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

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

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

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.

Mixed Plum Jam

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Super simple seasonal jam this plum jam uses a mixture of foraged plums, yellow plums, black doris and some mini ones we came across. Here in Christchurch we have a large area of land called the Redzone this came about after the major earthquakes stuck Christchurch all the houses were destroyed but all of the fruit trees were left behind creating a huge area for foraging. Throughout the year there is always something to forage or find for us we are coming to the end of the plum season and the beginning of black boy peaches and nectarines, I have my eye on a huge white nectarine tree and lots of black boy peaches. For now lets appreciate the plums, if you don’t have any plums to forage head to your local fruit shop, one flavour  of plum is also fine if there isn’t a range.

Mixed Plum Jam

Ingredients:
1.250kg mixed plums, cut in half and stone removed (keep 6 stones)
1.5kg white sugar
450ml cold water

Method:

  1. In a large heavy based pot, add halved plums, remove the stone and stalks but keeping 5 stones and putting them in the pot too.
  2. Cover with sugar and water, leave to stand stirring the sugar so it partly dissolves.
  3. Place a small plate in the freezer.
  4. Place the pot over a low heat leaving metal based  spoon in the pot through out the boil, skimming white foam from the top. once it has come to a boil on low for 40 minutes.
  5. When you are nearing the end of the process preheat your oven to 100 degrees  add clean jars lids removed, this will sterilize the jars ready for the hot jam. Place lids in boiling water for 10minutes to sterilize these and then towel dry.
  6. Now the jam should be a deep amber burgundy type colour, remove from the heat and get plate from the freezer drip a small amount of jam and tilt the plate the drip should stop and this is how you know the jam will set.
  7. Also a good point to have a sneaky taste of your plum jam before jars. If the jam isn’t at setting point you can return to the heat for 5 minute intervals until it is set.
  8. Remove hot jars from the oven and place on bench with tea towel underneath.
  9. Remove stones from jam they will float to the top.
  10. Using a funnel I use a silicone one from Kmart only cost around $2 I just cut the end to make the hole bigger and it was a perfect fit.
  11. Fill jars basically right to the top, repeat until jam is gone.
  12. Place lids on hot jars and seal. (this is a very important step so your jars seal and will be shelf stable.
  13. Allow too cool press lids in should hear a click.
  14. Store in cool dry place for up to 1 year.

*I used 5 jars ranging in sizes, always sterilize more than you need and you wont be left sort of jars.