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28 June 2009

Preserved Lemon Chicken Curry

On one of my numerous trips to Herbies Spices at Rozelle I purchased preserved lemons. When I have used preserved lemons previously I have found them too salty. I wanted to therefore try them from Herbies - my rationale being that if didn't enjoy Herbie's version, I would not like any preserved lemons. And I was not disappointed.

I was originally going to make this meal on Sunday and then re-heat it on Monday night, but since tonight is so cold and rainy, I decided that we would eat it tonight - perfect comfort food.

I did a spice blending class at Herbies a few weeks ago and purchased native pepperberries. I have used them in this dish instead of black pepper as it is stronger and more intense, and I wanted this dish to have a little more heat. If you do not have pepperberries, just use a couple of teaspoons black pepper. I have also used white peppercorns as I like their flavour. Add some chilli if you want more heat, but perhaps taste it first and add extra chilli just before serving.

I loved this dish, and hope you do also.

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 native ground pepperberries
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom
Plain flour for dusting
3 chicken breasts skin off, cut into three pieces
Oil for frying
1 brown onion chopped
3 preserved lemon quarters (one left whole, 2 with the pith and flesh removed and slices into thirds)
2 cups chicken stock
200g Greek yoghurt
White rice to serve


Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix well. Dust the chicken lightly with flour. Heat oil in a fry pan and brown chicken in batches. Add a little extra oil and cook the onion until just soft. Add the spice mix and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Place the chicken, onion and spices, preserved lemon and chicken stock in a casserole dish with lid. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Stir through yoghurt and serve with white rice.

22 June 2009

Cauliflower, Bacon and Caraway Soup with Pesto

I was hesitant to serve soup as an entree as it seemed a bit 80s. But given how cold and rainy it has been, soup seemed so deliciously warming and appropriate.

After the success of the pureed cauliflower I made at Easter I had been wanted to create a soup, so used this opportunity, and it was delicious! It probably doesn't need the butter and cream to be delicious, so omit these if you want a lower fat version.

And also very easy to make - have a go.

Ingredients (serves 4 with a small amount leftover)

1 tablespoon olive oil
25g butter
6 rashes short cut bacon diced
1 brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 cauliflower heads (about 450-500g each) cut into florets
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 slices prosciutto
300ml thickened cream
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons pesto (see post from 15 March, but add a little less parmesan and pine nuts)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Saute the bacon, onion and garlic in the butter and oil in a large saucepan until the bacon is crisp and the onion is soft. Add the cauliflower florets, stock and caraway seeds. Bring to the boil and simmer until the cauliflower is very soft (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, cook the prosciutto in the oven until crisp.
Once cooked, blend in batches in a food processor (note that you may not need all the liquid if you want a thick soup). Return to the pan and add the cream and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with prosciutto shards and a dollop of pesto.

Thyme Roasted Vegetables

This meal is really very easy. There is very little preparation and it can just cook away in the oven while you relax or do something else.

With this dish, you can really use whatever vegetables you like. Just make sure they are cut into similar sizes, or that ones that cook faster are bigger than those that cook slower.

Last time I made this, I also served it with peas sauteed in mint and butter, but this time, with the heavy soup entree, I decided to pass on the peas this time. I'll save them for another post.
Ingredients (serves 4)

4 parsnips peeled and cut in half lengthwise
8-10 baby new potatoes halved
600g sweet potato cut into large pieces
2 onions quartered with the skin left on
1 head garlic cloves separated, skin on
4-6 carrots, skin on, cut into 3-4 cm pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 bunch thyme
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (or a little less if the meat is not roasting at the same time). Place all the vegetables in a roasting tray (it is much easier to clean if you line it with baking paper). Toss them in the oil, vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until soft.

Succulent Roast Beef

I purchased the meat at David Jones -- if I want really good meat, that is where I head. And I have never been disappointed. It is more expensive than normal (except when I purchased quite a bit on sale not long ago) but every so often I can justify the expense.

Saturday night was one of those nights.

And again I was not disappointed.

I like my meat cooked medium - so if you like it a little more well done, you will need to cook it for longer.

Ingredients (serves 4)

900g beef fillet
1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
4 slices prosciutto


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Take the beef out of the fridge and let is rest until it reaches room temperature. Spread the dijon mustard over the top of the beef. Place the prosciutto slices on top of the mustard. Place on a roasting tray in a roasting tin. Roast for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

19 June 2009

Lemon Myrtle and Kaffir Lime Leaf Risotto

One of the first risotto recipes I learnt to make was a lemongrass and lime leaf risotto that was in a small marie claire book of my mum's.

It was absolutely delicious and very unique. I should one day remember to write down the recipe when I am over at their place.

In the meantime, I have tried to make something similar using my enormous range of spices! Lemon myrtle has a very lemongrass-like flavour, and I have plenty of dried kaffir lime leaves, so it seemed logical to have a go using these.

So here is my creation, and if I do say so myself, it is not too bad...

Ingredients (serves 2)

4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2cm grated fresh ginger
1 cup arborio rice
1 chicken breast trimmed
1 teaspoon lemon myrtle
1 teaspoon dried kaffir lime leaf
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Small handful fresh mint


Heat the chicken stock in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently. Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook for a minute or so. Add the rice and cook stirring until translucent. Use a soup ladle to add the chicken stock one ladle full at a time, stirring well, and adding more stock once the previous ladle full has been absorbed.

After all the stock has been absorbed, add the lemon myrtle, kaffir lime leaves, fish stock, butter and mint and stir well. Serve immediately.

18 June 2009

Very Slow and Very Tender Lamb

As anyone reading this blog will have picked up lately, I have been experimenting with slow cooked lamb. Often I try to combine a crunchy top, and a tender core. But this time I decided not to try and make any part of the lamb crunchy and go for a true slow cooked, fall of the bone, lamb (as opposed to part slow cooked and slow roasted, which are different). I used half a leg for just the two of us, but you could probably cook a whole leg in the same amount of time.

And this dish turned out exactly how I wanted it to (it received a 'very good' from Mark)!
And it was so easy to make. It does require a bit of forward planning (ie remembering to put it in the oven) but once it is in, you can just forget about it.

What more could you ask for really?


1/2 leg of lamb
Flour for dusting
Olive oil for frying
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
2 onions peeled and quartered
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups beef stock
400g tin tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
4 bay leaves
A few sprigs thyme and sage
Freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Dust the lamb in flour. Heat oil in a dish that can go on the stove and in the oven (or use a fry pan and transfer to a casserole dish). Brown lamb on each side. Add the vinegar, stock, tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, sage and pepper. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Serve with rice or mash and veges.

Creamy Chicken, Thyme and Sage Casserole

On the particular evening that I made this dish, I was babysitting for my gorgeous God son Otis. I wanted to make something that I could feed him at about 5.30 and then reheat again later for Mark and me once we had put Otis to bed. So a casserole seemed like the perfect choice.

And then I saw a creamy looking casserole on http://www.taste.com.au/ that looked delicious (what perfect timing!) so I decided to create a creamy casserole of my own.

Otis seemed to enjoy this dish, and Mark and I definitely did. There was probably far too much liquid, so I have only specified below a portion of what I added. If it looks too dry, add extra.

I served it with roasted garlic mash (see post from 14 June 2009) and some veges.

I used chicken breasts, but you could use whatever you like. I let the dish sit for a few hours after cooking and then reheated it, and the meat was wonderfully tender. I think the resting contributed to this.


Butter to fry
900g chicken breast or thigh cut into large pieces
6 rashes short cut rindless bacon
2 leeks, pale section only cut into quarters length ways and then cut into 3 cm pieces
5 cloves garlic bruised but left whole
2 tablespoons plain flour
3/4 cup chicken consomme
3/4 cup white wine
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
1/2 cup thickened cream
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Heat the butter oil in a dish that can be used both on the stove and in the oven (or use a fry pan and then transfer to a casserole dish). Cook the chicken in batches until browned. Remove from pan.

Melt extra butter and then add and cook until well browned. Then add leeks and garlic and saute. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Add the wine and stock and bring to the boil.

Return chicken to the pan with 1/2 the thyme and 1/2 the sage. Cover and place in the oven and cook for an hour.

After an hour, return pan to the stove top and add cream and remaining thyme and sage. Cook, stirring for a few minutes until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with mash and vegetables.

14 June 2009

Lemony Greens

You would be aware of how much I love spinach - I have withdrawals if I don't eat it for a few days. I also love green beans and lemon. So combining these into one dish just seemed logical. I also like to serve at least something green with each and every meal.

The lemon adds just enough tang to make these greens just a little extra special. I served this to Scott and Mark along with the roast chicken and roasted garlic mashed potato.

Ingredients (serves 3)

3 handfuls green beans
Drizzle olive oil / knob of butter (whichever you prefer)
200g spinach washed and dried
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil or butter in a fry pan. Cook the beans until cooked through, but still crunchy. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Add the lemon juice and zest and serve immediately.

Roasted Thyme Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It was the Saturday night before our 'Long Weekend, Long Dinner' house christening. I was tired (from shopping and lunching for Jess's birthday) and busy cooking for the next day, but we had invited Scott over, so I wanted to cook something lovely that the boys would enjoy.

Since winter has set in I have been craving more comfort food - and what is more comforting that roast chicken and mashed potatoes?

So I grabbed a whole chicken from the supermarket, added a few extra wings (Mark looked very suspiciously at the chicken when I served it, asking whether I had added extra wings. I think he for a brief moment wondered if I have purchased a mutant chicken) and then threw it in the oven to roast. Simple and delicious.

Ingredients (serves 3)

1 whole chicken and 3-4 extra chicken wings
1 bunch thyme
30g butter
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1/2 lemon
1/2 onion
1 head garlic
4 large potatoes peeled
1/2 cup milk or cream
30g butter (extra)


Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Place 1/2 the thyme and butter under the skin on the breasts. Place the onion and lemon in the cavity and rub both the whole chicken and the wings with oil, salt and pepper. Scatter the remaining thyme around the chicken. Roast in the oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes per 500g. To serve, drizzle with pan juices.

Cut the top of the head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast for about an hour. Once cooled, squeeze garlic flesh from skins. Set aside.

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain well and return to the pan with the milk and butter. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mash well. If you want it to be extra smooth, press the mash through a fine sieve and then fluff with a fork. Serve with the chicken along with lemon greens.

Long Weekend, Long Dinner

So, this was our first experience entertaining in our new house. We were very excited to christen our house, so I wanted to create a really amazing menu for my friends. I hope that I succeeded - every ounce of food was devoured, so it seems that my friends enjoyed themselves, or at the least were hungry.

This was the menu...

Marinated feta
White Bean and Olive Dip
Fragrant Red Kidney Bean Dip
Feta, Ricotta and Pine Nut Dip

Main Meal
Slow Roasted Lamb with Spiced Butter
Wonderfully Crunchy Chicken Wings
Crispy Chicken Breasts
Mustard and Chive Potatoes
Honey Spiced Carrots
Beans with Pistachio Gremolata
Green Salad with Pink Peppercorn Dressing

Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes with Ganache Icing
Brown Sugar Butterfly Cakes with Raspberry Cream

Do in advance...

Day before:
Marinate feta
Make white bean dip
Make kidney bean dip
Make toasts for dips
Make spiced butter
De-seed pomegranate
Chop pistachios
Make salad dressing

Morning of 'the day':
Make cupcakes (including cream and icing)
Marinate chicken wings
Wash spinach for salad
Chop spring onions
Blanche beans and carrots
Par boil potatoes
Put salad together (except for avocado)

Feta, Ricotta and Pine Nut Dip

Normally I would make this dip with only feta - but I didn't really like the taste of the feta I had purchased. So I added a little ricotta to mellow the flavour and decided that I liked it better this way.

This dip was a last minute addition to my menu - I just really love the flavours and, of course, I cannot look past such a cheesy, creamy dish!


150g creamy feta crumbled
1 cup ricotta
1 spring onion finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted and lightly
1/2 clove garlic crushed
1/2 cup basil leaves thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Olive oil to taste


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Fragrant Red Kidney Bean Dip

I saw Nigella Lawson a recipe similar to this one as part of a middle eastern banquet once and thought it looked delicious. I have tinkered with it a little, and used some additional spices and herbs. The end result was very pleasing.

I found that I can smell this dip before I taste it - it is wonderfully aromatic.

Again I served this with toasted bread - just delicious!


2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tins red kidney beans undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom
Juice and zest 2 limes
1 bunch mint
Olive oil (extra)


Mince the onion and garlic in the food processor. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan and add the onion and garlic mixture. Cook until golden. Add the kidney beans (along with the liquid in the tin), tomato paste and spices. Cook for a few minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool. When cool process in a food processor until well combined, but still lumpy.

Place in serving bowls and top with zest and mint. Drizzle with extra olive oil.

White Bean and Olive Dip

I call this a 'dip', but really it is more of a bruschetta topping (for want of a better expression). Regardless of what it is - I absolutely love it. I first learnt this recipe when Mark surprised me with an Italian cooking class http://www.cucinaitaliana.com.au/contact.php) and this was one of the dishes that we made.

Since that time, I have made it many, many times. People always seem to love it.
I serve the dip with toasted sourdough or Italian bread which I have drizzled with olive oil and then baked in the oven until golden.

You need to be generous with both the salt, olive oil and parsley in order to make this dish work - do not be stingy, I simply with not be as nice. Taste regularly and add what you think it needs.

Again, I made this one the night before and just pulled it out of the fridge about an hour before serving so it came back to room temperature.

1 red onion finely diced
2 tins cannellini beans or white beans rinsed
Olive oil to taste
1 bunch parsley (or as much as you want)
1 cup olives
Salt and pepper to taste


Place the diced onion in a sieve and salt well. Allow to sit for a few minutes and then rinse (this takes away the bitterness). Place the beans and onions in a medium bowl. Add olive oil and mash with a potato masher until coarsely mashed. Do not over-mash and do not place in the food processor - it should be rustic. Add the parsley, olive oil, olives and salt and pepper. Taste and add extra olive oil, salt and pepper and parsley as you please.

Feta Marinated in Lemon and Oregano

Normally I would use Danish feta for this dish. I love the one from the deli section of Woolworths. But as one of my guests was pregnant, and therefore could only have pre-packaged feta, I used a smooth and creamy, packaged, cow's milk feta. I cannot recall what brand it was, but it was delicious.

I made this the night before in order to give the flavours sufficient time to come together. I was very pleased, everyone seemed to enjoy.


200g smooth and creamy feta crumbled
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour, longer if possible.

Mustard and Chive Potatoes

I keep reading that mustard seeds go really well with potatoes and have therefore been keen to give that combination a go. But I have also been very much enjoying steamed potatoes with butter (or olive oil) and herbs. As I could not decide what to serve for my dinner party, I figured that I could have the best of both worlds - mustard and chives - two flavours that work beautifully together.

These potatoes were quite simple. I par boiled the potatoes in advance, sauteed them in a large fry pan with a lid (thanks Renee!) and then just let them sit on low until I served the main meal. They were left there for perhaps 30 minutes.

Add butter to taste. I didn't really measure the butter, I just threw in as much as looked sufficient.

I don't have a decent photo unfortunately - the steam coming off the potatoes made it very difficult to take a good one.


15-17 medium-large potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
50-75g butter
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 bunch chives finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Par boil the potatoes for approximately 5 minutes. Drain and allow the excess moisture to evaporate. Melt the butter in a large fry pan. Add the potatoes and mustard seeds and saute until golden. Add the chives and mix well.

08 June 2009

Slow Roasted Lamb with Spiced Butter

I have been experimenting a lot with slow roasting lately. Slow roasted food is so wonderfully comforting in winter and I love filling the house with the roasting aromas.

With this lamb I had to make a choice - was I going to keep it covered the whole time and ensure it was always topped up with stock / wine? Or was I going to finish by roasting, uncovered and allow it to crisp on top? The trade off is that the latter option means that the meat is slightly dryer than the former. But since I love the crunchy parts on top, I went with the latter, but plan on experimenting with a wetter, more moist slow roast next time.

The result was however delicious. The lamb was still very moist and succulent despite being allowed to crisp on top and the spices tasted amazing. I attended a spice blending class at Herbies Spices last week so my interest in spices has been refreshed.


300g butter softened
4 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 legs of lamb on the bone
2 cups vegetable stock
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Handful fresh mint


Preheat oven to 120 degrees. Place the butter and spices in a bowl and mix well. Cut slits in the lamb legs and smear with 2/3 of the butter mixture. Place lamb in a roasting tray with the vegetable stock. Cover tightly with foil. Roast in the oven for 7 hour. Increase heat to 160 degrees and roast uncovered for another hour. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving scattered with pomegranate seeds and mint.

Wonderfully Crunchy Chicken Wings

Lately, I just cannot seem to cook chicken wings often enough. They are just so deliciously crunchy and satisfying. The ones that I have used for this recipe were very small which meant they crisped particularly well. I received quite a few comments on these wings - they seemed to go down very well - my friend Phil managed to eat quite a number by himself!

Marinating the wings for a number of hours before roasting makes a big difference to the final product - so if you have time to do this, I highly recommend you do so.

Again, no photos sorry!


20 chicken wings
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper finely ground
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom
2 large thick plastic zip lock bags
6 tablespoons olive oil


Place 10 wings in each plastic bag. Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Add the spices and olive oil to the bags with the chicken and combine well. Marinate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees. Place the wings on a baking tray and roast for at least an hour - or until the wings are crispy.

Crispy Chicken Breasts

When entertaining I like to offer guests two different types of meat - and often I choose chicken and lamb. Lately I have leaned towards chicken wings as I love roasting them until they are wonderfully crispy. In addition, for this dinner, I wanted to serve chicken breasts with the skin still on so that we could enjoy the beautiful white chicken breast meat as well as the crispy skin.

I also wanted to be able to run the spiced butter theme through as many dishes as possible. Leaving the skin on means I could place the spiced butter under the skin and the succulent meat would be flavoured by the spices.
No photo unfortunately - I was running short of time!


Spiced butter from Slow Roasted Lamb with Spiced Butter recipe
5 chicken breasts skin on
1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Use your fingers to separate the chicken skin from the breast, creating a pocket. Place knobs of the spiced butter in the pocket. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan and place the chicken skin side down and brown well.
Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Green Salad with Pink Peppercorn Dressing

Personally, I generally prefer salad to hot vegetables. But I know that some people prefer just the opposite. As I was feeding so many people I wanted to serve sides that suit everyone's tastes - so decided to serve a salad as well as the beans and carrots. And, well, since I love spinach I wanted to incorporate it somehow...

The pink peppercorns were a last minute thought and were added for colour as well as for their wonderful tang.


250g baby spinach washed and dried
4 spring onions finely sliced
1/3 cup pistachios chopped
2 avocados chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns lightly crushed


Combine the spinach, spring onions, pistachios and avocado in a salad bowl. Place the olive oil, lime juice and peppercorns in a screw top jar and shake to combine. Drizzle the salad with the dressing just before serving.

Honey Spiced Carrots

I really enjoyed these carrots. The cumin and honey work beautifully together. Just remember to season with salt and pepper also as the seasoning will enhance the other flavours. I had been wanting to try this dish for quite some time - and now regret that I waited so long! Very simply, but very effective.


1.5kg carrots peeled, chopped in half length ways and through the middle
30g butter
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper


Blanch the carrots in boiling water until partly cooked through (about 5 minutes). Just prior to serving, heat the butter in a fry pan. Add the carrots, cumin, honey and salt and pepper. Cook until well combined and the carrots are cooked to your liking.

Beans with Pistachio Gremolata

I wanted these beans to taste very fresh to contrast the other more robust flavours of the lamb and chicken. I find lemon zest so aromatic and refreshing, especially when combined with parsley. And I am always looking for different ways to serve beans - so this dish was born.

The beans do need to still be crunchy for this recipe to work well. If blanching the beans in advance be sure to rinse them with very cold water or place them in a bowl of iced water so that they stop cooking as soon as you take them out of the boiling water.


1kg green beans trimmed
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup pistachios
1 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch mint
25g butter


Blanch the beans in boiling water for a few minutes until bright green and still crisp. Drain well and rinse under very cold water or thrust into a bowl of iced water.

To make the gremolata, place the pistachios, herbs and zest on a chopping board and chop together until well combined.

Just prior to serving heat the butter in a fry pan. Saute the beans for a minute or so until heated through. Serve sprinkled with the gremolata.

Brown Sugar Butterfly Cakes with Raspberry Cream

As with the chocolate cupcakes, I searched the internet for this recipe. I had purchased the copy of Gourmet Traveller that it is featured in, but could not locate it when I needed it and luckily found the recipe easily on the internet. You can find it at:


I used to have butterfly cakes as a child - my grandma makes some delicious ones that I recall my mother requesting for her birthday - so it was exciting for me to make them.

This recipe was a lot easier than the chocolate one - the mixture easily poured into the patty cases. I made the raspberry cream in advance and stored it in a thick plastic bag in the fridge until I was serving and then simply cut one of the corners of the bag off and 'piped' the cream into the cakes.

I also added one teaspoon of my Herbies 'Fragrant Sweet Spices' to the mixture - delicious!

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing - or 'Raspberry Surprise'

For this event I wanted an easy dessert that I could just put on the table and let my guests serve themselves. Cupcakes seemed like the perfect choice! Unfortunately, these cupcakes were a little more mess and fuss than I had envisioned - the mixture is very thick and filling the patty cases was a frustrating process. But they were delicious nonetheless - very rich with a raspberry 'surprise' in the centre.

I found the recipe for the cakes at http://www.cupcake-creations.com/chocolate-cup-cake-recipe.html. For the icing I just melted 400g dark chocolate with 70g butter and 250ml cream and let it cool before topping the cooled cupcakes. Just make sure to watch the mixture carefully. I became distracted and some of it did burn, but I managed to salvage most of it!

No photos - I was a bit over taking photos at this point!

04 June 2009

Chicken and Corn Soup

I was very inspired by my chicken noodle soup experiment a few weeks ago. This time I decided to make a thicker soup spiced with cumin. The result was delicious.

Since I accidentally purchased normal corn instead of creamed corn, I whizzed the corn in the food processor to blend it up. However, I understand that this is not how they make creamed corn in the supermarket. So, if using purchased cream corn you may need to add extra water / chicken stock. Just experiment and see how you go.

Ingredients (serves 2-3 as a main meal)
1 chicken breast trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion finely chopped
2cm knob ginger thinly sliced
3 cups chicken stock or chicken consomme
1 (approx) 400g tin creamed corn
1 (approx) 400g tin ordinary corn
(or 2 tins ordinary corn, one tin whizzed in food processor)
2 spring onions thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Crusty bread to serve


Cook to chicken in a small fry pan. Slice and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Add the ginger and cook for another minute or so. Add the corn and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Add the cumin, 3/4 of the spring onions, the sesame oil and chicken. Stir and ensure all ingredients are heated through. Serve topped with remaining spring onions and crusty bread.

02 June 2009

Bit of a tease...

I know, I have been slack lately in posting recipes. Our new house is still a shambles, but the carpet is going in today, the painting should be finished by the weekend, and the internet came back on yesterday! So, really, I should be back posting recipes regularly again very soon.

Here is a menu I will (hopefully) post over the long weekend...


Marinated feta
White bean, sumac, parsley and olive dip
Spiced kidney bean and lime dip

Main meal

Slow roasted lamb cooked with spiced butter (and maybe topped with feta and pomegranate to make it pretty)
Crispy skin chicken with spiced butter (to match the lamb)
Potatoes tossed with mustard seeds, chives and butter
Pistachio, avocado, spring onion, spinach and lime salad
Baby carrots sautéed in honey and spices
Beans with pistachio gremolata


Chocolate and raspberry cupcakes with ganache icing
Brown sugar butterfly cakes with raspberry cream