recipes -

Just a place for my food thoughts

BBQ Pork Ribs
Saturday, 5 May 2018 11:03 pm

8 tblspn soft brown sugar
3 tblspn salt
.5 tblspn pepper
.5 tblspn bay seasoning
.5 tblspn smoked paprika
.5 tblspn onion powder
.5 tblspn garlic powder
.5 tblspn japanese chilli

Cooking liquid
1 cup chicken stock
2 tblspn japanese ricewine vingegar
2 tspns worcestershire sauce
1 tblspn golden syrup/honey

BBQ Baste
1 cup beef stock
2 tblspn bourbon BBQ sauce
3 tblspn commercial BBQ sauce
2 tblspn soft brown sugar

1. rub and fridge >2hrs
2. pressure cook 15 mins medium setting
3. boil baste until thickened
4. BBQ roast and baste ~30mins
Chicken Cacciatore
Saturday, 31 March 2018 10:35 pm
First stab at this classic turned out fairly well, so worth noting down.

600g chicken thigh
3 tblsn flour
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsn tomato paste
250ml chicken stock
800g tin tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup white wine
1 tblsn sugar
12 kalamata olives
1 tblsn capers in vinegar
preserved lemon, rind only

1 toss chicken in seasoned flour to coat
2 brown chicken in heavy pan, remove to dish
3 saute onion, capsicum & garlic + salt
4 add tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes
5 add white wine & rosemary, saute 1-2 minutes
6 remove rosemary and reduce liquid
7 add tomatoes, chicken stock, olives and capers
8 bring to simmer and add chicken back
9 simmer for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and liquid has thickened
10 chop parsley and preserved lemon together into a gremolata

11 serve with pasta (twists) parmesan cheese
Tarte de Queso
Sunday, 25 August 2013 11:53 pm
The worlds greatest cheese cake recipe is finally mine!

1kg white cheese
7 whole eggs
400 grams sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/2 litre cream

Soften cheese to room temp and mix
Whisk eggs, add to cheese and mix
Add sugar and mix
Add cream and mix
Add flour and mix
Blend with stab mixer
Bake @ 220 for 30 minutes
Chilli con piggy
Thursday, 14 February 2013 12:26 am
2kg pork shoulder, clean and sliced into 1" slabs across the grain
2 onions, diced
1 capsicum, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 tblsp dried oregano
1 tblsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
500ml beef/chix stock
4 thai chilli, diced
2 birdseye chilli, diced
2 400g tins diced tomato
2 400g tins red kidney beans
Salt & pepper
Dutch Shortbread
Sunday, 23 December 2012 1:21 am
600g flour, sifted
300g castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
500g butter, cold and chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Almonds, blanched
pinch of salt

rub flour into butter
add essence and 2/3 egg
knead very lightly to bring together into dough
press into 30x18x3 tray
stud with almonds 3cm apart
glaze with egg
bake @ 180c 35 mins or until top is golden
Chocolate Fondant
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 11:18 am
Chocolate Fondant

Preheat oven to 200c

Melt 40 grams of 70% chocolate and 32 grams of butter over a double boiler until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Whisk one 60g egg and stir into the chocolate mixture.

Sieve 33 grams of icing sugar and 16 grams of plain flour into the chocolate egg mix.

Pour into two greased 150ml dariole moulds and bake at 200c for 8 minutes.

Stand for 1 minute then turn onto a plate.

Serve with cream,'s just yummy. So far this with caramel icecream is pretty awesome.
Soupe au pistou
Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:40 pm
Soupe au pistou

This is something that I have been meaning to take a crack at for a while but the thought of a soup based entirely on boiled veg just didn't seem that appealing. As it turns out it has a fantastic flavour and can be thought of as French minestrone.


1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 swede, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 zucchini, diced
1 baby fennel bulb, diced
1/4 cauliflower, florets
100g green beans, 4cm pieces
1 tomato, diced
100g risoni pasta
1 can cannellini beans
1 bunch basil, blanched for 5 seconds and refreshed in icewater
1 bouquet garni (celery top, parsley stem & thyme)
100ml-150ml olive oil, plus extra for saute
2.5 ltrs water
parmesian cheese
salt & pepper


In a large pot gently saute onions, carrots and swede to soften but not colour, 10 minutes
Add 1 cloved of crushed garlic and bouquet garni and saute 1 minute
Add water, bring to the boil then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes
Meanwhile, to make the pistou, pick basil leaves and process with 1 clove of garlic, a generous pinch of salt and 100ml+ olive oil to thick smooth sauce.
Remove bouquet garni and add zuchini, cauliflower, green beans & tomato. Simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Add the canolinni beans and pasta, increase heat slightly and fast simmer for 10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper
Serve in deep bowls with a dollop of pistou in the centre and a sprinkle of grated parmesian cheese

Notes: I add pepper throughout the cooking process so the flavour is more integrated.
Blueberry & Port Sauce
Wednesday, 9 May 2012 2:06 am
150g blueberries
300ml port
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1tsp dijon mustard

Place half the blueberries in a saucepan with the port and redcurrant jelly. Place the pan over a high heat and leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces to a thin sauce consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Dijon mustard and the remaining blueberries. Keep the sauce hot until ready to serve.
Green Goddess Dressing
Tuesday, 3 April 2012 12:50 am
Straight from Australian Gormet Traveller. Works a treat on hot and cold foods and compliments chicken and vegetables wonderfully.

125 ml (½ cup) mayonnaise
125 gm (½ cup) sour cream
40 ml lemon juice, or to taste
2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 golden shallots, finely chopped
7 anchovies, finely chopped
¼ cup chives, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers, rinsed, finely chopped

For green goddess dressing, combine ingredients in a food processor, pulse until combined, refrigerate until required.
Warm Chicken Noodle Salad
Tuesday, 6 December 2011 10:56 pm
I love Vietnamese chicken noodle salad but Deb thinks it's too cold, crunchy and astringent. So I came up with this little alternative that seemed to hit the mark.


250g chicken breast fillet
Asian master stock*
150g dried rice vermicelli
1 Thai red chilli fine diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
80ml lime juice
1 tblsn fish sauce
1 tspn palm sugar finely crushed/grated
1 Lebanese cucumber sliced into battons
3 cups wombok shreaded
1/3 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped corriander
1 tspn vegetable oil (peanut or cannola)
1/4 cup water

*If you're not luck enough to have Asian master stock use 1 litre of chicken stock with 1 tbspn soy sauce and 1 tblspn fish sauce.


Bring the stock to boil then add the whole chicken breasts and turn off heat. Cover and stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile put the dried noodles into a large heat proof bowl and cover in boiling water. Allow to soak for 10 minutes before draining.
Make the dressing by combining palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir to dissolve the sugar
Check chicken is cooked and allow to stand longer if required to finish. Remove from stock and allow to cool slightly before shredding.
Warm a wok, add oil and sauté garlic and then chillis for a few moments
Add the wombok and water and allow to wilt slightly
Add the noodles, chicken, cucumber, herbs, dressing and mix to combine

Serves 2

Slow cooked brussels sprouts
Sunday, 22 May 2011 2:50 am
Dave Lieberman (Foodnetwork)
Lost in my dining legend was a meal to Donovan's in Melbourne. The food was fantastic but the brussels sprouts were out of this world. Since then I have tried to recreate that recipe with limited success, until now. No matter what you think about brussels sprouts you absolutely totally must try this recipe. Actually, if you hate brussels sprouts then you most definitely should try this.


2 tbspns olive oil
500g brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
3 tbspns butter
3 tbspns finely chopeed shallots
3/4 cup of chicken stock


Heat the oil over high heat in a large fry pan.
Add the sprouts and brown all over.
Season very very well with salt (Don't scrimp)
Remove the sprouts from the pan and reduce the heat
Add the butter and melt then add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the sprouts back with the stock, cover and reduce heat to medium low.
Cook for 20-30 minutes until sprouts are just tender.
Remove the lid, increase heat and cook off any remaining liquid.

Serves 4-6
Bun Cha
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 1:21 am
This is a apparently a very common lunch dish eaten in northern vietnam. It is light, refreshing and crunchy with that wonderful asian sweet, salty, sour combination.

You basically dunk meatballs and all into your bowl of warm broth/dipping sauce and just enjoy.

Serves 2

Pork Meat Balls
500g pork mince
1 large spring onion, peeled and diced
1 stalk lemongrass
2 garlic cloves
1 small red chili
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Dipping Sauce
2 cups water
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1cup shredded cabbage (or green papaya)
1 small carrot, peeled & julienne
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Side Items
1/2 pack dried vermicelli
1/2 lettuce
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch coriander
1/2 bunch of Vietnamese basil (if you can get it)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 small chili, seeds removed and sliced

1. Finely chop lemon grass, garlic, shallots and chilies (or grind with a mortar and pestle). Mix with ground pork. Add honey, oil, fish sauce, palm sugar, salt & black pepper. Let marinate for 10-30 minutes.

2. Place rice vermicelli into a large heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Stand for 1-2 minutes until softened and then cool under running water.

3. Thinly slice cabbage (papaya) and carrot. Toss with salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse. Divide between two large soup bowls.

4. Form meat into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and press down slightly to flatten. Put on a grill-rack or BBQ.

5. Cook meatballs over a charcoal fire (BBQ) until caramelised on the outside and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side depending on the fire.

6. Meanwhile wash lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, chilli and cilantro. Drain and set aside on a serving plate.

7. Then heat water to a boil then remove from heat. Add garlic, fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over the cabbage and carrot in the soup bowls and then add lime juice. Serve immediately.
Singapore Chilli Crab
Sunday, 12 December 2010 9:37 am
Perhaps one of my holy grails in terms of recipes. I first had this maybe 20 years ago in Noosa. I remember the waitress told me it was the last portion they had and I was the last to finish dinner with the sauce running down my arms. Then a few years ago in the Clare Valley on an easter wine trip myself and Nicky found it on the menu at Neagles Rock winery. Elbow dripping goodness.


3-4 green blue swimmer crabs, cleaned and portioned
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 green thai chilli, chopped
2 red birdseye chillis, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 cup of chinese rice wine
30g palm sugar
1/4 cup of tomato sauce
1 tbspn tomato paste
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tspn salt
1 tbspn cooking oil
1 cup chopped coriander
1 cup diced spring onions
Juice of 1 lemon


Combine the tomatoes, chilli, rice wine, sauces and salt and set aside.
In a wok heat the oil and briefly cook the ginger and garlic
Add the tomatoes mixture a little at a time to prevent cooling the wok too much
Add the cleaned crab and toss in the sauce until well coated
Reduce the heat slightly, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes mixing occationally
Add the coriander and spring onions, toss to combine and cook uncovered for a further 2-3 minutes
Add lemon juice, stir and serve

Server with steamed rice and a wading pool for washing off.
Celery, apple, lemon and pine nut salad
Thursday, 18 November 2010 10:24 pm
Delicious Magazine
This is a great light and refreshing salad that works a treat with richer foods like filo pastry or fried cheese saganaki.



1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
2 celery stalks, thinkly sliced
1/3 cup small inner celery leaves
1 small red apple
1 1/2 tbs toasted pine nuts
2 tsp sliced preserved lemon rind
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs pure (thin) cream
Pinch of castor sugar


1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and whisk or shake in a container until well combined. The dressing will go 'creamy'.

2. Combine all the salad ingredients and pour over and toss in the dressing. Try to get the apple dressed as soon as possible to prevent it turning brown.

3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Wild Boar Ragu
Tuesday, 5 October 2010 8:26 am
When we were on holidays in Tuscany we ate at an osteria that served wild boar ragu. It was served by itself with crusty bread and was a standout dish of the trip. In Tuscany the wild pigs break into the vineyards and eat the ripe grapes. So the farmers do a lot of hunting and the tourists eat a lot of wild boar. All sort of works itself out really.



  1. Slice the pork 'across the grain' into large slabs approximate 2.5cm thick
  2. Heat oil in a large casserole pot
  3. Season meat with salt & pepper
  4. Brown the meat in batches over high heat
  5. Return all the meat to the pot and add onions, celery and garlic, reduce heat and cook 10-15 minutes
  6. Add tomato paste and flour, stir well to coat evenly and cook 2 mins
  7. Add tomatos, red wine, herbs and water and stir to combine
  8. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 2 hrs, stiring occationally
  9. Remove lid and fork apart the meat (remove to a board can make this easier)
  10. Increase heat slightly and simmer for further 30 mins or until desired thickness is reached

Serve with any desired pasta, fresh pappardelle is traditional

Note: Herbs can be wrapped in muslin to form a bouquet garni to prevent the rosemary from breaking down too much.

Serves: 6-8

Mac & Cheese
Tuesday, 18 May 2010 10:37 pm
400g dried macaroni pasta
50g butter
2 tblspn plain flour
500ml milk (lite or no fat is fine)
2-3 cups of grated mature cheese
3-4 rashers of shortcut bacon, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tblspn dijon mustard
1 pinch nutmeg
salt & pepper

Start a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta
Gently saute the bacon & mushroom for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are tender, remove to a dish
In the same pan as the bacon & mushroom gently melt the butter
Add flour in one go and stir with a wire whisky until combined
Cook gently for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly
Start the pasta cooking and stir occasionally to prevent it sticking
Add milk in approx.1/2 cup quantities at a time and whisk in vigorously after each addition. Should take about 30-45 seconds to get all the milk added.
Add the mustard then cook gently for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until melted
Add a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg and taste for salt & pepper
When pasta is cooked drain very well to clear as much water as possible
Pour the cheese sauce over pasta, add parsley, and stir to combine
Serve immediately.

Serves 4


Make the sauce as indicated
Undercook the pasta slightly so that it is still quite al dente
Mix pasta & sauce together in a deep baking dish
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs & 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese over the top
Bake uncovered at 180c for 10-15 minutes until golden on top
Italian Feather Bread Recipe
Saturday, 1 May 2010 5:27 am
This is the best recipe I have found so far for home made bread. It comes from a modified Kitchenaid recipe but was originally from James Beard's Beard on Bread. Full credit to Tresses for the Kitchenaid version.


14g active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Cup just warm water (~40 celsius)
75g butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 Cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
750g strong breadmaking flour
Ground polenta (cornmeal)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Add the cup of warm water to the mixer bowl along with the sugar and stir. Pour the yeast on top and stir gently, allow to activate for 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave the butter gently until just melted, add the 3/4 cup of warm water.
Add the butter/water mixture to the activated yeast.
Start the mixer on 2 and add 1 cup of flour, allow to incorporate. (Scrape down the sides of the bowl if required.)
Add flour in 1/2 cup amounts, one at a time until incorporated, before adding the next.
This process can take 5-10 minutes to get all the flour into the bowl.
Allow to mix for 3-5 further minutes until smooth and springy. The mix will be quite sticky.
Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to stand for 6 minutes.
Turn onto a floured board and divide in half.
Roll each half into a rectangle about 30cm long and 20cm inches wide. Starting from the wide end, roll this up quite tightly, pinching the seams as you roll.
Place each loaf onto a baking tray that has been covered in a sheet of baking paper and sprinkled lightly with polenta.
Let the loaves rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 50 to 60 minutes.
After 30 minutes pre-heat oven to 220 celsius.
After the hour, brush each loaf with beaten egg white, put 2-3 slashes across the top and bake in the preheated 220 degree oven 40 minutes, or until the loaves are a rich, golden color and make a hollow sound when you tap the crust, top and bottom, with your knuckles.
Cool on a rack and slice when quite fresh.
Mulled Wine
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 3:38 am
(aka how to send three adults to sleep before 9 pm on a Saturday night).

As Daniel posted in his blog, I made mulled wine when we visited Serena's new decks up the coast. I've had a craving ever since I missed out on the mulled wine at Barfly (they'd sold out). They had some at the 5th Element bar, but it was $18 a glass!

This is an amalgam of a couple of online recipes - I lifted Jamie Oliver's method because it appealed to the scientist in me, but used different ingredients. Daniel doesn't like mulled wine at all, and he drank three glasses and said it was very good before he passed out.

1 bottle red wine (cab sav recommended)
60g or so sugar (I used standard white sugar)
cinnamon stick (see note re star anise)
grated nutmeg
1 orange, halved (we had a mandarin, it worked fine)
1 dried bay leaf
small piece star anise (I added this as we didn't have a whole cinnamon stick and I liked the flavour)
Handful of whole cloves
Extra tablespoon of so of sugar (I added brown)

1. Halve the orange. Stud one half with the cloves. Slice the other half thinly (I did say I mixed up two recipes, didn't I?!)
2. Put about a cup of the wine in a saucepan with the cloved half-orange, 60g sugar, and all the other flavourings. Keep the extra sugar and orange slices aside.
3. Bring to the boil. Boil until you are bored or it looks a bit syrupy. I wouldn't boil it for longer than ten minutes. As it boils, the alcohol will start to be driven off, which is why we didn't put the whole bottle in (thanks Jamie).
4. Add the rest of the wine and the orange slices and heat slowly until just simmering. Taste for sugar. I added about a tablespoon of soft brown sugar here.
5. Remove from heat, strain and serve. Turn stove to low and keep warm, or reheat before re-serving (I can't abide lukewarm mulled wine, it should be warm enough that you can't drink for inhaling the vapour).
6. Pass out on sofas.
Creamy Chicken Soup
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 12:51 am
Mr Snuffles
Again I have had a craving for something like this. Actually I had a craving for canned chicken soup but we won't go there. The best part is that except for the butter there isn't that much bad stuff in there.


Paella with Chicken, Chorizo and Prawns (Update: 29.12.2010)
Monday, 20 April 2009 1:05 am
Spain is an awesome country to visit with an outstanding tradition of great food. Since coming back I have purchased a paella pan and experimented with a couple of recipies. So far this one has worked out the best.

This is a modified version of a recipe posted by Brigitte Hafner on The Age website.

As the eternal search for perfect paella continues so will changes to this recipe




The sofrito should have a concentrated flavour and pulpy consistency. You can prepare it up to a day ahead.


Serves: 6
My Carbonara
Monday, 23 June 2008 11:48 pm
Linguini con la salsa cremosa della pancetta affumicata, del porro e di fungo.

I have been making this recipe for at least 15 years. Other than swapping from fresh fettucine to dried linguine, using leeks instead of onions and occasionally leaving out the garlic it has remained unchanged in all that time. I can still remember, all those years ago, splashing in Queen Adelaide Chardonnay and thinking what a great cook I was.

I should also point out that except for the addition of egg this recipe actually has no relationship to Carbonara pasta what so ever. It was just what I called it all those years ago and the name stuck.




  1. Start a large pot of salted water heating to boil.

  2. Add olive oil to a medium hot deep fry-pan.

  3. Add the garlic to the oil and stir, within a few seconds it will release its aroma.

  4. Add the onions to the pan and stir to coat in oil. Reduce heat if necessary to saute onions, without colouring, for 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add the bacon to the pan and saute 3-4 minutes.

  6. Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute until softened.

  7. Add plenty of black pepper

  8. Start cooking your pasta as directed.

  9. Add the wine to the pan and cook until almost completely evaporated.

  10. Add the cream, milk and cheese and stir until melted and well mixed. Reduce heat to very low and allow to remain warm.

  11. 2 minutes before the pasta is ready remove the pan from the heat.

  12. As the pasta is ready stir the egg yolks into the pan and return to medium-high heat to reheat.
  13. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.

  14. Checkt the sauce for pepper and salt, then pour over pasta and stir to coat.

  15. Serve with parmesan cheese and more cracked pepper.

Serves 2 people but can be doubled
Chicken Soup
Saturday, 31 May 2008 12:01 am
adapted from Soups and Starters
This is an adaptation of a Chicken Pasta Broth recipe in Soups and Starters that we never quite get around to writing down. The initial recipe only makes enough for two bowls and only uses leek and carrot - being lazy and loving corn, we make a vat of it with corn and celery and freeze it.

If you are going to use chicken pieces, try to find marylands (breast and thigh on bone together) or breast on the bone (not easy these days). Alternatively you could buy legs and/or thighs on the bone and breast and/or thigh fillets, cook the boneless chicken a little less long.

It takes 3-4 litres of liquid, divided roughly into half stock, half water. I bias it in favour of the stock for more flavour.

1 to 1.5 kg chicken pieces (skinned), or a whole chicken, skinned and cut up into pieces
1-2 leeks (two if small), trimmed, sliced and washed
3-5 carrots, peeled and sliced
4-5 sticks celery, sliced
corn kernels - either two cobs or a 440g tin
2 litres chicken stock (salt reduced if preferred)
1-2 bouquet garni
cup of small pasta shapes - I use shells, the original used spirals. I honestly don't know how much I use, a couple of handfuls usually.
fresh thyme if you can get it
shake of mixed herbs
fresh parsley to garnish

1. Put the chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the vegetables (leek, carrot, celery). If the corn is from a fresh cob, add that too. Pour over the stock plus an additional 1-2 litres of water (as required to cover). Bring to the boil.

2. Add the bouquet garni, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken cooked.

3. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside. Season liquid with pepper, and salt as required (may not be required if stock was salty). Throw out the bouquet garni. If you have time, let the soup cool for a few minutes and skim the top (there shouldn't be much fat, but there will be a little from a whole chicken).

4. Bring soup back to the boil (or the pasta will sink to the bottom and stick), add the pasta to the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the bone and cut into small pieces. If using tinned corn, drain and rinse and add here.

5. When the pasta is cooked, return the chicken to the soup. Add flaked thyme leaves and/or a shake of mixed herbs. Reheat chicken in soup, adjust salt and pepper.

6. Serve sprinkled with parsley, if you remember (I never do).
Cannelloni with Spinach and Ricotta
Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:33 pm
I adapted from this from the San Remo recipe that I found on the web. It makes a fantastic basis that you can then just add your own twist to.



  • 1 pack of fresh lasagne sheets (2 serve size)
  • 250g fresh ricotta
  • 100g Fetta (good creamy type)
  • ¼ cup grated tasty cheese
  • 250g frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 2 tblsn of Sundried tomatoes chopped finely
  • 3 spring onions finely sliced
  • 2 egg yolks (beaten)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)


  • 425g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 level teaspoon ground basil leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • Splash of White Wine


  • ½ cup grated cheese (Tasty + Mozzarella)



    Mix spinach, ricotta & fetta cheeses, egg yolks, garlic, grated cheese, sun dried tomatoes, spring onions , nutmeg, salt and pepper together thoroughly in a medium sized bowl.


    Saute diced onion then add tin of diced tomatoes, basil, white wine, salt & pepper. Simmer briefly until it thickens slightly.


    Preheat oven to 200c

    Put a few table spoons of sauce into the bottom of a lasagne pan to stop the pasta from sticking.

    Place 3-4 good sized tablespoons of filling at the end of one lasagne sheet and roll over into a tube. Try to ensure that the filling goes right to the edges. Cut from the sheet and place into the lasgne dish. Repeat for all filling. (You should get about 2 cannelloni from each sheet plus some leftover)

    Spoon the sause over the pasta in an even layer. Sprinkle with topping cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 200c or until golden on top.
  • Veal and Potato Tagine
    Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:33 pm
    I bought Danny a tagine for Xmas, so it's our new toy, but you can make this in a casserole dish. The main point is keeping the lid on and the heat low so that the food steams as it cooks. This is currently our favourite meal, as you just throw it all together, and the veal comes out so beautifully tender. We generally serve it with couscous, cooked as per packet (it only takes about 5 minutes, allow half a cup per person.)

    Our first attempt was also very spicy, so check your measuring, and if worried, cut down on the cayenne and pepper. If you use hot paprika, that's your own funeral.

  • 1 red onion, cut coarsely
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tspns ground cumin
  • 4 tspns paprika
  • 2 tspns turmeric
  • 1 tspn cayenne
  • 1 tspn ground black pepper
  • 2 tspns salt

  • 400g veal leg or shoulder, cut into chunks, or 4 veal cutlets
  • 3 waxy potatoes, chunked to a similar size
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped

    Toss the veal, all the vegetables and spices together in a bowl until the spices have coated the meat and potatoes. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in the tagine dish and lightly fry everything for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously.

    Pour half a cup of water into the mixing bowl and swirl to pick up the leftover spices. Pour into the tagine, cover and turn the heat down low. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes. You want the veal and potatoes to be tender and the sauce thick - cook a little longer if necessary.

    When ready, turn off the heat and mix in 3 tblspns red wine vinegar. Serve with couscous or rice.

    © Steve Manfredi and The Age

  • Lamb Shanks with Olive and Anchovy, on Soft Polenta
    Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:31 pm
    NB: Don't be put off if you hate anchovy (I do), you won't even know they're there. You can leave the olives out if you prefer, they just flavour the sauce.

    1/4 cup (or less) olive oil

    4 lamb shanks (about 300g each), pref. french-trimmed

    4 cloves garlic, crushed

    8 anchovies

    2 tblspn plain flour

    2 tblspn tomato paste

    500ml red wine

    1 cup chicken stock

    100g jumbo green olives (or whatever you can find)

    Flat-leaf parsley, to serve

    1. Preheat oven to 180C. If the lamb shanks aren't trimmed, trim as much fat off them as you can.

    2. Heat as much olive oil as your cholesterol can deal with in a large, heavy-based pan or casserole dish, bearing in mind that less oil can make the sauce a bit more tricky (but I don't think I've ever used the entire 1/4 cup). If your pan isn't oven-proof you will have to swap to one at step 5. Brown the lamb shanks well over high heat and remove.

    3. Reduce heat, add garlic and anchovies and stir until the anchovies fall apart (you should have a paste, but don't stress if not). Add flour and tomato paste and stir for 3 minutes. This is where it can get a bit tricky.

    4. Stir in wine (I swap to a whisk at this point and add it gradually), and boil for five minutes, stirring to remove lumps. This should give you a thick, satiny, dark burgundy sauce. If it's a bit grainy, don't worry, any lumps won't survive long.

    5. Add chicken stock, olives and shanks, cover, and cook in oven for 2 hours or until meat falls off bone (you might want to turn the shanks once). Sprinkle individual serves with parsley (if you can be bothered).

    I have done the same recipe with eight shanks - simply increase the stock and red wine (and possibly the tomato paste), so that the shanks are covered and don't burn in the oven.

    I like this with soft polenta (this is enough for 4):

    2 cups milk (I use low-fat)

    150g polenta (the recipe specifies 'instant', but every brand I've tried cooks so fast it doesn't matter)

    1/2 cup grated parmesan

    20g butter

    Begin about five minutes before serving.

    1. Combine milk with 2 cups water and bring to boil.

    2. Whisk in polenta in a steady stream, and stir for 3-5 minutes until mixture is thick.

    3. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan and butter, and season to taste.

    This recipe halves or quarters well (Daniel prefers mash so I make a small amount of polenta just for me).

    © 'Simple', Australian Gourmet Traveller, 2003
    Duck-Filled Rice Paper Rolls
    Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:30 pm
    1/2 Chinese barbecued duck, shredded

    1 carrot, grated

    3/4 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

    1/4 cup chopped mint

    2 green onions, sliced

    1 1/2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce

    2 teaspoons lime juice (can substitute lemon)

    50 g vermicelli rice noodles

    8 large rice-paper rounds

    1/4 kecap manis or hoi sin sauce, to serve

    1. Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain.

    2. Combine the duck, carrot, lettuce, mint, onions, hoi sin sauce, juice and noodles and mix well.

    3. Soak the rice-paper rounds in boiling water for 1 minute (or brush with hot water if this makes them so limp you can't roll them), then drain on absorbent paper (according to the recipe, although I can't say I ever read this bit before).

    4. Spoon mixture along the edges of rice paper, fold in sides and roll up tightly.

    5. Serve with kecap manis or hoi sin as a dipping sauce.

    Note: recipe calls for 1/2 a duck - either eat the rest, or double the recipe.

    © (Australian) Gourmet on the Run Cookbook, 1998

    Mongolian Steamboat
    Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:30 pm
    Mongolian steamboat is a great way to entertain and involves everyone cooking food at the table in an asian style chicken stock. We purchased two of the steamboats from an asian grocer and have used them heaps.


    This is my basic recipe for the chicken stock. You can play around with any part you like, adding flavours and leaving things out. Remember that as you cook food at the table you will also be adding sauces, spices and other flavours. So the stock does not have be 'perfect' when it is first made. At the end of the meal people will be slurping down the soup saying how great it tastes!

    Wet Ingredients

    4 Litres of chicken stock (salt reduced)

    1 Tbl sp soy sauce

    1 Tbl sp chinese rice wine

    1/4 Tbl sp fish sauce

    Dry Ingredients

    2 Thai chillies (Red & Green for colour)

    2cm Cube of ginger

    1 Stick of lemon grass

    1 Clove garlic

    1/2 Medium onion

    1 Tbl sp of corriander stems/roots

    Pinch of salt & pepper

    2 Tbl sp olive oil

    1. Pound all the dry ingredients and only 1 tbl sp of the oil in a mortar into a rich paste. (Food processor is fine)

    2. Add the other Tbl sp of oil to a pot large enough to hold all the stock. Heat the oil slightly.

    3. Drop the paste into the oil and gently fry/saute for 5 minutes. Periodically add a splash of stock to the frying paste to keep it slightly moist. The paste should not be allowed to brown.

    4. Add all the remaining wet ingredients

    5. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes.

    6. Put stock in a Steamboat or electic frypan at the table and keep heated at a rolling simmer. With this amount of stock you should have plenty left over to keep topping up the steamboat during the meal.

    Meat & Vegetables

    What you actually cook in the stock is entirely up to your personal tastes. Below is a fairly standard list of what we normally have.

    250g Beef steak cut into strips

    250g Chicken breast cut into strips

    250g Pork fillet cut into strips

    3 baby Bok Choy separated and washed

    2 cups Bean sprouts

    2 cups Snow peas

    1 Head broccoli

    4 Spring onions chopped into 2cm pieces

    2 cups hokkien or singapore noodles

    2 cups rice vermicelli

    2 cups flat rice noodes


    Soy sauce

    Asian style dumpling sauce

    Chilli or Sambal

    Chopped coriander

    We put out all the food and invite our guests to 'load up' the steamboat. It is best to add small amounts of food, put the lid on for 4-5 minutes and let it cook. Then divide the cooked food between everyone, reload the steamboat and then eat while the next batch is cooking.

    Feel free to add condiments to your own bowl as well as the steamboat. And keep a big jug of fresh stock on the table to top up the steamboat as required.

    Daniel's Spicy Spaghetti Meat Balls
    Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:29 pm
    Like an itch that you just can't scratch I had a craving for Spaghetti Meat Balls for weeks on end. Considering that I really hadn't every eaten them it was rather strange. In the end, using a mix of recipes and my base craving I came up with this recipe. It does include one serve of Deb's tomato sauce but any good, straight, Italian tomato sauce should do. At some point I am hoping that Deb will post the actual sauce recipe.

    I should point out that this is now a favourite of Deb's which I am getting rather tired of cooking. I guess the itch was scratched.

    Meat Balls

    500gms Beef Mince

    1/2 cup Bread crumbs

    1.2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

    2 Eggs

    1/2 cup Cold water

    1tsp Mixed Herbs

    Pinch Salt & Freshly cracked pepper

    Pre-heat oven to 200c degrees. Mix all the ingredients together & mash vigorously to form a firm mince paste. Form walnut sized balls, place on baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


    1 batch Deb's Tomato Sauce

    1/4 cup Fresh parsley chopped

    1/4 cup Fresh basil chopped

    1/4 tsp Dried chilli flakes (or to taste)

    Salt & Pepper to taste

    Add salt, pepper and chillies to the sauce and simmer slowly until warm and incorporated, about 10 minutes. As the Meat balls are ready add to the sauce, along with the fresh herbs to the sauce. Start the Spaghetti cooking, if using dried pasta. Once the spaghetti is ready, about 10 minutes, the meat balls and sauce should be perfect.

    This should feed two very hungry people with a bit left over for lunch the next day.
    Mintaro Mews Chicken Liver Pate Recipe
    Tuesday, 2 January 2007 11:23 pm
    This recipe came to us from a the chef at the Mintaro Mews guest house in the Claire Valley, South Australia. After a day tasting wine we didn't really have the energy to face dinner. A waitress offered to ask the kitchen to put a platter of different things together for us. What arrived was pretty amazing and included this pate. Now I personally don't like any pate but this stuff was really good, and didn't last on the plate very long. Later, the chef came around to see how we enjoyed the selection. We ended up talking for quite a while and asking for the recipe, which he wrote on a carbonated receipt book. I got one copy and our friends Jan & Simon got the other.

    2 Tbsp Chicken Booster (Powdered Chicken Stock)

    2 Kg Cleaned Chicken Livers

    2 Chopped Onions

    1 Kg Butter

    375g Tinned Peaches

    70ml Grand Marnier

    3 Tbsp Native Pepper Berries (alt. 2 Tbsp crush pepper corns)

    3 Eggs

    1. Melt butter & saut・onions on high heat until slightly frothy

    2. Add remaining ingredients except eggs

    3. Cook until livers are just pink when cut

    4. Remove from heat, allow to cool, add eggs and stir

    5. Immediately puree in blender

    Makes 4 Litres

    Frozen portions of pate last for a few months and should be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight