenugreek and mustard seed mix …

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Monkfish with dill, chilli potatoes and watercress

This is my twist on the Rick Stein classic dish of monkfish, potatoes and watercress. The addition of my favourite ingredients – chilli and garlic – plus the dill spices it up and adds delicious flavour. The texture and flavour of monkfish, which is also great in curries, works well with this combination, with a squeeze of lemon brightening up the whole dish at the end. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 35 minutes Ingredients: 2 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced 3 whole red chillies 1/2 bunch fresh dill tough stalks removed and finely chopped 1 bunch watercress (about 4 or 5 cups when cleaned and chopped) 2 fillets of monkfish (about 500g) Olive oil Balsamic vinegar 1/2 lemon cut into half again Salt and pepper Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add potatoes, garlic and while chillies and boil until potatoes are just cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Darin and leave to dry out. 3. Meanwhile, pat monkfish …

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Prawn Curry with Fennel Seeds

I recently went to make this traditional family curry and realised I haven’t previously posted the recipe. So here it is, a quick and delicious curry that is perfect for weeknight dinners with rice and salad or as part of a bigger Indian spread. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 500g green prawns (shelled and deveined) 2 ripe tomatoes diced finely 1 large onion diced finely 4 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger, pounded to a paste 1/2 tspoon salt 1/2 tspoon sugar 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fennel powder 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate 1.5-2 cups water 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds Handful of fresh curry leaves(optional) 1/2 bunch corinader – stems chopped, leaves retained for garnish coriander leaves to garnish Method: Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and curry leaves and stir until fragrant, taking care not to burn. Add onions and cook gently until almost transparent. Add …

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Beef and black bean with chilli

Last night we decided on Chinese in celebration of Chinese New Year. This recipe is based on Kylie Kwong’s Braised Chicken Drumsticks with black Bean and Chilli but is much quicker made with thinly sliced beef. Of course we have all had Beef and Black Bean Sauce in Chinese restaurants but this dish is a bit different made with salted black beans and “blackened”chilli. I have added green capsicum and mushrooms for a satisfying one dish meal all cooked in the wok. Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients 500g very thinly sliced beef (I use rump steak) 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon malt vinegar 1 teaspoon sesame oil 3 red chillies sliced in half 3 green chillies sliced in half 1 onion sliced thickly 1 green capsicum deseeded and sliced 3 large mushrooms sliced thickly 5cm piece of ginger 4 cloves garlic 1/2 bunch spring onions sliced on the diagonal 1 tablespoon chilli oil (optional) 2tablespoons salted black beans 100ml Shao Hsing wine or dry sherry …

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Lamb Xacuti – Goan curry

Cooking this recipe was inspired by the beautiful story and recipe posted by The Storyteller’s Kitchen Chicken Xacuti but I made it tonight using lamb. It was certainly very delicious and is easy to make but does involve quite a number of steps for the three seperate spice mixes involved. I didn’t have any mace so just gave it a miss but the original recipe calls for it to be included in the masala (dry spice mix). I have added extra coriander and curry leaves and was pleased with the result. I have also divided the recipe up into the different components into groups to help follow the recipe. Hope it helps! This is almost like an Indian version of Indonesian rendang except sharper tasting through the use of green chillies and lots of fresh coriander. We had a tangy cucumber, tomato, carrot and spinach salad with it and plain basmati rice. A very More-ish dish! Prep time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Resting time: 30 minutes Ingredients: Coriander Spice Marinade: 8 garlic cloves …

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Vegetarian Rice Pilau

This is a quick and easy rice dish that is delicious just with Tarka Dhal, raita and pickles, or as a side dish served with Indian Hunter’s style roast lamb or curries. It is even better the day after and can be eaten cold like a rice salad. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time:10-15 minutes Ingredients: 1 cup basmati rice 4-5 cups water 1 brown onion finely diced 1 carrot diced 1 cup cooked corn kernels (canned is fine) 1 cup of frozen peas 1 tspoon cummin seeds Handful of curry leaves (optional) 1 clove garlic and piece of ginger crushed to a paste 1/2 tspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon cummin powder Handful of coriander leaves chopped for garnish (optional) 2 teaspoons butter 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoons salt Method 1. Bring 4.5 cups of water to a boil, add 1 tspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of basmati rice. Par-boil rice for 10 minutes until rice is half-cooked, strain and set aside. 2. Heat oil in non-stick …

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Intriguing Indo flavours at new Nusantara by Locavore, Ubud

Now this is an absolute must, honestly, for your next time you are in Ubud. With a menu featuring regional specialities from across the Indonesian archipelago, Nusantara’s menu will expose you to intriguing new and old Indonesian spices, herbs and flavours. We visited in a group of four for dinner which gave us the opportunity to try a number of small dishes and larger plates, as well as dessert. Even then we were left struggling to choose between the enticing and exotic sounding menu items. We started with a medley of cocktails between us including a Bir Pletok, Loloh, Kokomora and Bunga Desa. (See below for the fascinating ingredients in each). The cocktails are all impressively presented, just like Nusantara’s sister cocktail bar Night Rooster , and taste as good as they look. We were delightfully surprised by a platter of complimentary nibbles. With beautiful crispy rice crackers, a delicious Fishcakes steamed in banana leaves, sambals and crispy fried potatoes. The nibbles got our tastebud prepared for the taste sensations that were to follow. With …

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Brined Pork Chops

I had never thought of brining pork chops before I cook them before but after another recent successful turkey brining experience at Christmas , I though I would try it with pork. Of course then I found a host of articles about how brining is great for adding moisture to pork chops, cutlets and roasts and avoiding having dry pork ever again! (Took me long enough to find out!). I just brined the chops for half an hour before cooking them and I cannot tell you what a difference it made to browning the chops and creating a delicious sauce to go with them. The chops were juicy and delicious. I can’t wait to try the technique with my next pork roast. Prep time: 35-40minutes cooking time: 15-20 minutes including making sauce Brining ingredients: 2 cups water 1/4 cup salt Juice of half an orange Half an orange sliced 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper 1 tspoon juniper berries 1 tablespoon or so of fresh rosemary leaves 2 pork chops or cutlets 1 tablespoon olive oil …

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Turkey Pad Thai

This dish has now become a traditional Boxing Day dinner for our family. It’s a great way to use up leftover turkey and the spiciness is an excellent antidote to the richness of other Christmas dishes. For an extra chilli hit, serve the Thai sauce nam prik on the side…chopped chilli in equal parts fish sauce and lime juice. Prep time: 30 minutes. cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1 packet pad Thai rice noodles 2 tspoons store bought Thai red chilli paste 10 large green prawns, peeled with tails intact 1.5 cups Leftover turkey meat 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced 1 cup bean sprouts 3 eggs lightly beaten 2 tablespooons vegetable oil 1/2 cup chopped coriander 1 lemon juiced – about 3 tablespoons 3 tablespoons fish sauce 2 tablespoons white sugar 2 limes cut into wedges 4 green spring onion stalks chopped in half 1/2 cup roughly crushed peanuts 1 tablespoon chilli flakes Method: 1. Boil 2 litres water, then allow to cool to warm, then add rice noodles to soak for 10-15 minutes until …

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Orange and date salad with pistachio yoghurt and mint

Inspired by an Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine recipe, I decided this salad would be a great accompaniment to the Christmas Roast Turkey with my traditional Christmas Turkey Stuffing. I didn’t have any muslin cloth so I used a new piece of Chux superwipes (!!) with the holes in it to “hang” the yoghurt. For extra Christmassy flavour I added a few cloves to the syrup mixture and then freshened up the salad by adding fresh mint leaves. It was delicious and simple despite requiring a bit of prep the night before. Prep time: 8 hours/overnight Ingredients: 240g Greek-style yoghurt 50g brown sugar Piece of muslin or new piece of Chux superwipe cloth 1 cup caster sugar 1.5 cups water 1 cinnamon quill 3 cloves 2 pieces each lemon and orange peel, removed with a peeler 1 tsp rosewater 2 oranges, thinly sliced 4 dates, pitted and sliced into strips 1/2 cup pistachio kernels Handful of fresh mint leaves Method: 1. Line a small sieve with muslin or Chux superwipe and place over a deep bowl. …

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Divine food in the eternal city at Da Enzo

This was a true foodie experience. It was definitely worth waiting for about twenty minutes to be squeezed in to a table at Da Enzo in the Trastevere part of Rome. Went there on the basis of glowing reviews on a number of blogs, crossing the Tiber from where we staying near the Spanish Steps, queuing in the light rain on a nippy autumn day in Rome. We were absolutely rewarded for our efforts and I couldn’t recommend trying it out yourself when next in Rome. The restaurant is tucked into a tiny “hole in the wall” down an atmospheric laneway, it was Friday lunchtime and the other restaurants around were pretty empty but Da Enzo was heaving with lots of locals and some savvy tourists. Its reputation for serving authentic, Roman cuisine (cucina Romano) in true Roman family style has grown and grown over the years. After being shown to our table with rickety chairs and paper tablecloths by a member of the family, we pondered the menu and daily specials. Our neighbours to …

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La Pentolaccia lives up to rave reviews!

Went to La Pentolaccia on the recommendation of a seasoned Rome resident on my first night back in the eternal city in 6 years. Having not stayed on this side of Rome (near Termini) before the recommendation was welcome as were the rave reviews on Yelp and Trip advisor. Down a cute little street, Via Flavia, just off Via Settembre in Sallustiano, La Pentolaccia is a great local restaurant that you always want to find as a tourist in Rome. Great service from friendly, professional and slightly bossy waiters; fabulous menu boasting dishes made with fresh, seasonal produce and a wonderful Roman vibe. We had delicious grilled octopus and prawn rocket salad with an eyewateringly good freshly made horseradish dip on the side, followed by Osso bucco with delicious marrow and lobster fettuccine. The lobster fettuccine actually had large pieces of lobster claw in it and was presented in a fish formation! Followed with fresh berries and ice cream. Solid wine list which the helpful owner?/waiter Vincenzo helped us with. All in all a great …

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Beef Mishikaki – looks yummy!

Been away from home for quite some time and these my mouth watering,honey balsamic beef Mshikaki was my way of welcoming myself back into the kitchen. I was feeling tired,jet lagged and starving.8 hours seated on a plane has never been a cup of tea,we all know how disappointing plane food can be. Long story […] via HONEY BALSMIC BEEF MSHIKAKI  — We Men Should Cook

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Black Pepper Prawn Curry

The sharpness of  black pepper, bite of the green chill and sweetness of the prawns are all melded together in buttery goodness, along with ginger, garlic, curry leaves in this simple curry. Take the time to make the prawn stock as it really adds another dimension nod depth of flavour to the dish. Prep time: 30 minutes (incl making stock) Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 12-16 King prawns 2 cups water 2 cloves garlic, 2-3 small pieces ginger for stock 1 onion halved, then thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic and equal ginger, pounded to a paste 1.5 tablespoons ground black pepper (best freshly ground in spice grinder) handful of curry leaves (fresh best but dried ok) 2-3 small green chillies sliced lengthwise – can omit, or deseed 100g butter 3 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt Chopped  coriander and slithers of ginger for garnish Method 1. Peel and devein prawns, leave tails on, reserve shells for stock. 2. Place prawn shells in pot and cover with water, add ginger and garlic, bring to a boil then simmer …

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Jackfruit, carrot and green bean curry

Growing up in South Africa we would often pass fruit sellers on the road selling these giant fruit. Although they look similar to stinky durian, jackfruit are not smelly and their fleshy texture is a great addition to vegetable curries. Full of great vitamins including Compex B vitamins and Vitamin A, jackfruit is great for your fibre intake. The humble jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians, with it’s fibrous texture being used to replicate pulled pork and other meats. It is used in many Asian countries including  in Indonesian soups and curries – which I have enjoyed in Bali. Recently I discovered frozen green  jackfruit in an Indian grocery store in Sydney and made up this curry which was delicious! So, seek out frozen or canned green jackfruit in brine and try  it out! Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 150g frozen jackfruit pieces 1 small carrot diced 100g Green Beans cut into pieces 1 onion finely diced 2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste 3 …

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South African Indian Boneless Chicken Curry

A staple in any South African Indian family, my version includes a dollop of yoghurt towards the end which makes for a creamier sauce. This is perfect served just with a salad and rice for a very tasty but healthy meal. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 4 medium size chicken thigh fillets, any fat removed and cut into bite-size pieces 2 tspoons ginger and garlic paste (4 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded into a paste) 1 brown onion, cut in half, then finely sliced 1 tomato cut into chunks 2 pieces cinnamon bark or 1 quill Handful of fresh curry leaves 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 3 cardamom pods 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 tesapoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons Vegetable oil 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt 1.5 cup water or chicken stock Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish Method: 1. Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat, and then add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves. 2. …

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Chicken and Mushroom Meatballs with cummin and chilli

Chicken and mushrooms have always been best friends, so I thought why not combine them in meatballs? The addition of chilli, coriander and cummin adds a zing! I had never used mushrooms into meatballs before but it worked really well, adding texture and “meatiness” to the fine chicken mince. These would be good as a starter with a sweet chilli dipping sauce or with salad for dinner. I served them for a late dinner alongside Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli and the Caramelised Brussel Sprout and Spinach Salad Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 20-25 minutes Ingredients 400g chicken mince 4 button mushrooms very finely diced 3/4 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 onion finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded to paste) 1-2 red chillies chopped finely 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 tablespoon olive oil Method Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius Combine all ingredients,except the olive oil, mix thoroughly check mixture is not too “sticky”. Add more breadcrumbs if needed. Mixture …

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Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli

One of my favourite restaurant meals is grilled scampi with rocket salad. I recreate it at home using king prawns and using a frying pan or ridged stovetop grill. it’s a quick, easy no fuss meal but delicious. Just add a squeeze of lemon, a rocket salad, some crusty bread and a nice dry white wine for perfection! Prep time: 15 minutes  Marinade time: 20-30 minutes Cooking time: 5-6 minutes Ingredients 12 large green king prawns 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped 2-3 red chillies finely chopped 3/4 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Method Shell and devein prawns leaving tail section intact. Butterfly the prawns by slicing down the back of each prawn but do not cut through and then flatten. Place into a bowl, add salt, chilli and garlic and smear prawns well but gently with marinade using rubber gloves. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes. Salt will draw some moisture from prawns during this time. Drain any excess moisture, then add oil to prawns and mix through. Heat frying …

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Indian Spiced Fish Pie

This recipe is based on Rick Stein’s classic fish pie recipe but with an Indian twist. The addition of traditional Indian spices to the milk and cream mixture in which the seafood is lightly poached, and using “aloo bharta” or Indian style mashed potato for the topping bring the flavours of the sub-continent to this classic British dish. (A kind of reverse colonialism, I suppose.) Prep time: 1hr 20 mins  Cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 3 flathead fillets (or any firm white, unsmoked fish) 1 medium size fillet of smoked cod or haddock 8-10 green prawns peeled 2 eggs 1 egg yolk (to brush top of mash) 300ml milk + 3 tablespoons for mash 150ml cream 1 large onion 2 cloves garlic 1/2 finger length of ginger peeled 3 potatoes (fluffy potatoes like Desiree or King Edward) 6 cloves 6 cardamom pods 1.5 teaspoons turmeric 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon cummin handful of curry leaves 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds handful of coriander leaves 100g butter 1/3 cup of plain …

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