Smoked Haddock Chowder

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This is one of my all time favourite soups!

I managed to get my hands on four gorgeous fillets of Scottish smoked haddock, not so easy in Australia, and had to come up with a plan to make the most of them while feeding a very hungry family of five!

This recipe serves 12, we eat half and freeze half for another night.

Ingredients

50g butter

2 leeks, quartered lengthwise, sliced and washed

1.2kg potatoes, peeled and diced, 2-3 cm

750g Scottish smoked haddock, cut into 2-3 cm pieces

600g frozen sweetcorn

500mls vegetable stock

900mls full cream milk

300mls cream

lots of freshly ground pepper

A little salt taste

dill or parsley to garnish

Method

In a large pan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the leeks and cook until soft.

Add the potatoes to the pan and cook for 5mins, stirring regularly.

Pour the stock, milk and cream into the pan and bring up to a gentle simmer, simmer until the potatoes are nearly cooked through.

Add the haddock and sweet corn to the pan, again bring up to a gentle simmer and cook until the haddock begins to flake.

Season with pepper and check for salt, it may not need any depending on your fish and stock.

Serve with a little chopped dill or parsley sprinkled over the top.

 

Baked Beef Curry With Cashew Cream and Coconut Milk

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I’m afraid that this is a totally unauthentic curry with little bits of everything in it but we really enjoy it!

The cashew cream is made from whizzing raw cashews and water and really does add a lovely richness to this dish.

Serves 10-12 and freezes really well.

To make it dairy free just use oil.

Ingredients

6 large tomatoes, quartered

2 thumb size pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 red onion, peeled and quartered

500mls water

3 x 5cm cinnamon sticks

5 whole cloves

80g ghee

1.7kg diced beef

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 dried chillies

440mls coconut milk

270g raw cashews

500mls beef stock

salt and pepper

Method

Process the fresh tomatoes, ginger, garlic and onion with 100mls of the water. I use a stick blender.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the ghee and once melted, pour in the tomato mixture.

Cook over a medium to high heat until the sauce has thickened and darkened, this can take 30-45 mins.

Pour the cooked tomato paste into a large oven proof casserole with a lid.

Heat the casserole over a medium heat and add the cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, dried chillies, salt and pepper, mix well.

Turn the heat to high and add the beef, brown the meat.

Pour in the coconut milk and stock, process 150g cashews and 400mls of water, add this to the meat and stir well.

Cover and pop in the oven for 4 hours.

While the beef is cooking, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and roast the remaining cashews. Allow to cool and then chop lightly.

Serve the beef with the roasted cashews sprinkled on top.

 

Pancetta Wrapped Onion Rings

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These are just delicious!

Simple and effective, I baked these in the oven but they are perfect for the barbecue too.

If you can’t find pancetta, speck and streaky bacon rashers work beautifully too, just make sure that they are very thinly sliced.

I tend to use the outer rings of the onion, don’t throw out the centres, just chop them, bag and freeze them for another time.

Makes 15-20 rings.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, cut into 1cm rings

45 very thin slices of pancetta, rind removed

Method

Preheat the oven to 220degrees Centigrade. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Loosen up the onion rings to separate them.

Wrap each ring with pancetta, wrapping at a slight angle for maximum coverage.

Repeat with the remaining rings.

Lay out on the baking sheet and pop in the oven.

Bake for 7-10mins until the pancetta is crisp.

 

Creamy Coconut Rice Pudding

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There is something so comforting about rice pudding!

To make a change I have started using frozen fresh coconut which adds a lovely texture to the pudding, and of course, lots of flavour.

I buy my frozen grated coconut from my local Asian store, a great place to stock up on coconut milk too as well as all my usual spices!

Serves 8, leftovers are yummy hot or cold and work week for in the boys lunch boxes too.

Ingredients

150g arborio rice

90g caster sugar

70g frozen fresh grated coconut

270mls tin coconut milk

1.7litres full cream milk

50g butter, diced

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade.

Grease a large oven proof dish with at least a 3litre capacity.

Weigh the rice, sugar, coconut and milk  into the dish.

Top with the cubed butter.

Bake in the oven for 90 mins, stirring every 20-30mins, don’t stir for the final 30mins.

Slashed Chicken With Sundried Tomatoes

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Slasher chicken, as it is known in our house! Possibly due to the wielding of the cleaver or the dark red marinade!

I tend to buy whole chooks and then joint them myself, saves a heap of money but the boys tend to be leg, thigh and wing men so I’m left with the chicken breasts on the bone, sometimes I joint these too into four pieces but this is a great way to use them whole.

Serves 4-6 depending on the size of your chicken. Leftovers are great in quesadillas.

Ingredients

2 chicken crowns, skin on

150g drained sundried tomatoes

10 large basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

4 tablespoons of the oil from the sundried tomato jar

salt and pepper

Method

Using a very sharp knife, I use my cleaver, cut deep slashes through the skin and into the chicken breasts, down either side of the central bone.

Process the sundried tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to form a paste.

Cover each crown with the paste, pushing it well into the slashes and make sure the underside is covered too.

Cover and pop in the fridge for 4-12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190degrees Centigrade.

Line a baking tray with parchment.

Take the chicken out of the fridge and pop the crowns, skin and meat side up, onto the prepared tray.

Scoop any solid leftover marinade out of the dish and spread over the chicken, leave any oil, there will be enough.

Bake for 45mins, basting every 10-15mins.

Allow to rest a little before serving.

Bacon Meatballs With Spicy Tomato Sauce

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If I’m making meatballs I like to make double quantity, one for now and one for the freezer, especially just now as the boys break up from school for two weeks of winter holidays.

To freeze, I use a large foil dish, no washing up one night, and fill it with meatballs  and sauce. Freeze at this stage, defrost and bake as below.

I don’t top these meatballs with cheese, they are rich enough!

Makes 30 meatballs with sauce.

Ingredients

500g minced pork shoulder

500g minced bacon, back and streaky

1 tablespoons dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli p

50mls olive oil

1 large onion diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 chipotle chillies in adobe sauce, diced

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes

1litre passata

50mls maple syrup

salt and pepper

Method

Combine the bacon, pork, oregano, garlic, chilli and a good grind of pepper in a bowl, using your hands, mix it all really  well together. Pop in the fridge for 4-24 hours.

Form the meat into balls, around 3-4cm diameter.

Using a large non stick pan, heat over a high flame  and then brown the meatballs in batches, you shouldn’t need any extra fat as the meatballs will release the bacon and pork fat.

Set the balls aside in a large oven proof dish.

Heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onion, cook until soft and then add the garlic, cook until fragrant.

Now add the chipotle chillies and adobe sauce, smoked paprika, diced tomatoes, passata, maple syrup and seasoning.

Bring up to simmering point and simmer gently for 30-40 mins until the sauce begins to thicken.

Pour the sauce over and around the meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade and bake the meatballs for 40- 45mins until the sauce is bubbling and the balls have darkened on top.