Spiced Pumpkin Bites

These bite sized Indian inspired balls of spice

could be directly from my witches cauldron for the grown up trick or treaters! 

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I had a 1/4 of a butternut pumpkin leftover in my fridge & thought what on earth can I do with that?!?! Read on to find out how scary the inner workings of my brain can be!

So, I started by peeling & chopping up that 1/4 butternut pumpkin, tossing it into a pot of water & bringing it to the boil.

Whilst that was happening, I grabbed out my mini wok to create a spice paste. How I did that was to pop in a splash of peanut oil along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger powder & 1/2 tablespoon of red thai curry paste. Then I turned on the heat to fry those spices off until Hubby came running with the fragrance!

By this time, the pumpkin was nice & soft so I drained it, put it back into the now empty saucepan & mashed it up. I added in a good knob of butter too!

Into the spice paste in my mini wok, I added a splash of full cream milk, just a normal amount that I’d use to make a mash (you know, how you do butter & milk to any mashed tattie or pumpkin) but I put the milk into the spices first to loosen them up so the milk I used for my mash was spiced, rather than placing the spice paste directly into the pumpkin.

Next, I mixed through some cooked rice to continue along with my Indian theme & which would act as my binding agent.

Pop that lot in the fridge to chill.

When you’re ready to eat, simply heat up some oil in a pan, roll the spiced mashed pumpkin into balls & coat in whatever crumb float your boat before frying them off to colour as it’s already cooked. Make sure you set the balls aside to drain excess oil off & serve whilst still hot.

Now these are soft, so not finger food by any stretch of the imagination, so you will require forks for these wee beauties.

 

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Thai Green Chicken Curry

A fabuliciouzly quick & easy curry that’s sure to please the whole Fam-Bam!

This is another gem of a dish from my post ballet arsenal that I can not believe I haven’t shared with you all already! Forget stopping for takeout on the way home, you’ll have this whipped up quicker than the store can!

Simply pop a pot of water on to boil, salt & cook off some rice before draining.

While that’s happening, grab a medium pot & bung in 2 diced up chicken thighs then pour over a 400ml tin of coconut milk. Get that onto a medium heat to cook off the chook.

In a small pot, pour in a 400ml tin of coconut cream & gently heat it up before popping in 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste along with a splash of soy sauce. Stir it well to incorporate & then add it into the chicken pot. Give the whole lot a jolly good stir.

Whack in the cooked & drained rice & dish up!

Now that’s the base recipe! Back in the day, before Mini-Me, I used to use 4 tablespoons of the curry paste which makes it really pack a spicy punch! Also, if you have a wee bit of extra time, load that curry up with a gazillion veggies for a more substantial meal.

Yellow Fish Curry

A surprisingly easy curry to whip up in a flash!

This taste of Thailand will surely become a post ballet quickie favourite for my Fam-Bam!

Simply heat a glug of peanut oil (or whatever type floats your boat) in your wok over medium to high heat before adding in 1/2 cup of Thai yellow curry paste. Stir fry that until it’s beautifully fragrant, another way to tell it’s done is when the oils start to separate.

Bung in 1 cup of coconut cream & stir it through. Bring it to the boil, then reduce your heat to medium-low. Whack in a couple of diced fish fillets (I use Basa but love Barramundi too – any white fish will do) & just let that cook gently, giving it the odd push about the wok now & then.

When the fish is cooked through (it turns lovely white, sort of like a self timer!), turn the heat completely off & stir in 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar & 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Serve it up with fluffy white rice & It’s Chompin Time!

Korean Chilli Chicken

Succulent chicken marinated with a fabuliciouz depth of flavour leaving a  wonderfully warm mouth tingle.

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This wee number has absolutely impressed hubby & I with it not just being about blow your head off heat, but rather a real layering effect of flavour.

Grab yourself a bowl & bung in 500g of stir fry chicken strips before seasoning well with salt & ground black pepper.

Next, whack in the juice of a lime & 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of Korean Chilli Paste – this is our new discovery at the local Asian grocer & it’s seriously good stuff!

Make sure you give it all a jolly good mix to coat that chook really well then set aside for half an hour to marinade. The lime juice will start to ‘cook’ the chicken so this is not one to leave for too long.

Get your wok to a stonking hot heat with a wee splash of oil & toss the marinated chicken through to cook.

It’s really that easy!

Japanese Karaage Chicken

Asian fried chicken that’s sure to be a big hit!

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Karaage Chicken is Japan’s answer to one of our Western favourites & these juicy wee nuggets have been fried to a delicious golden crunch. I just love how easy these are to prepare!

Grab a mixing bowl & bung in 5g of freshly grated ginger, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce & 1 tablespoon of cooking sake. Give that lot a jolly good whisk then add in 4 plump chicken thighs which you’ve diced into lovely bite sized pieces. Coat the chook well in the marinade, cover & pop in the fridge for half an hour.

When time is up, simply drain off any excess liquid before adding in 1/4 cup of potato starch & making sure that you get all those nuggets coated. Now if you can’t find potato starch, just use gluten free flour.

Get your oil nice & hot (about 180c) so that when you sprinkle a wee bit of flour in, it sizzles.

Fry off small batches of the nuggets so that the oil temperature stays high before whacking onto a wire rack to drain whilst you carry on with the rest.

Serve these fabuliciouz nuggets with Japanese Mayonnaise & rice.

Spiced BBQ Chicken Thighs

This amazing marinade brings a fabuliciouz taste of the Orient into your backyard barbie!

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 This is a super quick & easy marinade that is sure to spice up your next BBQ! Team it with chicken, pork, lamb or fish for something a wee bit different to the standard snags & burgers.

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of your favourite curry paste (I use Paeneng), 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of salt, the juice of 2 limes & 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. Give that lot a jolly good mix then whack in your meat to coat & pop in fridge to marinade for about an hour (remember that the lime juice is going to start the cooking process so you don’t want to leave it too long).

Hand them over to the man at the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ) to cook on a medium heat with some tender flame kisses.

Sushi Rolls

They’re quick, they’re healthy & they’re fabuliciouz!

Whipping up this Food Court favourite at home is easier than you may think!

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Start with the rice – you’ll need to bung 1 cup of cooked rice into a nice shallow bowl before popping over 3 tablespoons of Sushi Seasoning, you can find this in the Asian section of your local supermarket these days! Use a wooden spoon to gently fold the seasoning through the rice before allowing it to cool to room temperature. This sushi seasoning is the secret ingredient! You know how when you buy these rolls at the shops there’s always that certain special taste that you can’t quite put your finger on???? Well this is it! It also gives the rice that absolutely essential sticky consistency too.

Next, you’ll need a bamboo sushi mat, also readily available in the Asian aisle of supermarkets these days.

Lay your bamboo sushi mat flat on your bench before taking out a sheet of Nori Seaweed (how good is it now that we can get all these wonderfully exotic ingredients so easily?!?!). Lay the Nori sheet with the shiny smooth side down against the matt as this will be your outer presentation side so you want the rough, dull bit on the inside.

Spread the sticky rice in a layer all over the Nori sheet but make sure you leave a 2cm gap at the end furthest from you.

Next comes your fillings! This is where you can let your imagination run wild or simply take inspiration from the menu at your local take out.

In a narrow strip, closest to you, start layering. Just use a couple of ingredients, as the Japanese do, which work really well together. In the picture I have used curried egg & chicken, but also think about avocado, cucumber, tuna, wasabi, ginger, duck – all the classics!

Then you need to use the bamboo mat to lift the fillings end, which is the closest to you, up & over ensuring a nice tight roll. Wet your fingers to moisten the 2cm strip you’ve left at the far end of the nori seaweed & lift up & over again with the mat to seal your roll. Squeeze to ensure a nice tight roll that won’t fall apart.

Remove the roll from the mat by simply opening the bamboo mat up again before transferring the roll onto a cutting board. Finally, because the rice is so sticky, you will need to wet a very sharp knife to slice the roll into bite sized pieces.

It’s Chompin Time!

Sweet & Sour Sauce

An absolutely classic Asian sauce that’s easier than you may think to whip up at home!

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This is another one of those master sauces to keep firmly stashed in your culinary arsenal. The versatility of these perfectly balanced flavours mean you can team it up with just about anything! From rice to fish to chicken to pork & anything else your creative mind can conjure up!

Grab a saucepan & whack in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of raw sugar & a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar then you can start to thicken the sauce by blending 2 tablespoons of corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water ( so equal quantities guys) & adding to the sauce. Just keep that reducing down over low heat until you get it to the right thickness for you.

How revolutionary easy is that?!?!?

Fish Balls with Sweet & Sour Sauce

A crunchy exterior gives way to fabuliciouzly smooth fish that’s sure to put a smile on the dial of any seafood lover but dunk it in this well balanced Asian classic sauce & you’re on a WINNER!

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Start by popping 500g worth of fresh fish fillets into a blender & turning into a creamy mince. Bung it into a mixing bowl then add in a well beaten egg, 1 tablespoon of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice & a good pinch of salt. Mix that lot up really well & form into balls. Now the mixture is quite sticky & just a wee bit tricky to work with so they’re not going to be perfect, go for the rustic look 😉

Chill the fish balls in the fridge for half an hour whilst you crack on with the sauce.

Grab a saucepan & whack in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of raw sugar & a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar then you can start to thicken the sauce by blending 2 tablespoons of corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water ( so equal quantities guys) & adding to the sauce. Just keep that reducing down over low heat until you get it to the right thickness for you.

To finish off the fish balls, simply coat them in corn flour & shallow fry them off in hot oil until they’re a lovely golden colour & cooked through.

Thai Prawn Curry

A fabuliciouzly flavour packed curry that can be on the table in half an hour!

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This is going straight into my post ballet quickie file! Juicy prawns, fresh veggies & wonderfully fragrant coconut curry soup – what’s not to love?!?!?!

Start by trimming the ends off a solid handful of green beans before chopping them in half & popping into a bowl. Then slice off two sides of a red capsicum to dice up & whack that on top of the beans. Next, drain a 400g tin of corn kernels, giving them a good wash & rinse & setting those aside separately.

Bung a good splash of peanut oil into a wok (or fry pan if you don’t have one) to heat before throwing in the beans & capsicum along with 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste. Cook those for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat keeping it all moving.

Add in the drained corn & a 400ml tin of coconut milk then reduce the heat to simmer away for another 5 minutes.

Chuck in 500g of raw green prawns (peeled & cleaned – no poo tubes please!) & stir until the prawns have turned a blushing pink to indicate they’re cooked through.

Finally, freshen it all up with the juice & zest of 2 limes & season with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Ladle over bowls with prepared rice noodles already in them.

It’s Chompin Time!