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Rhode Island Style Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fresh loose or packaged pippis, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 200g whole piece bacon or salt pork, cut into 2mm dice
  • 1 large Spanish (red) onion, cut into 2mm dice
  • 2 large celery stalks, rinsed, cut into 1mm thick slices
  • 500g Desiree or any firm boiling potatoes, peeled, cut into 2mm dice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

 

Serves 6

Preparation

In an 800Watt microwave place 500g of hard-shelled  pippis (30-35 pippis) in a single layer with 1 cup luke warm water.
In a large suitable microwaveable dish with a lid. Cook on High (100%) for 3 minutes or until the shells open. (See tip below).
Strain the pipi liquid into a measuring jug and set pippis aside.
Repeat microwaving remaining pipis as above.
Remove all pipis from shells and set aside.
Melt butter in a heavy-based casserole or saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low, add the bacon or salt pork and cook, stirring for 5-6 minutes or until bacon starts to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towel and set aside.
Add onions and celery to the pot and cook stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes until vegetables are soft but not brown.
Stir in potatoes and wine. Continue cooking a further 5 minutes or until wine evaporates and potatoes have just started to soften.
Measure reserved pippi liquid and make up to 4 cups (1 Litre) if necessary with water. Pour into the pot adding thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Partly cover  and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Stir in reserved pippis and bacon. Add freshly ground pepper and a squeeze lemon juice to taste.
Remove the chowder from the heat. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Set aside for 10 minutes, reheat, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with fresh crusty bread.

Tips:
Australian clams – often sold under the name ‘pipis’ can be used in place of the quahog clam, a hard shelled species found off the New England coast of America, traditionally used in this -clam chowder.
Any unopened pippis after microwaving can be gently prised open before further use.
Refrigerate chowder overnight to further develop flavours.

Baked Herbed Ricotta

Ingredients

  • 250g tub smooth Ricotta
  • 2 tblsp. finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs beaten lightly
  • 1 tsp each of parsley, chive and sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tblsp. olive oil

Serves 2 – 3

Preparation

  • Combine ricotta, parmesan and eggs in a bowl.
  • Stir through, chopped herbs and season with pepper.
  • Spoon into a 2 cup silicone log container, smooth the top and place on the rim of the turntable.
  • Cover loosely with paper towel and cook on Medium (50-60%) for 5-6 minutes, moving to the opposite side of the turntable half way through cooking time.
  • Remove from the microwave, drizzle with oil and then place container in a preheated 190 degree, conventional oven,  for  6-7 minutes, to turn top golden.  Stand for 5 minutes.
  • Serve sliced with a roasted capsicum salad and Parma ham.

Tip: Silcone containers can be purchased in supermarkets, cheaply, and may be used in both microwave and conventional ovens as directed.

Christmas Pudding – serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 375 g mixed dried fruits
  • 3 tbs brandy
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50 g butter, grated
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread, crumbed
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 2 tbs apple juice
  • 2 tbsp skim milk

Serves 6 – 8

Preparation

  • Place the fruits and brandy in a microwave-safe bowl or jug, and stir. Cover, and cook on HIGH (100%) for 2 minutes.
  • Sift flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir through the breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg, apple juice, and milk, stirring well.  Add the cooled fruits, and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture back into the jug.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Elevate on a microwave roasting rack, and cook on LOW (30%) for 10-15 minutes.
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  • Serve with creamy yoghurt.

VARIATION

Add 1 tbsp chopped pecan nuts

NB: SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES –

PER SERVE

  • kj: 830
  • kCal: 200
  • Carbohydrate: H
  • Fat: VL
  • Sodium: L
  • Fibre: H
  • Good source: iron, potassium, vitamin A

 

Crème Caramel

Ingredients

Caramel

  • 1 cup castor sugar

Custard

  • 6 x 70g free-range eggs
  • 4 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 300ml container thickened cream
  • 2 cups regular milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Serves 6 – 8

Preparation

The Caramel

  • Place castor sugar in a small heavy based saucepan.
  • Place over medium heat and cook until caramel appears through the sugar.
  • Stir and cook further until the sugar melts and caramel is golden brown.
  • Quickly pour over the base of a 20cm x 5-6cm deep ovenproof glass dish allowing the caramel to reach the edges.
  • Set aside.

The Custard

  • Whisk eggs and castor sugar together in a bowl.
  • Combine the cream, milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and remove from the heat.
  • Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture.
  • Leave for a minute then carefully pour over the caramel.
  • Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Place on a microwave proof rack on the turntable.
  • Place in an 800 Watt oven*, microwave on MEDIUM (50-60%) for 9-12 minutes checking after 10 minutes. The custard should be softly set in the centre.
  • Stand for 20-25 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap.
  • Either serve the crème caramel in the dish or, ensure the custard is free around the edges, place a 30cm flat plate with a slight rim on top and carefully invert it onto the plate.

NB If your oven has a higher wattage, reduce cooking time by 10% (gradually adding more if needed)

 

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 250 g button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • ¼ white wine
  • 150 ml beef stock
  • 150 ml light sour cream
  • 1 ½ tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 500 fillet steak, tail end, thinly sliced

Serves 4

Preparation

Sauce

Gently heat butter in a pan. Add onion and sauté until soft.
Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add thyme, nutmeg and mushrooms and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
Pour in wine and stock and allow to simmer for several minutes.
Stir in in sour cream and cook a further minute to blend.  Set aside until ready to serve.

Serving Time

Heat oil in a large fry pan over, a high heat. Stir in paprika then fry meat in batches, 2 – 3 minutes, or until seared on all sides.
Combine steak with pre-prepared warm sauce, season to taste, garnish with parsley and serve with fluffy rice.

Tip

Substitute fillet steak with chicken and use chicken stock.