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Delish Dinners is on Instagram!

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Delish Dinners (delishdinners) is now on Instagram. It will be much easier to update regularly.
Feel free to follow and share!
Here is a sneak peek of some of the upcoming recipes I’ll be sharing.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Broccoli, Leek & Potato Soup

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I have abandoned this blog for such a long time that I almost feel like I have some nerve showing up again.

It’s hard to say why I slacked off. I want to blame my stressful job, moving house etc, but I’ve already used those excuses. The truth is I got lazy with the whole process. The whole transferring the photos from the camera to the laptop, editing, resizing, the uploading and the formatting. With the technology boom and introduction of photo sharing apps like Instagram, there are way easier ways to share photos and information with a few easy taps on the screen. I find myself rarely sitting in front of the laptop at home anymore.

I am contemplating starting an Instagram so that I can post more frequently  instead of boring my Facebook friends with food photos and food related posts.

While I think about that, here is a yummy broccoli, leek and potato soup. It’s not the most pleasant smelling soup when it’s on the stove. In fact, if I recall correctly The Husband came into the house and asked if the dog had gas again. It is a lovely warming soup though and even better with some crunchy sourdough croutons.

INGREDIENTS
2 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 1cm pieces
Olive oil spray
1 leek, pale section only, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato, peeled, finely chopped
1L (4 cups) water
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
600g broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup cream

METHOD

1. Make your croutons!! Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the bread on a baking tray and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Bake, turning once, for 10 minutes or until golden.

2. Start the soup! Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Cook leek, onion and garlic until onion is soft and translucent.

3. Add the potato, water and stock cube to the leek mixture. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Add the spinach leaves just before turning off the heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Add cream.

4. Place the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively you can use a stick blender to blend the soup. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until heated through.

5. Serve with a drizzle of cream and sourdough croutons.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Chicken Souvlaki

One of my friends is a souvlaki purist. She gets offended when souvlaki is made in any variation other than the ‘traditional way’. Me? I don’t mind so much. I like a bit of variety and experimentation but not so far as totally changing a dish.

I scoured the web for a good souvlaki recipe that didn’t veer off into strange ingredients and fancy methods. I just wanted grilled, tasty chicken wrapped in a pita with a punchy garlic sauce and this recipe was the one I decided to go with. The only thing I did differently was not skewer the chicken, ain’t nobody got time for that. I simply sliced the chicken breast into strips and cooked it on a cast iron grill. Yum! That was my favourite part, scraping all the gooey, caramelised chicken bits on the bottom of the pan….Happy days.

I also did not use kalamata olives or red onion because I didn’t have any on hand…and I’ve never had olives in a souvlaki and didn’t feel like I wanted to…

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken:
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, grated (about 4 teaspoons)
  • For the Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (see note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 small red onions, sliced thin
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and sliced into thin half moons
  • 3/4 cups pitted kalamata olives
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 6 pitas

Method

  1. In medium bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Place chicken cubes in a separate medium bowl. Mix in grated garlic and 7 tablespoons of dressing. Toss chicken to coat evenly, cover, and refrigerate to marinate for about 2 hours, tossing occasionally. Set remaining dressing aside for salad.

     

  2. While chicken marinates, make the tzatziki sauce: Place cubed cucumbers in strainer set over bowl. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let sit to drain, about 30 minutes. Gently pat cucumbers dry with paper towel, place in small bowl, and mix with garlic, yogurt, and dill. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

     

  3. Skewer chicken pieces on 8 to 12 skewers. Discard used marinade. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken skewers on grill (or cook in batches on grill pan) until well browned and internal temperature registers 155° on instant read thermometer, turning evenly to cook on all sides, about 5 minutes total. (Adjust temperature of grill if necessary). Remove chicken to a serving platter and let rest 3 minutes. Meanwhile, briefly grill pitas and keep warm.

     

  4. Just before serving, prepare the salad: Whisk olive oil into reserved chicken marinade. Add tomatoes, onions, cucumber, olives, feta, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

     

  5. Serve skewers with salad, pita, and tzatziki sauce. Remove chicken from skewers to stuff into pitas with sauce and salad.
 

Potato, Chorizo & Thyme Tortilla

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This tortilla/fritatta is a brunch favourite in our house. I call it the Happy Marriage Tortilla because it represents a happy medium for my husband and I. There’s meat and potatoes, 2 points to the caveman corner. Then theres’s frilly girly things like beaten eggs and beautifully fragrant thyme, some delicately sautéed onion….2 points to the women’s corner. Told you, happy medium!

Together, this tortilla packs a flavourful punch. To quote my friend, “It’s like a party in my mouth and everyone is invited”. With every bite, you get a little surprise – some meaty, rich and spicy chorizo…delicately seasoned egg…. POP -there’s some thyme and that subtle sweetness? Oh that’s just the onion. Crispy and decadent, the potatoes are my favourite part and if you really want to go KABOOM POW, layer some slices of prosciutto on top before serving with some dressed greens for a delish lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

8 large eggs

4 medium sized yellow-fleshed potatoes, sliced as thin as you can go!

3 tbsp chopped thyme (fresh is preferable)

1 large chorizo sliced thinly

1 onion, diced

1 clove of garlic,minced – optional

4-6 slices of pancetta or prosciutto, torn into smaller strips

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup milk

2tbsp Olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. Cook the potatoes, chorizo, onion and garlic, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the potato, onion and chorizo mixture evenly over the bottom of the frying pan and turn the heat down.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, thyme, Parmesan cheese and milk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and chorizo, shaking the pan to ensure it is evenly distributed.
  4. Cook, with a lid on for about 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on the bottom of the pan. Because I cooked it with the lid on, the heat was trapped and the top started to set, making it easier and more sturdy to flip.
  5. Here’s the fun part. Once the bottom of the tortilla is golden and cooked, you can either put the pan in the oven to finish the top (if you have a metal handle on your frying pan) OR, you can cover the top of the frying pan with a large plate and while holding the bottom of the plate, turn the pan and tortilla onto the plate. Then, gently shimmy and slide it back into the pan to cook the underside. From the time you flip, you only need a further 3-4 minutes of cooking time to set that egg.
  6. When you’re ready to serve it, top it with the prosciutto slices and some rocket leaves, if desired.
  7. Serve with lightly dressed rocket leaves and crusty bread or as part of a delish big breakfast with bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach.
 

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

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I love this salad and would eat it every day if I could. It’s fresh, it’s light but satisfying, it’s packed with flavour and best of all, it stores well so you can easily prep it the night before and take it to work the next day.

As always, I freestyle the recipe amounts, so I will give approximates…I’m sure you can figure it out for what suits you and your current situation. For myself, I always cook for myself and my husband and hope for leftovers the next day for our work lunches.

Now, if you’re lazy time-poor like me, you can just opt for a pre-sliced bag of coleslaw mix from the supermarket instead of chopping all of your cabbages and grating carrots and ruining your manicure. You just march yourself  into that refrigerated aisle and buy yourself a bag of coleslaw mix like it ain’t nobody else’s business and don’t feel bad about it. These small conveniences can save you heaps of time and effort in the kitchen and it’s not going to cause brain cancer, starve a third world country or kill of baby gorillas.

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts

1 bag Coleslaw mix

1/4 cup spring onions, sliced

1/3 cup toasted peanuts

1/2 cup Chang’s Fried Noodles

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 tbsp fish sauce

1 lime, juiced

Drizzle of sesame oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

 

Method

  1. Marinate whole chicken breasts in 3/4 of the soy sauce, 2 tbsp of fish sauce, lime juice and a lick of sesame oil. Marinate for a least an hour, covered with cling film, however overnight is even better.
  2. Cook the chicken breasts on a cast iron grill or heavy based pan. A barbecue would be even better for that smoky charred flavour. Once the chicken is cooked through, set is aside to cool before slicing or shredding it.
  3. In a separate large bowl, empty out your coleslaw bag (if you’re making it from scratch, put your carrots, cabbage and spring onion in now). I can’t believe I just made opening a bag of coleslaw an actual step in this recipe.
  4. Make the dressing by combining the remaining soy sauce, 2 tbsp fish sauce, a little drizzle of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Taste as you and make any adjustments to suit your taste. Disclaimer: I am a salt fiend and really go ape with the soy – you may want to go easy to on the suggested amounts and taste as you go to suit your own palate.
  5. Toss the sliced/shredded chicken with the salad and pour the dressing over. If you eating or serving the salad later, stop here. Do not pass GO and do not collect $200. If you add the nuts and fried noodles now, they’ll take up that dressing and lose their crunch factor, so if you’re eating this later, simply store the salad in a sealed container or covered with cling film and add the nuts and noodles just before serving. If you’re taking this to work, just pack these items separately.
  6. Toast your peanuts in a dry hot pan with NO oil over a medium heat until thy’re  toasty and fragrant. Some slight char marks are ok, but if you walk away to go and watch Chelsea Lately and get lost in her horse-like features and un-witty banter, you may come back to some smoking black little nuts. I meant the peanuts, not the guests on her show, just so we are clear
  7. Last but not least, when it’s time to serve, toss the toasted peanuts through the salad, top with some crunchy noodles and garnish with some coriander (the herb of the devil, I hate it) or sliced chilli and spring onion.  .

FYI, I am sorry in advance for any formatting or spelling issues on this post. My little Malshi has insisted on laying on my lap between myself and laptop. Her paw keeps jerking as she dreams and is hitting random keys. I think I found most of the mistakes and corrected them, but any that slipped through are solely her fault. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Lucky she is cute.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Delish Dinners, Luscious Lunches

 

Chicken & Chickpea Hot Pot

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Forgive the photos, this was a quick mid-week dinner after a rough day at work. What it lacks in presentation, it makes up for in taste! I loosely based the meal on this recipe, but added extra vegetables like green beans, red and green capsicums and lots of zucchini to fill it out with more veggies.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large pan. Add the chicken thighs and fry, turning frequently, until lightly browned all over. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  2. Add a little more oil to the pan, then add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chilli and cook for five minutes. Add a splash of red wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  3. In another pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the chorizo for 2-3 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until the chorizo is crisp. Set aside.
  4. Add the can of chopped tomatoes to the pan with the vegetables and bring to the boil. Cook for five minutes, then add the stock and bring back to the boil.
  5. Add the browned chicken, the chickpeas and crisp chorizo and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.
 
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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Delish Dinners

 

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Caramelised Banana & Peach Pancakes

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Sugar, butter, a dash of vanilla extract, maybe a little cream?

It’s hard to imagine any fruit on this earth not tasting amazing after being gently cooked until tender and lusciously sweet, glistening in a caramelised glaze.

I chose banana and peach because I was feeling all summery sashaying about the kitchen in my floral summery dress, but almost any fruit, especially stone fruits would go well with this style of dish. Think stewed, cinnamon and clove-scented apples or orange segments (add some brandy if you’re feeling particularly fancy)… Or maybe even nectaries, pineapple or pear?

Sweet fruit, fluffy pancakes, topped with some crunchy walnuts, this recipe is sweet and indulgent.

So if you’re feeling like a particularly naughty start to the weekend or feel like indulging in a sweet dessert after a hard day, but don’t want to feel completely guilty (hey, it has fruit in it, okay!!!), read on.

This recipe serves 2 hungry beasts.

Ingredients

Basic Pancake Mix:

  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

For the fruit:

  • 1 peach, cut into wedges (leave the skin on)
  • 1 banana, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsp butter (you’re supposed to use unsalted, but I like using salted butter)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A dash of cream, if you so desire (this makes a more smooth, velvety caramel)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds
  • Ice-cream or double cream, to serve

Method

  1. Make the pancakes first. Combine flour, salt, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla extract (if you are using it). Whisk until well combined.
  2. Get your non-stick frying pan started over a low-medium heat. I don’t grease the pan prior to cooking my pancakes, but feel free to if that’s your thing.
  3. Using a soup ladle or some other kind of scoop or measuring cup to ensure consistency (unlike me, who freestyled it and it shows), pour the pancake batter into the pan. When it begins to bubble on top, flip them over gently. Once both sides are golden brown, remove them and set them aside to keep warm while you continue on making more pancakes.
  4. If you’re really good at multitasking, start with the fruit. It doesn’t take very long to cook and can burn really easily so it needs your undivided attention. Over low heat, melt the butter in a non-stick, deep frying pan. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and wait for it to develop a slightly richer, darker colour. Add your peaches and banana and fry for about 2-5 minutes per side, until glossy and the caramel mixture has thickened a little.
  5. If you want to add cream for a more velvety caramel, remove the fruit and then whisk in your cream after turning the pan off.
  6. Stack your pancakes (about 2-3 per serve) and top with caramelised fruit. Drizzle remaining caramel over the fruit and pancakes. Top with toasted nuts. Serve with a dollop of ice-cream or double cream.
  7. Start your diet tomorrow.
 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Beautiful Brekkies, Devilish Desserts

 

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