Home, Recipes, Savoury

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken

Cream cheese chicken.jpg                                                                       Makes 4

 

I created this dish while trying to lose weight on the low carb diet. I wanted something that comforted me like junk food did but also kept me on track. This satisfied any craving I had and now has become a common favourite in our household.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 8 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 250g softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/3 cup grated mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºc. Mix the cream cheese, cheddar and mozzarella together and then season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  2. Butterfly your chicken breast and then pound it out so that its even. Season with salt and pepper. Place a couple tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into the centre of the chicken and roll it up. Wrap the bacon around the chicken and then use toothpicks to hold it together.
  3. Preheat a fry pan on a medium high heat and then place the chicken, seam side down, into the pan. This helps close the opening to reduce the amount of filling that may escape. Sear the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side or until the bacon is slightly crispy. Place the chicken into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes then let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with any veg of your choice.
Recipes, Savoury

Hunters Chicken

Hunters Chick wlogo.jpg

Hey everyone, Mark here. Today’s recipe is a pretty easy one but seriously tasty.
This is chicken, bacon, BBQ sauce and cheese. what more do I need to say? I tried to make it look fancy in these little individual baking dishes but you can do as many as you like in a bigger baking dish. Lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 skinless chicken breast per person
  • Enough bacon to wrap each breast. (streaky bacon works best)
  • 1 bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce. (You wont need the whole bottle, depending on how many you’re serving)
  • Tasty cheese for topping

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to around 180 degrees C/356 degrees F
  2. Take each breast and cover with glad wrap/clingfilm. Give it a good bash with a rolling pin or meat tenderiser to flatten slightly.
  3. Fry the bacon until the fat starts to render, but the bacon is still soft enough to wrap around your chicken, this prevents the bacon fat going slimy when cooking in the sauce later.
  4. Wrap each breast with 1-2 rashers of bacon.
  5. Squirt/dollop some BBQ sauce into your baking dish(es) to cover the bottom and place the wrapped breasts on top.
  6. Cover the breasts with more BBQ sauce until they are coated. (you don’t need to drown them, the juices from the bacon and chicken will add more liquid and flavour to the sauce).
  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and dispose of the foil.
  9. Top with your favourite cheeses and place back in the oven for a further 10-20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  10. Serve. We enjoy this dish with spicy baked potato wedges and salad.

 

Recipes, Savoury

Lamb Souvlakis

souvslogo.jpgWho doesn’t like a good souv? Slow cooked marinated lamb with home made pitas are always a winner if you’re entertaining friends or family. Just put the ingredients out and everyone can help them selves to what they want in their fresh homemade pitas!

Lamb Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5kg boneless lamb shoulder
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • Small bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Homemade Pitas Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 1/2- 3 cups bread flour or plain flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

 

Lamb Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a zip lock bag or bowl and mix together well. Put into the fridge and marinate for up to 2 days. Overnight is fine though.
  2. After marinating, you can either place the lamb into the slow cooker with all the marinade and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. Alternatively you can place it into your pressure cooker and cook it according to your manufacturers instructions.

Pita Bread Method:

  1. In a jug, mix the water sugar and yeast together and put aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer attached with a dough hook add in the yeast mixture and 2 1/2 cups flour and put on a low speed. Once dough starts coming together add the salt and olive oil and let it knead for 5 minutes. If it appears too wet, add flour a little bit at a time.
  3. On a lightly floured bench, tip dough out and hand knead it for a few more minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Punch the air out of the dough and divide dough into 8 balls.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 230 degrees with a pizza stone in the oven, or alternatively use an oven tray.
  6. Roll out dough until thin and put as many as you can in the oven for approximately 3 minutes or until they have puffed up. Serve hot.
Recipes, Savoury

Homemade Ghee

1

Stock image alert! Hey everyone, Mark again. I don’t have a photo for this yet, I used a stock photo from Google, so thanks to whoever I stole borrowed this photo from, I’ll replace it with my own photo ASAP. But anyway, I just wanted to put up this recipe to accompany my Potted Beef  Sandwich Filler recipe from earlier.

Ghee is just clarified butter. You can melt the butter in a saucepan until the whey proteins float to the surface and scoop em off with a spoon, but that takes forever. Heres a quicker way!

Ingredients:

  • Butter

Method:

  1. Heat a saucepan over a medium heat and melt the butter. Allow the butter to bubble until white foam starts to appear on the surface of the butter. Do not stir. When the butter is foaming, allow it to cook for around 1 minute. You don’t want to burn it.
  2. Grab a strainer and place some cheesecloth (or a coffee filter) inside the strainer and place over a heatproof jug/jar.
  3. Pour the melted butter through the cheesecloth/coffee filter. You may need to repeat this step if the liquid in the jug/jar looks murky. The liquid should be clear yellow.
  4. Once all the liquid has passed through the strainer, discard the filter/contents of the cheesecloth.
  5. Let the liquid cool down. cover and place in the fridge.
  6. Done. Ghee can be used for Indian cooking, melting on veggies, or even as an alternative to butter for people with an intolerance to lactose.
Recipes, Savoury

Potted Beef Sandwich Filler

Potted Beef Sandwich Filler wlogoHey, Mark here. Sorry for the photo, there’s only so much you can do to make a photo of brown mush look pretty, but bear with me here.

Being born and raised in the UK, there were certain lunch staples I loved growing up. This is one of them. Sometimes its called “potted beef” or “Yorkshire beef” or even just old “beef spread”. When I moved to Australia, I couldn’t find this stuff. So, after craving it for 3 years, I thought I’d make my own. This isn’t the nasty gritty stuff in a jar nor is it made with offal; This is spreadable steak (!!!!) and it’s fantastic. Best of all, you know exactly what has gone into making it and it’s really easy to cook it in a slow cooker! YUM!

Ingredients:

Optional:

  • 1tsp Yeast Extract (enhances the natural beef flavour)
  • 1tbs Tomato paste/concentrated tomato puree (because Beef and Tomato spread is the best thing ever)

Method:

  1. Put beef in your slow cooker and cover with enough stock to slightly submerge the chunks, toss in the garlic clove. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  2. When the beef is super tender and can be pulled apart easily with 2 forks, remove the garlic and dispose of it.
  3. Remove the meat from the liquid stock. *DO NOT THROW AWAY THE STOCK*
  4. put the cooked beef in a food processor and add 1 ladle of stock. Pulse the processor until the meat is reduced to small fibers, similar to pulled pork/beef, but a little finer.
  5. Scoop out the beef into a mixing bowl and, while the meat is still hot, add salt, pepper, and your optional ingredients, if you’re using them. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Now, one ladle at a time, add more stock and mix after each ladle. Repeat this until the mixture is very slightly runny. (around 2 or 3 ladles of stock should do, it’ll firm up in the fridge, don’t worry).
  7. Place in a resealable container and allow to cool
  8. Melt the Ghee in the microwave and pour over the top and allow the Ghee to set. this will create a seal on top your spread and keep it fresher for longer. Store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  9. Enjoy on toast for breakfast, in a sandwich for lunch or just grab a forkful whenever you want a beefy treat.
Recipes, Savoury

Rigatoni Pie

rigatoni pie logo.jpgWe absolutely love pasta in our household. We try not to eat it often but sometimes we go all out, like with this marvellous creation. The pie holds together so well when it’s rested and cooled slightly, so it’s easy to portion out the same amount to each person. Or you could just sit there and eat the whole thing on your own…

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of Hidden Veg Bolognese
  • 500g  rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella

 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200ºc. While the oven is preheating, bring a pot of water to the boil and salt the water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5-6 minutes, so it’s pliable but not cooked through, then drain.
  2. While the pasta is hot, toss about 2 tablespoons of parmesan into the pasta so that it melts. This will act like a glue and also gives the pasta a great flavour.
  3. Once pasta is cool enough to touch, grab a cake pan (a 22cm spring form cake pan is ideal), place a little hidden veg bolognese sauce on the bottom and start assembling your pie. Start by standing the pasta up  around the outside of the cake pan and work your way in. You’ll need every bit of pasta, so squeeze them all in wherever you can.
  4. Start ladling on the hidden veg bolognese sauce, and tapping the pan on the bench so that the sauce goes down the holes. Keep pouring the sauce on bit by bit until you can no longer see any air bubbles popping up. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the foil and add on the mozzarella and the rest of the parmesan cheese and bake for a further 30-35 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Let the pie rest for about 15-20 minutes so that it has time to settle. Unclip the pan, slice and serve.
Recipes, Savoury, Sweets

Maple Bacon French Toast

maple bacon french toast logo.jpg

Through out my childhood my mum would  love making french toast for our family breakfast on the weekends to use up some of our free range eggs collected right from our backyard. We always just ate our french toast simple, just a sprinkling of sugar. It wasn’t until I was in my mid teens that I started experimenting with food a bit more adventurously and discovered bacon and french toast are a match made in heaven!

 

Ingredients:

  • Bacon and cheese loaf, sliced (pull apart loaf or white bread will work just as well)
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup + extra for drizzling
  • 8 rashers of maple bacon (plain smoked streaky bacon will also work)
  • Approximately 10g butter

 

Method:

  1. In a cold pan, add the bacon and then turn to a medium heat and cook until crispy. Set aside on some paper towel.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, cream and maple syrup and soak the bread for long enough to only make the bread wet and not fall apart about 5-7 seconds. Heat a pan to a medium heat and melt the butter in the pan and cook the french toast for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden.
  3. Arrange the bacon and french toast how ever you like and drizzle with more maple syrup if you wish.
    Serve with hash browns and/or fried or poached egg.
Recipes, Savoury

Homemade Chicken Parmigiana

chicken parm logo.jpg

Here in Australia, chicken parmigiana is basically a staple in every single pub you go to. They have to be the most popular item on any menu and it’s easy to see why! Chicken, ham, sauce and cheese? I mean c’mon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of Juicy Chicken Schnitzel  (but you want to butterfly the breasts so they create one big schnitzel rather than halve the breasts)
  • 1 Jar of napoli sauce, or any pasta sauce of your choice
  • Approximately 8 thin slices of virginian ham, or any other lightly smoked ham
  • 2 cups of mozzarella, or 8 slices of mozzarella
  • Thinly sliced basil to serve

 

Method:

  1. Once you have prepped your schnitzels, preheat your grill/broiler to a medium high heat. Place a few tablespoons of your pasta sauce of choice onto the schnitzels, then a layer of ham and then your mozzarella.
  2. Place the parmigianas under the grill for approximately 5-8 minutes or until the mozzarella becomes golden and bubbly. Sprinkle the basil on top and serve with salad and chips if you want it to feel like pub grub at home! It’s that easy.
Recipes, Savoury

Homemade Pasta Dough

pasta dough logo        Makes approximately 600g of pasta.

Pasta is always a great, easy dinner. Sure you can buy some great “fresh” pasta from your supermarket. But why, when it’s so easy and cheap to make it yourself in a standard food mixer?

Fresh is always best!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups 00 flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • Water

 

Method:

  1. Place the flour, egg and salt into a mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attachment first. Place onto a low speed for about 60 seconds. Then in 1/2 tablespoon increments add water. You want the dough to come together but not to be wet.
  2. Change the flat beater to a dough hook and on a low speed let it knead for 2 minutes.  Then place it onto a lightly floured bench and knead by hand for 2 more  minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Then divide dough into 4 portions and put through a pasta roller to make sheets of pasta perfect for lasagne, or you could then put the sheets through a spaghetti attachment to have with your bolognese sauce!
  3. After rolling your pasta out, be sure to use flour or semolina to keep them from sticking together. Have a big pot of boiling salted water handy and place the pasta into the pot and cook till tender, anywhere between 3-6 minutes. Drain and drizzle with olive oil to avoid pasta sticking.

 

Recipes, Savoury

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

smashed potatoes logo.jpg

These crispy little gems of goodness pair  well with any dinner! Or even as an any time snack 😉

 

Ingredients: 

  • 4-5 potatoes, unpeeled and halved
  • salt  and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 springs rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

 

Method: 

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are knife tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
  2. In a large heavy based pan, add the oil and heat over a medium high heat.
  3. Once oil is hot, add the potatoes one at a time and use a masher to squish the potato slightly, it doesn’t matter if it breaks apart a little bit, this will create extra crispy bits!
  4. Leave the potatoes for about 5-10 minutes and then season with salt and pepper. When potatoes are starting to look golden around the edges carefully flip them over. After 2 minutes or so add the rosemary and the garlic and give the pan a little swish so it distributes the herbs and garlic  and season again to your liking. Give the potatoes another 5-8 minutes and then place them onto paper towel to drain the oil.