Saturday, 9 January 2016

Baked Custard

This is a simple warming dish, easy and cheap. Remember this is cooked in a "water bath" and you need to remove the custard as soon as you can tap it with a knife and it is wobbly solid or the eggs will curdle. You can bake it in one big dish or single serving dishes - just remember small dishes will cook faster.

Baked Egg Custard

3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
450ml cream
½ cup caster sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg, to dust

• Step 1
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

• Step 2
Beat the whole eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract together lightly (you don't want them to become too frothy).

• Step 3
Place the cream in a pan with the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Heat to just below boiling point then pour onto the eggs and stir to combine. (you can do this in the microwave – 1 minute) Strain through a sieve into a 1-litre (4-cup) capacity baking dish or individual oven proof dishes.

• Step 4
Stand in a roasting pan half-filled with hot water. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg. Bake for about 30-35 minutes: it should still wobble slightly.

• Step 5
Remove from oven and serve hot or cold as desired.  Really beautiful with steamed fruits.

Risotto / Arancini Balls

This is a recipe from an amazing friend and cook, who has competed in several competitions, J. Camilleri.   This while a fiddly recipe is not difficult and the results are awesome.   With mini arancini I don't add the filling. The main problem with this recipe in our house is I make the risotto and everyone wants to eat it hahahaha, so I often make double so I'll have enough for arancini. To make it cheaper I use half a teaspoon of tumeric instead of saffron. You can add finely diced mushroom, fried chicken or bacon and peas at the end stage if you like (when you mix in the cheese and butter to the cooked risotto). I like to use Panko bread crumbs for the best result. 

Arancini - stuffed rice balls

These are great for parties and get togethers - they are risotto balls filled with various fillings and are delish and very morish. You can stuff them with whatever you wish - I like them with a bolognese meat sauce but a simple cheese mix like these have is sooo yum! They are best made the night before you want them so they can firm in the fridge and make it easier to cook

2 Tablespoon olive oil
60 g butter, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 litre chicken stock, warmed
pinch of saffron threads (optional)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
80 g grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the rice and sauté for 1–2 minutes, then pour in the warm chicken stock. Add the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered with a lid, and stirring from time to time, until the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Finish by stirring in the parmesan and the remaining butter until well combined. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside to cool.

100g Fetta cheese
1 cup Mozzarella - grated/shredded
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Pesto (from a jar - I love the Barilla brand)

Crumble up the fetta and mix with the parsley and pesto then combine with the mozzarella

2 eggs - beaten with a splash of milk
2 - 3 cups of breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying


Take a heaped tablespoon of risotto and roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball. Push a hole in one side and fill with a teaspoon of cheese mixture (or whatever filling you are using). Seal the hole and roll again, ensuring the filling is completely enclosed. Keep a bowl handy filled with water or oil so you can lubricate your palms to make it easier to roll each one. Roll the balls in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs and then cover and keep in fridge for an hour or over night. Fry in batches for about 4 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry

I've made curries with veg before and they just tasted boring, no flavour - then after a bit of googling and reading discovered that the trick is to roast the veg first!  WOW is all I can say, this curry is fantastic and delicious - my only problem is not eating the yummy roasted veg before it gets in the curry pot!  Delicious with freshly steamed rice, this vegetarian meal will make even non-vegetarians super happy! 


3 x sweet potato (peeled and cut into chunks)
1/2 a cauliflower (cut into big florets)
Olive oil
Sea Salt
30g Butter
1 Onion (very thinly sliced)
Handful of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut cream
Thai red curry paste


  • On a big baking tray place the cauliflower and sweet potato pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Pop in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes to bake till the potato is soft.
  • In a big frypan pour a little more olive oil and the butter and gently fry the onion till it is soft and translucent.  Add 1 teaspoon of red curry paste (add more later if you like your curry hotty hot) and stir in.
  • Turn the heat down a bit and add the vege stock and then the roasted veg.
  • Add the coconut cream and sprinkle with fresh coriander.
That's it!!!  Add a bit more curry paste if you like a hotter curry and mix it in. 

Want your curry more "saucy" - add more veg stock and coconut cream.

If you would like to add meat, this is delicious with chicken - simply cut up two chicken fillets into bite sized pieces and dust with flour - gently brown in the pan when you are at the onion stage.

Mango Mousse with Lime

These little dishes of delicious sweet softness can be made with or without the gelatine.  So, incredibly simple and easy to make.  You can substitute any fruit for the mango - strawberries, banana...whatever you have.
2 ripe mango - peeled and flesh cut up
1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
2 limes - grated and juiced
500ml thickened cream - whipped till stiff peaks form
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1/4 cup hot water
In a little dish or mug, dissolve the gelatine in the water and set aside to cool
Blitz the mango in a blender/food processor/smoothie maker
Gently fold the mango puree, sugar, lime zest and juice in to the whipped cream.
Gently fold in the gelatine mixture.
Distribute evenly into desired serving dishes and pop in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Honey Soy Chicken

Sometimes I am just soooo weary by the end of the day and then it hits you... 'mummmm, what's for dinner' - uggh.  Happily, this is one of those dishes that will easily be whipped up in less than 20 minutes and everyone loves it in my  house.  I  created this dish after I was tired of having to read every single packet in the supermarket and not being able to buy them because of either allergies to certain ingredients or things I didn't even know what they were in them...this tastes AMAZING.  



600g chicken breast
1/4 cup plain flour
2 carrots
1 onion
1 bunch broccoli
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup water

Step 1:  put on some rice to steam
Step 2:  Slice up about 600g chicken (or more depending on the size of your family) and toss in a  
              little flour
Step 3:  Slice up some broccoli, carrot and onion
Step 4:  Steam the broccoli and carrot in the microwave or on the stovetop till just cooked
Step 5:  While the vegetables are steaming, heat some oil in a big deep frypan
Step 6:  Gently fry the onion
Step 7:  Add the chicken and fry till just golden brown
Step 8:  Add the steamed, drained vegetables
Step 9:  Add the soy sauce and honey and water


Authentic Greek Salad

One of the most memorable places I have ever been is Greece.  I adored the antiquity of it, the food, the culture.  Several foods stood out as outstanding favourites - moussaka in Santorini, creamy thick yogurt served drizzled with honey and fresh gorgeous Greek salad.  This is an authentic Greek salad recipe from a tiny restaurant in Rhodes.

Serves 4

3 fresh cucumbers sliced into pieces
3 fresh vine tomatoes sliced into pieces
1/2 red (Spanish) onion very finely sliced
1 cup sliced Greek feta (sheeps feta is the best - and slice it, don't cube it)
1 jar pitted olives (black Kalamata)
dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice

Place the cucumber, tomato, onion in a bowl.   Sprinkle generously with oregano (about 1 teaspoon) and drizzle generously with the olive oil and lemon juice.

Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Add the cheese and olives.

Divine.  Best salad in the world.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I've been trying to find a recipe that I like for Red Velvet cake for some time...some recipes have almond in them and the kids don't like it...but this recipe OH YES is amazing!  My three year old ate four even before I'd attempted to frost them!  These cupcakes are moist, so tasty and a gorgeous deep red colour that isn't lost in the baking.  Makes 24.  Here's all you will need and what to do...
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons red food colouring
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter (softened to room temp)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups all purpose (plain) flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons white vinegar
* Preheat your oven to 180oC
* line two cupcake trays with paper cupcake cases
* Mix the vanilla, red food colouring and cocoa in a small bowl to create a red paste.  Cover and set aside.
* In a mixer (or by hand) cream the butter and sugar
* add the eggs
* add the salt, baking soda and red paste mix
* add the flour, milk and vinegar
* Mix well and evenly distribute into paper cupcake cases
* Bake for about 15 minutes or till bounces back when tapped on top.
Gorgeous with cream cheese frosting or lightly dusted with icing sugar.