Prawn Pate

An impressive Crustecean dip that’s sure to light up any seafood lovers gathering.

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I absolutely love Seafood! I will greedily devour any bountiful harvest from the sea placed in front of me. But, alas, I don’t get to cook with it very often. Partly because I am ever so snobbish about freshness, which I haven’t found around me here of the same quality as home & partly because Hubby seems to struggle with Seafood! I always take it as a great personal triumph when he enjoys one of my Seafood dishes. I first started his conversion when we lived in a town called Katherine, at the bottom of Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory. They have the absolute BEST Barramundi in all of Australia, one taste of those beauties & he was hooked! We had fish & chips every Friday night!!! Yet, I now find myself back on struggle street in the Seafood department with him. He usually enjoys when I hide it in an Asian Curry though, so imagine my surprise when he actually went back repeatedly for my Prawn Pate!!!! I was so absolutely chuffed that I just had to share this uber easy recipe with you so that you may be able to convert any fussy fishes in your life too.

Start by popping 500g worth of cooked & peeled prawns into your food processor to chop them up finely.

In a separate bowl, cream together 85g of softened butter with 113g of cream cheese.

Place that mix in with the prawns, along with 1.5 tablespoons of whole egg mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, the juice of half a big lemon (or a full smaller one) before seasoning ever so generously with salt & black pepper.

Give that lot a jolly good blitz up in the food processor to combine & that is it!

Keep this one up your culinary arsenal sleeve to whip out a rather impressive luxurious dip at your next BBQ!

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Banana Coconut Ice-cream

Just 4 everyday pantry items

will whip up this cool, tropical treat packing a huge flavour hit!

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It is hot!!!!! We’ve been sweltering through 40c sweat laden days here in Melbourne & although I am from the tropics, our heat is not like this! Mini-Me loves home-made ice-cream the best on days like these & when it’s this easy to make, she gets right in there with me! We have a great time together in the kitchen & I know that she is making her own life memories as I smile, remembering my Nan & how we would be in her kitchen together. So the cycle of life continues. It’s the simple things which make me happy.

For this totally easy icy treat, simply pop 500g of sliced bananas into a bowl along with 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup caster sugar & 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Blend that lot up until nice & smooth with your hand mixer then pour into an ice-cream machine for whatever the specified churn time is on your particular machine.

If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, don’t despair! Just pour the mix into a container, pop into the freezer & give it a stir every so often.

That is it my friends! So easy to have luscious, flavourful, home-made ice-cream!

Tanz Tip – to get fancy, I sprinkle some roasted coconut chips on top.

Roasted Tomato Soup

A celebration of Summer bursting with the lively flavours of

sun-kissed Tomatoes, tongue-tingling Capsicums & soul-soothing Garlic. 

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This soup is a guilt free pleasure & we feel the goodness pulsating nourishment  throughout our bodies with every fabuliciouz spoonful! I hope your Fam-Bam loves it just as much as mine does.

Begin simply by quartering 1.5 kg of tomatoes & spreading those evenly in a roasting dish. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Season ever so generously with salt, pepper & dried thyme.

Next, squeeze a whole head of garlic into a corner of the pan & just set it aside for a moment.

Grab a baking tray & onto that goes 2 red capsicums which you’ve cut in half & removed the seeds & bitter white pith from. Make sure you place them skin side up on the tray before drizzling with a wee splash of olive oil as well.

Pop both the pan & the tray into a 180c oven for half an hour to roast.

Once done, place the capsicums into a bowl & cover them with cling film to sweat. Set that aside.

Into a big pot or saucepan, place the roasted tomatoes along with all those luscious juices from the pan. Just make sure you take that head of garlic out first!

Meanwhile, return to your capsicums as they should be done by now. Remove the cling film & the skin on all the capsicum halves should easily peel away, then into the pot they go! Remember to pour in any collected juices too – that’s all flavour!

Start to break apart your garlic head & squeeze all that soft yumminess out of the skins & into the pot!

Pour in 1 litre of chicken stock & get that on to the heat. Bring the soup to a boil & then simmer away for 15 minutes.

Finally, drag out good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blend your soup smooth before one more go at the salt & pepper, seasoning to your taste.

Tanz Tip ~ To keep my meal completely Gluten Free, I like to serve Mini Pappadum’s alongside my soup so that I still get the crunch factor without the crusty bread.

Skordalia

This Greek garlic potato dip is simply perfect served with refreshing cucumber sticks or sweet cooked prawns.

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Skordalia is, quite honestly, such an easy & fabuliciouzly different dip to add WOW factor to any table. It’s lovely warm but you can make this the day before you want to serve it & just keep it well covered in the fridge.

Start by steaming 500g worth of peeled & chopped potatoes until they’re lovely & tender before giving them a good mash up.

Then add in 4 teaspoons of minced garlic (or 4 cloves if you’re prepared to crush them yourself) along with 60g of almond meal. Beat that lot really well with your wooden spoon to combine.

This recipe is going to give you a great workout for your ‘angel wing’ arms.

Slowly pour in 2/3 cup of really good quality extra virgin olive oil in a thin stream whilst beating to get a gorgeous thick & smooth consistency.

Finally, add in 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, a tablespoon worth of finely chopped fresh parsley & season ever so generously with salt & black pepper. Keep beating until it’s a beautifully luscious mash-like dip.

Lemon Cream Pie

Lusciously Airy with a Refreshing Citrus Pop,

this is such an easy pie to whip up.

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You are not going to believe just how simple this recipe is & it sure does pack the WOW factor in your mouth! Hubby & Mini-Me both go absolutely nuts over this one, declaring it to be better than Chocolate Cake, now that’s a BIG CALL from those two!

Begin by crushing up a packet of biscuits into crumb. I use a Gluten Free Arrowroot one but previously (before GF), I used the Arnott’s Nice Biscuits. Melt 1/2 cup of butter & add that into the biscuit crumb before mixing it all thoroughly. Press the bikkie base firmly into a pie dish. Pop in a 160c oven for just 5 minutes, then allow to cool.

Meanwhile, let’s make the filling.

In one bowl, decant a tin of condensed milk & add in 1/3 cup of lemon juice gradually so you can incorporate each addition properly. Then pop that aside to stand for a few minutes whilst you do the next bit.

In a second bowl, beat 2/3 cup of thickened cream to a beautifully thick consistency. This is where all the lightness comes from so make sure you beat enough air into it.

Simply fold the cream through the mixture in bowl 1, very carefully to maintain that air.

Pour the filling onto the bikkie base & pop it in the fridge overnight to set.

Sprinkle it lightly with cinnamon just before serving.

Gluten Free Pizza Base

Eureka! 

A Gluten Free Pizza Base that you actually want to eat!

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Sometimes the absolute BEST recipes can be found on the back of a packet, tin or jar! I always take the time to scan over a label before placing in the bin & this one is definitely a WINNER!

Lovely & crisp without any of the gooey dramas that have befallen me when trying to simply substitute GF Flour instead of wheat ones in standard recipes. I now have my GF Pizza Base & I am happy to share it with you!

Best of all, you are simply not going to believe how easy it is!

Grab a mixing bowl & in goes 1.5 cups of Soy Flour, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup of soda water along with a teaspoon of salt for seasoning. Give that lot a jolly good stir to form a thick batter.

Next, spread it out thinly over a greased oven tray & pop into a 180c oven for 15 minutes so that it sets & starts to get lovely & crisp.

Pull the base out of the oven, add your favourite toppings & pop it back into the oven to bake until it’s gloriously golden & cheese pull worthy!

Croquettes with Spiced Aioli

Golden crisp crunch gives way to soft fluffy potato complimented perfectly with a bold flavoured dipping sauce.

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Potato Croquettes are an absolute crowd pleaser & are the perfect vehicle to carry a plethora of fabuliciouz flavours! This is my base recipe which pairs wonderfully well with my strong Spiced Aioli.

You’ll need to start this one the day before you want to serve it.

I begin by steaming 750g worth of peeled & chopped up tatties. I prefer to steam, rather than boil, so the potatoes don’t get waterlogged. It just makes it even fluffier!

Once they’re tender, grab a masher & give them a good squish up. It’s really important that you don’t mash them in a food processor because they get way too smooth for this recipe.

Next, add in 2 tablespoons of butter along with 1 lightly beaten egg, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg & season generously with salt & pepper. Stir it all in to mix well then spread the mash out onto a flat plate, cover it in tin foil & pop in the fridge overnight.

The following day, divide your chilled mash up into equal sized portions & roll into sausage shapes. Then comes the good old crumbing production line!

  • Bowl 1 – plain flour
  • Bowl 2 – 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • Bowl 3 – whatever kind of crumb floats your boat

Once all of your Croquettes have been through each bowl, add them to a tray which you then need to cover with tin foil & pop back in the fridge for another 2-3 hours to firm up again.

Deep fry time! Get your oil nice & hot before carefully sliding in each croquette to turn a beautiful golden colour. Drain the excess oil from them & they are good to greedily devour!

But Wait! There’s More!

I promised you a fabuliciouz Spiced Aioli to dip those deep fried potato pillows of loveliness in.

This is where my food processor I got in the Christmas sales has been an absolute game changer!

Into the bowl goes 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 12 drops of tabasco sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt & 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Give that lot a jolly good whazz until it’s all blended up nicely. Now, with the machine still running, start to pour in a slow, steady stream of 1/2 cup of olive oil until it’s gorgeously smooth. Add in 8 cloves of crushed garlic & process it until it’s also smooth & Voila! Instant Aioli! Pour into a pretty bowl to serve with your Croquettes.

Gluten Free Mini Mushroom Pies

Fabuliciouzly creamy mushroom filling encased in a shortbread like pastry.

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I love pies! I love baking pies! I love eating pies! So when I was forced to go Gluten Free for my health, naturally, I was devastated. My search for the perfect Gluten Free Pie commenced. After much trial & error, I am still no closer to finding that magic recipe, but this pastry recipe I found from The Australian Women’s Weekly is ok, although I would liken it more to a shortbread biscuit rather than pastry.

The BEST Gluten Free Pie of all time still belongs to Hayden’s Pies in Ulladulla on the New South Wales South Coast. Hayden, I beg of you, PLEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEE, share your perfect pastry recipe with me……..

For these wee beauties, I started off by making the filling. Simply melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frypan before adding in 250g worth of sliced mushrooms (I prefer to use Swiss Browns, but whatever floats your boat) & cook those down until they’re lovely & tender. Next, add in 1/2 cup of thickened cream & allow that to simmer gently until it’s reduced. Finally, season generously with salt & white pepper. Set the filling aside to go cold.

Now comes the ‘pastry’. Into the bowl of your food processor goes 1 & 3/4 cups of rice flour, 1/3 cup of cornflour & a 1/3 cup of soy flour along with 200g of cold chopped butter. Process that lot to make it into a fine mixture. Next add just enough cold water (about 1/4 cup worth) slowly until everything comes together in a dough ball. Wrap the dough in cling film & pop in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Now, I don’t know if it was the fact that I was crazy enough to making these in 42c heat that day or what, but my pastry didn’t roll as per the recipe. If you can get yours to, then they say to pop it between 2 sheets of baking paper to roll it out to 5mm thick before using your cutters to cut rounds.

I did manage to roll mine out successfully, however, attempting to pick up my cut out rounds simply didn’t happen, they just tore apart. So what I then did was to re-knead it back into a dough ball & I just broke bits off by hand & flattened out into my wee home-made pie tins.

Oh yes, I couldn’t find any foil pie cases so all I did was cut out squares of my tin foil & stuff them into the holes of a cupcake baking tray – voila!

Once I had all my pie cases ready, it was an easy task to spoon my prepared mushroom filling into each one before brushing the edges with some lightly beaten egg & crowning them with more of the pastry flattened out by hand. Then I brushed the tops with more of the beaten egg & popped them in a 220c oven for 25 minutes.

 

Prawn & Pineapple Salsa

Tender Prawns from the deep pair perfectly with Sweet Pineapple of the Land,

It’s a Tropical Surf n Turf!

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Now this is my kind of salad! Warm & Juicy packing a huge flavour punch without a lettuce leaf in sight! This is what I want plopped in front of me on a warm Summer’s day with an icy cold glass of white wine to wash it down.

The Pineapple Salsa part is what you want to do first so all of those big, bold flavours have time to settle down & make friends rather than be jostling for attention. So, grab yourself a bowl & into that goes half a decent sized pineapple that you’ve peeled & chopped up roughly along with 1 finely chopped red chilli, 1/2 cup of fresh mint from the garden that you’ve also chopped up finely & the juice of 1 lime. Give that lot a jolly good mix up with your hands & set aside.

Next, throw 300g of fresh raw prawns at the Hubby to go sacrifice at the alter of burnt offerings (aka the BBQ). Cooking them on the BBQ just puts that wee bit of smoky char flavour into the prawns, but if for any reason that doesn’t float your boat, then you can easily just cook them up in a wee splash of heated oil on your frypan. Prawns are awesome as they tell you exactly when they’re cooked by rather conveniently changing colour to a gorgeous pink shade when done. It doesn’t take very long so don’t walk away.

Meanwhile, crack on with making the sauce. Simply melt 100g of butter in a small saucepan before adding in the zest of the lime you took the juice from (I tend to zest it first & set it aside before cutting it open to juice as I find that easier but I know that chefs will say I lose the essential oil by not doing it straight over the pan which is a huge flavour loss so do whichever way works for you) along with a finely chopped red chilli & 10g of freshly grated ginger. Stir that for a couple of minutes to cook it all off before finally seasoning with a good pinch of salt.

When the Hubby brings in the cooked prawns, pop them straight into the butter sauce to coat them generously.

Arrange your Pineapple Salsa on your serving platter, then crown it with all those luscious prawns & drizzle just a smidge of the butter sauce over the top.

Peppermint Patties

A refreshing sweet treat to enjoy with your cuppa.

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Well hello & Welcome to 2018! I’m back! This year, I intend to step up the blog to the next level! Don’t worry, I will be staying true to my core identity here of Few Ingredients, Maximum Flavour BUT this year, I shall be moving beyond the basic into more fabuliciouz territory whilst maintaining SIMPLICITY as the key to my recipes. I do hope you’re as excited as I am to get cracking in the kitchen cranking out home-made goodness.

For my first recipe of 2018, I’m taking a look at what to do with all those leftover candy canes from Christmas! Why, you bake biscuits, of course!

Grab yourself a mortar & pestle to pulverise a dozen leftover candy canes. Now if you don’t have one of these wonderful kitchen tools, then pop the candy canes in a heavy duty plastic bag & whack them good with your rolling pin! Just think of all the angst you’ve just been through with any difficult times during the festive season & you’ll have those things fully crushed in no time! Then just set that aside.

Into a mixing bowl goes 1/2 cup of softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar. Cream those together before adding in 2 eggs & giving it a jolly good stir. Pop in 2 cups of self raising flour & get that incorporated into a lovely dough.

Right, back to those crushed candy canes. Scoop out 3 tablespoons & set that aside for later, then add all the remainder into the biscuit dough. Make sure you really mix it in well so that gorgeous minty-ness spreads right throughout the whole thing!

Next comes the fun part! Rolling balls! Simply break off bits of the dough & roll into balls between the palms of your hands before placing on baking paper lined trays. Make sure you leave a decent amount of room between each ball as these bikkies spread!

Pop those into a 175c oven for 15 minutes to turn a lovely golden shade.

Meanwhile, remember the reserved candy cane dust??? Mix 3 tablespoons of icing sugar through with it & keep at the ready.

When the biscuits come out of the oven, leave them on the trays for a couple of minutes to firm up & you also don’t want to burn your fingers! When they’re cooled slightly to be able to pick up, just press the top of each biscuit gently into the spiked up icing sugar mixture to coat it generously before popping onto a wire cooling rack.

Seriously, these Peppermint Patties are so absolutely fabuliciouz, you’ll be stocking up on extra candy canes just to be able to make them!