Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stuffed eggplant

Been making this lately, i've done it with lamb mince, and also turkey mince. Both were delicious!

You will need;
1 large eggplant
1 red onion chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
500g lamb mince
1/2 bunch fresh oregano chopped
1/2 continental parsley chopped
1/4 cup currants
1 egg
1/2 cup almond meal
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Cut your eggplant in half and scoop out most of the flesh leaving about 1cm next to the skin. Spray each half lightly with olive oil spray and when oven is at temp put in the oven on an oven tray for 10 mins. Fry onion and garlic off in a pan until soft. In a mixing bowl combine mince, fried onions, herbs, currants, egg and almond meal. Remove eggplant from oven after ten minutes and pack mince mix into each half. Return to the oven for around 25 mins or until meat is brown on top.

Yoghurt sauce;
Plain geek yoghurt
finely chopped mint
dash of tabasco or hot sauce

Serve eggplant with yoghurt sauce and a fresh salad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Summer fish

Made this up last night - one of those improvised recipes that turned out a treat. The measurements listed below are all estimates it was more a case of a dash of this and a slurp of that.

You will need;

300g Flathead tails (4 or 5 tails) cut into large chunks, sprinkle with a little salt
1/2 red onion sliced
2 cloves garlic
5cm long piece of ginger finely sliced (lots of ginger)
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornflour diluted in 1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons crushed salted peanuts
2 tablespoons flaked coconut
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 large long red chilli chopped

Heat a large wok over med-high heat until it smokes then add about a tablespoon of peanut oil or vegetable oil. Add onion to the wok with a pinch of salt and stir fry for a minute then add ginger and garlic. Keep stirring continuously to prevent the garlic from sticking or burning. Add turmeric to the wok, followed by the fish. Keep the fish moving around the wok and allow to cook for around 2-3 minutes. Add fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar and cornflour water and stir until fish is cooked, probably only one more minute. There should be a reasonable amount of sauce around the fish, if not add a dash more water to the wok. Turn off the wok and throw the peanuts, coconut, coriander and chopped chilli on top.

Serve with rice.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

chinese new year..dumpling time!

Chinese New Year has me thinking DUMPLINGS!
So thought i'd put together a few of my own ideas for dumpling fillings to celebrate Chinese New Year tonight. I like to eat healthy so i'll be keeping that in mind with the dumplings I make today. Steamed or soup style dumplings are the most healthy choices. Also - in no way do I claim for these recipes to be strictly traditional - they are my own take but will hopefully be delicious!

Turkey, garlic chive, and mushroom..
Turkey mince 500g
2 eggs beaten
1/2 bunch of garlic chives finely chopped
1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts
1 cup of shitake or chinese black mushrooms very finely chopped
1 cup of chinese black fungus very finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
white pepper

Heat a little oil in a fry pan, and fry off mushrooms and fungus with the crushed garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for a coupe of minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then combine in a mixing bowl with all other remaining ingredients. Be generous with salt and white pepper. I think this filling would be ideal in pan fried style dumplings which you can make using wonton wrappers (available at any asian grocer). Place a small amount of fillinf in the centre of the wonton wrapper and then pinch the edges together using a little water. Try to make sure they are well sealed. After filling the dumplings heat a little oil in a pan and place dumplings into the pan. Allow to fry for a minute or two, then add a splash of water to the pan and cover with a lid for a few more minutes. These would also be delicious as wontons in soup.

Prawn, sweet corn, coriander...
500g Prawn meat minced or finely chopped
1/2 cup creamed corn
1/2 bunch coriander finely chopped (incl stalks and root - be sure to chop very fine)
A handful finely shopped water chestnut
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
2cm square of ginger minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon cornflour

10-12 oz Chinese Wheat starch
Hot water

Mix soy sauce, chinese cooking wine and cornflour together.
Combine all ingredients except wheat starch and water in a bowl. Filling done!
For a quick easy option you can use pre made wonton wrappers to create pan fried, or steamed dumplings .
Alternatively, I found these instructions below for making real deal steamed dumplings

Heap the wheat starch on an enamelled tray.
Make a depression in the centre and add hot water, drop by drop, to make a firmish paste.
Place it in a basin and steam it for 5 minutes.
Remove and form into a roll as soon as it can be easily handled.
Cut into equal-sized pieces, about 1 1/4-inches each.
With the flat of a chopper, press each into rounds 2 1/ in diameter.
Divide the filling between them, rounding the top of each portion.
Pinch the edges together into a Dutch bonnet shape.

Pumpkin, spinach, garlic chive...
2 cups mashed pumpkin
1 cup steamed spinach, water squeezed out, finely chopped
1/2 bunch garlic chives finely chopped
3 eggs beaten
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
1-2 teaspoons of salt
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon corn flour

Mix cornflour with soy sauce and cooking wine in a bowl. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl and add soy sauce mixture. Filling done!
I think this filling would be delicious in any of the above style dumplings, but particularly as a filling in the real deal steamed style dumplings.

Hope you get some dumpling enjoyment out of these recipes :-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Well winter is creeping in and I for one love to make delicious soups to take the edge off the cold weather..this one is something that I made pretty much by accident - like some of my favourite recipes it was a bit of an experiment which turned out a can use any kind of mushrooms really but I think the ones with maximum flavour work best eg portobellos or swiss brown or any of the wild mushrooms if they're in season...its great without the dumplings too if you cant be bothered with all that...hope you like it

1 brown onion chopped
1 leek chopped
3 or 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in a generous amount of boiling water - retain liquid)
2 potatoes or 1 white sweet potato peeled and chopped in to small cubes
1 cup cooked chestnuts (you can get them canned at most supermarkets)
approx 1 litre chicken stock (I sometimes make my own but a bought one is fine)
finely chopped parsley

1 cup plain flour
100g fresh ricotta cheese

Sweat off onion and leek in olive oil with a generous pinch of salt.When soft add garlic. Add chopped mushrooms to pan and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Chop porcini mushrooms once they are softened remembering to retain the liquid as this will become part of the stock. Add in porcini mushrooms to the pan along with chopped potato and chestnuts. Add porcini mushroom liquid to pan as well as chicken stock so that all the ingredients are covered with liquid. Allow to cook on a low heat for half an hour to forty five minutes, or until potatoes are almost completely collapsed. The potatoes will act as a thickening agent for the soup. At this point taste and add salt and black pepper to taste. You can leave the soup simmering on low while you make the dunplings.

Combine flour and ricotta in a bowl - I find its easiest to mash them together with a fork. Add salt to taste. The consistency should be a soft dough. You can also add fresh herbs finely chopped or grated parmesan cheese or extra flavour. Shape them into small dumplings and set aside.

Once the soup has thickened a little bit its basically ready to go. At the last minute increase your heat to medium and add in your dumplings - they will only take a couple of minutes to cook. They should float once they're done. At this point add in your parsley and you're ready to serve. I sometimes like to add a touch of sour cream in each bowl also. Of course fresh bread or garlic croutons would be awesome with this too. Enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

bbq treats

So - apparently tomorrow is going to be a glorious sunny day in Melbourne so i'm thinking bbq.. Must make the most of these final days of Summer.. Of course the real appeal for me when it comes to bbq's is the food of course..thought i'd share some of my faves..all quantities on these are more approximate as sometimes when you're at a bbq you have to improvise a little..

Grilled field mushrooms

You will need

Some big field mushrooms
some butter or marg (whatever you prefer) - if you're on a diet or dont like to use butter you can use olive oil.
crushed garlic
fresh thyme (leaves only)

Ok - basically combine butter and all other ingredients except the mushrooms - helps to soften the butter first. Once all the ingredients are combined remove the stalk from the mushrooms and spread some butter into each mushroom (on the inside only). Grill these butter side up for about 5 mins on a reasonably hot bbq. Turn them over just at the end for about one minute then they are ready to go. Maybe a grind of extra pepper to serve.

Lamb cutlets

Lamb cutlets are good even with just a bit of salt and pepper on but here's one way I like to do them and they always seem to vanish off the plate very quickly.

You will need
Lamb cutlets

Marinade - you will need enough to marinate all your cutlets if this is not enough just add a little more of everything

A little light soy
2 tspn brown sugar
1/2 tspn cinnamon
crushed garlic
1/2 tspn chilli powder/ or one mild red chilli chopped
A little olive oil

finely chopped pistachio nuts
finely shredded mint leaves
lime juice - lots of it - or lemon

So -combine all ingerdients for marinade and marinate lamb for at least half an hour - up to 5 or 6 hours.

Before grilling lamb scrape off any excess marinade as it will dirty up your bbq. Grill lamb on a hot bbq turning only once - usually they need about 2 mins on each side but it depends how done you like them - the firmer they are they more done they are..

Combine lime/lemon juice with sugar salt and pepper - taste - it should be reasonably sweet - if its not sweet enough ad more sugar - or maple syrup is also nice..Add nuts and mint and pour all over your cutlets and serve!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


gelatello chapel street prahran

wow had the most amazing gelatello i have ever had last night in prahran ,i got gelatello flavour which was argentinian caramel flavour with fudge biscuit pieces through it and also a mocha flavor and my man got bubble gum and also gelatello ..if you have a sweet tooth this place is a must ...
but beware the guy who serves is a bit of a crank i give them a 4 out of ten on service but they make up for it in taste

here are the directions