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.

Leek and Potato Soup

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Super easy dinner, have this on the table in 30minutes! Perfect warmer for those cold autumn days. As we near closer to winter its nice to warm your self up with soups, slow cookers and comforting dishes. This soup is sure comforting on a cold night!

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

2 agria potatoes, small cube
1 1/2 cup leek, sliced
1/2 onions, diced
1 clove garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp cream, garnish

Method:

  1. Place medium size pot on medium heat, add 1 tbsp canola oil followed by onion. leek and garlic. Saute until lightly brown, season.
  2. Add potatoes and stock. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer for 30minutes until potato is tender.
  3. Blitz with stick blender or in stand blender.
  4. Check flavour add salt and pepper to your liking.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of cream and chopped chives.

Serves: 2-3

Serving suggestions: -Add crispy chopped bacon to your bowl when serving for a little extra. – Or keep it vege and add spinach right when your serving!

Superb Chocolate Caramel Slice

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Everyone loves a chocolatey caramel sweet treat every once and a while. Most of us also have some stray Weet-bix lying around. This recipe uses Weet-bix in the base and is super delicious with the gooey baked caramel topped with simple chocolate icing. Why not give this one a go this week or even better get in there with the kids and have a family baking day with some other tasty treats.

I’ve used EquaGold Premium Dutch Cocoa in this recipe and it just takes it from average to amazing with such a deep chocolate flavour!  You can purchased here.

Weet-Bix Chocolate Caramel Slice

Ingredients

Base
180g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup weet-bix, crumbled
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp equagold dutch cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup coconut, shaved/thread or desiccated
Caramel
1 395g tin condense milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla eseence
80g butter, cubed
Icing
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp equagold dutch cocoa
3 tbsp water

2 tbsp coconut to garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Line square 20cmx20cm cake tin with baking paper base and sides. (help you to pull out once cooked.)
  3. Combine all base ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Press into the lined cake tin.
  4. In small saucepan combine condense milk, brown sugar, vanilla and butter over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Once thickened pour over base and bake for 30 minutes, until caramel is golden brown and bubbling.
  5. Allow to cool, once cold remove from tin.
  6. Sift icing sugar and cocoa together into bowl stir in water, add more if necessary. (needs to be a thin icing)
  7. Pour over cooled slice and smooth out evenly, top with coconut once set cut into 12 squares.

Squares: 12

Perfect with a hot cup of tea!

 

Tender Venison Necks

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Everyone who knows me knows I absolutely love a good bargain! One of my favorite things to do is get the reduced to clear meat goes very cheap and usually still has 2 days good before it must be frozen. However these were not reduced to clear they were full price $3.86 for 5 venison necks, $5.99kg now that is awesome isn’t it?

Venison is one of my favorite meats its super high in iron and very lean! Today I was in a relaxed mood as it was my day off so i decided to put the slow cooker on. I love the thing I must say switch it on in the morning by dinner time all you have to do is thicken and make some mash. Love a simple dinner and here is a beauty one im sharing with you all!

Venison necks are a nice cheap cut of meat and they have a surprising amount of meat on them to so its a great value for money meat. You can find them at most supermarkets i picked these up from pak n save however i used to get them at countdown and sometimes new world as well. The ones here are from Canterbury from a farm called the Merchant of Venison.  If your lucky enough to have wild venison or know a hunter who could get you some give it a go with that it has a more gamer flavour and is also delicious.

Slow Braised Venison Necks with Cranberry and Pumpkin
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Swede and Agria Mash

Ingredients

5-6 venison necks
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, fine dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, fine dice
2 carrots
1/2 small crown pumpkin, peeled and 3-4cm dice
1 tin diced tomatoes
400ml water
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp cornflour + water for slurry
Swede and Agria Mash
1/4 swede, peeled and small 2cm dice
3 medium agria potatoes, peeled and 4cm dice
1 spring onion, finely sliced
50gm butter
1/8 cup milk
salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Turn slow cooker onto low.
  2. Season venison generously with salt, pepper and the paprika on both sides.
  3. Heat medium fry pan over a medium to high heat, add 1 tbsp oil followed by onion, celery and garlic. Saute until opaque add to slow cooker.
  4. Brown venison necks both sides add to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients, apart from the cornflour.
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours, combine cornflour and small amount of water to make a slurry stir into venison and cook for further 10 minutes.
  6. Bring swede and potato to the boil and cook until tender. ( it is important to cut the swede smaller as it takes longer to cook than potato.)
  7. Drain, mash and stir in butter, milk, spring onion, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  8. Serve venison necks on bed of swede and agria mash with sprinkle of crumbled feta and chopped celery leaves.

Serves: 2-4

Feijoas yes please!

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I love feijoa’s hence this is my second post on feijoa’s today ! Make the most of them while they are nice and cheap and are available. If you get a your hands on to many you can always peel and freeze for when you have a feijoa craving!

This is one of easiest cake recipe out! You put all the ingredients in the food processor so no mixing or hand beating requires! It a moist upside down feijoa and lime yoghurt cake, it goes down a treat warm with a cup of tea. Would be perfect served warm with ice-cream for a different dessert but is just as good cold!

Upside Down Feijoa and Lime Yoghurt Cake

 

Ingredients:
5 feijoa’s, peeled and slice thick rings
2 limes, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 cup canola oil
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in food possessor apart from the feijoa’s!
  3. Puree until combined scrap down sides and blitz once more.
  4. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and arrange the feijoa slices along the bottom making sure there are no gaps.
  5. Pour over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and a knife comes out clean when tested.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes until turning onto serving plate.

Serve warm or cold.

*this can be made in either a loaf tin or cake tin but it is important that you line it or it wont turn our of the tin.

 

Long Time Coming

Its been a longtime since I have posted on here. Its been a busy start to the year and now its already May! I don’t know where the first four  months of the year have gone but I can defiantly say that the years are going faster and faster!

Its getting colder in New Zealand now as winter is approaching we get a great variety of produce available as the seasons change. Ive had great fun in the kitchen photographing and testing some new recipes for the blog. Coconut and Mango Passion Cheesecakes, Feijoa and Apple Crumble, Rhubarb, Vanilla Bean and Granny Smith Preserve plus some great savory dishes . Butternut Squash Cheese Bake, Sole with Capers and Shallots in Brown Butter the list goes on. Now I better get typing so you all can enjoy these tasty items to !

Feijoa and Apple Crumble

Feijoa is such a unique flavour which i really love and something i get very excited about once they come into season. Here is a super simple and fast recipe for feijoa and apple crumble with fresh custard.

Ingredients
5 feijoas, peeled and sliced
2 apples, cut into 3 cm chunk (skin on)
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
Crumble Topping
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
130gm butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Custard
20gm custard powder
30gm white sugar
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Combine sliced  feijoa, apple, sugar and water in a medium size pot bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes until feijoa’s are soft and apple is tender.
  3. Pour into oven proof dish.
  4. Make the crumble topping by combining all ingredients and stiring well, top the stewed fruit evenly with crumble mix.
  5. Bake for 20minutes until golden and bubbling.
  6. While the crumble is baking make the custard.
  7. Combine custard powder, sugar and a small amount of milk in a bowl to form a smooth paste, whisk in remaining milk and transfer to a pot.
  8. bring to the boil and stir until thick.
  9. Remove crumble from oven and serve with hot custard and ice cream if you dare.

Serves 4

Fresh Berry Tarts

Summer is here and I finally got around to typing one of the most simplest recipes up. Flaky pastry topped with vanilla custard and fresh Central Otago Cherries and Raspberries with a scattering of white chocolate crisped up in the oven and would be perfect served with vanilla ice cream or cream.

I used what fruit I had on hand these would also be delicious with sliced apricots, peaches or any stone fruit and berries!

Fresh Raspberry, Cherry and Custard Tarts

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cherries, stones removed
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup cold vanilla custard
1 sheet of flaky pastry, cut into 4 squares

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degress.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper and space the 4 cut out squares of pastry evenly apart on tray.
  3. Dollop 1/4 custard on the base of each piece of pastry, trying to keep it roughly in the center spread out slightly leaving a ring of pastry around the edge. Top with cherries, raspberries and white chocolate.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes until golden serve  warm finished with fresh mint and a dusting of icing sugar and a side of ice-cream or cream.

Serves: 4

Summer is Here

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As sit here enjoying the last days of my summer holiday before I head back to work. I thought why not do some preserving, I had gifted Rhubarb and Vanilla Bean Compote to family for Christmas and was thinking I better do some savory stuff instead. I absolutely love chutney’s and relishes they can just finish a simple dish of perfectly!

This chunky smokey sweet chutney is great for using up any over ripe tomatoes. Hints of basil and fresh oregano team heavenly with smokey deep flavour from the peppers.

Green Pepper and Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

500g green peppers, core, seeded and sliced thinly
1 brown onion, diced
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, rough chop
400g diced tomatoes
2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 fresh basil leaves, rough chop
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 cup malt vinegar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch chilli flakes (more if you like spice)
1/8 tsp liquid smoke*

Method:

  1. In a heavy based large pot heat oil over medium heat add peppers and onion. Cook out for 15 minutes.
  2. Once sweated add all following ingredients , bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 1-1/2 hours until reduced and thick. Stir often to prevent chutney from burning.
  3. Pour into a sterile jar, seal.

Yeild: 500/800g chutney

*Liquid Smoke can be found at gourmet food store or online. This is not essential but adds a beautiful smokey flavour for the chutney.

Icing Sugar Pavlova

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With an abundance of eggs coming from our girls everyday I really needed to use them up. I got the idea in my head that Pavlova was on the cards. I was so excited I had not made a pav since Christmas. Sadly my sugar jar was empty! I nearly cried! Only type of sugar I had was icing sugar or confectioners sugar so it was either going to work or fail drastically. Here’s how the icing sugar pav turned out.

The Icing Sugar Pavlova

With a crisp and crunchy outer shell and a marshmallow center topped with vanilla cream and slightly tart boysenberries this pav went down a treat.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

Boysenberry Compote

  • 1 cup frozen boysenberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • Whipped cream to serve

Method:

  1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add the first 5 ingredients and whisk for 12 minutes until glossy, light and hard peaks are reached, see picture below.
  3. Line baking tray with baking paper and, scrap out egg mix trying to keep it all in the center piled up this makes it easier to shape into a circle.
  4. Using a rubber scraper or pallet knife move it side to side pushing the meringue out evenly in a circle shape, to shape the sides drag your pallet knife up from base to top, like in the picture below.
  5. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 minutes then drop 100 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. In medium size pot add boysenberries, water and icing sugar, bring to the boil and then simmer until thicken slightly.
  7. Turn oven off and leave meringue to cool inside, once cooler open the oven door slightly. Allow to cool and set aside.
  8. Once cool top with whipped cream and boysenberry compote.

Slices: 8-10

Add first 5 ingredients, whisk for 6 minutes add boiling water and continue to whisk for further 6 minutes.

Add first 5 ingredients, whisk for 6 minutes add boiling water and continue to whisk for further 6 minutes.

Meringue should be glossy, light, fluffy and hold stiff peaks.

Meringue should be glossy, light, fluffy and hold stiff peaks.

Place heaped meringue onto lined baking tray and shape.

Place heaped meringue onto lined baking tray and shape.

Using pallet knife draw if from the base to the top to add a nice design and structure to the pav.

Using pallet knife draw if from the base to the top to add a nice design and structure to the pav.

Ready for the oven, bake at 200 degrees for 2 minutes then drop to 100 degress for a further 1 /12 hours.

Ready for the oven, bake at 200 degrees for 2 minutes then drop to 100 degrees for a further 1 /12 hours.

My finished pavlova has a few cracks on the top but i can hide that with cream all and all not bad.

My finished pavlova has a few cracks on the top but i can hide that with cream all and all not bad.

Side view slight crack but I like that you know its home made perfect in-perfection.

Side view slight crack but I like that you know its home made perfect in-perfection.

Top with whipped cream and boysenberry compote.

Top with whipped cream and boysenberry compote.

Crisp outside and marsh marsh-mellow center the perfect homemade meringue.

Crisp outside and marsh marshmallow center the perfect homemade meringue.