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

Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake

pesto chicken pasta bake logo.jpgServes about 4 people

This makes a great quick weeknight meal. So delish, cheap and quick, everyone will love it! This works best with a chunky home made pesto, otherwise a good quality shop bought one will be fine also.

Ingredients:

  • 500g Penne pasta, fresh or dried is fine
  • 1 Small jar of basil pesto, or you could even use a sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella

Method

  1. Grease a baking dish and preheat oven to 200ºc. Cook pasta till just under cooked (it will continue to cook in the oven) and  keep about 2/3 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, or in the same pot you boiled the pasta in mix together the pesto, chicken and pasta water and transfer to the greased baking dish and top with the mozzarella. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden.
  3. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes and serve with garlic bread.
Recipes, Savoury

Mexican Short Rib Burritos

burrito logo.jpg

Makes 4

Mexican food is probably one of my favourite foods. I decided one day that I really wanted a nice tender beefy burrito, and so here it is!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 6-8 beef short ribs
  • Packet of taco seasoning (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 150g chilies in adobo sauce pureed
  • Oil for searing
  • 1 large bulb of garlic, cut horizontally
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups of melty cheese with flavour (Cheddar, colby etc.)
  • 2 cups of Mexican rice (I used a packet of instant rice)
  • Sour cream and guacamole for serving (Coriander/ Cilantro is optional)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine the taco seasoning, brown sugar, tomato sauce and  chillies in adobo sauce and then add the ribs. Mix well, cover and refrigerate  for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160ºc. In a large heavy based pot, heat some oil over a medium heat and sear the ribs until brown on all sides. Add the garlic, the marinade from the ribs and the wine. Make sure while mixing you scrape the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the beef stock. Cover with the pot lid, or with foil and bake in the oven for 2-3 hours, basting the meat occasionally until the meat is tender. Uncover the pot and cook for a further 25-30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the ribs to a plate and scoop off any excess fat from the pot and then strain the sauce and squeeze out the garlic through the sieve as well and mix it into the sauce.
  4. Pull the rib meat off the bone and chop into smaller pieces and place back into the sauce. Turn the oven up to 200ºc.
  5. Scoop some meat onto a tortilla with a few tablespoons of the Mexican rice and sprinkle some cheese over it. Wrap it up and place it into a greased baking dish and repeat until you are out of meat. If you have any sauce left, spoon some on top of the burritos and sprinkle a little more cheese on top.
  6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, lime wedge and a sprinkle of coriander if you wish (Ew, coriander).
Recipes, Sweets

Cinnamon Scrolls

Cinnamon scrolls 1 logo.jpg

Makes:  9

I love fresh bread and it’s so easy to make your own baked bread at home not to mention healthier too.
Some day I really fancied a cinnamon scroll and there just weren’t any recipes that stood out to me. So I came up with my own recipe using a basic sweet dough recipe. The bread improver just helps it rise more and gives it a softer texture too but you don’t have to use it.

Ingredients:

  • 290ml warm water
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons milk powder
  • 1 tsp bread improver (optional)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (sachet of yeast)
  • 100g softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method:

  1. In a jug, pour in the warm water and dissolve the sugar and yeast in it and set it aside to activate. In a bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment put it the bread flour, egg, melted butter and milk powder and put it onto a medium low speed. While it mixes pour in the water and yeast mixture. Let the dough come together and then add the salt to the dough and let it knead for 5-10 minutes. Set it aside with a tea towel to rise for 1 hour.
  2. Roll out  the dough into a rectangle shape about 1cm thick. Spread the butter all over the dough and then sprinkle over the brown sugar and cinnamon, you can add extra cinnamon if you like it like I do! don’t be scared to use more if you feel it needs it.
  3. Line and grease a rectangular baking dish (roasting dish) with baking paper. Roll the dough up into a log and divide into 9 portions and place into the baking dish about 2-3 cm apart and cover again with a tea towel to rise for 35-50 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 170ºc and bake the cinnamon scrolls for 25-30 minutes. Let the scrolls cool a bit before icing. Once cooled for about 1 hour, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, you want it to be a bit thick but still be able to drizzle, add more powdered sugar if it’s too runny. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon scrolls.

 

Recipes, Sweets

The Best Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

 

Cheesecake.jpg

Serves: 12

I’m not usually one for baked cheesecake, I’m more of a fridge/gelatin set cheesecake girl. But when I tested out this recipe I haven’t eaten another since. This recipe is the perfect base for you to add whatever you like to the crumb base or even to the cheesecake mixture itself. I’ve even made a chocolate marbled cheesecake with this recipe and it worked out just as well!

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter snap biscuits
  • 50g walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 60g melted butter
  • 500g softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 125g sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 250g strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5-7 basil leaves thinly sliced

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160ºc. Lightly grease and line a 20 cm spring form cake pan.
  2. Process biscuits and nuts in a food processor (or just place in a zip lock bag and bash with a rolling pin) until finely crushed. Add the cinnamon and butter and process till the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour mixture into the tin, press down and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Beat in flour and salt. Beat in the sugar, sour cream and vanilla until well combined. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, until just combined. Pour mixture over the biscuit base.
  4. Bake for 55 minutes or until just set, but still has a slight wobble in the centre. Turn the oven off and open the oven door about 10cm and cool the cheesecake in the oven, then refrigerate for 4 hours or over night.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the strawberries into quarters and place into a bowl with the sugar and basil and let sit until ready to serve with the cheesecake.
Recipes, Sweets

Salted Chocolate Muffins

 


choc muffin

Makes 12

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of choc chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp flaked salt + extra for decoration

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons softened butter (14g= 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • 250g softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200ºc and grease a muffin tray, or alternatively use muffin pans.
  2. In a big bowl combine your flour, sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the egg, sour cream, milk, vanilla and vegetable oil, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix only until just combined, it doesn’t matter if there are a few lumps of flour not mixed in.
  4. Fill your muffin cups 3/4 of the way and then bake for approximately 20 minutes for a fan forced oven or 25-30 minutes for a conventional oven, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  5. Let cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating.

 

 

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

IMG_9054

 

  1. In a pan over a medium heat, melt the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of the butter until dissolved and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Transfer the caramel to a heat proof bowl to cool down to room temperature, mixing occasionally.
  2. Place remaining butter into a bowl of a stand mixer along with the cream cheese and beat on a medium high speed. Add the vanilla and salt.
  3. With the mixer running, slowly pour the caramel mixture in until smooth.
  4. Add the powdered sugar gradually, mixing well in between. Chill for an hour or so for a firmer texture and so it’s easier to pipe onto your muffins. For one final touch, sprinkle the finished product with some flaked salt.

Note: If you over mix your muffin batter they’ll become chewy.