Category Archives: Italian

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Smoked Fish Pakoras

Made earlier in the week these are smoked Fish Pakoras. While the name comes from India chickpea flour has been used for centuries in Italy so this is a blend.

Batter
2/3 cup (100g) chickpea flour (besan)
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour
2 level tsp ground Mrs R’s ground turmeric
200ml sparkling water, chilled

Combine the chickpea flour, cornflour and turmeric in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper (I also add some lemon pepper seasoning sometimes and leave out the straight S & P) then whisk in sparkling water until smooth. The batter needs to look like thin cream. You can add some chilli powder if you like.

The mix for the filling was 250g smoked fish (shredded) in a bowl with 1/2 cup of thin sliced red onion and 1/2 cup of grated carrot that had been patted dry.

I pour the batter into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and mix through. I repeat this until I get an even coating over the fish mix and then deep fry tablespoon lots.

You can also replace the fish with grated vegetables of choice

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.

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.

Horopito Seasoned Aged Rump Steak

bal-steakwebRump steak is for me a delicious choice and there’s no need to splash out on an expensive cut. You can mix and match your sides with this recipe and for a crowd its easy to scale. Using the Rhayne Horopito Wild Herb Seasoning takes this tasty piece of meat to the next level.

For me its very important that the steak is well aged and a thick cut. Have a chat with your butcher, they will be able to help.

Serves 4

13465967_1042309265856270_989460586271929302_n½ teaspoon Rhayne Horopito Wild Herb Seasoning

600g (1.5lb) thick piece of rump steak

2 cloves of garlic, halved

2 tbsp sweet balsamic vinegar reduction, plus a little extra

Put the beef in a wide shallow dish and rub it all over with the garlic halved and then chop the garlic roughly. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and  the sweet balsamic vinegar. Leave to marinate for 2 hours or covered over night in the fridge.

Make sure your barbecue or grill is really hot before starting to cook.

Barbecue (or grill) the beef for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on how thick it is. Take off the barbecue and season with the Rhayne Horopito Wild Herb blend and cover with foil for 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain and serve with the meat juices.

Serve with sweet potatoes roasted with rosemary and garlic and fresh salads on the side and also seasoned with some Rhayne Horopito Wild Herb right before serving.

Pan Seared Salmon on Grapefruit Salad

Salmon-gfruitServes 4

Ingredients

2 Ruby grapefruit
4 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups snow peas tipped and cut into three
1 cup micro-greens of choice
2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp sweet balsamic reduction
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Olive oil for cooking salmon
3 150g (5-ounce) salmon fillets (skin off)
1/2 cup honey toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Method

 Peel and segment grapefruit with a sharp knife on a cutting board; reserve juice in a bowl.

In a bowl mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic so its combined.

In a large bowl add salad greens and pour the dressing and turn to combine.

Divide salad among 4 serving plates. In a small bowl.

 Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over both sides of salmon. Coat a large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish to skillet, and cook until skin is golden and fish releases easily from pan (about 4 minutes). Using a spatula, gently flip fish and cook about 3 minutes more. Once salmon is cooked rest for 2 minutes and then break each fillet into 8 pieces .

While the salmon is cooking place slices of avocado on top of each salad and then place equal amounts of grapefruit pieces on the avocado to form a bed for the salmon to rest on.

Place the salmon pieces on the grapefruit  and dress with honey walnuts and micro-greens.

Sweet Balsamic Braised Beef Cheeks

beef-cheek-webBeef cheeks are a cut that has come into flavour in the paste couple of years. This aside it’s a wonderful cheap cut to cook with and with a little bit of effort plates up looking like you and friends are dining out.

This cut is a very heavily worked muscle so long and slow cooking lets all of the connective tissue break down and allows the meat to impart its great flavour.

Once cooked it will fall apart and is great to serve on potato or sweet potato creamy cheese mash.

Ingredients

4 by 250g (1/4lb) beef cheeks

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, halved and diced

2 rashers of smoked bacon, sliced into pieces

3 gloves garlic, crushed and diced

2 bay leaves

1 sprig rosemary

1 sprig thyme

1 800g tin diced tomatoes

200ml red wine

200ml beef or chicken stock (broth)

150ml Sweet Balsamic Reduction

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season

Method

Preheat oven to 160 C

Season the beef cheeks on both sides with salt and pepper. Rest for 10 minutes.

In a heavy based Dutch oven or oven and stove top casserole dish heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high. Once hot add 2 of the beef cheeks and brown on both sides. Place on a warm dish and then brown the final two and set aside.

Add the rest of the oil and the onions. Reduce the heat to medium and brown for 5 minutes. Add the bacon and garlic and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, diced tomatoes, red wine, stock (broth) and bring to a simmer.

Once simmering add the beef cheeks back and make sure they are covered by the juices and add the Balsamic Reduction. Lightly stir.

Cover and place in the oven for 3-3 ½ hours. Stir a couple of times making sure the beef cheeks are covered with the sauce.

Once cooked and falling apart serve on a creamy mash and salad on the side.

Fresh Gluten-free Pasta

Fresh-gfpastaI love pasta and this meets my needs for a gluten-free option that I can have whenever I want.

Ingredients

1∕3 cup white cornflour

1∕3 cup tapioca flour or potato flour

1∕3 cup buckwheat flour or millet flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 whole eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

1–2 tbsp filtered water, if needed

Sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a food processor, and process until well combined.

Combine eggs and oil in a bowl and slowly pour into the food processor, holding back some of the liquid until you can check the consistency of the dough (it is easier to add more liquid than to add the right quantity and mix of flours). Pulse gently until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, adding water if needed.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured bench (white rice flour works well) and knead gently until dough is smooth and elastic. You don’t have to knead too much as you are finishing the dough off rather than having to work the gluten.

Cut the dough into rectangular mounds for easy handling. If you are using a pasta machine, make the mounds a little narrower than the width of your pasta roller so they will be easy to put through the machine. Cover each mound with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Take each mound and roll out thinly with a rolling pin (about 2–3mm, depending on the shape you wish to make). Form dough into the required shape or feed through your pasta machine. Make sure you keep flouring your bench top and roller so the pasta does not stick and glue together.

Cook pasta in salted boiling water. Fresh pasta requires a lot less cooking time than dried pasta. The cooking time will depend on the shape you have chosen and how thin your pasta is – usually about 2–3 minutes.

Easy Seafood Stew

seafood-stew-webIngredients 

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

½ cup white wine (optional)

½ cup stock (any kind)

1-2 cloves of garlic

½ red capsicum, sliced into bite sized pieces

Dry or fresh chilli to taste (optional)

1 can of canelinni beans

Juice of ½ lemon

1/3 cup chopped parsley

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Aprox 300 grams seafood sliced into bite sized pieces (fish, prawns, squid, etc) 

Method 

Combine the tomatoes, wine, stock, garlic, capsicum and chilli in a dutch oven or heavy based saucepan and bring to a simmer. 

Simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes then add diced seafood and beans to the sauce. 

When the seafood is cooked (should be only 2 or 3 minutes), add lemon juice, cracked pepper and parsley. 

Serve in warm bowls with crusty bread (optional).

Spiced Chicken and Capsaicin (Bell Pepper) Soup

Chicken-Pepper-Soup-webItaly is well known for its light and fresh soups and this recipe is inspired by my love of the food from the south of Italy. 

Serves 4 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 each of orange and red capsaicin’s (bell peppers), thinly sliced

1 small onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp dried basil

2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp dried crushed red chilli pepper (more or less to your taste)

5 cups chicken stock (broth)

1 can Italian style (Roma) diced tomatoes

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

200g (8 ounces) button mushrooms, quartered

2 tsp capers

1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (leftover from a roast is great or rotisserie chicken from market)

Grated Parmesan cheese 

Method 

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. 

Add capsaicin’s (bell peppers), onion, garlic, basil, fennel seeds and crushed red chilli  and sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add carrots, canned tomatoes and stock (broth). Simmer until the carrots are tender, another 10-15 minutes.  Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil.  Add chicken and capers and cook just until heated through, about 2 minutes. 

Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle soup into warm bowls. Serve, with a light sprinkle of the cheese. Don’t add too much cheese and this can make it taste too salty.

Canter Valley Turkey Meatloaf – Italian Flavours

Loaf-webThis easy-to-follow meatloaf recipe makes a perfect main for a traditional family meal or an informal dinner party. 

Ingredients 

Meatloaf 

2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 small red capsicum, de-seeded and finely chopped
1.5 kg (3.3 lb) lean lamb, beef or pork mince (ground meat)
1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs or ground, dry shiitake mushrooms for paleo 
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Filling 

2–3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
6 button mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 tbsp each chopped fresh basil, rosemary and Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
100 g (4 oz) mozzarella, sliced 

Topping 

1 400-g (16oz) skinned and chopped Italian (Roma) tomatoes
60 g (2 oz) fresh Parmesan, grated
100 g mozzarella, grated 

Method 

Preheat oven to 175 °C. (350 °F) 

First prepare the filling. Heat oil in a frying pan. When it’s almost smoking add mushrooms and sauté for 1–2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Add fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. 

Next make the meatloaf. Discard any mushroom juices from the frying pan and add the oil. Once hot add the onion, garlic and capsicum and sauté until lightly coloured about 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool. 

Add the mince, bread crumbs or ground, dry shiitake mushrooms and eggs. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

Lightly oil a loaf tin. Place half the meatloaf into the tin and pat into shape, forming a hollowed-out section for the filling. 

Spread mushroom and herb filling into the hollowed-out section and cover with mozzarella slices. Carefully pat the remaining meatloaf over the top. Press down lightly to seal it fully. 

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and tip off any oils that have gathered during the cooking and then pour the topping tomatoes over it, top with the cheeses.   

Return to the oven and bake for a further 15–20 minutes. Once cooked, allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out.

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