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    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Mad about Zucchini Noodles

    During my grain free cooking project, I came across  Zucchini noodles
    You may have noticed!!!
    Browsing through the recipes, that come into my mailbox every morning
    I found this on the Epicurious Site
    So here is another version of the fabulous Noodles, it is also a version of Ratatouille
    Served with Lamb once again
    Perfect match
    Once again another Gluten Free recipe

    It seems like a bit of work but it’s worth it
    You can prepare earlier it's good at room temperature
    I have changed the original recipe.
    The noodles were supposed to be served raw
    I wasn't happy about that so I lightly sautéed them
    Also I cooked the egg plant in batches
    Half with the tomatoes
    The second half I cooked separately, to get a different look
    I loved adding the raw cherry tomatoes at the end
    Nice colour and texture

    2 medium zucchini made into noodles
    2 teaspoons sea salt

    1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon honey 

    Sea Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
    3/4 cup basil leaves

    5 tablespoons olive oil divided
    2 garlic cloves think sliced
    1 egg plant cut into quarters and sliced  divided into two

    2 large tomatoes quartered and seeds removed
    10 cherry tomatoes halved
    1/4 cup pitted olives I used green

    First make the noodles
    place them in a sieve and salt them
    Leave them for about 10 minutes
    Squeeze out the liquid and set aside

    Then make the dressing
    Whisk Lemon juice, honey, pepper 1/2 cup basil sliced, 3 tablespoons olive oil 
    and pinch of sea salt
    Set aside
    Prepare the eggplant and large tomatoes
    Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of Olive oil in a pan over gentle heat
    Cook garlic gently until it turns golden brown
    Remove with a slotted spoon and add to dressing

    Increase heat to medium heat and add eggplant and the first lot of tomatoes
    Stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is browned and cooked through
    The tomatoes will soften
    Season with S & P and transfer to a bowl and cover with the dressing

    Add a little more oil to the pan and brown the rest of the eggplant, don't forget to make sure it cooked right through
    Raw eggplant  NO!!!
    Add to the rest, along with the cherry tomatoes and the olives
    Finally throw the Zucchini Noodles into the pan and toss them around for 2-3 minutes
    just to soften

    Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
    Add to the rest,
    Toss and throw the remainder of the basil on top
    I can see a Frittata coming up with the leftovers

    Monday, February 27, 2017

    Dress up The Sausage - Some Apple and Some Wine

    Sausages, cooked in the same pan as apple halves, throw in some wine to make a sauce
    Of course, serve with mashed potato and yes...peas

    Simple as.
    Nice idea this and it was wolfed down by both my guest and I
    Found the idea on Epicurious attributed to Alison Roman from Bob Appetit
    Of course as one usually does…I changed it to suit what was in the fridge
    Alison suggested to serve with Watercress
    Very pretty but not as good as Mashed Potatoes and Peas, in my book
    (Also I didn't have any watercress !)
    I used Angus Beef Breakfast Sausages which as it turns out were Gluten Free
    So another Gluten Free Meal for those interested

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 sweet apple per person, halved through stem ends
    400 gms sausages
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

    Frozen Peas Thawed
    Mashed potatoes

    Heat oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
    Add apples, cut side down, and cook, turning occasionally,
    until golden brown, 5–8 minutes.
    Prick sausages with a fork, add to skillet with apples, and cook,
    turning occasionally, until browned, 10–12 minutes.
    Add wine and vinegar to skillet.
    Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened (liquid should coat a spoon),
    about 4 minutes.
    Add thawed Peas and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste
    Serve over mashed potatoes…with pan juices spooned over.
    Looking a little amateurish but very tasty
    Since I originally posted this recipe which has been very popular, I have cooked it again, this time I added red cabbage to the vege.
    Just saute some red cabbage in a little butter and add to the pan
    The cabbage added fabulous colour
     There were leftovers, so I turned it into a Frittata
    Another view, Look at that filling
    Vege, Sausages, apple and eggs, just as simple as that

    Lamb Rack - Cooking for One - What to do with Leftovers

    Love a Roasted Lamb Rack.
    Cut it in two. Put half in the freezer for another day
    Fairly economical and very tasty
    BUT when you cook too many vegetables.
    Next day a completely different meal

    In fact cook too much on purpose... so that you can make this wonderful Potato Pancake
    I have been, whilst on my grain free recipe hunt, very taken with the Zucchini Noodles
    Use the Julienne Peeler
    Or use a Spiralizer OR cut into julienne strips by hand

    Zucchini, onions and tomato are a wonderful accompaniment to Lamb
    With a touch of mint, perfect
    I haven't given quantities, not important
    Make as much as you like

    Lamb Rack
    Olive Oil
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    The Vege
    Olive oil 
    I red onion
    Zucchini turned into noodles
    Cherry tomatoes cut in half
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    2-3 mint leaves. chopped

    The Potatoes
    Potatoes peeled and chunked
    Olive Oil
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    Take a lamb rack,  enough for 2, half for one
    Rub the rack with olive oil and season well with Sea salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper
    Set aside

    Meanwhile make your noodles
    Set aside

    Peel and chop potatoes and bring to a boil and simmer till fork tender
    Smash with the masher
    Not too fine its mot a puree, lumpy is good for texture
    Add Olive oil 
    Stir well
    Season with S & P

    Heat oven to 190C
    In a pan that will go into the oven
    Heat well
    Add lamb side down
    Cook for 3-4 minutes to get the skin browning
    Into the oven and cook for about 10-12 minutes
    It may take a little longer
    Remove and let rest

    Meanwhile in another skillet
    Add olive oil
    Cook red onions till translucent not brown
    Add noodles
    Cook about 4 minutes
    Add tomatoes,season again
    Cook another 3-4 minutes till tomatoes start to burst a little
    Add mint

    Now to serve
    Place vege on the plate
    Pop the Lamb rack on top
    Arrange the potatoes around the edge
    Dinner is served
    Sooo Of course I had too many vege
    Dinner for the next night

    Potato Pancake

    All you need is some to add to your leftovers
    More Olive Oil
    Grated cheese
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Basil leaves

    First make a little salad with Tomatoes
    S & P
    Torn basil leaves all drizzled over with olive oil

    Heat Grill in oven
    Mix the leftover potatoes and vege
    Once again, in a pan that will go into the oven
    Add olive oil
    Heat till nearly smoking
    Push mixed vege into the pan to form a cake
    Cook till the bottom starts to brown and crisp
    Cover with Grated cheese
    Pop under the grill till the cheese bubbles up and is to your liking

    To serve
    Slide onto plate and top with Tomato Salad

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017

    Marinated Tomatoes - A Great Sauce for Pasta

    I love the idea of raw tomatoes over hot pasta
    I saw this recipe for Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes  in The NY Times Cooking Column
    I have adapted it to suit me
    I used Fresh Bocconcini for the protein
    As an alternative you can used good canned Tuna,
    also maybe black olives instead of the green
    It's up to you, anything goes really

    About 400 gms ripe tomatoes, halved or quartered if small, diced if large
    Sea Salt
    1 punnet Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (or Bocconcini ), torn
    1/2 cup pitted Green Sicilian Olives, chopped,
    3 tablespoons capers (optional)
    1 red chili seeded and finely chopped (optional)
    ⅔ cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, mint, chives, cilantro, scallion tops, or a combination), more for garnish
    Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
    About 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    Freshly ground black pepper
    500 short pasta, like fusilli, farfalle or penne

    ½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

    Up to 4 hours before serving,
    Put tomatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle all over with salt.
    Set aside for 30 minutes, then drain off liquid.
    Add olives capers, chili,herbs and zest.
    Add olive oil, pepper to taste and stir gently,
    Cover and set aside at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
    Break up the mozzarella and mix with the basil and some freshly ground black pepper
    Cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
    Drain very well.
    Add Mozzarella and Basil then
    Tomatoes and pasta, combine well,
    Taste and add more oil, salt and pepper if needed
    Sprinkle with pine nuts, if using,

    Serve immediately.
    It’s pretty good at room temperature I reckon

    Monday, February 20, 2017

    Leftovers - Don't throw them out - Make a Frittata

    I have posted Frittata before but made one this morning
    and thought I should remind people how quick and easy it is
    Put it your Waste not Want not category
    I had some leftover vege,
    I have a guest and like to offer him nourishing food for breakfast
    In fact there was enough for 4 breakfasts, accompanied by some Crispy Vogels Toast
    Freezing some of it for another day

    I do love to add potato, must be fried though... for the wonderful flavour
    Grab some eggs from the fridge
    I used 3 Cherry tomatoes
    The leftover leeks and peas
    A handful of grated cheese

    To make enough for 4 breakfasts
    3 medium potatoes peeled and chunked
    A cup of cooked of vege
    3 Cherry tomatoes cut in half, push the seeds out and slice
    5 eggs beaten
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup grated tasty cheese
    3-4 tablespoons of Olive oil 

    Heat oven to 180C
    Pre cook the potatoes
    Easiest way
    3 minutes in the microwave

    In an ovenproof skillet over medium heat
    Add olive oil
    throw in the potatoes
    Let them cook till a nice crust forms
    Season with a little S & P
    In a bowl add eggs
    Beat and season with S & P
    Add cooked vege, tomatoes and grated cheese
    Pour egg mix into the potatoes
    Get the omelet started a little on the stove
    Into the oven approx 8 minutes
    Cool a little

    Cheap and Cheerful - Filling Ways With Hamburger Mince

    How to make 500 gms of Hamburger Mince into  4 Filling meals for 2 people
    I’ve been cooking up large this morning
    Dinner tonight and the rest for the freezer for the rest of the week
    Not counting the cost of the pasta
    Cost of this food about $15
    Not bad

    Cottage Pie
    This is basically the way my Mother cooked her Cottage Pie
    I’ve made a couple of changes, Ive found if you fry the mince separately to the vege, you get more colour on it and the flavour is excellent

    Both of these meat sauces make perfect pie filings
    Or if you're like our family
    Great on Hot buttered Toast
    Breakfast anyone?

    1 tablespoon oil
    1 onion peeled and finely chopped
    1 stick celery finely chopped
    1 carrot chopped into fine dice
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    250 gms mince
    1 beef stock cube dissolved in 2 cups of hot water Water

    Good dash each of Worcestershire Sauce and Tomato Ketchup

    2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley

    2 tbs Flour mixed with a little cold water

    4 large potatoes peeled and large chop
    a little milk

    Heat oil in a frying pan
    Add onions 
    Season with S & P
    Saute till soft

    Add carrots and celery
    Season again
    Saute about  4 minutes

    Meanwhile in another skillet
    Add oil to a hot pan
    Add 250 gms mince
    Season and break up with a fork and cook till brown

    Add to the vege
    Place everything into a saucepan
    Dissolve a stock cube in 2 cups boiling water
    Rinse out both pan with this stock and add to saucepan
    Bring to simmer and cook about 30 minutes

    Thicken with 3 tablespoon flour mixed with water to a thin paste
    Add to pot, bring back to simmer stirring all the time till it thickens
    Add a good dash of Worcestershire sauce and 2 good dashes on Tomato ketchup
    Add the chopped parsley

    Place in oven proof dish
    You may raise your eyebrow at using a hand beater to mash potatoes
    Delia (for people outside of the UK …Delia Smith is a Kitchen Goddess there) said so!!! and she should know
    It works really well

    Cook potatoes in boiling salted water
    Drain, put pot back on heat to dry the potatoes out
    add 2-3 tablespoons milk
    Let that come to the boil
    Remove from heat
    Using a hand beater ,whip up the potatoes and milk
    Till well mashed
    Add 2-3 good knobs of butter
    Transfer beater to a wood spoon
    and beat by hand
    Taste and season with salt and pepper
    Spread over Meat mixture
    Dot with a little extra butter

    Cook 30 minutes at 180C
    Voila Dinner is served
    Plus one for the freezer
    Now for a change of taste treat
    A Meat Sauce with an Italian flavour
    A Basic Sauce to pour over pasta
    Starts off the same way but turns into something quite different

    1 tablespoon Olive Oil
    1 onion peeled and finely chopped
    1 red pepper chopped
    1 stick celery chopped
    1 large clove of garlic peeled and smashed 

    2 tablespoons dried Oregano
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tin chopped tomatoes (400 gms)

    1 teaspoon sugar

    1 tablespoon Olive oil
    250 gms Mince
    Slosh of wine about 100 mls

    Heat oil in a large deep frying pan
    Add onions season with S & P
    Saute till soft

    Add red pepper, garlic and celery
    Season again
    Saute about  4 minutes
    Add canned tomatoes, add water to the empty can
    about half full

    Tip that in too
    Add oregano and the sugar

    Meanwhile in another skillet
    Add oil to a hot pan
    Add 250 gms mince

    Season and break up and cook till brown
    Add wine to mince
    Let the alcohol vaporize off
    Should take about 3-4 minutes

    Add to the vege tomato mix
    Mix well
    Simmer for about 30 minutes
    It will become lovely and red, rich and thick
    Perfect over Pasta

    Transfer to a container
    In this case 2 containers, into the freezer
    2 meals there

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Golden Roast Chicken - Feta Brined

    I found this recipe on The NY Times Cooking Website
    Attributed to Melissa Clark
    Roast Chicken is popular with the Grandchildren, so I cooked it for them last night
    I served it  sitting on a bed of Rocket
    with crushed potatoes on the side
    It was very popular with the kids
    So tender, not a lot left
    Just a Carcass to make some chicken soup


        4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
        3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
        1 3 1/2- to 4-pound whole chicken
        1 to 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper, to taste
        2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
        2 large lemons
        ¼ cup olive oil, more as needed
        1 large bunch rocket or other sturdy salad greens, for serving


    The day before serving, combine 2 ounces feta, 
    2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups water in a blender and blend until smooth. 

    Put chicken in an extra-large resealable plastic bag or a container
    large enough to submerge chicken, and cover with the feta brine.
    Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
    Before cooking, remove chicken from brine and transfer to a rack. (Discard brine.)
    Pat chicken dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
    In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 
    the pepper, the oregano and the zest of the lemons (about 1 tablespoon).
    Liberally cover chicken in herb mix and gently massage entire bird.
    Halve lemons and place 3 halves in cavity (save remaining half for serving).
    Using kitchen twine, tie legs together.

    Heat oven to 220C degrees.
    Place a large ovenproof skillet over high heat.
    Add oil and heat until it just smokes.
    Place chicken, breast-side up, in pan.
    Transfer entire pan to oven.
    Cook, basting once or twice, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife,
    50 to 60 minutes.
    Remove pan from oven, Place chicken on board to rest
    then stir remaining crumbled feta into juices in pan and stir well.
    Place the chicken  on a bed of greens,
    with feta-laced pan juices on top, drizzled with a little lemon juice from the reserved lemon half.

    Crushed Potatoes

    So so simple
    Just peel your potatoes
    Cook till tender in boiling salted water
    Smash with a good dollop of Olive Oil 

    Add some sliced basil

    Throw some extra basil on top to serve
    Make plenty...there was nothing left
    I should have made more