Friday, 25 April 2014

Savory Chicken Crepes

This is one of those fast, fabulous end of week family dinners.  It is affordable and has many 'cheats' to it, so ideal for a Friday eve when you generally have no enthusiasm to cook. Suitable for 2 foodie lovers (double up if you need) here we go ...

(yields 4 thin ones or 2 fat ones)
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
3/4 milk
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp English mustard powder
1/4 tsp tarragon
Little salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until it binds with no lumps
Heat a frying pan to hot, and spray with some cooking spray
Remove pan from heat and add pancake mixture ... rolling the pan so batter becomes evenly spread
Place back on the heat and wait until bubbles form or edges start to curl
Flip over with a spatula and cook other side for a minute or so
Remove from pan and stand to cool
Repeat until batter is finished

1 roasted chicken, store bought
3 Tbsp spring onions, chopped
4 Tbsp mushrooms (flavoursome ones - not button), chopped
1/4 tsp tarragon
Pinch of paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
350g good cheese sauce, bottled and store bought
Grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180'C
With your hands, pull flesh off carcase and discard - keep in big chunks
Place in a bowl with spring onions, mushrooms, spices and 8 Tbsp cheese sauce
Mix well - consistency should be moist but not runny
Place some chicken mix (60g per pancake) in the centre of each pancake
Tightly roll up and place in oven proof dish - joins facing down
Add remaining cheese sauce on top - you might need to water down with some milk
Add grated cheese on top
Bake for 20 minutes

Enjoy with a little rocket on the side!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sundried Tomato Pesto, Herb & Cheese Ciabatta

This is as awesome side dish when doing a BBQ.  It it super easy and really tasty.  Suitable for 4 foodie lovers.  Here we go ...
Sundried Tomato Pesto, Herb & Cheese Ciabatta
1 Ciabatta bread
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1tbsp lemon thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh oreganum, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup sundried tomato pesto
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 tsp hot sauce
Big handful cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 180'c

Make 3 cuts down the centre of the ciabatta bread - top down - just enough to open
Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl
Spoon and spread mix into the cuts of the bread
Push grated cheese down each slit - loads of cheese and push it in
Add butter on top and wrap in aluminium foil
Bake for 10 min
Unwrap foil and bake for a further 10 min

Keep warm before until ready to serve

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Rum & Raisin Tiramisu

Who doesn't love #Rum & Raisin? This is an awesome twist on this #Italian favourite. It is easy and great when you need a #dessert to go along way.  Suitable for 8 adult foodies lovers. Here we go ...
Rum & Raisin Tiramisu
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup dark rum + 2 tbsp
6 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
24 -30 finger biscuits
Semi sweet chocolate, shaved

Place raisins and 2 tbsp rum in a dish, cover and microwave for 1 min, allow to cool
Beat egg yolks and sugar in a bowl  with an electric beater for 5 min until very thick and light yellow
Add mascarpone and mix on medium until smooth
With mixer on low add 1/2 cup rum, 1/4 cup juice, vanilla extract, seeds from bean and mix well
Pour remaining rum and orange juice into a shallow bowl
Dip one side of each biscuit and place one layer in a 9 x 11 inch oval dish
Break biscuits  and dish in liquid to fill any spaces
Sprinkle half soaked raisins evenly on top
Pour half mascarpone mix over and spread evenly
Repeat layers of dipped finger biscuits, soaked raisins and mascarpone mix
Smooth top, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight
Sprinkle with shaved chocolate or dust some cocoa powder over the top before serving

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Roasted Tomato, Goat's Cheese & Thyme Tart

If you like the tart of a tomato, you will love this.  It is an ideal tart to enjoy on its own with a side green salad or to be a side dish itself.  It is so easy and looks really impressive if you are entertaining.  Suitable for 4 - 6 foodie lovers.  Here we go ...
Roasted Tomato, Goat's Cheese & Thyme Tart
1 packet bought puff pastry, defrosted
Flour for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
15ml sundried tomato pest
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
50g goat's cheese
300g mixed small tomatoes, halved
15ml sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
25ml fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 200'C
Dust clean surface with flour and roll out pastry
Cut a round the size of a dinner plate
Using a sharp knife, lightly score a 5cm border
Fold pastry over to crease a raised rim around the edge
Transfer tart case to a greased baking sheet
Brush the rim with egg and prick the base a few times with a fork
Spread tomato pesto over the base
Add garlic slices and crumble goat's cheese evenly
Toss tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper, thyme and oil in a bowl
Arrange on top of the tart case
Bake for 20 - 25 min until golden brown
Garnish with fresh thyme


Sunday, 13 April 2014

4-Wild Mushroom Soup

This has got to be one of my all time favourite soups.  A little effort goes a long way, and if you going to make soup - make a lot.  This one freezes really well.
4-Wild Mushroom Soup
130g Shitake mushrooms
150g Portobello mushrooms
100g Cremini mushrooms
100g Porchini mushrooms
Olive oil
115g + 1 tbs butter, divided
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups leeks, chopped white and green
1/2 cup flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup cream
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

Wipe mushrooms with a paper towel.  Do not wash with water!
Separate stems and coarsely chop
Chunky slice mushroom caps
To make the stock:
Heat oil and 1 tbsp butter in a large pot
Add stems, onion, 1 sprig thyme, salt, pepper and cook on medium for 10 min
Add 8 cups water, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 min
Strain, serving liquid
In a large pot heat remaining butter, add leeks and cook for 20 min until soft
Add chopped mushroom caps and cook another 10 min
Add flour and cook for 1 min
Add wine and cook for 1 min
Add stock, thyme salt and pepper and bring to the boil, reduce and simmer for 15 min
Add cream, parsley and season, heat through, but do not boil
Serve hot

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Chocolate Strawberries

Okay this is so easy ... I am in two minds whether I should even blog it or not?
Left over milk chocolate + fresh strawberries from the market = delish TV dessert.  Suitable for 2 foodies lovers.  Here we go ...
Chocolate Strawberries

1 tub fresh strawberries
400g milk chocolate (leftovers from Christmas or Easter are just fine)

Rinse strawberries under cold water
Pat dry with kitchen towel
Sprinkle with a little castor sugar if you like
        (I use vanilla sweetner, because I have it)
Pour 2 inches of hot water in a pot
Place a glass bowl over to make a double boiler - make sure it does not touch the bottom of the pot
Add chocolate to the bowl and allow to melt
As chocolate starts to melt keep stirring until smooth
Remove from heat and dip strawberries into hot chocolate
Allow to cool on a baking rack
Keep at room temperature until ready to serve

Friday, 4 April 2014

Rosemary Honey Sausage Kebabs

Friday night - don't feel like cooking night' kind of dinner is up for grabs. These are fun and quick and easy and great with a big portion of oven chips on the side.
Rosemary Honey Sausage Kebabs: BBC Food
Olive oil
12 - 15 sturdy rosemary sprigs (10cm long)
12 - 15 rashers streaky bacon
40 cocktail sausages
2 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Piri Piri

Heat over to 180'c
Lightly grease a large baking tray
Remove most of the leaves from each rosemary sprig, leaving a few tufts at the top
Cut each end of the sprig on the diagonal making it a sharp point
Place sausage in a bowl and toss with honey, salt, pepper and Piri Piri
Thread 2 or 3 sausage onto each skewer
Weave and secure a piece of bacon around each
Arrange skewers on baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil
Bake for 15 - 18 min turn and cook another 10 min until bacon is to your liking

Serve with a little sweet chilli sauce on the side!