Lizzie's Recipes

A collection of easy to make recipes

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Jar Salads

Jar Salads seems to be the latest craze sweeping the internet.  I stumbled across them by accident and thought what a wonderful idea!  I often take a salad to work for lunch and find I have to take various bits separately as they go soggy or dry out.  Also the dressing is always a problem – do it before you leave  home and you end up with a limp mess…

These wonderful salads can be made days ahead using the old-fashioned mason jars that are readily available in supermarkets and variety stores.  I bought six 500ml jars for only $7 at our local Reject Shop – you can’t argue with that!

Basically all you need to do is decide what your favourite flavours are and layer the ingredients starting with the dressing at the bottom.  Next add robust vegetables like chopped raw carrots or celery as your first layer as they don’t go mushy.  Keep layering finishing off with your more delicate ingredients such as lettuce or spinach.  About 2 tablespoons of each ingredient is a good guide and you want to see the striations – the contrast in colours is very pretty…    Try adding some fruit – blueberries or raspberries are good.  Also coloured rice such as wild black rice.  Legumes are excellent – chickpeas, beans, lentils…  The possibilities are endless!

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Ingredients:

I used the following:

Chopped celery

Chopped Carrots

Chopped yellow peppers

Tinned black beans

Tinned corn

Quinoa

Rice

Chopped baby Roma tomatoes

Chopped cucumbers

Dried Cranberries

Finely chopped red onion

Chopped coriander

Dressings:

Asian:  peanut oil, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, salt & pepper to season

Italian:  olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper to season

White Wine:  olive oil, white wine vintage, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper to season

Method:

Place a couple of tablespoons of your favourite dressing at the bottom of the jar

Layer about two tablespoons or so of any robust type of vegetable that won’t go limp such as carrots or celery

Keep layering using contracting colours of various fruit, rice, legumes or vegetables

Finish of with delicate items like fresh herbs, baby spinach or lettuce

Store in the fridge for up to five days

To serve gently up-end the jar so the dressing is dispersed and eat straight out of the jar

Alternatively tip gently into a bowl and add any additional items such as tuna our poached chicken or ham

 

Bon Appetit!   🙂

 

Spicy Pork, Chorizo & Rice

I am always on the look out for quick one pan meals.  This one has been slightly adapted from a “Hairy Bikers” recipe and is absolutely scrumptious…    The combination of spices is delicious and you can add more or less chilli powder as required…

 

Spicy Pork & Rice

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons Olive oil

1 medium Onion sliced

500 gram Pork Fillet trimmed cut into 1cm slices

1 Chorizo sausage skinned and cut into 5mm slices

2 cloves garlic grated

1 red pepper sliced

1 yellow pepper sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon chilli powder (use ½ if you don’t want it so spicy)

1 cup long grain rice

1/2  litre Chicken Stock

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method:

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick deep frying pan or sauté pan

Fry the onion slices over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly

Season the pork with salt and black pepper, then add it to the pan and stir-fry with the onion for 2 minutes until lightly browned

Add the chorizo, garlic and peppers and stir-fry together for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with the spices and stir in the rice, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approx. 30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pork are both lovely and tender.  Add more stock if necessary…

 

Bon Appetit!   🙂

Potato & Carrot Rosti with Spinach, Peas & Eggs…

Vegetarians can rejoice over this wonderful meal.  We adapted it slightly from a Jamie Oliver (always reliable) recipe and the result was delicious.

The food processor took care of the chore of grating the vegetables in minutes and the rest was just putting it together once the rosti had cooked.  You can play around with all aspects of this dish – add in grated zucchini, parsnip or pumpkin or use rocket instead of spinach for the salad…  The combination of the gooey eggs, the fresh salad and the crunchy rosti – divine…

Rosti

Ingredients:

4 large potatoes grated

4 medium carrots grated

6 spring onions finely sliced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Juice of ½ lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil for dressing

Olive oil

¾ cup frozen peas

2 cups baby spinach

4 free range eggs

Persian feta cheese

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180c fan-forced.

Peel the potatoes and carrots then coarsely grate them in a food processor or by hand on a box grater

Add a good pinch of salt, toss and scrunch it all together, then leave for 5 min

In the meantime mix the mustard, a good squeeze of lemon juice, and a couple of lugs of extra-virgin olive oil with a little pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl and put aside.

Drizzle a really good lug of olive oil into a large bowl and add a good pinch of pepper.

Handful by handful, squeeze the potato and carrot mixture to get rid of the excess salty liquid, then sprinkle into the bowl.

Toss in the oil and pepper until well mixed, then evenly scatter it on a large oiled roasting pan

Top with the finely sliced spring onions.

Roast for around 35 min, or until golden on top and super crispy around the edges.

Zap the peas in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then scoop out, add to the bowl of dressing and pile the spinach on top gently shaking to combine the salad. Or use your hands…

Poach the eggs to your liking carefully removing them with a slotted spoon.

Cover the hot rosti with the salad and place the eggs on top.

Crumble over the feta, some freshly grated black pepper and serve

 

Bon Appetit!   🙂

 

Delicious Beef and Guinness Stew

Cold winter nights in Melbourne and time to enjoy a rich simmering pot of Beef & Guinness stew…   Bubbling away on the stove top the aroma is wonderful and comforting.  I adapted this recipe I found on the internet and added in some balsamic vinegar at the end of cooking.  It adds a deep colour and richness to the stew and a bit of zing as well…

I served this with traditional Irish Champ which is lovely with any meat dish.  The left overs are in the freezer waiting to go into a lovely pie!

Amounts below will serve 8 people…

Beef & Guinness Stew

Ingredients:

1 packet streaky bacon cut into small pieces

2 kgs diced casserole beef cut into 2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 onions, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large can of Guinness

1 small tub of tomato paste

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

6 carrots cut into 1-inch pieces

4 stalks celery cut into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

4 cups of chicken stock or as needed to cover

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

 

Method:

Cook and stir bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp

Turn off heat and transfer bacon into a large stew pot, reserving bacon fat in the skillet.

Season beef chuck cubes generously with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.

Turn heat to high under skillet and sear beef pieces in the hot fat on both sides until browned

Place beef in stew pot with bacon, leaving fat in skillet.

Add in the onions and cook onions in the retained fat in the skillet until lightly browned

Add in the garlic with onions until soft

Pour beer into skillet and stir with a wooden spoon to de-glaze the pan

Pour cooking liquid from skillet into the stew pot.

Stir in tomato paste, thyme sprigs, carrots, celery, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and enough chicken broth to cover.

Bring stew to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine; reduce heat to low

Simmer stew until beef is fork-tender or about 2 hours

Stir stew occasionally and skim fat or foam if desired.

If the stew has not thickened enough raise heat to medium-high.

Bring stew to a low boil and cook until stew has cooked down and thickened

Remove and discard thyme

Add in balsamic vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve with Irish Champ (mashed potatoes with butter, milk, salt & pepper and finely sliced spring onions mixed through)

 

Bon Appetit!   🙂

Easy Vindaloo Prawn Curry

I stumbled across an old recipe hand written on a piece of A4 paper for Indian Curry Fish which I suspect comes from a dear friend at work.  I have adapted it and used prawns instead.

The result was fantastic.  It is so quick and easy to make – if you prefer less spicy sauce you can use a Korma or Madras paste as Vindaloo is the hottest…   The flavour is sharp and vinegary and is delicious.  The amounts below serve 4 people…

 

photo-4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion chopped

4 large vine tomatoes hopped

3 tablespoons Vindaloo paste

300 ml water

1 kg raw prawn cutlets (tail on)

2 long green chillies chopped and seeded

 

Method:

Fry onion in oil until transparent

Add tomatoes and fry for until they breakdown and go creamy – about 5 minutes

Stir in curry paste and fry a further 5-10 minutes until fragrant

Add water and simmer for 10 minutes or until onions are soft

Toss in the prawns and chopped green chillies and simmer until prawns are cooked

Serve with steamed jasmine rice and paratha or roti bread

 

Bon Appétit!   🙂

Potatoes Of The Night…

We laughingly call these “Potatoes Of The Night” because each time I make then it depends entirely on what I have in the fridge on the night…  I have used whole spring onions, parsley, red peppers, dill, thyme, zucchini, whole garlic cloves and rosemary.  It’s a terrific way of using up fresh herbs and the addition of the wine and tabasco gives it a real kick.  Also the onion goes crispy and burnt – try not picking the bits out of the pan when you serve them up!  It’s not possible…

We team these with salmon cutlets, fillet steaks or Chicken Kiev – they are sensational…

photo-3

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 large onion sliced

4 large potatoes

I bunch of coriander roughly chopped

2 tablespoons white wine

A good splash of Tabasco sauce

Salt & pepper to season

 

Method:

Slice your potatoes into eights if they are very large

Throw into a large roasting pan

Add the sliced onion and the coriander

Season with salt & pepper

Add in the olive oil and toss until everything is coated in a little oil

Bake at 180c fan-forced for around 40 minutes

Toss around now and then to prevent sticking

When cooked, add the white wine and Tabasco

Shake or gently stir to de-glaze the pan

Serve piping hot with your favorite meats or fish

 

Bon Appétit!   🙂

Spicy Red Curry Pumpkin Soup with Prawns

Everyone loves pumpkin soup but sometimes it needs a little boot up the bum to be a bit more exciting.

This is an adaption of a recipe I found in a newspaper – I tweaked it a little and the result is fantastic.

Hot and spicy with crunchy prawns it can be as hot or as mild as you like.  We love spicy food so I added in 2 tablespoons of red curry paste.

Vegetarians can just omit the prawns and enjoy the delicious soup…  The amounts below will serve 4 people.

photo-2

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 brown onion, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon red curry paste (more if you prefer hotter)

4 cups vegetable stock

1 butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 cup coconut cream

2 teaspoon of sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

20 green prawns, peeled, leaving tails intact

1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves

Lime wedges, to serve

Method:

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft.

Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.

Stir in the stock and bring to the boil.

Add the pumpkin and lime leaves.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

Remove the kaffir lime leaves and discard

Blend the pumpkin to a puree with a blender stick or in a jug

Place over low heat and add the coconut milk.

Stir for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

Add in sugar and fish sauce to taste.

In the meantime, toss the prawns in the remaining oil and fry in a large non-stick fry pan over high heat.

Cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until they change colour.

Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and place the prawns and coriander on top.

Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the prawns

 

Bon Appétit!   🙂

Warm Roasted Pumpkin & Spinach Salad with Dukkah, Pine Nuts & Persian Feta

Dukkah is a wonderful mixture of herbs and spices and can be readily bought at most supermarkets.  I use a pistachio and almond based one which gives a lovely nutty flavour to the dish.

We rarely eat pumpkin any other way these days.  This wonderful warm salad is so versatile and very, very tasty.

You can add or omit ingredients as you wish – it’s lovely with rocket leaves if you prefer the peppery taste.  You can also add in red onion or peppers – it just depends on what you have to hand…  I always use Persian Feta as it is beautifully rich and creamy and is marinated in herbs.  The taste is divine…

Delicious on its own or as a side dish, we also pile it on top of sourdough bread the next day for lunch – heavenly…

Warm Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

Half a butternut pumpkin

I cup of fresh continental parsley roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons of Dukkah

A couple of big handfuls of baby spinach

2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts

Persian Feta to sprinkle on top

 

Method:

Cut the pumpkin in to even size cubes

Throw into a non-stick roasting pan and add the parsley, oil and dukkah

Toss well and roast for about 30 minutes on 180c fan-forced

Shake occasionally to prevent sticking

When cooked, place in a bowl and throw in the spinach and toasted pine nuts

Put a lid on the bowl and shake thoroughly,

The heat of the pumpkin will wilt the spinach

Serve topped with crumbled Persian feta to taste

 

Bon Appetit   🙂

 

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