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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Grilled Rum & Lime Caribbean Chicken

Allow me to preface this by saying, I’m not an alcoholic.

Yes the photos are crap.

No I was not drunk when I took them.

So when I say that on one particular afternoon, I was craving the flavours of rum and lime, I don’t mean it in a Lyndsay Lohan kind of way, it was more of a craving for the flavours of the tropics, of sun, cocktails and warmth and all that good stuff. The alcohol factor wasn’t my motivator. Although, if you’re that way inclined, this is a perfect recipe for a ‘One for the bowl, one for me’ game.

This meal can’t get any simpler. Marinating overnight is ideal- I did and my chicken was foodgasmically tender.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 teaspoons orange juice
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup rum
  • 2 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl or into a large zip-lock bag. Coat the chicken breasts well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (but 24 hours is better).
  2. Preheat oiled grill pan and cook chicken for about 6-7 minutes on each side and basting with leftover marinade until cooked through.
  3. Serve with a big healthy salad or some crispy stir-fried vegies with lime butter.
 
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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Delish Dinners

 

Spiced Oatmeal & Raisin Cookies

 

I’ve been working on my cookie technique lately- as we all know, baking (especially presentation) hasn’t been my strong suit and I have been practicing a lot lately. I’ve realised that my subconscious has hatched a devious plan to purposely sabotage a large percentage of the cookie mix to make ugly, misshapen lumps of sugary goodness because I always make a point of eating ‘The Ugly Ones’- because we wouldn’t want to photograph them now, would we?

So imagine my annoyance when even moi, the self-proclaimed Forest Gump Of Baking, pulled these babies out of the oven with only 1 or two ugly ducklings on the tray for my chewing pleasure. So I ate those two ugly ones. And then another two. And then another one. And then I photographed what was left…. Ooops.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • a pinch ground cloves
  • a pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Into a bowl sift together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy and beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and slowly beat until just combined well. Stir in rolled oats and raisins (dough will be stiff).
  3. Working in batches, drop dough by level tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet 1 minute and transfer to racks to cool completely (*I’m convinced this is a dig at people like me who wolf them down straight out of the oven. Hmmph!)

Recipe Source

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Devilish Desserts, Sinful snacks

 

Stuffed Mushrooms with Bacon & Camembert

I’ve never had the balls to try stuffed mushrooms before. I had always reluctantly admired from afar, but the reality of baked, spongy fungi filled with different cheeses, vegetables and herbs…well to say I wasn’t completely sold on the idea.

So after picking up some lovely mushrooms at the local farm, I decided to bite the bullet and get on with it and make my first real stuffed mushrooms. AND I LOVED IT!

This recipe is so versatile- the basic premise for each variation is to include some sorting of melting gooey cheese to bind the filling, fresh herbs and crunchy breadcrumbs on top.

My concoction had a mixture of oozing mozzarella and creamy Camembert cheese with the tiniest sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, fresh rosemary and parsely, spring onions, lemon zest for a little bit of sunshine and crispy bits of bacon, which of course can be omitted for vegetarians.

I’m really not sure how many people this recipe will serve, this made about 4 big mushrooms, which I happily devoured myself, so the portion sizes are completely up to you. This is one of those moments where measurements go out the window and you work by touch and intuition of sorts…. and well, let’s be straight, you can’t really ruin it. It’s mushroom. And cheese. And crumbs.

  • Ingredients
  • Large field mushrooms
  • Mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • Camembert, sliced thinly
  • Spring onion, sliced
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Chopped/minced garlic
  • Lemon zest
  • Bacon, diced and fried
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic & Herb store-bought breadcrumbs (or make your own)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Remove the stalks from the mushroom and chop finely.
  3. Combine chopped mushroom stalks, cheeses, spring onion, herbs, garlic, lemon zest and crispy bacon, stir well. Season to taste.
  4. Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the tops are golden.
  6. Serve with lightly dressed salad greens.
 

Penne with Slow-Cooked Beef, Red Wine & Olive Sauce

Slow-cooker recipe today- simple but oh so tasty!

The slow cooked beef shreds perfectly and just falls apart after 6-8 hours soaking up the beautiful tomato sauce. A great,easy mid-week dinner and the leftover sauce is great for a variety of meals too! Add some Mexican spices, jalenpenos and Tabasco and use the sauce for nachos or burritos.  You can use it in a pasta bake or lasagna or in arancini rice balls. The possibilities are endless! So if you have leftovers, don’t fret.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 bottles of passata /approx 3-4 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 Porterhouse steak
  • 1/2 cup Italian olives
  • 2 cups penne
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

 

Method

  1. Coat beef in seasoned flour.
  2. Add oil to frying pan and heat until oil is hot. Seal the beef quickly on all sides until a brown crust forms, but don’t be too concerned about cooking the inside. The quicker it’s sealed and browned, the better.
  3. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker and add a touch of olive oil to the base.
  4. In the same frying pan, add a touch more oil and cook the onion and garlic for approximately 3-4 minutes, until onion starts to soften and become fragrant. Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker.
  5. Deglaze the pan with some red wine to get all those yummy crusty bits and then transfer to the slow-cooker dish.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients, pop the lid on and cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.
  7. 1/2 hour before serving, remove the steak and on a clean chopping board, shred the meat with 2 forks or chop it roughly until all the meat has fallen apart.
  8. Transfer the shredded meat back to the slow cooker for a remaining 30 minutes and cook your pasta.
  9. When the pasta has been cooked and drained, return it to the saucepan and ladle some of the sauce over the pasta, tossing to coat. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Delish Dinners

 

Fruit Salad with Passionfruit & Lime Syrup

It may be winter, so you may be WTFing my dish of choice today. I know it hardly seems like the kind of warming, hearty, lava-ish kinda recipe you might be craving during the winter months, but as much as I love winter, I was feeling a tad nostalgic about all the fresh fruit I used to eat in summer time and I realised how the main source of my fruit intake in winter was baked, crumbled, poached or caramelised. I simply wanted fruit, in it’s natural form, untouched and uncomplicated.

This may have also had something to do with my recent visit to the farmer’s market nearby where I came home with lots of locally grown fresh berries and other produce and couldn’t wait to use them….

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet strawberries, sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 3/4 canteloupe, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple (if available, if not, use canned pineapple pieces and drain them well)
  • 1 apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 passionfruits, halved, pulp scooped out
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • Toasted pecans (optional, I had a craving for pecans so that’s why I included it).

Method

  1. Assemble the chopped fruit into individual serving dishes or into one large serving bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, lime zest and juice and passionfruit pulp.
  3. Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the syrup has reduced by half and thickened significantly. Stir from time to time and when the syrup starts to coat the back of the spoon, it’s ready.
  4. Allow the syrup to cool, then pour over fruit salad.
  5. Top with toasted pecans.
 

Parmesan & Chive Baked Eggs

These baked eggs are perfect for a mid-week breakfast when you want something warm and nourishing without having to set your alarm an hour earlier to cook something delish.

The perfect thing about this dish is that you can pop it in the oven and resume your morning activities- iron your outfit, put your face on or even jump in the shower quickly. You still get to enjoy a warm, oozing cooked egg brekkie without standing over the stove in your sleep-zombie state.

You can also use wholegrain slices of bread or even tortillas as your ‘ramekin”. If using bread, simply cut off the crusts, flatten with a rolling pin and place in a muffin tin to form a cup. Pre-bake the bread/tortilla for a few minutes before adding the egg to make sure the base stays crispy.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • butter
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease 2 ramekins with butter. Crack one egg into each ramekin, taking care to keep the yolk whole.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of milk/cream to each ramekin, the divide the parmesan, chives, spring onion and parsley amongst both serves.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and bake until the egg white has just set.
  5. Eat it quick, before the yolk sets!

Enjoy with toast soldiers for lots of dipping, gooey fun. Just don’t put on your work shirt till AFTER breakfast.

 

DIY Smoothies

You might have seen these Smoothie Cubes in the frozen section at your local supermarket.

I’ll admit, when I saw them, I squealed with excitement. I love smoothies and fruit juices but I’m always too lazy to make them myself because I never have all the fruits and veg handy at the same time…and I just cant be bothered.

These cubes are pureed fruit packed with nutritional goodness- antioxidants and omega 3s and all that good stuff and come in different flavours. So I bought a packet of each to try them, enchanted by the concept of just adding milk and having a delicious fruity treat.

The premise is simple, you just blend 2-3 Smoothie Cubes and 200ml of milk or juice.

My favourite combination is 2 Tropical cubes and 1 Berry Antioxidant cube plus a few little extras.

These little cubes are a tad on the pricey side so I probably couldn’t keep buying them weekly, so this is the part where the little light bulb pings above my head and I have the great idea of making my own smoothie cubes so I can stockpile all these delicious cubes of fresh fruit goodness. YUM.

I’m going to stock up on fresh and frozen fruits, go on a pureeing frenzy and freeze them into ice-cube trays (albeit they will be smaller in size than the supermarket ones which will mean you will probably need a few extra per smoothie).

You can blitz them up with milk, sorbet, yoghurt, fresh fruit juice, fresh fruit, honey or even use them in cocktails.

Tropical Berry Smoothie

  • 2 Tropical Smoothie Cubes
  • 1 Berry Antioxidant Smoothie Cube
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 150ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

So easy and it literally took 1 minute. AWESOME 🙂

 
 
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