May 21st, 2009 No comments

This is a new recipe that we picked up from the May 2009 edition of Delicious Magazine (page 61 for those playing at home). I made it a couple weeks ago and it was divine, and I tried it again last night and is was fantastic again. this is sure to be a new favourite in our house. I have never cooked with squid before really, I know if is yummy, and love salt and pepper squid, I just guess that is reminds me of baiting hooks on Zinkwazi or something. I have tried this with both fresh and frozen squid, and both work well, but of course try get fresh squid if possible.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium sized red chilli
1 tbs chopped coriander leaves (plus extra sprigs to serve)
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
200ml dry white wine
2 (500ml) cups fish stock
2 squid tubes, cleaned
500g fettuccine
lemon wedges to serve

Cut the squid tubes in half and then cut the flat halves into 3cm square pieces. Place each piece on a choppin board with the outside of the squid facing down. On the bias score 2mm strips into the squid, not cutting all the way through, do the same in the opposite direction to create a hatched pattern. Set the squid aside.

Heat half th oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add herbs and cook for further 3-4 minutes until onion is golden. Add tomato paste and cook stirring for 2 minutes or until the tomato paste deepens in colour. Degalze the pan by adding the wine and allowing it to reduce for 3-4 minutes. Add the fish stock the season with sea salt and freshly gound black pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in a separate fry pan over medium-high heat. in 2-3 batches cook the calamari until golden. I find that adding it skin-side down helps, and the hatch pattern scored into the calamari causes them ro roll up into cute little twists. Drain the cooked calamari on a paper towel.

Add calamari to the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes until calamari is tender and sauce is reduced.

Meanwhile cook the fettuccine according to packet instructions in boiling salted water. Drain, then return the pasta to the pan and stir though 2-3 spoonfuls of the sauce. Divide the pasta among bowls, top with a generous spoonful of sauce, then serve with coriander and lemon wedges.

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May 12th, 2009 1 comment

This is a rich rice dish, like a pilaf. Cooked with chicken livers and pork mince, and the Creole base of onions, celery and capsicum. It’s a one-pot spicy dish found throughout the south of the USA. More often than not New Orleans cooks would use lard, but I this version uses Ghee. The ‘dirty’ in the recipe name comes from the brown look that the rice takes on. The ratio of mince to livers can be adjusted to taste


300g pork mince
300g chicken livers, cleaned and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons ghee (or butter)
1 small onion finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 green capsicum, cored and finely chopped
1 red capsicum, cored and finely chopped
1 cup long grain rice, rinsed and drained
500ml chicken stock
few sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
tabasco sauce to taste
Small bunch parsley, finely shopped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Sauté the pork mince in a non-stick frying pan until browned then add the livers and continue cooking gently until they are no longer pink. Tip off any excess fat and set the meat aside.

In the same pan melt the Ghee, then add the onion, celery, capsicum and garlic. Stir over a gentle heat for about 4 minutes until softened.

Mix the meat and vegetables together in a large ceramic oven-proof dish, then add the rice, stock, thyme, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, and a little salt. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes, give the mixture a good stir, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is soft.

Remove the bay leaf, season with salt, pepper and Tabasco and stir in the chopped parsley.

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April 12th, 2009 2 comments

This dish is very quick and easy – perfect for a busy midweek meal.


2 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless

2 T mustard (Hot and/or mild English)

2 T milk

1½ C grated mature cheddar cheese

¼ C plain flour

½ C snipped fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 180°C (360° F) fanbake

In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and milk

In another, larger bowl mix together the cheese, flour and chives.

Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 equal pieces and put them into the mustard mixture, coating well.

Doing one piece of chicken at a time, remove from the mustard mixture and coat with the cheese mixture then place on a cooking paper lined baking tray.  Sprinkle any excess cheese mixture over the chicken pieces then bake for around 30 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Serves 2

Cheddar backed chicken

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April 12th, 2009 No comments

Although I have not been a practicing catholic for many years, I still feel guilty if I eat meat on Good Friday so this is what we had this year.


5 large mashing potatoes, peeled and diced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 eggs

1 bag baby spinach

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot chopped

2 T butter

1/3 C  flour

2 C milk

1 C grated mature cheddar cheese

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 t English mustard

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

200g (½lb) skinless white fish such as gurnard or terakihi

300g (2/3 lb) smoked fish, like trevally, flaked


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 15 minutes until cooked.  Drain.  Hard boil the eggs, when cool peel and quarter them.  Wilt the spinach in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain in a colundar and squeeze out any excess water.

In a large pot, melt the butter then add the onion and carrot and gently fry for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the lemon zest then mix in the flour and cook for a further minute.  Add the milk slowly and stir continuously until thickened and boiling.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese, lemon juice, mustard and parsley.   Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary.

Put the spinach, fish and eggs into a casserole dish and mix together.  Pour over the sauce and poke with the handle of a wooden spoon to get the sauce to penetrate to the bottom of the dish.  Mash the potatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  If too thick, mix in some milk.  Spread over the fish and sauce.  Rough up with a fork then bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until browned and bubbling.

Serves 6

Fish pie

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April 12th, 2009 No comments

Panko crumbs (wiki) make the difference in this dish.


1 rack of lamb per person, all fat removed

Hot English mustard (or mild for wussies)

Chopped herbs, eg rosemary, flat leaf parsley, chives or a mixture of these

1 ½C panko crumbs

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Lemon infused olive oil (or plain olive oil if this is unavailable)


Preheat the oven to 180°C (360° F) fanbake

Spread a thin layer of mustard on the meat side of each lamb rack.

Place the herbs, crumbs and lemon zest in a small bowl.  Add the lemon juice and enough olive oil to bind the crumbs together.

Pack the crumb mixture on the meat side of the lamb rack.  Bake on a cooking paper lined baking tray for about ½ an hour, or until the lamb is medium rare. 

Serves 2

Lamb Rack

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April 12th, 2009 5 comments


2 T light soy sauce

2 T sweet chilli sauce

2 T oyster sauce

2 T peanut oil

600g (1.3 lb) skinless chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced

1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 C cold cooked jasmine rice

1 C Thai basil leaves

4 spring onions, sliced diagonally

Fried shallots for sprinkling (available at Asian grocery stores)


Combine the soy, sweet chilli and oyster sauces in a small bowl.  Heat a wok over high heat until hot.  Add some peanut oil.  Add half the chicken and stirfry until browned and just cooked.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Add a bit more peanut oil and the onion to the wok and stirfry for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and stirfry for 30 seconds.  Add the rice and egg.  Stirfry for a couple of minutes until the rice and egg are well combined.

Return the chicken to the wok and add the sauce mixture, basil and spring onions.  Stirfry for a couple more minutes until well combined and heated through.

Serve sprinkled with fried shallots.

Serves 4

 Chicken fried rice

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April 12th, 2009 No comments

Whatever you do, avoid the dumb blonde potato Nadine.


1 potato per person, preferably Agria or any other type suitable for baking and roasting. 


Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) fanbake

Using a pointed knife, prick each potato several times on each side.  Microwave the potatoes for about 3 minutes per potato, or until 90% cooked.

Put potatoes on a baking tray which has been lined with cooking paper, leaving plenty of room between them.  Squash each potato with a potato masher.  The flatter the potato, the crispier it will end up.  Brush each potato with rice bran oil, or vegetable oil.  I find using a pastry brush works best.  Grind some coarse salt on each potato.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Squashed potatoes

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April 12th, 2009 No comments

This is a different take on Herb and Feta Baked Chicken.


8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

2 tablespoons each chopped fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme (or any other fresh herbs available)

125g (4½ oz) feta cheese, cut into 8 sticks

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 slices prosciutto


Heat oven to 180°C (360° F) fanbake

Open the chicken thighs.  Divide the herbs among the thighs.   Place a piece of feta in the centre of each thigh.  Season and roll up to enclose the cheese.

Wrap each chicken piece in prosciutto. 

Put the chicken pieces on a baking tray which has been lined  with cooking paper and bake for about 30 minutes until prosciutto is crisp and chicken is cooked through.  Serve with squashed baked potatoes and a salad.

Chicken prosciutto

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April 12th, 2009 No comments

The best mussels to use for this recipe are NZ green lipped ones.  If you can’t get these, use brown mussels as a substitute, but you will need to use more.


12 green lipped mussels

½ C butter at room temperature

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 C grated mature cheddar cheese


Heat oven grill to highest setting

Steam the mussels in a small amount of water until they open.  Remove the mussels from the shell.  Remove the beard and any gristly bits from the mussels and discard.  Keep one clean half shell per mussel.

In a small bowl, mix the butter, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest together until well blended. 

Arrange the shells on a baking tray.  Place one mussel in each shell half.  Put a dollop of the butter mixture on each mussel.  Top with grated cheese.  Place under the grill for a few minutes until golden and sizzling.

Serves 2 – 4


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April 12th, 2009 1 comment

While this bread doesn’t look terribly attractive, it is delicious and perfect at a barbecue (thanks Brian’s mom for the recipe)


1 T toasted bread crumbs

2 t baking powder

150g (5oz) cake flour

1 t bicarbonate of soda

50ml (10 t) caster sugar

Pinch salt

60g (2oz) butter or margarine

3 eggs, lightly beaten

50ml (10t) milk

1 X  410g (1lb) tin whole kernel sweetcorn, drained


Grease a round microwave ring or pan (26X12 cm, 10X5 inch) and coat the inside with the crumbs.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and rub in the butter or margarine.  Combine the eggs, sweetcorn and milk in a jug, pour into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Don’t over mix.

Turn into the prepared pan and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs.  Cover with plastic wrap.

Microwave on 70% power for 8 – 10 minutes.  Uncover and stand for 5 minutes before turning out.

Mielie bread

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