Monday, 25 January 2010

Quick Simple Snacks

There are those moments when no matter what you have in the fridge you just want something else......  you know what I mean?
This is the time when a few simple ingredients lurking in the pantry cupboard  and fridge can be turned into a satisfying and enticing snack........ but what you ask?
Well...... do you like fish?  How about some tinned sardines?  Sounds good?  No?  Trust me it's all good.

Ingredients:
2  x 120g tinned sardines
100g soft cream cheese
Fresh or dried dill and/or parsley
1/2  red onion finely chopped
Cracked pepper
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 teaspoon x Horseradish cream (optional)
Sprinkle chillie powder (optional)

Preparation:
Open the tinned sardines and pour off the liquid.
Place into a large bowl, and add all other ingredients.
Using a fork blend by hand all the ingredients together - do not use a blender it will be too runny.
Adjust the seasoning and if you like a bit of heat you can ADD the chillie powder.


Serve with toasted bread, water crackers, rice cakes, pitta bread (can be toasted), and some celery or cucumber sticks.

A very satisfying snack.  Enjoy!

Special note:
Non dairy version -  make this without the cream cheese.
Up market version - make this with tinned salmon.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Eggplant Dip




This is my style of eggplant dip - over the years have tried a variety of eggplant dips but this simple version  appeals to my taste and being a lazy cook I am sticking to it.
I am a big fan of GARLIC so I will always go for more garlic rather than less but if you prefer a more subtle flavour try roasting your garlic first - the flavour will still be there just doesn't have the sharp taste of raw garlic.
I always love Tahini (sesame seed paste) and prefer the unhulled version - it is just perfect on rice cakes with a bit of honey …..yummy……… 
Anyway back to eggplant dip……..

Ingredients:
2 medium  or 1 large eggplant
2-3 cloves garlic
Juice of half small lemon
1-2 tablespoon tahini  (depends on your taste)
Cumin
Smokey paprika
Salt, honey
Dried or fresh Parsley
1 tablespoon Olive oil




Preparation:
Place your eggplant on a baking dish and place in moderate hot oven 180C for 45-60 mins.
Allow eggplant to cool before you make your dip, I usually roast my eggplant a day or two before I make the dip.  After roasting let cool then place in airtight container and place in fridge.

Break open the skin of the eggplant, and take out the flesh with a spoon, throw away the skin.
Place all ingredients into a blender and whizz for a few minutes until all ingredients are blended.
Taste, if it needs more tahini or lemon add now and also adjust the seasonings to your taste.
If you like it hot before serving sprinkle with some chilli powder.

Serve with fresh pitta bread, or toasted pitta bread, or thin ryvita crackers, or better still with celery and carrot sticks……….. Very yummy……..

Can be kept in fridge in airtight container for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!



Pork & Rice Meatballs




This is a very simple throw together recipe - one of my own design.  I love pork and I love authentic Chinese 'dim sum' or 'yum cha' (depending on which continent or hemisphere you live) but the flavours I am talking about are basically pork, garlic and Chinese 5 spice - so easy and so pleasing to the palette.
The following recipe includes cooked rice but you can also make it without the rice it will just produce less meatballs.

Ingredients:  (Makes 12-15 meatballs)
 500g pork mince
1/2 cup cooked rice
Chinese 5 spice
Mild chilli powder
Dried or fresh Coriander
2-3 garlic cloves
2-3 tsp Cornflour
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons Olive oil for frying



Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a bowl except for the egg - mix all the ingredients well.
ADD the egg and mix in well - the mixture will start to stick together more at this stage.



With a tablespoon for measure make golf ball sized meatballs.
Heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan and fry to golden brown on each side about 3 minutes on each side.   You can place a lid over the top to stop the oil splattering everywhere.





Place the browned meatballs onto a paper towel lined baking dish and place in oven for 15 minutes on 150C.




Pork meatballs can be eaten hot or cold - serve with some soy sauce, chilli sauce or you favourite chinese sauce. 
Can be eaten as a hot or cold snack OR as a main with some stir fried vegetables or a simple salad.
Enjoy!



Sunday, 3 January 2010

RAW BEETROOT SALAD

Raw Beetroot Salad
I don't remember when I first made this raw beetroot salad recipe or where I got the recipe (I do know it was in the eighties) - it has been a long time since I made it this way - I have changed it over the years (alternate version is given below) - the basic idea is to have a RAW beetroot salad - very refreshing in summer but also very good anytime of the year !

Ingredients:
2 medium sized beetroots
1 small red onion
1/2 cup sultanas
Salt and cracked pepper
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
Fresh dill

Preparation:
Into a large salad bowl peel and grate the beetroot; peel and finely chop the onion.
Add sultanas and mix thoroughly.
Into a jar add the remaining ingredients and with lid on shake vigorously.
Pour half of the dressing over the beetroot mix and stir well.
Allow salad to rest for 20 mins and then stir well again - add more dressing if needed.

ALTERNATE VERSION

Ingredients:
1 large beetroot
1 large carrot
1 small red onion or 1-2 spring onions
Handful of fresh parsley
Fresh dill
Salt and cracked pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation:
Into a large salad bowl peel and grate the beetroot and carrot; peel and chop the onion, chop parsley and dill.
Mix thoroughly.
Into a jar add the remaining ingredients and with lid on shake vigorously.
Pour half the dressing over the beetroot mix and stir well.
Allow salad to rest for 20 mins and then stir well again - add more dressing if needed.