All posts filed under: Recipes

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Indian Spiced Crab with crispy wafers

This makes a delicious canapé served with crispy thin wafers or mini pappadums on the side. Also be perfect on betel leaves if you can source them. Buying the pre-packed  crabmeat makes this a very quick and easy recipe to make. I made this recipe up on Christmas Day and it received good reviews from the family so thought I would share…unfortunately no end product photos! Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients 1 x 400g/500g tub of crab meat (available from seafood shops or supermarkets in Australia) – fork through crab meat to break chunks up 1 onion finely diced 1 tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equivalent ginger ground to a fine paste) 2 sprigs of curry leaves removed from stalk 1/2 cinammon stick (preferably cinnamon bark) 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 1 red chilli finely diced (can be omitted) 1 tspn black mustard seeds or nigella seeds 1.5 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil salt to taste Handful of coriander leaves, very finely chopped Method: Heat oil in …

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Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

This recipe is inspired by Rick Stein’s version with a few adjustments to make it an easy mid-week dish. It is lightly spiced but the addition of green chillies adds a hint of heat. The tamarind water adds a sweet sour component which complements prawns or fish brilliantly. The ground almonds add another dimension and help to thicken the sauce but can be omitted if you prefer. Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 500g fresh or frozen prawns(defrosted), preferably with tails left on OR 500g firm white fish 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp cummin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 onion thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger 2 tablespoons ground almonds (optional) 400ml coconut milk 3 tablespoons tamarind water (made using tamarind seeds or concentrate) 4-5 mild green chillies, cut into long strips coriander to garnish salt vegetable oil Method Place peeled (and defrosted) prawns/fish chopped in pieces in a bowl and marinate for 10 minutes or so …

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Thai Red Roast Pork Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup with Thai Red Roast Pork

The weather in Sydney this weekend has been awful with very high winds and torrential rain. It feels like winter has really arrived. Of course this  is perfect weather for heart warming soups, roast and casseroles. What a great excuse for comfort food! This soup is a perfect antidote to winter blues and just as good in summer as it has a light chicken stock base. You can really season this to your taste and leave out the fresh chillies if you prefer a less spicy option. You will need Thai Red Roast Pork for this recipe which will extend your preparation time if you are making yourself and not “cheating” and buying it at your closest Chinese BBQ store. Same goes for the chicken stock – of course homemade is always nicer but if you don’t have time or any frozen in the fridge then store bought is fine. It is good to fry the finely chopped garlic to  a crisp; and also roast and crush the peanuts, so that is out of the way …

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Thai Red Roast Pork

This is a succulent roast pork recipe that is so easy to make. As well as being delicious thinly sliced and accompanied with cucumbers as a centrepiece of a Thai meal, the leftovers are delicious in Thai Pork Noodle Soup. If you can’t be bothered making it, of course you can buy red roast pork readymade from your local Chinatown. Prep time: 5 minutes Marinate: minimum 2 hours or overnight Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 1 kg of pork loin fillets 1/2 teaspoon red food colouring 1/4 cup of water 1 tablespoon each of fish sauce, hoisin sauce, light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine or sherry 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 3 cloves garlic crushed 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder 2 star anise crushed 1 tablespoon sesame oil Coriander to garnish Method Put all ingredients except pork, water and red food colouring in a blender and blend until a smooth paste form Mix red food colouring and water in steel or ceramic bowl Add pork and using gloves massage food colouring, then …

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Homestyle osso bucco with gremolata and creamy mashed potatoes

Homestyle Osso Bucco

As winter approaches here in Australia slow cooked Osso Bucco is a great recipe to warm the soul. Osso bucco is the cross-cut shank of veal featuring the marrow bone. You can use beef osso bucco but they tend to be much bigger and take longer to cook. I really prefer the smaller veal osso bucco. Order from your butcher if you need to. The meat in this recipe is slow cooked until tender and just falling off the bone and the marrow becomes soft and adds great flavour to the sauce. sucking the marrow out of the bones is not elegant but highly recommended! Served with a zingy gremolata, creamy mash and a fresh rocket and fennel salad, this a fabulous one pot wonder dish that will impress family and friends. It is very simple to cook and is economical as well with a short, sharp ingredients list. Prep time: 20 minutes  Cooking time: 2 hours Ingredients: 12 small veal osso bucco (about 1.5kg) 1 cup plain flour for dusting osso bucco 100 grams …

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Spicy Prawn Rice with carrots, peas and mushrooms

This is a delicious combination of ingredients that is lovely as a dish on its own with a yoghurt raita and salad, or served alongside  grilled chicken or lamb. It’s like an Indian risotto but you don’t have to stand over it stirring!  Perfect for entertaining as it can be made ahead of time – it’s even better the day after! It’s also great for a shared spread or picnic as it can be served at room temperature. You just need to allow prep time as there a few steps prior to assembling the dish and cooking in the oven. You can also leave out or reduce the chilli powder and green chillies to make it less spicy. Prep time: 30 minutes  Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients: 500g green prawns shelled and deveined 1.5-2 cups basmati rice 2 medium carrots roughly diced 350 grams of button mushrooms roughly diced 1/2 cup of peas 2 large onions sliced in rings 150 grams of butter for frying prawns 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil for frying prawns …

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Baked fish with spicy Tahini and onion sauce

Baked Fish with spicy Tahini and onion sauce

This is my take on a traditional Lebanese sauce to go with baked fish. It’s simple to make and the cholesterol free Tahini(sesame paste) sauce I use makes it a much healthier option than cream. The lemony, garlic flavours combine with the nutty flavour of the Tahini and sweet, slightly caramelised onion and spicy chilli into a delicious creamy topping to go with the baked fish. We had it here with a mixed salad including  artichokes which complimented the middle Eastern flavours well. Prep time:  5 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 500g firm fish fillets like  flathead or snapper 1 lemon finely sliced into rings 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup Tahini sauce 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic crushed 1 medium onion thinly sliced in half moons 1 large red chilli finely chopped 1/3 cup cold water 1/ 2 teaspoon cummin powder 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional) 1/2 teaspoon salt fresh ground black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or coriander Method: Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius (400 Farenheit) Line an …

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Steamed eggplant with ginger

Steamed Eggplant with ginger

This is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to enjoy eggplant. You don’t often see recipes for steaming eggplant but I can attest to this recipe, especially if made with smaller eggplants such as “graffiti” striped eggplants or the thin Japanese eggplants. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30-40 minutes Ingredients: 2-3 small eggplants small knob of ginger thinly sliced 1 clove of garlic crushed with half a red chillI 2 teaspoons salt Method: Cut eggplant into medium size piece and immediately add salt and place in a colander or strainer over the sink for 15 minutes Meanwhile slice ginger finely, seperately crush garlic and chilli Remove eggplant from colander shaking off excess moisture and place in steaming basket, gently rub some of the garlic and chilli on each pice of eggplant using a teaspoon, then scatter over ginger. steam for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is tender to your liking  

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Indian brunch with potato curry, dhal, roti and coconut sambal

Quick Coconut Sambal

This sambal is a delicious spicy, sweet accompaniment to all sorts of Indian meals. Traditionally made with freshly grated coconut, I just use desiccated coconut which I first “rehydrate” a bit by soaking in coconut milk(from a can). If you are a coconut fan, then you will find this pretty more-ish. Very nice as a side as part of an Indian brunch with Mild Potato Curry, Red Lentil Dhal and  Wholemeal Roti Prep time: 30 minutes  No Cooking required Ingredients: 1.5 cups desiccated coconut 1 cup coconut milk for soaking 1 green chilli chopped 1 small eschallot or spring onion chopped 1/2 a finger length of ginger chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt Method Soak desiccated coconut in coconut milk for 25 minutes or so Drain coconut milk from desiccated coconut, pressing down well, reserve coconut milk Put rest of ingredients into a food processor or spice grinder and blend to a coarse paste, add a teaspoon of the coconut milk to loosen slightly and whizz briefly. Serve

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Mild potato curry

Mild Potato Curry

This mild potato curry is quick and easy to make. Recently on a rainy Sydney day we were in the mood for an Indian breakfast, or more accurately brunch, so I made this accompanied by my Red Lentil Dhal, Easy Wholemeal Roti and Coconut Sambal. The resulting meal took us straight back to the streets of India  where these types of vegetarian combinations are favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Potato Curry is also a good staple side dish that can be whipped up quickly and is particularly nice with grilled fish. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 2 medium size potatoes peeled and cut into smallish cubes 1 onion diced 1 tomato cut into large chunks 8 curry leaves (optional) 2 cloves garlic and same amount of ginger crushed into paste 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds 1 stick cinnamon 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup of water coriander to garnish Method Boil potatoes first …

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n with salted black bean sauce

Steamed Pumpkin with salted black bean sauce

This dish is inspired by Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry’s Spice Temple cookbook which features the recipes from his well known Sydney restaurant. Spice Temple features spicy regional Chinese cooking inspired by Neil Perry’s travels and his love of Chinese food. The combination of the sweet steamed pumpkin with the salty black bean sauce and slight spiciness added by the dried chillies makes for a great vegetarian side dish. It’s a perfect accompaniment to pork, like the Crispy Asian Pork Belly Salad, or would be nice with grilled lamb cutlets too. The Chinese ingredients in this recipe are worth adding to your pantry if you don’t already have them as they are commonly used in other Chinese dishes, especially Sichuan dishes. The black beans used here are not to be confused with normal canned black beans which are not fermented. Rather theses are salted and fermented black beans that form the basis of the salty seasoning used in Chinese dishes such as “beef in black bean sauce”. Don’t use readymade black bean sauce which is …

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Crispy Asian Roast Pork Belly Salad

Crispy Asian Roast Pork Belly Salad

This is a delicious way to eat pork belly with crunchy crackling and moist roast pork tinged with the flavours of Asia – soy sauce, coriander, chilli, and hints of black vinegar. All it really needs is some steamed greens and jasmine rice on the side for a complete meal. It would also be a very good pre-prepared dish made for sharing or as part of a buffet. i have read many very different techniques for getting crunchy crackling but I just stick to the simple method of keeping the pork uncovered in the fridge for an hour or two and then drying with a cloth and rubbing the scored skin with generous amounts of salt before putting into oven. (Seems to work every time for me.) And, as most of the prep and cooking time is just drying out the pork in the fridge and then roasting in the oven, you can get on and do other things without too much fuss. Prep time: 2.5 hours  Cooking time:2 hours Ingredients: 750g boneless pork belly, …

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Indian spicy mint and coriander pesto/chutney

Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney

This crunchy, spicy mint and coriander chutney, which is almost like a pesto, goes brilliantly with grilled meats, prawns and fish. It is a great accompaniment for any Indian meal, Aussie BBQ or just spread on toast! I have also used it as a chutney with cheese and biscuits. Easy and quick to make, it will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Best to bring to room temperature before serving. Traditionally made by roasting and then grinding the peanuts, I cheat and use super-crunchy peanut butter which works very well to bind the herbs into a pesto like texture. Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1 bunch mint – leaves removed from stalks and washed well 1 bunch coriander – with roots removed, washed well and chopped into large pieces 1-2 red chillies chopped into large pieces 2 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger crushed to a paste 1 medium onion finely diced 1 medium ripe tomato finely diced 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon cummin …

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Portuguese pork and clam stew with roasted capsicum sauce

Portuguese pork and clam stew with roasted capsicum sauce

We used to have this dish at the Petersham Portuguese Chicken Shop and Restaurant in Sydney before it burnt down in a terrible fire. I have never made it at home but thought I’d try it out for something a bit different. I did a bit of research on the Internet and checked a variety of recipes, some with and without the capsicum paste, before deciding on this version. The stew comes from the Alentejan region of Portugal and is usually served with fried potatoes but can be served with crusty bread or plain rice. Marinating the pork in the milk and wine overnight tenderises the pork and gives it a lovely almost silky texture when cooked. The roasted capsicum paste can be made the day before as well if you want and adds a sweetness and a subtle spiciness that compliments the natural saltiness of the clams. The clams can be replaced by cockles but purging them by soaking in water is important to remove any grit. So, please note the time required for marinating …

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Okra, corn and tomato fry

Okra, corn and tomato fry

If you don’t like or haven’t tried okra because of it’s reputation for being slimy, then this recipe will surprise. Dry frying the sliced okra before sautéeing  with tomato, onion, garlic and corn removes the slime and produces a tasty vegetarian side dish that is healthy and a delicious side dish served with green salad leaves and grilled pork or fish. Okra is full of fibre, antioxidants and vitamin K. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 2o minutes Ingredients: 1 onion thinly sliced 1 large tomato chopped 2 cloves of garlic crushed 10-12 medium size okra , washed, dried, stalk cut off and sliced lengthwise in half 200g of canned  corn kernels 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Cajun spice 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves stripped from stalk salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons vegetable oil finely chopped parsley to garnish Optional: baby spinach leaves or lettuce to serve with Method Heat non-stick fry pan over a high heat, add okra cut side down until it browns and the sticky gel emitted dries up. Cook on …

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Homemade Borlotti baked beans

Homemade Borlotti Baked Beans

My six year old neighbour Martin is coming over for lunch today. A few months ago Martin popped in to say hi and I had just taken my homemade baked beans out of the oven. Martin was astounded to find out that baked beans don’t just come out of a can. He was even more intrigued when I showed him the actual raw beans. “They are like nuts”, he said. I gave Martin a small taste of the freshly cooked beans and he loved them. Since then whenever I see him he talks about the baked beans,so I thought it only appropriate that I should make a batch for lunch. Whilst they take time to make, due to having to soak the beans, then twice cook them, the results are so much better than using beans out of a can and the cooking process gives you the opportunity to use herbs and spices to your taste in the sauce. I use Borlotti beans for this recipe, but you can also use white beans or cannellini …

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"Amazing" chicken Marylands with tomato, thyme, garlic and eschallots

Amazing Chicken Maryland with tomato, thyme, garlic, and eschallots

The combination of these classic ingredients cooked slowly in the oven creates a succulent chicken dish that is healthy and full of flavour. Of course, I can’t resist adding some chilli for a bit of a kick but it is just as lovely without. You can also add large cubes of potato which absorb the juices as they cook. (You might need to add a bit more stock during the cooking if you use potatoes.) Served with a simple green salad and some crunchy bread to mop up the juices, “amazing chicken”, as our family calls it, is a great staple for weeknight dinners or as a main dish for casual lunches. Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1hr-1.5hrs Ingredients: 4 chicken marylands or 6 chicken thigh fillets 6 cloves of garlic 1 large tomato cut in large chunks 2 red chillies sliced in half(optional) 8 eschallots Half a bunch of thyme, leaves stripped off stalks Salt and crushed black pepper 1/2 cup chicken stock or water 1/2 cup dry white wine 3-4 tablespoons Olive …

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Salmon En Croute with fennel, chilli and dill butter

Salmon En Croute with fennel, dill and chilli butter

This recipe is inspired by Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver who both have very different versions of the classic Salmon en Croute. According to my google search the term “en Croute” refers to food cooked in pastry in the oven, most commonly salmon or beef. For the Salmon En Croute, Rick Stein in his recipe book Seafood Cookbook uses a butter with currants and mace spiced butter filling, whereas Jamie Oliver uses a spinach and watercress creme fraiche filling. As I decided to make this after I had already done the grocery shopping, I thought I’d try a filling with ingredients I had which I knew would go well with salmon. The resulting pastry parcel with a homemade fennel, dill and chilli butter was absolutely delicious seved with a homemade kale,carrot and red cabbage coleslaw with avocado and tomatoes. It was easy to make using store bought frozen pastry and you could just experiment with the type of flavoured butter filling you’d like. I would recommend using some substantial ingredients, like the thin fennel slices I …

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Fish Briyani with tomato chutney and turmeric rice

Fish Briyani with Tomato Chutney & Turmeric Rice

This Fish Briyani is based on a recipe from my Aunty Vimala who inspired my interest in cooking when I was young. I can still vividly recall the enticing smells of spices cooking and the delicious flavour combinations that came from her kitchen. I wrote this recipe down, taking notes as she made it, when I last visited South Africa in 1997. The spicy tomato chutney, fresh herbs, sweet caramelised onions and lightly fried fish combine to create a more-ish, layered fish dish that is delicious on its own or with youghurt, mango or mint chutney and pickles to the side. This is a lovely dish to serve as part of a buffet lunch or dinner as it is actually nicer warm, rather than piping hot, and even better the next day. Don’t put off by the number of steps and spices, it really is a matter of making each of the components seperately and then combining into the completed layered dish. Once you’ve done the prep it’s just a matter of putting it in …

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Fresh mussels in Thai style broth

Mussels in Thai Broth

An easy, healthy and delicious main courses or starter – can be served with crispy bread rolls or jasmine rice. Make sure you use fresh mussels. It’s all the better made using homemade Thai prawn stock(see recipe below) but bought fish or chicken stock will do if you are short on time. Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 1 kg of mussels, beards removed (do not use any broken mussels) 1 small brown onion finely diced 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 2 pieces ginger/fresh galangal finely chopped 1-2 hot red chillies chopped 1 teaspoon fish sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 6 coriander stalks and roots cleaned and chopped, leaves reserved for garnish thai basil for garnish 750 ml prawn or fish stock 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Method: Heat oil in large pot that has a tight fitting lid Add onions, garlic, ginger and chillies and sautéed over medium heat until onions are translucent Add coriander, stock, fish sauce and sugar Add mussels, fit on lid and bring stock to boil. Shake pan and …

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