Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chicken with Ponzu dressing

I was feeling like I needed to make something Japanese probably due to the fact my other half is in Nozawa Onsen, Japan. The lucky duck is enjoying a skiing trip with the lads but not to worry I'm planning a shopping and eating trip to even the score.

With chicken thighs in the fridge, I thought this would be a quick and easy meal to make. Plus there's the added bonus that the kids love it too. The ponzu dressing is so easy and I love the citrus notes especially as limes are in season at the moment.



Serves 4

Ingredients

4-5 chicken thigh fillets (it's up to you whether you select with skin or without, I like it as either version)
salt
pepper
2 tbs of olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you have)

Ponzu dressing
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
100mL mirin
60mL light soy sauce

To serve
Finely sliced spring onions
Finely sliced red chilli
Rice

Method

1. Make the ponzu dressing first, add the lime, lemon juice, mirin, soy and stir well.
2. Season chicken thighs well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat.
4. Add chicken (if you use with skin, then skin side first) and cook for 3-4 minutes (or until skin is golden and crispy).
5. Turn chicken over, and cook for another 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
6. Slice the chicken and arrange on serving plate.
7. Drizzle ponzu dressing, sprinkle the sliced chicken with spring onion and chilli.
8. Serve with rice.

Handy hints

If you like crispy skin then I recommend that you put a smaller pan on top of the chicken to weigh it down which will help with that.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bean, leek & tofu with pork


This week I bought snake beans for the first time, I've eaten these many a time but never had the courage to cook with them. So with a simple Asian dish was in mind, I wandered about selecting what looked good in the fresh produce section of the supermarket. Probably shouldn't let me loose shopping when I'm thinking about recipes but the leeks looked glorious and I was imagining the subtle taste and how well it would go with my dish in mind.  

Serves 4
Bean, leek & tofu with pork

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil
1 leek trimmed, halved lengthways, washed and thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
500g pork and veal mince
200g snake beans (could use green beans as well)
2 tbs black bean sauce
1 cup water
200g firm tofu drained and cut into 2cm pieces

Sauce mix to add with tofu at the end
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs shao hsing cooking wine (or dry sherry or stock)
2 tsp caster sugar

To serve
thinly sliced shallot
thinly sliced red chilli
Steamed jasmine rice

Method

1. Heat oil in work over medium heat,
2. Add leek and chilli, stir fry for 2-3 minutes until tender
3. Increase heat to high, add pork and veal mince, breaking up mince until evenly browned
4. Add in snake beans, black bean sauce, and water
5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until water has reduced
6. Add tofu, soy sauce, shao hsing wine and sugar gently stir fry for 3mins until hot.
7. Serve with green onion, chilli and rice.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Really hot spicy jerk chicken


Having dined at The Butler, Potts Point recently, I tried their jerk tofu but it just didn’t quite have the spice hit I needed. I remember making this jerk chicken dish and loving it so much that I knew that I had to keep this in my repertoire.
Cranking the oven up, the skin on the chicken crisps up and is encrusted with the spiced chilli marinade which is countered by the vinegar, lime, rum and spiced marinade making the meat so tender. It's so good.
If you love spice then this dish is for you, as its hot. Pepe, my other half has a couple of bites before the sweat beads make an appearance. This dish packs a punch but the sweet, creamy coconut rice that is served up with it is a match made in heaven. Or a dollop of yoghurt may curtail the heat and be a soothing salve for the mouth.

Check out my review of The Butler.

Ingredients

5 chicken thigh with skin and bone
Dry Spice mix
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Ingredients to throw into the food processor
5 cloves garlic
100g ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup rum
Juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 fresh red chillies, whole (I like it hot hence I use a lot of chillies)
1 onion cut in half

Coconut rice
2 cups of jasmine rice
400mL coconut milk
2 large pinches of salt
 

Method

1.       Preheat oven to 200 degree Celcius
2.       Place all the dry spice mix into a bowl
3.       Put all the other ingredients in the processor and blitz
4.       Place the dry spice mix into the processor and mix until it looks a dark earthy paste
5.       Pour and spread the marinade mix over the chicken and leave in the fridge for minimum 2 hours or covered overnight.
6.       Place the chicken and all the marinade into a shallow roasting pan and roast for 40minutes. You should get a chicken that’s cooked through and tender with a thick fiery crust.
7.       Place the rice into a rice cooker with the coconut milk and add 2 large pinches of salt. Check the rice is cooked through once the liquid is all absorbed. If not, give the rice another 5-10 minutes if it’s needed.
8.       Serve up by piling up the dinner plate with coconut rice with the hot crusted chicken on top.
 

Handy tips

*Jerk marinade can be made a day ahead. The chicken can also be marinated up to 24 hours in advance. I like using chicken thighs but feel free to use chicken breast.
*Mix up the leftover coconut rice and shred the chicken with a fresh salad of cucumber, tomato and parsley dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.




 

 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Best Strawberry Muffins Ever

Looking for a moist cupcake recipe then look no further.

Getting two punnets of strawberries for the bargain price of $5, I thought it was would be a nice weekend surprise to make strawberry muffins for breakfast. I love the smell of sweet strawberries and it was a treat to have these straight out of the oven. The texture and taste of these moist muffins is worth every minute when I can enjoy a cup of coffee momentarily whilst my family demolishes them.



Ingredients

2 1/2 cups of almond meal
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon 
1 tsp of vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup of diced strawberries and a little extra to place on top

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and then add wet ingredients.  Mix well until everything is completely blended together. 
  3. Place baking cups into muffin tray. Scoop enough muffin batter to fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full.  Add a few more diced strawberries on top if you wish. 
  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes

 
Handy tips 
 
If you overfill your muffin tray with batter, your muffins will puff up and spill over, so it's best to under fill rather than overfill with this recipe. 




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kale cashew pesto


With an excess of kale in the fridge, the kids had already indulged in kale chips, the idea of kale pesto was the next step. Kale contains high levels of iron and calcium, it's also high in Vitamin K which helps prevent cancer and Alzheimer's; Vitamin A for vision and skin; and Vitamin C for your immune system and metabolism. What person wouldn't be eating this super food in it's own right.

I do love the classic flavour of basil in pesto and using a combination of both basil and kale means you still get that beautiful basil flavour, with all the nutritional benefits of the kale. You'll find that the pesto tastes so fresh and after a day in the fridge, it doesn't turn that dull colour when you make the usual basil pesto.
 
What's so great about this recipe is that you can mix and match the ingredients so easily. Don't like basil? Try parsley, coriander or spring onions. Run out of kale? Use spinach, rocket, or even silver beet leaves instead. Let me know what other combinations you come up with.



Ingredients

1 handful basil
1 large handful kale leaves (~4 leaves, pull them off the stalks)
1/2 cup of roasted unsalted cashew nuts
1/4 cup of good olive oil
1/2 lemon juice and zest
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until well combined but still with some texture.
  2. Serve straight away.
This pesto will last around 3-4 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it, if you don't plan to use it all in one go.This recipe also easily doubles or triples for a larger crowd.





 

Handy meals with pesto

Pesto on toast
If short on time, this pesto is the best snack. Toast up a slice of bread and slather the pesto on top. Yum yum!

Pesto macaroni for the kids
Cook up some macaroni, add a generous dollop of the kale cashew pesto and mix through until warmed. The kids will devour this delicious meal, my munchkins loved it.



Spaghetti with prawn & pesto
An adult version is to cook up some spaghetti, fry up some chilli and prawn (frozen or green prawns work fine) and add this to the spaghetti with a generous dollop of kale cashew pesto. Mix through until warmed and served up with freshly cracked pepper on top. Yum.




Friday, January 16, 2015

Puffed fruit pancake

This is a family favourite especially for a lazy morning start on the weekend. As my boys have a hearty appetite, this is a great pudding like pancake to keep their hunger at bay til lunch. This dish is fabulous with any fruit. I've tried it with Granny Smiths apples, peaches, nectarine and with great results.


Serves 4

Ingredients

50g butter
6 white flesh nectarines, cut into half and then into thirds again (can use any fruit in season)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
90g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
185mL milk

To serve

Greek yoghurt (for a treat for the kids, I serve this up with a swirl of maple syrup or honey)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celcius,
2. Melt the butter in a 25 cm frying pan with an ovenproof handle.
3. Add fruit and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
4. Add brown sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice and cook. Shake pan occasionally until sugar has dissolved.
5. Mix flour, salt, lemon zest and sugar together in a large bowl.
6. Make a well in the centre and slowly add eggs and milk, whisking lightly to combine. (Don't worry about the lumps that form)
7. Pour batter even over the fruit (it's fine if the fruit shows through).
8 Place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes until puffed and golden.
9. Serve immediately with yoghurt.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Eggplant with yoghurt sauce


Eggplants have always been a favourite vegetable of mine. Even more so, after you make this dish. Trust me after the first bite you'll be in food heaven.

I've been cooking my way through Yotam Ottolenghi's book, 'Plenty' that I bought for my other half, Pepe. I have enjoyed it so much so, that it has been a vegetarian dinnerfest for the past week in my household and so far no cravings for meat. Pepe has had no complaints probably due to this the result of losing weight to fit into his ski pants for a skiing trip with the lads later this month.

This recipe has been adapted from Ottolenghi's cookbook as I was missing a couple of ingredients but I found that that didn't seem to matter with the end result. You'll have to try the eggplant with yoghurt sauce for yourselves.



Serves 2 as a starter or main

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
80mL olive oil
6 sprigs of lemon thyme leaves
1 pomegranate
salt and black pepper

Sauce

100g Greek yoghurt
1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove
pinch of salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

2. Cut the eggplants lengthwise. Then use a sharp knife to make 4 parallel incisions in the cut side of the eggplant without cutting through the skin. Repeat on a angle to get diamond shaped patterns.

3. Place eggplants cut side up on a baking paper lined tray.

4. Brush with olive oil until all absorbed.

5. Sprinkle lemon thyme and salt and pepper.



6. Roast in the oven for 35-40mins until nicely browned.

7. Then remove from oven to cool down completely (or else you'll a melted yoghurt sauce) and hang onto the roasted lemon thyme.

8. Whilst eggplants are in the oven, prepare the pomegranate and sauce. Cut pomegranate into two, hold cut side half in your palm and tap the back with a wooden spoon til the seeds starting spilling out through your fingers. Pick out white skin and membrane.



9. For the sauce, whisk all the ingredients together, taste for seasoning and keep cold til needed.

10. To serve spoon the yoghurt sauce over the eggplant sprinkle the roasted lemon thyme and garnish with lots of pomegranate seeds. Finish off with a drizzle olive oil.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 3EggsFull

   
With a mantra to 'Eat, Explore and Experience', this is a lifelong journey.  I've been meaning to blog my cooking exploits and post my favourite recipes along the way. For those that are always asking for the recipes, you will finally be able to find these here and I hope that these will be in your top 10 meals to make.

With a love to travel, one memorable experience was the markets in Syracuse, Sicily. I travelled there in 2011 with the inlaws and a 6 month old bub in tow. Wondering through the stalls, I took pictures of the produce on offer and tasted the most amazing caponata, pecorino cheese and salami. One of the pictures is the background for the blog.

With lots of family trips planned for the year, I can't wait for what's in store for 2015. I'm all about cooking fab meals for my family and as a result, my boys will enthusiastically eat anything I serve up.

Penchant for sweet things, I can never eat all the sweet things I bake.  I will find any excuse to bake goodies and these are the best to shared with friends and family.

Happy reading peeps!