Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crispy Chicken Pieces

This recipe is one of my old favourites, I just keep making it again and again, and no matter what, everyone loves it.
It gets it's name from the fact the skin on the chicken goes crispy.

1 Kilogram of chicken pieces (drumsticks, legs, wings, nibbles, whatever....)
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Paprika (I prefer the smoked variety)

  • spray the bottom of a baking dish with oil
  • place chicken pieces in dish evenly (you may need more than one dish, depending on size)
  • brush chicken pieces with say sauce and then sprinkle with paprika
  • bake in preheated 180C oven until cooked. I'd love to give you a time on that, but it's dependant on the chicken pieces. Most of the time I use wings, and find it's done in half an hour.
Serve with rice and steamed vegetables, or as a finger food at a BBQ.

Italian style meat sauce

This is another of my "I never actually measure anything" recipes.
I use this meat sauce for lasagne and also for spaghetti/pasta. The ever picky Katharine won't eat the lasagne because it's "too spicey", so I just throw some cooked spaghetti through a cup of it for her when we are eating lasagne. She seems to think it tastes different. I also get to add vegies to this, which is great. Neither my husband nor Katharine eat carrots, so I get them in whenever I can *grins*

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chili
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 large tin of tomatoes (use the whole peeled ones. The diced ones seem to be slimier, and have too much juice around them)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 500 g mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1.5 kg mince (preferably beef)

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan or large saucepan
  2. Add onions, garlic and chili - cook until transparent
  3. Add mushrooms and carrots, stirring through until the pan is dry
  4. Add wine, and simmer for a short while
  5. Break up minced meat into pinches, stirring occasionally while doing it
  6. Continue breaking up meat as you're going
  7. When meat is almost completely browned, add tomato paste, and stir through thoroughly
  8. Add tin of tomatoes, crushing in your hand as you are going
  9. Simmer until you have a thick, rich sauce.

This makes 2 family sized lasagnes, 1 serve for Katharine, plus around 2 cups of sauce left over.
I'd also suggest adding salt and pepper to taste - but since I have a husband who adds snow to all meals, I don't bother.

Chicken with mushrooms, leeks and ricotta

This one is a hat tip to an earlier recipe.
It's Autumn (Fall) here, so I'm cooking winter-y recipes.

  • 3 kg chicken drumsticks (legs)
  • 2 large leeks - finely sliced
  • 500 g mushrooms - finely sliced
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 500g Ricotta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
  2. Line 2 baking dishes with the leeks and mushrooms
  3. Evenly divide the drumsticks between the trays
  4. Pour 1 cup white wine over each tray
  5. Cover each tray with baking paper and foil, to keep some of the moisture in
  6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes
  7. Turn drumsticks, and replace in oven for 15 minutes to brown
  8. Take drumsticks out of trays, and stir through 250g of ricotta in each tray (with the wine, mushrooms and leeks)
  9. Replace drumsticks, and return to oven to heat the ricotta through

I served this with rice, and blanched snow peas.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The teastick

Again, not a recipe post!

I was stumbling last night, and came across The Teastick, a single serve way to get a lovely cup of tea.
This for me is wonderful in a few different ways.

  1. I love tea. And it's because it's tea that I've posted it here
  2. I love sleek looking designs that combine form and function so well, which is why it is also posted on InfoxicatingDesigns
  3. I could see me using it, not just in a cup (I always drink my tea in a cup, with matching saucer), but I can also see my mother using it, for her plain, bland, boring black tea, in her bone china mug with a design of otters chasing butterflies badgers chasing a worm (I spoke to my mother yesterday. She chipped her otters mug)
I might have to buy it, just to check to see if it is as good as the reviews say

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cinnamon donut muffins

I've been craving donuts for a few days, so I figured I better either buy some, or cook some.
I opted for the latter, and got my favourite cookbook out - Google.
I came up with this recipe, which aren't quite donuts, but are quite delicious.
If you don't feel like link clicking, here's the recipe:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
  2. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil
  3. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg
  5. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine
  6. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract
  7. Divide batter evenly into 10 muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean
  1. While muffins are baking, melt butter and pour remaining sugar into a small bowl
  2. When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in sugar
  3. Cool on a wire rack.

So, the verdict.
Next time, I make it with butter instead of vegetable oil. It requires that richness that butter gives, and the vegetable oil, while giving it moisture, didn't give it the richness it needs.
Also, I used cinnamon instead of nutmeg, which made them gorgeous. Bast and I discussed it earlier, and I have to agree, there is no such thing as too much cinnamon.
And the last thing. I used mini muffin pans. Perfect size for kids, or a mini muffin or two (donut hole?) with a mug of coffee.


This is the soft version - the one that hasn't been fried. At the end of this recipe, I'll give you instructions on how to make friend polenta - which is super yummy topped with fried off tomatoes, onions and olives for breakfast.
I'm a firm believer in cheese making everything taste better - and in this case, it's true. Plain polenta is very boring and bland.

  • 1 litre boiling water or stock
  • 1 cup polenta
  • butter
  • cheese
  • cream (optional for a looser polenta. If you want to be able to slice it up and fry it later, don't add the cream)

  1. Bring water or stock up to boil.
  2. Add 1 cup polenta
  3. Simmer for 8-10 minutes
  4. Stir in butter
  5. Stir in cheese to taste
  6. OPTIONAL stir in cream to make around the consistency of mashed potatoes
If you're going to be frying it up later, spread it out into a square dish or tin now. Allow to set. When it has set, slice into squares, triangles, diamonds, rectangles or circles. Gently shallow fry in butter and oil until crispy and golden brown.

If you're not frying it up, you can use it in place of mashed potatoes.
If you would like it sweeter, make it with half water, and half milk. Omit the butter and cheese, but add the milk. Serve with fruit coulis or rehydrated dried fruit.

Lamb casserole

It's getting a little cooler down here in AU (and especially in Sydney), so I figured a warm winter meal was in order.
I also wanted something that was cheap, but delicious, so lamb casserole it is.
I'm doing it in the slow cooker tonight, but I'd normally do it in a casserole dish, in the oven, for around 2 hours, total.

  • Garlic (I'm using around 4 cloves), crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili (seeds in)
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 large (2 medium) cans tomatoes
  • 1 kilogram lamb chops (the cheaper the better, in my opinion)
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Layer the meat and onions.
  2. Combine the mint, garlic, chili, rosemary and tomato paste.
  3. Place the tomato paste mix and the tinned tomatoes on top of the lamb in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on high for approximately 3 hours, then turn down to low. Allow to cook for as long as you want - the longer the better.
Serve with steamed green vegies and either polenta or mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


This is not a cooking post!

I'm always looking for a way to get everyone to pull their fair weight around the house - with cooking, cleaning, and everything else.

Imagine how happy I was when I came across this...

My Chore Wars character