Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beef and Bean Stir Fry

Recipe adapted from Thai Creative Cooking page 56-57


2 teaspoons baking soda
500g topside or round steak, cut into thin strips
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
185g snake or green beans, cut into 10cm lengths
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons coriander

  1. Marinate the beef with the baking soda for 20 minutes and then rinse the beef thoroughly (make sure that the beef is properly rinsed clean of the baking soda). Pat the beef dry with paper towels and then marinate with the sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce. Mix well, cover and let marinate several hours or overnight, refrigerate.
  2. Heat oil and garlic together in a wok over a medium heat, increase heat to high, add beef and stir fry for 3 minutes, or until beef turns colour.
  3. Add beans, lime leaves, sugar, soy, fish sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes or until beans turn colour. Stir in coriander and serve immediately.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blueberry & Pear Slice

Recipe by Justine Schofield from Everyday Gourmet


200g caster sugar
2 eggs
Zest ½ a lemon
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
150ml milk
110g butter
150g almond meal
5 tbs flour, sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
2 pears, roughly chopped
100g fresh blueberry

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease and line a rectangular slice tin with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla together until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Melt butter and add to milk. Mix into the egg mixture until well combined.
  5. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold together with a wooden spoon until an even batter has formed.
  6. Add the blueberries and pears and combine.
  7. Cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Thai Chicken Laksa

Today is day 6 of my Jamie Oliver challenge.

This meal took me about 25 minutes to cook. I think because I took longer, I ended up boiling off some of the liquid and once the noodles went into the pot, it absorbed all the liquid hence my laksa didn't end up "soupy". But, it still tasted fantastic! Bursting with lots of flavours. Whoever thought a tasty laksa could be created in less than half an hour?! The only change I would make next time, would be to increase the amount of chicken since there didn't seem like there was enough to go with the amount of noodles.

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 44

Serves 4
656 calories


4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 heaped teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 fresh red chilli

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
½ butternut pumpkin,
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ a bunch of spring onions
1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter
4 dried kaffir lime leaves
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
300g medium rice noodles
2 bunches of asparagus (600g)
1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk
2-3 limes

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Griddle pan, high heat *Large lidded pan, high heat *Food processor (coarse grater & bowl blade)


On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and the five spice. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin. Place on the hot griddle pan, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through. Pour about 800ml of boiling water into the large pan and crumble in the stock cube.

Grate in the food processor, then tip into the boiling stock. Swap to the bowl blade in the processor and add the peeled garlic and ginger, the chilli, turmeric, trimmed spring onions, peanut butter, dried lime leaves, coriander stalks (reserving the leaves), sesame oil, soy and fish sauces. Blitz to a paste, then tip into the stock and add the noodles.

Trim the asparagus and cut in half. Add to the pan, pour in the coconut milk and as soon as it boils, taste, correct the seasoning with soy sauce and lime juice, then turn the heat off. Drizzle the honey over the charred chicken, squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, scatter with the sesame seeds and toss to coat. Serve with the laksa and lime wedges, sprinkling everything with the coriander leaves and slices of fresh chilli.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Lamb Kofte with Pitta & Greek Salad

Today is day 5 of the Jamie Oliver challenge.

It actually took me about 20 minutes to cook this meal! I made a few adjustments to the recipe like squeezing only half a lemon into the yoghurt, omitting the raw onion from the salad since I don't like the taste of raw onions, not grating the cucumber but slicing it thinly instead and using wraps instead of pita bread since there was none available in the supermarket. I think next time I'll also use chicken stock with the couscous- tasted a bit bland with just water.

Loved how this meal has very nice flavours and that it was such a great combo. Loved most of all the honey and nuts with the lamb- it made the kofte so moreish. Will definitely be making this meal again.

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 108

Serves 4
587 calories


400g lean lamb mince
1 teaspoon garam masala
olive oil
25g shelled pistachios
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon runny honey

½ bunch of fresh mint
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
½ a mug of couscous

½ an iceberg lettuce
½ a red onion
½ a cucumber
5 ripe cherry tomatoes
4 black olives
4 heaped tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
2 lemons
40g feta cheese

To serve
4 pita wraps

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Large frying pan, high heat *Food processor (bowl blade)


In a large bowl, mix the mince with salt, pepper and the garam masala. Divide into 8, then with wet hands shape into little fat fingers. Put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning until dark golden all over. Tear off most of the top leafy half of the mint and blitz in the processor with a pinch of salt and pepper and the chilli until fine. Remove the blade, stir in ½ a mug of couscous and 1 mug of boiling water, put the lid on and leave to sit in the processor.

Cut the lettuce into wedges and arrange on a nice board or platter. Peel and coarsely grate the onion and cucumber into a bowl, season well with salt, then squeeze out any excess salty liquid and sprinkle over the lettuce. Chop and add the tomatoes, then squash, destone and dot over the olives. Mix the yoghurt in a bowl with the juice of 1 lemon, season to taste, then drizzle it over the lettuce and crumble over the feta.

Bash the pistachios in a pestle and mortar. Drain away the fat from the lamb, then toss with the bashed nuts, thyme leaves and honey, and turn the heat off. Pop the pittas in the microwave (800W) for 45 seconds to warm through, then cut in half and add to the board with the kofte. Fluff up the couscous, scatter the remaining mint leaves over everything and serve with lemon wedges.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Avocado and Vegetable Rice Paper Rolls

Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas, November 2009 issues, page 71


8 rice paper wrappers
½ cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1 small carrot, peeled grated
1 medium Lebanese cucumber, cut into strips
1 medium avocado, peeled, cut into strips
Sweet chilli sauce, to serve

  1. Pour hot water into a heatproof bowl until half full. Dip 1 rice paper wrapper in water. Place on a flat surface. Stand for 20 to 30 seconds or until soft enough to roll without splitting.
  2. Place one-eighth of lettuce along 1 edge of 1 wrapper. Top with one-eighth each of carrot, cucumber and avocado. Fold in ends. Roll up firmly to enclose filling. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent roll drying out. Repeat with remaining wrappers, lettuce, carrot, cucumber and avocado. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.
Notes & Tips

Replace water if it gets too cold to soften wrappers.

For variation you can add the following:
Smoked salmon, Teriyaki chicken, vermicelli rice noodles, mint, perilla leaves, beansprouts

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Crispy Duck Hoi Sin Lettuce Parcels

Today is day 4 of the Jamie Oliver challenge.

So I thought I had cashew nuts in the pantry, but then as I was getting all my ingredients out, I realised I had none. It turns out that what I thought were cashew nuts were in fact peanuts. I made the mistake of only glancing at my pantry rather than thoroughly looking at the packaging when I was putting my shopping list together. Oh well! I guess there'll be no cashews in my dish then. The recipe also called for silken tofu but I mistakenly bought firm tofu which still worked out okay. I actually felt it was better since they held their shape better once I sliced them up. I also made a few modifications to this recipe to suit our tastebuds- like omitting the radishes and cress and tossing the hoi sin sauce with the duck in the pan rather than drizzling it over the top. I found this dish easy enough to prepare. It was a bit messy to eat, but it was very yummy and tasty, and is a modern twist on san choy bow.

Recipe adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 54

Serves 4
738 calories

4 nests of fine egg noodles
1 large iceberg lettuce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons hoi sin sauce
3 limes
1 clove of garlic
300g silken/firm tofu
5 sprigs of fresh coriander
sweet chilli sauce

2 x 200g duck breasts, skin on
1 heaped teaspoon Chinese five-spice
olive oil
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
2 spring onions
1 handful of cashew nuts
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon runny honey

*Ingredients out * Kettle boiled * Small lidded pan, medium heat *Large frying pan, medium heat


Put the noodles into the small pan and cover with boiling water and the lid. Cut the duck into 1cm dice, toss with salt, pepper and the five-spice, then put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss regularly. Cut the lettuces in half through the stalk, remove the stalk, then separate the leaves into cups and arrange on a large clean tray or platter.

Drain the noodles and toss with the sesame oil, then divide them between the lettuce cups. Finely slice the chilli and trimmed spring onions. When the duck is nice and golden, pour away any excess fat, then stir in the chilli, spring onions, cashews and sesame seeds, and toss regularly.

Put the hoi sin sauce into a bowl, squeeze in the juice from 3 limes, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and mix together. Drizzle the duck with the honey, shake the pan to coat, then tip it evenly over the lettuce cups. Cut the tofu into rough 2cm chunks and sprinkle it in and around the lettuce cups. Scatter over the baby radishes and coriander leaves, then snip over the cress. Drizzle the hoi sin dressing over everything from a height and drizzle each piece of tofu with a little sweet chilli sauce. Serve with lime wedges.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Spicy Cajun Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potato & Fresh Corn Salsa

Today is day 3 of my week with Jamie. So far, so good. Whilst I still haven't been able to cook his meals in the advertised 15 minutes, I am still quite impressed at how much I can get done in such little time and how delicious everything tastes. But most of all, what I've really enjoyed is all the healthy and fresh food that hubby and I have been eating.

Unfortunately though, I'm not used to the huge amount of washing up that I need to do after I finish cooking Jamie's recipes! I normally use only 1 pot, 1 frypan and 1 chopping board, whilst Jamie's recipes tend to use at least 3 types of cookware, plus a food processor. I can hardly fit everything on my kitchen bench and stove top, let alone inside the dishwasher. I have a spatially challenged kitchen to work with!

Anyways, I don't think I'm going to bother timing myself any more when it comes to cooking Jamie's meals now. I reckon if Jamie can do it in 15 minutes, it means it'll probably take me about 30 minutes or more to achieve it. I can't multi-task and do the crazy things he does in the kitchen, heck I can't even slice vegetables as fast as he does! Whilst I do enjoy cooking quick meals, I do like to do it in a steady manner rather than rushing around, like I'm at work or something. Home is still a place I like to unwind and take things at my own pace and not be time pressed, if that makes sense?

But enough of my ranting and back to the spicy cajun chicken. This meal took me about 30 minutes from start to finish- it also didn't help that I misread a step- forgot to turn the pot containing the sweet potato on high heat and subsequently my sweet potatoes weren't cooking whilst I was preparing the chicken and salsa. However, since the potatoes were cut so thinly, they cooked really quickly so it didn't matter too much.

I also bought chicken minute steaks in order to omit the step about bashing and flattening the chicken breasts (I live in a unit so I'm mindful of noise and disturbing my neighbours).

This cajun chicken dish tastes absolutely fantastic! I love it and will definitely make it again.

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals, page, 28

Serves 4
651 calories


4 corn on the cob
1 small bunch of fresh coriander
1 fresh red chilli
4 spring onions
3 ripe tomatoes
2 limes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

800g sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

4 x 120g skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon polenta
olive oil
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
175g okra
20g feta cheese

* Ingredients out * Kettle boiled *Griddle pan, high heat *Food processor (fine slicer) *Large lidded pan, high heat *Large frying pan, medium-high heat


Put the corn on the griddle pan, turning when charred. Wash the sweet potatoes, remove any gnarly bits of skin with a speed-peeler, then finely slice in the processor. Put the sweet potatoes into the large pan, then just cover with boiling salted water and the lid. On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, the Cajun seasoning and polenta. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin.

Put the chicken into the frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Drain the cooked sweet potatoes well, return to the pan and mash with the sweet chilli sauce, pop the lid on and leave on a very low heat. Slice the bacon and add to the frying pan. As soon as he bacon stars to crisp up, add the okra the pan.

Carefully hold the charred corn steady and run a knife down the sides to cut off the kernals, then put them into a bowl. Roughly chop the top leafy half of the coriander and add to the corn. Finely slice the chilli and trimmed spring onions, chop the tomatoes and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt, the lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, then mix well. Serve the sweet potato smash on a board or platter with the chicken and okra, crumble over the feta, and serve with the fresh salsa on the side.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Keralan Veggie Curry with Poppadoms, Rice & Minty Yoghurt

Today is day 2 of the Jamie Oliver challenge.

I was really tired after work today so I was looking forward to not having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and instead more time putting my feet up and relaxing. This recipe however, took me more than 15 minutes to make and there was a quite a bit of work involved. I felt even more exhausted after cooking tonight's dinner but, I have to say that the work was all worth it since this curry tastes absolutely sensational. Hubby didn't even notice there was no meat in it! I'll definitely be making this again.

Recipe from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 228

Serves 4, 725 Calories


½ a cauliflower
2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 heaped teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 heaped teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 heaped teaspoon tumeric
1 small handful of dried curry leaves
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
6 spring onions
1 fresh red chilli
1 large bunch of fresh coriander
2 ripe tomatoes
1x 400g tin of light coconut milk
1x 400g tin of chickpeas
1 x 225g tin of pineapple chunks in juice
1 lemon

1 mug (300g) of 10-minute wholegrain or basmati rice
10 cloves
½ a lemon

To serve
4 uncooked poppadoms
½ a bunch of fresh mint
3 tablespoon fat-free natural yoghurt
½ a lemon

* Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Griddle pan, high heat *Medium lidded pan, medium heat *Large casserole pan, low heat * Food processor (bowl blade)


Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, then slice it 1cm thick and put it on the griddle pan, turning when lightly charred. Put 1 mug of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into the medium pan with the cloves, lemon half and a pinch of salt, and put the lid on. Pour the oil into the casserole pan, then quickly stir in the mustard and fenugreek seeds, turmeric and curry leaves.

Pulse the peeled ginger and garlic, trimmed spring onions, chilli and coriander stalks in the processor until fine, then stir into the casserole pan. Roughly chop and add the tomatoes. Pour the coconut milk, add the drained chickpeas, then tip in the pineapple chunks and their juices. Add the griddled cauliflower, cover, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil.

Put the uncooked poppadoms into the microwave (800W) for a minute or two to puff up. Tear off the top leafy half of the mint and bash to a paste in a pestle and mortar. Stir in the yoghurt, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon into the curry and season to taste. Tear over the coriander leaves and serve with the rice and poppadoms.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Green Tea Salmon with Coconut Rice & Miso Greens

So I've been watching Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals on TV recently and have been quite impressed at what he has been able to achieve in such little time. So I've decided to give it a go. That's right. This week for every day of the week, I'm going to cook a Jamie Oliver recipe. I'm going to put it to the test and see if it really does take me 15 minutes to cook and whether it tastes nice.

Today is day 1 of my Jamie Oliver challenge.

I started off by making sure I was prepared- that all my ingredients and equipment were out on the kitchen bench and that I had read through the recipe. Then the kitchen timer was set- 15 minutes, Ready? Set. Go!

Found myself multi-tasking, whizzing and moving around the kitchen very quickly, which was something I wasn't quite used to since I generally like to take my time when I'm coking. I actually felt slightly stressed- it kinda felt like being in a Masterchef kitchen with the clock ticking down behind you. Don't know how Jamie did it with such breeze!

My first attempt at this 15 minute meal recipe actually took me about 25 minutes in total but I'm confident that next time I'll be able to cook it in 20 minutes.

This is such a quick and clever recipe, where the ingredients have been thoughtfully combined and it doesn't taste like something that takes 15-20 minutes to cook. I can see why Jamie's cookbooks have been so popular- they're great for all those time poor people out there that still want to eat healthy home cooked meals that are quick and easy to prepare.

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 138


4 x 120g salmon fillets, skin-on, scaled and pin-boned
2 green tea bags
olive oil

1x 400g tin of light coconut milk
300g basmati rice
½ a lemon

½ fresh red chilli
1 small thumb sized piece of ginger
1 heaped tsp miso powder or 1 tbsp miso paste
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
½ a lemon
2-3 tbsp low salt soy sauce
1 heaped tsp runny honey
200g sugar snap peas
200g tenderstem broccoli (broccolini)
1 bunch of asparagus (300g)
1 lime


* Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Large frying pan, medium-high heat * Large lidded pan, medium heat * Medium lidded pan, medium heat *Liquidizer/mini food processor

Place the salmon on a plate, rip open the green tea bags and scatter the contents over the fish, season with salt and pepper and rub in. Put into the frying pan, skin side down, with 1 teaspoon of oil, turning until golden on all sides. Pour the coconut milk, 1 tin's worth of rice and 1 tin of boiling water (use a tea towel) into the large pan. Add ½ a lemon, stir well, cover and cook for roughly 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn the heat off.

Finely slice ½ the chilli for garnish and throw the rest into the liquidizer with the peeled ginger, the miso powder or paste, most of the coriander, the juice of ½ a lemon, the soy sauce, honey and a small splash of water (about 1 tablespoon), then whiz until smooth. Pour the rest of the kettle water into the medium pan. Add the sugar snaps, trimmed broccoli and asparagus and a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes, until just tender.

Remove the cooked salmon from the pan, gently pull the skins off and put back soft-side down to crisp up for 30 seconds. Pour the dressing into a bowl or on to a serving platter, then quickly drain the greens and place nicely on top. Fluff up the rice, then flake the salmon over the top, sprinkle with the chilli and the rest of the coriander leaves, then serve with the crispy salmon skin and lime wedges.

Notes & Tips

If sugar snap peas are unavailable, you can substitute with snow peas or green beans

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wok-fried green beans with chilli pork


500g pork, coarsely minced
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour
2 tsp caster sugar
Salt and pepper
200g green or snake beans
1 red capsicum (approx 200g)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce (toban djan*)


Mix the pork with soy sauce, cornflour, sugar, salt and pepper and set aside.
Trim the beans and cut on the diagonal into 5cm lengths. Cut the red capsicum lengthwise into thin strips, discarding core and seeds. Cook the beans and red capsicum in simmering, salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water, then pat dry.
Heat half the oil with the garlic in a wok. When hot, stir fry the beans and red capsicum for 4 mins until scorched. Remove to a warm platter. Heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the pork over high heat for 4 mins, tossing well. Add the rice wine, chilli bean sauce, the vegetables and a dash of water to the pork, tossing well for 2 mins, and serve with steamed rice.
* From Chinese food stores.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jamie Oliver's Festive Fiesta Tacos

Recipe adapted from "Jamie Oliver's Christmas with Bells On" TV show aired on 20th December 2012

Serves 2


1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
200g pork belly, skin off and cut into 1cm dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ripe avocado, halved and destoned
1 large ripe tomato
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded (optional)
200g tinned haricot beans, drained
1-2 limes,
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon honey
6 taco shells
½ bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped
Fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve


In a bowl, combine the sweet smoked paprika and fennel seeds then toss with the diced pork belly.
Pop a large pan over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and the spiced pork and fry for 5 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Jiggle the pan every so often.
Meanwhile, use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh, then chop up into rough 1cm chunks with the tomato. Finely chop the chilli, then toss it together to make a sort of crude salsa.
By this point the pork will be lovely and gnarly so drain and add the haricot beans, and cook for a further 2 to 4 minutes, or until thick and combined.
Squeeze the juice from one of the limes over the salsa, season well and toss to dress. Check on the pork – add the honey at this point, if you like, to give it an incredible shine, then season and toss everything together.
Get yourself a big board or plate for serving, and ruffle up a tea towel to hold your taco shells. Divide the meat between them. Mix the coriander through the salsa then dot some over each taco, along with a dollop of yoghurt and an extra squeeze of lime juice, then tuck in.

Notes & Tips

If haricot beans are unavailable, substitute with navy beans or white beans. I used a tin of Ol El Paso Mexe-Beans

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chilled Mango Cheesecake

170g Nice biscuits 
60g unsalted butter, melted

250g light cream cheese (softened at room temperature) 
60g caster sugar (sifted) 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon mango essence (optional) 
350g mango purée (strained)
1 tablespoon gelatin powder 
3 tablespoons boiling water 
200ml thickened cream + 2 tablespoons icing sugar 
1 mango, diced- 2cm cubes (optional)

200g mango purée (strained) 
2 teaspoons gelatine powder
2 tablespoons boiling water

100ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Mango strips

  1. Line base of 20cm/8" spring form cake pan with baking paper.
  2. To make the base, crush biscuits in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process to combine. 
  3. Using the back of a metal spoon press biscuit mixture down firmly onto base of cake pan. Chill in the fridge for use later- approx. 30 minutes.
  4. Whip thickened cream with 2 tablespoons icing sugar till about 70% stiff or mousse state. Cover and keep chilled.
  5. Dissolve gelatine powder in 3 tablespoons boiling water. Keep warm but not hot for use later.
  6. Cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and mango essence together till smooth and creamy.
  7. Add the warm gelatine solution to mango purée and mix well.
  8. Add mango mixture into cheese mixture and combine till well mixed. Fold in the whipped cream. Stir in the cubed mango pieces (optional).
  9. Pour cheese mixture onto cake base. Cover and chill for at least two hours.
  10. Dissolve gelatin powder with boiling water and stir this into mango purée. Pour gently onto chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before serving (best overnight to allow it to set better).
Notes & Tips 

You will need approx. 3 very ripe large Kensington mangoes for this recipe 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mushroom and spinach risotto

Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas Magazine, April 2012 issue, page 35


1 litre chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium brown onion or shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
200g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
15g dried porcini mushrooms, sliced
1½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
50g baby spinach
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
40g butter, chopped

  1. Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms with 1 cup hot water for 20 minutes.
  2. Place stock and mushroom water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 6 minutes or until mixture starts to simmer. Reduce heat to low to keep hot.
  3. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme leaves and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add rice. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until coated. Add wine. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until wine has absorbed.
  4. Add 1/3 cup stock mixture to rice mixture. Cook, stirring, until stock has absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock mixture, 1/3 cup at a time, until liquid has absorbed and rice is tender (stir every minute for approx 16 to 18 minutes).
  5. Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, parmesan and butter. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash more stock if needed. Set aside, covered, for 2 minutes. Season. Serve with grated parmesan.
Notes & Tips

Adding more than 1/3 cup stock at a time will make the risotto cook too quickly, and the rice will not be tender. Make sure the stock is hot when adding it to the pan.
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