dinner party

Salt n pepper Squid with homemade aioli

Salt ‘n pepper squid

This extraordinary seafood dish is a crowd favorite. It is easy to prepare, it cooks very quickly, you will need to have all of your equipment ready. Salt ‘n pepper squid is suitable for an entree or main it can even be served as a canape!

Most seafood outlets will sell the squid clean or clean it for you. Cleaning squid isn’t complex, it can get a little messy.

To get your squid to curl make sure you score the inside.

Pieces can be cut into the size of your choice, I usually aim to cut a squid in half and to get 5 pieces from each half (10 per squid) this is a substantial portion when served with salad/fries. If you are making a large quantity, line a tray with baking paper and pre heat the oven to 140C to keep squid warm, this is a handy trick if you are preparing the squid for a dinner party !

The homemade aioli is moorish and surprisingly simple, made with a hand held blender and a tall narrow jug in a couple of seconds !

Salt n pepper squid

Ingredients

4 squid tubes

½ cup flour

½ tsp chili

100grams mixed lettuce

1 lemon

1tsp salt

1tsp pepper

Aioli

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ lemon, juice only

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Serves 4

Method:

  1. Cut each squid hood in half lengthways. Using a sharp knife score inside in a criss-cross pattern. Cut each piece in half lengthways. Cut each strip crossways into 4 pieces. Pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Heat 1cm of vegetable oil in a wok or frypan over medium-high heat.
  3.  Combine flour, pepper, salt and chilli in a shallow dish. Lightly toss squid in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Cook, turning, for 2 minutes or until light golden.
  4. Serve with salad greens and lemon wedges.

Aioli:

  1. Crush the garlic extremely well, then add the egg yolk and salt. Whisk together until well combined.
  2. Add olive oil and garlic into a jug, pulse with a stick mixer until garlic is pureed. Add remaining ingredients, turn the stick mixer on whilst it is submerged and pull the stick mixer towards you slowly. The aoili is done !Salt n pepper squid
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Cheesecake parfait

These little cups of awesomeness will blow your tastebuds away. Deliciously light and fluffy. The recipe is versatile, you can top with any flavour you desire. I have chosen passionfruit,  you could try chocolate nutella, chocolate, mars bar, oreo, the options are endless.

Best of all these cheesecake parfaits look awesome. These were made in plastic glasses to take to a BBQ, if you are travelling with these cheesecake cups add the topping and cream just before serving.

IMG_8877Ingredients:

50g plain biscuits, finely crushed

15g unsalted butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

100g cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons caster sugar

2 teaspoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream

60ml passionfruit pulp

Optional: Double cream, to serve

cheesecake parfait

Method:

  1. Combine the biscuit crumbs, butter and cinnamon in small bowl. Divide half the biscuit mixture between four 125-180ml (1/2-3/4C) capacity serving glasses or ramekins and press firmly to cover the base. Place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla in bowl until very soft.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the cream in another bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the cream into the cheese mixture in 2 batches.
  4. Spread half the cream cheese mixture gently over the biscuit mixture. Top with the remaining biscuit mixture, then the remaining cream cheese mixture.
  5. Pour the passionfruit mixture over the cheesecakes.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you are ready to consume.

Option: to serve with an dollop of double cream

Honey Lemon Chicken

Honey lemon chicken Honey lemon chicken with a side of steamed greens

This dish is so quick and simple you will never get it from the take out store again. You can cut each piece of chicken into nugget sized pieces if you prefer. I serve this dish with a big bowl of steamed greens. You could easily serve this dish with a side of rice. The benefit of using cornflour is this dish is gluten free!

Honey lemon chicken

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts

1Tb Dry Sherry

2Tb soy sauce

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

Oil for frying

¼ cup cornstartch

½ tsp baking powder

Sauce:

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup honey

2tb cornstartch

1 cup chicken stock

3tb lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 lemon sliced

2tb vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Garnish: chopped shallots

Honey lemon chicken

Method:

  1. Slice chicken in half horizontally, so you will have 4 thin slices of chicken breast.
  2. In a large bowl combine the chicken, sherry, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix together, cover and refrigerate. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, 1/4 cup corn-starch and baking powder to form a batter.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Place vegetable oil in fry pan on a medium heat
  6. Dip chicken in the batter to coat.
  7. Place chicken into fry pan and fry until golden brown and turn over and repeat for the other side, do this for each piece of chicken breast.
  8. In a medium bowl combine the sugar, honey, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, lemon juice and 1 pinch salt, mix together until their are no lumps add stock and lemon slices. In the fry pan that you cooked the chicken pieces in place lemon sauce, on a medium heat bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with shallots and serve.Honey lemon chicken

Steamed Ginger Lemon Lime puddings

Steamed Ginger Lemon Lime puddings

Ingredients:Steamed ginger pudding

12 Tsp Ginger lemon lime marmalade

60 grams butter (softened)

1/2C white sugar

1/2C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ SR flour

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 pinch dried ginger (powder)

Optional to serve, cream or ice cream

METHOD

  1. Pre heat combination steam oven to full steam.
  2. Cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes, add vanilla bean paste.
  3. Lightly whisk egg, add into mixture fold through flour and dried ginger.
  4. Spray a 12 hole silicone muffin tray place onto a biscuit tray. Place 1Tsp of the marmalade at the bottom of each muffin hole. Fold the remaining fruit into the cake mixture.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly into the 12 hole muffin pan.
  6. Place into oven, cook for 12 minutes.
  7. Invert a pudding onto each plate. Serve with cream or ice cream if desired.

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Spaghetti Boscaiola

IMG_8017

Ingredients

400g spaghetti

4 rashers bacon

400g  mushrooms (mixture of button and Swiss brown works best)

40g butter

2 cloves garlic

2 shallots

400ml thickened cream

1 sprig parsley

80g Parmesan to serve

Serves 4

Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil with 1Tb salt added to water.
  2. Finely chop mushrooms, bacon, parsley and shallots. Crush garlic.
  3. Place butter into a non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and allow butter to melt.
  4. Add bacon, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta as per packet instructions.
  6. In the final 4 minutes of the pasta cooking, add cream to the mushroom mixture and allow to thicken on a low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Finely chop parsley.
  8. Drain pasta add to cream sauce, toss through to ensure all pasta is evenly coated.
  9. Serve on individual plates with a sprinkle of parmesan and parsley

IMG_8104