Monday, 30 January 2012

※ Traditional Lemonade

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup lemon juice (approx 4 lemons)
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • Lemon slices, to serve
Place sugar and boiling water in a heatproof jug. Stir to dissolve sugar. Set aside to cool completely.

Strain lemon juice into sugar mixture. 

Add 2 cups cold water. 
Stir to combine. 
Stir in ice cubes and lemon slices. (or if preferred lime)

If you want fizzy and not still, mix with soda water.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

※ Pulled-Pork

It's not just the flavors that make a dish but the layering of textures. I love pulled pork because of the contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender, almost-melting inside. You start with a pork shoulder, a cheap but flavorful cut with a good amount of fat that renders out during the long, slow cooking and bastes the meat to give it a caramelised crust.


  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic flakes
  • 1 boneless pork butt, about 3 pounds
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Tip: You can buy bone-in or boneless pork shoulder. Both have their benefits: Cooking bone-in will contribute some flavor (and increase the cooking time slightly). But if you have your butcher take out the bone, you can rub the spice mix into the incisions where the bone was removed — a great way to get the flavour deep inside the meat.

Mix brown sugar and dry spices, & apple juice together in a small bowl. Rub all over pork, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for as long as you have time for (as little as 1 hour or up to overnight). Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay pork on a rack insert fitted inside a roasting pan. (The rack should be high enough so the entire spiced butt is sitting above the cooking liquid.) Pour in the marinade and water, cover pan tightly with foil, and slow roast for 5 hours. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until pork is brown outside and meat is very tender, basically falling apart.

Remove from oven, transfer to large platter, and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, shred pork into small pieces using 2 forks or 10 fingers. Transfer to bowl for serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, just transfer to shallow baking dish, bring to room temperature, and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Tip: If the pan drippings aren't burned, discard fat and mix drippings back into the pulled pork, which will make it even more moist and flavourful.

note: I used a roasting pan that wasn't much bigger than the meat itself, so the drippings didn't spread out and burn.

Friday, 27 January 2012

※ Spinach & Feta Pie

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
  • olive oil 
  • 1 bunch English spinach, washed, leaves removed
  • 250g low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 75g low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 sheets filo pastry
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 4cm deep, 20cm (base) ovenproof dish with oil. Half-fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Add spinach. Cook for 1 minute or until just wilted. Drain. Refresh under cold water. Squeeze to remove excess water. Roughly chop.

Combine ricotta, feta, green onions, parsley, chilli, garlic eggs and spinach in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm in the centre. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C.

Place pastry over pie top to cover spinach mixture. 

Brush with oil or a little melted butter. 

Bake for 10 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp. Serve with salad leaves.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

※ Chicken Burgers with spicy sriracha mayo


  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  •  3 green onions (shallots), finely chopped
  •  1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 bread rolls, halved
  •  ¼ cup (75g) spicy sriracha mayo (see below for recipe)
  • 100g baby spinach leaves

Combine chicken mince with breadcrumbs, coriander, sweet chili sauce and green onion in a bowl. 
Season to taste and shape into patties.

Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium. Cook chicken patties for 3-4 minutes each side, until golden and cooked through.

Spread base of each roll with mayonnaise. Top with spinach leaves, patties, Finish with other half of roll. (cheese if so desired)Serve.

  • 3 Tablespoons mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha 
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
Combine ingredients until smooth.
Adjust your heat level to your personal tolerance.

Mayo recipe previously blogged here

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

※ Honey-Caramel Popcorn

(Makes 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popping corn
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 250gsm bag Cashews or nuts of your choice.


Grease a 5cm-deep, 21cm x 30cm (base) baking pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of corn. Oil is hot enough when corn turns slowly in a circle. Add remaining corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Shake saucepan gently when corn starts popping. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl add the nuts of your choice. Discard any unpopped corn.

Place honey, sugar, vanilla and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 6 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 6 minutes or until light golden. Working quickly, pour caramel mixture over popcorn. Stir to combine. Spoon into prepared pan. Set aside to cool completely. Break into pieces. Serve.

Plain no nuts just caramel
With mixed nuts
Packaged up & ready to give out 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

※ Sweet Chili Glaze (for grilled pork tenderloin)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp. Chili Powder 
  • 1/2 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce 
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (Chopped) 
  • 1/2 Cup Hoisin Sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar 
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Grated Ginger (Fresh)

While the pork is cooking, mix together the sweet chili sauce/glaze.

Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized sauce pan.

Bring to a boil then reduce down to a simmer.

Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.

Brush over cooked meat and serve.

TIP: While cooking glazes and sauces especially ones with sugar in them, be careful about over heating. I like to keep a low heat and if you notice that the sauce is becoming to thick just simple add a splash of water to thin it out.

Served with semi dried tomatoes, baby spinach, slow roasted shallots & caramelised sweet potato.