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    Saturday, March 20, 2021

    Making The Best Of Leftovers

     I have always been The Leftover Queen, I can't abide throwing good food out. This is not a recipe, just a good tasty idea for Waste Not Want Not... I am also a believer that soup is not just a Winter Dish. It's an AnyTime Dish

    In the fridge were 2 containers of food, leftover from yesterday. Some mushroom soup, incidentally which was store bought. Plus cold boiled potatoes, corn cobs and a little broccoli for that touch of green, all leftover from last night's dinner

    Instead of making croutons to sprinkle on the soup, I decided to chop up the Vege and sprinkle them on simple as that

    The soup needed a little extra zing, so I heated it up with some cream, just enough to thin it down a bit and make it extra creamy.

    Meanwhile I chopped up the potatoes, stripped the corn off the cob, broke up the broccoli, popped them into a pan, on medium heat, which contained some butter

    Turned the heat that the potatoes would get some colour, seasoned them with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    About 4-5 minutes was enough

    I grabbed a pretty serving bowl, filled it up with the hot soup, scattered the Vege on top and                        

    Voila... Lunch and Delicious it was too 

    Sunday, January 17, 2021

    New Way To Use Bagged Salads

    There was a chicken carcass in the fridge, so immediately popped into the pot and I made some beautiful chicken stock
    There was enough to put in the freezer for later and another litre or so to make soup for lunch.
    Except for an onion and 2 sad looking carrots, I was a little low on soup vege
    BUT  also in the fridge was a bag of an Asian Chopped Salad, why don't I use that, after all a 
    really nice mix of vege plus... there is a sesame ginger dressing and some croutony crunchy things...perfect for lunch I thought

    2 tbs olive oil
    1 med onion finely chopped
    2 small carrots grated
    1 bag Asian Vege with little bag croutony things
    1 litre chicken stock
    Sesame and ginger dressing

    In a pot heat the olive oil and add the chopped onions
    Cook till soft then add grated carrot
    Stir and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Add the Asian Vege and stir plus a little more seasoning 
    when soft add the chicken stock
    Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20-30 minutes

    Before serving add the Sesame and Ginger dressing

    Into your soup bowl, and maybe a few crunchy "croutony" things on the top 
    Plus some chopped chives for colour 

    Perfect lunch
    Will do that again

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020

    Fish Pie - Always a Favourite

    We had lovely fresh Gurnard for dinner on Thursday. I was very generous with my quantities and there was enough left over for another meal
    When fish has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, it is not quite so good just pan fried, so I turned it into Fish Pie

    With a Bechamel Sauce doctored with veggies and lemon and this is a delight to eat.
    I topped it with a mix of Mashed Potato and Kumara Yum
    This will feed 3 or a greedy 2 people
    The beauty of this fish pie is with the addition of the veggies into the sauce, you have a complete meal
    You have to be quick to take a photo of the completed pie
    Very very tasty

    So you will need
    300 gms of Gurnard or any other white fish
    50 gms butter
    3 tablespoons Flour
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    50 gms butter
    1/2 leek finely sliced
    1 carrot grated
    1 red onion peeled and diced
    splash white wine
    1 lemon  zested and juiced
    300 mls milk

    1 large potato peeled and diced
    1 large Kumara peeled and diced
    A big knob of butter and a splash of milk

    Toss the gurnard in seasoned flour, shake excess flour off and reserve
    in a pan melt 50 gms butter when med hot add the fish
    Cook till just golden about 4 minutes
    Remove from pan onto a plates and add milk to the pan to soak up those wonderful juices
    Meanwhile Into a pot add butter 
    Melt over med heat
    Add red onion and saute till soft but not brown
    Add leek and carrot, saute gently until soft

    Add reserved flour and mix well, cook through for about 3-4 minutes
    Add warmed milk and stir well and cook gently until thickened,
    Add lemon zest and juice 
    Taste and add more seasoning if needed
    Grease a casserole dish and add cooked fish
    Pour the sauce of the top and set aside
    Meanwhile cook the potato and Kumera in salted water till tender
    Remove from heat, drain
    and mash with milk and butter
    Spread over the fish sauce and fork it well to get a nice ridged pattern
    Dot with butter and cook for approx 30 mins at 180C

    There ya go Golden and so so good

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020

    Prawns in Lemon and Garlic Butter on Lemon Basmati Rice

    There are so many recipes for Prawns and Rice on the Internet

    The idea of using Lemon not only whilst cooking the prawns but also in the accompanying rice

    is such a good plan

    Preparation and Cooking Time 25 minutes


    350 gms Prawns, cleaned                           

    4 - 5 cloves garlic  peeled and finely chopped                                            

    1/4 tsp paprika                                                  

    2 tbs butter                                                        

    2 Tbs fresh Lemon Juice                                   

    3 Tbs Fresh Snipped Parsley                            

    Clean shrimp if needed, if not just rinse and let drain.

    Cut lemon in half and cut off 2 slices for garnish.

    Squeeze the remaining lemon for juice.

    Meanwhile mince garlic

    Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

    Add paprika and sauté briefly. 

    Add garlic and sauté until golden and tender, 5  7 minutes.

    Turn heat up to medium and add shrimp. 

    Sauté until prawns start to curl and turn opaque. 

    Add lemon juice, parsley and heat through.

    Very simple

    And to accompany these juicy prawns

    Just whip up this tasty lemon rice 


    Lemon Basmati Rice

    1/2 cup Basmati Rice 

    1 clove Garlic

     2 tsp butter

    1 cup, 250 mls Chicken Stock 

    1 tbs fresh lemon thyme

    1tbs lemon juice

    Mince garlic.

    Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. 

    Add garlic and sauté briefly, 1  2 minutes.

    Add rice and sauté, stirring for 1 minute. 

    Add stock, thyme and lemon juice. 

    Cover and cook for length of time on package. 

    When done fluff with a fork

    To serve: Arrange rice on a small platter. 

    Spoon shrimp and sauce on rice, garnish with little extra parsley and serve with some lemon wedges on the side 


    Monday, July 13, 2020

    Lamb Shanks-More Winter Fare

    This time of the year people with Citrus trees are blessed with so much fruit.
    So what to do with it?
    I was given a bag of Oranges, we had Lemon on the tree and Grapefruit
    So much colour
    So I decided to use some of the orange juice in a casserole, along with some left over Rose Wine
    Yes I did have some leftover wine!!!
    We also had two Lamb Shanks and some vegetables in the fridge so I  improvised
    These two shanks fed 4 of us

    3 tablespoons Olive Oil
    2 Lamb Shanks
    3 tablespoons Flour
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 onion peeled and chopped
    1 carrot chopped
    2 sticks celery chopped
    2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
    Piece of pumpkin peeled and chopped
    1 oxo cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water
    1 cup orange juice
    1 cup rose wine

    Heat the oven to 160C this is a long slow cook

    Dry the lamb shanks in a paper towel
    Dredge in flour seasoned with salt and pepper
    Put the leftover flour to one side
    In a pan drizzle the olive oil
    Brown the shanks and place them in a casserole dish

    Add more oil to the pan if necessary and add the chopped onions
    Cook for about 4-5 minutes until soft but not brown
    Add the carrot, celery, garlic and pumpkin
    Continue to saute until softened
    Add leftover flour and mix well, 
    Add the orange juice, rose wine and oxo cube dissolved in water
    Cook until thickened
    Pour over the lamb shanks and pop into oven 
    Cook for about 3 hours
    When cooked take the meat off the bone
    Return to casserole and best served with mashed potatoes and a green vege of your choice

    Colourful Salad-Perfect for A Winters Day- Rocket and Beetroot

    This was a Salad I served at lunch in the weekend
    It was very popular and seriously so so easy
    It consists of
    Bag Rocket
    Mozzarella Balls
    Roasted Beetroot
    French Dressing

    Make the Dressing (Vinaigrette)
    1 tsp Dijon Mustard
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Pinch of sugar
    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Place all ingredients into a jar with a lid
    Shake well
    It's all ready to go

    To feed 8 people
    Take 6 medium beetroot
    Wrap each one in foil and bake in a 200C oven till tender
    Takes about an hour
    Check with a skewer to make sure it is cooked right through
    Remove from oven
    Cool for about 15 mins
    When the beetroot is able to be held in your hand
    Peel and chop into wedges
    Toss in 3 tablespoons of French Dressing, 
    The beetroot absorbs the vinaigrette best when warm

    Set aside

    To assemble
    In a flat salad bowl
    Layout the rocket
    Throw over the beetroot wedges and then the mozzarella broken into pieces
    You can assemble this earlier if necessary

    Just before serving 
    Distribute another 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and 
    Toss lightly
    Salad is served

    Wednesday, July 08, 2020

    Huey's Steak Smothered with a Delicious Vege Sauce - Just right for these Chilly Days

    I found this recipe lurking away on my iPad, obviously awaiting a day when it would just be the perfect dinner
    Beautifully cooked Scotch Filet, smothered with a range of vegetables with gorgeous sweet and sour flavours

    Well... yesterday was the day
    I was staying down in Hawkes Bay and it was a chilly day, it was grey and miserable
    What better but Huey's Steak to cheer us up AND it did
    Hughey is an Australian TV Chef (Iain Hewitson) who I was very keen on, a few decades ago
    I was very impressed with his recipes and there will be quite a few on this blog going back a few years

    An excellent way to serve a piece of scotch filet, doused in a yummy sauce
    Just some mashed potatoes plus a few extra vege on the side
    Just perfect


    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    sea salt & freshly ground pepper
    olive oil
    3x 200 gm scotch filet or sirloin steaks, trimmed of all fat & sinew
    a good knob of butter
    2-3 leeks, washed well & finely sliced
    1 scant tbsp plain flour
    ½ cup lager, at room temperature
    1 cup beef stock
    1 tspn white or brown sugar
    ½ can diced tomatoes
    a few sprigs fresh thyme
    2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    Mix together the vinegar, 1 tspn salt and ½ tspn ground pepper with a splash of oil in a large bowl.
    Add the steaks, toss well and set aside for up to 30 mins.

    When ready, heat a little oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and just sear the steaks on both sides. Remove and set aside They will continue to cook in the next stage

    Add a little fresh oil, if needed, with the butter to the pan and gently sauté the leeks until tender, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan now and again.
    Then add the flour, mix well and briefly cook.

    Pour in the beer and stock with any leftover marinade.
    Then add the sugar, tomatoes, thyme and 1 tbsp chopped parsley.
    Stir and cook until thick and fragrant.

    Then return the steaks to the pan and cook to the desired degree, basting now and again.

    Remove the steaks and set aside to rest for a few minutes, before thickly slicing, if you like.
    Or just Pop the whole steak on the plate as below
    Taste the sauce for seasoning.

    And some extra vege on the side, Roasted Carrots and Cauli and some yummy mashed potato

    Try this... this weekend...Guaranteed a success
    Thank you Hughey I shall hunt for more of your gems to try as we get through this winter

    Thursday, June 25, 2020

    It's Pie Time Spinach and Feta Pie on the Menu Tonight

    Spinach and Feta Pie or Spanankopita

    Such a easy way to get the green vege into your kids

    Often children find it hard to eat those dark leafy vegetables 

    But mix it up with cheese, onion and eggs

    Turn that into a pie, with crispy Filo Pastry and you are onto a winner

    I used a 23 cm square pan, this amount of filling was enough for this size

    Don’t forget to work quickly with the filo pastry as it drives out quickly

    In fact keep a damp towel to put over it if you have to walk away

    Family couldn't wait for me to take the photograph 

    You need 

    Olive oil

    400 gms frozen spinach thawed

    1 large onion diced

    2 cloves garlic smashed and finely chopped

    2 spring onions finely chopped

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Nutmeg ground about 1/2 tsp

    2 eggs lightly beaten

    200 gms feta cheese crumbled

    8 sheets Filo Pastry

    Melted butter about 60 gms

    Heat oven to 170C 

    Put the thawed spinach in a tea towel 

    and squeeze it to remove all the moisture  

    Heat about 2 tablespoons Olive in in a pan

    Medium heat

    Add onion 

    Sauté till tender

    Add garlic and spring onions 

    Continue over the heat about 2-3 minutes don’t let it brown

    Add the spinach

    and cook for about 4-5 minutes

    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Add a little freshly grated nutmeg


    Meanwhile lightly beat the eggs

    Add feta cheese and mix well

    Season with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

    Add spinach mixture

    Your filling is ready to go

    Remove your filo from the wrapper and lay on a damp towel 

    It’s important that the pastry doesn’t dry out 

    Brush the first layer with melted butter 

    Lay in buttered tin 

    Butter the next sheet and repeat till you have 4 layers

    Add your cooled spinach mixture 

    Then butter another sheet and lay on top

    and repeat with another 3 layers

    Fold the edges in

    Brush top with little more melted butter

    Score the top with a sharp knife

    Bake at 170C for about an hour

    By then the pastry will be golden and crispy

    Below The Cross section, sorry about the photo I need a proper camera ha ha

    We had some ketchup on the side

    Lunch is served

    A little salad on the side to round it out perhaps, if you feel like it 

    Winters Here - Soup's Up

    I love making soup, just such an excellent way to boost your vege intake all in one bowl
    So nourishing and tasty... It has to be good for you
    In the fridge, we had what is considered to be winter vege but actually these days, they are available 
    all year around
    I was lacking in any stock, so I chopped up some salami and used that for the extra flavour
    Look at those Brussels Sprouts, I love them and to think I hated them when I was a kid
    2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and 30 gms butter
    8-10 slices of Pepperoni Salami chopped
    1 Onion peeled and chopped
    1/2 Cauliflower chopped
    1/2 head Broccoli chopped
    4 Brussels Sprouts sliced
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    In a pot add the oil and butter

    Add the salami
    Saute for a few minutes
    Add the onion just a few more minutes
    Then the rest of the vege
    Saute till they soften and are well tossed in the oil
    Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Add enough water to cover
    Bring to boil and simmer till soft about 30-40 minutes
    Remove from heat
    Into Blender
    AND just like that...Lunch is ready