Category Archives: Make ahead

Chicken Wings With Ras El Hanout

Ras el Hanout is one of my favourite spices at the moment, a combination of coriander, paprika, cumin, rosebuds, caraway, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom and cayenne.

It gives this recipe a wonderful flavour and buying a premixed jar of spice mix saves me mixing my own!

Leftovers, if you have any, are a hit in my boys lunch boxes.

You can marinade the ingredients up to 24 hours ahead of time.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2kg chicken wings, tips removed

150mls Greek yogurt

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons Ras El Hanout

Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Combine all of the ingredients.

Divide the wings between the trays and bake for 30 minutes, baste the wings with the pan juices and return to the oven for a further 45-50 minutes, basting as much or as little as you like.

I like to let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving and you can sprinkle over pomegranate or coriander.

Mexican Peanuts


With no added fat, these little peanuts pack a punch, especially if you add more cayenne. As these were made as a nibble for one of my youngest sons party they are less spicy to suit the younger taste buds!

Ingredients

375g raw peanuts

4 limes, juiced

1 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoons garlic powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 110 degrees centigrade. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Pour the nuts onto the prepared tray and bake for 30 minutes.

While the nuts cook, mix the lime juice, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

After the thirty minute bake, tip the nuts into the lime mix and tip back onto the tray with the baking parchment still on it.

Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving.

Party Pizzas

These super cute pizzas were originally planned as a party food for my youngest sons birthday party this week but he has decided to have a Mexican feast instead! 

I am delighted that I can still share them with you, they are gluten and nut free. Great as school lunch box fillers and you can make them ahead of time and top them later.

This recipe makes 6 10cm pizza bases. I just topped mine with a little passata, mozzarella, tomato and oregano but let your imagination run wild.

Ingredients

100g Greek natural yogurt

1 egg, beaten

50g rice flour

50g potato starch

20g buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees centigrade. Slide a baking sheet into the oven while it heats up.

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt and egg.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and cover with a piece of baking parchment.

Spoon six equal quantities of batter onto the baking parchment and then using a wet spoon swirl with the back of the spoon until you have six 7-10cm circles.

Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.

Remove and top with your favourite toppings, return to the oven for 4-7 minutes until the toppings are hot and any cheese is golden.

Tuna Mornay

The weather is beginning to turn autumnal here in Western Australia and with that comes the return of comfort food.

There is something very soothing about tuna mornay, memories back in the seventies and eighties of this being a bit of a go to dish in my childhood home, minus the capsicum/bell pepper and certainly not gluten free. 

Now that I make it for my boys it has become gluten free, has the corn  and capsicum in it and a few good dollops of whole grain mustard to give it some kick.

This makes 12 serves, now that may seem excessive but it freezes really well so I use the make one freeze one mantra for an easy meal possibly through the coming school hols?

Ingredients

150g butter

1 large onion, peeled and diced

250g capsicum/bell pepper, diced

3 large ears of corn, kernels removed

120g gluten free plain flour

1 litre milk

3 level or heaped tablespoons whole grain mustard

200g cheddar, grated

Salt and pepper

2 x 425g tins of tuna, drained and loosened to form chunks.

340g gluten free penne pasta, cooked as per the label

TOPPING

50g cheddar, grated

65g gluten free bread made into breadcrumbs

Method

Cook the pasta as per the label. Drain and cover.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade.

In a large pan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the onion, capsicum and corn kernels and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Pour the milk into the pan, still stirring. Bring the sauce up to the boil gently, stirring all of the time.

Take it off the heat as soon as it has come to the boil and thickened.

Now stir the mustard and cheese through and season with salt and pepper.

Add the drained pasta to the pan and the tuna, stir briefly.

Spoon into your oven proof serving dish or dishes if you are making a spare one for the freezer.

Combine the cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top.

Pop the pasta dish into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Homemade Honeycomb


Sometimes a treat is in order and this is certainly a treat! 

We happily eat this as is but if you want to be really decadent, drizzle a little melted dark chocolate over the honeycomb, then it really is “to die for”! I like to crumble it a little and sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream too, yum!

You need to move briskly when making this so have the bicarbonate already measured out and the baking sheet lined, use a medium to large pan as the honeycomb rises rapidly as soon as you add the bicarbonate and whisk it in.

Makes a slab, 25 x 15cm.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon honey

175g caster sugar

70g liquid glucose

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Method

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Measure the honey, sugar, glucose and water into a pan.

Heat the pan over a high heat, do not stir! Just swirl it around a bit if you must move it.

Using a sugar thermometer, watch the temp rising, as soon as it hits 150 degrees Centigrade, take it off the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.

Immediately, tip onto the prepared tin and leave to cool and set.

Break into shards to serve.

The honeycomb will keep in an airtight box for a few days if you have any left!

Secret Stuffed Potatoes

The secret to these is the hidden zucchini that even the fussiest of children will not find as long as they like pesto!

I try to plan ahead for these and bake the potatoes the day before if I have the oven on.

Makes 16.

Ingredients

8 small potatoes, around 100g each, baked

300g zucchini plus two teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons pesto

A little grated cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Grate the zucchini and sprinkle with the salt, mixing a little with your hand, set aside in a sieve over a bowl for ten minutes.

Take a potato and cut in half, use a spoon to scoop the insides out and set aside. Repeat with all the potatoes.

Now, roughly chop up the potato to make a mash, stir through the pesto.

Rinse the zucchini under fresh water and then squeeze all of the moisture out with your hands.

Add the zucchini to the potato mash and mix well.

Spoon the zucchini mix into the potato skins and place on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle over the cheese and pop into the oven.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Peanut And Macadania Nut Balls


Now, I know that these aren’t healthy but they are very tasty and easy to make when you suddely have to make morning tea for your child’s cricket team, I speak from personal experience here!

I like mixing the sugars up a bit, dark muscovado sugar is a great addition in these, just omit 50g of the brown sugar and add the muscovado instead.

Makes 36 balls.

Ingredients

50g butter

175g smooth peanut butter

150g macadamia nuts

200g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

100g desiccated coconut plus extra

Method

Melt the butter and peanut butter gently in a pan.

In a food processor, blitz the macadamia nuts until fairly finely chopped.

Add the sugars and coconut to the nuts and blitz again.

Finally pour in the butters and pulse until combined.

Pour some extra coconut onto a plate.

Take small amounts of the nut ball mix and squeeze into a ball, roll in the coconut and set aside. Continue with the remaining mixture.

Once you have finished, pop the balls into the fridge to set.