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.
Recipes, Savoury

Eggplant Parmesan

eggplant parm.jpgServes: 4

This is one of my all time favourite vegetarian dishes. I found a recipe quite a few years ago when I was looking for ideas for Meat free Mondays and it caught my eye. My family claimed they didn’t like eggplant but they devoured every last morsel.
My fiancee is one of the fussiest eaters I know and not long after being together I got him to try this and this has become his favourite vegetarian dish also!  This was also the first dish I made where I learnt to make my very own bechamel sauce.
I’ve adapted the recipe over the years and have found myself sticking to this one. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 free range eggs, whisked
  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced 5mm thick
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 700ml passata
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (14g)
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Handful shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella

Method:

  1. Sprinkle some salt onto the eggplant slices and let sit for 15 minutes to draw out some moisture. For the tomato sauce, in a pot over a medium heat, add a bit of olive oil and add the onion, sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onion (this keeps the onion from sticking and burning) and cook till it softens. then add the garlic, chilli flakes, passata, tomatoes, a few leaves of fresh basil and a tsp of caster sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer till it reduces slightly, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºc. Wipe any moisture off the eggplant slices. Dip into the egg, then bread crumbs, repeat with remaining eggplant. Place in a single layer on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until crisp.
  3. For the bechamel sauce, in a medium pot over a medium low heat, melt the butter until it starts to bubble, then add the flour and cook for about 30-60 seconds to cook off the floury taste. Add about half the milk and give it a whisk to get rid of any lumps, then add remaining milk and whisk again. Let this simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until thickened (but not too thick). Add your cheese gradually and mix through till all melted in. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a baking dish, spread a layer of tomato sauce onto the bottom, then a single layer of eggplant and repeat until out of sauce and eggplant. On top pour over the bechamel sauce and sprinkle on a couple of handfuls of mozzarella.
  5. Bake at 200ºc for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Recipes, Savoury

Gnocchi

gnocchi

Serves:4

I love making homemade gnocchi. I find it very therapeutic. These are like soft pillows of heaven and they pair beautifully with any kind of pasta sauce. I personally prefer to serve these with pesto and cream, or with burnt butter and sage sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Desiree potatoes
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 200g-300g 00 flour sifted

 

Method:

  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan and fill with water and cover. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a medium heat and continue to cook till soft which will take about 25-30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, peel them and pass through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt, add the egg, 200g of the flour and gently mix through. Add additional flour only as needed until the dough is very soft but cohesive.
  4. Roll the dough lightly onto a floured surface and add a little more flour if it’s still sticky. Divide the dough into 4 portions and lightly roll the dough into sausages, but be careful not to overwork the dough.
  5. Cut into bite sized pieces and place onto floured tray. This part is optional, if you have a gnocchi board (or you could use the back of a fork) use your thumb to flick the gnocchi into little ridged shapes.
  6. Place the gnocchi in batches into the boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the top, this means they’re done (this only takes about 60 seconds).

Note: The 00 flour is a finer flour which makes for a lighter dough, and doesn’t allow for as much moisture to be absorbed.

Don’t knead your gnocchi too much as they’ll become tough. Try and gently move it into shape using your finger tips.

 

Recipes, Savoury

“Crap” Cakes

crap ceeks.jpg

                                                                      Makes 6

This recipe was created by my mother when I was very young and has ever since been a go to side when we have left over egg mixture and bread crumbs when making schnitzels. Why waste those perfectly good seasoned bread crumbs? I personally like mine still a little bit gooey in the middle.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Cheese and herbs of your choice

 

Method:

  1. Whisk eggs then add just enough bread crumbs to create a loose batter. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add half a hand full of cheese and a tablespoon of herbs and mix well.
  3. Heat a pan over a medium high heat and add a knob of butter. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of batter and cook for about 2 minutes each side, or until golden brown on each side.
  4. Delicious served with any kind of sauce!