Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Italian sausage and three-cheese calzone

what you need

400g plain flour

100g semolina

1½ cups warm water

60ml olive oil

7g sachet dried yeast

1 Tbsp salt flakes

Extra 1 Tbsp olive oil

300g spicy pork sausages, out of their skins

2 large brown onions, sliced

¼ bunch oregano, leaves picked

Extra salt flakes and pepper, to season

400g ricotta

200g cherry bocconcini

150g parmesan, grated

what to do

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Put flour and semolina in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Attach dough hook. In a jug whisk together water, oil and yeast.

Turn mixer on low and pour in yeast mixture. Once all liquid has been added, increase speed to high, add salt and mix for 5 minutes until dough is soft and silky. Remove dough hook and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Put bowl in a warm place and allow dough to prove for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat extra oil in a frypan. Add sausages and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes or until brown. Add onion, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Add oregano and season with extra salt and pepper.

Divide dough into 4 portions and roll out into rounds. Divide ricotta between rounds, tear over cherry bocconcini and drizzle with a little oil. Season with salt flakes and pepper. Sprinkle over parmesan and top with sausage mixture.

Fold over dough rounds to form half-moon shapes, then rope-twist the edges or press with a fork to seal. Put calzones on a heavy tray or preheated pizza stone and bake for 30 minutes.

Stand for 10 minutes, before serving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

corn and coriander fritters

what you need

1.5 cups corn kernels

2 spring onions finely chopped

½ onion finely diced

1 knob of ginger finely chopped

1/3 bunch of coriander leaves chopped

½ red capsicum finely diced

1 tsp dried cumin

½ cup of water (if you’re using tinned corn, use the water it comes in)

2 eggs

1 cup self raising flour

Sea salt flakes

Cracked lack pepper

Olive oil

what to do

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 fahrenheit).

Sauté the onion and ginger in a little oil until soft and translucent.

Place the flour, 1 cup of the corn kernels, onion, ginger, cumin, water and eggs into a food processor and process until well combined.

Place mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir through the remaining corn, shallots, capsicum, and coriander and season the mixture with sea salt and black pepper.

In a non-stick fry pan place a little oil and set over high heat.

Using a 30 ml (1 oz) ladle cook fritters 2 at a time, approx 1 minute per side or until golden.

Transfer to an oven proof rack and tray and cook for a further 3-4 minutes in the oven.

cajun spiced nuts

These are great to serve at a party or when friends come over for drinks you can also toss a few into a salad to give some extra bite and crunch.

What you'll need
1 kg mixed nuts

Good pinch Sea Salt flakes

Cajun Spices 50gms

2 Egg Whites Lightly whisked

What to do
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, rub the mixture together with your hands to get a good coating over the nuts

Place on a lightly greased tray and dry at 120C (250F) for 40 minutes

Once cool keep in an airtight container. They will last for a couple of weeks and you can crisp them up again in an oven at about 100degC (230F) for about ten minutes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

new york style pizza dough

What you'll need
½ teaspoon active dry yeast

350ml warm water

2 ½ teaspoons sugar

2 ½ teaspoons) salt

15 ml olive oil

4 ½ cups) OO flour

What to do
Set the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes, or until it starts to ‘bloom’

Add the remaining ingredients until they are just combined

Place a wet cloth over the bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. This step allows the starches to hydrate and better develop the dough as you proceed

Knead the dough for at least ten minutes, or until the dough is stretchy and does not rip when your finger pushes down on it

Put the dough in a warm area and let sit until it doubles in size

Punch it down, knead for three minutes, and let it rise until again doubled

Punch down again and shape in to 300gr balls.

let stand for 10 minutes, roll out and top as required.

Mango-Chili Salsa

What you need

200gr diced mango flesh

100 g (5 oz) mango puree, you may prepare this with the remaining flesh around the seed and the trimmings of the mango fillets when cutting the dice

90 g ( 3 oz) red or green bell peppers, diced

50 g (1 2/3 oz) red onions

10 g coriander leaves, chopped roughly

salt to taste

white pepper from the mill

1 piece lime, juice only

2 piece red finger chili, chopped

30ml (1 fl oz) virgin olive oil

What to do

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the coriander leaves. Season well and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Add the coriander just before serving

Monday, November 8, 2010

raspberry friands

what you need

  • 190g unsalted butter

  • 60g plain flour

  • 1 1/3 cups (200g) icing sugar, plus extra to dust

  • 120g almond meal

  • 5 eggwhites

  • 100gr raspberries

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

what you need

4 chicken thighs

2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red capsicum, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 can diced tomatoes with juice

3/4 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons drained capers

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

what to do

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, sauté it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the red capsicum, onion and garlic to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil

Best Served with penne pasta..

Monday, November 1, 2010

vegetable & feta tort

what you need for the pastry

2 cups bakers flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

water as required

for the filling

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

400g pumpkin, peeled and diced 2cm

1 large kumara, peeled and diced 2cm

6 silverbeet leaves, thickly sliced

1 cup crumbled feta

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

what to do For the pastry

Place the flour, salt and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook and mix in enough water to make a stiff dough.Knead with the dough hook for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. This can also be done by mixing in a bowl then kneading by hand. Remove from the bowl, cover in plastic wrap and rest the pastry in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

For the filling
Heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently until soft and well browned. Remove from the heat and cool.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and crush coarsely with a fork. Boil the pumpkin and kumara separately in more salted water until tender. Drain well and cool. Boil the silverbeet leaves until well wilted, cool under cold water then squeeze dry and chop again.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Roll 1/2 the pastry out to make a disc 35cm in diameter. Place on a baking sheet greased with olive oil. Put the potato in an even layer over the pastry, leaving a border 2cm wide all around the edge. Spread the fried onions on top, then the pumpkin and kumara. Sprinkle the silverbeet and feta over and season with a little salt (depending on how salty the feta is) and black pepper. Roll out the other 1/2 of the pastry and place on top. Brush the edges with egg and crimp or twist together all around to seal the pie. Brush the top all over with egg and make several cuts on the top to let the steam escape. Bake for 40 minutes or until well cooked.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oven baked sausage and tomato risotto

What you need

1 tablespoon olive oil

400g chorizo sausages sliced thick

1 red onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

2 celery stalks, diagonally sliced

400g can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf

parsley, to serve

what to do

Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat oil in a 12-cup flameproof casserole or ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Fry sausages for 10 minutes, turning until browned and almost cooked. Remove from pan.

Add onion to saucepan, and more oil if needed. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until soft.

Slice sausages into bite-sized pieces.

Add rice and celery to saucepan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Add sausages, tomatoes, stock and water. Stir. Remove from heat. Cover with the lid or foil.

Transfer dish to the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, but firm to the bite. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

chocolate lava cake

These individual chocolate lava cakes are great for dinner parties because they can be completely made the day before and then quickly baked before serving, for the all-important "ooze" factor. Makes 6.

180gr unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter, set aside. Spray six 6-ounce ramekins or muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Slowly stir the melted chocolate into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins. Cover the ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. bake for15 to 20 minutes. They will be done when the outside has risen slightly above the sides of the ramekins and the center is still soft. Unmold the cakes. Place each cake on a plate and serve with fresh berries, vanilla ice cream or a dollop of double cream.

olive and garlic bread

This olive & garlic bread is a foccacia based bread roll, and is ideal for a mediteranean style meal, or simply for dipping on olive oil.

What you'll need

Olive oil

2 gloves garlic

21gms Yeast

3 tsp Sugar

1650gms Plain flour

480gms Kalamata Olives

150gms Extra flour

3 tsp Sea sal

What to do

Roughly chop the olives and finely chop/crush the garlic.

Combine yeast, sugar and 3 cups of luke warm water. Rest in a warm area until it becomes frothy.

Combine flour, sea salt, chopped olives & thyme in a bowl, make a well in the center and then pour in the yeast mixture, add 2 tbsps oil and mix to a firm dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface.

Vigorously knead the dough until it is soft and silky (add more flour if too wet) coat the dough in oil and let it stand in a bowl for 2 hrs in a warm area( or until it has risen to twice it's size).

Cut the dough into 160 gm (6 oz) pieces and shape into small bread rolls, place on an oiled tray and stand in a warm area for 30 minutes.

Bake the bread for 30 minutes on 180*c (350 F) or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

spiced coffee rub

If your after something different in terms of flavour on your next roast or barbecue meats, why not try a coffee rub, its not as strange as it sounds. the coffee combined with the sugar, chilli and spices give a great taste, and enhance the meats natural flavour.

what you need

5 tblsp espresso coffee powder

2 tblsp chili powder

3 tblsp dark brown sugar

2 tblsp paprika

2 tsp cumin powder

1 ½ tblsp coarse salt

1tsp onion powder

½ tblsp dry English mustard

½ tblsp cracked black pepper

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp cayenne

½ tsp red chili flakes

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp garlic powder

What to do

Combine all seasonings well.

Lightly oil the pork chop, then sprinkle generously with the spiced coffee rub.

Rub into the meat evenly and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Grill to your liking.

chef's note:

If roasting a large piece of meat, rub the spiced coffee rub generously all over the meat and allow to marinated for at least 6-8 hours or overnight before roasting. This recipe is fantastic for BBQs and Grill parties.
Store left of spice rub in an airtight jar, for your next BBQ.

beer bread

This easy to make beer bread can be made using either whole meal flour or white self raising flours.

What you'll need

3 cups of white self raising flour

3/4 cup of wholemeal self raising flour

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of salt

1 x 375 ml stubby of beer. Stout will give a darker brown colour.

Milk for glazing

Sesame seeds

What to do

For white flour only version use just 3¾ cups of white self raising flour.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees centigrade (425 degrees Fahrenheit).

Sift the dry ingredients without the sugar.

Stir in the sugar followed by the beer.

Mixing thoroughly and make into a loaf.

Brush with milk across the top and sprinkle on sesame seeds.

Place into a bread tin & bake for fifty minutes. To test if bread is cooked, tap on bread and it should give a hollow sharp sound.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

sweet chilli jam

This fiery yet sweet chilli jam is great with roasted vegetables and goes well with all meat dishes especially on barbeque chicken.

What you'll need
500 grams (1 lb) roma (egg) tomatoes

1 small onion julienned

3-4 small red chillis (chopped)

6 garlic cloves (chopped)

1 small knob of ginger (chopped)

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp mustard seed

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt flakes

Cracked black pepper

What to do
Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 fahrenheit)

Cut tomatoes in half and drizzle them with olive oil and roast in the oven until skins start to blister.

Sweat the onions in a pot in a touch of oil on low flame until they turn soft and translucent.

Add the remaining ingredients to the onions and sweat a few more minutes.

Add the roasted tomatoes to the pot, reduce the heat to very low, cook out for 1-2 hours season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once all the ingredients are cooked out, allow to cool and puree in a food processor, refrigerate and use as needed

zucchini and feta tart

What you need

6 medium zucchini,thinly sliced

2 Tbsp sea salt

6 eggs

2 Tbsp cornflour

½ cup finely chopped dill

80g fetta cheese, crumbled

Sea salt and white pepper

¹⁄³ cup finely grated parmesan

What to do

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin with baking paper. Put half the zucchini slices in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the salt. Top with the remaining zucchini slices and salt. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then rinse zucchini under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Set aside on a large baking tray.

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add cornflour and whisk to combine. Add dill, crumbled feta cheese and salt and pepper to egg mixture and stir to combine. Put zucchini slices in prepared cake tin.

Pour the egg mixture over the zucchini. Sprinkle parmesan over the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked in the centre when tested with a skewer.

Stand tart for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve warm or cold, cut into wedges.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

stuffed eggplant

This is classic peasant food. It makes the most out of stale bread and eggplants when they are cheap and abundant in the summer. Like all rustic dishes if you get it right the taste is amazing.

what you need
2 medium sized egg plant
2 cups home made tomato sauce
1 cup quality bread crumbs
handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup grated parmesan
2 eggs

what to do
cut the egg plants in half and boil them until they are soft.
When cool scoop out the flesh gently, leaving the skin as a vessel.
In a bowl mix the flesh with all the ingredients minus the tomato sauce, making sure that the mixture is properly seasoned and that it’s not too wet or too dry.
Adjust accordingly adding more breadcrumbs if it’s too wet and more egg is it’s too dry.
Pack the eggplant skins with the mixture, pressing it gently.
In a non-stick pan with just a film of oil fry the eggplants with the stuffed side facing down so that a nice crust is formed and the contents are sealed.
Remove from the pan very gently and place the eggplants in a baking dish with the fried side facing upwards.
Spread the tomato over the surface of each eggplant, Sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes .