Chicken Parmigiana, The Real Deal

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Stuck on something to impress your family or special someone well here is the dish for you. I cooked this up for my lovely flatmates on Sunday night and it sure went down a treat, lets just say it was rather quiet when this was being consumed which is a good sign right?

Crunchy crumbed chicken breast baked with tomato passata sauce, dollops of basil paste, parmesan and layers of fresh mozzarella finished in the oven until golden brown and crispy! Served up with simple spinach and garlic penne pasta. I will admit this may be on the cards again for dinner this week as it was so satisfying and tasty.

Homemade Chicken Parmigiana with Spinach and Garlic Penne

Ingredients:
150gm Breadcrumbs
2x eggs
1/2cup Flour
2 1/2tsp Garlic Salt
2tsp Cracked black pepper
4x Chicken breast, skin removed
250ml Canola oil
500ml Tomato Passata sauce or Tomato pasta sauce
80ml Tube Basil Puree or 4 tbsp fresh basil chopped
1/2cup Parmesan, finely grated
250gm Mozzarella
1tbsp Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Spinach and Garlic Penne
50gm Baby spinach
500gm Penne Pasta
1tsp Garlic salt
1tsp Cracked black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degress.
  2. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk together, set aside.
  3. Place flour in another bowl and add 1tsp garlic salt and 1tsp cracked black pepper, mix until seasoning is evenly mixed through.
  4. repeat same process with the bread crumbs and remaining garlic salt and cracked pepper.
  5. Firstly coat the chicken breast in flour, then into the egg mixture and finally into the seasoned bread crumbs. Set aside and repeat until all breasts are crumbed.
  6.  Heat oil in a heat based wok or fry pan over a low to medium heat until it reaches 170-180 degrees. This will take around 5 minutes or so, Be very careful at this point.
  7. Add 2x Chicken breasts to the hot oil and fry either side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, place in oven proof dish.
  8. Pour a strip of tomato passata sauce over the crumbed chicken followed by half a tube of the basil puree or 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil. Pour the remaining sauce around the sides of the dish.
  9. Sprinkle 3/4 of the parmesan over and cut mozzarella into 12 pieces, lay 3 pieces over each chicken breast.
  10. Spoon a small dollop of tomato sauce over the top of the chicken and a teaspoon of basil puree and the remainder of the parmesan.
  11. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Boil penne in heavily salted water with 2 tbsp oil until cooked.
  13. Drain and add 1 tbsp oil to prevent it from sticking together  add spinach, 1 tsp cracked black pepper and a teaspoon of garlic salt. Mix together.
  14. Remove your chicken from the oven, sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley and serve over your spinach and garlic penne.

ENJOY!

Sweet Tooth Fix, Two ingredients say no more

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Do you ever want to just make something sweet with minimal effort and minimal ingredients?
Well I sure have the recipe for you, two ingredients and 5 minutes of your time and its ready to hit the fridge.
Today’s creation is soft and creamy fudge that only requires two ingredients, YES you heard me TWO INGREDIENTS!!
No pots or pans are required for this recipe either. Simply a microwave safe bowl or jug and a rubber scraper.  This fudge is soft and melts in your mouth I have already eaten 5 pieces writing out the recipe, be sure this wont last long in your house.

Two Ingredient  Fudge

Who doesn’t like fudge? I think nearly everyone does even more so that it only takes 5 minutes and two ingredients. I wanted something that wasn’t going to take much effort or time to be completely honest with you all. Who doesn’t want that right? So I have created a very simply recipe for 2 ingredient 5 minute fudge. You can make any flavour you like I turned a simple milk chocolate fudge into a cookies and cream dream and a Cadbury Caramilk flavour. Flavour possibilities are endless and up to you.

Ingredients:
600gm Chocolate (I used Whittaker’s Milk Choc and Cadburys Caramilk)
1 1/2 can 395gm Condense Milk

Method:

  1. Brake chocolate into small pieces, place in microwave safe bowl.
  2. Pour in condense milk.
  3. Place in microwave and change power setting to 50% microwave for 1 minute, then stir.
  4. Repeat this step 5x to equal 5 minutes, after 3 minutes your mixture will start to thicken, don’t panic just stir it evenly with a rubber scraper insuring that you get around the sides and base of the bowl.
  5. Once you have completed this pour into silicone cake mould or baking dish lined with baking paper.
  6. Cover with a piece of baking paper and using your hands spread the fudge evenly over the dish, remove baking paper before placing in the fridge.
  7. Add desired toppings I’ve done cookies and cream and also a plain one in the pictures below.
  8. Place in the fridge for 3 -4 hours or overnight. (for best results overnight is best)
  9. Cut into 2.5cm cubes.

Flavour additions:

Cookies and Cream Fudge:
8x Oreos
12 cookies and cream Herseys kisses
Once you have poured your fudge into your dish and smoothed the top, sprinkle with crushed cookies and Herseys kisses. Place baking paper over the top and press topping in so when the fudge sets its in your fudge rather than falling off.

3 Ingredient Bacon and Egg Bites

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We had a decent amount of snow hit Dunedin on Sunday/Monday this week. I was stuck and home with the day off. I was playing around in the kitchen on this cold day and created this simple easy recipe for bacon and egg bites. The base recipe is 3 ingredients but you can add whatever topping to them. I made some with cherry tomatoes, some with mushrooms and then just some plain ones.

You could add chopped chives, cheese, onion, vegetables what ever you like, they are a great lunch box filler for the kids or even your own for an afternoon tea snack!

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1/2 cup bacon, chunky chop

2x puff pastry sheets

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Grease a 6 hole muffin tin with cooking spray. (mine was between a normal size and a texas muffin tin)
  3. Cut both pastry sheets into 4 even squares. You will have two spare, or if you have a larger muffin tray just use them up.. (these can be refrigerated or frozen and used at a later date)
  4. Place a pre-cut pastry square in each of the greased muffin holes, gently tuck pastry hole into make a rustic looking tart shell.
  5. Crack one egg in each pastry shell followed by handful of bacon pieces, salt and pepper and bake for 20-25mintues until golden brown.

Makes 6

As i said above you can add flavours to the base filling for a tasty fast snack!!

Ginger Poached Pears with Almond

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Are you stuck on what to make for dessert in these cold months. Well do I have the one for you. Warming ginger poached pears with cinnamon and lemon served with creamy vanilla ice-cream and syrup. This is a great dessert with not much fuss. I love ginger and it goes perfectly with the pears and bonus clears any unwanted colds.

Ginger Poached Pears with Almond

Ingredients:

3 brown pears
1 cup sugar
2 ltr. water
¼ cup shaved root ginger
½ cinnamon stick
Peel of 1 lemon
4 tbsp. sliced almonds
vanilla ice-cream to serve

Method:

  1. In a medium size deep pot combine sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, and water.
  2. Peel and core pears, add to pot, cover with circle of baking paper. *see pic below
  3. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer for 25-35 minutes until pears are tender will splice of a knife when tested. (you can think a poached pear is cooked but when you cool it can be hard so make sure they are cooked properly.)
  4. Split syrup in half and reduce by half or until thickened slightly.
  5. Strain and remove all ginger shavings, they will be used to garnish.
  6. Serve warm pear with vanilla ice cream, reduced poaching syrup, poached ginger shavings and sprinkle of sliced almonds.

Serves: 3

In medium deep pot combine sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, shaved ginger done with a peeler like seen above.

In medium deep pot combine sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, shaved ginger done with a peeler like seen above.

Peel pears evenly starting from the top moving to the bottom.

Peel pears evenly starting from the top moving to the bottom.

Remove the core, can be done with a melon baller or tsp.

Remove the core, can be done with a melon baller or tsp.

Make sure you remove all the seeds.

Make sure you remove all the seeds.

Ready to be poached.

Ready to be poached.

Add 2ltr of water to poaching pot followed by prepared pears.

Add 2ltr of water to poaching pot followed by prepared pears.

Cover with circle of baking paper, bring to the boil and simmer for 25-35 minutes.

Cover with circle of bakingpaper, bring to the boil and simmer for 25-35 minutes.

Remove pears from poaching liquid, cool. Split poaching liquid in half and reduce.

Remove pears from poaching liquid, cool. Split poaching liquid in half and reduce.

Serve warm pears with vanilla ice-cream and drizzle of hot syrup finished with the poached ginger and almonds.

Serve warm pears with vanilla ice-cream and drizzle of hot syrup finished with the poached ginger and almonds.

Soup O’Clock

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I was down at the farmers market on Saturday and after deciding I was feeling like soup, since snow was forecasted for Sunday afternoon. The Waitaki Bacon stall caught my attention by their rib racks but that wasn’t what I needed. I was after some pork bones which is a great base for my soup. I have my pork bones next stop was for my vegetables; Leek, Agria Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts are the star vegetables in this soup.

I was thinking something with a nice depth of flavour and comforting warmth I decided on making a broth based soup with some humble dough boy’s to soak up all the delicious flavour, tender pork with soft potatoes, leeks and brussel sprouts. This is truly a great cold autumn day soup, and the flavour improves as it sits over night, if it can last that long!

Leek, Pork Bone and Soup with GF Dough Boy’s

Ingredients:

1 kg pork bones, plain or smoked
5 Ltr. Water
4 Stock cubes
4 tbsp. oil
2 onions, large dice
1 leek
10 garlic cloves, rough chop
1 bunch parsley stalls and all
500 g. brussel sprouts, sliced
1/2 cup. white wine
5 large agria potatoes, peeled and 3-4cm dice
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Dough Boy’s
1 cup Gluten Free Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

Method:

  1. In large 7 liter pot place pork bones, stock cubes and water, bring to a boil.
  2. Slice leek lengths ways in half, wash to remove any dirt and slice into chunks. (see pic below) Cut parsley stalks into finger nail length pieces, set aside from leaves.
  3. Heat a heavy based fry pan over medium to high heat add 1 tbsp. of oil followed by the onions, brown and cook until translucent.
  4. Add parsley stalks and garlic, cook for a further 2 minutes. Add this to the boiling pork bones.
  5. In same fry pan add another tablespoon of oil and fry leeks, add this to the pot, then fry brussel sprouts.
  6. After browning lightly, deglaze with wine, stir well and add to your pot.
  7. Turn your pot to a simmer, add diced potato followed by a lid and cook for 1 hour on lowest temp.
  8. Remove pork bones, allow to cool slightly and shred meat and season. Add back to the simmering soup.
  9. Taste,check and adjust the seasoning. Add chopped parsley leaves and thyme. ( I had to add a good amount of both salt and pepper to this soup.)
  10. Give it a good old stir and leave to simmer for a further hour, stirring occasionally.
  11. Combine all dry ingredients for dough boys in a bowl, with parsley and stir co combine. Add milk and stir well, add butter and stir just to incorporate.
  12. Remove lid from your pot and put dessert spoon size amounts of dough boy mix into your simmering soup. (I made about 7)
  13. Replace the lid and simmer for 45 minutes.
  14. Ready to eat!
  15. Place a dough boy in each serving bowl, followed by soup. (make sure you dig to the bottom of the pot that’s where all the goodies are hiding!

 Serves: 6-7

*If you don’t want gluten-free dough boy’s just substitute gf flour for normal.

Good quality vegetables for the base of our soup.

Good quality vegetables for the base of our soup.

Fresh local pork bones.

Fresh local pork bones.

Add water and stock cubes, bring to the boil.

Add water and stock cubes, bring to the boil.

Remove outer leaves, wash well.

Remove outer leaves, wash well.

Slice brussel sprout.

Slice brussel sprout.

Slice parsley stalks.

Slice parsley stalks.

Brown diced onion.

Brown diced onion.

Add garlic and parsley stalks.

Add garlic and parsley stalks.

Slice leek in half-length wise and then in half again  and dice.

Slice leek in half length wise and then in half again and dice.

Lightly brown leeks.

Lightly brown leeks.

Brown brussel sprouts and deglaze with wine.

Brown brussel sprouts and deglaze with wine.

Add to the soup, reduce heat to simmer.

Add to the soup, reduce heat to simmer.

Peel and dice potatoes 3cm large dice.

Peel and dice potatoes 3cm large dice.

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Add to the pot.

Add to the pot.

After 1 hour remove, bones from soup and slightly cool.

After 1 hour remove, bones from soup and slightly cool.

Shred the meat from the bones, season and return to simmering soup.

Shred the meat from the bones, season and return to simmering soup.

Add fresh thyme.

Add fresh thyme.

Followed by chopped parsley.

Followed by chopped parsley.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and add parsley.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and add parsley.

Stir in milk.

Stir in milk.

Add melted butter and mix to just combine.

Add melted butter and mix to just combine.

Your mixture will look like this.

Your mixture will look like this.

Add dessert spoonfuls to your simmering soup.

Add dessert spoonfuls to your simmering soup.

Ready to eat.

Ready to eat.

Leek, Pork Bone and Potato soup with GF Dough Boy's.

Leek, Pork Bone and Potato soup with GF Dough Boy’s.

 

The Feijoa

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

I grew up eating feijos we have 2 large feijos trees at my batch in the Coromandel, and every autumn the trees would be full of feijoas, a sweet fruit with bursts of tang a unique flavour, paired well with sweet ingredients.

While feijoas are in season at the moment and a reasonable price all over the country why not try out this sweet tooth fix with a crunchy edge and delicate moist cake with soft bursting feijos you cant go wrong. the feijoa pairs incredibly with the milky white chocolate and creates a delectable upside down cake.

Why not try it out for mother’s day, get in to the kitchen and surprise mum with this beauty.

Feijoa and White Chocolate Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup white flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
250 gm chocolate, melted and cooled
250 ml water
1 tbsp. vanilla essence
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
12 feijoa’s, halved flesh removed

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees, line large spring form cake tin with baking paper and light coating of oil to elemental the cake sticking.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk until the dry ingredients is evenly mixed, this is also aerating your dry ingredients.
  3. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, in a jug whisk together oil, water, vanilla and vinegar. Pour into the well along with melted chocolate. whisk in a figure 8 pattern until just mixed through. (over mixing makes the cake tough.)
  4. Line cake tin with cut in half feijos, place them seed side down, pour over cake batter and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown, test with a knife to see if cooked. (when knife comes out clean its cooked.)
  5. Cool in tin,  the cake will drop dramatically in size but don’t worry this is how it’s supposed to be.  Run knife around the edge of the cake and remove the sides, place a plate over the top of cake and flip upside down so cake flips onto its top showing the beautiful feijoa bottom.
  6. Serve with unsweetened plain yoghurt or on its own.
Gather ingredients.

Gather ingredients.

add oil mixture.

add oil mixture.

 

Add chocolate and whisk to combine.

Add chocolate and whisk to combine.

Whisk to combine in a figure 8 pattern.

Whisk to combine in a figure 8 pattern.

Scoop flesh from feijos with a teaspoon.

Scoop flesh from feijos with a teaspoon.

Line bottom of cake tin with feijoas.

Line bottom of cake tin with feijoas.

Pour batter over feijoas

Pour batter over feijoas.

Golden brown once baked.

Golden brown once baked.

 

When its cooked the cake will pull away from the edge of the tin.

When its cooked the cake will pull away from the edge of the tin.

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

Serve with unsweetened yoghurt.

Serve with unsweetened yoghurt.