Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Fennel

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Wanting to keep dinner pretty simple tonight and made a one dish wonder! Only had to brown a few things in a hot pan and the oven did the rest. Baked risotto rice with creamy chicken breast, mushroom, fennel, spinach and tarragon turned about to be a winner! You could serve alongside some steamed vegetables if you wanted but we kept it simple and just had the risotto bake! Could make it vegetarian and use big chunks of pumpkin for a meatless dinner.

One Dish Baked Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Fennel

Ingredients:
250gm. button mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 brown onion, diced
1/2 fennel bulb, core removed and sliced
1 tbsp. dried tarragon
3 tbsp. oil
1/4 leek, sliced
2 cups. baby spinach
1 cup. Arborio or short grain rice
2 cup. chicken stock, warm
3/4 cup. cream
1/4 cup. white wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper
700 gm chicken breast or thigh

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven 180 degrees fan-bake.
  2. In large oven proof dish slice mushrooms and scatter over the base followed by rice and half the spinach.
  3. Heat fry pan over high heat add half the oil, onion, garlic, tarragon and fennel with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sautee until browned add leek and cook for 2 minutes then pour in wine to deglaze the pan. I also chopped about 1 tbsp. of top of the fennel and added to the fry pan.
  4. Add to baking dish followed by remaining spinach.
  5. Add remaining oil to fry pan and season your chicken I used breast, add to hot pan and brown both sides around 2-3 minutes per side,
  6. Add to baking dish with hot stock and cream.
  7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes then remove cover and bake for a further 15 minutes until rice is tender.
  8. Serve as is or with a side of steamed vegetables.

Serves: 4-5

Honey Apple and Anzac Crumble Porridge

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Easter’s been and what comes next is Anzac day, you cant go wrong with your classic Anzac biscuit! However this time I decided lets change it up and make a simple breakfast snack either for before the dawn service or for when you get home. A short forage ended with finding a beautiful tart apple tree, the apples have a few dark circles but a quick wash and peel before dicing solved that problem.  Tart apples cooked with honey and cinnamon and added to creamy porridge with crunchy Anzac crumb and a pour of cream ended up being a bowl full of happiness.

Honey Apple and Anzac Crunch Porridge

Ingredients:
Honey apple
4x tart apples, peeled and 1cm dice
1 heaped dsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup. water
Anzac Crumb
1 cup. scotch oats
1/4 cup. self raising flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. golden syrup
50 gm. butter, melted
Porridge
1 cup. scotch oats
1 1/2 cup. milk
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees fan bake.
  2. Peel apples and dice into 1cm pieces, a easy way to remove apple from the core is to make 4 cuts around the core see pictures below.
  3. Add water, honey and cinnamon. Bring to the boil then simmer for 12 minutes until tender, set aside.
  4. In a lined oven proof dish combine all ingredients for the crumb and rub together.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes until golden brown, stir half way through the cooking.
  6. In large heavy based pot over a medium to high heat combine oats, water, milk and salt. bring to the boil stirring constantly and cook out for 5 minutes until thickened.
  7. Add porridge to bowl and top with apple and crumble, serve with cream. You can use milk if you prefer.

Serves: 3-4

Chicken and Black bean Quesadillas

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Change up dinner a bit with this tasty dish, Cumin and paprika seared chicken layered with hummus, cheese, spinach and red onion inside a toasty tortilla topped with avocado sour cream. Simple dinner but a tasty one for a mid night Mexican twist or a long weekend lunch treat this will be perfect to change things up.  I made 4 jumbo size quesadillas however you could use small wraps and get more if the family is bigger. I just used my frypan to toast but if you have a sandwich press they would be done in half the time.

Chicken and Black bean Quesadillas with Avocado Sour cream

Ingredients:
500gm chicken diced or sliced
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tin diced tomatoes with oregano
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tin black beans in spring water, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. coriander stalks
2 tbsp. fresh coriander leaf
2 cups cheese, grated
4 dsp. hummus, I used honey carrot
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 cup. baby spinach
1/2 avocado
125 gm sour cream
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
4 jumbo tortillas
Oil spray

Method:

  1. In bowl combine chicken, garlic salt, pepper, cumin, paprika. Stir to combine and allow to marinate and develop flavour for 30minutes or overnight.
  2. Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add oil followed by chicken. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn, you want you chicken to brown nicely to develop flavour. Cook for a further 5 minutes and add the diced tomatoes and brown sugar and chopped coriander stalks, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes stir in black beans.
  3. Remove from fry pan and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Time to assemble; Spread one dessert spoon of hummus over the wrap, sprinkle half wrap with cheese onion spinach and some fresh coriander leafs followed by 1/4 of the chicken mixture top with little more cheese. Fold over tortilla. repeat until all are ready to be cooked.
  5. Heat fry pan over medium heat and spray with oil, place folded tortillas in and cook each side for 2 minutes until toasted. If you have a sandwich press this is perfect to use.
  6. In bowl add sour cream, avocado and sweet chili sauce. Smash and stir to combine.
  7. Cut quesadillas into 3 and top with avocado sour cream, sweet chili sauce and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Serves: 4 Jumbo quesadillas

Pineapple Pork and Kumara Casserole

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Pineapple pork and kumara casserole for dinner tonight, thanks to the slow cooker for doing most of the work. Nice change to your usual beef casserole! I served mine with basmati rice however my partner had buttered toast either way this casserole  will sure please a crowd.

Pineapple Pork and Kumara Casserole

Ingredients:
500gm pork dice
1x tin pineapple chunks
2 cups orange kumara, chunky dice
1 red onion, sliced
2 cup red pepper, chunky dice
2 celery stalks, rough chop
4 garlic cloves, rough chop
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 cup vege stock
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tsbp cornflour + 2 tbsp cold water into a slurry

Method

  1. Turn slow cooker onto high and add tin of pineapple including the juice.
  2. Heat fry pan over a medium to high heat add sliced onion, peppers, ginger and garlic sauté until browned add to slow cooker with kumara as well.
  3. Season pork pieces and add 1 tbsp oil to fry pan and brown each side. do this in batches to avoid stewing.  Add to slow cooker with diced celery.
  4. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
  5. After 3 hours make cornflour slurry and pour into casserole stirring well, cook out for 5 minutes and serve with chopped celery leafs.
  6. You can serve with rice or buttered toast both ways you with thoroughly enjoy.

Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

 

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Weekends call for something sweet don’t they? Well I have to agree to that, they do! Not just your average cinnamon roll but jumbo size, soft and fluffy homemade dough layered with cinnamon and brown sugar baked until sticky and topped with vanilla glaze.

Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tbsp. active instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
75gm butter, melted
Filling
150gm butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
Glaze
2 cup icing sugar
4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla essence


Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 100 degrees for 15 minutes then turn off.
  2. Heat milk for 40 seconds in microwave until warmed not to hot, sprinkle over the yeast and allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl add eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter.
  4. Pour in yeast/milk mixture followed by flour and salt.
  5. Using a dough hook mix for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Spray an oven proof bowl with oil spray and place the dough in the center, your dough will be slightly sticky but not runny if so add 1/4 cup more flour and mix in.
  7. I spray the top of the dough lightly with oil to prevent it from getting a crust, glad wrap the bowl and cover with a towel.
  8. Place in the warm oven for 45 minutes until dough has doubled in size. If you have a warm house you can leave it on the bench but this was a great way to speed up the proving process.
  9. Remove from oven the dough should have doubled in size.
  10. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan forced.
  11. Dust the bench with flour and “knock your dough back” this means hitting the air out of it. Turn the dough out onto the floured bench and press out into a large rectangle about 2cm thick, You could use a rolling pin but with this soft dough I find hands is much easier.
  12. Now combine the filling mixture to form a paste spread all over the dough and now roll up tightly.
  13. Once you have the roll,  line baking tray and cut the roll into 8 even pieces, place them close together on the tray and bake for 28 minutes until brown and golden.
  14. Allow to cool slightly and combine all ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over the rolls.

Serves: 8, best served warm from the oven.

Cinnamon Pear and Honey Apple Cake

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Pears, apples and cinnamon go hand in hand when it comes to baking. Perfect Autumn cake slightly tart apples, pears and cinnamon with a hint of lemon baked into a brown sugar cake with vanilla glaze. I enjoyed a piece of this warm I couldn’t resist.

Cinnamon Pear and Apple Honey Cake

Ingredients:
2 cox orange apples or granny smith
2 brown pears
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 dsp honey
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cup self raising flour
Icing
3 cup icing sugar
2 cap vanilla essence
4 tbsp. water

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degress bake.
  2. Dice apples and pears mix with cinnamon, honey and lemon juice.
  3. Line cake tin with baking paper you can use a circle or square tin just ensure the baking paper goes up the sides.
  4. Combine vanilla, eggs, brown sugar oil in a bowl stir well. Sift in flour and baking soda and stir to combine.
  5. Add milk and mix to form a smooth batter.
  6. Scatter half the apple and pear mixture on the base of the lined cake tin, followed by the batter. Smooth this out evenly and top with remaining apple and pear mix.
  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes until when tested with a knife it comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add 2 caps of vanilla essence and 4tbsp of cold water, stir well until you have a thick consistency.
  10. Pour icing over the cake starting in the center and smoothing it evenly with a spoon.

Serves: 8-10

Mince, Mushroom and Double Cheese Pies

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I am a huge fan of a pie, I had some mushrooms that needed using up in the fridge plus some mozzarella and some vintage cheddar and a cheap packet of premium beef mince. Plus I can also give them to my partner in his lunch as there a perfect size in the texas muffin tin.

Ingredients:
400 gram. premium beef mince
1/2 brown onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cup. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup. Worchester sauce
1 1/2 cup. beef stock
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cornflour + 2 tsbp. cold water = slurry
5 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
1/2 cup. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup. grated mozzarella

Method:

  1. Heat fry pan over medium to high heat add oil, onion and garlic cook for 3-4 minutes and add chunks of the beef mince plus salt and pepper.
  2. Leave to brown for few minutes until turning and repeating until the mince is nicely browned, this adds flavour, add in mushrooms and roughly chopped herbs.
  3. Now add stock, sugar and worchester sauce leave to simmer for 20minutes.  Make a cornflour slurry with water and stir into mince, cook out for 3 minutes, check your seasoning and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 200 degress fan bake.
  5. Spray texas muffin tin with oil and line with puff pastry. I used a bowl as my base cutter and a smaller cup for the lid sized circle. Make these slightly bigger so you can roll the pastry over at the top.
  6. Using a 1/2 cup. measure your beef mixture and press into pastry case, repeat.
  7. Sprinkle about a 1 tsp. of cheddar and mozzarella over each pie, egg wash the pastry rim and press on lid. Pushing the pastry against the sides as your roll the pastry over at the top creating a lip.
  8. Egg wash the top and prick steam holes in the top of the pastry with a fork and a small amount of cheese for garnish.
  9. Bake for 28 minutes until pastry is puff and golden.

Makes 6 texas muffin sized pies

Honey Carrot and Sesame Pumpkin Soup

 

 

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Autumn is here and the leaves are changing colour and its starting to become one of my favourite times to cook, this means comfort food. Crown pumpkin were $3.50 each here which is pretty good for now. So I was thinking of a soup and a pasta dish, first up is the soup. We got some local honey from a beekeeper in Darfield a few weeks back and it was the perfect finishing ingredient for this soup. Pumpkin and carrot with sesame and cumin finished with coconut creamy for a silky finish. This soup is perfect as is or take it up a notch and serve it with sour-cream and toasted seeds.

Ingredients:
1/2 crown pumpkin, large dice
4 carrots, chunky cut
1 onion, rough dice
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. crushed ginger
2 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 vegetable oxo stock cubes
4 cup. hot water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 can. light coconut cream

To serve:
1 tbsp. sour cream
1/4 cup. sunflower seeds
1/4 cup. pumpkin seeds

Method:

  1. In a heavy based pot sauté onions and both oils for 2 minutes and then add cumin, cinnamon, ginger, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Cook out until the onion is translucent.
  2. Pour in 4 cups of hot water, I dissolved the oxo stock cubes in this beforehand.
  3. Chop pumpkin and carrots add to your pot and bring to the boil then simmer for 40 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour in 1 can of light coconut cream, stir in well.
  5. Blitz your soup with a stick blender until smooth and thick, check and adjust your seasoning and add 1 tbsp. of honey.
  6. Serve pumpkin soup hot with a dollop of sour cream and toast sunflower and pumpkin seeds, I mixed my seeds together and baked on a tray for 15 minutes at 180 degress.

Serves:6

Blackboy Peach and Apple Shortcake

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Autmun weather has graced us  now in Canterbury and with that comes the last of the black boy peaches I forage from the redzone here in Christchurch. Also was given some beautiful large apples from my partners family in Darfeild.

I have a small obsession with different types of slices at the moment and decided a shortcake would be a nice thing to bake but changing the usual filling of stewed apple to a combination of black boy peaches and apples. If you can’t however get your hands on blackbooy peaches then normal golden peaches are fine.

Blackboy Peach and Apple Shortcake

Ingredients:
230gm butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup stewed blackboy peach and apple
Blackboy Peach and Apple
1/2 cup water
6 black boy peaches
2 large green apples

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degress bake.
  2. In heavy based saucer add water, roughly chopped peaches and diced apple leaving the skin on. bring to boil and simmer for 15minutes until fruit is soft and tender. Stir often to avoid the fruit from catching.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. In bowl combine sugar and softened butter, cream together with your hand and stir in eggs until well creamed.
  5. Add flour and baking powder and mix until crumbly dough is formed.
  6. Line baking dish with baking paper and press 3/4 of the base into the tin.
  7. Spread over stewed fruit, crumble over remaining shortcake mixture and press down.
  8. Bake for 40minutes until golden brown.
  9. Serve cold by itself or warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Snickers Slice

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Sweet and crunchy snickers slice is not for the faint hearted. It sure has a caramel packed kick with nutty peanuts and dark chocolate. Everyone’s sweet tooth was extremely happy when I presented them with this one to try. I enjoyed mine with a nice hot cup of tea on a Sunday afternoon.

 

Snickers Slice

Ingredients:

Caramel
2x tin 395gm condense milk
100g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup toasted peanuts
Base
1 cup toasted peanuts
250gm packet malt biscuits
180gm butter, melted
Topping
250gm Dark chocolate
2tbsp coconut oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven 180 fan bake.
  2. Toast 2 cups plain peanuts for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  3. In food processor add malt biscuits and 1 cup of toasted peanuts. Blitz until a chunky texture has formed add , melted butter.
  4. Line baking dish with baking paper and press in the crumb. Press crumb firmly into the dish.
  5. Combine  condense milk and golden syrup in a microwave safe jug. Microwave for 2 minutes, then stir repeat 2 times and on the 3rd time add the butter and stir in.
  6. Pour caramel over base and sprinkle with remanding 1 cup toasted peanuts, bake for 25minutes, until golden and bubbling.
  7. Allow to cool completely, combine chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and melt for 1 minute. Stir well to remove all lumps and pour over the set cooled caramel. Allow to set and enjoy a slice with a nice cup of tea or coffee.