Pork & Lemon Dumplings

Fresh citrus enlivens the mouth in a light pork meatball.

Delicate enough to serve at a dinner party yet substantial enough to be a firm fam-bam fav, these wee morsels of fabuliciouz-ness are sure to be a hit on your menu!

Grab a mixing bowl & pop in 500g of pork mince along with 150g of crumb (whatever type floats your boat), 2 tablespoons of thickened cream, 1 finely grated onion, the zest & juice of a lemon (I absolutely love having our own lemon tree to pick fresh from!) and for the last part you will need to take just 6 tablespoons of chicken stock out of 600ml before setting the rest of it aside for later. Season it all generously with salt & white pepper.

Get your hands in their to give that lot a jolly good mix up, then shape into balls & set aside.

Pop a large frypan onto your burner & throw in 1 large chopped up carrot along with 1 large chopped up leek then cover those with the rest of that chicken stock you set aside. Carefully add in the balls, pop on a lid & gently simmer it all for 15 minutes.

Serve the dumplings over creamy mashed potatoes, remembering to scoop out the veggies & ladle over the soupy sauce!

Who says meat & 3 veg is boring?!?!?!

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Chicken Korma

A flavour packed fabuliciouz meal that you can have on the table in just 30 minutes!

It’s another one from my post Ballet quickie arsenal! This taste of the Far East is slightly modified from the original Chicken Korma to make it just that wee bit lighter after a hard work out in the studio.

Start by peeling 4-5 potatoes (350g worth) before chopping them into either halves or quarters, depending on their size. You’re after nice wedges. Pop them in a saucepan & cover with water, then add a pinch of salt & bring the pot to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes before draining them & set aside.

Now get a pot of water on the burner to bring to a boil for the rice. Once the water is at the boil, add a pinch of salt then pop your rice in to cook.

While that’s happening, crack on with the curry.

Heat a good glug (1 tablespoon) of oil in a large saucepan before adding in 1 finely chopped onion. Sweat the onion right down to release all it’s sweetness & make it nice & tender. Next, pop in 500g of chicken mince, mix it all in together & continue to fry off until it’s cooked through.

Add in half of a 290g jar of Korma Curry Paste & allow it to cook off for at least a minute whilst you stir it through to coat everything.

Toss in the potatoes along with 150ml of boiling water, pop the lid on & gently simmer for 10 minutes.

During this time, you’re rice will probably be ready, so drain that off & scoop into the bottom of your serving bowls ready to soak up the luscious flavours that await it!

After the curry has driven all your neighbours absolutely mad with envy on the aromas emanating from your kitchen, remove the lid & throw in a handful (75g) of fresh baby spinach leaves to gently wilt through as you cook for about another minute, stirring them in.

Then dish up, Chef! Ladle that glorious concoction over the rice & It’s Chompin Time!

Salad of Fish, Baby Spinach & Eggplant Fritters

A different kind of offering to your standard fish & chips!

The eggplant looked really good at the shop the other day, so I bought it without having a clue what I wanted to do with it, only that I’ve really missed plucking these delectable delights from my own garden, oh how I miss our wee veggie patch, so this is what I came up with.

First, you’ll need to peel & slice an eggplant into round discs. Lay them out on paper towel & sprinkle a generous layer of salt over them. This draws out all the bitter liquid so definitely not a step to skip! Place another paper towel over the top & leave them be for a good 15 minutes. After which, simply pat off all the excess salt & liquid from the eggplant discs.

Now they’re ready to crumb.

In one bowl make up an egg wash, so that’s 2 cracked eggs with a splash of milk & don’t forget to season generously with salt & white pepper before whisking.

In a second bowl, pop in whatever crumb floats your boat & also remember to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Dip an eggplant disc into the egg wash, then the crumb to completely coat it, & set aside. Repeat with all the discs.

Heat enough oil that it covers the entire bottom of your frypan & a wee bit more. We’re shallow frying people! Get those eggplant fritters in, cooking one side at a time before turning to the other side then setting aside to drain off any excess oil. Now I just sit a cooling wire over an oven baking tray to drain things when I fry, but plenty of people like to use good old paper towel too.

Now for the fish.

Into a plastic bag place about a tablespoon of flour & season it generously with salt, white pepper & paprika. Toss in a sliced up fish fillet & shake, shake, shake to coat all those fishy pieces!

Shallow fry off the fish in the same oil as you used for the eggplant & set them aside to drain as well while you crack on with the spinach.

Heat a good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil ever so gently in a small wok, or pan, whatever you have to hand, & fry off a couple of cloves of garlic before tossing in 500g of baby spinach leaves until they wilt down nicely. Take that off the heat & transfer into a mixing bowl. Season with salt & white pepper before finally squeezing over the juice of half a lemon & give it a jolly good toss to combine all those luscious flavours through.

So, I plop a healthy amount of spinach in the bottom of my bowl before crowning with the fried delights.

On a side note, you probably don’t want to do what I did on this one which is to take a lovely photo to share, be half way through greedily devouring the meal & suddenly remember the cheese sitting on the bench which was supposed to go on top! Crumbled Fetta would of been lovely over this dish. Cest la vie.

Lentil & Egg Curry

A flavour packed dish that’s perfect for sharing.

You’ll need to start this one a day ahead so some prior planning needs to be thought about when wanting this wee number.

Place 1 cup of dried lentils into a bowl, cover with water & allow to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the lentils & let’s get our kitchen smelling like a Curry House!

Peel & finely dice up 2 onions.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of curry powder, give it a quick mix then add in those onions. Cook them off until they have caramelised right down so that they release all their sweetness. That usually takes about 10 minutes or so, cooking nice & slow.

Splash in 3/4 cup of water along with the lentils, give that lot a jolly good stir then pop on a lid.

Cook, ever so gently, over a low heat for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, hard boil 4 eggs then peel & set aside.

When the curry is ready, simply slice up the eggs & add them to the pot with a good pinch of salt for seasoning & stir in ever so gently.

Serve this one hot with lovely flat breads or pappadums to pick up the curry with.

Faggots

A traditional English offering of a Pork Meatball wrapped in Bacon.

The traditional English Faggot has been around for generations! Originally, it was made from offal & wrapped in the caul (stomach lining) to hold it all together whilst cooking. Over the years, as conditions improved, so did the contents of the Faggot, however, the traditional method still calls for an extraordinary amount of fat in it so I have somewhat amended my version to make it a wee bit leaner but you still couldn’t count it as an everyday healthy meal.

I start by popping into my large mixing bowl 500g of pork & veal minced meat along with a finely sliced bacon steak before adding the following seasonings ~ 110g of breadcrumbs, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 2 tablespoons of chopped dried parsley, 2 finely chopped sage leaves, a generous handful of dried chilli flakes & finally salt & white pepper.

Mix that lot up thoroughly with your hands before rolling into rissole sized balls. Wrap each ball in a slice of streaky bacon, this will give the necessary fat to keep the meatball moist during baking but also holds it together.

Place each wrapped ball with the seam side down (to keep it secure) onto a baking paper lined tray & pop it in a 170c oven for 1 hour.

Faggots are served with creamy mashed potato, mushy peas & rich gravy.

Toblerone Fondue

Sweet strawberries dipped seductively in Decadently rich chocolate

~ have I got your attention? 

This one goes out to all the lovers! For those who adore the simple pleasures unashamedly. Those who wish to indulge quickly, without too much build-up ahead of the main event. It’s a classic for good reason.

To keep this one Gluten Free, I use the Mountain Bars available from Aldi, but if you don’t have any dietary requirements then the original recipe calls for Toblerone Bars.

I use 4 Mountain Bars which is 400g, but I believe the Toblerone Bars may work out at 375g as the closest.

Set yourself up a Bain Marie, which is a pot of gently simmering water over which you set a heatproof bowl, being very mindful to never allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.

Break up the chocolate into the bowl & add 150ml of luscious Double Cream. Then just stir that until it melts into a glorious dark liquid.

Have chilled strawberries at the ready for dipping & you’ve got yourself some instant romance!

Tanz Tip ~ using the Toblerones or Mountain Bars, elevates this chocolate fondue to a whole new level with the nutty, nougat bits spread throughout.

Chicken Mornay

This absolute Classic Comfort Food has been somewhat lost to the

inferior supermarket frozen cardboard box variety.

Well, no more!

You will be amazed at just how much more flavour you will enjoy from making the

proper, old skool, recipe at home.

I love busting out my old recipe books from the 1970’s to take a gander about the food from my childhood & then introducing fond classics to Hubby & Mini-Me. Being a farm kid, we did things a wee bit differently to the city folk, but simple food is quite often the best food.

Start off by dicing up 2 succulent chicken thighs into small, bite sized pieces. Heat a splash of oil in a fry pan, drop in a teaspoon of minced garlic to gently warm through before adding in the chicken. Season it ever so generously with salt & white pepper then cook it off properly & set aside.

Next, into a large saucepan goes 1 tablespoon of butter. Gently melt that over the lowest heat setting possible then remove & add in 1 tablespoon of plain flour along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a jolly good stir to incorporate before popping back onto that lowest heat setting & continue stirring for a minute or so to cook off that flour taste. Pour 1 & 1/4 cups of milk into the pot slowly, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon & then season with salt & paprika to your taste (if you have a Hungarian Hubby, you’ll be heavy handed on the paprika!).

Add the chicken to the sauce & stir through. You may like to increase the heat to a medium flame at this point, just to give it a wee bit of thickness.

Pop the mix into a heatproof oven dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs & finally crown with shredded cheddar cheese & grated Parmesan.

That goes into the oven just to brown lightly & melt that luscious cheese.

Serve your Classic Chicken Mornay with rice on the side.

I like to boil my rice in chicken stock with a handful of frozen veggies thrown in & allow the grains to absorb all the liquid to plump up full of flavour!

Red Pork Curry

A spicy delight to tickle your tastebuds!

It is so easy to whip up a fabuliciouz curry to rival any take-away that you’ll be dusting off your wok in no time! The secret to cooking this quick, yet healthy, cuisine is prior preparation. Have all of your ingredients ready to go before you start as wok cooking is stepping into the culinary fast lane!

Start off by handing Hubby a 500g packet of pork rashers to go sacrifice at the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ). You want that smokey char that only grilling can give & it also renders down the fat a wee bit.

Meanwhile crack on with the rest of the preparation.

Have a 400ml tin of coconut milk open & ready to go.

Keep your fish sauce on stand by near the cooktop along with a jar of red curry paste.

Peel 3 good sized carrots before slicing them on the angle, just to be fancy, & set them aside in a bowl.

In another bowl, place a sliced up long red chilli, also cut on the angle.

Yet a third dish will contain pineapple & lychee – grab 4 lychees out of a tin & chop them up roughly & then grab yourself a small tin of pineapple rings, there’s usually about 4 rings in there, & chop them up too.

Finally, have half a dozen kaffir lime leaves shredded up. I like to cheat by using the pre-done ones in the jar.

When Hubby brings in those now perfectly cooked pork rashers, slice them up so they’re also ready to toss into your wok when it’s their turn.

Now we are ready to cook!

Pour half of the coconut milk into your wok over a medium heat & heat it through.

Next, add in 3 tablespoons of the red curry paste & give it a jolly good stir to incorporate.

Pop in the carrots & let it all gently simmer away for about 5 minutes. You’re giving the carrots time to cook through as they take the longest whilst also cooking off the spice paste.

When you see the oil of the paste start to separate on the surface, it’s time to drop in the pork, Lychees & Pineapple along with the rest of the coconut milk & a splash of the fish sauce. You can also add in a tablespoon of the lychee juice from the tin if that’s what floats your boat but you don’t have too if it’s not your kind of flavour.

Bring that lot to the boil before throwing in your chilli & cook for another few minutes.

Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to stir through those kaffir lime leaves just before removing from the heat.

Serve this absolutely fabuliciouz spicy, saucy, soupy curry with fluffy white rice.

Blueberry Granita

A sneaky way to add a fabuliciouz superfood to Mini-Me’s diet & then have fun sticking out colourful tongues at each other!

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This is as easy & simple as it gets! Just 4 basic ingredients to whip up a refreshing treat on these scorching hot Summer days!

Into a small saucepan goes 125g of blueberries & cover those with a wee bit of water before adding in 2 tablespoons of caster sugar & the juice of a lemon.

Pop the pan onto a medium heat to cook until the blueberries are just popping open & the sugar has dissolved.

Turn off the heat & grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to whazz that mixture to a smooth liquid consistency.

Pour it into a freezer proof container & place in the freezer to set, stirring with a fork every 20 minutes.

The Granita is set when it has changed colour & all the liquid is gone.

Of course, you could just pour the blitzed puree into ice-cube trays & use it to cool down beverages too.

Honey Glazed Lamb Roast

Sweet, Succulent, Sexy

This is not the Sunday Lamb Roast of old!

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Australia is ‘infamous’ for putting our Lamb Roast above everything else, even dates with Hollywood celebrities (a pun there for us in a certain age group!) But this Honey Glazed Lamb Roast recipe takes this classic Sunday favourite to a whole new level! Enter the Asian influence.

Firstly, you want to work out your total cooking time. Now this is done by choosing if you want pink inside or well done lamb. For pink, allow 20 minutes per 500g + an extra 20 minutes. For well done, allow 25 minutes per 500g + an extra 25 minutes. You will also need to rest the meat for 15 minutes after roasting before carving to serve.

For example, I had a 1 kilo Lamb Shoulder rolled roast so my total cooking time was 75 minutes for well done.

Place a lamb shoulder roast that’s been boned & rolled onto a rack in a roasting dish & pop it into a 200c oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your glaze…..

In a small saucepan, gently warm 1/2 cup of honey before adding in the juice of a lemon, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger & a good pinch of Allspice. Blend that lot together nicely & set aside.

When the first 15 minutes is up, turn the oven down to 180c & start the basting process with your glaze. You will want to brush the roast every 10 minutes with a wee bit of the glaze for the entire cooking time left but do make sure that all that sticky goodness does end up in there!

When time is up, remove the roast from the oven & pop it onto a board. Tuck it in with it’s own tin foil blankie to rest & crack on making the gravy!

Place the roasting dish on your cooktop burner & add in 1 cup of hot chicken stock. Get the heat going underneath to bring it to the boil & deglaze all that yummy goodness that’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. Just keep stirring until it reduces nicely & turns a gloriously deep rich brown.

Strain the gravy through a fine sieve before pouring into your gravy boat to serve with the meat.