Tag Archives: easy recipe

Pork, Ginger And Coriander Dumplings With Garlic Chilli Oil

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I have to remind myself time-and-again to get the kids cooking in the kitchen. It’s too easy to fall into the pattern of – I can do it faster and cleaner – and weeks can go by before I realise they haven’t cooked a thing (apart from toast).

One of our most popular dinners are these pork and coriander dumplings. My ten year old in particular has taken a keen interest in homemade foods and declares that these dumplings are the best! Even better than the ones we eat out in Ashfield – the dumpling capital of the Inner West! (You’ve gotta love ten year olds for their biased enthusiasm).

Rolling dumplings is the perfect excuse to pull up a seat and sit with my son whilst we chat and prepare food together. I actually manage to get more than yes and no answers out of him and we both feel a sense of connection by the time the batch has been rolled. We get a production line going and I tell him once the dumplings are sealed he needs to shape the tops, reminiscent of the sails on the Opera House.

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It becomes an exciting week-night evening when dumplings are on the menu. My daughter takes great pride in setting the table. She lays out Asian placemats, chop sticks, tea cups, sometimes a candle is lit, and there is always a large pot of jasmine tea in the centre of the table.

The most important ingredient here is the pork mince. I only make dumplings when I go to my local butcher and get the pork freshly minced. So please don’t buy your mince from the supermarket, it’s often sat there for days with added preservatives to keep it going (and goodness knows what else other than pork has been minced through it too). Quality always comes at a cost, the cost of giving up convenience. But I am more than happy to do that when it comes to fresh food. And really, we all know free-range and fresh is best.

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Once you have the best mince you can get your hands on, you’ll need a dipping sauce. My preference is always to make a 50/50 mix of Chinese red vinegar with soy sauce, and them add measured amounts of my homemade chilli oil to that (recipe below). The chilli oil stores for weeks and can also be drizzled on all manner of other foods besides dumplings.

You’ll need a big bowl of steamed Asian greens, that I tend to quickly toss with fried garlic and a dash of oyster sauce. And if it’s your preference (sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t) some steamed rice.

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Pork, ginger and coriander dumplings with garlic chilli oil

For the dumplings 

450g free range pork mince

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp grated garlic

2 tbsp chopped coriander stem

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp Chinese red vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 free range egg

large pinch ground white pepper

30 (1 pkt) Gow gee wrappers (available in Asian food stores)

Dipping sauce

equal quantities of soy sauce and Chinese red vinegar

To serve

Steamed Asian greens

Chilli oil

Steamed rice – optional

Place all the ingredients for the pork and coriander dumplings except the gow gee wrappers a large bowl. Mix till well combined.

Lay out 6 gow gee wrappers on a clean bench. Dip a pastry brush in water and lightly wet the outer rim in a circular motion around the pastry.  Place less than a tbsp (more like two heaped tsp) of pork filling in the centre of each wrapper. Fold the wrapper over, and pinch to seal. Sit the base of the dumpling on the bench as you use both hands to crimp the top the pastry into a pinched pattern. Set aside on a clean tray and repeat process with remaining ingredients till all dumplings are rolled.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, gently add the dumplings and stir to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain and place on a platter. Serve with dipping sauce, chilli oil (see recipe below), steamed greens and optional steamed rice.

For the chilli oil 

It’s important here to buy large dried chillies best found in Asian market stores. The larger ones are not as hot as the smaller variety and have a sweeter taste, perfect for this chilli oil.

20g (about 15) large dried red chillies

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup rice bran oil

Place the whole chillies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze remaining water from the chillies, roughly chop them and place in a small blender with the garlic, salt and half the oil, blitz till chilli is roughly chopped.

Pour the chilli oil into a small sauce pan, add the remaining oil and turn the heat to very low, cook the chilli oil on a low heat for at least one hour, stir occasionally. Set aside to cool. Store in a clean glass jar for 4-6 weeks.

Add a drizzle of the chilli oil to the soy and vinegar dipping sauce and lather the dumplings with this.

(C) Recipe and photography copyright 2016 Food From Michelle’s Kitchen

Baked Rhubarb With Orange And Cloves

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Although rhubarb is readily available through autumn it’s often not till early winter that I get round to baking my first tray.

I keep it on hand in the fridge mainly to eat with breakfast, be it with porridge, yoghurt, or muesli. But it would be a crime against rhubarb to stop there. It’s such an interesting fruit to use in baking, that when I do have cooked rhubarb in the fridge, I often feel compelled to bake.

Sometimes I arrange batons of rhubarb across a butter milk cake – before it goes in the oven – or I fold it through and on top of muffins, and have even been known to layer it in the bottom of creme brûlées.

 

 

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The tartness of rhubarb is its defining appeal. And that tartness requires a certain amount of sweetness to tame its sour taste and soften its flavour. I use orange juice, brown sugar and cloves to do this.

As the rhubarb slowly cooks, covered in the oven, it half steams half poaches itself to tender pieces. When cooked just right rhubarb should hold its shape easily, yet still fall apart at the touch of a spoon.

So next time you’re out shopping and you see rhubarbs bright red stalks staring back at you, reach out, grab a bunch, come home, flick the oven on, and you too can discover the many possibilities with baked rhubarb.

 

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Baked rhubarb with orange and cloves

Ingredients 

1 bunch thick stemmed rhubarb

zest 1/2 an orange

1 orange juiced

1/4 cup brown sugar

8 cloves

Pre heat oven to 160C.

Trim the rhubarb of all its leaves, wash and cut into 6 cm lengths.

Lay the rhubarb neatly in a small baking tray.

Place the orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar and cloves in a small pan, stir over a medium heat till sugar dissolves, then pour the liquid over the rhubarb. Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes for thicker stalked rhubarb, less for thinner rhubarb.

Cool completely in the tray before transferring the rhubarb to a container, cover and store the rhubarb in the cooking syrup in the fridge for up to five days.

Turmeric Potato Salad With Red Quinoa And Yoghurt

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This is far from the conventional mayonnaise based potato salad that most people have in their repertoire. This little beauty uses fresh turmeric added to the potatoes before boiling so the colour leaches out and stains the potatoes a vibrant yellow.

It’s flavoured with coriander seeds, cumin seeds and nigella seeds, which are all roasted off in a pan first to best release their flavour.

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Each time I make this salad my head starts to nod of it’s own accord. I cheer the brilliance of turmerics soft gentle flavour and what roasted spices can do here, and that just right flavour that slow cooked onions adds to this dish.

And there’s the yoghurt. Spices and yoghurt could go with just about anything. Wouldn’t you agree?

This extraordinary tasting salad can be eaten warm or cold. As a side to a steak, chicken or fish. As part of a buffet of salads, or even served in a wholemeal wrap with extra yoghurt and coriander. The possibilities are endless. So spice it up.

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Turmeric potato salad with quinoa and yoghurt

Ingredients

900g desiree potatoes

35-40g fresh turmeric

1/4 cup red quinoa

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

2 tsp nigella seeds

1 brown onion, sliced thinly

2 tbsp chopped coriander stem, plus coriander leaves for garnish

Rice bran oil

Greek style yoghurt

1/2 lemon juiced

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Leave the skin on the potatoes and cut them into 4cm dice. Place in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add the grated turmeric and a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or till potatoes are just soft. Drain and leave to steam in the colander for 5 or more minutes.

Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a small pot, cover with water bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes, drain and set aside.

Place the coriander seed, cumin seed and nigella seed in a separate small pan. Toast the spices till they start to pop. Cool slightly them ground roughly using a mortar and pestle.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frypan. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for about 8 minutes, till caramalised. Set the onion aside.

Wipe out the fry pan and add 1 tbsp oil, add the cooked potatoes and fry lightly in the pan for about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped coriander stem, cooked onion, roasted ground spices and cooked quinoa. Toss to combine. Season with lemon juice and taste for extra salt and pepper.

Serve the potatoes on a large platter, garnish with dollops of yoghurt and picked coriander leaves.

(C) Copy right 2016 : Food From Michelle’s Kitchen Turmeric potato salad with red quinoa and yoghurt

Zucchini, Tuna And Borlotti Bean Salad With Chilli And Lemon

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Not even I can deny the convenience of opening a can of pulses, rinsing them under water, and having them ready to use. It’s what I call fast food. The type we should all be eating.

Whether it’s Borlotti beans, cannellini beans or chickpeas (which by the way, the later two make a great substitute to the borlotti in this salad) the fast access to a pulse that would usually need to be soaked over night and cooked for 30 minutes or longer just can’t be denied.  So I’m happy to use this short cut when I need fast feeding.

This recipe proves that fast food can be healthy. The spirals of zucchini (which look like pasta in this shot) are my favourite element to the salad. I’m grateful for my spirelli cutter, which makes quick work (and beautiful spirals of zucchini). If you aren’t a convert yet, you can use a peeler, a mandolin, do the old fashioned way and use a knife, or – though it’s not as pretty – as a last resort, just grate the zucchini.

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A large glug of extra virgin olive oil (don’t be shy here, it’s so good for you) is heated lightly for the garlic and chilli to gently cook in. In goes the zucchini, a quick swizzle in the pan before turning off the heat and adding the drained tuna, lemon zest (wax-free if you can), juice and rinsed borlotti beans.

If you’re in the middle of winter (like I am) you’d eat it warm, but if you’re beating the heat of summer, let it cool and eat it cold – either way, it’s just so good!

Each time I walk past my bowl of organic homegrown lemons, sitting by the window sill, I think of how lucky I am to have wax-free lemons picked from my own tree. I wonder why all store-bought lemons can’t be wax-free. Surely everyone deserves wax-free lemons. If you don’t have a lemon tree, find someone who does, or, buy organic wax-free lemons, you will benefit immensely.

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I’ll never tire of the classic combination of garlic, chilli, lemon and tuna. I don’t think you will either. It’s so Italian. It’s so simplistic. It’s just right.

And really, any food this delicious that can be made in ten minutes deserves a little attention.

Zucchini, tuna and borlotii bean salad with chilli and lemon 

Serves 1

Ingredients

50ml extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, sliced thinly

1/2 long red chilli, deseeded and sliced

2 small-medium zucchini

95g can tuna, drained (I use Sirena, Italian style)

3/4 cup borlotti beans, drained and rinsed

1 wax-free lemon

Sea salt 

Cracked black pepper

Scattering of picked parsley 

Prepare the zucchini into thin long strips by your preferred method of a spirelli cutter, mandolin, knife or grater.

Zest the lemon and juice half of it.

Warm the extra virgin olive oil in a medium fry pan, add the garlic and chilli, and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, sea salt and cracked pepper, cook gently for 1-2 minutes.

Turn off the heat, add the drained tuna, drained borlotti beans, lemon zest and juice, toss lightly to combine. Serve warm scattered with parsley and if so desired grilled bread.

Chicken, Ginger And Udon Noodle Broth

DSC_0211One of my favourite smells in the kitchen, the one that brings feelings of comfort and nourishment, and a guarantee of food that can be shared, is a pot of chicken soup as it gently simmers on the stove top.

This chicken soup is one of a sweet nature. The combination of sweet and salty soy sauce flavours the broth and gives it its rich dark colouring. There is fresh ginger, kaffir lime, chilli and cardamon added, and by the time the broth is ready the flavours are complex and layered.

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If there is one piece of advice to follow, be it this: Start with a quality free-range chicken. This will give your broth the best flavour it deserves. That flavour leaches out into the broth permeating the stock with goodness and as well as the flesh of the chicken, once shredded being of a greater quality remaining soft and succulent.

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It’s imperative that the noodles are cooked to order. The udon noodles I buy are portioned into 90g serves, which is the perfect size for one person. If there’s two, use two portions, and so on…

The remaining broth can be stored for several days. You heat it and cook more noodles as required. The broth also freezes well so portion it up and keep it frozen for those days you need nourishing and comforting.

 

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Chicken ginger and udon noodle broth 

Ingredients 

1.6kg free range chicken

2 brown onions, quartered

2 carrots, chopped

2 large sticks celery, chopped

5cm piece of ginger, sliced

4 cloves garlic, smashed

4 kaffir lime leaves

1 chilli, split down the middle

1 bunch of coriander root and stem

6 cardamon pods

10 black peppercorns

1/3 cup sweet soy sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 litres water

To serve

Udon noodles (allow 90g per person)

Picked coriander leaves

Sliced green spring onions

Baby spinach leaves, or any Asian green vegetable

Wedges lime

Hot chilli sauce

Chinese red vinegar

Place the chicken in a large pot, add the onions, carrot, celery, ginger, garlic, kaffir lime, chilli, coriander root, cardamon pods, black peppercorns and both the soy sauces. Add 3 litres of cold water, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, skim off any impurities that rise to the top and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stand chicken in the broth for another 15 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside on a tray. Once cool enough to handle, discard the skin and shred chicken into thin strips. Discard the bones, set chicken aside.

Strain the broth into a medium sized pan, press the vegetables into the strainer to squeeze all the flavour from the cooked veg, discard the vegetables. Skim off any excess fat and taste for seasoning.

Mix together a 50/50 ratio of Chinese red vinegar and hot chilli sauce.

To serve, cook the udon noodles in plenty of boiling water to packet instructions, drain and divide noodles between bowls.

Heat the amount of broth required, once it comes to the boil add some shredded chicken back into the broth and ladle over the hot noodles. Garnish with spinach, coriander leaves and green onions. Spoon over some hot chilli and vinegar sauce, squeeze a wedge of fresh lime on top and eat immediately.

Roasted Cauliflower and Za’atar Carrot Salad with Spiced Yoghurt

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I don’t care that the weather is getting colder and that raw and crunchy foods are becoming less desirable. I still want to eat salad. I love salad. I’m on a roll with eating salads, and I want it to continue. It makes me feel so good!

So, cold raw salads need to be turned on their head. They need to become warm salads that offer comfort. It’s time to start cranking the oven. And one of the best vegetables to roast in that oven is cauliflower.

Once you’ve cut your cauliflower into slices, sprinkle it with za’atar, and drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil before it goes in the oven to roast.

The hint of sumac – a sour berry – in the za ‘atar gives a subtle sweet tang, off set by thyme and sesame seeds, which are also essential ingredients to a good za’atar spice mix. It’s so simple I could cry.

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I’ve used one of those Spirelli vegetable cutters, the ones that curl and spiral vegetables into beautiful long strands, but don’t let this stop you if you don’t have one. Just cut the carrots into thin matchsticks instead.

Creamy dressings go well with roasted vegetables and a spiced yoghurt dressing couldn’t be easier. A few coriander seeds, a few cumin seeds roasted then pounded and sprinkled on the yoghurt; it’s top stuff!

This salad is for one. So boost up the amounts if you’re cooking for others. Not that cooking for others is always necessary; cook for your self this one time. Make this salad for one, and love it for all the right reasons.

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Roasted cauliflower and za’atar carrot salad 

Ingredients

2 cups of sliced cauliflower florets

Extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp za’atar spice mix (look in Middle Eastern stores for an authentic one)

1 medium carrot

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 tbsp yoghurt

Handful wild rocket leaves

Sea salt

Pre heat oven to 200C

Slice the cauliflower into 2cm thick slices, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, za’atar and sea salt, rub lightly and roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the carrot and if using a spirelli cutter spiral the carrot into thick spirals, or use a knife to cut the carrots into thin matchsticks.

After the cauliflower has roasted for 25 minutes, add the carrot and mix lightly. Use a little more oil if the vegetables look dry and continue roasting for another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly before tossing through the salad.

Place coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small, dry fry pan, toast till seeds start to pop. Ground lightly in a mortar and pestle.

Place the washed rocket in a bowl, scatter with roasted cauliflower and carrot, dollop over the yoghurt and sprinkle it with the coriander seed mix to suit your tastes.

Eat whilst still warm.

Hot smoked trout and dill croquettes

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I decided back in March that I REALLY wanted to throw a dinner party. A grown ups dinner party.

My birthday was approaching and I had no care for presents. I wanted a party. A party with food. A party with friends. A party with many delicious things to eat.

The brief was simple. Each couple, and my darling friend Sofie, had to bring a small entree sized -finger food even – dish that could be served to the group in designated time slots. Portion sizes were to be kept small, anything that could be served on a board, platter, or small plate, and, please, please, arrive hungry.

There was 15 of us.

I played a small hand in ensuring all the food groups would be covered. And that the cooking styles varied too. The barbecue, the oven, the deep fryer were all to be put to use. And I knew that these hot smoked trout croquettes just HAD to feature on the menu.

Here’s what we ate:

Garlic squid with chorizo and creamed corn…

Pork and fennel sausage rolls…

Barbecued coriander and lime prawns…

Lamb skewers with cumin yoghurt…

Smoked trout croquettes with chipotle mayonnaise …

Kashmiri chicken with lentils and pumpkin…

Red pork with Asian greens…

Beetroot, ricotta and leek ravioli with sage and pine nuts…

Profiteroles with warm chocolate and salted caramel sauce…

And then, the most beautiful of cakes, Passionfruit coconut and lime layered cake with white chocolate ganache (thank you Sarah x).

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Hungry yet?

Hot smoked trout is the prized ingredient in these croquettes.

Have you ever bought a whole one, peeled away the skin and flaked apart the flesh? It’s one of those amazing convenient products that tastes oh-so-good, is oh-so-easy to prepare, and is oh-so fairly priced.

 

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FAQ

How do I get the mash potato fluffy? Make sure you mash the potatoes whilst still warm. The best way is with a potato rice masher. They make fast work of mashing and give a really good result (no lumps).

What oil do you use to deep fry in? I tend to use Rice bran oil or Grape seed oil.

Can I make them ahead of time? Of course you can. Prepare them in the morning and refrigerate till needed, but you MUST fry them to order.

Can I replace the trout with any thing else? Crab would work nicely here too, but only if you can get your hands on good quality crab meat. Shredded ham hock would also be super tasty. Or if feeding vegetarians, why not replace the trout with 1 cup of grated pecorino cheese.

Can the trout croquettes be frozen for a later date? Yes. Freeze them after crumbing but before deep frying. Lay them flat on a tray, covered in cling wrap.

Do you have a recipe for the chipotle chilli and tomato aioli? click here for Chipotle tomato relish Add the relish to whole egg mayonnaise and season to taste.

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The dinner party (and the croquettes) were such a roaring success that I’ve decided there must be another dinner party, in the not- to-distant future, and this same method of sharing food absolutely must be experienced again.

Smoked trout and dill croquettes

Makes about 30 croquettes

Ingredients

750g desiree potatoes

350g whole hot smoked trout

2 small brown onions

1 bunch dill, picked and chopped

Salt

White pepper

1/2 cup plain flour

2 free range eggs

50ml milk

2 cups panko bread crumbs, or regular bread crumbs

Rice bran oil for frying

Wedges of lime to serve

For the dipping sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chipotle chilli tomato relish, or any other spicy tomato relish

Peel then cut the potatoes in quarters. Place in a pot with cold salted water and bring to the boil, cook till potatoes are just soft. Drain and leave in the colander for 5 or so minutes (The steam will naturally dry out the potato).

Meanwhile, brunoise (small dice) the onion and cook on a medium to low heat in 1 tbsp olive oil for 5 or so minutes till onion just starts to colour.

Use a potato rice masher to mash the potato in batches, or mash by hand, try to remove all lumps. Set aside in a large bowl, add the caramalised onion.

Cut the tail skin off the trout and slide your fingers under the skin, this should peel away easily. Repeat on the other side. Use a small knife or your fingers to gently pry the flesh away from the bones. Try to remove the flesh in large chunks leaving the bones behind. Repeat on other side. Quickly pick through the trout to remove any bones that remain.

Flake the trout into the potato, add the chopped dill, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp white pepper. Mix to combine. Take a small amount of potato mix in the palm of your hand and shape it into a cylinder type shape. Set aside on a tray. Continue till all croquettes are rolled.

Lay out three shallow trays. One with flour. One with the beaten egg and milk. And one with the panko bread crumbs. Work in  batches, lightly dust the croquettes in flour, then pass through the egg, then into the crumbs. Continue till all croquettes are crumbed.

For the dipping sauce mix the mayonnaise and the chipotle tomato relish together till well combined. Place in a dish for serving.

Meanwhile, fill a deep fryer, or large heavy based pan, with rice bran oil. Heat the oil to frying point (180C). Cook the croquettes in batches for about 3 minutes or till golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Continue with remaining croquettes.

Serve warm croquettes on a platter with dipping sauce and wedges of lime.