Crunchy Fish Fingers

This is so utterly easy,

you’ll be shaking your head in disbelief that you haven’t done it earlier!

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To get these super crunchy, super tasty nuggets of fishy goodness on your table is unbelievably simple!

Grab your favourite chips (crisps), we absolutely can never go past Smith’s Original, pop some in a plastic freezer bag & crush them up before setting aside.

Slice a couple of fish fillets (I’ve used Basa but my all time fav fish is Barramundi) into nice pieces.

Set up your production line of a bowl of whisked egg & another bowl of flour with the bag of crushed chips at the end.

Dip the fish in the egg, dust in the flour & whack in the bag.

When all the fish pieces are in the bag, twist it closed & shake it all up baby! This will coat all the fish nicely.

Heat some oil in a frypan to shallow fry off the fish before draining on a cooling wire set over a baking tray.

Bung that lot on a serving board or plate along with some tartare sauce or thousand island dressing then stand back & bask in the glory chef!

Layered Tatties

This is a recipe from my Mother in Law, which I’ve adapted.

Traditionally, in Hungary, they use cabbage rather than potatoes.

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Start by steaming some peeled whole potatoes until they’d pass for par-boiled then slice them up into thin discs.

Heat a wee splash of oil in a frypan & brown off 500g of mince (I use chicken mince but whatever type floats your boat is fine) along with a teaspoon of minced garlic. Remember to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Pop 1/2 cup of rice into a pot of boiling water & once cooked, drain & bung in with the mince, combining well.

Grab a nice baking dish & let’s layer up – tatties on bottom, then mince/rice mix, more tatties, more mince/rice mix etc making sure you end with tatties on top.

Next, make the sauce by simply combining 1/2 cup each of thickened cream & sour cream seasoned with salt, white pepper & paprika. Pour over the layers then simply drizzle extra thickened cream around the edges of the dish to ensure it remains nice & moist.

Whack that into a 200c oven for 40 minutes.

French Onion Soup

It’s well & truly soup season here on our mountain top!

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French Onion Soup is one of those super easy retro classics that every home cook should have up their sleeve.

Start by peeling a couple of large onions & cutting into thick slices.

Heat up a generous knob of butter in a stock pot & chuck the onions in with a teaspoon of sugar (I use raw sugar). Stir that until the onions are nicely translucent, they should be golden but not darkened in colour.

Throw in a dessertspoon of plain flour & cook that off before gradually pouring in 2 litres of chicken stock. Season it well with salt & white pepper.

Whack the lid on & cook that over a gentle heat for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Then it’s Chompin Time!

Potato Soup

Lusciously creamy hot soup with a flavoursome crunchy surprise,

this is Hubby’s second favourite soup that I make.

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This is hands down so dead set easy to make, you’ll be sure to whip it up all Winter long!

Heat up a good glug of oil in a pot & bung in 3 large spuds, which you’ve peeled & chopped. Pop the lid on & let them do their thing over low heat for 10 minutes.

Next, pour in 1 litre of chicken stock before throwing in 2 bay leaves & bringing to a simmer. Whack the lid back on for another 10 minutes cooking time.

Meanwhile, let’s crack on with the potato chip croutons!

Peel & dice 1 large tattie, heat a good glug of oil in a deep sided frypan, throw in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with the diced potato & simply toss those about to cook over a high heat until they’re gorgeously golden – how easy is that?!?!?!

Back to the soup – remove the lid & take out the bay leaves, they’ve done their job, then remove from the heat before adding in 250ml of sour cream. Give that lot a jolly good stir. Now it’s time for good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to make his grand appearance! Whazz that soup up until sumptuously smooth & finally season with salt & ground black pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls & plop the potato chip croutons into the middle.

Fabuliciouz!

Oh, & in case you’re wondering, Hubby’s favourite soup is my Nan’s recipe I use for my Pea & Ham Soup!

Pumpkin Soup

It takes just THREE humble ingredients to whip up this absolutely fabuliciouz soup!

Yep, you read that right! 

Only 3 Ingredients!

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  1. Butternut Pumpkin
  2. Thickened Cream
  3. Cayenne Pepper

After a fairly intensive weekend of dancing action for Mini-Me with her first competition, I needed to whip something up in a hurry that was both tasty & able to fill our tired tummy’s! This Pumpkin Soup has always been our fam-bam go to staple for just such occasions.

Start by peeling & chopping up 1/2 of a butternut pumpkin before bunging the chunks into a saucepan with a wee bit of water. Pop a lid on & allow that to simmer away slowly over a gentle heat to reduce. Just keep an eye on the liquid so that the pumpkin doesn’t stick or burn as every single one of them will be different in the amount of water they let out during cooking.

When the pumpkin is mushy soft, remove from the heat & mash it all up then grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blitz to a gloriously smooth consistency.

Pour in 300ml of thickened cream, stir to combine & whack back on the heat to gently warm through.

Finally, season with cayenne pepper to however much floats your boat.

Then 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!

Fish Bites

The secret to great food is to not do a lot to it!

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We’ve just returned from holidays & had the most amazing time away! We are relaxed, revived & refreshed as only a break at the beach can provide!

Whilst we were there, we were so fortunate to find ourselves alongside some extremely accomplished fishermen. Mini-Me delighted in seeing their catch each day with the incredible variety of different species they hauled in.

One day, they snagged themselves two very impressive Kingfish! Then the most beautifully generous thing happened, they handed us a bag of their freshly caught Kingfish! I mean, WOW, right?!?!?! Unless you’re a fisher person yourself, you just don’t get fish that fresh!

Now something that I’ve always done, no matter what the produce & is my Top Tanz Tip for you all today is  –

Always ask the Farmer/Hunter/Fisherman/Gatherer HOW they cook it!

You will be absolutely blown away with the culinary knowledge that will be so freely given to you.

Our lovely fishermen advised that with this particular fish, the best course of action was to simply season some flour with salt & pepper, toss the fish through it & then pan fry in some hot oil quickly until they’re cooked through.

Seafood is the most convenient of all the foods to cook as they have a built in timer to tell you when they’re ready! When seafood changes colour from see through translucent to a lovely opaque white, It’s Chompin Time!

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?!?!?