Sunday, April 28, 2013

Donna Hay's Porcini Mushroom & Chicken Pie

Recipe from Donna Hay No Time To Cook, page 156


16g dried porcini mushrooms
¼ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 x 140g chicken thigh fillets, cubed
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup chicken stock
¾ cup fresh or frozen peas
½ cup flatleaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
6 sheets (25cm x 25cm) store-bought puff pastry, thawed
lightly beaten egg, for brushing
onion slices, for topping
salad leaves, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place porcini in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drain the porcini, reserve soaking liquid and chop porcini finely.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion softens slightly. 
  3. Add chicken, cook 2 minutes more, stir in flour then add porcini, reserved soaking liquid and stock and cook for 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in peas and parsley, remove from heat and set mixture aside to cool for 30 minutes. 
  5. Cut 12 pastry rectangles measuring 10cm x 12cm (or divide pastry sheets into 4 squares). Place 6 pastry rectangles on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and divide chicken mixture among them (1/3 cup each).
  6. Brush edges of the pastry with egg, cover with remaining pastry rectangles and press edges to seal. Top with onion slices, brush pies with egg and bake for 18 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve with salad leaves. 
  7. To freeze, wrap the pies in baking paper, then plastic wrap and aluminium foil to seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Christmas Biscotti

Last Christmas, a friend of mine gave me some home baked biscotti as a Chrissie pressie. Hubby and I loved eating them so much that we devoured it in a matter of minutes. I was really inspired to create my own version but never got around to it until today. This was also my first time at baking biscotti :)

Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas Magazine, December 2008 issue, page 43

Makes 30 pieces


½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
 cups plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup dried Greek fig, chopped
¼ cup glace cherries, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1½ teaspoon orange zest

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease.
  2. Place sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add flour, baking powder, Greek fig, glacé cherries, orange rind and dried cranberries. Stir to combine. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Shape into a 30cm log. Place on prepared tray and flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on tray for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 140°C/120°C fan-forced. Using a serrated knife, slice log diagonally into 5mm-thick slices, discarding ends.
  4. Place slices, in a single layer, on 2 baking paper-lined baking trays. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over halfway or until dry and crisp. Stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Notes & Tips

Place biscotti into clear cellophane gift bags tied with ribbon to give away as gifts

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Beef Kofta Curry Fluffy Rice, Beans & Peas

I couldn't find the ready to eat Puy lentils in this recipe so I substituted with 3/4 cup green lentils which I soaked overnight. I also added 1 grated onion and halved the quantity of the rice ingredients. Below is my modified recipe.

Recipe adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals page 66

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Large frying pan, high heat *Medium lidded casserole pan, high heat *Liquidizer (blender)

¾ cup green lentils (soaked overnight)
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
500g lean beef mince
1 onion, grated
olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (1 teaspoon grated ginger)
2 spring onions
1 fresh red chilli
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 heaped teaspoon Patak's rogan josh curry paste
270ml tin of light coconut milk
4 tablespoons fat-free yoghurt, to serve
1 lemon

½ mug of 10-minute wholegrain or basmati rice
5 cardamon pods
100g green or yellow beans
100g frozen peas
2 uncooked poppadoms


Put the lentils into a bowl with salt, pepper, the garam masala, mince and onion, then mix and scrunch together with clean hands. Divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mould each half into 6 fat fingers. Put them into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning when golden.

Put ½ mug of rice, 1 mug of boiling water and the cardamon pods into the casserole pan, then halve and add the beans and put the lid on. Squash the tomatoes into the liquidizer, add the peeled ginger, trimmed spring onions, half the chilli, the coriander stalks, turmeric, honey, curry paste and coconut milk, then blitz until combined. Pour into the kofta pan, bring to the boil, then simmer and season to taste.

Take the lid off the rice, add the peas, mix it all up and give it just a few more minutes. Crack up the uncooked poppadoms and pop them in the microwave (800W) for a minute or two to puff up. Finely slice the remaining chilli and the coriander leaves and scatter them over the curry, dollop with yoghurt, then serve with lemon wedges, poppadoms and the rice, beans and peas.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Salmon with Mediterranean Vegetables

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Rules 2013, Season 4 


Vegetable oil, to rub
4 x 150g skinless salmon fillets

Herb sauce
¼ bunch parsley leaves
¼ bunch basil leaves
½ bunch mint leaves
10g pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, peeled
juice of ½ lemon
25g parmesan, grated
75ml grape seed oil or rice bran oil

Mediterranean vegetables
1 small red capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces
1 small yellow capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces
1 red onion, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 small zucchini, cut into 3cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to season


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. To make Mediterranean vegetables, combine all ingredients in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast, turning halfway through, for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
  3. To make herb sauce, place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. With the motor still running, slowly pour in oil until combined. Refrigerate until required.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Rub oil all over salmon and season with salt and pepper. Add salmon to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside, lightly covered, for 3 minutes.
  5. Divide vegetables among serving plates, then place 1 piece of salmon on top. Spoon a little herb sauce on top to serve.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Smoky Chicken, Chorizo & Chickpeas

Recipe from Coles Magazine May 2013 issue page 26


600g chicken thigh fillets, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
250g chorizo, sliced
400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tomato, chopped
1 long red chilli, sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley

  1. Place chicken, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, paprika and cumin in a bowl. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins, to marinate.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook chicken for 2-3 mins each side, until golden. Remove from pan.
  3. Cook chorizo and chickpeas in same pan, stirring, for 2-3mins, until golden. Return chicken to pan with any pan juices. Drizzle over balsamic and simmer, covered, for 5 mins, until chicken is heated. Stir through tomato, chilli and parsley.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Fettuccine, Smoked Trout, Asparagus & Peas

Recipe adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 188

* Ingredients out * Kettle boiled * Medium pan, high heat * Large lidded pan, high heat * Stick blender

1 small bunch of spring onions
1 bunch of asparagus (300g)
olive oil
300g frozen baby peas
1 big bunch of fresh mint
1 tablespoon plain flour
385ml evaporated milk
320g dried fettuccine
250g hot-smoked trout (or salmon)
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Salad & dressing
50g mesclun salad leaves
a few sprigs of fresh tarragon
2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 heaped teaspoon runny honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
1 heaped tablespoon fat-free natural yoghurt


Roughly slice the trimmed spring onions and asparagus stalks, leaving the tips whole. Set aside the asparagus tips. Put the trimmed spring onions and asparagus stalks into the medium pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the peas. Roughly chop most of the top leafy half of the mint, and add it to the pan. Stir in the flour, pour in the milk and bring to the boil, then simmer. Put the pasta into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions.

Empty the salad leaves into a salad bowl. Pick over the tarragon and the remaining mint leaves. Spoon the mustard and honey into a small bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, the juice of ½ a lemon and the yoghurt, mix together and season to taste.

Using the stick blender, purée the asparagus sauce until fairly smooth. Turn the heat down to low, flake in the trout, add the asparagus tips and simmer for a few more minutes, then squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice and season to taste. Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of starchy cooking water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed. Serve straight away, with a grating of Parmesan and the salad, dressing it at the table.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Mushroom Farfalle Blue Cheese Hazelnut & Apple Salad

Recipe from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 196

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

25g dried porcini mushrooms
olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic
½ a small dried chilli
250g chestnut mushrooms
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
320g dried farfalle
1 tsp truffle oil
1 lemon
½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
150g low-fat cottage cheese

50g blanched hazelnuts
200g baby spinach
1 eating apple
40g blue cheese
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


Put the porcini into a mug and just cover with boiling water. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the large frying pan, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, crumble in the dried chilli and tear in the mushrooms. Strip in the thyme leaves, then add the soaked porcini and toss and fry for a few minutes. Put the pasta into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions.

Toast the hazelnuts in the small frying pan until golden, tossing regularly. Put the spinach into a salad bowl, coarsely grate over or matchstick and add the apple, then crumble over the blue cheese. Crush the toasted nuts in a pestle and mortar, then scatter over the salad. Tip the mushrooms into the processor and whiz until fairly smooth, then return to the pan and add 3 small ladles of pasta cooking water and the truffle oil, season to taste and simmer gently.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed. Finely grate over the lemon zest, finely chop and add most of the top leafy half of the parsley along with the cottage cheese, then toss together and serve straight away. Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil, squeeze over the juice of the zested lemon and serve on the side.
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