Thursday, 28 April 2011

※ Parmesan crumbed asparagus

Asparagus, egg, flour, breadcrumbs and Parmesan. With these five simple ingredients you can have a delightful appetizer of Parmesan-crumbed asparagus spears lightly fried until crisp and golden.

Serve with a creamy garlic mayo and you've got a simple, no-fuss and absolutely delicious dish.

Parmesan crumbed asparagus

250 g fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Coat asparagus in flour, dip in egg and coat in combined breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, press lightly. Place asparagus on a lined oven tray and bake at 200°C for 8 to 10 minutes or until Parmesan cheese is golden and crisp.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

※ Piri Piri Chicken - Homemade Nandos

Absolutely delicious & really easy to make.

  • Wings, you can also use drumsticks, I used 1kg
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 bird's-eye chillies
  • 1tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • A bunch of fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

CHICKEN: Drizzle with olive oil and season, then put on the griddle pan that is heating up. Cook until golden underneath, then turn over. Wash your hands.Turn the chicken over.

Peel and roughly chop the red onion and add to the liquidiser with 2 peeled cloves of garlic. 

Add the chillies (stalks removed), 1tbsp paprika, the zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ a lemon. 

Add 2tbsp white wine vinegar, 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt and pepper, the bunch of basil and a swig of water. 

Blitz until smooth.

Pour the piri piri sauce into a snug-fitting roasting tray. 

Lay the peppers on top and put aside. 

Add the chicken to the roasting tray with the sauce. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes (until chicken is browned and cooked through) 

(I wanted my chicken really flavorsome, so I marinated the chicken in the sauce for 2 days, I did not partially cook chicken first)

※ Caramel Slice (with praline)

Gave the old recipe a bit of a makeover.

112g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
56g (2/3 cup) desiccated coconut
100g (2/3 cup) self-raising flour
85g butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced).
Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line the base and sides of the pan with baking paper.

Stir brown sugar, coconut, and flour together in a large bowl until well combined. Add butter and mix until well combined. Firmly press mixture into prepared pan using the back of a spoon.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly risen.
Set base aside to cool for about 10-20 minutes (while making caramel). Leave oven on.

Caramel Filling
30g butter
40ml (2 tablespoons) golden syrup
395g (1 can) sweetened condensed milk

Place butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
When butter has melted, add condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat for about 9-12 minutes, until caramel thickens.

Gently spread caramel evenly over base. Return to oven for a further 10-12 minutes (a 1/2cm border of lightly browned caramel should form around the edges of the slice).

Allow slice to cool to room temperature.

150g milk or dark chocolate, melted (I used Kennedy & Wilson Milk chocolate)
Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Spread melted chocolate over caramel. Sprinkle with praline.

Refrigerate slice until chocolate is just set, about 20-30 minutes. Remove slice from pan and cut into squares. We use a hot, dry knife to cut the slice (fill a tall glass with hot water, dip knife in water for a few seconds, and wipe dry with a clean tea towel). Store slice in an airtight container in the refrigerator

※ Slow Cooked Roast Beef (dog)

All the fresh ingredients ready for the oven.

When making my slow cooked roast beef for dinner, I decided to vary the recipe for my dog.
He loves it so I thought I would share the recipe here also.
Super healthy, no added fats or oils.


  • 1kg bolar roast (fat trimmed off)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of brown rice (you may substitute with pasta)
  • Whatever vegetables you like (no onion or garlic)
  • 1 Large carrot
  • 2 Large tomatoes
  • 200gsm green beans
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
Cover in with foil & bake for 3 hours
First hour 220 degrees fan forced
Last two hours regular oven 160 degrees.
Let cool, and pull apart with kitchen gloves, mix and bag it up.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

※ Cinnamon Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

※ Best hot chips in the world according to...

Bellerive bakery, Hobart Tasmania

The fries from this place were always my favourite. I have been known to make a trip here just to get the fries when I'm home.

In my experience, Birmingham, England. At the rail station.

I also had some good ones at Frituur Smul in Oostende, Belgium but I was hung-over at the time so they might not be as good as I remember.

Frituur Smul had mayo, malt vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and a kind of smoky seasoned salt. I knew about fries with mayo from working at Wendy's in high school in the 70's so didn't suffer from culture shock.

I don't remember.I was in Chicago for a job interview a couple years ago, and for lunch we went out to eat at this really small breakfast diner.
They had, simultaneously, the best coffee and chips I've ever had in my life. I turned down the job and forgot what the place was called :(

I'll see if I can find the name of the's in Seattle. I had their sea salt and truffle oil chips. There's also a place in Monroe WA that I'll have to look up the name of but they make sweet potato fries that are amazing.

Young's on Caerphilly Road.

A friend of mine was commissioned by The Herald-Sun (major Melbourne newspaper) to find the best chips in Melbourne. We researched many places, had trouble coming to conclusion, but the front runner was a BBQ chicken shop in Preston, with second place a roast dinner shop in Toorak..

We had about 70 locations tested, with a further 30-40 recommended places to check out, but he went overseas and the paper lost interest so we stopped.

There is a place in Chicago that sells fries cooked in duck fat - saw it on the Anthony Bourdain show, but I have never tried them. Personally, my favorites are the fries with brown gravy and mayo that I grew up with in British Columbia, and poutine (French Canadian dish - fries with brown gravy and cheese curds) in Ottawa or Montreal.

While not English style chips and more fries, the fries at Yellow Sunshine in Berlin are delicious.. Crispy and salty

KFC chips in their heyday were pretty good :)


Dunno about chips - but the best fries in Seattle are at the Honey Hole. Don't listen to that liar, Faust.

The best fries I've ever had were in Rhodes.

Jackie and I climbed the mountain to reach the Acropolis of Rhodes. It was 105F that day and we were gasping when we reached the top. We were so overheated it kind of ruined the experience at the top. Because of the climb we took we beat the crowd coming up that day, so we beat the crowds coming back down into the town.

We were back in town for a few minutes when a cafe owner looked us in the eyes on the sidewalk and said, "beer?" Being the good Canadians we are we totally fell for it. He brought out two one litre bottles of Hellas Pils and a plate of McCain French fries that were cooked in olive oil and seasoned with sea salt, green pepper and fresh oregano. Best. Ever.

※ Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies - The New York Times claims these are the best.

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips (I used milk and butterscotch)

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 24-36 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

※ Smoky Tomato Relish

Served with corn fritter, toast and kassler bacon.

* 2kg (4lb) tomatoes, chopped
* 2 small apples; peeled, cored and chopped
* 750ml (1½ pints) vinegar
* 500g (1lb) sugar
* 4 small onions, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 1 dessertspoon mustard powder
* 1 dessertspoon curry powder
* 1 tablespoon cornflour
* extra half-cup of vinegar
* 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika

Place the tomatoes, onions, apples, garlic, 750ml vinegar, salt, mustard, curry powder, paprika and sugar into a large pot. Bring to the boil, stirring, then boil for one and a half hours.

Mix the cornflour to a paste with the half cup of vinegar, add to the mixture and stir till thickened.

Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

Fritter recipe here

Thursday, 14 April 2011

※ Miguel the supermodel

My pug is promoting bacon fragrance!

Miguel Sanchez Remore Luca as featured on beutylish promoting the new bacon fragrance.

A pug that bring in the bacon (I got paid for the use of the image)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

※ Butterscotch Drops

Who doesn't love peanut butter & chocolate?
Saw this basic recipe today on

Butterscotch Drops
* 308 g (1 cup) butterscotch chips
* 260 g (1 cup) creamy peanut butter
* 110 g cornflakes cereal

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together. Remove from stove and stir in cornflakes. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Chill to harden.
So very easy, will have to give them a go, I am sure you could substitute the butterscotch with chocolate if that is your thing.

Monday, 11 April 2011

※ Fries

Canola or peanut oil, for frying
2 large russet potatoes
(about 1 lb. 10 oz.), peeled
Salt, to taste
1. Pour oil to a depth of 2" into a 6-qt. heavy-bottomed dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375°.

2. Meanwhile, cut potatoes lengthwise sharp knife; transfer potatoes to a strainer and rinse them briefly under cold water for 1 minute so that they won't stick together as they fry in the oil. Drain potatoes, transfer to kitchen towels, and pat dry.

3. Working in 4 batches, fry potatoes, stirring constantly with a slotted spoon and maintaining an oil temperature of at least 350° (adding the potatoes will cause the temperature to drop), until potatoes are light golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried potatoes to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.

Season with some Fleur De Sel or another good quality salt.

※ Slow Cooked Roast Beef

Recipe blogged here

Made on another occasion and served it in whole pieces instead of shredded.

Served with hassle-back potatoes, whole roasted shallots, generous daub of reduction & steamed greens .

Thursday, 7 April 2011

※ Piri Piri Chicken - Sandwich

Made with left overs from this recipe: ※ Piri Piri Chicken - Jamie Oliver recipe

I added the left over roasted peppers and sliced up the chicken breast
cheese, coriander, grated cheddar (Denhay english cheddar is delicious)
bread used was garlic and onion baguette = delicious.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

※ Slow Cooked Roast Beef

Preheat oven 250 degrees.
Rub the joint down with a little olive oil, garlic. salt and pepper.
fresh herbs of your choice, I generally go for rosemary, sage and thyme.
Place it in the oven in the baking dish for 10 minutes to seal the outside.
Take it out after the 10 mins are up and put the baking dish on the bench
Reduce the heat of the oven to 150 degrees

Throw into baking tray:

2 cups of beef stock (salt reduced or it will be too salty at the finished product)
2 cups red or white wine for flavor
1 chopped onion or shallots
Herbs. (rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme)

A few smashed cloves of garlic
4 Whole cloves black garlic
Dash of Tabasco
1 Teaspoon of paprika, sweet or smoked

Tightly cover the joint with foil sealing edges around sides of tray to make sure it does not dry out

Return to oven, cook slowly for 3 hrs or so depending on joint size, longer for bigger pieces.
If it is a small piece you can maybe do 2 hrs.

I generally check it after 2 hours and see how it is coming along.
At this stage, the level of stock is a nice reduction, you may wish to add some more stock/ wine if you are cooking it further.

Leftovers for lunch the next day are the best part of making a roast.