Recipes, Savoury

Hidden Veg Bolognese

spag bol sauce logo.jpgServes 4

My fiancée is one of the fussiest eaters I know and really doesn’t enjoy eating a lot of veg. Occasionally I’ll find ways of adding veg into our meals (with him knowing of course) so we both still get some of our 5 a day. This recipe is one of the best bolognese sauces I have created to date.  If you’re a parent with fussy little ones, or even a fussy partner like me, this will please everyone!

 

Ingredients:

  • Oil
  • 500g good beef mince
  • 500g pork and veal mince
  • 1 large carrot, grated or 2 small carrots
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), grated
  • 3 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 400g tins of diced tomatoes
  • 1 700ml jar passata
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Small bunch fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • salt and pepper

 

Method:

  1. Heat a large heavy based pot over a medium high heat and add about 1 tablespoon of oil and brown off all the mince, making sure you season with some salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the meat out into a bowl and then drain the fat and juices from the pot. Set meat aside.
  2. Turn heat down to a medium heat and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and celery first and a little salt and cook till slightly softened. Then add the rest of the vegetables and garlic with the pinch of chilli flakes if you’re using them. Continue to cook the veg until sweated down and softened.
  3. Return the mince to the pot with the vegetables and then add the tinned tomatoes, passata, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, dried oregano, dried basil, fresh basil, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Mix thoroughly, turn down to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes-1 hour (the longer the better).
  4. Taste the sauce and decide whether you need more salt, pepper or sugar. Add the milk and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and with a stick blender just give the sauce a quick blitz to the consistency you desire.
    Enjoy with spaghetti, or even use the sauce for a lasagne.
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

Homemade Juicy Burgers

burger logo.jpgMakes 4 Burgers

I love burgers, but some days you just cant be bothered to leave the house and go out to your fave burger joint. But you can easily enjoy a great burger right at home, and you know exactly what is going into it!

Ingredients:

  • 500g good quality premium mince, divided into 4 portions
  • Cheese slices of your choice (if you choose to use cheese)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 brioche buns
  • Any toppings you desire

 

Method:

  1. Make sure your mince is cold. Form the portions into balls and flatten them out to about the size of your bun and make a thumb indentation in the centre (this is for more even cooking). Season them generously with salt and pepper just like you would a steak.
  2. Preheat a heavy based skillet over a medium high heat (no oil required), and when it is hot, add the patties. They only need about 5 minutes on each side for medium done burgers, or a bit longer if you like em well done. When you’re about half way through cooking the patties on the other side add your slices of cheese and place a lid over the top. This creates steam which helps melt the cheese and also finishes cooking the patty.
  3. Remove the patties from the pan and set aside to rest for a few minutes. In the mean time place your buns in the same pan cut side down to toast them to your liking. Assemble the burger any way you like with your favourite toppings and you’ve got yourself a delicious homemade burger better than any take away.
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, Savoury

Garlic Chicken Kiev

chicken kiev logo.jpgMakes: 4

I love garlic and I love chicken, so of course I love kievs! But it’s so hard these day to find a good kiev  that’s not completely processed and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. This recipe gives you the best of the both worlds, cheap to make and not minced up with other chicken bits you’d rather not know about!

Ingredients:

  • 4 smallish chicken breast fillets, skins removed
  • 100g softened butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried parsley + another  2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • Oil for frying

 

Method:

  1. First, to make the garlic butter you need to mix the minced garlic, butter, parsley and a little bit of salt and pepper together. Once mixed, lay out some glad wrap and scoop the butter onto the glad wrap and wrap it up into a log and put into the fridge to set.
  2. Carefully stick a sharp knife into the sides of the chicken breasts to make a hole into the centre of the chicken breast. Cut some discs of the garlic butter and stuff as much as you can into it without it breaking open. Use either wooden or metal skewers to hold shut the cavity you made for the butter so that the butter doesn’t completely  run out when cooking.
  3. Mix the bread crumbs with the extra 2 tsp of parsley, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg and then coat in the bread crumbs.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Heat a heavy based pan over a medium high heat and add about 2 tablespoons of oil. Once pan is hot add your kievs to the pan and cook on all sides for a couple minutes. Place the kievs in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let them rest on a rack for 10 minutes, remove the skewers and then serve with salad or steamed veggies.

Tip:

Use the left over breadcrumbs to make (More delicious than they sound) crap cakes

Recipes, Savoury

Crustless Quiche

Quiche logo.jpgServes 6

For as long as I can remember my mum has made this quiche for our family. She’d sometimes have to make 2 so we’d have lunches for the next day but usually they both wouldn’t see the night out. This recipe is just the basis to a great crustless quiche. Mum has added all sorts of stuff to it before to use up ingredients we had on hand, like tomato, mushrooms and chorizo, so feel free to add what ever you like!

Ingredients:

  • 8 xlarge free range eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup cheese of your liking (optional but it gives it a nice golden crisp outside)
  • 6 rashers of bacon, diced. Or 150g diced bacon
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

 

Method:

  1. Cook bacon in a fry pan till nearly crispy. Set aside to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 170ºc.
  2. Grease a quiche dish. In a big bowl whisk the eggs and season to your liking with salt and pepper. Add the milk, cream and cheese and whisk till well combined. Then whisk in the flour, parsley and bacon. Pour the mixture into your greased dish, sprinkle a little more cheese on and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until risen and golden on top and no longer jiggles in the centre. Let it cool down for about 10-15 minutes. It will deflate, so don’t worry about it if it does.
  3. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.
Recipes, Savoury

Creamy Coconut Rice

 

coconut rice logo.jpg

Makes enough for 4 people

I still remember the first time I ever tried coconut rice, it was on a long flight on the way back from a trip to the UK. I thought to myself “OMG I have to learn to make this”. Over time I’ve adjusted the measurements and I believe I’ve come up with the best creamy rice to accompany any curry! Just like our Chicken curry.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 400g tin coconut cream
  • 3 cm piece ginger sliced
  • 1 tsp salt

 

Method:

  1. Place the rinsed rice into a rice cooker along with the water, coconut cream, ginger and salt and turn your rice cooker on and start cooking.
  2. Stir every 5-10 minutes till done. Discard the ginger. Serve with curry or it would make a great accompaniment to any dish with spice!

 

Recipes, Savoury

Hawaiian Chicken

hawaiian chicken logo.jpg

Serves: 2

Hey, Mark here, tonight’s recipe is a quickie. My father-in-law introduced me to this recipe that he found. Since then I’ve made a couple of changes that I think work for the better. If you want the original recipe, click here. With all that out the way, lets get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 large chicken breasts, diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of corn flour + 1tbp for thickening
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large Jalapeno, finely diced (leave seeds in, if you dare)
  • 1 tin Pineapple chunks

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C
  2. In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish.
  4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, crushed garlic, and cornstarch. Add the Jalapeno and pineapple chunks. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Serve with steamed rice.
Recipes, Savoury

Chicken and Cornflake Casserole

cornflake chicken casserole logo.jpg

Serves: 4

Hey everyone, Mark here, posting a quick recipe that’s absolutely delicious and a little bit different. This is a recipe from my mum and it’s still one of my favourite quick dishes to make and eat. This is a saucy chicken dish topped with cornflakes and a light sprinkle of cheese and then baked until golden and delicious. Let’s crack on!

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts diced nice and chunky
  • 2 400g tins of cream of tomato soup
  • 1 – 2 tsp Dry Basil
  • A few handfuls of Cornflakes – enough to cover the top of your casserole
  • Some nice strong cheddar cheese, again, enough to cover your casserole
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  1. Pour your tins of soup into a large bowl and season with Basil
  2. Dice the chicken in case you haven’t already
  3. Place diced chicken in your casserole dish and season it generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over the soup mixture
  5.  Optional step: Marinate for at least 30 minutes
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 200°C
  7. Remove from oven and top with a good thick layer of cornflakes, top the cornflakes with your cheddar cheese.
  8. Return to the oven uncovered for a further 20 minutes or until the cheese has gone golden brown
  9. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Tips

  • Before topping with cornflakes, put a layer of mozzarella on, then the cornflakes THEN the cheddar and then…finally…a sprinkle of parmesan. Oh my. Cheese-tastic!
  • Try this with white fish instead of chicken. Just as yummy and how it was originally created!
  • If you’re using a fan forced oven, you may need to reduce the cooking times by 5 minutes or so.
Recipes, Savoury

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Mushroom sauce logo.jpgMakes approx 1 1/2 cups

This sauce goes great with any  meat! especially with my Juicy Chicken Schnitzel.
It’s super creamy and has a nice hit of garlic too.

 

Ingredients:

  • 250g swiss brown mushrooms
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 300ml thickened cream

 

Method:

  1. In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the oil and butter and then add the garlic, cook for about a minute or until fragrant and then add the mushrooms and season with a little bit of salt. Continue to cook the mushrooms till softened and they start to release their juices.
  2. Turn the heat up to a medium high heat and add the wine. Let the wine reduce to about half, turn the heat down to low an add the cream. Let the sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure it doesn’t boil. The sauce will reduce and thicken slightly. Serve with chicken, beef or pork!