Banana Bread

Banana bread has to be the easiest type of cake you will ever make. You can mix everything with a fork and a wooden spoon and you don’t need an electric mixer to beat any eggs. Basically mash the bananas and combine with the flour, sugar and eggs /oil and your done. This banana bread has a twist with lime juice/zest, shredded coconut and olive oil instead of butter.bbread

Veal osso buco with saffron risotto

Osso buco is one of my favourite Italian dishes. It simply melts in your mouth but you have to be patient and slow cook it for hours. This one is veal which I believe is better than beef. It was slowed cooked for about 3 hours or so on a stove top with homemade passata and chicken stock. The saffron risotto compliments this dish nicely, it’s expensive but well worth it.IMG_5304

Fettuccine with pesto, potato & green beans

pesto

The start of summer means the start of homemade basil pesto. Homemade pesto is a million times better than anything you will buy in the stores and is not very hard. I always make pesto with a mortar and pestle. It allows me to control the consistency and I like being able to see it all come together right in front of your eyes rather than whizzing everything in a blender. This recipe, like many others, is straight Italian Food Safari (Lucio Galletto) and adding potatoes and green beans is a nice variation to traditional basil pesto dishes.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu, meaning ‘pick me up’ is one my favourite Italian desserts. When made well, the combination of coffee-soaked savoiardi and sweet mascarpone is unlike anything else and it simply melts in your mouth. The beauty of tiramisu is that it gets better the longer it sits in the fridge, however, you may find it hard to resist after day one.

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Vegetable frittata

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Frittatas are a healthy option for all meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This one has beetroot, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach and feta however you can mix up your ingredients. Simmer the eggs slowly and remember to place under a hot grill to give that golden finish.

Chocolate cake with brandy raisins and orange zest

This cake is from an old Maggie Beer cook book I came across. It is super rich and full of chocolate, inside and on top! It uses almond meal with a bit of a flour which could be substituted out to make it gluten free. It’s best to serve this cake the day you make it as I put it in the fridge overnight and it dried out a little unfortunately. Still a great recipe if you like rich, dense chocolate cakes!

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Fried rice

Mastering rice without a rice cooker is somewhat difficult. This dish is a combination of Thai & Indonesian Fried Rice as I didn’t have all the ingredients for either. For me, that’s what cooking is all about. Experimenting and taking bits of pieces from various dishes to make your own. You’ll be surprised with what you can create without following a recipe exactly and often it will even be better than what you were meant to make.

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Lime & lemongrass chicken

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This is a great dish if you are keen to make a curry paste from scratch. There are only a few key ingredients and there isn’t much to putting it together. It’s quick and relatively straight forward. Like all chicken dishes, simmer until the chicken is cooked through and not for how long it says in the recipe. The quicker you cook the chicken, the tougher it will be so be patient.

Minestrone

The classic Italian soup and perfect for the winter months. I like to fry some pancetta first with an onion and garlic before adding the diced vegetables. Mix up your vegetables for variations. I always add cabbage towards the end for a few minutes along with a little bit of pasta. Be careful and don’t add too much pasta as it will expand and ruin the soup. If you have some parmesan cheese rind, throw that in whilst cooking. Italian’s don’t like to waste anything.

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Yellow beef curry

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In this dish, use thinly sliced beef and brown it quickly for 30 seconds or so and set aside. Simmer the curry ingredients with coconut milk for as long as you like. The longer the better. Then add the beef at the very end. This will stop it from being too chewy. Add roasted peanuts for extra flavour.