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.
Gluten-free baking can most of the time be deemed as dry and unpleasant however I have managed to make not only as gluten-free cake be moist and satisfying but also dairy-free. If you use a simple vanilla icing sugar and water icing instead of the lime cream cheese icing it will be both gluten and dairy free however this time I covered mine in lime cream cheese icing. This is a simple plain cake recipe with some Feijoa and apple compote added with some diced dates for added texture. Topped with a generous amount of lime cream cheese icing these are a perfectaccompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.
Gluten- Free Feijoa and Apple Loafs with Lime Cream Cheese Icing
2 1/2 cup. gluten-free flour
3/4 cup. caster sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
100ml canola oil
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 cup. dates, chopped
1 cup feijoa and apple compote Lime Cream Cheese Icing
3 cup. icicng sugar, sifted
250gm cream cheese
1/2 lime zest and juice
Pre-heat oven to 180 fan bake.
Sift gluten-free flour, baking soda, caster sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk in water, oil, cider vinegar until you have a smooth batter.
Spray silicon mini loaf tin with rice bran or canola oil.
Fill with 1/2 cup of batter and bake for 26 minutes until tested with a skewer and it comes out clean. If you only had one loaf tin like I did you can bake the other half once the 1st batch is cooked or make in a muffin tin.
Combine cream cheese, sifted icing sugar, zest and juice of half a lime.
Whisk in stand mixer for 1 -2 minutes until thick and fluffy.
Top your cakes and enjoy
Makes: 10-12 mini loafs or muffins
You can garnish further with a thin slice of feijoa and lime zest.
I got given a huge bag of Feijoa from a lovely young lady at work and the recipes are starting to roll in this is a simple Feijoa and apple compote perfect served with yoghurt or ice-cream as a dessert treat. On your fave muesli in the morning or baked into cakes or muffins. It a very versatile recipe that has more than just one purpose, you can freeze it down and bring it out when you need it.
Feijoa and Apple Compote
10-12 medium feijoas, flesh removed
1 large green apple, 2cm dice
1/2 cup water
Combine feijoas, apple and water in a pot over a medium heat and simmer for 18minutes.
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 ?
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
Heat frypan over medium to high heat add oil, onions and garlic until brown.
Add chunks of venison mince and brown pieces season well.
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.
Cook your rigatoni pasta in boiling well salted water for 11 minutes and drain keeping 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and run under cold water to keep them nice and green.
Add venison base to drained pasta with blanched green beans and baby spinach followed by the 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Stir well to combine check and adjust your seasoning.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Simmer for 5 minutes and serve with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion.
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
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup. caster sugar
1/2 cup. flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 tsp. baking powder
25 gm. butter, melted and cooled
Whipped cream, homemade jam and a dust of icing sugar to serve
Pre-heat oven to 190 degress bake.
Line two sponge tins with baking paper base and sides.
Separate egg whites into a stand mixing bowl, whisk until foamy.
Whisk in caster sugar and egg yolks, whisk for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
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.
Once flour is basically folded in fold in butter.
Pour sponge batter evenly over the two sponge tins and bake for 24 minutes until sponge comes away from the edges of the tin.
Cool and spread jam and whipped cream on the bottom layer followed with the lid, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!!
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
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
Pre-heat oven 180 degrees fan-bake.
In large oven proof dish slice mushrooms and scatter over the base followed by rice and half the spinach.
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.
Add to baking dish followed by remaining spinach.
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,
Add to baking dish with hot stock and cream.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes then remove cover and bake for a further 15 minutes until rice is tender.
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
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
125 gm sour cream
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
4 jumbo tortillas
In bowl combine chicken, garlic salt, pepper, cumin, paprika. Stir to combine and allow to marinate and develop flavour for 30minutes or overnight.
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.
Remove from fry pan and allow to cool slightly.
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.
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.
In bowl add sour cream, avocado and sweet chili sauce. Smash and stir to combine.
Cut quesadillas into 3 and top with avocado sour cream, sweet chili sauce and shredded iceberg lettuce.
Pineapple pork and kumara casserole for dinner tonight, thanks to the slow cooker for doing most of the work. Nice change to your usual beef casserole! I served mine with basmati rice however my partner had buttered toast either way this casserole will sure please a crowd.
Pineapple Pork and Kumara Casserole
500gm pork dice
1x tin pineapple chunks
2 cups orange kumara, chunky dice
1 red onion, sliced
2 cup red pepper, chunky dice
2 celery stalks, rough chop
4 garlic cloves, rough chop
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 cup vege stock
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tsbp cornflour + 2 tbsp cold water into a slurry
Turn slow cooker onto high and add tin of pineapple including the juice.
Heat fry pan over a medium to high heat add sliced onion, peppers, ginger and garlic sauté until browned add to slow cooker with kumara as well.
Season pork pieces and add 1 tbsp oil to fry pan and brown each side. do this in batches to avoid stewing. Add to slow cooker with diced celery.
Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
After 3 hours make cornflour slurry and pour into casserole stirring well, cook out for 5 minutes and serve with chopped celery leafs.
You can serve with rice or buttered toast both ways you with thoroughly enjoy.
Weekends call for something sweet don’t they? Well I have to agree to that, they do! Not just your average cinnamon roll but jumbo size, soft and fluffy homemade dough layered with cinnamon and brown sugar baked until sticky and topped with vanilla glaze.
Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls
4 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tbsp. active instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
75gm butter, melted Filling
150gm butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon Glaze
2 cup icing sugar
4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pre-heat oven to 100 degrees for 15 minutes then turn off.
Heat milk for 40 seconds in microwave until warmed not to hot, sprinkle over the yeast and allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
In a stand mixer bowl add eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter.
Pour in yeast/milk mixture followed by flour and salt.
Using a dough hook mix for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
Spray an oven proof bowl with oil spray and place the dough in the center, your dough will be slightly sticky but not runny if so add 1/4 cup more flour and mix in.
I spray the top of the dough lightly with oil to prevent it from getting a crust, glad wrap the bowl and cover with a towel.
Place in the warm oven for 45 minutes until dough has doubled in size. If you have a warm house you can leave it on the bench but this was a great way to speed up the proving process.
Remove from oven the dough should have doubled in size.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan forced.
Dust the bench with flour and “knock your dough back” this means hitting the air out of it. Turn the dough out onto the floured bench and press out into a large rectangle about 2cm thick, You could use a rolling pin but with this soft dough I find hands is much easier.
Now combine the filling mixture to form a paste spread all over the dough and now roll up tightly.
Once you have the roll, line baking tray and cut the roll into 8 even pieces, place them close together on the tray and bake for 28 minutes until brown and golden.
Allow to cool slightly and combine all ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over the rolls.