Honey Balsamic Lamb Cutlets

When lamb is on special in the supermarket, I like to buy cutlets and make a special dinner with them. They are so delicious. This is an easy recipe for 2 which can easily be doubled or tripled to cater for more people. I served mine with individual potato bakes, cubed carrots and baby peas.

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Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Place lamb cutlets in a bowl.  Mix other ingredients in a jug and pour over cutlets and coat each cutlet in the marinade. Leave for an hour.
  • Grill the lamb chops for 2 to 3 minutes each side until medium-rare, reserve the marinade.
  • Pour the leftover marinade into a small saucepan and using a medium heat, allow to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Arrange the lamb chops on a platter. Spoon the sauce over the top or serve the sauce on the side.

 

Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken

This meal is full of flavour and easy to prepare. Put it in the slow cooker and forget about it for hours. Lovely served with sour cream or Greek yoghurt.

 

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  •  1 kilo of chicken pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • I onion,  finely chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup of pitted green olives
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons  tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Preparation

  • Place chicken pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle the olives and capsicum over it.
  • Add all the other ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir around to ensure the chicken is well coated.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Add peas and turn slow cooker off, wait 5 minutes for peas to heat through.
  • Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

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Banana Caramel Chocolate Stack

This dessert tastes amazing. You can pre prepare the ingredients and assemble just before serving. You can make the ingredients from scratch or buy pre made, depending on your skill level and the time you have available. This is a great dessert to share between two people.

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Cut two rounds of chocolate cake 2 cms high using a 9 cm food ring. (I baked a cake in a baking sheet so it was the right height. If you have a deeper cake you will need to slice it across the middle.) I used my recipe (link above) as it is nice and moist.

 

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Place a round of cake in the bottom of the food ring. Pipe or spoon a layer of cream on top.

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Stand banana slices up inside the ring on top of the cream.

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Spoon dulce de leche on top of the bananas (zap in the microwave for 30 seconds if the dulce de leche is too stiff)

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Carefully remove the food ring. Place another round of cake on top. Pipe or spoon cream on top of the cake. Place some sliced bananas on top of the cream. Sprinkle with the flake bar or grated chocolate. Dot chocolate sauce around the plate and serve immediately.

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Brazilian Fish Stew – (Moqueca de peixe)

I first saw this recipe on an SBS Food Safari episode on the food of Brazil. This colourful recipe produces an awesome seafood stew with fresh flavours that pop in your mouth. I knew I had to try the recipe and have been making it now for years. I have adapted the recipe slightly to suit my tastebuds and availability of produce in the centre of Australia. I often use frozen fish and prawns, allowing them to defrost fully first.  You can have this dish on the table in about 30 minutes which includes preparation time. Serve with steamed rice for an amazing family meal.

 

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 kg thick, firm, white fish fillets or 1 kg shelled green prawns, or a mixture of both
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus extra to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 long red chillies, chopped (deseeded if you like less heat)
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced
  • 5 ripe tomatoes chopped or 1 tin of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 250 ml fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped (reserve some leaves to garnish)
  • spring onions, finely sliced, to garnish

Preparation

  • While you are preparing the vegetables, marinate the fish in the lime juice.  If you are using prawns do not marinate them as they start cooking in the juice and will toughen.
  • In a large pot or frypan, sauté the garlic, onion, ginger, chilli, capsicum and tomato in olive oil over medium heat until a sauce is formed. Taste and then season with the salt and pepper and add tomato sauce. Add the stock and fish and simmer gently until just cooked. If using a combination of fish and prawns, add the prawns later as they cook in less time.
  • Stir through the chopped coriander. Place in a serving dish and squeeze over some extra lime juice.
  • Sprinkle with the spring onions and extra coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

braz

Blueberry Muffins with a Lemon Drizzle

Muffins straight out of the oven are hard to resist. These muffins are so moist thanks to the addition of yoghurt and a lemon drizzle over the top when the come out of the oven. They keep very well… you won’t have that problem though, as they are so delicious they will vanish quickly. Put your feet up, grab a cuppa and treat yourself to one of these muffins.  You deserve it!

 

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Ingredients – Muffins

  • 3 cups  self-raising flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 grams butter, melted
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen  blueberries

Ingredients – Lemon Drizzle

  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice

Preparation – Muffins

  • Turn on oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Sift flour and sugar into bowl, mixing well to combine.
  • In another bowl add cooled melted butter, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla extract.  Whisk lightly to combine.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, being careful not to over-mix.
  • Fold through the blueberries gently so they don’t break up.
  • Spoon batter into a greased and floured muffin tin or use muffin cases.
  • Bake in the oven approximately 20 minutes or until golden.

 

Preparation – Lemon Drizzle

  • Add ingredients into small saucepan and put over low heat to slowly dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture reduce for a few minutes. Take off the heat and allow to  cool slightly.
  • Turn muffins onto a wire rack. Place the rack over a tray to avoid spills.  Poke each muffin a few times with a skewer. Spoon the syrup over each muffin until it is all used. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
    The hot syrup must be poured onto the hot muffins so that they absorb the syrup.

Tip: If you want to ensure the fruit does not sink to the bottom,  toss  them in a tablespoon or two of flour from the recipe’s dry ingredients — just enough flour to give them a coating. Then, fold the flour-coated fruit into the batter as the very last step before baking. This coating of flour absorbs some of the liquid released by the fruit as it bakes and keeps the fruit in fruit in place until the cake sets.

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Dulce de Leche – Electric Pressure Cooker Method

The method most of us know is to heat the can for hours and hours on the stovetop. Who has time for that? Plus worrying if the saucepan boils dry (I do know people who have done this and had to scrape hot goop off the ceiling). This recipe has a short cooking time and a long cooling down time as in other recipes. Best made overnight really. Dulce de leche  means  candy of milk or milk jelly in Spanish. It is a rich sauce or syrup, similar in flavor to caramel. Unlike caramel, however, which is made by heating sugar, dulce de leche is prepared by heating sweetened condensed milk. When the condensed  milk is cooked, the underlying process that transforms it into dulce de leche is the Maillard reaction which is similar but not the same as caramelisation. Making your own is easy and it tastes so much better than the tins of caramel you get in the supermarket. You can prepare tins in advance and store them in your pantry until you need to use it.  When you open the tin and are not going to use it all immediately (not sure if this ever happens LOL), place in a container and tightly cover and refrigerate.  Dulce de leche will keep for a month this way. Please take note of the safety tips at the bottom of this post. Once you have prepared Dulce De leche , there are many ways to use it including:

  • Banoffee Pie… who doesn’t enjoy this classic dessert
  • Use a liquid dulce de leche as a dessert spread
  • As a cake filling or as a filling between two biscuits
  • As a spread on toast
  • Warmed and poured over pancakes
  • Warmed and served as an ice cream topping
  • Fill pastries or tarts
  • Make Ice Cream
  • Straight out of the can..( naughty but nice)

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Preparation

  • Prepare the pressure cooker by adding the trivet and steamer basket. Place the can on the steamer basket, being careful that it does not touch the sides or base of the pressure cooker. Do not skip this step. The can cannot be in direct contact with the base or sides of the pressure cooker.
  • Fill the pressure cooker with enough water to cover the can. Put the can on its side to make sure it is fully submerged while not exceeding the “maximum capacity” of the pressure cooker.
  • Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Select the high setting and 15 minutes of  cooking time. it will take a while for the cooker to build up steam.
  • When the time is up, unplug the cooker and allow it to cool down naturally (overnight preferably). You must not allow the automatic keep warm mode to kick in. Do not remove the can from the cooker or attempt to open it while it is warm.
  • The next day, when completely cool, the can can be stored as it is or opened to use.
  • If the dulce de leche is too stiff, reheat on a medium setting on the microwave for 1 minute, check and stir and reheat in small bursts if a softer sauce is required.

CAUTION:

A few safety considerations when pressure cooking a can:

  •  Ensure the can is not damaged or nicked in any way
  • Remove the label, unless it’s printed on the can
  • DO NOT remove the can from the pressure cooker while the water in which it is submerged is still warm (the contents of the can are still under pressure)
  • DO NOT jostle or shake the pressure cooker containing a heated can.
  • DO NOT open the can while it is still warm (the contents may still be under pressure) – let it cool overnight before opening.

Serving Suggestion – Banoffee Pie

 

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Chicken Diane

This dish has a real retro vibe. It reminds me when Steak Diane was all the rage. That was a dish often flambéed at your table in upmarket restaurants in the 50’s and 60’s. it fell out of favour in the 80’s. Bring it back I say! This dish is easy to make and so delicious.

 

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Season the chicken, and then cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Place chicken on a tray and place in the  oven and roast for 5 minutes or until cooked and golden.
  • Return the frypan to a medium heat, add spring onions and soften for 1 minute, stirring. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in stock, mustard, sauce, brandy and cream, bring to the boil, and then simmer on medium heat for 2-3 minutes till the sauce reduces by half. Stir in the parsley.
  • Place the chicken back in the frypan and coat in the sauce.
  • Serve the chicken with sauce and vegetables of your choice.