Category Archives: Easy main courses

Baked sweet potato with feta and olives

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My mother in law sent this recipe in the mail. If you like sweet potato and feta (which I love), then this recipe is for you.  

Ingredients

4 smallish sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 cup coriander leaves roughly chopped
200g feta cheese roughly crumbled
1 red chilli chopped or to your taste
1 tsp fennel seeds roughly ground
1 tsp cumin seeds ground
1 tsp coriander seeds ground
1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 olive oil for dressing

Method
Place the sweet potatoes on a lined baking sheet. Prick them a couple of times ( to stop them from exploding in the oven). Lightly oil them and season well. Roast in a 200 deg C oven till tender – about 40 mins.
Meanwhile combine olives and coriander in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine feta and remaking ingredients. One the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice it lengthwise, season. Spoon in a portion of feta mix and top with olive and coriander.

Tip: Cut the sweet potato into cubes and then roast add baby spinach and cherry tomatoes to turn this into a salad.

Advertisements

Roast Chicken with garlic, lemon and parsley

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

This dish has Moroccan influences. It is full of flavour is great for a Sunday Roast.  I served the chicken with potatoes and asparagus.

Ingredients

  • 1.2 kg chicken
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (if you like lemon add a bit more)
  • 2 teaspoons mince garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika

Method

Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.  Using kitchen scissors, cut along the backbone of the chicken and then press firmly on the breastbone and flatten it. Place chicken in a baking dish.  In a small bowl mix olive oil, garlic, chopped parsley and salt.  Pour of the chicken and give it a massage ensuring that the marinade covers all of the chicken. Sprinkle black pepper and paprika over the chicken.  Roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  

 

 

 

 

Spinach Lasagne

Standard

Last week I seemed to visit recipes from decades past. I have only ever cooked lasagne once before and that was 25 years ago.  It was such a disastrous experience that I never revisited it. Part of the reason my also be that I have an aunt that makes a mean lasagne so it was always easier to request her to make one. Anyway I decided to put aside my lasagne fears and attempt the same recipe and was I glad that I gave this recipe another shot.  It produced a lasagne full of flavour. Surprisingly it was very easy to make, thanks to freshly made pasta sheets. I used pork mince for this and went a bit easy on the cheese but the flavour of this lasagne was simply delish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Ingredients

  • 1 packet fresh lasagne sheets OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 250g packet frozen spinach
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 60g cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp oil extra

Meat Sauce

  • 500g mince steak or pork
  • 1 onion
  • 125g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes

Cheese Sauce

  • 60g butter
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • salt, pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 125g cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Method

Meat Sauce

Peel and finely chop onion, slice mushrooms finely. Place meat in a heavy based, shallow pan and brown, breaking any clumps of meat with a fork. Drain off any excess fat. Add onions, crushed garlic and mushrooms, cook until onion is transparent. Season with salt and pepper, add oregano, sugar and the tomato. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, simmer until sauce has thickened, approx 15 minutes.

Cheese Sauce

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg, blend until smooth. Stir over heat for 1 minute, gradually add mil, stir until sauce boils and thickens, reduce heat, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in grated cheeses, stir until cheese melts.

Place lasagne sheets over base of shallow ovenproof dish – 28cm x 18cm is ideal.   Pasta may have to be trimmed so it lies flat in the dish.  Spread half the meat sauce over the pasta and than cover with half the cheese sauce. (Both sauces are easier to handle if made the day before and refrigerated). Press as much liquid as possible from thawed spinach, speed evenly over cheese sauce. Top with two more pieces of trimmed pasta, spread with remaining half of meat sauce then cheese sauce. Top with remaining pasta. Sprinkle top with grated cheese, bake in moderate oven 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

Traditional Bolognese

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lately I have been in the mood to reminisce.  Here is another golden oldie. The first time I cooked a Bolognese was about 25 years ago. This is the recipe I used. The original recipe uses mince steak, but I use pork, lamb or steak and pork combined.

Ingredients
725 g mince steak or pork
1 large onion
2 tbsp oil
400g can peeled tomato
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
4 cups water
Salt,pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

Method
Peel onion, chop finely. Cook in heated oil until onion is golden. Add mince, cook well, mashing with a fork to break up any lumps. Cook until mince browns well. Drain off any excess fat. Add tomatoes, herbs and tomato paste, water ,salt and pepper. 
When sauce comes to boil, reduce heat, cook very gently 1 1/2 to 2 hours, uncovered or until nearly all the liquid has evaporated.
Serve over spaghetti topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Homemade Pizza

Standard

Over the last 6 months, I have been trying my hand at baking sourdough bread thanks to my friend Ronnie, and I do turn out a kick ass sourdough.  Baking great bread does take a lot of experimenting, and I started this process at a more intermediate level because I had a friend handy to teach me.  Anyway I would like to bake different types of breads so I am starting again at a basic level to get a better understanding of yeast, flours etc.  This is a pizza recipe which tastes fab using basic dried yeast.  I will share my experiments with baking bread moving forward. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients 
140 ml water lukewarmOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups unbleached white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
7g dried yeast

NB: Makes one 30 cm/12 inch pizza

For the filling
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
1 tbsp tomato paste 
150g mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/2 pun net cherry  tomatoes roughly chopped
1 small yellow pepper halved and sliced
50g prosciutto torn into pieces
8 fresh basil leaves
2 large garlic cloves
50g feta cheese crumbled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30ml grated Parmesan cheese

Method
Cream yeast and sugar, add lukewarm water, let stand 10 minutes or until bubble a appear on the surface. Sift flour and salt in bowl, makes well in centre, add oil and yeast mixture. Mix to a firm dough by hand.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, knead for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth
Place in a lightly oiled bowl , cover and stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in bulk. 
Knock back, punch down gently on lightly floured surface. Roll out pizza dough into a 30 cm round. Place in prepared pan. Mix sun-dried pesto and tomato paste and spread on pizza base. Arrange two-thirds of the mozzarella on top. Scatter with chopped tomatoes, pepper strips, prosciutto, feta, whole basil leaves and garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 220 deg C for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden and crisp.

Quick and Easy Biryani

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Lean Lamb Mince
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 small fresh red chillies chopped finely
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander stalks
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup flaked almondsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp hot mil
  • 1/1/2 cups basmati rice
  • Extra coriander to garnish.

Method

Heat half the ghee in a large saucepan, cook nuts and sultanas until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Heat remaining ghee in same pan and cook sliced onions until slightly caramelised. Reserve half the onion. Add mince to the pan, cook for 5 mins, till browned, add garam masala, turmeric, chilli, garlic, ginger and cook  for  another 2 mins.  Add water and let it cook on low for 7-10 mins.  Add yoghurt, mix well, fry mince for 2 mins on high heat. I tend to tilt the pan so I can drain excess fat.

Meanwhile combine saffron and milk in a small bowl, stand 15 mins.

Cook rice in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 5 mins and drain.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.  Spread half the mince into oiled deep 2 litre ovenproof dish. Layer with half the rice; tip with remaining mince and rice. Drizzle milk mixture over rice. Cover tightly with greased foil. Bake for 30 mins until rice is tender. Serve biryani topped with reserve onion, nut and sultana mixture.  Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tip: Serve cucumber raita with biryani.