22 February 2017

Huli huli Hawaiian chicken

This was one of the tastiest chicken marinades I've had in a looooong time!  It caramelised beautifully and had just a little bit of heat.  The pineapple chutney through the rice was something different too, and definitely worthwhile - if you use tinned pineapple, make sure it's chopped up really finely (or buy crushed).  I served it this time with a bean salad, but you could serve with steamed veges, whatever is in season really - asparagus would be great too, or some zucchini!  

For the chicken: 

300 g boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp sriracha sauce (or some form of hot sauce)
1 tsp sesame seeds 

For the rice: 

3/4 cup rice
1.5 cups water
3 tbsp pineapple chili chutney (or mixture of a little chutney with a little tinned pineapple pieces) 

Bean salad: 

100 g green beans
1/2 capsicum 
75 g cherry tomatoes (about 10) 
1/4 bag baby spinach leaves (about 30 g)
4 tbsp honey mustard dressing (1 tbsp each honey, vinegar, Dijon or wholegrain mustard, olive oil + a little salt) 
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients together, pour over chicken and cover.  Put this in fridge to do its thing for at least a half hour (I made this in the morning and left it doing its thing all day).  
  2. Cook rice, drain and stir through chutney/pineapple.  
  3. Cut beans in half (and trim ends off), pour boiling water over them and leave for a couple of minutes.  Drain and add to other salad ingredients.  
  4. Cook chicken on medium heat, with marinade, until cooked through and marinade has reduced to a nice sticky sauce.  
  5. Serve on rice, sprinkled with extra sesame seeds.  Yum!!

16 February 2017

Rainbow pizza

The name says it all really.  And who doesn't love rainbows and pizza?!  You could make this with whatever veges you like really, so long as they're colourful!  I used red onion, red cabbage, broccoli, corn, orange capsicum, cherry tomatoes, all piled on a foundation of tomato paste, cheese and oregano.  I sprinkled with a little extra cheese afterwards too, but not too much - don't want to cover the colour!!  Buon appetito! 

15 February 2017

Léim an Bhradáin, the salmon leaps

Nothing to do specifically with this dish, it's just the first thing that springs to mind when I think of salmon.  I stayed with friends and their family in Leixlip (Léim an Bhradáin), a wee town in County Kildare in Ireland, back in 2004, and discovered that the name referred to leaping salmon.  Definitely one of the most endearing names I've heard of for a town.  

Anyhoo, this week we've been trialing a few more of Nadia Lim's dishes and so far it's a 100 % success rate!  This one I was a little dubious about, as far as its reception by Mssr 12.  But it was an unequivocal hit, with almost-teen and parents alike - and let's be honest, finding a dish that is (a) devoured wholeheartedly by those two demographics AND (b) not pizza, lasagna, stir-fry, or some form of nachos-taco-tortilla, is pretty hard sometimes.  But here is one - a dish you can whip up really quickly and easily, full of veges, and is suitable for a family meal or served up at a casual dinner party with friends (I would like to do them half-sized, to serve alongside a second salad, or perhaps rice).   

Salmon filo parcels with honey mustard apple salad

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1.5 cups milk
500g salmon, cut into good-sized chunks (2cm give or take) 
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, one grated and one not
5 mushrooms (not in original recipe but really good!!)
1 tsp salt
zest of one lemon (save juice)
10-12 sheets film pastry
1 egg, whisked (to brush, or you can use oil)
olive oil
sesame seeds (optional)
3 tbsp mayo 
1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 tsp mustard (wholegrain or dijon are good)
2 tsp honey 
1 apple
4 cups bag rocket leaves 
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius (200 fanbake).  Line oven trays with baking paper (we used two trays, so there was plenty of room between the filos).  
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add flour and stir briskly for a minute (to make a roux and 'cook' the flour).  Slowly add milk, stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes, until sauce thick and smooth.  Stir in some salt and pepper and remove from heat.  
  3. Fold salmon,zucchini, first carrot and mushrooms, salt and zest through the sauce and set aside.    
  4. Lay two sheets of filo on clean bench/board, with short side facing you.  Place about 2/3 cup of salmon mixture on pastry about 1/3 of the way up the sheet and shape into a thick sausage shape.  
  5. Fold edge of filo closest to you over salmon mixture.  Fold left and right edges of pastry inwards then brush with a little oil.  Roll parcel away from you to form a tight parcel.  Brush final edge with a little oil and place on prepared tray.  Repeat until you have 5 or 6 parcels.  Brush tops with egg or a little more oil and sprinkle with seeds, if desired. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove and pour out any excess liquid from trays.  Return to oven for a further 5-10 minutes until browned and starting to crisp up.  
  7. While filos bake, whisk together mayo, vinegar, mustard and honey. 
  8. Cut apple into quarters and thinly slice.  Use a vege peeler to peel second carrot into long ribbons.  Toss in bowl with rocket leaves and dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  
  9. Serve filos with salad, drizzled with a little lemon juice.  
NB: Sweet chili and sour cream were a nice side for the filos too.  

09 February 2017


I love satay.  A few years ago I got this awesome recipe for a satay sauce from a friend, Mel (thanks Mel!!) and it has been a go-to every since.  It's quite a thick sauce, so perfect for on burgers, spreading on pizza bases, or kebabs.  For last night's satay stirfry though I added about a half cup (maybe a little more) of water, until I had more a simmer sauce consistency.  Yum!!  Normally I'd go for chicken for my satay, but thin strips of beef schnitzel made a really nice change.  Pick and choose which veges you have/feel like eating and bada bing bada boom, dinner is served.  

1/2 portion of Mel's satay sauce (you'll actually probably only use half of what you make up, but better to have too much and put some in the fridge for another meal, than to be lacking on the peanutty goodness) - so coconut cream, peanut butter, 1/2 onion, 2 clove garlic, sweet chili sauce, 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice, 1 tbsp fish sauce

300 g beef schnitzel (or chicken etc) 
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cm ginger, grated
2 cups veges - we used capsicum, button mushrooms, zucchini and corn 
noddles or rice, to serve
steamed veges, to serve 
  1. Prepare sauce, set aside. 
  2. Saute diced onion and garlic.  Add in veges and stir fry for a few minutes.  Add sauce and stir through to coat everything.  Add a little water at a time, stirring to combine, until you get the amount and thickness you want.  
  3. Add in strips of beef and stir through to combine.  
  4. Serve with rice/noodles and steamed veges, sprinkled with pieces of peanut or cashew.  
NB:  If peanuts are a no-go, make the satay sauce with cashew butter.  It'll cost more, but taste amazing!  I used Pic's peanut butter, amazing product from Nelson.  Yum!!