Category Archives: Cured Meats


No Bread or Grain Open Sandwich Recipes

Eggplant-open-sandwichEasy Gluten free and paleo options coming during the next month.

Over the next month I will be taking you through many simple but very tasty options for bread/grain free open sandwiches. These recipes will be family friendly and easy to adapt to cater to the differing taste choices that people have in your home and when entertaining. They will include dairy and nut free options and all will be soy free as well.

An open sandwich usually consists of a slice of fresh bread with different spreads and toppings such as butter, pâté, cheese spreads, relishes, cold cuts such as roast beef, turkey, chicken, ham, bacon, salami, cheese slices or sausages like beerwurst and vegetables like bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, radish, spring onions (scallion), grated carrot and cucumber to name a few.

When living a Gluten-free life an open sandwich is a great option for a fun snack or meal and you can get the kids making their own. We can use GF breads but I prefer to use other things for the base such as large flat mushrooms, lightly grilled bell peppers (halved), egg plant slices (grilled on both sides), cucumber, large tomato slices to name a few.

ingredients-1As a brunch or an after school snack an open sandwich can be made by each person to their desired choices, this makes it ideal at gatherings of family and friends. It is also a great way to use leftovers from a large meal the day before. I use the grill a lot when I am making open sandwiches to melt in cheeses on the toppings and add some warmth when needed.

Bacon Salad in a Cup

Bacon-Salad-webI have been making bacon cups for years and there are so many ways to fill them with wonderful tasting goodness. 

They make a wonderful brunch and are also perfect to take on a picnic or to a shared meal. 

I have detailed below how to make the cups below and as far as fillings go, add your own ideas or follow my simple filling recipe. I also sometimes add hard boiled egg slices to this recipe before topping with the dressing 

This is how I make my bacon cups. 

Makes 1 (Scale recipe to meet your needs) 


4 Slices of uncooked chemical free bacon
1 large muffin tray (I use a 6 segment muffin tray)
1 cookie sheet or flat oven tray
Aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 200C (400F).

Flip Muffin tin upside down and place on the cookie tray. Line outside of the muffin tin with foil and fold the edges up. (This is to help catch the grease) 

Take 2 slices of your bacon and criss-cross it over the top of the foil lined muffin tin. Take 2 more pieces of bacon and wrap around the sides folding it under in a semi-weave. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until it becomes crispy but not overcooked. Remove from oven and let cool. Once the cups have cooled enough to be handled by hand remove and place on paper towels to cool. 

Salad Ingredients

a handful of chopped Ice burg Lettuce
4-6 Grape Tomatoes

Avocado Dressing 

1/3 cup Gluten free mayo
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
2 cloves of garlic
4 fresh  basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried parsley
4-5 sprigs fresh dill
1/2 an avocado


Place all of the dressing ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth. 

Fill cooled bacon cup with lettuce and sliced grape tomatoes, top with your Avocado dressing.

Giacomo’s Antipasto

antipasto-2The Italian translation for antipasto is ‘before the meal’ and was traditionally made up of salty olives, deli meats, marinated vegetables and cheeses and offered to diners to stimulate their appetite before the main meal. 

Unless you’re planning a party with lots of guests, keep the antipasto simple so you don’t crowd out the main meal. 

No matter how basic or lavish, antipasto should simply complement the meal you’re planning. 

The fragrance and appearance of the food that you serve is important, so blending flavours, aromas and colours will make for the most interesting antipasto plates. 

I usually prepare my antipasto selecting from the following ingredients 

Serves 20 as a starter (Scale as required for numbers) 

1-2 heads iceberg or cos lettuce

250ml (1 cup) Italian salad dressing

400g (1lb) thinly sliced ham

400g (1lb) brie or other soft cheese of choice, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) chemical free salami, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pepperoni, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) prosciutto, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) cold roast beef, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) fresh mushrooms, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) roasted red capsicums

100g (1/4 lb) black olives, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pickled mild green chilli peppers, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) Gorgonzola, crumbled

200g (1/2 lb) mozzarella, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) grated Parmesan

fresh chopped Italian herbs to garnish 

Preparation of the plate 

Remove large outer leaves from the heads of lettuce. Arrange approximately one third in a layer on a large serving platter. 

Drizzle desired amount of Italian salad dressing on top. Layer with ham and Taleggio cheese. 

Layer with another third of the lettuce leaves, desired amount of Italian salad dressing and salami. 

Repeat layering with remaining lettuce, dressing, pepperoni, prosciutto and roast beef. 

Layer with mushrooms, roasted red capsicums, black olives, green chilli peppers and green olives. Drizzle with more Italian salad dressing, as desired. 

Top with Gorgonzola, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To garnish, sprinkle with fresh chopped Italian herbs, such as basil, parsley and oregano.

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Bacon Wrapped Italian Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Jar-open-P-LemonsI made this recipe yesterday and added a new element. I received a carton of 6 jars of Lavenders Green Preserved Lemons. They are my all time favorite, Thanks Mary.


200g (8 oz) of Gorgonzola cheese (You can use Ricotta if you don’t like the strong taste of the Gorgonzola)

100g (4 oz) grated Provolone or Parmigiano cheese

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano

1 tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley



1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

5-6 chicken breasts

6 slices Lavenders Green Preserved Lemon

salt and fresh ground black pepper


6-12 strips of chemical free bacon (depends on the size of your chicken breasts)

Pulse the cheeses and herbs until combined in a food processor. Scrape into a small bowl and pop into the freezer for 20 minutes or so. You can also combine in a bowl, it will take a bit of elbow grease.

Prep chicken breasts by rubbing pieces of the Lavenders Green preserved lemon pieces on all faces of the breasts, rest for 20 minutes.  Reserve the lemon slices for later.

Now slicing a pocket lengthwise down the length of the chicken. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper on all surfaces and inside the pocket.

When ready to stuff, place a good amount of filling inside each chicken breast, spread it out along

the whole pocket with your fingers, then mash it in place. It will not close fully but that’s OK.

Wrap two slices of bacon around the entire breast.  Using the reserved lemon slices give the breasts another rub over the bacon.

Pre-heat your oven grill (broiler) on high. Grill for about 8 minutes per side – more or less depending on the thickness of your chicken. After 8 minutes flip and cook for another 8 minutes or until the breasts are cooked through. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow the chicken to rest and cool for a few minutes before serving.