Beef and Broccoli Stirfry

It’s nice to every now and then to dial back the fancy, and make something super simple and super yummy to keep your family fed.  This one is a long time favourite of mine, where the focus is on good quality ingredients, loaded with classical flavours.

This is a bulk recipe, but keeps and reheats fantastically well, so perfect for hungry mouths for work lunches, or a snack to keep the kids happy after school.


Beef and Broccoli Stirfry

1.2kg Rump or Topside steak, thinly sliced
2 large onions, peeled, cut into wedges
2tbsp cornflour
1/4c vegetable oil
1kg broccoli, chopped into florets
2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
500g water chestnut slices
3 cloves garlic
4tsp crushed ginger
300g snow peas, topped and tailed and chopped in half lengthways
1/4c kecap manis
1/4c honey soy marinade
1/4c sweet chilli sauce
6 spring onions, chopped into 4cm battons
500g Udon noodles

  1. Combine your cornflour with a light seasoning of salt and pepper.  Place in a ziplock bag with beef strips and shake to coat thoroughly.
  2. Prepare and cook udon noodles as per packet directions, whilst cooking, prepare stirfry as follows;
  3. Heat 1tsp oil in hot wok and swirl to coat, cook beef in 4-5 batches, for 2-3 minutes until just browned, before transferring to a heat proof bowl. Add another teaspoon of oil and reheat between each batch.
  4. Heat remaining oil, add onion, garlic, ginger and broccoli to the wok, stirfry for 2 minutes.  Then add capsicum, snow peas and water chestnuts.
  5. Return beef to pan with spring onions, sauces and any resting juices from beef bowl.  Toss to coat, and warm through.
  6. Add cooked and drained udon noodles.  Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh thinly sliced chilli.

Happy Cooking! ~LC

Five Spice Caramel Pork Ramen

When it comes to super yummy weeknight dinners, this Caramel Pork Ramen is a standout. Packed with delicious flavour, and easy to make, even the inexperienced campaigner can create fully bellies, clean plates and happy faces (yes, we even tested our theory on this one!)

The original recipe was inspired by a recipe from Hello Fresh, with a few changes for an extra kick of flavour!

If you’re looking for high quality, Australian made organic Japanese noodles for any recipes, not just this one, we highly recommend Hakubaku Noodles

Five Spice Caramel Pork Ramen

Olive Oil
600g Pork loin fillet cut into 1.5cm cubes
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 large carrots unpeeled, cut into 5cm matchsticks
4 tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp ginger (fresh grated, or from tube)
250g sugar snap or snow peas, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
4 spring onion, finely sliced
1 long red chilli (optional), seeds removed and finely sliced
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2c warm water
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce (for caramel)
270g pack Ramen Noodles
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4c soy sauce, extra (for noodles)
black sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Bring large saucepan of water to the boil
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add pork cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes until just brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat a little more olive oil in the same pan, add red onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften, then add five spice powder and stir, cooking for another minute.  Reduce heat to low
  4. Add the brown sugar, water, fish sauce and soy sauce for caramel to the pan with the onion.  Season with a pinch of pepper and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat until the caramel has reduced and started to thicken slightly.  Add the pork cubes back to the caramel and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside in pan.
  5. While caramel is reducing, place the ramen noodles into boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes ONLY, before draining and rinsing with cold water in colander.
  6. Heat drizzle of olive oil in wok, add the carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes until just softened.  Add garlic, ginger, sugar snap peas and chilli (if using) cooking for 3 minutes.
  7. Add noodles, sesame oil and extra soy sauce to the pan and toss together.  Add spring onion, pork and caramel to wok with noodles and veg. Combine well and stir until noodles are warm (should only take a minute or so)
  8. Serve with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds if desired.

Heritage Tomato & Pesto Spaghetti

There is nothing quite like a yummy bowl of pasta to satisfy a hunger!

Today we are keeping it light, this time with fresh heritage tomatoes and zesty lemon basil pesto this pasta is great eaten warm or cold the next day as a pasta salad.

This colourful dish is great for a midweek dinner or a quick meal after a busy weekend.

Prep time – 5 mins, Cooking time – 20 mins, Serves 6

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Heritage Tomato & Pesto Spaghetti

500g spaghetti

1tsp olive oil

100g of prosciutto – sliced

350g cherry tomatoes, halved – I used heritage tomatoes for the colour

50g semi sundried tomatoes – chopped

60g baby spinach leaves

150g basil pesto – I used my Lemon Basil Pesto

Shaved parmesan and cracked pepper to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan following the packet instructions. Cook until al dente. Drain, but reserve about 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and lay the slices of prosciutto evenly over it. Bake untill just crisp and set aside.
  3. In a frying pan add the oil, when hot add the tomatoes, string often. Cook until the tomato starts to soften, should take about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it just starts to wilt. Add the spaghetti to the pan along with the reserved liquid and pesto, tossing to combine.
  4. Break the prosciutto into shards, and add to the pasta tossing again to combine.
  5. Plate up and top with freshly shaved parmesan and pepper.
  6. Enjoy!

~A

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Pumpkin Soup

Now that its getting cooler (and by cooler I mean its stopped reaching 35 degrees every day… it actually didn’t get about 29 the other day! Admittedly it was raining all day… but it still counts!!!), and we are on our way to winter it’s time to start thinking about warm wintery dishes (if we crank the air con we can pretend…).

I was recently given a lovely little home grown butter nut pumpkin with strict instructions that it must be made into a soup, so what better way to kick off the season than with a perfect winter warmer soup – Pumpkin soup!

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 1 hr, Serves 4

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Pumpkin Soup

1 large butter nut pumpkin -halved lengthways

2 rashers of bacon

1 red onion – quartered

2 tbs minced garlic

3 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

cream – to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 210ºC.
  2. Remove seeds from your pumpkin and brush with olive oil. You may wish to set some seeds aside roast with the pumpkin for a crunchy soup topping!
  3. Season pumpkin well with salt and pepper, and add a generous coating of nutmeg.
  4. Place your pumpkin cut side up on a prepared tray and inside the cavity left by the seeds place the bacon, onion and garlic.
  5. Bake for about an hour until the pumpkin is soft and golden brown.
  6. Using a large spoon, scoop your pumpkin, onion and garlic and bacon into a food processor and fill with chicken stock. Process until smooth
  7. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, pepper and a drizzle of cream. If you like you can also serve with  yummy crusty bread on the side!
  8. Enjoy!

~A

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Corn Fritters with Avocado & Sour Cream Dip

If you’re like me, then you come home of an afternoon strip off your clothes, flick on the A/C and telly then its off to the kitchen to raid the fridge in a ravenous hunger fueled, undie clad frenzy only to find no food, no snacks because you’re “trying to be healthy”. Sound familiar?? I feel for you. So here I have an easy quick fix to your problems, make this on the weekend to have afternoon snacks all week long that won’t make you feel terrible!

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 10 mins, Serves 4

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Corn Fritters with Avocado & Sour Cream Dip

1 avocado, halved peeled and stone removed

2 heaped tbs extra-light sour cream

1 small red chilli – deseeded and chopped finely

Salt and pepper- to taste

420g can corn kernels – drained

2 eggs – whisked

2/3 cup plain flour

1/3 cup grated parmesan

2 tbs vegetable oil

3 tbs chopped chives

  1. In a food processor add the avocado, chilli and sour cream, process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the corn, egg, parmesan and flour and whisk until well combined.
  3. In a large non stick frying pan heat the oil over a medium/high heat. Spoon a heaped table spoon worth of corn batter into the pan to make each fritter. Cook fritters until each side is golden. In between batches, transfer cooked fritters to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  4. Serve your fritters with the avocado and sour cream dip.
  5. Enjoy!

~A

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Butter Chicken

Midweek is upon us yet again, and its the perfect time for an easy tasty meal that’s going to leave lots of left overs. Tonight’s midweek meal is a curry, a family friendly curry at that. It’s Butter Chicken! Yeah yeah you probably already knew that since you clicked the link but let me live a little.

The nice thing about this butter chicken is once you get past caramelising the onion (which is a must because it adds just the best flavour and depth to the meal) its really just a matter of chucking it all in the pot and walk away. There’s not a million and one spices you have to worry about, and if you have made just about any curry in the past you probably already have the spices needed.  So give it a try and let me know what you think!

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 40 mins, Serves 4

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Butter Chicken

2 chicken breasts – diced

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 medium onions – chopped

2 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs chicken stock powder

2 tbs garam masala

2 tsp paprika

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

410g can of chopped tomato

300ml heavy cream

2 tbs butter

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook slowly until golden, around 20 minutes. Reduce the heat if the onions start to get crisp or are browning too quickly.
  2. When onion is caramelised, add garlic and cook for about a minute, stir in garam masala, cinnamon, paprika, salt and sugar. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook for a further few minutes, then add the cream.
  4. Now, you have options here, if you’re feeling fancy you can puree the sauce. If you have an immersion blender use that, if not a regular blender will work, just mind the steam. I have an old Magic Bullet which did the trick just fine. If you’re just looking to put food on the table and get fed in a hurry then skip the puree, honestly it tastes just the same!
  5. Return the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. When just bubbling, add the chicken and stir through. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 15mins or until the chicken is no longer pink in the centre.
  6. When cooked, stir in butter. If needed add some more salt to taste.
  7. Serve with rice, pappadums or naan (or if your my husband… all three!)
  8. Enjoy!

~A

P.S. Thanks to foodess.com for the inspo on this one 🙂 As usual though I couldn’t help myself and have tweaked her recipe to make it a bit more to my tastes!

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Simple Fried Rice

I can remember when I was in primary school when we learned Indonesian we did a unit on food. The best part was the day the teacher made us nasi goreng which translates to fried rice.

It was delicious and has been a favourite to eat and make ever since that day.

Here is my simple fried rice recipe.

Prep time – 15 mins, Cooking time -20 mins, Serves 6

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Simple Fried Rice

2 cups rice

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 carrots – finely diced

1/4 cabbage – finely sliced

200g chopped mushrooms

200g finely chopped chicken

100g finely chopped bacon

2 eggs

1 tbs minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbs sugar

1tbs sesame oil

1tbs peanut oil

  1.  Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear. Boil rice and when cooked rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.
  2. In a wok or large frying pan heat peanut oil over a high heat. When hot, fry up chicken, bacon and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add to the meat all vegies and stirfry until the carrot is soft and the peas are hot.
  4. Add rice, mixing through well.
  5. In a small bowl mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar. Add to the rice mixture and stir through well.
  6. Create a well in the centre of the rice mixture and crack both eggs into the centre. Stir eggs and when they are starting to solidify mix through the rice mixture.
  7. Rice is ready when the egg is cooked throughout the rice.
  8. Serve with crushed peanuts or chopped shallots or with nothing at all (the sooner it gets in your belly the better!)
  9. Enjoy 🙂

~A

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