Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Penne with Chicken & Asparagus

This is my favourite weekday meal to cook because it is so quick and easy to prepare.


250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
400g penne pasta
1 jar (400g) tomato pasta sauce
500g chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 4 cm lengths
2 tablespoon chopped parsley, to garnish (optional)


  1. Place cherry tomatoes in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, set aside. 
  2. Cook the penne in a large saucepan of lightly salted water according to the packet instructions or until al dente. Drain well and return to pan.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large non stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken, cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook stirring for a further 2-3 minutes or until chicken is golden and asparagus is bright green and tender crisp
  4. Add the chicken mixture and tomatoes to the pan with the penne, toss to combine, then add the pasta sauce and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings

This is one of my mum's recipes. It's super easy to make and very tasty.


1kg chicken wings
½ cup sweet chilli sauce
½ cup tomato sauce
3-4 tablespoons light soy sauce


Add the sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce and light soy sauce together into a large saucepan. Bring to boil then add the chicken wings. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cannoli with ricotta, chocolate and orange

This simple dessert tastes sensational, yet it is quick and easy to prepare.

Recipe from Australian Good Taste Magazine, April 2007 issue, page 58

Serves 4


250g fresh ricotta
100g caster sugar
¼ cup grated dark chocolate
2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cannoli shells
Icing sugar mixture, to dust


Place the ricotta, sugar, chocolate, orange rind and vanilla in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix until well combined. 

Spoon the ricotta mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm diameter fluted nozzle. Pipe the ricotta mixture evenly into the cannoli shells.

Arrange 2 cannoli on each serving plate. Dust evenly with icing sugar and serve immediately (otherwise shells will become soggy)

Notes & Tips

Cannoli shells are from Italian delis and gourmet food shops. If unavailable, use the ricotta mixture to fill waffle baskets or waffle ice-cream cones.

Filling can be made ahead up to 24hours prior to filling the shells. Keep covered and refrigerated.

Fresh ricotta cheese is drier than tub ricotta and will give the correct consistency in this recipe. Ricotta cheese is the main ingredient in the filling and should always be dry. If the cheese is not dry, place it in a colander which is placed in a large bowl. Cover this with a moist cloth and place it overnight in the refrigerator so that all the moisture drains out. Make sure that the cheese is dry or else the filling will not turn out thick and soft, ruining the cannoli and your efforts.

Using an electric mixer to combine the ingredients will make it nice and fluffy

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs and Asparagus


150g smoked salmon
150g green asparagus
2 medium sized eggs
2 slices sour dough bread
1 litre water
50ml vinegar
salt and pepper


  1. Bring half the water to boil in saucepan. Poach the asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Discard water.
  2. Bring the remaining water to the boil and add the vinegar. Crack an egg into a bowl and gently lower the egg to poach in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the water. Repeat with remaining egg.
  3. Meanwhile toast the sourdough bread. Butter.
  4. Divide the asparagus, egg and salmon onto toast. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
How to poach eggs like a chef:
  1. Tear a square of cling film. Drizzle with oil, and spread with your fingers to evenly grease. Lay into a small cup or bowl, overhanging the sides. Break the egg into the cling film and pull the plastic up to gather it around the egg.
  2. Expel all the air around the egg, and twist the cling film to shape the egg. Tie the plastic, sliding the knot down close to the egg to preserve the shape. Place into a pan of simmering water and poach until the white has set but the yolk is still runny.
  3. Lift from the water and, using scissors, carefully cut the cling film below the knot. Gently peel away the cling film.
Reference from: Masterchef Australia, The Cookbook Volume One page 62

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I love discount vouchers and a recent deal that I picked up from the Scoopon website was a 3 course set menu for 2 people for $74 at Sugaroom in Pyrmont.
I must say that I had a really enjoyable dining experience at this restaurant. Service was spot on and the food was fautless, fresh, delicious and generous.

Beef carpaccio, shaved pecorino, oregano, extra virgin olive oil $20

For entrée I picked the beef carpaccio. I've always wanted to try beef carpaccio and this dish didn't disappoint.

Beetroot cured ocean trout, cucumber and mint salad, chilli $23

Hubby had the ocean trout which was a very refreshing entrée with a subtle hint of chilli that left my mouth tingling.

Pan roasted dory, fennel fondant, broccolini, radish salad $35

Both hubby and I ordered the pan roasted dory for mains which was cooked to perfection. 

Chocolate crème brulee, raspberry marshmallow, macerated strawberries $16

Crème brulee was absolutely delicious- rich, velvety, smooth chocolate custard, with the strawberries cutting through the richness and providing some relief from the sweetness. The sugar top is crisp and snaps as you break through it with your spoon.

Passionfruit pavlova, chantilly cream, fairy floss $16

Light, tangy and a refreshing fruity dessert to finish off our meal with. The pavlova is actually a shell and it encloses a ball of cream  inside- so cool!

Would definitely come back to this restaurant again and pay full price! Wonderful experience, ambience, food and attentive service.

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