Sunday night easy


I’m doing a shift in theatres tomorrow evening, so here’s a Sunday night easy recipe. Gotta make sure there’s yummy food tomorrow night for the Wee Dude!

Slow cooker pumpkin and ginger soup

I used a fresh red chilli for this recipe instead of chilli flakes, and used 500ml of home made chicken stock instead of vegetable. This baby is going to blip away on low overnight!




Kaffir lime pork chops


I didn’t have time for slow braising today, so I had to reach for the trusty pressure cooker!


I started with three pork loin chops, added Asian aromatics and done!

20140712_170156Pork in a flavour bath

Kaffir lime pork chops

3-4 pork chops

2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons nuoc mau (cooking caramel from Asian grocers)

2cm fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, quartered

1/4 cup shao hsing cooking wine

1 tspn nam prik pao (chilli jam)

1/2 cup water


Mix all ingredients together (except the water) in a dish big enough to hold the chops. Add a little hot water to loosen the mixture if needed. Add the chops and coat well with the mix. Leave for at least an hour.

Put your pressure cooker on a high heat. Add the chops and all the marinade with 1/2 cup water. Get your cooker up to pressure then drop to the lowest heat.

Cook for an hour, then turn off the heat and let the pressure off. Serve with rice and vegetables, spooning the delicious cooking juices over the top.



Kleftiko is good


So I posted a photo a while back of a lamb leg all ready to go into the oven to be kleftikoed. Unfortunately, the finished product didn’t last long enough for me to take any photos! So I have tried again.


Kleftio is a delicious Greek lamb dish. It translates as ‘stolen lamb’, traditionally cooked in paper in the ground to avoid giveaway smoke from a fire. With garlic, lemon and lots of oregano, the flavours are simple but work perfectly together.

1 shoulder of lamb

2 tbsp dried oregano

1 lemon, halved

4-5 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Salt and pepper to taste

I cooked my kleftiko in a clay cooker (soaked in cold water for 20 minutes), you can use a cast iron pot with a lid or a roasting pan covered with foil.

Put the lemon and garlic under the lamb, and coat the lamb generously with the oregano, salt and pepper. You don’t need to add any liquid to a clay cooker, but may need a little for cast iron or a roasting pan. Water is fine.

For a clay cooker, put into a cold oven and turn on to 140ºC. You can preheat the oven for cast iron and roasting pans.

Cook, covered, for 6 hours. Shred the meat and serve with roast veggies. I cooked a few Yorkshire puds as well! You can keep leftover cooking liquid in the freezer for stock.


A freezer full of pork


Today I went and picked up the side of free range pork I ordered from the fabulous butcher we have here in town. 25kg of porky goodness is now ensconced in my freezer. Well, 23kg now.


For tonight I was feeling like some slow roasted comfort food. It’s getting cold here now and nothing is more perfect than a roast, complete with Yorkshire puddings.

  • 2kg bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1L stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch dutch carrots
  • 5-6 dutch cream potatoes
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 115g spelt flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Light olive oil

To prepare the pork, I first crank the oven as high as it goes to preheat while I get the cracking happening!

Boil the kettle, put the pork on a wire rack in the sink skin up and pour the boiling water gently over. The skin will tighten to reveal all of the lovely slashes in the skin and the fat layer underneath. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then pat dry with paper towel.

Rub some olive oil into the skin, then grind over lots of salt and pepper. You can also dry fry some fennel seeds, grind them up and sprinkle them over, too. Fennel loves pork.

Pour the stock into a roasting pan and sit the pork in the middle. Pop it into the smoking hot oven for 20 minutes on the middle rack. After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 160ºC and leave it alone for 4 hours.

With an hour and a half to go, prep the carrots and potatoes to your liking. Tonight I did hasselback potatoes because they are yum. Move the pork to the bottom rack and put the carrots and potatoes on a shallow oven tray on the top rack.

With half an hour to go, remove the pork from the oven and place in a warm place to rest. Don’t cover it though, or the crackling will go soggy! Pour off the pan juices and let sit for 5 minutes.

To make the Yorkshire puddings, whizz together the flour, milk, eggs and a generous pinch of salt. Crank the oven as high as it will go again. Pour at least a tbsp oil into each hole of a texas muffin pan and put on the highest rack.

Give the oil 5 minutes to get really hot, take the veg out of the oven and quickly pour the pudding batter into the tray. Don’t open the oven for at least 20 minutes or you’ll have flat puds!

While the puds are cooking, spoon the fat off the pan juices, whisk in a tablespoon of cornflour and simmer gently to thicken. taste and season if needed.

With five minutes to go, heat your peas and corn in the microwave and take the puds out of the oven. Arrange everything on your dining table, admire briefly, then tuck in!


Feeling run down? Curry!


I’m feeling a bit ordinary today. One of the joys of our germ incubators kids is their illness sharing. Thanks Wee Dude!

So, what to do when I have a raw throat and feel crap? Eat hot spicy curry of course!

My Dad’s friend, Nok, taught me this green curry. It uses commercial curry paste and I don’t care. If it’s good enough for a Thai chef to use at home, it’s good enough for me!

The linked recipe is pretty much identical to Nok’s. Actually the website is a pretty fantastic website, too. Easy Thai that works for home cooks.

So, enjoy this Thai green curry. Give the website a browse as well. And I hope that your wee treasures aren’t quite as good at sharing as mine!


*I used chicken and eggplant in my curry, cause it’s what I had in the fridge and I wasn’t leaving the house! You can add whatever you like, really.

How to eat pizza when you can’t eat pizza


One of the challenges I face when cooking is catering to the food allergies and intolerances in our household. Between us, we have to be very careful with wheat, dairy, soy and nuts.

I love pizza. Wee Dude loves pizza. We can’t go to the shops and get a regular pizza. So we make our own pizza, using cauliflower!

Sounds weird, tastes amazingly delicious. And you’re sneaking in vegetables at the same time, win! This mixture feeds two.

  • Half a head of cauliflower
  • 3 small or 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Put a sheet of baking paper onto a large, shallow oven tray.

Cut the cauliflower up and place in a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles small rice grains (“riced”). Transfer the riced cauliflower to a covered bowl and microwave for 8 minutes.

Tip the cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and squeeze to get as much moisture out as possible (try to get at least a cup out). The more dry you can get the cauliflower, the crispier the base will be.

Mix the squeezed cauliflower with the eggs and seasonings. Divide mix in two and spread into thin circles, bake for 20 minutes on the top rack.

Remove tray from oven and top bases with pizza sauce and your choice of toppings. Return to oven for a further 10 minutes.

If you don’t have to avoid dairy, you can replace one of the eggs with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella in the cauliflower mixture. You can also take the base out of the oven after 10 minutes, top with a filling of your choice and fold the base over like a burrito. Bake for a further 10 minutes for a delicious cauliflower crust hot pocket!


What to do with leftover…osso bucco


Now, some of you may ask, “What is leftover osso bucco?” It is insanely delicious, but sometimes even the most dedicated eaters just can’t manage that final piece.

This is a recipe from my brother. He keeps leftover meat and cooking juices from osso bucco and turns it into a delicious risotto. Risotto is one of my favourites, so combining it with tender beef makes it even better!

  • Leftover osso bucco, meat shredded
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 550ml osso bucco juice (top up with water if short)
  • 1 knob butter
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 wine glass red wine
  • Salt to taste
  • 90g blue cheese (or parmesan)
  • Extra knob butter

Heat the butter and sautee the chopped celery, leek and garlic over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft.

Turn up the heat and add the rice, stirring constantly until translucent.

Add wine and stir until evaporated. Add stock, one ladle at a time, stirring the rice gently to massage the starch from it.

Once the rice is al dente, add the shredded osso bucco, extra knob of butter and grated cheese. Stir to combine and cover. Sit for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately, and enjoy!20140428_183321

Lest We Forget


Today I will take time to remember those who gave all they had so that we may live the lives we do today.

We, in Australia, breathe free air. We can walk our children to school without fear. We can sit side by side with supporters of the opposition at a football match and engage in friendly banter.

We can wear what we choose. We can have an opinion and, more importantly, we can express it in public safely.

We have so much to be grateful for in this beautiful country. Today, be grateful for those men and women who never made it home to see the reward of their bravery and ultimate sacrifice.


Lest we forget.


20140411_123010(in the process of getting our Pappa’s medals and service photo framed)

Footy food and tiny carrots


So it turns out I didn’t need to do any cooking for Fish Friday, my bloke’s parents had us over for dinner and it was delicious! I’ll save my cajun swordfish for another post…

It’s Saturday night and my Saints are on telly, so I thought it would be good to crack out some footy food for Wee Man and myself to consume as we cheered! Enter Jamie Oliver’s Korean chicken wings.


Jamie uses whole chicken wings, I used wings already jointed from my butcher tonight. You can really use whatever you like best. For little kids the drumettes are perfect, for big kids go nuts and use whole wings.

  • 1kg chicken wings
  • 2 heaped tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • Chilli oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan forced. Toss the chicken wings in the five spice and a pinch of salt. Spread out on a shallow baking tray and cover with foil. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, grate the ginger, garlic and chilli into a small bowl. Mix in the ketchup, soy and honey and set aside. If you’re feeding consenting adults and not small people, feel free to add a generous shake of chilli oil to the glaze.

Remove the wings from the oven and take off the foil. Coat the wings with the glaze, sprinkle over sesame seeds and return to the oven. Cook for a further 30 minutes, tossing the wings every 10 minutes or so to coat evenly with the sticky glaze.

Once the wings are done, dig in! I usually serve these with rice if they’re for a meal rather than finger food. Tonight we had them with steamed veg, mostly because my fridge can’t handle a big bowl of leftover rice right now…



So this is the finished product, of course we started eating them straight away so there are decidedly fewer wings than in the before shot.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter, and spare a thought for the Easter Bunny, nothing but tiny carrots from us tonight!




Fish Friday


I’m starting to think of fish recipes for dinner this Friday. I’m thinking swordfish steaks with a lovely Sri Lankan curry sauce, or my favourite crispy skin salmon with scalloped potatoes, or even Thai fish cakes. We’re very lucky to have a great fishmonger a couple of towns away, and when I’ve got a bit extra I pay him a visit. His produce is a bit more expensive than the supermarkets, but the quality is obvious.

So, lovely readers, is there anything that you would like to see for the Fish Friday recipe? What do you have to eat on Good Friday in your homes?