Wednesday 29 February 2012

Eggplant Parmesan (Aubergine Parmesan)

This is a delicious lower calorie alternative to high fat lasagne or moussaka. I make my own marinara sauce (recipe follows), but you can definitely use a store bought sauce. The only tedious part is breading the eggplant (aubergine), but the end result is definitely worth it! This recipe serves 2, with 2 portions of leftovers. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:
1 large eggplant (aubergine)
2-3 eggs
1c bread crumbs
Seasoning for bread crumbs (salt pepper garlic powder)
2 c. low fat mozzarella
½ c. shredded parmesan
½ c milk
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato puree
1 medium onion
½ red pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 fresh basil leaves
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar (if really tart)
1 tbsp. olive oil

First Start the Marinara:

Dice onion, red pepper and garlic.
Then sauté in olive oil, when soft add all the remaining ingredients except the basil and sugar, stew down for about 20-30 minutes.

Next While the Marinara is simmering start the eggplant:

Slice lengthwise in long thin slices. Salt and lay in a colander to drain. Leave about 15 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
In a shallow dish, mix bread crumbs with seasonings.
In another shallow dish whip eggs and milk.
Alternate dipping the eggplant slices in the breadcrumbs then the egg, and then the bread crumbs again. Repeat with every slice until finished.

At this point tear in the basil and stir in some sugar to cut the bitter taste of the tomatoes, and season to taste.


To assemble place a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
Next place two slices of the breaded eggplant on top of the sauce.
Top the eggplant with another couple spoonful’s of sauce, enough to cover the eggplant.
Sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella and parmesan on top.
Next more eggplant, sauce and cheese, and repeat until ingredients are finished.
Make sure to save some mozzarella for the top.

Bake at 190C or 350F for about 40-50 minutes until golden. Serve with whole wheat pasta and salad. Bon appetite!

Thursday 23 February 2012

Easy Peasy Chocolate Mousse

I went looking for a recipe that I could make for a romantic dinner that would be easy and something I could adapt to my own style of cooking. It took 20 minutes to make and a few hours to set in the fridge and it was complete. It’s luscious and delicious, and definitely something I recommend trying on that special occasion. My recipe is for two large martini glasses, but you could easily stretch to four small.

1 100g Lindt 90% cocoa bar
300ml double cream (I used Elmlea double light cream, with less calories/fat)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp. caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. Baily’s liquor or liquor of your choice (optional)
Couple handful of raspberries or berries of your choice.

To Start:
On a clean cutting board shave all of the cocoa and place in a bowl.
In another bowl beat half of the cream until stiff peaks.

Heat remaining cream until ALMOST simmering – DO NOT BOIL/BURN.
In another bowl mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy.
Pour some of the hot cream into the egg yolks to temper.
Next pour all of the tempered egg yolks and sugar back into the remaining heated cream to create custard.
Cook for about 2 minutes on very low heat.
Next pour the custard through a sieve onto the shaved cocoa and stir until completely melted and creamy.

To finish:
Fold the whipped cream in.
Add some berries to the bottom of the martini glass.
Pour half the mousse on top of the berries and then top with berries.
Place in the refrigerator for a couple hours to set. Enjoy!

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Homestyle Potato Salad

One of the classic recipes that is found all over the world, but can be made so regional specific just based on a few ingredients! I was in the mood for good old fashioned potato salad, the kind I grew up on and decided to share the recipe. It really is a variable recipe, these ingredients and measurements are just a guideline. I might use more or less of a certain item. For example, the mayonnaise guide is only based on preference. I usually try to put less in so it might be drier than you prefer. Make it how you like it!

400-600g washed potatoes of any variety
2 eggs
½ -1 whole onion (red/white)
½ - 1 whole green pepper
2 stalks celery
Gherkins (dill pickles)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ c – 1c light mayonnaise (sounds like a lot but use what you like)

To start:
In a large pan, fill with water, potatoes, and eggs and bring to a boil for about 40 minutes until potatoes are well soft. When done let cool completely.

While the potatoes are boiling, dice onion, celery, pepper, gherkins and place in a bowl.

To Finish:
When the potatoes have cooled, use a dull knife and peel off the skins and discard.
Peel eggs.
Mash eggs and potatoes into fairly large chunks (don’t be precise).
Mix with the diced veggies, and mayo.
Season to taste, and enjoy!
Best served with BBQ!!!

Thursday 16 February 2012

Mom's Peach Pudding

This is one of my favorite dishes that my mom makes. Most importantly this is the only dish she makes that I can replicate with complete confidence that it will taste like the real thing. It’s very simple to make and can feed up to 6 people but I guarantee you they’ll want more! Try it out, it’s fool proof and you won’t regret it.

What you’ll need In Two Parts:
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 c. flour
4 tbsp. butter melted
½ c. milk
3 cans sliced peaches drained or equivalent fresh peaches or frozen (be approx.)

To start:
Drain the peaches and spread out on the bottom of a baking dish.
Mix the butter with the sugar until well incorporated.
Next add the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and milk; mix until well combined.
Spread this mixture on top of the peaches. As evenly as you can but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next you’ll need:
1 c sugar
1 tbsp. corn starch (corn flour)
¼. Tsp. salt
1 c. boiling water

To combine:
Mix the sugar, salt, corn starch together in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the peaches and batter. (You don’t have to use all this mixture, but a generous amount).
Next pour 1 c. boiling water over the top of the whole pan. (If 1 c. looks like too much water cut it down according to your pan size).
Bake in the oven at 160C (325F) for about 50 minutes until bubbly and golden brown!
Serve HOT with vanilla ice cream!!

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Onion Bhaji

If you’ve had Indian takeaway then you’ve probably tried this tasty accompaniment to many dishes, as an appetizer or a side. This is one of our favorite starters but I’m always off put by the amount of grease that’s usually dripping off them! Sometimes it’s a fun to have the good takeaway kind, but I wanted to make my own that weren’t swimming in oil, and just lightly pan fried. These onion fritters will make an exceptional homemade touch to your Indian cook up, not to mention impress your guests. Makes about 6 fritters.


1 medium egg
½ c flour
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. water
3 tbsp. vegetable, or rapeseed oil

To start:
Slice the onion, length wise, then cut in half again (Basically doesn’t matter as long as it’s not too small and it’s big enough to hold on to batter)

To Combine:
In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the egg, water, and spices. (You want a thick pancake consistency, if too lose add more flour).
Add the onion and use your hand to combine and coat all the onions.

To cook:
Heat the oil in a pan.
When hot pick up a small ball about a half a handful and lay in the hot oil, and continue until the onion mixture is finished.
Brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes.

Serve with mango chutney, lime pickle, or your favorite raita.

Monday 6 February 2012

Goat's Cheese Stuffed Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto

I had this as a starter to a holiday meal. I thought it would be a special thing to share seeing as how Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s a very special little treat to share with that special someone, and super easy to make! You could try all kinds of variations on it, change the fruit to pears, and change the cheese to something more like Brie. It’s all up to you!! This can serve 4.

What you’ll need:
4 fresh ripened figs
100g soft goat’s cheese
6-8 slices of prosciutto
Rocket (baby arugula) to serve on
Balsamic glaze for dressing
Pepper to serve

To Start:
Heat oven to 200C or ~400F
Slice an X in the top of the figs but do not cut all the way through the fruit. You want wedges that aren’t completely detached.
Stuff the inside with goats cheese (however much you’d like).
Next wrap at least two pieces of prosciutto around each one so it’s protected.
Place in the oven until the prosciutto is crispy. About 15 minutes.

To Finish:
Serve on top a bed of arugula and drizzle sweet aged balsamic on top.

Friday 3 February 2012

Crispy Pork Joint with Apple Sauce

This was something I tried to make over a holiday break and I succeeded so well I wanted to try it again with a different cut of meat. First I tried with a pork loin joint, and the second time with a pork belly. It’s not something I would ever suggest as everyday food and fast low fat food but it’s so delicious and succulent I suggest it to anyone for a special occasion meal. The pork loin joint definitely gave off little to no fat drain and is one I will use in the future. Serves 4 or 2 for 2 nights! Enjoy!

What You’ll Need:
1-1.5kg (2.5-3lb) rolled pork loin joint (it doesn’t have to be rolled but make sure you have a piece with thick crackling [that is the point])
1 tbsp. sea salt
Seasoning for the Pork: (optional)
1 tbsp. ground toasted fennel seeds
1 tbsp. ground toasted cumin seeds
1 tbsp. sea salt

What You'll Need For the Apple Sauce:
4 medium apples
½ tsp. sugar (maybe more depending on tart the apples are)
½ bouillon cube
1 tbsp. flour
1 c water

For the pork:
Preheat your oven to the temperature of hell! 240C or ~450F
Prepare the pork, score in diagonal lines cutting almost to the meat. You want all the fat to render from the skin.
Next shove the salt or seasoning blend into all the cracks of the meat.
When the oven is preheated put the roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
Next reduce the heat to 190C or ~375F.
Calculate cooking time 35 minutes per pound. In this case it would continue to cook for about 2 hours.
Don’t touch it, don’t open the oven…resist the urge to poke it!

For the Apple Sauce:

Peel, core, and dice the apples.
Place in a cold pan and coat with the flour, sugar and bullion.
Add the water and mix until the lumps are gone.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the apples are soft.
Puree if you wish.
Serve on top of the pork and enjoy!