Saturday, 30 June 2007

Spinach and Lamb Curry

I keep finding with these Mistress of Spice curries, that the longer you let them cook the more perfect and flavoursome and moreish they become. So last night I let the meat cook for three hours. With every bite I found I wanted more and more!

My other half didn't speak until he had finished eating and the first thing that came out of his mouth afterwards... "There had better be more babe!" Thats why its fantastic that each of these curries leaves plenty of left overs, and they always taste even better the next day!

The health benefits are huge too! Some of the spices in this curry include, Coriander, Cumin, Fenugreek, Tumeric, Mustard, Pepper, Chilli... And with all that spinach, you can't go wrong...

800g lamb
Diced 2 large onions
Finely chopped 4 cloves garlic
Finely chopped 4 tsp
Mistress of Spice Madras Curry Powder
500g frozen spinach, defrosted
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
¾ cup Greek yoghurt
½ cup cream (this can be replaced with yoghurt to make a lower fat version if you like)
1 bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp oil

Heat oil in large saucepan or frying pan that has a fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the curry powder. Stir this through the onions and garlic for about 20 seconds and add the diced lamb. Brown the meat, stirring to coat well in the spice mix.

When lamb is lightly browned add the can of tomatoes and about 1 cup of water. Stir, cover and simmer for about 40minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the spinach, stir, cover and simmer again for another 20 minutes. Then mix through the yoghurt (or cream if using). Do NOT let the sauce boil at this stage. A very gentle simmer is alright but boiling will cause the yoghurt to curdle. Put in the coriander, stir and season with salt to taste.

Serve with rice and yoghurt.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Spinach & Risoni Soup

Now, I haven’t put a photo up here at the beginning as this soup is not very attractive, but, please, please believe me when I tell you the flavour and texture far out do the look!

I wanted to make soup and didn’t have much in the house. A staple in my freezer is spinach, so I thought why not.

My Mum is a fantastic throw-everything-in-a-pot and see what happens kinda cook, and 90% of the time, its brilliant. As a kid, she always made spinach soup. I have no idea of where the idea came from or the heritage of spinach soup, unless someone can enlighten me?

And so, I took on my Mums cooking ethic and spinach and risoni soup was the result.

The flavour was gorgeous, unlike anything else, a little sour and creamy, without adding any cream. With a soft and velvety in texture, I will be making this again, everyone loved it!

What you’ll need:
400g frozen spinach (you can use fresh if you have it)
5 tsp/cubes vegetable of chicken stock (I used Vegeta)
1 litre water
2 onions, chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp nutmeg
150grams risoni
2 400gram cans of cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
200 grams mushrooms, chopped (optional)

Fry the onions in a little oil gently till clear. Add the celery and potatoes and fry for another minute.

Add the spinach, water, stock, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add one can of the cannellini beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Process everything, till smooth and return to the heat. Add the other can of cannellini beans and the risoni and cook for a further 10 minutes.

I had lots of mushrooms I need to use up. However, I know many people hate mushrooms, so please don’t avoid this recipe because of the mushrooms. If you do like the mushrooms, they’re a nice addition, all I did was fry them in a non-stick pan and when they were almost done squeezed some lemon over them and seasoned. I then just added them to the soup.

Season to taste and serve. I added a dollop of sour cream to try and get a decent photo, but the taste didn’t need I thought.

Honestly, this is well worth a try.


Thursday, 28 June 2007

Teryaki Beef Stir Fry

I love stir fry because it is so quick and easy and tasty! And you can add whatever you like! My sister in law gave me this recipe and it was mighty fine! Thanks Catherine.
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
600g rump steak, sliced thinly
1 medium brown onion, sliced thickly
230g can bamboo shoots, drained
½ cup bean sprouts
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
½ cup of beef stock
450g hokkien noodles
4 spring onions sliced thickly

Heat oil in wok or large non stick frying pan; stir-fry garlic and beef, in batches until beef is browned.

Stir-fry brown onion and bamboo shoots for 2 minutes.

Return beef mixture to wok with sprouts. Stir in sauce and stock; stir-fry until the mixture boils.

Meanwhile, place noodles in medium heatproof bowl; cover with boiling water, separate with folk, drain. Serve stir-fry with noodles sprinkle with spring onion.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Chicken & Snake Bean with Thai Basil

Now, I know that you might think, everyone can cook a stir-fry and it is true, but not everyone gets it just right, I’m no expert but I find that effortless dishes like this can easily be made too rich so it’s important to go back to the basics every now and then…. And as you can see this meal is minimal work with maximum flavour. I’m a big fan of salt and used salted cashews instead of toasted. I also find that you can chop and change the vegetable contents as you please, or to suit what’s in your fridge, just having the core spices and sauces in your cupboard is the key.

700g snake beans
1 tablespoon of peanut oil
880g chicken thigh fillets, chopped coarsely
2 medium white onions, sliced thickly
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of five-spice powder
½ cup of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
½ cup of cashews, toasted
½ cup of loosely packed thai basil leaves

Cut snake beans into 5cm lengths

Heat half of the oil in wok or large frying pan; stir-fry chicken in batches, until browned all over and cooked through.

Heat remaining oil in wok; stir-fry onion, garlic, and five spice until onion softens. Add beans; stir-fry until beans are tender. Return chicken to wok with sauces and nuts; stir-fry until sauce boils and thickens slightly. Just before serving stir in basil. Serve with rice if desired.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Quick Working Night Pasta

Miss Laura mentioned this easy dish to me a few months ago and I make it when I come home from work exhausted and starving.

This is enough for 2 and all of us make it differently. I like saucy pastas so add more than, say, Laura would.

The other bonus of this tasty recipe is its not that bad for you.

Good one!

200g of egg fettuccine
2 tomatoes, diced
1 lemon

1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
3 tbs greek yogurt
1 tbs dijon mustard
2x 125g tins of salmon in springwater

Boil large pan of water and cook pasta according to instructions.

Whilst this is happening, mix yogurt, mustard, tomatoes, drained salmon, juice of lemon and a little lemon rind, and salt and pepper.

Drain pasta and mix the two together and serve.


Sathya's Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Murphy paid me a visit last week on my well deserved week's annual leave and landed me with a god awful cold.

By day 4 I dragged myself into the kitchen and made this curry. I put loads of chilli, garlic and ginger and sure enough the next day I was a lot better.

Problem with me is, I always cook for 10 people, when there is only 2 of us! Thankfully Stacy and Will came to the rescue, thanks guys.

2 tsp mustard seeds
1 ½ tsp cummin seeds
8 coriander seeds, smashed in mortar & pestle
½ tsp tumeric
7 curry leaves
2 tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp ground cummin
½ tsp asafoetida
2 tsp chilli flakes
3 fresh chillies
3 cm ginger
2 onion
3 garlic
2 tins diced tomatoes
tbs tomato paste
4 tsps of stock powder
vegetable oil
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
8 chicken thighs, large dice
300g green beans, cut in half
greek yogurt
streamed basmati rice

Frying all the spices, etc can go fast, so I find it easiest to have everything ready on the bench next to me for east access.

I put the onions, garlic, ginger and fresh chillies into a food processor to chop to a mush. According to the experts who have taught me their tricks, this makes a nice “gravy”.

In a large pot heat up a tablespoon of oil. You will need a lot of oil to fry all these spices, so feel free to add more.

Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. Once these begins to sizzle and pop add the cummin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and chilli flakes. I had a cold when I made this curry so I added a lot of chilli so use your own chilli opinion. Fry for a minute or 2.

Add the ground cummin and coriander to this mix and stir through.

Add the processed mix of onions, garlic, ginger and fresh chillies to the spices and and fry for 5-10 minutes. Turn down the heat so as not to burn.

In a separate pan, fry the chicken quickly to seal.

Add the tinned tomatoes, chicken, potatoes, 4 cups of water, stock cubes, tomato paste and season.

Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer and allow to simmer for as long as possible. Minimum 30 minutes, maximum 2-3 hours. Allowing the curry to simmer for several hours will cause the meat and potatoes to fall apart nicely.

Serve with rice, yogurt, and chutney or pickle as you desire.


Traditional Chai Tea

India is a culture near and dear to my heart throughout my life.

When I was making this and the curry I'll post next I was pulling out all my jars of spices and recalled a comment made to me when I purchased some of these jars and was unpacking them someone said to me, "aw, we call go through that curry phase don't we..."

As usual, I thought of the comment that would have been appropriate well after the incident.

"No, woman, my name is Sanskrit, I was surrounded by more Indian family as a child than Australian or Dutch and I can make a damn better curry than most".

Anyway, my sister makes lovely chai, and as its cold here in Sydney at the moment it was exactly what I was in the mood for, and here is what I ended up with.

It was difficult to get a decent looking photo of a cup of milky tea, so I have omitted photos, unless you insist on it.

What you need for approx 4 mugs of hot chai tea:

1/2 cinnamon stick
8 cardamon pods, broken open in a mortar & pestle
3 cloves
small shaving of nutmeg
2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea, or 3 teabags
2 mugs of cold water
2 mugs of milk
sugar to taste

Put all the spices in a pan with the 2 mugs of water and put on the heat.

When the water is warm, but not yet boiling, add the tea.

Bring to the boil and allow to bubble for approx 10 seconds or till its to your desired tea strength.

Add 2 mugs of cold milk to the pan.

This is the only time you should allow milk to boil. Allowing the milk to boil is what makes the drink thick and creamy according to the specialists. When the milk comes to the boil, its best to have your hand on the dial. Allow the milk to bubble to the top of the pan and immediately turn down to the lowest setting.

Leave on this setting for 20 secs.

Take off the heat and pour through strainer into the mugs with sugar to taste. Traditionally this drink is served very sweet.



Baileys Chocolate Waffles

Laura and I made these for her sister’s birthday. The chocolate mixture tasted delicious and I hear they were a great hit at the
birthday lunch. They really were very easy for such a great looking and delicious dessert! Very 80's, but very yummy!

260g dark Belgium chocolate
2/3 cup thickened cream
2 tbsp castor sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
25ml Baileys Irish Cream
Waffle ice cream cones

Depending on the size of the cone you want, break away the top of the ice cream cone. Melt 100g chocolate and dip the waffle cones in them. Leave to set. Once they're set, place them in shot glasses to help them stand up straight.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Whip the egg whites with half the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Whip the egg yolks with half the sugar until thick and fluffy.

Melt the remaining 160g chocolate and stir in the Baileys Irish Cream. Remove from the heat immediately.

Fold into that about 1/3 of the whipped cream.

Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Then alternatively fold in a spoon of egg whites, then a spoon of cream until its smooth and glossy.

Place the chocolate mix in the freezer for around 5 to 10 minutes until it is a little more set and easier to pipe into the cones.

Place half a strawberry in the bottom of the waffle cones and pipe the chocolate mixture over the top. Decorate with strawberries.


Saturday, 23 June 2007

Beef Wat

By far my favourite of the Mistress of Spice curries so far... The meat was so tender. Its a hot dish but its just the right amount of heat. I've made it twice in one week already. I am amazed at how few ingredients it takes and how healthy such a great tasting meal can be!

1.5kg beef, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions, chopped
3 good size cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
3 rounded teaspoons Mistress of Spice Berbere
800g chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste

Fry the onion unitl lightly golden then add garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add the Mistress of Spice Berbere spices and fry for a minute to release the aroma of the blend.

Add the meat, allowing to brown, stirring occasionally to coate the pieces well and increase the absorption of the flavours.
Pour in the tomatoes. Salt to taste. Simmer for a good hour and a half or longer if you can.

This great spice mix is wonderful for its effect on the taste buds as well as healthy. Black pepper and cloves aid food digestion by increasing digestive juices, including natural stomach acid. Ayurvedic medicine use it to treat colds, flus and other infections. Chilies contain capsaicin, which, among its other advantages, is a natural painkiller.

Chicken Noodle Soup

My boy came home feeling a little under the weather on a cold night so I thought id do the romantic thing and make him Chicken Noodle Soup. In the end I pretty much made it up as I went along and it was more of a chicken broth, but we really enjoyed it!

I swapped noodles for pasta though, so I guess its chicken pasta soup.

6 chicken thighs
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 parsley stalks
500ml chicken stock
100g short pasta
1 sachet Chicken seasoning from Two Minute Noodles
Salt and Pepper

Pour the chicken stock and 1500ml water over the chicken thighs, add all vegetables and seasonings and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for one hour.

After one hour, strain the liquid and place back in a pot and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and boil until cooked.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Tagine of Chicken & Sweet Potato

I decided not to do this one in my tagine as, well, it didn't occur to me. It was the end of a long, cold, busy day and I really wanted a comfort meal. I doubled the batch so my parents could freeze it and eat it at a later date. I just can't get past this website. Every dish is so easy, so healthy and above all very delicious. I bought the Mistress of Spice cookbook today so prepare to see a lot more...

1kg chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2cm ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 teaspoons Mistress of Spice Ras el Hanout
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
600g sweet potato cut into 3cm chunks
3 tablespoons honey
Basmati rice

Coriander Greek Yoghurt
Salt & Pepper
Lemon Juice

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and fry until soft then add garlic and ginger and continue to fry until light and golden. Add the Mistress of Spice Ras el Hanout and cook for about thirty seconds, or until fragrant.

Add a little salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the chicken. Brown slightly. Add the sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then cover and leave to simmer until the chicken is tender and the potato is half cooked (approx 20 mins).

Simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced by half or until a consistency to your liking. If the sauce is too runny, increase heat to high and boil uncovered until it reduce. You will need to stir regularly.
Carefully stir in honey, making sure you don't mash up the potatoes. Leave to bubble uncovered for a few more minutes. Taste and season as desired.

Serve with basmati rice and coriander greek yoghurt.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


My family is Dutch and as a kid these mini pancakes were a special treat.

You can often find them in cafes or served at festivals etc.

The only problem is you need a special pan. A friend of mine, recently bought one on ebay, very reasonably, considering they're cast iron.

They are traditionally served with icing sugar and butter, but I'm sure you can put whatever you want on them. I just thought I would share, as its something a little different.

600 grams self raising flour
1 litre full cream milk
3 eggs
5 mls vanilla essense
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the eggs and the vanilla essense.

In a seperate bowl, add the salt to the flour and blend in the milk and the egg mixture.

The recipe I have, says to rest for 3 hours before frying, which actually makes a big difference. Someone mentioned you're supposed to do this with pancake batter as well, which I had never heard of, but I can see the difference.

You need to have the pan nice and hot and greased.

I find the easiest way is to pour the batter into a jug of some sort and then pour into the pan quickly. As you can see from the photo its one long pour. I assume theres an easier way so you dont have the "lines" in between each poffertje, but I can't work it out.

The best way to turn them is with a fork. Once they feel firm and look golden serve with butter and icing sugar.


(I have more photos to upload, so it might be clearer, but for some reason on a Mac I cant work out how to move photos so I'll have to wait till I get back to work, sorry).


Saturday, 16 June 2007

Rocky Road

Ive never actually made Rocky Road before but it couldnt be any simpler and it tastes really yum!

250g pink and while marshmallows, halved
1 cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
100g glace cherries, halved
1 cup shredded coconut
350g dark chocolate, chopped

Line the base of a shallow 20cm square cake tin with baking paper or foil, leaving it to hang over two sides. Mix togther the marshmallows, peanuts, cherries and shredded coconut.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Half fill a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and place the bowl over the pan, making sure it is not sitting in the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted.

Add the chocolate to the marshmallow mixture and mix. Press evenly into the tin. Refrigerate for several hours, or until set. Lift out and cut into small pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Sausage Rolls

I have always wanted to make home made sausage rolls as they are one of my favourites for a start and a girlfriend, Catherine, has made them for me a few times and they were delightful!

These turned out perfectly considering the dramas in making them! While they were baking a girlfriend locked us out of the house while we had a cigarette! My relaxing baking night turned to absolute DESPAIR as I tried to work out what to do! And the only thing TO DO was to smash a window! I couldnt let my little sausages burn! As I type this the glass repair man is measuring a new window! $400 to replace as it is a Friday night! Thats some expensive little sausage rolls, but they're worth every penny. Really YUM!

1 teaspoon oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
500g sausage mince
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoon spicy bbq sauce
1 teaspoon tabasco (or more if you prefer)
150ml red wine
2 tbsp mixed herbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 sheets frozen ready rolled puff pastry, thawed
egg to glaze

Prehead oven to moderately hot 200 degrees. Lightly grease two baking trays. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over low heat until soft and transparent. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the mince, breadcrumbs, wine, sauces and egg.

Lay the pastry sheets on a lightly floured board and cut each sheet into two strips. Divide the filling into six equal portions and spoon across the long edges of the pastry. Roll up to make a long sausage shape. Brush with a little beaten egg. Cut the rolls into 4cm lengths and place on the tray, seam side down.

Bake for 30 mins, or until the rolls are crisp and golden. Serve with tomato sauce.

NOTE: Sausage rolls can be frozen for up to two weeks after baking. Thaw and reheat in a preheated moderate oven for thirty minutes.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Jill Dupleix’s Amazing Orange Cake

Now, I know Liz is saying everything’s “divine” or “gorgeous” and all that but this cake, is truly called The Amazing Orange Cake, so named by Jill Dupleix and others. Tee hee.

I found this recipe a few years ago and it is always a huge success. It’s a huge cake, so its nice to take some to work or whomever you would like to share with.

500g butter
500g caster sugar
8 eggs
1 tbsp grated orange zest
500g self-raising flour
200ml freshly squeezed orange juice
250g icing sugar
50ml orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 170C. (You will need a large cake tin, lined with baking paper).
Beat the butter and sugar till nice and thick and pale. This is time consuming and difficult without a KitchenAid! But of course, you will get there.

Once the mix is thick and very pale, add each egg, one at a time, blending each egg in one at a time, thoroughly.

Add all the flour in at once and beat further.

Slowly pour in the fresh orange juice.

Transfer batter into prepared cake tin and put in preheated oven.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or till skewer comes out clean. When I made this last night, it browned quickly, so cover loosely with a piece of buttered foil.

Allow to cool in tin.

Mix the icing sugar, and orange juice and orange zest until smooth and spread on cool cake.


Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Thai Green Curry

Somehow I had too much coriander in my fridge this weekend.

As I was walking to the shops I decided I'd make Thai Green curry paste to use it up.
Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the ingredients off the top of my head, so I went into the bookstore and scurried around trying to find a recipe while Tony looked at me strangely. Having finally one I aprroved of, I made him list off the ingredients and measurements while I scribbled it in my little book (hence, above, it says vege cup, its meant to be vegetable oil).

I must have been having one of my bimbo days as I realised as I was waiting to pay for my items that we were going to a party that night, and I wouldn't in fact be needing to make dinner.

Whilst straightening my hair and applying make up I whizzed up the paste to make life easier for me when I got home from work last night.

Liz and I discovered the monstrosity of coconut milk so I used lite, coconut flavoured evaporated milk instead, which worked really well considering the difference in fat.
I made extra curry paste so I could use it in the future, but the curry ingredients are enough for 3 serves + rice.

So here's what you need:
For the paste:
3 lemongrass stalks, bruised and roughly chopped
1 large piece of peeled ginger
10 green chillies, with tops off
1 tbsp pepper
2 bunches of coriander, stalks and all
2 tbs shrimp paste
10 lime leaves
1 large onion
10 garlic cloves
piece of lime rind
The rest:
4 skinless chicken thighs, chopped
2 tbs vegetable oil
3 potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 tin of sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
2 tbs fish sauce
handful of green beans
1 tin of evaporated milk or coconut milk
fresh coriander to serve (optional)
Greek yogurt to serve (optional)

Put all paste ingredients in a food processor and blend till thick paste. Add a little vegetable oil too loosen if necessary.

Heat oil in large pot. Fry 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry Paste in oil till becomes fragrant.

Add chicken and seal. Add potatoes and fry quickly with chicken so they are coated with the paste.
Add the tin of milk, fish sauce and water chestnuts. Bring to the boil and then turn down heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with rice, yogurt and coriander as desired.


Mauritian Curry

This is another gorgeous recipe from the Mistress of Spice website! And so healthy!

I changed it a tiny bit and put extra veggies in. It can be modified as you see fit!

1kg chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 - 4 teaspoons
Mistress of Spice Mauritian Massalé (can be purchased from spice stores of from the Mistress of Spice website)
4 large potatoes, cut into large dice
1 sweet potato chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
Handfull green beans
1 red chilli, chopped
Salt to taste
Basmati rice
Greek Yoghurt

Start by heating oil in a large saucepan. Fry onions until lightly golden then add garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add the Mistress of Spice Mauritian Massalé and fry for a minute to release the aroma of the blend.

Add the meat, allow to brown stirring continually to coat the pieces well and increase the absorption of the flavours.

Add the tomatoes and potatoes, stir to coat with the spiced oil. Cover with water and allow to simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes break up very easily and thicken the sauce.
About fifteen minutes before it is ready add the chilli and the beans. Add salt to taste. If the sauce is getting a dry, add a little water.

Serve with rice, pappadums and greek yoghurt.


Saturday, 9 June 2007

Classic Lasagne

My mother in law gave me a new recipe book and when I opened it, I opened it to page 175, Classic Lasagne. So I decided it was a sign and made it my first dish. I received the book less than a week ago and I've already cooked the lasagne twice. It is delicious and creamy and silky and yummy!

3 tablespoons oil
30g butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1200g minced beef
2 cups italian passata
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
375g fresh lasagne sheets
130g parmesan, grated

Bechamel Sauce
140g butter
3 tablespoons flour
5 cups milk
1.5 tsp nutmeg

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Cook the onion, carrot and celery, stirring, over medium heat until softened. Increase the heat, add the mince and brown well, breaking up any lumps with a fork. Add the tomato passata, wine and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce teh heaat and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter over low heat until foaming then add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. When thick, simmer for 2 minutes. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to moderate 180. Grease a 2 litre ovenproof dish. Spread a thin layer of meat sauce over the base and top with a thin layer of bechamel. If the bechamel has cooled and become too thick, warm it gently to make spreading easier. Lay the lasagne sheets on top, gently pressing to push out any air. Continue the layers, finishing with bechamel. Grate the parmesan, sprinke over the sauce and bake for 45 mins or until golden brown. Leave for 15 mins before cutting.


Friday, 8 June 2007

Easy Lemon Cheesecake

This recipe is from the girl I work with, Marika. She is undoubtedly the cheesecake queen and she assured me that this recipe is easy and so divine. I'll most definately be making this cheesecake for EVERY dinner party I attend. It takes no time or skill AT ALL, but the end result is melt in your mouth perfection!

Half a packet gingernuts
50g butter, melted
250g philly cheese
1 tin condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice

Crush biscuits in a food processor. Mix in the melted butter and press down in a springform cheesecake tin. Place in fridge.

Using electric beaters, beat the philly for a few minutes. Add the condensed milk and beat until it becomes a moussy creamy mix. About 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix again. Pour into tin and place in fridge. Takes a few hours to set.


Thursday, 7 June 2007

Wholemeal Date Muffins

I noticed this recipe on the side of a tin of condensed milk and thought I'd give them a go.

They weren't incredibly exciting if you ask me, but some people raved. They got better served warm with some butter.

125 gram pitted dates, chopped
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 cup hot water
400 gram condensed milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Place dates and bi-carb in bowl and stir in the hot water.

Add condensed milk and oil and stir.

Stir in lightly beaten egg and flour and cinnamon and mix.

Scoop into 12 muffin tin and back for 20 minutes.