Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oregano Roast Lamb with Dill Potatoes

for lamb: 650g lamb backstrap
sea salt and black pepper

1 bunch oregano

olive oil to drizzle
1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup
Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 200C. Rub lamb with salt and pepper. Tie oregano to lamb, place on baking tray lined with non stick paper and drizzle with oil. Roast for 15mins or to your liking. Mix honey and mustard and served as separate sauce. Serves 4.

for dill potatoes:
850g kipfler potatoes, cooked, sliced and cooled
1/2 red onion, sliced

1/4 cup dill, chopped

1/2 cup parsley

3tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs sugar
2tbs fruity olive oil

1 tbs dijon mustard

sea salt and black pepper

Place onion, potato, dill and parsley in a bowl. Whisk vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and pour over salad. Serves 4.

Ease: 4/5. Lamb is really easy and minimal effort. The potatoes take a while to cook and then you have to assemble salad.
prep time: 20mins. 1min to prepare lamb, 20mins for potatoes to cook.
cooking time: 20mins. I cooked the lamb for 20mins for medium well.

Total: 40mins. About 10mins hands on time.

Taste: 3.5/5. I liked the potatoes, the vinegar and onions made them quite tangy. Ryan liked the steak but I was a little unimpressed over the presentation. Looked a little 'curdled'- perhaps from baking on baking paper.

Would I make it again: Yes. I would like to try the lamb again, probably wouldn't make the potatoes again though.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

1 tbs olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
2 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs, chopped
1 tbs thyme leaves
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
sea salt and black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 200C. Heat oil in large fry pan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for 4mins or until soft. Add chicken, thyme, potatoes and stock and simmer for 20mins or until chicken is tender and potatoes are soft. Stir through cream, salt and pepper. Pour into baking dish. Cover with pastry and brush pastry with egg. Bake for 15mins ot until golden. Serves 3.
ease: 3.5/5. You cook the inside beforehand and then cook it with the pastry in the oven.
prep time: 25mins to cook the time: 15mins to cook in the oven.Total: 40mins.

4.5/5. Really yummy, the puffed crust was tasty and the filling was lovely. Would add a little more thyme maybe as the flavour wasn't that pronounced. Make sure you properly salt and pepper the filling when its in the fry pan. Ryan and I both had seconds.

would I make it again: Yes.
Good pie - makes enough for 3 people in one square pan.

Tiramisu Cake

This was a different twist on the traditional Tiramisu - it doesn't really taste anything like a Tiramisu.

ease: 3/5. It gets a 3 as there is no baking. But you have to whip egg whites, beat eggs, melt chocolate etc. So there are quite a few steps before you put it in the fridge to chill.
prep time: 20mins. You have to do the steps individually then combine everything. Uses up quite a few bowls.
cooking time: 4 hours to overnight. I let mine chill for 4 hours and it was pretty much set.
Total: 4hours 20mins (inc chilling time)

taste: 3.5/5.
I didn;t like this after 4hours as the biscuit fingers were dry, however, the next day it was MUCH BETTER, the fingers were moist and it tasted better. The only resemblance to Tiramisu was the Marsala taste and the fingers. I would recommend soaking the fingers in the coffee (increase amount of coffee) before placing in pan. Chocolate and marsala were the main flavours.

would I make it again: No.
Would rather do a normal Tiramisu.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

risotto con parmigiano-reggiano

ease: 3/5. As with all risottos you have to constantly stir it to stop rice sticking to the bottom, so you have to be at the stove for 25mins.
prep time: 10mins. To get ingredients ready. Chopping onions takes the longest, to shorten time buy pre-grated Parmesan.
cooking time: 30mins. 5mins to soften onions and coat rice, and 25mins to cook risotto. I also put on a lid after adding butter and Parmesan and let it sit for a few minutes.
Total: 40mins. All hands on.

taste: 4/5.
I have made this recipe quite a few times. It is my favourite risotto recipe that I have made. It has always been consistent and is pretty foolproof. Tonight I doubled the quantity and it was a little more gluggy than usual, but still good. Doubling the recipe serves 5 well.

would I make it again: YES.
Made this tons of times already. Haven't had anyone not like it so far.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Salt & Pepper Chicken with Broccolini

From Donna Hay Instant Entertaining.

1 tbs salt
2 tsp szechwan pepper (or black cracked pepper)
2 red chillis
1 tsp chinese five spice powder
4 chicken breasts
400g broccolini
1 tbs oil

Mix salt, pepper, chillis and chinese five spice powder together. Rub onto diced chicken breast. Heat oil in large frypan and cook chicken for 8mins. Add broccolini after cooking chicken for 4mins. Serve with noodles.

EASE: 5/5.
Season chicken with spice mixture and then cook in skillet - easy peasy.
Prep time: 4mins to dice chicken and season.
Cooking time: 9mins to cook chicken - the broccolini only takes 4mins to cook.
TOTAL: 13mins.

TASTE: 4/5.
I quartered the recipe, but added 1/4 tsp more five spice powder. I really liked the flavours, Ryan thought it was too salty but he ate it all. Would only use 1/4 tsp of salt and more chinese five spice next time. I would also add more broccolini next time.

Would I make it again: Yes.
Very quick and easy

Lemon Slice

EASE: 3.5/5. Make base and icing.
Prep time: 10mins for the base, 3mins for the icing.
Cooking time:
2hours chilling time.
TOTAL: 2hrs 13mins. Only 13mins hands on time - the rest is in the fridge.

TASTE: 4/5.
Nice, quite addictive. I only had a large baking slab so my slices were much thinner than pictured. 1 lemon also does not make enough zest for the recipe. The icing was nice, but put some orange juice in as well next time.

Would I make it again: Yes.
Appealing to everyone.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Garlic Butter Steak & Mushrooms

From Donna Hay's Instant Entertaining cookbook

8 thin sirloin steak ( I used 2 Porterhouse for Ryan)
80g butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
salt and pepper
4 Field mushrooms
baby spinach

Mix butter, garlic, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper together. Brush butter mixture onto mushrooms and steaks. Cook steaks in fry pan until browned and cooked, around 4mins. Remove and cook steaks to your desired length, around 8mins for medium. Remove and put any remaining butter mixture into pan to warm up. Place sauteed spinach on plate, top with steak and then mushroom. Pour butter sauce over steak. Serves 4.

EASE: 5/5. Not much effort at all. I halved the recipe.
Prep time: 5mins. To make butter mixture and wash spinach/peel mushrooms.
Cooking time: 15mins. The spinach took around 2mins to wilt. I just sauteed it in some butter and oil with lots of minced garlic and some salt and pepper. The mushrooms took 5mins (my pan was not hot enough) and the steak took 8mins for medium.
TOTAL: 20mins. Everything goes in the same pan after each other, and all cook quickly.
TASTE: 4.5/5.
I LOVED the flavour of the mushrooms with the butter sauce; really tasty. The spinach was beautiful (I always do it the same) and Ryan said the steak was great. I will be using the butter mixture for all mushrooms I quickly fry in the pan (I used Swiss Brown - couldn't get Field). I also used two Porterhouse steaks.
Would I make it again: Yes.
Super quick - on the table in 20mins and full of flavour. Ryan did initailly complain that I didn't make mash with it - but he couldn't even finish his plate, so it's not needed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pepper Steak with red wine, parmesan and chilli

EASE: 5/5. Few ingredients and one pan.
Prep time: 2mins. To get everything ready.
Cooking time: 10mins. 8 mins for steak and 2mins for wine reduction.
TOTAL: 12mins. I only rested the steak for 2mins while the wine was reducing.

TASTE: 3.5/5.
Ryan liked it. I served it with mashed potatoes.

Would I make it again: Yes.
Easy and quick - pretty cheap too.


Greek Custard with Glace Fruits

From 'My Greek Kitchen' on Discovery Travel&Living - they called it Sharlota

6 cups of milk
6 eggs
1 cup cornflour
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
1 tbs vanillin sugar
Glace fruits

Warm half of the milk in pot on stove. Take off the stove and add cold milk. Whisk in sugar, cornflour, lime zest and vanillin sugar. Put back on stove and whisk until thickened. Pour into bowl, cool a little and then place in fridge for 20mins. Slice glace fruit and arrange on top of custard.

EASE: 5/5.
Takes no time at all. Lightly whisking eggs and whisking custard is the only manual labour.
Prep time: 5mins. To warm milk and whisk in ingredients.
Cooking time: 5mins. To heat custard til thick.
TOTAL: 10mins. Plus 20mins cooling time.

TASTE: 3/5.
Just a normal thick chilled custard - would probably skip the glace fruits next time.

Would I make it again: No.
Not until I have kids.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tapioca porridge with brown sugar bananas

EASE: 3.5/5. You cook two things at once and have to start this recipe the night before.
Prep time: 8mins (not including soaking tapioca overnight). You cook the bananas separately.
Cooking time: 8mins. 8 mins for bananas, once you put the tapioca into the milk mixture it only takes around 5mins.
TOTAL: 16mins.

TASTE: 3/5.
I loved the flavours, but I hated the texture of the tapioca, it really is like tadpole eggs.

Would I make it again: No.
But I might try this again with rice.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sunken chocolate-orange cupcakes

EASE: 3.5/5.
Prep time:
10mins. Letting chocolate cool and whipping egg whites takes the longest amount of time.
Cooking time: 15mins. Watch carefully as recipe states from 16-22mins - which was too long in my oven.
TOTAL: 25mins.

TASTE: 3/5.
A little disappointing as mine were not very gooey. Also, buy almond meal rather than blanched almonds as you have to grind the almonds anyway - so you'll end up with crunchier cupcakes if you grind them yourself. One orange gave 1 teaspoon which I thought gave a nice orange flavour to the chocolate. It made 18 cupcakes. Mine were also much lighter in colour.

Would I make it again: No.
Not gooey enough for me.