Tag Archives: cloves

Tomato and Saffron Rice


The colour of this rice really says it all.

By cooking down the tomato to a paste you have an intensely flavoured base to this rice and you can make the paste ahead of time and keep it in the fridge if you have limited time. I also sometimes double the paste recipe and just freeze half for another day.

Serves 6-8.


450g fresh tomatoes, quartered

1 onion peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

a large pinch of saffron

1 teaspoon salt

50g ghee or oil

300g rice

425mls water


Process the tomatoes, onion, garlic and 50mls water.

Heat the ghee or oil over a medium to high heat, pour in the tomato mix, add the cinnamon, cloves, saffron and salt, stir well and bring up to the boil.

Allow the tomatoes to simmer, uncovered until all of the liquid has evaporated and you have a thick paste in the pan.

Stir the rice through the paste and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the cold water, stir again and cover, bring up to the boil and then reduce heat, cook, covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, turn the heat off but leave the rice, covered for 10 minutes.

Fork through the rice before serving.

Baked Ham with Peaches


This is our traditional New Years Day dinner.

Peaches are always in season at this time of year in Australia and I love the baked sweetness with the saltiness of the ham. Tinned peaches work too, just rinse off any sugar syrup before popping them next to the ham.

Simple to prepare, easy to carve and loads of leftovers!

This ham will last a month in the fridge on the bone in a clean pillow case  soaked in vinegar and water. I always cut some cubed ham and freeze it for pies and quick pasta sauces, I mince some ham too to add to sausage meat and to dry fry and sprinkle over salads instead of bacon.

Once we have finished I take the bone back down to my wonderful butcher and he cuts it into smaller pieces for me to boil and make stock with.

Serves 12 plus lots of leftovers.


8kg leg of ham, skin on

60g brown sugar

10-20g whole cloves

8 peaches, halved and stoned


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Take the ham and gently tease the skin away from the fat, you want all of the fat on the meat to remain. Sometimes I use kitchen scissors to cut of the skin in smaller pieces to make it more manageable.

Leave the skin on around the hock to protect this thinner area.

Take a sharp knife and score the fat, first in one direction and then in another to form a diamond pattern.

Place the ham in your roasting tin and rub all over with the brown sugar.

Mark the tips of the diamonds with cloves and use more or less as desired.

Roast in the oven for 90mins, basting as you go.

After 90mins, add the peaches around the base of the ham, ideally in any pan juices.

Return to the oven and roast for a further 30mins.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit, this year ours sat for an hour while I cooked the side dishes and it was still warm and juicy for serving.

To carve cut a large wedge, 3-5cm wide across the width of the leg, set aside. Use the open cut to then carve slices.

Spiced Boiled Prawns


I love prawns at this time of year, the hot weather really lends itself to easy food, served at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.


1.5kg prawns, heads removed and shells on

4 tablespoons salt

4 teaspoons coriander seeds

3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon all spice berries

12 whole cloves

8 black peppercorns

6 bay leaves

2 lemons


Make a bouquet garni with the whole spices, except the peppercorns and  bay leaves. Take a large square of muslin, fold over twice to make a smaller square, fill with the spices and tie off with some cotton cooking twine.

Fill a large pan with litres of water.

Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the pan and add the lemon halves.

Add the peppercorns and bay leaves to the pan.

Add the bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 15mins until the water has coloured a little from the spices.

Add the prawns and turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Drain and allow to cool.

Serve with lemon wedges.