Category Archives: Herbs

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Courgette and Tomato Cheese Bake

3 medium courgettes
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4–5 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
200 g mozzarella, sliced
3 medium vine-ripened or truss tomatoes
freshly chopped basil, to taste
1 cup mixed herb Coating, tossed in 1–2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 175 °C.

Trim both ends of each courgette. Cut them in half; then shave lengthwise into thin flat strips using a potato peeler.

Place in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside for 10–15 minutes. Press with dry towels to extract some of the moisture.

In a 25-cm pie pan (or gratin pan or baking dish), layer the courgette strips in an overlapping pattern. Season with pepper and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and layer with mozzarella. Slice the tomatoes and place on top of the mozzarella. Season the tomatoes with sea salt, pepper and fresh basil.

Top with the mixed herb coating. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the courgette is fork-tender and the topping is golden brown. Set aside for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Herb crumb: 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs and 2 tsp of my italian herb mix
(add 1 tbsp each of dried marjoram, thyme, basil, oregano and rosemary to a jar, then seal and shake well to blend the herbs together).

Tomato Kidney Bean Sauce

MB-Beens-webI love my kidney beans and in this recipe I have combined my kidney bean sauce with some yummy herb cheese meatballs

Tomato Kidney Bean Sauce with Meatballs

Ingredients  

Sauce

1 400g (12oz) can diced Italian tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup stock (broth)
1 tsp  dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp  dried thyme
1 tsp  dried basil
1 400g tin well drained kidney beans
½ cup tomato paste
Salt and pepper to season  
½ cup chopped Italian parsley 

Meatballs

400g beef or lamb mince
½ onion chopped finely, red onion is great
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs, gluten free if required
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp grated carrot
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 -3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
200g mozzarella cheese, the dryer the better, diced into small chunks (Optional)

 

Method 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs except the oil. Using your hands, mix throughout, but gently.  I use my thumb when I am mixing as it allows me to push the ingredients into the mix to make sure its all mixed evenly.  

Lightly oil the palms of the hands, and shape into medium sized, 3-4 cm meatballs.  Push back any mozzarella pieces that poke through the meat – they can melt and burn.  

Heat a medium sized frying pan large enough to hold the meatballs.  If this is not available, work in batches.  Sauté meatballs over medium-high heat, turning as you cook, to brown all sides.  When browned, lower heat and cook, covered, for ten minutes turning frequently. Remove from the heat, leave the meatballs in the pan and set aside. 

Sauce  

In a pot over a medium-high heat combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce be half. Once reduced pour over the meat balls and combine to coat the meat all over. Place over heat and simmer for ten minutes, turning often. 

Serve the meatballs over rice or pasta and top with the remaining sauce, sour cream and garnished with parsley or chives.

North African Beef Cheeks With Orange

bff-chkServes 4

4 250g beef cheeks
4 tbsp flour of choice, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 400g (16 oz) can crushed Italian tomatoes
4 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and diced rough and chunky
3 cloves of garlic, diced
½ tsp Mrs Rogers chilli flakes
1 tsp Mrs Rogers ground cumin
1 tsp Mrs Rogers ground cardoman
1 tsp Mrs Rogers smoked paprika
2 cups beef or vegetable stock (broth)
1 cup orange juice
Grated zest of one orange
1 cup diced prunes
1 cup diced dates

1 400g tin kidney beans, well rinced

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 150C

Mix the beef cheeks in a bag with the seasoned flour. Remove and shake off any excess flour.

In an oven and stove top safe casarol dish heat 2 tablespoons of oil over a medion hot heat. Once hot add 2 beef cheebs and brown on all sides. Remove to a dish and finish the other two and set aside.

Add the other two tablespoons of oil and onion, cook for 5 minutes, stiring. Once they have started to sweet down add the paprika, cumin, cardoman and chilli. Reduce heat to medium and stir to combine. Cook stiring for 1 minute and add the tomatoes, garlic, orange zest, prunes and dates.

Cook for 2 more minutes and add 1 cup of stock and the orange juice. Once it is simmering add the browned beef cheeks. Top with stock, cover and bring to a simmer.

Once simmering place in the oven and cook for 2.5 hours.

After 2.5 hours remove and stir in the kidney beans. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning to taste and return to oven for 2 hours.

Remove and stir.

Serve on a bed of rice or over a sweet potato mash.

Manawa Honey Turmeric Chicken Skewers

Chicken-skewers (1)Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsps Manawa Honey
6 chicken thighs cubed, deboned, skin-on
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
½ tsp cumin
Scant 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to season
1 tbsp oil of choice
8 bamboo skewers
Method

In a medium sized bowl add the garlic, Manawa honey, lemon juice, spices, pepper and salt. Combine well and then add the chicken and turn to cover all the chicken pieces. Cover and rest in fridge for 2 hours.

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour. About 30 minutes before heating the grill, remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit at room temperature.

Thread the chicken on the skewers, packing tightly together. Grill on bbq over medium heat, turning occasionally until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Herb Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce

20767787_1513524002069579_4701809300335231268_nA classic dinner favourite that can be made ahead of time and re-heated when its time for dinner. Any leftovers are great for lunch the next day or as a brunch on Sunday morning with a nice seasonal salad on the side.

Ingredients

Meatloaf

1/3 cup breadcrumbs 
2 tbsp Sabler & Steel’s Sauce Black
2 tbsp olive
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 tsp each fresh rosemary and thyme, lightly chopped (if using dried, 1/3 tsp of each)
1 small to medium carrot, grated
500g lamb, beef or pork mince
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup sharp cheese of choice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Sauce

1 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp Sabler & Steel’s Sauce Black
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp each fresh rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme, lightly chopped (if using dried, 1/3 tsp of each)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp oil
1-2 whole dried chillies (optional)

Method

In a large bowl combine all of the meatloaf ingredients and combine well. Roll into shape, cover and rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.

In a pot heat the oil on the stove on medium and add the onion. Cook the onion for 5-10 minutes until they are soft. Add the garlic and dried chillies and cook stirring for another 2-3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the tomato, Sabler & Steel’s Sauce Black, paste herbs and stock. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce can be made ahead and stored, sealed in the fridge for a couple of days until needed.

Take the meatloaf from the fridge and rest for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 170C. Place the loaf in a high sided oven dish and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove any fats and oils that have come out of the loaf.

Cover with the sauce and cook in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Remove and rest for 5 minutes and serve with your choice of sides.

Roasted Lamb Leg or Shoulder Herb Crumbed

F-Dog-Lamb_CrmMy goto Gluten-free crumb is made by Fogdog here in New Zealand. Its ideal for this recipe and carries the fresh herb flavour so well. Its like a taste of spring in the middle of winter.

Ingredients
2 cups of Fogdog GF Breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Fogdog-Gluten-Free-Breadcrumbs-21/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 lamb leg or shoulder roast, about 2kg
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup Dijon mustard
2 onions, quartered
Salt and pepper to season

Method

The crumb

In a medium sized bowl combine together the Fogdog GF crumbs, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Let rest for a few minutes and give the crumb another toss.

Now drizzle with 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil and toss until combined well. Rest on your bench for a 30 minutes and use.

Preheat the oven to 220℃.

Place the onions and rosemary into the bottom of a large heavy based ovenproof dish.

Season the lamb leg with salt and pepper. Coat with a light, even covering of mustard and place into the dish. Press the herb crumb mix on to the top of the lamb. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150℃ and continue to cook for 2 ½ hours.

Remove lid from the dish and cook for a final 15-30 minutes.

Remove the lamb from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes.

Light Chicken Broth Style Stew

Light-Chicken-Stew-webI love this light and tasty chicken stew. The herbs impart a fresh taste to the meat and it 

Ingredients 

8 cups water

1 medium to large whole chicken, neck and giblets removed from the cavity if they are in there

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 medium celery stalks, sliced

1 large onion, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of a small lemon

1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from stalk

½ tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine

1 bay leaf 

Directions 

Place the whole chicken in a large slow cooker, add the water and cook on low until the chicken is falling off the bone. (About 8 hours on low). Once cooked remove the chicken out of the cooker and rest on a large plate. 

Place the carrots, celery, onion, herbs, zest and bay leaf in the slow cooker fluids and cook on high until tender, about 3 hours. 

When the chicken is cool enough to handle but still warm shred the meat into bite-sized pieces (discard the skin, cartilage, and bones), refrigerate until needed. 

Return the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and cook on high till its all warmed through, about 30 minutes. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed, remove the bay leaf and serve in warmed bowls.

Easy Herb Roast Lamb Leg

Herb-Lamb-roast-webThis is my fall back lamb leg roast recipe. Its quick and easy to prep and I often use it to make pulled lamb. 

The juices from the lag roasting make a wonderful base for a tasty gravy. 

Serves 4-6

 Ingredients

1.8 kg (4 lb) Leg of lamb 

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves Garlic, peeled and sliced lengthways into 24 slivers

2-3 stems Rosemary, cut into 24 pieces (preferably with thick, mature stems)

2 onions, peeled and cut in half

Several sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

½ cup stock (broth) of choice. I use chicken.

 

Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C (375F). 

Rub the olive oil all over the lamb leg and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Make 24 small but deep slits all over the leg of lamb, spacing them out evenly.

Insert 1 garlic sliver and 1 rosemary piece into each slit and season generously with salt and pepper.  

Place the cut onion halves and thyme in the roasting tray and position the leg of lamb on top, making sure it is stable and add the stock to the base of the tray. 

Cover the tray loosely with foil and cook for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes, uncovered.  The lamb will be well done; cook for less time for medium well or medium rare.  

Remove from the oven and cover again with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

BBQ Southern Mediterranean Lamb Kebabs

Med-Lamb-kab-webThis is a very quick and easy BBQ recipe to bring together. Simple flavours that will impress family and friends. 

Ingredients 

2kg (4.4lb) boned shoulder of lamb

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 large lemon, juiced plus wedges to serve

Zest of one lemon

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Smoked paprika for sprinkling

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season 

Method 

Trim excess fat off the lamb and cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Add the diced lamb into a large bowl with the oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, 2 tsps salt and some black pepper. Mix well to combine, cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for about an hour. You can leave it longer if you like. 

Preheat the barbecue. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers. You can use bamboo skewers which have been soaked for a couple of hours in cold water. 

Cook on the hot barbecue, turning until browned on the outside but still juicy in the centre, about 5 minutes for each skewer. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and a squeeze of lemon juice to serve.

Juicy Cheery Tomato Bites

Classic-Tomato-webI have mentioned many times before that Italian and Sicilian food is based in simple flavours that work well together and don’t need any complication with unnecessary additions just to bulk dishes as we see in so many western countries. 

This side is a classic that has not changed in generations and can be made in a few minutes. Resting in the fridge will allow this wonderful tomato dish develop its full depth of flavour. 

There are two main flavour tastes that I cover in this recipe. 

As a side for 4-6 

Ingredients 

600g (20oz) Cheery tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stalks

1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped

Balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Olive oil to drizzle

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 

Method. 

Slice the cheery tomatoes in half and place them in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the tomatoes with fresh thyme leaves and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Mix together, cover and rest in the fridge for 1 hour for added flavour. 

Pre-heat oven to 200 C (400 F). 

On a lined flat baking tray place the tomatoes flesh side up. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 5-8 minutes to soften them. Do not over cook. 

Remove from the oven and place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the diced basil leaves. Serve warm or cool.

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