Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Potato and egg bake

Ingredients:

  • 600g desiree potatoes, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 80g pancetta, chopped (can substitute bacon)
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 4 eggs


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Combine potatoes, onion, pancetta and tomatoes in a bowl. Stir to combine. Divide mixture between four 4cm-deep, 10cm x 15cm (base) ovenproof ramekins. Spray tops with oil. Bake, turning the mixture twice, for 40 to 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with thyme. Using a spoon, make 1 hole in the centre of each mixture.
  3. Carefully break 1 egg into each hole. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until eggwhites have just set. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Serve.

Note: You can also bake this in a family-sized 6cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) ovenproof dish. The cooking time will be the same.

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Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Corn, egg and bacon tarts

Ingredients:

  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 shortcut bacon rashers, chopped
  • 310g can corn kernels, drained
  • 4 sheets filo pastry
  • 4 free-range egg


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray four 3/4 -cup capacity Texas muffin holes with oil. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add green onions and bacon. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until bacon is light golden. Remove from heat. Stir in corn. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place 1 pastry sheet on workbench. Spray with oil. Fold in half crossways. Spray top with oil and cut in half crossways. Use pastry squares to line base and sides of 1 muffin hole, allowing a 2cm overhang. Repeat with remaining pastry and oil.
  3. Divide corn mixture between tart cases. Break 1 egg into each tart case (keep yolk intact). Bake for 20 minutes or until egg is just set. Season with pepper. Serve.
Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Pepper beef and asparagus salad

Ingredients:

  • 500g chat potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cracked mixed peppercorns
  • 4 (150g each) beef sirloin steaks
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 5cm lengths
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 80g rocket leaves


Method:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat. Place potatoes in steamer basket over pan. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  2. Place pepper on a plate. Toss steaks lightly in pepper to coat. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Spray with cooking oil. Cook steaks for 2-3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Remove to a plate. Cover with foil. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Thickly slice.
  3. Meanwhile, cook asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water.
  4. Whisk sour cream, lemon  juice, vinegar and chives in a bowl.
  5. Cut potatoes in half. Place potatoes, steak, asparagus and rocket in a bowl. Toss gently to combine. Drizzle with sour cream mixture and serve
Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Caprese salad

Ingredients:

  • Mini roma tomatoes
  • Bocconcini, sliced (you can get little tubs in the supermarket cheese section)
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked pepper


Method:

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half.
  2. Combine tomatoes, bocconcini and basil.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over the top
  4. Season with cracked pepper and serve.


Note:
You could use a variety of tomatoes, e.g. cherry, roma, yellow tear drop, etc. to create a colourful salad.

Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Lemon and feta couscous salad

Ingredients:

  • 500g couscous
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 lemon, thickly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • 170g rocket leaves, trimmed
  • 100g feta cheese (Mayers brand), crumbled


Method:

  1. Place couscous in a heatproof bowl. Add boiling water. Cover and stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir with a fork to separate grains.
  2. Place lemon in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add salt. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain. Finely chop.
  3. Add lemon, lemon juice, cucumber, tomato and olives to couscous. Stir to combine. Crumble feta over the top. Serve with rocket.

Note: This would go well with the balsamic lamb and beetroot salad – you wouldn’t need the side rocket above here.

Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Stir fried vegetables

Ingredients:

  • red capsicum, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • snow peas, trimmed and chopped
  • broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • mushrooms, diced
  • green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • carrot, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 400g can butter beans, drained
  • ginger, crushed/diced
  • oyster sauce (about a table spoon)
  • soy sauce (about a table spoon)
  • oil


Method:

  1. Add a little bit of oil to a heated pan. Add in mushrooms, capsicum, broccoli, carrot, ginger, beans, snow peas and stir.
  2. Pour in oyster and soy sauce and keep tossing vegetables
  3. When vegetables are just about cooked (you want them to be a little bit crunchy when served), add in butter beans, stir through and serve when heated through.

Note: This would make a good side dish with a bbq.

Posted by: Josie | April 27, 2008

Balsamic lamb and beetroot salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 lamb backstrap steaks
  • olive oil/cooking spray
  • 80g baby rocket (or mixed leaves is fine)
  • 1 medium red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 425g can baby beets, drained, halved
  • 60g feta cheese, crumbled (I used Mayers brand)


Method:

  1. Combine garlic an 2 tablespoons vinegar in a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow flavours to develop.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray lamb with oil. Cook for 3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Slice into strips (about 1cm thick). Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Combine rocket, parsley, capsicum, onion, baby beets and remaining vinegar in a large bowl.
  4. Place rocket mixture onto a serving plate, top with lamb slices and feta. Serve.


Note:
You could also sprinkle some pepitas on top too.

Posted by: Josie | April 6, 2008

Moroccan Meatballs

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 410g cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups couscous
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 small brown onion, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Moroccan spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons currants
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped


Method

  1. Make meatballs: Combine mince, onion, spice mix, pine nuts, currants and parsley in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on a plate.
  2. Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs in batches, turning often, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 3 teaspoons of oil, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Return meatballs to pan. Simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce reduced slightly. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, place couscous in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Cover and stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir with a fork to separate the grains. Spoon couscous into bowls. Top with meatballs and sauce. Serve.
Posted by: Josie | April 6, 2008

Chicken Paella

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 6 chicken thighs on the bone, skin on, trimmed (chicken breast would be nicer, or otherwise roast/bbq chicken shredded would work)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 250g chorizo sausages, roughly chopped
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • lemon wedges, to serve


Method

  1. Combine paprika and 1 teaspoon of turmeric in a bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over both sides of the chicken. Using your fingertips, rub spices into the chicken.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 26cm (base) paella pan or a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until chorizo is light golden. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add remaining oil to the pan. Cook chicken, skin side down, for 4 minutes or until golden. Turn over and cook for a further 3 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up. Add 1 cup of stock to the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. Remove the lid. Boil gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until almost all liquid has evaporated.
  4. Combine 2 cups of remaining stock and remaining turmeric in a jug. Add rice, tomatoes and stock mixture to pan. Stir to combine. Return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add peas, chorizo mixture and remaining 1/2 cup of stock. Simmer for 5 minutes or until stock is just absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
Posted by: Josie | April 6, 2008

Brunch Bake

Ingredients (serves 8 )

  • 200g Turkish bread, cut into 1cm slices
  • 500g (about 16) chipolata sausages
  • 2 red capsicums, thickly sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large roasting pan with baking paper. Arrange bread, chipolatas, capsicum and tomato in a single layer in pan. Drizzle with oil and turn to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, for 30 minutes or until bread is brown and tomatoes collapse.
  2. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve.

NOTE:

I made a variation of this recipe which I liked better using the sausages, bread and tomato from above and also including bacon and hash browns

First I put some mini hash browns into the oven and cooked those up. I cooked up the sausages and bacon in a pan and set those aside. I then seared the open faces of the tomatoes in the pan. Then put the bread, sausages, bacon, hash browns and tomatoes into the roasting pan, used the bacon and sausage grease to help oil up the bread, tossed everything around and then put into the oven until the bread was lightly toasted. You could also put in mushrooms at the same time as doing the tomatoes. Then just serve in the roasting pan with tongs to let everyone dig in.

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