Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sunday Dinners

This weeks Sunday dinner. Beef cooked on the Barbecue- wonderful charred flavour, Mum’s amazing roast potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes from Mum and Dad’s garden (these were incredible), a carrot, herb and lettuce salad and an eggplant and barley salad with rocket pesto. Can’t take any credit for the cooking though, that was all Mum and Dad, but they have let me show the world how spoilt I am to be able to go round for dinner on Sundays!

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Chilli Tofu in Coconut Broth

This dish is so eeeeeaaasssyyyy! It is a wee gem of a dish, very tasty, warming and would be good for student budget too! It’s from the Marie Claire Flavours cookbook.

2 red chillies, seeded and chopped

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1Tbsp grated ginger

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp lime juice

600g silken tofu, drained and chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

coconut broth:

2 1/2 cups coconut milk

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

500g kumara, peeled and sliced

500g broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces

For the broth, place coconut milk, vegetable stock and lime leaves in a deep frying pan or wok over medium heat. Add the sweet potato and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 4 minutes.

To cook the tofu, place the chillies, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and lime juice in a frying pan over medium heat and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Add the tofu to the pan and cook for 1 minute each side or until coated with the chilli sauce. To serve, place coconut broth, sweet potato and broccoli into bowls. Top with the chilli tofu, sprinkle with basil leaves and serve. Serves 4.

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Sunday Dinners

Roast chicken with chorizo, olives and sherry

My family has reinstated a Sunday Dinner tradition. I have some sort of memories of having Sunday lunch for a while when we first moved to Wellington. I remember Minestrone in the ‘good’ china bowls and sunshine flooding the dining table. I have no idea whether this really happened or not, whether there was even sunshine, but it must be one of those very happy childhood memories. In recent years we started having Sunday roasts and now Mum and Dad like to spend Sunday evenings trying out new recipes or making family favourites that take time to prepare and cook. I love that Mum even says to me that she doesn’t want to go out on Sunday evenings because   of “our Sunday dinner thing”.

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago for a Sunday dinner. Really, it is so simple that you could make it any day of the week.

I’m posting a link to this recipe, because I think that everyone should check out the beautiful blog, trotski & ash, where it comes from.

The chicken is melt in your mouth with crispy skin- perfection. What essentially is a poaching liquid in the pan is magnificent, so perfumed with lemon and oregano. I really cannot wait to make this again. The recipe serves 4 hungry people easily and also gave me dinner the following 2 nights. I served this with cous cous and a simple green salad of rocket with shaved parmesan and a drizzle of some fruity olive oil.

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I get very sick of sandwiches. And usually I am not organised enough to prepare salads the night before or in the morning. This salad was so easy though and delicious! Something that I might be able to face making late the night before because it’s quick, looks good, tastes better.



So pretty much you just cook up some frozen peas, drain, add some crumbled feta, thyme, finely chopped onion (or spring onion) with a bit of dressing and voila! Vinaigrette, 1T olive oil, 1/2 lemon, bit of dijon mustard, season and mix.

Eeeeeaassssyyyyyy peeeeeaaassssyyyyy! Expect to see more lunchbox and dinnerbox posts. Shift work is a killer and buying food is just not feasible. Plus, I really love cooking and resent paying $9 for a bad salad.


Jam Jam Jam

I have been wanting to make my own preserves for a very long time. There is something about it, seeing jars filled with gem coloured jams, I thought it must really elevate you to domestic goddess status… challenge accepted!

Plum babies!

I decided to make plum jam because we had a lot of plums around and I love the tanginess of plum jam. I got the fantastic “The Preserving Book” by Lynda Brown from Ma and Pa for Christmas and I just haven’t been able to stop poring over the beautiful pictures and hugely informative content. The following recipe comes from this impressive tome. The lime gives the jam a beautiful lift and helps the jam to set perfectly (citrus fruit contain good amounts of pectin in the skin and flesh). Unfortunately, I have not yet reached domestic goddess status. When boiling for a set, most of the pulp burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pan as I discovered when trying to ladle into perfectly sterilised jars.  I thought that I may have salvaged the situation by carefully ladling off the non-black jam on top and still manage to get two jars (one that I was hoping to give as a birthday present that night) but then I knocked over the second jar.

Hot jam went everywhere and I burst into tears. My poor sisters were trying to help solve the situation, but the jam was too hot to clean up and I had decided that it was all a failure. Ah well, I still have one pot of jam in my fridge and it is damn fine, even if I do say so myself. Morning toast is now even more satisfying.

Fierce boil

Plum and Lime Jam (From The Preserving Book by Lynda Brown)

900g Plums (a mix of firm and ripe is good)

300mL Water

900g Sugar

Zest and juice of 1 Lime

Knob of Butter

Place plums (whole and washed) into a large saucepan with a heavy base (preserving pan if possible!!) and add water. Bring slowly to the boil, recduce the heat, and simmer gently for 20-30 mins, depending on ripeness of fruit, until very pulpy.

Add the lime zest, juice and sugar. Heat gently stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the butter. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10 mins or until setting point is reached. Remove the pan from the heat while you test for a set.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the plum stones and skim off any surface scum, then ladle into warm, sterilized jars, cover with discs of waxed paper, seal, and label. Store in a cool, dark place, and refrigerate after opening.

My first homemade jam


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