Taco Bites

This is my spin on reinventing a classic to make it finger food friendly.

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Most people love tacos, the spiced meat, luscious sour cream, a tang of cheese & a splash of sauce usually are a crowd favourite. But it’s just a wee bit messy sometimes trying to juggle a drink whilst scoffing down even the daintiest of ‘cocktail’ tacos as you try to remain the epitome of elegance. So, I have played in my kitchen to come up with this Taco Bite to give you all the fabuliciouz flavours of a Taco in the easy to handle form of a ball. You may applaud me now & call the Nobel Prize people.

Brown off 500g of chicken mince before seasoning with a 30g packet of Taco Seasoning Mix which you’ve blended in 3/4 cup of water. Give that lot a jolly good stir then allow to simmer gently whilst you crack on.

Next, bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt & cook off 1 & 1/2 cups of rice. When done, drain & bung in with the chicken mince, stirring well.

Throw in 2 handfuls of grated cheddar cheese along with a whole tub (300g) of sour cream. Mix that lot well then allow to cool & refrigerate overnight.

The following day, crush up a bag of plain salted corn chips to crumb consistency then place in a dish.

Retrieve the meaty taco mixture & roll chunks of it into whatever sized balls float your boat, then coat them in the corn chip crumb before placing them onto a tray. When all done, put the tray of taco balls into the fridge to set for about an hour.

When your guests arrive, heat up some oil in a fry pan & shallow fry the balls to golden perfection before draining on some paper towel & serving with salsa dipping sauce.

Ring Stinger Biscuits

I don’t call these Ring Stinger bikkies for nothin’ so consider yourself warned!

Ring Stinger Biscuits

First of all, pop a baking tray inside the oven as it pre-heats to 190c.

Grab a mixing bowl & combine 200g grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper & then salt & pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to get messy by using your finger tips to lightly rub in the oil to make the mix nice & crumbly.

Now you’ll need to get your skates on as the trick to these bikkies actually working is speed!

Grab the hot tray out of the oven & bung on spoonfuls of the mix while pushing it gently to combine. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Whizz the tray out again to turn the bikkies over very, very carefully! Then adorn each one with a sliced ring of jalepena chilli in the centre before crowning it all off with a generous sprinkling of chilli flakes & more parmesan cheese.

Whack the tray back in the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes.

Tanz Tip ~ the bikkies are wafers so they should be lacy in appearance so don’t stress about them being so thin.

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.

Perfect Pork Crackling

It’s the holy grail of roasting, how to get that perfectly crunchy pork crackling!

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With just these few simple tips, you too will create the most fabuliciouz Pork Crackling in your very own kitchen to impress your friends. Just imagine the glory, Chef, when you whack down these beauties in a bowl instead of packet crisps to enjoy with drinks!

First of all you need to dry your pork skin, that’s just an easy dab over with some paper towel.

Next, pop it onto your baking tray & just give it a sweet kiss of oil, I’m talking just a wee sheen on there, so it’s just enough to stick the salt too.

Then, use a good quality salt. I use a Himalayan Pink Rock Salt to grind over. Make sure you cover all of that luscious skin now!

Finally, bung it in a 220c oven for half an hour. When it comes out simply let it cool & snap away with either your hands or a knife to break into bite sized chips of porky goodness.

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!

Curried Egg Filling

Aussies of my generation will well remember the good old Curried Egg Sanga in the school lunchbox!

Nostalgic love or Dear Lord let it go?!

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Nothing could be simpler than this classic filling! Use it in sandwiches, rolls, wraps or even sushi!

Use a fork to smash up a hard boiled egg before adding in a tablespoon of whole egg mayonnaise, a teaspoon of curry powder (naturally, I use the good old Keens!) then season well with salt & pepper.

Mix it all together & voila! You’re ready to spread!

I’d love to hear your memories on this one in the comments below!

Frittata Muffins

Honestly, these wee morsels are so simple & so versatile you’ll be whipping up a plethora of your own flavours in no time!

Perfect for picnics, brunch & lunch boxes, there’s no limit to what combo’s you can come up with.

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It’s all about following this easy rule – have 3 cups worth of filling flavours to your 8 eggs to make 12 muffins.

Simply, whisk 8 eggs in a bowl before seasoning with salt & white pepper & bunging in your flavour fillings – in the ones pictured I have 1 cup each of chorizo, red capsicum & swiss brown mushrooms which I’ve diced smallish & fried off.

Then all you need to do is pour the mixture equally into a well greased 12 hole muffin pan & whack in a 180c oven to bake for 20 minutes.

How easy peasy is that?!?!?!

Crab Cakes

Perfect as a fancy dinner party starter or just at home as a drinking snack on a Friday night,

these gems of soft, creamy, sea salty discs encased in a fabuliciouzly crunchy crust are simply divine & oh so easy to make! 

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Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in a 140g can of Blue Swimmer Crabmeat (we prefer this one as it has a stronger flavour) along with 300g of mashed potato, a good sprinkling of chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of paprika & crack in an egg. Season generously with salt & give that lot a jolly good mix up before popping in the fridge for  half an hour.

Remove from fridge & shape into bite size medallions before dusting with a wee bit of flour.

Shallow fry the Crab Cakes in a some hot oil over a medium heat until each side is gloriously golden (about 3-5 minutes or so each side) then drain before serving.

BBQ Polenta Wedges

Fabuliciouzly Creamy & Cheesy surprise parcels to plop on the table at your next backyard gathering, then get ready for the WOW’s chef!

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Hubby was more than a wee bit sceptical when I slipped these beauties under his nose to whack on the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ) but he was absolutely blown away when he tasted them & kept going back for more!

Start by bringing a litre of chicken stock to the boil before slowly pouring in 1 cup of instant polenta in a steady stream, whisking well. Keep whisking until it gets nice & thick, coming away from the sides of the pan – about 5 minutes or so.

Remove from the heat & bung in 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese & a generous amount of chopped fresh basil (about a couple of tablespoons worth should do the trick). Whisk it well to combine then season with salt & white pepper.

Pour that lot into a very well greased cake tin (I use a square one but there’s no reason you can’t use another shape, whatever floats your boat really) then pop in the fridge for a few hours to set (it needs to be completely cooled the whole way through).

When you’re ready to eat, simply turn it out of the tin onto a board, slice it into wedges, brush both sides with a wee bit of oil & whack on the hot BBQ to get gorgeously golden on each side (say around 2-3 minutes each side).

Devilled Eggs Benedict

Devilled Eggs Benedict – need I say more?

This is the perfect little starter with the Summer entertaining season well & truly upon us now.

A wee bit of retro fun but with a modern twist 🙂

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Start by hard boiling 6 eggs & peeling those when cool.

Next, whip up an uber easy Hollandaise sauce! First melt 125g butter in a small saucepan, then, in a separate mixing jug, crack in 3 egg yolks (not your hard boiled ones) along with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice & whip out good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to whaz that up for 30 seconds before pouring the melted hot butter in a very thin stream whilst constantly blending. Just keep going until you reach that milky residue at the bottom of the pan & tip that out, not in the sauce though! How easy was that?!?!

Grab yourself a nice platter & a mixing bowl. Cut the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthways, then gently remove the yolks with a teaspoon. Bung the yolks in the mixing bowl & arrange the white egg shells on the platter nicely.

Next melt 2 tablespoons of butter gently in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add in 2 teaspoons of the hollandaise sauce, 2 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce & 1 teaspoon of mustard powder. Heat that up stirring well to combine.

Meanwhile, mash up the egg yolks with a fork & then pour in the saucy mixture, add in some cayenne pepper to taste then season ever so generously with salt & pepper.

Whack that luscious eggy mess into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle & pipe them into the white egg shells on the platter. You could just use a teaspoon also to plop it in the holes.

Finally, fry up 1 finely diced rasher of bacon to sprinkle on top of each egg & there you have it! Two awesome retro classics combined into one Fabuliciouz little mouthful.