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Crispy Roast Potatoes

Crispy roast potatoes... hmm yummy!

No roast is complete without roast potatoes. Getting them to crisp is so easy, but it is time consuming. If you have some time to spare, I would definitely recommend this recipe.

Crispy Roast Potatoes

Servings: 4     Prep time:     25 minutes     Cooking time: 40 – 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 large potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1tsp salt
  • ¼c vegetable oil
Method:
Preheat your oven to 220°C. Pour the oil into a roasting tray and heat it for 15 minutes.
While the oil is heating up, peel the potatoes and halve them. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and boil the potatoes for 10 minutes on high. After 10 minutes, drain them in a colander and shake the potatoes around in the colander to “rough up” the edges. This is one factor that contributes to their crispiness.
Once the oil has heated after 15 minutes, add the potatoes to the oil in the roasting tray. Roll each potato around in the oil so that all the sides and covered with oil. This is the other half a factor to crisping them. Sprinkle with salt and return the tray to the oven.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until they have browned nicely and crisped to your satisfaction.
Enjoy!
A bowl of delicious and healthy chicken noodle soup

A bowl of delicious and healthy chicken noodle soup

With winter fast approaching, one of my favourite comfort foods is Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s pretty easy to make and it tastes amazing! Also, because there is five hundred grams of noodles in the soup, it’s really filling too! Perfect for a chilly night in!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Servings: 8   Prep time: 5 min    Chicken baking time: 25 minutes    Soup boiling time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, de-boned chicken breasts (weighing approx 400 – 500g), par baked and shredded
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 4c chicken stock
  • 125g sliced button mushrooms (optional)
  • 3 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2tsp cracked black pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • 2c egg noodles
  • 2tbsp Canola/Olive/Sunflower oil
Veg and chicken in the pot

Chicken and veg in the pot

Method:
Preheat your oven to 170°C.  Rub some oil over the chicken breasts and bake for 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion for 4 – 5 minutes.
Shred the chicken and add it to the pot with all the remaining ingredients except egg noodles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Chicken, veg and stock

Chicken, veg and stock

Add the noodles and simmer for another 5 – 15 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
Enjoy!
Chicken Noodle Soup boiling on the stove

Chicken Noodle Soup boiling on the stove

Quick and easy crustless mini quiches

I am hosting a baby shower for my oldest friend at the end of this month. With the date fast approaching, I decided to try out a few different recipes for finger foods to serve my guests. I tried a few recipes for mini quiches and after some tweaking here and there, I settled on this recipe. I love it because it’s pretty much quick and easy and perfect for me to make on the morning of the shower. With only 20 minutes prepping time and 15 minutes cooking time, it is the perfect recipe to serve either warm or cool.

Crustless Mini Quiches with Bacon and Mushrooms

Servings: 6     Prep time: 20 minutes (inclusive of frying the bacon & mushrooms)    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g bacon, chopped
  • 250g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 250ml thick cream
  • 2 large eggs plus an additional 2 egg yolks
  • 1c cheddar, grated (or any cheese of your choice)
  • ½tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½tsp sea salt (normal table salt will also do)
  • 1tbsp self-raising flour
  • non-stick spray

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

In a large pan fry the bacon and mushrooms on a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.

Mix the eggs, egg yolks and cream together until the eggs and cream are  thoroughly combined.

Spray the muffin tray with non-stick spray. Sprinkle a little bit of self-raising flour over the bottom of each individual tray. Shake the tray well to ensure the flour lightly coats the sides as well. Add a little bit of cheese to the bottom of each tray then add some egg and cream mix to the bottom to lightly moisten the bottom.

Flour, cheese and egg mixture

Combine the bacon, mushrooms and cheese minus two tablespoons to the egg and cream mixture. Mix well. Fill each muffin tray to the top with the quiche filling. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops of each tray.

Mini quiche filling before cooking

Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes. Once done, remove the tray from the oven and let the quiches cool for about 15 minutes before removing them. Serve warm or cool and refrigerate if you’re serving them much later or the next day. Enjoy!

Close-up of a mini bacon and mushroom quiche

Easy Crumbed Pork Chops

This recipe is perfect for when time is a concern. With only five minutes of prepping time and 20 minutes in the oven, it’s a sure win. The perfect balance of herbs and spices makes it very very yummy indeed.

Easy Crumbed Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork loin chops
  • 1 egg
  • ¼c Corn Flake crumbs
  • 1tsp Paprika
  • 1tsp Oregano
  • 1tsp Parsley
  • 1tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1tsp Celery salt
  • ½tsp sea salt
  • 4tbsp melted butter

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Mix together the Corn Flakes crumbs, paprika, oregano, parsley, black pepper, celery salt and sea salt.  In a separate bowl, crack the egg. Coat each chop in egg, on both sides, then lay the chop in the crumb mixture ensuring that the chop is crumbed on either side.

Melt two tablespoons of butter and pour into your roasting tray. Place the chops in the tray and sprinkle remaining butter on top of the chops. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Crumbed and baked pork loin chop

Enjoy!

Brussel Sprouts Gratin

Brussel Sprouts Gratin pre-baking

Admittedly, I have never been a big fan of Brussel sprouts. My mother loved them and my mother-in-law also loves them but seldom does she have a chance to enjoy them. You see, my father-in-law doesn’t quite fancy them and much prefers gem squash. For Christmas last year, I decided to make a dish that we would all enjoy. After a few practices this is my tweaked version which also includes mushrooms just because they taste delicious with the bacon.

Brussel Sprouts Gratin

Servings: 4-6     Prep time: 15 minutes     Cooking time: 20-25 minutes      Standing time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g frozen Brussel sprouts
  • 125g bacon, fat removed and cut into small pieces
  • 4 large brown mushrooms, sliced into ¼’s
  • ½c heavy cream
  • ¼c bread crumbs
  • ¼c – ½c grated Cheddar cheese (I always prefer more cheese than less, but this is a personal preference)
  • 2tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1tbsp Canola oil
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper (I always use sea salt)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a baking dish. I use cholesterol free Spray and Cook.

In a microwaveable dish, pour in boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Add the frozen Brussel sprouts and microwave, uncovered, on medium-high for eight minutes. Drain and immerse the Brussel sprouts in ice cold water for ten minutes (to stop the cooking process).

While the sprouts are chilling, slice the mushrooms and cut the bacon. Add the oil to a large pan and fry the bacon on medium-high for three minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for another three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Once the sprouts are cool, drain and halve them. Put them in an ovenproof dish and add the bacon and mushrooms. Season further with more salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to ensure even distribution.

Evenly pour the cream over the sprouts, bacon and mushroom mixture. Toss one more time. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs and grated cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the Brussel sprouts mixture. Distribute the butter over the bread crumbs and bake uncovered, on a low shelf, until heated through and golden brown, approximately 20 – 25 minutes.

Allow it to stand for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: I sometimes also add ten halved strings of green beans and five sliced baby marrows. These two ingredients do not require and pre-cooking and you can add them when you mix the Brussel sprouts, bacon and mushrooms. Yummy!

Brussel Sprouts Gratin fresh out of the oven


Chili Con Carne

This delicious, spicy and more-ish recipe comes courtesy of my best friend Shelley. I have tweaked it somewhat, according to my and Gav’s preferences. It’s a pretty basic meal yet it’s packed with flavour and is definitely a favourite in this home. This is my idea of “fast food” — ten minutes to prepare and thirty minutes of cooking time. It’s the prefect recipe to throw together after a busy day.

Habanero chillies in my garden

 

Chili Con Carne

Servings: 4     Prep time: 10 minutes     Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g mince
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 heaped tbsp garlic
  • 1 can (410g) peeled & chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (410g) red kidney beans
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 1 habanero chili, blended
  • 1 cayenne pepper, blended
  • 1 sprig oregano leaves, blended
  • 1tsp chili powder
  • 1sp salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil

In a blender, mix together the onion, garlic, habanero, cayenne pepper and oregano.

Blended chillies, onion, garlic, oregano

Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Fry the onion and chili mix for two minutes and then add the mince. Cook for about five minutes and then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chili powder and salt. Cook on a low heat for half an hour.

Serve with avo guacamole or sour cream in a tortilla or taco.

Chili Con Carne topped with guacamole

Enjoy!

“Hmmm… yummy!” is what came to mind when I decided to make this delicious meal for dinner tonight. Gavin loves this dish, loves loves loves it, as do I :) I consider gnocchi to be a pasta-ish dish. I don’t make my own gnocchi but I am of the opinion that the gnocchi I buy is of the highest standard. Some might consider this a winter dish but I cook it throughout all the seasons. It can definitely be considered comfort food… with the crispy bacon, cheesy sauce and the gnocchi itself. Yummers!

Creamy Baked Gnocchi with Bacon, Mushrooms and Broccoli:

Servings: 4 (2 adults, 2 children)     Prep time: 20 minutes      Baking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g bacon, chopped
  • 250g white button mushrooms, washed, cleaned and cut into thirds
  • 300g broccoli, broken into florets and cooked in boiling for 4 minutes
  • 500g gnocchi, cooked in boiling water for a minute
  • 3tbsp flour
  • 1tsp English mustard
  • 600ml milk (2% or whole)
  • 1/2 – 1tsp fine black pepper (depending on your preference, to add into sauce)
  • 1tsp salt (to add into sauce)
  • 1/3 – 1tsp minced garlic (again, the amounts depends on your preference)
  • 1tbsp Canola or Sunflower oil
  • 3tbsp butter
  • 3tbsp flour
  • 200g grated Cheddar cheese

Method:

Preheat your oven to 170°C.

Heat the oil in a pan on high. Once the oil is smoking, add the minced garlic and chopped bacon to the pan. Fry for a few minutes until cooked, or let the bacon fry for a little longer to get it crispy (this is how I do it). While the bacon is frying, wash and clean the white button mushrooms, and chop them into thirds. Once the bacon is done, remove from the pan and fry the mushrooms in the bacon fat. Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove the pan from heat, add the bacon back into the pan, mix well and set the pan aside.

Melt the butter in a medium pot. Add the flour and mustard to make a roux paste. Slowly add the milk while constantly stirring with a whisk. Once the sauce has thickened, add the salt and pepper and mix well. Take the pot off the heat and stir in half the cheese.

Place the broccoli and gnocchi in a large ovenproof dish and add the mushrooms and bacon. Mix well. Pour the sauce over the veggies and again, mix well. Sprinkle the remaining half of the cheese on top and place the dish uncovered in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, take the dish out and allow it to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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