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.

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.