dinner

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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Warm quinoa salad with pumpkin and fetta cheese

Warm quinoa salad with pumpkin and fetta cheese

This delicious meal can be served as a side or as the meal itself, it’s very versatile it can be made the night ahead or served warm.

 

Quinoa is considered a superfood, why? It’s a source of complete protein, low GI and gluten free.

 

Don’t be afraid of cooking quinoa, it is much more friendly that rice to work with. It is readily available in supermarkets. Always give quinoa a good rinse before you use it.

 

This salad has the perfect balance of flavours, the nuttiness of the quinoa with the softness of the pumpkin, green beans for a little crunch, fetta cheese to add and element of sharpness to each bite and the parsley to clean the palate. This recipe is also super versatile you can add/subtract/interchange the veggies. This salad keeps well in the fridge, I usually double it and take it for lunches.

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Best part of all, it is all made in one saucepan!

 

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa

100gram pumpkin

1 cup green beans

70grams fetta cheese

2 stalks parsley

1 shallot

2Tb olive oil

1Tb lemon juice

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  1. Rinse quinoa, place into a medium sauce pan, cover with 3 cups water, chop the shallot and add to the quinoa, sprinkle with salt and pepper, on a medium heat bring the water to the boil.
  2. Simmer the quinoa with the lid for 5 minutes. Whilst the quinoa is cooking, chop the pumpkin into small cubes, add the pumpkin to the quinoa cook for 10minutes with the lid on. Whilst the pumpkin and quinoa mix is cooking, top and tail the green beans and chop the beans into 1.5cm pieces, add the green beans to the quinoa cook for 2minutes. Whilst the mix is cooking, chop the fetta into 1cm cubes, finely chop the parsley.
  3. At this point your quinoa should be slightly translucent and the water should have been evaporated (if you have extra water and the quinoa is done drain the excess water). Add the oil and lemon juice into the saucepan and toss.
  4. Place into a large serving bowl or individual plates, sprinkle with fetta and parsley.

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Slow cooked pork shoulder with braised fennel

Slow cooked pork shoulder with braised fennel

This delicious slow cooked pork recipe is slightly smokey with just a hit of sweetness. The onions and the fennel just about dissolve during the cooking process, if you do not like the taste of fennel your can omit it. This pork dish is really versatile can be served on slider buns, tortillas on a bed of mashed/roasted potato or polenta. I chose to serve the pork with roast potatoes with a sprinkle of rosemary and a capsicum.

pulled pork with roast vegetables

braised pork

INGREDIENTS
2 kg pork shoulder

2 red onions

1 fennel bulb

6 cloves garlic

600ml good quality vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

1T olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground fennel

Serves: 6

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PREPARATION

  1. Pre heat oven to 110C.
  2. Rub cumin, fennel, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper all over the pork shoulder.
  3. Place 1tb oil into a oven proof dish with a lid (e.g cast iron pot), turn cook top onto a medium heat place dish on top and allow to heat up, add pork to pot and seal each side until lightly golden, sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Heat vegetable stock with garlic in the fry pan, pour over pork.
  5. Chop fennel into 1cm thick pieces, cut onions into small wedges and scatter around pork shoulder.
  6. Put lid onto dish and place into oven, cook for 6hrs.
  7. Remove pork from oven, remove any excess liquid, using a fork and tongs pull the pork.

TO SERVE

This pork can be served on slider buns, tortillas on a bed of mashed/roasted potato or polenta.

Braised pork with fennel

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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Steamed Mussels

INGREDIENTS

Steamed mussels with white wine and cream, chilli optional

Steamed mussels with white wine and cream, chilli optional

Steamed mussels with white wine and cream, chilli optional
2kg mussels

4 cloves garlic

2 shallots

3 sprigs parsley

150ml white wine

150ml cream

1 Birdseye chilli (optional)

 

Steamed mussels with white wine and cream, chilli optional

Steamed mussels with white wine and cream, chilli optional

To serve:

8 slices toasted crusty bread

3 sprig parsley

1 lemon

40grams butter

  1. Pre heat combination steam oven to full steam.
  2. Remove beard from mussels allow sitting in cold water for 3 minutes rinse thoroughly.
  3. Place mussels in a deep dish and sprinkle with garlic, shallot, parsley, salt and pepper (optional Birdseye chili), Drizzle over the wine and cream sauce.
  4. Steam for 12-18minutes until all mussel shells open (do not eat the mussels that do not open).
  5. Serve in 4 bowls, sprinkle with parsley, add a lemon wedge and crusty bread and butter.

    Steamed mussels Italian style with pasta

    Steamed mussels Italian style with pasta

Options

For Thai flavoured mussels try using a 400ml can of coconut milk (no cream), chilli and lemongrass

For Spanish flavoured mussels use a can of tomatoes (no cream) and chorizo

For Italian flavoured mussels use a 400ml can of tomatoes (omit cream) and add 1Tb of mixed basil and oregano

For a more filling meal, cook up 100grams of pasta per person and toss the sauce and mussels through the pasta.

Steamed Italian style mussels with pasta

Steamed Italian style mussels with pasta

Cherry Strudel with chocolate berry ganache

Smooth sweetened ricotta studded with cherries, wrapped up in light and flaky filo pastry, coated in a chocolate cherry sauce each mouthful of this dessert is an exquisite pleasure.

Ingredients

1 375gram can cherries in syrup

300grams ricotta cheese

4tb caster sugar

3 sheets filo pastry

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp lemon zest

2Tb white chocolate melts

¼ tsp cinnamon

50grams butter melted

Sauce

Cherry sugar syrup (from canned cherries)

150ml cream

100grams chocolate melts

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, spray with oil spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest, mix well. Add half cherries and stir until combine.
  3. Lay a piece pastry horizontal on a clean bench, brush with melted butter, lay another piece of pastry on top, continue with remaining layers of pastry.
  4. Form the ricotta mixture into a log. Place on the filo pastry 2cm from the top and 2cm from each side at the end horizontally furthest away from you, press white chocolate melts into the mixture. Fold the pastry towards you and either side across the centre, brush pastry with butter and roll towards you.
  5. Place onto baking sheet, brush with butter, bake for 15-18minutes until pastry is golden brown.
  6. Make the sauce while the strudel is cooking. Place the liquid from the can into a small saucepan, place on a medium heat and allow to simmer and to reduce slightly. Add cream cook for 2minutes; add chocolate keep on cooktop until melted add remaining cherries and take off the heat.
  7. Allow strudel to cook for a few minutes before serving. Serve strudel with lashings of sauce and ice cream if you dare.

 

 

 

Ricotta pesto Tart

Ricotta pesto tart

This delicious tart has the velvety smoothness of ricotta cheese, with the crunch of the nuts in the basil pesto, as you cut through the smooth layer of ricotta and pesto you crack the layers of light, fluffy and crunchy puff pastry. Each mouthful has a fabulous combination of flavours and textures, the sharpness of the basil cuts through the creaminess of the ricotta.

Adding a little steam to the cooking process creates, light, fluffy and golden pastry.

Ricotta pesto tart

Serves 4

1 piece puff pastry

4Tb basil pesto

12 Tb ricotta cheese

8 cherry tomatoes

1 shallot

Salt and pepper

Side salad to serve (if desired)

  1. Preheat combination steam oven to 180oC, quarter steam and heat /25% humidity.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and spray with oil spray.Cut tomatoes into quarters, finely chop shallots.
  3. Cut Pastry into 4 even squares, place onto bake sheet. Place 1Tb basil pesto in the centre of each square, spread out leaving a 1cm edge, sprinkle with shallots. Place 3Tb ricotta cheese on each square and spread out leaving a 1cm edge. Scatter cherry tomatoes on top of each tart, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated combination steam oven for 15minutes.
  5. Serve with a side salad if desired.

Steamed salmon on a bed of peas

This dish is a super healthy and nutritious meal. Salmon is full of protein and health fats and peas are carbohydrate rich and full of fibre.  Peas have a slight sweetness which compliments salmon.

Steamed salmon on a bed of peas

Per person

120gram salmon

2/4 cup (100grams) peas, frozen are fine

2 sage leaves or 1 sprig dill

1 pinch lemon pepper seasoning

2 small lemon wedges

 

  1. Pre heat combination steam oven/steam oven to full steam 100C.
  2. Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning, sprinkle peas with salt and pepper.
  3. Place peas into a small oven proof dish, place salmon on top, place your choice of herb on top of salmon.
  4. Steam for 8minutes, for a medium cooked salmon.
  5. Serve salmon on a bed of peas with a lemon wedge

 

Super quick weeknight dinner !

Phil’s pasta

This pasta dish is named after the man that enjoyed it the most ‘Phil’. Phil is new to cooking and wanted some easy pasta dishes. This pasta dish is made using two pots, so there is very little cleaning !

Best part of all, using the power boost setting on my induction cooktop, this meal is ready in about 15 minutes ! Yup – that quick !

Give this flavour packed tuna pasta a try!

Serves 2

Using my induction cooktop this dish is cooked from start to finish in minutes !

Using my induction cooktop this dish is cooked from start to finish in 15 minutes !

200grams spaghetti

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

4 sprigs parsley

1 birdseye chilli (can be omitted if you wish)

2 shallots

1 clove garlic

1 195 gram tin of tuna in olive oil

1tsp capers

Salt and pepper

 

1. In a medium sauce pan place 300mls water and 1tsp salt. Place saucepan onto induction cooktop and select Power Boost setting, bring to the boil.

2. Whilst you are waiting for the water to boil,  being to chop tomatoes into quarters, finely chop parsley, chilli, shallot and garlic, use a fork to break up tuna.

3. As soon as the water begins to boil, drop pasta in and stir for 30 seconds, stirring prevents sticking, cook as per packet instructions, use the timer on your induction cooktop.

4. If you hadn’t finished chopping the tasks from step 2, complete those. Set aside 1 pinch of parsley.

5. Place all remaining ingredients including the olive oil from the tuna into a non stick fry pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, place onto induction cook top to a medium setting, and allow sauce to simmer.

6. Drain pasta, stir pasta through sauce.

7. Divide into 2 bowls, sprinkle with parsley.

*if you do not have an induction cook top this recipe will still work, however it will take longer for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, as with inductions speed and power a litre of water boils in a minute and a half. 15 minutes based on pasta that cooks in 9 minutes.