Pumpkin Corn and Bacon Chowder

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With a massive winter front hitting Canterbury this weekend with rain, sleet and snow depending where you are there are only a few things perfect for this type of weather and they are staying at home in the warmth with good company. good food, good book or movie and pjs.

Well for the good food option on this wintery Sunday I have chosen to make a chowder now they don’t have to be seafood based to be good! Pumpkin season is currently here also so crown pumpkins are very, very cheap! I picked a small one up for $1 which was a great bargain. I wanted to make something different this time rather than your standard pumpkin soup which I have a couple of variations on already. So here it is folks Pumpkin, corn and bacon chowder.

Pumpkin Corn and Bacon Chowder

Ingredients:
1 small crown pumpkin, peeled and 2-3cm dice
2 tbsp. garlic, small dice
1 cup. bacon, diced
1 small brown onion, diced
50gm. butter
1/2 cup. white flour
1 litre. chicken or vege stock, hot
1/2 cup cream
1 tin corn kernels in spring water
salt and pepper

Garlic bread to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees fan bake.
  2. Add pumpkin, garlic, salt and pepper to lined baking tray and roast for 22 minutes until tender.
  3. In a large heavy based pot fry onion, bacon and butter cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent., over a medium heat.
  4. Add flour and stir constantly, cook for 2 minutes now add half a cup of the hot stock and stir in well this will thicken, now add another 1/2 cup of stock and cook out. Repeat this step until all stock has been used.
  5. Do not add it all at once or it won’t thicken properly.
  6. Add cream, corn and pumpkin, allow to simmer for 10minutes and check your seasoning I added quiet a bit of seasoning for it to be a perfect flavour.
  7. Serve with buttery toast or garlic butter.

Makes 3 liters

 

Beef Stroganoff

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It was the first day of winter yesterday here in New Zealand and its a season I don’t overly enjoy. However one of the highlights of this cold season is the comfort food that comes along with it. As im sitting here writing this post I’ve just enjoyed a nice hot bowl of pumpkin, corn and bacon chowder which I will be sharing with you soon.

Beef Strog is something that has warmed up to me as I have grown older, but now I highly enjoy the dish and decided to whip one up for our lunch yesterday and a easy recipe for all of you.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp. garlic
200gm meadow mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. butter
500gm beef stir-fry
6 tbsp. canola oil
salt and pepper
70gm tomato paste
3/4 cup gherkins, sliced
250gm sour cream
1/2 cup. cream
1 tbsp. sugar

Rice or pasta to serve

Method:

  1. Heat fry pan over high heat add 2 tbsp. oil.
  2. Coat stir-fry beef with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
  3. Fry beef in two batches to achieve nice brown colour around 2 minutes each side, once browned put in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in your fry pan add onions and garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add mushrooms and butter cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add gherkins, tomato paste, cream and sour cream stir well, add beef and its juices.
  6. Cook for a further 10minutes add sugar and check seasoning.
  7. Serve with rice or cooked pasta.

Serves: 3-4

Sunday Brunch

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Looking for something yummy to make for breakfast in bed or treat the other half? Here’s a simple recipe that will please you both; Creamy mushrooms and zucchini with fresh thyme. I served mine with poached eggs but you could easily just have them on chunky toast without eggs or take it to a whole new level and add crispy bacon as well as the poached eggs. This is a super fast recipe have it on a plate and in your mouth within 20 minutes.

Creamy Mushrooms and Zucchini with Fresh Thyme

Ingredients:
250gm button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. crushed garlic
3 tbsp. canola oil
70gm butter
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 spinach balls, pams frozen portions
1/2 cup cream
To Serve
Toasted Vienna or Ciabatta bread
Poached eggs

Method:

  1. Heat fry pan over high heat add oil, butter, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic salt, pepper and crushed garlic.
  2. Fry for 3-4 minutes until starting to brown, add spinach balls and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add cream allow to reduce and cook out for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. Poach eggs and toast your Vienna bread.
  5. Check your seasoning and serve on buttered toasted Vienna with poached eggs.

Serves: 2-3

Venison Rigatoni

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Pasta, their is something very comforting about sitting down to a big bowl of hearty pasta after a long day at work. Been dreaming of a having rigatoni pasta and was leaving work the other day and venison mince caught my eye and well that, was that!

I’ve used venison with a tomato base and raisins for a bit of sweetness finished with some crunchy green beans and baby spinach. My partner and I were both pretty happy with the outcome but why don’t you be the judge and make it for yourself ?

Venison Rigatoni

Ingredients:
500gm Venison mince
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tbsp. fresh garlic crushed
2 tbsp. oil
1c tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 continental beef stock jelly pot
1 cup. raisins
1/4 cup. red wine
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worchester sauce
500gm rigatoni pasta
salt and pepper
200gm green beans
1 1/2 cup baby spinach

Method:

  1.  Heat frypan over medium to high heat add oil, onions and garlic until brown.
  2. Add chunks of venison mince and brown pieces season well.
  3. Add raisins,  tomato paste, stock, sugar, Worchester sauce and red wine. Stir well to combine and add tin tomatoes, simmer for 30minutes over a low heat.
  4. Cook your rigatoni pasta in boiling well salted water for 11 minutes and drain keeping 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  5. Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and run under cold water to keep them nice and green.
  6. Add venison base to drained pasta with blanched green beans and baby spinach followed by the 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  7. Stir well to combine check and adjust your seasoning.

Serves:4-6

Sticky Pork and Broccoli Udon Noodles

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Sometimes you really want takeaways but it can be much cheaper making it yourself. I’m happy to say these pork udon noodles are delicious we both ended up going back for seconds and there was none left for lunches, we were not complaining though!!

Minimal amount of effort went into this dinner only 3 vegetables broccoli, capsicum and mushrooms and the udon noodles come pre-cooked they just need rinsing and added to the hot sauce. I just got my udon noodles in 200gm packets from the mad butcher they will sell these at most supermarket and Asian grocers.  The sauce base for this recipe could be used with chicken, beef or just vegetables its a very versatile mix of Asian flavours. The udon noodles soak up the sauce and are just delicious!

Sticky Pork and Broccoli Udon Noodles

Ingredients:
400gm pork mince, room temp
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 1/2 cup broccoli, small florets
3-5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
3 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. sweet soy
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tsp. crushed ginger
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp. fish sauce
2 cups water
2 tbsp. corn flour
400 gm. udon noodles. precooked
2 tbsp. sesame seeds to serve

Method:

  1. Heat a large fry pan on a high heat, add 2 tbsp. of oil and pork mince in spoonful’s. Brown each side 3-4 minutes until golden.
  2. In a bowl combine soy sauces, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, coriander, sweet chili and sugar together. Pour into hot fry pan over beef coasting the beef remove from fry pan into bowl and set aside. Sprinkle with corn flour and mix in well.
  3. Heat remaining oil in fry pan and add broccoli, mushrooms and capsicum sauté for few minutes until browned add 1 cup of water and let cook out until all water is evaporated and vegetables are tender.
  4. Add pork and sauce back to the fry pan. Let cook out for 2 minutes to start thickening, add last remaining cup of water and rinse udon noodles.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion.

Serves: 2-4

Paprika and Capsicum Venison Sausages

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I love devilled sausages, well anything that has meat and a gravy like sauce to be honest with you! But what if you want to make your own from scratch? I have made a simple yet very satisfying alternative using venison sausages, which could easily swapped for beef finished with a thick bold gravy. I served this simple dish with some sesame cumin roast pumpkin, white rice and handful of spinach.  This dinner was on the plate and ready to eat within 30 minutes of starting so it would be perfect for a week night meal!

Paprika and Capsicum Venison Sausages with Sesame Cumin Roast Pumpkin

Ingredients:
5-8 venison sausages
3 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, 3cm chunks
1 tsp. garlic
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. cornflour
1/4 cup. Worchester sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup. water or stock
salt and pepper
Roast Sesame Pumpkin
1/2 small crown pumpkin, sliced
1 tsp, cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. garlic, thinly sliced
salt and pepper

To serve steamed rice and 1/2 bag baby spinach

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven 200 degress fan bake.
  2. Peel pumpkin and slice, lay out on lined roasting dish and sprinkle with cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, slat pepper and oil. Roast for 25 minutes
  3. Heat fry pan over medium heat, add oil and sliced onion sauté slightly and add sausage browning each side around 2 minutes on each.
  4.  Add capsicum, garlic and paprika stir to combine.
  5. Sprinkle with cornflour until mixed in well.
  6. Combine Worchester sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and stock in a jug.
  7. Pour into sauces stirring well to avoid lumps, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes until thick and glossy.
  8. Check your seasoning, and remove pumpkin from oven this will be tender.
  9. Serve sausages on rice with a handful of fresh baby spinach and the roast sesame pumpkin.

Serves 3-4

 

Otaki Grans Sunday Sponge

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For as long as I can remember a trip to Otaki on the Kapiti Caost of the North Island always included one of grans famous sponge cakes with home made jam of her choice to finish of a Sunday roast was tradition! Some of the earliest food memories and my passion for sharing comes from my Gran Anne Joynt. When she passed away I was lucky enough to be given her Kenwood stand mixer and famous sponge tins, something that I will cherish and look after for the rest of my life! I remember the first time I attempted a sponge cake with grans mixer and tins and it turned out a success and the true judge was my dad he was happy, but again he would have to say its good right?

Well anyway there’s a wee bit of background surrounding the Otaki Sunday Sponge. In turn fashion it is layered with homemade jam I chose a apricot one I made a few months back but you can use any jam you like.

Otaki Grans Sunday Sponge

Ingredients:
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup. caster sugar
1/2 cup. flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
25 gm. butter, melted and cooled
Whipped cream, homemade jam and a dust of icing sugar to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degress bake.
  2. Line two sponge tins with baking paper base and sides.
  3. Separate egg whites into a stand mixing bowl, whisk until foamy.
  4. Whisk in caster sugar and egg yolks, whisk for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  5. Sift all dry ingredients into separate bowl and fold into the egg mixture. I use a rubber scraper, start by going around the edges then a figure 8 pattern through the mix. Do not stir as you will loose all the air that makes it fluffy and light.
  6. Once flour is basically folded in fold in butter.
  7. Pour sponge batter evenly over the two sponge tins and bake for 24 minutes until sponge comes away from the edges of the tin.
  8. Cool and spread jam and whipped cream on the bottom layer followed with the lid, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!!

Serves 6-8

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