Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What's for dinner?

There is a distinct smell wafting from garages and sheds around the place and I’m not going to lie to you – it’s not always a pleasant aroma.
Being confronted with seemingly endless rows of sausages strung from the roof can be quite an assault on the senses if you’re unprepared, but sausage making is a steadfast tradition worthy of celebration.
If you’re lucky enough to partake in an annual sausage-making festivity then you will be well aware of the recipe rivalry that goes with it.
Some stick true to their traditional recipes and straying from them is considered sacrilege, but others (like us), are still refining the perfect flavour balance and will change the recipe accordingly.
This year, we went with more of a chorizo-based sausage and I’m pretty chuffed with the result.
I’m not sharing that recipe with you though, sorry folks, but if you’re looking for some other ways to use the annual hoard of dried sausages – then this recipe is a winner, regardless of your flavour preferences.

Throw in some olives at the end for an extra kick of flavour. 

Mediterranean Chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
2 cloves garlic
2 red capsicums, chopped
1 dried sausage (Italian or chorizo), thinly sliced
Sundried tomatoes, to taste
400g can of diced tomatoes
500g chicken thighs (or similar), chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Parsley, chopped
Couscous, to serve

In a deep frying pan, heat olive oil on low heat and throw in the onion, garlic and rosemary. Cook slowly until the onion goes nice and golden.
Add the sausage and capsicum and fry until the sausage gets some good colour.
Add your tomatoes (both sundried and canned) and bring to a simmer before adding the chicken.
Simmer until chicken is cooked through and then add the lemon zest and parsley.
Serve on a bed of fluffy couscous.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Banana and Macadamia Loaf

For those bananas that went black in what felt like a minute after being put in the fruit bowl...

Banana & Macadamia Loaf

1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour (or white)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb
1 cup mashed banana
3/4 cup desicated coconut
3/4 cup roughly chopped macadamias
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 egg
pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon or both (whatever takes your fancy)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla paste

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Mix all your dry ingredients together, whisking to get any lumps out. Mix all your wet ingredients together and combine with the dry, being mindful not to over-mix.
Spoon into tin and bake for around 60 minutes, or until golden and gorgeous.


P.S. When this cake is a few days old - if you're feeling particularly naughty, I recommend cutting a slice, toasting it in a sandwich press and smothering with butter.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Toothpaste slice...

“This tastes like toothpaste, Mum” were the words from my biggest lad after tasting this slice.
But before you runaway wondering why I would bother sharing such dentally-inspired baked goods, apparently tasting like toothpaste isn’t necessarily a bad thing for small child.
I know, I don’t really get it either but his follow-up exclamation of “it’s delicious, I love it!” were far more complimentary.
In my humble palate’s opinion, which is not nearly as refined as a four-year-old’s, this slice is like eating a beautifully decadent after-dinner mint.
The combination of dark chocolate and mint is classic for a reason and the addition of pistachios adds a wonderful texture and crunch, but if you’re not into dark chocolate, I’m sure milk chocolate infused with mint will be just as tasty.
While I can’t promise you that nine out of 10 dentists endorse this slice as a great toothpaste-alternative, I can promise you that it goes down a treat with a cuppa.

Choc-mint Slice

75g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
80 desiccated cocounut
200g brown sugar
30g cocoa
130g butter, melted

85g pistachios, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 can condensed milk
30g butter

200g block of mint dark chocolate, melted (I used Lindt Mint Intense)

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

For the base, combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add melted butter and press into a slice tin lined with baking paper.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes.

For the filling, combine all ingredients except pistachios in a saucepan and stir until smooth and combined, with a tinge of colour change (looking more like caramel). Throw in your pistachios and mix well.
Pour on top of your base and pop back into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until nice and golden and bubbly.
Allow to cool before pouring melted chocolate on top and setting in the fridge.