Category Archives: Dinner and savoury snacks

Braised beef cheek Fettuccine

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The mornings are darker, and the nights are cooler (and I needed an excuse to open a nice bottle of Pinot) so when I saw this recipe in the latest Gourmet Traveller I was really excited. I have altered the recipe a little as I couldn’t find beef shin so I used cheek, and I couldn’t find fresh rigatoni so I used fettuccine. Feel free to use shin and rigatoni if you can find them.

Serves 4-6

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Ingredients

2 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 kg of beef cheek (cut into 4 equal pieces)

1/2 cup strong coffee

1 tin of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of red wine

1 cup of beef stock

1/4 cup of red wine vinegar

Juice and rind of 1 orange

2 fresh bay leaves

1 packet of fresh egg fettuccine

1 packet of Feta

Parsley to garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees (or if using the slow cooker, just turn it on to low) Brown the cheek in batches in a casserole that can go into the oven (or just brown the meat in a pan if using a slow cooker).

Remove the meat from the pan, and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Into the slow cooker add all the ingredients up to (not including) the pasta. Cook for around 5 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling apart.

Remove the meat from the sauce, and shred using two forks. Reduce the sauce down until it has thickened and while doing this cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet.

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Put the cooked pasta into a serving dish, cover with the meat and then the reduced sauce (with bay leaves removed) sprinkle over feta and parsley.

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Caraway and Apple crackers

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I know many people who have a sweet rather than savoury tooth, often opting for cheese at dessert time. These crackers are definitely for them. It is an adaptation of the crackers in The Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo

Makes 16 crackers

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Ingredients

400 gms wholemeal flour

2 tsp caraway seeds

2 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp maple syrup

2 Granny Smith Applies cored and grated

160 ml water

Method

Mix the dry ingredients with the apple then pour over the water. Mix until you have a sticky ball. Place in a clean bowl and cover with a damp tea towel, leave in a warm place for 1 hour.

Preheat over to 180 degrees. Split the dough in half, and dust a bench with   

Roll out to 5mm thick (any thicker and the crackers will be chewy not crispy) Cut out with a cookie cutter of any shape and place on an oven tray. Bake for 20-25 mins and leave to cool.

Serve with cheese and a good fruit jelly.

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Salmon and Seaweed salad

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When Mr Goldie is away I do my best to fill up on fish and seafood (as he isn’t a fan). I felt like something a bit different and found delicious packs of seasoned seaweed at New World (where you would find the fish) so I made this salad. I think you could easily substitute the salmon for fresh salmon (rather than smoked) prawns, or cooked white fish.
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Ingredients

One packet of seasoned seaweed (approx 300 gms)

100 gms of smoked salmon

1/2 cup snow pea shoots

1 carrot peeled then use the peeler to make ribbons

1/2 yellow capsicum finely sliced

1/2 red onion finely sliced (spring onion would also work)

1/2 cup coriander leaves

For the dressing

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt & white pepper to taste

Method

Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, pour the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake to combine. Stir through the salad and enjoy!
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Green Bean and Coconut salad

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I had a salad similar to this several times in Bali, it used fresh coconut which is so hard to find here. It was such a cooling salad in the hot weather so I thought it was perfect for the last few hot days we have been having.

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Ingredients

250 gms of green beans, chopped, steamed (but still crunchy) and cooled

1 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup threaded coconut

1 red chilli finely chopped

1/2 cup coriander leaves

2 tbsp crispy shallots (or red onion dry fried until crispy)

For the dressing

1 tbsp rice bran oil

1 tbsp white vinegar

the juice of two limes

1 tsp fish sauce

1/2 tsp coconut (or palm) sugar

Method

Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake to combine. Mix the salad ingredients (except the shallots) together in a bowl, pour over dressing and mix to combine. Sprinkle over shallots and serve

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Salmon and udon noodle salad

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The next salad in my series would be lovely with chicken and duck as well as salmon. The flavours develop over time, and it would hold up well as a picnic salad so it is very versatile.
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Ingredients
200 gms of hot smoked salad
180 gms of dried udon noodles
1 cup of mung bean sprouts
a small bunch of snow pea shoots
a small bunch of coriander
1/2 small red onion finely chopped
1 tbsp of black and white sesame seeds
the juice of one lemon
2 tbsp fried shallots

For the dressing
4 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp sambal oelek (or sweet chilli)
1 tsp grated ginger

Method

Boil the noodles as per instructions on the packet. Flake the salmon with two forks. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake until combined. In a bowl add the noodles, then all the other salad ingredients (except the lemon juice and shallots). Mix through with the dressing then squeeze lemon over top and sprinkle over the shallots

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Two interesting salads

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I have been making an effort lately to eat my 5+ a day. Some days its easy, and other days it seems a struggle to get those 5 serves of veges in.
I found two great recipes in Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. If you have bought this book you will know how amazing it is for fresh, tasty recipes. If you can’t afford it, or don’t buy a lot of cookbooks, you will find many of Ottolenghi’s recipes on his column in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/yotam-ottolenghi-recipes.

Both of the recipes I have picked today are really interesting in both flavour and texture. They would also be nice the next day, and would be lovely for work lunch.

Baby spinach with almonds and dates
Ingredients
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 red onion thinly diced
1 cup of pitted medjool dates chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small pita bread cut into triangles
70 gms (one small packet) of whole almonds, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tsp sumac (if you haven’t used this spice before, I would hunt it down. It is delicious)
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 bag of baby spinach
2 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and pepper

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Method
Put the onion and dates into a small bowl with the vinegar and a pinch of salt, squash a bit with your fingers and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the pita bread, almonds and pumpkin seeds and toast until bread is crispy and coloured.
In a salad bowl mix the spinach & date mix together. Add the pita bread mix, sprinkle over the lemon juice, chilli, sumac, salt and pepper then toss to combine.

Roasted  cauliflower with Hazelnuts
1 head of cauliflower (broken into small florets)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 large stick of celery (finely sliced)
1/2 cup of hazelnuts (skin on)
1 cup of green grapes
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

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Method
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and once hot place cauliflower on an oven tray with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for around 20 mins. Turn the oven down to 170, add the whole hazelnuts and roast for a further 15 mins.
In a bowl, mix together the celery, grapes and parsley. In a small jar mix the pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, mixed spice, remaining olive oil and vinegar together and shake to combine.
Tip the cauliflower and hazelnuts onto the celery etc, pour over the dressing and mix to combine.

Cauliflower fritters with lemon yogurt

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This is my take on an Ottolenghi recipe, which I found via toast-nz.com. I really like Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes as they are fresh and full of flavour.
Serves 2 for lunch
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Ingredients
For the Fritters
Half a head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of flour
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 clove of garlic crushed
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sumac (don’t panic if you don’t have any, but it adds a lovely flavour)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

For the yogurt
1 cup of natural yogurt
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped parsley
The rind of 1 lemon
The juice of two lemons (save the rind off the second lemon for garnish)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
For the yogurt
Mix all the ingredients in a jug and set aside.

For the fritters
Chop the cauliflower into small florets, discard the stalks and leaves. Place in a pot of boiling water, and boil for 15 mins or until really soft.
While the cauliflower is boiling, mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Heat some neutral oil in a pan until hot (or use a non-stick pan) drain the cauliflower, then stir through the batter. Using a large spoon, dollop the fritters into the hot pan. Press them down slightly, and cook at a medium heat. They will need approximately 3 minutes on each side.
Serve on a plate with the yogurt drizzled over, and some fresh greens.
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Focaccia with whipped Feta dip

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This Focaccia will make a great summer starter, especially with the whipped Feta dip. I served this with oven roasted tomatoes
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Ingredients
For the Bread
1/2 tsp caster sugar
500 ml lukewarm water
2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
50 ml olive oil
800gms plain flour
3 tsp salt
Green olives (with no stones)
Rosemary
Sea salt

For the Dip
1 packet of salt reduced feta
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Paprika to dust

Method
For the bread
Combine the sugar and 250 ml of the water in a jug and sprinkle over the yeast, set aside for 5-6 minutes. Pour the yeast mix, olive oil, remaining water and about 1/3 of the flour and the salt into a large bowl (or your mixing bowl if you have a dough hook) mix with a wooden spoon gradually the rest of the flour using your hands when it is stiff to stir (You might not need all the flour).
If you are using a dough hook, knead for around 5 minutes. If you don’t have a dough hook turn the dough on to your bench and knead by hand for around 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm place to rise (for around 1 hour)
Preheat the oven to 220 C, Grease a rectangle roasting dish. Knock back the dough and spread into the roasting dish, Poke holes into the dough and add an olive to each hole. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary and then drizzle with a little extra oil.
Bake for 25-30 mins
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For the Dip
Break the Feta into chunks and add to a food processor with the lemon juice & garlic, blend then slowly drizzle in the olive oil (you can add a little water if its too thick)
Once creamy, dollop into a bowl and sprinkle with paprika
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Bali food adventures – Part 1

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I recently went on holiday to Bali with my husband and two friends. I had never really tried Indonesian or Balinese food and I guess I didn’t have much of an opinion about it. I was blown away but the flavours and freshness of the local cuisine. There was so much flavour without too much spice (Unless you were like the men I was travelling with and added spicy sambal to EVERYTHING)
I have some photos and two recipes to share, in part 2 I will try to recreate some of the dishes at home and will share those as well.

I started nearly every morning with fresh coconut as part of my breakfast
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They are such a great way to stay hydrated when you are skeptical of the water
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This was the first Balinese meal I had, slow cooked pork curry with rice and the best bean salad. I will have a recipe for this simple salad in Part 2
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Benn and I took a cooking class at Bali Niksoma Hotel. This was our welcome drink
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We learn to cook two dishes, the first was Sate Tusuk (Char-Satay). These were skewers of beef, chicken and pork cooked in Balinese spices and a peanut sauce.

The lesson was outside on the grass, everything was spread out so beautifully
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These were the ingredients for the peanut sauce
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We diced the meat and loaded up the skewers
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They were then cooked over a BBQ which was fueled by coconut husks
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Another shot of all the fresh ingredients
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We were taught how to make a garnish with the tomatoes and cucumber, I quickly learnt that my knife skills and attention to detail needed some work.
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After the satay is cooked, we plated up and enjoyed our first dish
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Char-Satay
Ingredients

400 gms of meat (chicken, pork, lamb or beef) cubed
20 bamboo skewers
For the seasoning
100ml of sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
2 chopped shallots
2 sliced Kafir lime leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 stalk of lemon grass chopped
For the satay sauce
200 gms fried peanuts
25 gms fried shallots
25 gms fried garlic
3 fried, diced red chillies
25 gms palm sugar
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
50 ml water
1 sliced Kafir lime leaf

Method
Add 3 pieces of cubed meat to each skewer. Blend all the seasoning ingredients into a fine paste. Coat the skewers in the seasoning and also season with salt and pepper. Cook the skewers over the BBQ or grill until cooked through.
To make the Satay Sauce, Grind the peanuts, shallot, garlic and chilli into a paste. Add the palm sugar, then water, sweet soya, and lime leaf, cook over a medium heat until bubbling.

The second dish we made was Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali (Grilled fish in Balinese Spices) We used snapper for this fish, but any firm white fish would be lovely. You could also use chicken or lamb.
There were 2 parts to this dish, the marinade of Balinese spices, and the Tomato dip (Sambal) that accompanies the finished dish.

The ingredients for the Bumbu Bali
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The ingredients for the sambal
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The ingredients in a form now which was blended to make a paste
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The fish being cooked on the BBQ after being coated in the blended Balinese spice mix
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More knife skills for the garnish
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Our finished dishes
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Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali
Ingredients

400 gms of snapper
100ml oil
3 Kafir lime leaves sliced
salt and pepper
For the Balinese Spices
20 gm galangal
25 gm garlic
25 gm onion
20 gm ginger
2 tsp turmeric
4 stalks of lemongrass
5 hot chillies
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp coriander seed
For the Sambal
2oo gms tomatoes
100 gms chillies
50 gm garlic
50 gms onion
40 gms palm sugar
2 Kafir lime leaves sliced
100 ml oil

To make the spice mix, cut all ingredients into small pieces and blend in a food processor until smooth. Then mix with the oil, lime leaves and salt and pepper. Marinate the snapper fillet in the spices then grill the fish on a BBQ or hot plate until cook.
To make the Sambal, dice the tomato, chilli, onion and garlic and add to a pan with the oil. Fry until half cooked. Blend together and add back to a pan with the remaining ingredients. Simmer until flavour has developed.

During our holiday we also went to a wonderful restaurant called Bali Asli http://baliasli.com.au/
It is run by an Australian girl but specialising in Traditional Balinese Cuisine. The menu changes daily depending on what is available at the market

Spiced water
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A starter of different fish and vegetable puffed chips with 3 different dips
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The restaurant
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The view!
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When we ordered we could choose 4 dishes. I had young coconut cooked in banana leaves, a chicken salad, a bean salad and a pork broth. It was absolutely stunning, and I can’t stop thinking about the beautiful flavour combinations.
Nasi Campur
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Chicken salad
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Pork Broth
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Sweet and Sour Chicken

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I know this looks like a huge list of ingredients but many of the spices you will have in the pantry, and if not, just leave them out. The method is quite simple, and the chicken could always be cooked ahead of time if you wanted to make it for a larger group.
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Serves 4
Ingredients
For the chicken
500 gms boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breast) cut into cubes
½ cup of corn flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion or celery powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil for cooking

For the Rest
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 thumb size piece of ginger minced
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon HP sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tin of pineapple chunks in natural juice (don’t drain the pineapple, you want the juice as well)
3 carrots peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
¼ quarter of a cabbage chopped (like you would for coleslaw)
2 packets of udon noodles (I use the trident twin packs)
1 bunch of coriander chopped

Method
Mix the flour and spices (all ingredients in the chicken list except the chicken) together in a bowl, then stir the chicken through the flour. Once the chicken is coated, pour into a sieve over the sink to get rid of the excess flour.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken in batches. In a large saucepan saute the onion, garlic and ginger in a small amount of canola oil. Once the onion has softened add all the ingredients up to (but not including) the cabbage, simmer and reduce until the carrots and celery have softened. Add the cabbage and noodles and stir through. Stir in the chicken then serve in bowls with coriander sprinkled over the top.