Monday, April 29, 2013

lamb shank and chickpea soup recipe

Excuse the look of this shot - taken through a haze of steam. But oh my, this is a soup to add to your winter favourite lists. So simple - so delish.

Ingredients: 2 lamb shanks
1 litre beef stock
2 tins chick peas
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 head broccoli
bouquet garni
Worchestershire sauce
fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Brown the lamb shanks in a little olive oil then remove from pan. Saute onion and carrot till soft. Add lamb shanks and cover with beef stock. Tip in tinned tomatoes and half-fill the tin with water and add to pan. Add bouquet garni, herbs and salt and pepper.

Bring to boil.

Simmer for four hours on a very low heat.

Remove lamb shanks and let cool. Add drained chickpeas, pasta and brocolli. Add a good sloosh of worchestershire sauce and add more salt and pepper as required. Simmer for 15 mins.

Shred the lamb from the bone and return meat to pan.

Serve to a delighted family. This made about five big bowls. Simply add more lamb and beef stock to increase servings.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Nigella's Greek lamb chops with lemon and potatoes

Okay, so I'm up for trying new recipes this year - here's the first of them. It's from Nigella Kitchen - and I've already booked quite a few meals from this fabulous book. Here's what you do:

Serves 6-8

12 chunky lamb shoulder chops
3 baking potatoes
3tblsp garlic oil
2 tsp dried mint
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
2 lemons
Chopped parsley.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Put the lamb chops in a shallow roasting pan. Wash, but don't peel potatoes, then cut into 1cm dice and then tumble them around the lamb.

Drizzle the oil over the lamb and potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, chilli flakes and mint.

Zest one lemon over the roasting pan, then juice both lemons and pour in the choice.

Roast for 1 hour - don't bother to turn anything over.

Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley or dill.

Serve with a green salad or tomato. And fresh bread to mop up the juices.

I love Nigella.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

roast chicken on puy lentils

Allow me to introduce you to your new favourite way of cooking roast chicken.

one chicken
one lemon

one cup of french puy lentils
half a red onion, chopped
3 slices smokey bacon
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

Saute onion and bacon in a little oil. If you've got an ovenproof pan with low-ish sides, use this - then you can cook the chicken in it afterwards (less washing up!).

When the onion's soft, add the lentils and stir. Add wine, stir for a minute, add chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Wash and dry the chicken, drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the lentils. Put half the lemon in the chicken's cavity. Slice the other half of the lemon and lay on the breast of the chicken.

Roast in a 180 degree centigrade oven for a good hour or until the chicken's cooked. Add extra chicken stock if the lentils seems to dry out - you want them to always be covered with liquid. Remove the lemons in the last 10 - 15 minutes so the skin browns.

Remove chicken and let it rest. Stir the lentils, over a heat if you need to reduce the liquid.

Cut up chicken and serve.

This is delish. It's very similar to how I cook lamb on a bed of lentils, but using white wine and chicken stock instead of red wine and beef stock adds a whole different taste to the lentils.

So good.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

pulled pork recipe

I am very suggestible. If there's a food trend - I want to try it. Hence, pulled pork had to be on the menu. I bought a big shoulder of pork at the farmer's markets today and did this to it.

Make a dry rub of two tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 tsp of smoked paprkia and a good pinch of salt. Rub it into all exposed areas of the pork - with a little for the skin. Then prepare the skin as per usual. (I rub it with olive oil, then salt it liberally).

Turn the oven up to the max heat. Pop in the pork on a rack, with some water in the bottom of the roasting tin. Roast for 15 mins then turn the heat down to as low as it'll go.

Cook it slowly for four to five hours.

Remove the skin and place it on an oven tray and turn the heat up again and give it a blast for 15 mins. Rest the meat. Then, cut it into chunks and, using two forks, tear it into shreds. This is hard work, but if you've roasted it long enough it should fall apart of its own accord.

We ate this with a radicchio, radish and red apple salad. Oh my. It'd also be awesome as traditional sliders on little buns - with some of the cooking liquid drizzled over top.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

beef macaroni casserole

This is one of my faves from the Leggo's Italian Cookbook. It's got curry powder in it (I know! And I used the classic Keen's Curry for a seriously retro touch) and it just adds that special something to the dish. This is a real winner with my family - even the green capsicum tastes awesome. Seriously!

1 tblsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green capsicum
1 tsp curry powder
250g mince
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked pasta (I use penne, farfalle or macaroni)
salt and pepper.

While butter melts in a frypan, chop up onion and capsicum. Toss them in and gently fry. When tender, set aside (make sure they're tender - don't get impatient. You want them soft, this really makes a difference.) Remove and set aside. Add mince and stir in curry powder. Fry away till meat is browned. Pop vegies back. Add tomato paste, chicken stock, pasta and salt and pepper. Mix it up well. Put the lot in a buttered casserole with a lid and bake 30 mins at 180 degrees.

Serves 4 - 6.

note: this only uses a really small amount of meat, so it's such a cheap meal. I serve it with a green salad and crusty bread. So yum.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

jamie oliver's favourite paella recipe

I've been promising a paella recipe for some time. But I haven't managed to cook one to my satisfaction, so I haven't shared it. Until now.

Last night I cooked Jamie Oliver's paella and oh my, it was gooooooood. I think the secret lies in the jar of fire-roasted red capsicum I used, it added a whole new dimension. I tweaked the recipe - left out the mussels and I didn't have any, nor did I have calamari - and I switched chicken breast for pork belly (I know - who am I? But hubby and daughter love chicken in paella...) Next time I'll add the full quota of seafood - and cook it for friends. It makes a big paella pan.

You do need a paella pan for this. It's the shape, size, depth etc that makes all the difference. I used arborio rice for this which worked well too. Here's the recipe:

serves 4-6

olive oil
2 raw chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
300g pork belly, skin removed, cut into 1cm pieces
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped, stems finely chopped
salt and pepper
a good pinch of saffron
400g mussels, scrubbed and debearded
300g paella rice
200g jarred red peppers, drained and tore into pieces
400g tin of tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
12 large prawns, shells on
150g squid, cleaned and finely sliced
150g green beans, sliced thinly on an angle (or, just cut in half like I did - lazy)
1 lemon, cut into wedges.

Head a paella pan over medium heat an add the olive oil, sliced chorizo or pork belly (or chunks of chicken breast/thigh). When the chorizo browns add the capsicum, garlic, onion, and parsley stalks. Add salt and pepper and saffron. Fry gently for 10 mins, stirring every now and again.

Add the rice and jarred peppers and keep stirring for a few minutes so the rice is coated and yummy. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and 800ml of stock, seasoning again with salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil, then turn down heat to a simmer. Stir constantly for 15 mins. Stir every now and again from the outside of the pan to the middle, piling the rice up in the centre of the pan. Flatten it out, and start stirring again.

After 15 mins test the rice for doneness, it mustn't be chalky, but must be to-the-tooth-firm. Add mussels and prawns. Add extra stock if it's looking dry. Keep stirring and when mussels open and prawns turn pink add the squid and green beans and cook for 5 mins. Stir in chopped parsley and juice from half the lemon wedges. Bring to table with remaining lemon wedges on side.

Wait for applause.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

chicken and chorizo pasta bake

Okay, this is dead-simple and dead-delish. Ready?

1 chicken breast per person, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 chorizo, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 cup of dried pasta per person
1 jar of tomato pasta sauce (I used Five Brothers with caramelised onion - delish)
Grated cheese and bread crumbs to top.
See? Simple.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water. I used farfalle pasta, but whatever tickles your fancy.

Sauté chorizo in a frypan till golden on the outside and set aside. Now, in the same pan, sauté the chicken breast pieces till golden on the outside and cooked through.

When pasta is cooked, drain it, and then pop back in the pan. Add the jar of tomato pasta sauce and stir. Now,  add the chicken and chorizo and stir. If there's any nice, crispy yummy-stuff at the bottom of the pan add a little water or wine, and stir till it comes off. Tip that into the pasta mix and stir. You want the sauce a little-more liquidy than you'd normally do for pasta in a bowl.

Add this to a greased baking dish. Top with a mixture of bread crumbs and grated cheese. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes - or until it looks all golden and awesome on top.

Serve with bread and a crispy salad.

Now, there's no reason why you couldn't add roasted capsicum and other yummy things to this dish - and you could make your own sauce if you fancy. I wanted something easy-peasy that was yum, and this served its purpose. Enjoy x