Sunday, September 13, 2009

sun dried tomato pesto

what you need
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 cup grated parmigianno regianno
1 cup olive oil

what to do
Drain your sun dried tomatoes, lightly rinse them, and then pat them dry with a paper towel.
Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan or hot oven. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.
In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.
Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmigianno cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.
Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.
Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

marinated mushrooms

This recipe for marinated mushrooms is so easy, it keeps for weeks and can be done in large volumes. So now you can serve homemade marinated mushrooms and not have to pay the high price from the gourmet deli , perfect to serve as part of a antipasto platter.

What you'll need
500 grams (1 lb) Swiss Brown or button Mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup of red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
fresh rosemary sprig
Sea salt flakes
Pepper mill

What to do
Grate or finely chop the garlic
Add the garlic to the mushrooms
Place a large pot on medium high heat
Add 4-5 tablespoons oil
Add mushrooms & garlic
Stir for about 1 minute
Add the red wine
Increase the heat to high, stir and cook for 1 minute
Add the vinegar and stir through
Season with salt & pepper
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes
Allow to cool
Drain & serve (reserve the liquid)
Can be served whole as part of antipasto platter, in salads or even sliced on bruschetta
Store remaining mushrooms covered in the marinade in fridge

Friday, September 11, 2009

beef goulash

what you need
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.25kg boneless veal shoulder, cut into 3cm cubes
2 brown onions, halved, sliced
1 large red capsicum, sliced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
3/4 cup dry white wine
690g bottle Italian tomato passata sauce
3 dried bay leaves
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 small desiree potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
cooked pasta (such as spaghetti or fettuccine), to serve

what to do
Preheat oven to 130°C. Heat oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the veal. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Remove to a bowl. Repeat in 2 batches with remaining veal.
Reduce heat to low. Add onions and capsicum to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until soft. Add paprika and caraway seeds. Cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add wine. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Return veal to pan. Add passata, bay leaves, stock and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bake for 2 1/2 hours or until veal and potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaves.

Spoon goulash over pasta or try serving with polenta or gnocchi

Thursday, September 10, 2009

basil pesto

what you need
45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 small garlic cloves, halved
60g (3/4 cup) shredded parmesan
5 tbs olive oil

what to do
Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread the pine nuts over a baking tray. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore literally means 'hunter's style chicken'. This stew originates in central Italy and dates to the 15th Century when only the affluent could afford poultry and the sport of hunting.

what you need
8 chicken thigh fillets
plain flour, for dusting
salt and cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup (160ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
steamed vegetables, to serve

what to do
Dust chicken thigh fillets in combined flour, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in stock, wine and tomatoes, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir through olives and oregano, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve with steamed vegetables.

Or try with chicken pieces and braise slowly in a covered dish in the oven for 90 minutes for a more full flavoured dish

Sunday, September 6, 2009

eggplant rolls

what you need
3 eggplants
250 g cottage cheese or soft cheese
1-2 garlic cloves
rosemary, thyme, parsley,
salt to taste
cracked pepper
olive oil for frying
what to do
Wash the eggplants, trim off the ends and cut them along in thin slices.
Pour olive oil into a frying pan and fry eggplant slices on both sides until they get soft, for about 2 minutes each side.
Chop herbs finely. Mash garlic cloves.
Mix the herbs and the garlic with cottage cheese or any soft cheese. Salt slightly if needed and cracked pepper to taste.
Then put cottage cheese on the warm eggplant slices and fold them into rolls.

Serve the rolls cold, drizzle with good olive oil light squeeze of lemon

Saturday, September 5, 2009

chilli spiced polenta cakes

what you need
1 1/2 cups polenta
1/2 cup diced roasted green chilies
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

what to do
Sweat the onion and garlic in a dash of oil. Add the green chilies and the stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the polenta and keep stirring until the spoon stands up-right without falling over, about ten minutes.

Spoon polents mixture into well greased muffin trays, and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180c or until golden brown.

Serve warm with crisp salad and red pepper sauce or tomato salsa

lamb kofta with garlic & lemon yoghurt

what you need

8 garlic cloves
200g plain natural yoghurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
700g lean lamb mince
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
olive oil cooking spray
lemon wedges, to serve
what to do
Preheat oven to 200°C. Wrap 7 garlic cloves in foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until garlic softens. Remove from oven. Carefully remove from foil. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Squeeze garlic from skin into a food processor. Discard skins. Add yoghurt, fresh coriander, lemon rind and lemon juice. Process until combined. Season with salt. Transfer to a bowl.
Peel and crush remaining garlic clove. Place lamb, onion, cumin, ground coriander, garlic and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using clean hands, mix to combine. Divide mixture into eight oval shapes. Thread onto skewers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat a barbecue plate or chargrill on medium-high heat. Spray skewers with oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning, or until cooked through.
Arrange koftas on a platter. Serve with mixed greens yoghurt mixture and lemon wedges.