Happy New Year 2016

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Wishing everyone the happiest and healthiest of New Years in 2016 from the beautiful beaches is Western Australia!

Summer holidays are in full swing here and we are eating from the barbecue most days with lots of salads and an occasional glass of wine!

Looking forward to sharing lots of new recipes in 2016 but in the meantime have a fabulous Hogamnay, New Years Eve, and best wishes for 2016. šŸ˜€ Ros.

Spicy Green Chicken

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School Summer hols mean lots of barbecuing in our house, it keeps the heat outside and food cooks quickly for my hungry boys.

This chicken marinade has a wonderfully zesty flavour to it and although has a little chilli it isn’t fiery, just really flavourful.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1.2 kg chicken breasts, cut into thin slices, around 1cm wide and 5-10cm long

75mls olive oil

3 limes, juiced

4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 large jalapeƱos, seeds removed

100g fresh coriander

salt and pepper

Method

Using a stick blender or processor, whizz up the lime juice, garlic, 1 jalapeƱo, the salt and pepper to a thick paste.

Combine the chicken and paste.

Quarter the other chilli, lengthwise, deseeded and slice, add to the chicken and mix well again.

Allow the chicken to marinade for an hour at least.

Heat a BBQ hot plate or a large frying pan over very high heat.

Once very hot, add the chicken and fry until all of the liquid has evaporated.

Festive Bread With Marzipan

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Perfect for this time of year when I seem to have extra boys round the table every day. Leftovers are great toasted and if this makes too big a loaf, divide the dough and make two smaller loaves and freeze one. It freezes really well.

Makes one large or two smaller loaves.

Ingredients

500g plain flour

100g caster sugar

3 teaspoons instant yeast

80g butter, melted

4 egg yolks

175mls milk

330g mincemeat / fruit mince

250g marzipan

ICING

110g icing sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Method

Weigh the flour, sugar and yeast into a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the cooled butter, yolks and milk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and bring together with a fork.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until quite elastic.

Pop the dough into a floured bowl, cover and place somewhere warm to double in size, takes around 2 hours.

After the dough has risen.

Flour your work surface.

Gently lift the dough and place it on the floured surface, roll out, with a rolling pin, to 70cm by 40cm.

Spread the mincemeat over the dough, leaving a 2cm gap on the nearest long side.

Cut the marzipan into three pieces, roll each piece into a 70cm thin sausage.

Place the first roll of marzipan at the top of the dough lengthwise.

Roll the dough over the marzipan a couple of times and then lay out another piece of marzipan, repeat as before and then lay the final piece of marzipan and roll the entire dough.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Gently lift or slide the dough Ā onto the prepared sheet and shape into a loose spiral, allowing at least 1-2 cm between the doug so it isn’t touching.

Allow to rest, somewhere warm for 90-120 minutes until doubled in size again.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade and bake for 35 minutes, it will look quite dark due to the sugar content.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little on the baking sheet before sliding onto a cooling rack.

Combine the icing ingredients and while the bread is still warm, drizzle over, serve warm, cool or toasted for breakfast.

Caramelised Onion and Potato Pie

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This is one of those comfort potato bakes that everyone loves and they all come back for seconds in our house.

Serves 6-8. You can also make this ahead of time as it freezes very well.

Ingredients

50g butter

3 large onions, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 shallot, finely sliced

750 g potatoes, finely sliced, I use an mandolin

fresh thyme

8 eggs, beaten

350g sour cream

400mls cream

salt and pepper

parmesan

Method

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onions and garlic and over a low heat slowly cook down until caramelised, this can take 45-60 minutes but keep an eye on them towards the end so they don’t stick to the pan and burn.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Take a large roasting dish, I use a 30x20cm dish.

Line the base and sides with baking parchment.

Whisk the eggs, sour cream, cream, salt and pepper.

Pour a little egg mix into the base of the dish, top with potato slices, followed by a little of the caramelised onions and a little sprinkle of thyme.

Top with some egg and repeat the previous layers. Keep repeating until you are using your final egg mix.

Finish with a layer egg over the onions, spread over the sliced shallot and Ā sprinkle over the grated parmesan.

Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden and the potatoes cooked through.

Allow to cool and set a little before gently removing from the tin and cutting into portions or take this along, just warm for a picnic.

Roast Chicken With Smoked Garlic Butter

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I was in smoked food heaven this week when I found smoked garlic in my local green grocer!

If you can’t find smoked garlic just make this with regular garlic, the taste is still amazing and the pan juices, well, you’ll want to dip the potatoes or bread in those! Pour off the fat and keep it for making roast potatoes another time.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1.6kg chicken

3 large cloves smoked garlic

2 teaspoons smoked salt flakes or regular salt flakes

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

100g butter at room temperature

1kg baby potatoes

Method

In a large mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, salt and peppercorns, add the butter and mix very well.

Take the chicken and using poultry shears, remove the spine, flip the chicken over and push firmly on the breasts to flatten.

Using your fingers, loosen the skin over the breasts, thighs and legs.

Using a teaspoon or I use a sundae spoon, take small amounts of the butter and spoon it under the skin then using your fingers on the outside, massage it all over the meat.

Use around two thirds of the butter under the skin and then rub the remaining butter over the outside of the skin.

While your hands are all buttery, take each potato and rub it with you buttery hands before spreading them around the pan.

Allow to marinade for 2-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Pop the chicken and potatoes in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, baste, turn the potatoes and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, baste and turn again and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Vanilla Macaroons

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A rather old fashioned recipe but great for baking ahead for the holidays and did I mention gluten free and dairy free!

Makes 40.

Ingredients

220g ground almonds

350g caster sugar

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

a little Demerara or raw sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Weigh the almonds and sugar into one bowl.

In the other, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, add a tablespoon of sugar, from the other bowl, and whisk until glossy.

In batches, fold the dry ingredients and vanilla extract into the egg whites.

Using a couple of teaspoons, spoon small scoops of macaroon onto the baking sheets, spaced well apart.

Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

Allow to cool a little on the baking sheet before moving to a rack to cool completely!

 

Bacon And Bean Sausage Rolls

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At this time of year I like to fill the freezer with a variety of sausage rolls ready to go for unexpected guests and sudden events that require a plate of nibbles.

There is something very comforting about a sausage roll served with a little tomato ketchup! I’ve already shared my other favourite recipes for sausage rolls but this is a new one for this year. Whether Ā you justify this as trying to get more pulses into the kids, flavour experiment or what’s available in the pantry and fridge, this is a winner!

I buy puff pastry that comes in sheets here, around 25cm square. Each sheet of pastry is protected by a sheet of plastic, this is what I then use to wrap the two long rolls that are made with one sheet. Frozen like this it’s easy to remove and defrost as large or small a quantity as you need.

This recipe makes 64 mini sausage rolls or 16 regular.

Ingredients

8 sheets puff pastry

750g rindless back bacon

1kg minced pork

425g tin of baked beans in tomato sauce

120g fresh breadcrumbs

1 onion

5 teaspoons dried sage

salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten

black sesame seeds to garnish

Method

Defrost the pastry at room temperature.

Process the bacon finely, followed by the onion and breadcrumbs.

Now, unless you have an enormous bowl, use a large tray with sides to mix the sausage.

Tip the bacon, onion, breadcrumbs, pork, sage and beans with sauce onto the tray.

Season very well with pepper and salt depending on the saltiness of your bacon.

Use your hands to really work everything through, trying not to crush the beans!

Divide the the sausage into 16 portions.

Form each portion into a long sausage the width of the sheet and line at the top or bottom of the pastry sheet.

Take a sharp knife and cut across the middle of the pastry and then paint this area with egg.

Roll the sausage in the pastry towards the cut to seal and then move it back to its original position.

Repeat with the remaining sausage on that sheet and then roll them towards each other, making sure the under plastic avoids them sticking to each other.

Repeat with the remaining rolls and place them in a large bag in the fridge for an hour.

If freezing them for a later date, label the bag and pop them into the freezer.

If cooking them, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Brush the top of the sausage roll with the remaining egg and sprinkle over some sesame seeds.

Place on a lined baking sheet and bake, in batches for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.