Eight Bells

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Maple Syrup Marinated Salmon With Potato Rosti

Salmon fillets
Maple syrup
Salt & pepper
1/4 of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Green peppercorns
1/2 a cup of light cream
A lemon

Debone your salmon fillets and marinate in 1/4 cup of maple syrup per two fillets for 40 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180C and place salmon on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cook until done, around 30-40 minutes.
In the mean time scrub two large potatoes, place them whole in a pot of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 mins, drain and let rest until cool enough to handle easily. Peel and grate the potatoes into a bowl they should be just cooked on the outside but hot and firm in the middle. Add salt & pepper and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Mix well, make into fritters and fry in a little oil turning only once to ensure they stay together.
Simmer cream and green peppercorns together very gently until it thickens a little (you must watch the sauce the whole time it is cooking and stir frequently to prevent sticking) then remove from the heat and whisk in a little lemon juice and zest.
Serve the salmon and rosti with green vegetables and the peppercorn sauce.

Spaghetti With Prosciutto



1 tin of chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 onion, finely diced
1 courgette, diced
1/2 a capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons of oil
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon each of fresh parsley, oregano and thyme, chopped

Cook the diced veges in the oil, add tomatoes and tomato paste with salt & pepper and herbs. Simmer till thick and keep warm.
Cook your spaghetti and grill the prosciutto till just done.
Put spaghetti into warm bowls, top with the sauce, prosciutto and parmesan cheese.

Asian Pork For Two

1 300g pork fillet
1 packet of Continental Japanese soy, ginger and honey flavour base
Bok Choy

Marinade the pork for an hour in half of the sauce, keep the other half of the sauce aside. Cook the pork in the oven at 180C for 40 mins turning once and basting with the marinade. When cooked stand for 5 mins and then slice.
Cook your rice, we used a mixture of white and wild rice called 'entertainer' from Sunrise. One cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water. Put the rice and the water into a saucepan, bring to the boil then turn right down and cover and cook for a further 12-14 minutes or until done, you will need to stir to stop the rice sticking to the pan.
Steam the Bok Choy.
To serve heat the remainder of the sauce by placing the packet in a pan with about 3cm of water, heat.
Make a tian of the rice using a small shallow bowl or in this case a star shaped pastry cutter. Serve with the pork and Bok Choy and a little sauce.

Alert! Your PC Maybe Infected With Prawn

Prawn Cocktail, serves four.

1 lettuce, Iceberg or Romaine
300g packet of prawns, thawed and deveined
Fresh celery

5 tablespoons of mayonaise
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
A few drops of Tobasco or Kataia Fire sauce (careful now)
The juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon of very finely diced onion
1 tablespoon of very finely diced celery
Salt & pepper

Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside after adjusting for heat, sweetness etc to taste. Chill (not you, the sauce, you still have work to do).
When ready to serve mix the sauce with the prawns and spoon into bowls or glasses filled with a couple of large lettuce leaves. Add pieces of avocado and sliced celery if you wish.
You can vary this in many ways, use crab or crayfish, use lime juice instead of lemon, leave out the hot sauce or add more. Play around with it until you have something you like. We used light tomato sauce and Weight Watchers mayonaise just to cut out a little unnecessary fat.

Chicken & Couscous

This will serve four

4 boneless chicken thighs
Streaky bacon


1 pot of ricotta cheese
1/2 an onion, diced
8 sundried tomatoes, soaked for 20 mins in hot water and then sliced (boil the water and then put in a bowl with the tomatoes)
1 chargrilled capsicum, sliced (half for the stuffing and half for the couscous)
1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/4 of a cup of fresh Italian flat leafed parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper

Mix together and stuff the chicken thighs with the mixture, wrap with the bacon and cook in the oven at 180C for around 45 mins.

Steam 8 asparagus spears and 1 large courgette cut into quarters and then sliced for 10-15 minutes.
Cook your couscous according to packet instructions (we used Tipiak French style couscous). When the couscous is done add your courgette, chopped asparagus, 1 diced tomato and the rest of your chargrilled capsicum. Mix and serve.

For Swingers Only

After water blasting the fence and then waiting 3 days for it to completely dry so it could be painted wouldn't you know it, it buckets down all weekend. Naturally instead of painting the fence I built a swing.

The rope is 11mm static climbing rope, the seat is a piece of H 3.2 pine painted with outdoor furniture oil and the four knots are bowlines. The rope was run through short lengths of garden hose looped over the branch of the tree and secured with very large builders staples. I used a spirit level on the seat to make sure it was level. Not bad for my first swing building effort ever, it gets some serious air and some very strange looks from people driving by.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Roast Pork

I'm having a seriously 'can't be arsed' moment right now which can be mostly attributed down to the shit of a day I've just had at work. Here's some food.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dim Sum

It's not called Yum Cha for nothing.

Soy sauce and Kaitaia Fire hot sauce. BBQ pork buns, prawn, shark fin and vegetable dumplings. Gai Larn and oyster sauce for some greenery, mini spring rolls and marinated, fried tofu. Yum indeed.

Waikato 37 Wellington 31

It was a sell out, 25,000 fans in the stadium and reportedly 18,000 cow bells, Wellington never had a chance. What a game, what a night and what a way to finish off a near perfect Waikato season. The scoreline was fair if a little flattering to Wellington but the side that bought their best game won the match and that's all you can ask. It was a coming of age for the Mooloo men and fans alike. The team lived up to the huge expectation the fans had of them and the fans were finally rewarded after such a long wait, 1992 seems an age away. Well done team I for one will never forget Saturday 20th October.

With such a big game you need a meal you can eat on the couch in front of the television. You need a meal that goes well with the vast quantities of beer being drunk and something that will keep you going into the small hours or in our case 8am Sunday morning when we finally called it a night.
We had beef eye fillet left over from a couple of nights ago (purposefully kept for this occasion) and with the simple addition of beef gravy and sauerkraut it was the perfect big match meal.

The beef was thinly sliced and then heated up in the oven with the gravy. The bread is 'tiger' bread from Foodtown. The sauerkraut was from a tin and was spread on the rolls and the meat placed on top. It doesn't look like much but it was absolutely delicious and will definately be making another appearence at some stage.

Thanks Jono

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Garden Update

Traditionally Labour weekend is a huge gardening weekend for kiwis and who are we to buck the trend.
The bed that I showed you a couple of days ago is now finished.

I don't know if R100 reads this blog but I reckon this would make a great jigsaw puzzle.

Baby cherry tree, just planted

Eye Fillet With Oven Roasted Farm Animal Potatoes

Thanks for the pastry cutters Shona as you can see we have put them to good use.

1 kg of beef eye fillet in the piece

Rub the fillet with oil and roast at 160C for about 45 mins low in the oven (time will vary depending on how thick the fillet is). You are cooking for a medium rare finish. Do not sear the meat first.
Serve with roasted potatoes, steamed asparagus, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a beef stock and red wine reduction.
The red wine reduction is simply 1 cup of beef stock, 1 cup of good red wine and a bouquet garni. Simmer to reduce to about half the original volume.


Heh, everytime we have cannelloni I can't help thinking of Tom Hanks in The Terminal. Bite to eat?
Canellonni is so easy and you can mess around with the filling as much as you want. This one is quite traditional. Remember that the filling is to be piped into the canellonni tubes so everything has to be chopped up finely.

400g of beef mince
1 large onion, very finely diced
2 field mushrooms, finely diced
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon of chicken stock
Salt & pepper
3 tablespoons Tomato paste

Grated cheese
Parmesan crust
Two tins of chopped tomatoes, Italian style

In a large pot cook the onion in a little oil and then add the mince and brown. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 or 3 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for around 20-30 minutes until the filling is a good consistency for piping into the cannelloni. Leave to cool before filling the pasta tubes.

Fill the tubes with a pipng bag or small spoon and then pour one tin of chopped tomatoes into a baking dish. Place the tubes on top of the tomatoes and then pour the remaining tin of tomatoes over the top. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then sprinkle over the parmesan crust mixture and the grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 180C for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 20 mins until starting to lightly brown. Eat. Say yum. Eat some more.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


If you haven't either eaten at Pasta Mia or at least bought their exqusite pasta to take away please do so immediately.
It's so easy to put this meal together and the result is well 'delicious' just doesn't do it justice but you get the picture.

Prepare the pasta as per packet insructions and serve with baby spincah leaves and shaved Percorino cheese.

First Catch Your Chicken

From beginning preparation to eating you're looking at around 2 hours (most of this of course is spent drinking wine and waiting for things to cook so don't be too concerned). This will serve four with leftover chicken for sandwiches.

1 free range organic chicken size 16 (no your bog standard prison camp grade chook will not suffice please stop buying them immediately, thankyou)

Cut 1 or 2 (depending on size) juicy lemons in half and then cut the halves into four pieces. Mix with 6 cloves of peeled garlic, cut in half if they are large, 6 fresh sage leaves, 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped flat leafed parsley and some fresh thyme. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the mixture and squeeze the juice of a lemon over the chicken. Grind over sea salt and fresh black pepper.
Place the chicken in a large roasting dish lower down in the oven and add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish. Cook in a preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking peel potatoes and cut them up, after the chicken has been in the oven for 30 minutes put the potatoes in the same oven dish and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Peel kumara, carrots etc and place in a second roasting dish with yams and parsnips. Spray with a little oil. Place on a higher rack in the oven and leave to cook for around 40 minutes or until done. Turn the veges once or twice.
Heat up or make gravy from scratch (ugghhh). We used Cambells chicken gravy which comes as a ready to serve liquid in a box you just have to heat it. Steam some greens and serve.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And So To Bed

We snuck off for takeaway curry tonight so rather than taking a picture of the hideous Indian fiesta here is a picture of one of our garden beds in progress.
When we bought the house a year ago this bed was full of old pine bark which had been used as mulch and the soil hadn't been conditioned or even fed for years. There were a few excellent plants already in the bed including a couple of good, solid, but in need of a haircut buxus and a fantastic ornamental cherry. I removed almost all the bark, a couple of hebes which were past their best and also discarded various grasses obviously planted for low maintenance. I added flaxes, gardenias and a daphne.

The idea of this bed is to create a scented garden in green, white and red with an emphasis on lush foliage and plants with structure. Most of the plants have white flowers and the reds come from the flaxes and the cherry fruit. All the plants are evergreen although the gardenias and the daphne will need a little protection from frosts.
To finish the bed I will dig in a lot compost and fertliser and mulch with pine bark mulch rather than the pine bark chips that had been used previously. This mulch gives a much softer finish and leaves the bed looking less like a council garden project. Other low profile 'filler' plants such as Orange Berry will be added to complete the bed.
Before any of you cheeky buggers comments, the fence will be water blasted and painted by the end of labour Weekend.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I can't believe that this blog is into it's 8th month and I haven't shared with you the joy that is this dish. This is one of my favourite things to eat. This meal can be a total fat fiesta but it doesn't need to be, you can knock about half of the fat out of the meal by preparing it as below. This doesn't really need a recipe as probably everyone has their own delicious version of this meal.

Weight Watchers wedges, oven baked
Lite Sour Cream
Salsa (we used Old El Paso Taco Sauce)
Bacon, cut into 2cm square pieces
Cheese, grated

Cook the wedges according to packet instructions, make sure they are well cooked.
Mash the Avocado with a little lemon juice and salt & fresh ground black pepper. Cook the bacon till light brown and crispy.
Place the wedges, bacon and grated cheese in layers in oven proof serving bowls. Put back in the oven to melt the cheese. It should look something like this.

Remove from the oven and add salsa, avocado, sour cream and fresh ground black pepper. Eat. It is so good that while I am writing this I am wishing I was having it again tonight.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Asian style noodles with other things including scallops

This will serve four as a main.

300g of prawns
2 dozen scallops drained
2 bunches of bok choy
1 bunch of gai larn
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 a cup of fresh coriander, chopped
1 bag of fresh egg noodles
2 tablespoons of oil

1 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of mirren
The juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
A pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger, finey grated

Marinade the scallops in the lemon juice and make the dressing, set both aside.
Working quickly heat the oil in a pan and bring a pot of water to the boil for the noodles.
Cook scallops 2 mins each side in your frying pan and rest in a warm oven (100C) till ready to serve.
Put trimmed and cleaned vegetables and prawns into your frying pan and wilt, toss till steamed and cooked.
While cooking the vegetables drop the noodles into the boiling water and cook for 2 mins then drain.
In a warm bowl mix the vegetables, prawns, coriander and dressing. Serve in warmed bowls placing the scallops on top of the other ingredients. Serve with fresh ground black pepper and soy sauce.


Just to prove it's not gourmet fair every night around here, good old tomato soup, nothing beats tomato soup.

That's What I'm Talkin About

Don't worry this is still a food blog. However...

Fuck yeah

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Don't Fear The Reaper

It's still funny

More Cowbell

Super Mullet

And you thought the mullet was dead, I don't think so. This is a beauty seen during the Waikato Vs Otago national rugby union semi final 14/10/06. Waikato won 44-15 and are through to the final against Wellington next week to be played at Rugby Park, Hamilton. Good on you boys you wanted it more. Sorry about the quality it is from my sony W1 camera and recorded straight from the television.


Asian Supermarkets, LOL

Beef things very popular, test chicken not so much.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lemon Squeezy

The fish is Terakihi. It has been floured, dipped in beaten egg and crumbed. It was then fried in a little rice bran oil. The chips are Weight Watchers oven fries (the best oven fries we have found) and the salsa is just very finely diced cucumber and tomato with plenty of fresh ground pepper mixed in.

Real Man Food


You will need savoury pie pastry.
Line a 9" greased loose bottomed (stop laughing) flan dish with savoury pastry, trim and bake blind i.e. line with paper and pour in dried beans and bake. Make sure there are no gaps in the pastry edges otherwise when you pour in your quiche mixture it will run out. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 10-15 minutes. Remove paper and beans and cook pastry shell for a further 5-10 minutes at 180C, do not brown.


200g of cooked, sliced bacon
4 mushrooms, finely sliced
6 aparagus spears cut up
1/2 a diced onion, cooked
1/2 a cup of grated cheese
Salt & pepper

Mix the above ingredients and then put the mixture in the pastry case. Pour over a mixture 3 beaten eggs and 2/3 of a cup of cream. Cook in the oven at 180C for 35 mins. Serve with salad.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mediterranean Sausage Salad

Julia "Hey Jules what do you want for dinner tomorrow night"?
Julian "I bought some nice leek and bacon sausages the other day we could have those"
Julia "Ok"

So I'm thinking great, sausages, mashed potatoes and peas, a little tomato sauce on the side and Bob's your auntie, the perfect blokes meal. What did we end up having? As you can see there is not a pea or a mashed potato in sight. Olives, chargrilled capsicum and baby new potatoes? Please, next thing you know I'll be drinking chai lattes and discussing curtain fabric, oh wait......damn it. To be honest I was surprised but not disappointed, it was delicious and a great new take on the humble yet mighty king of meat related products, the sausage.
Serves 4

6 sausages (I mean real sausages from a real butchery made with real meat)
Baby new potatoes
4 tomatoes, halved and grilled
1 grilled and peeled capsicum, sliced
1 onion, cut into eighths
6 cloves of garlic, skinned and cut in half
12 black olives (omit these if you don't like them)
2 tablespoons of fresh flat leafed parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of chives, chopped
3 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil (the eating kind not the cooking kind)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
Asparagus, steamed

Cook the sausages in a frying pan in a little oil and keep warm while you cook the onion and garlic in the sausage pan. Steam the potatoes and grill the pepper and tomatoes. To easily peel the capsicum put them into a sealed plastic bag for 10 minutes when they come out from under the grill, then take out and peel. Put the asparagus on when nearly ready to serve (just throw a bunch into a pot with an inch of boiling water).
Slice the sausages and mix in a lareg bowl with the hot, drained potatoes, onion, garlic, olives, herbs and capsicum. Dress with the oil and season with salt & pepper.
Serve on hot plates with the tomatoes and asparagus. We ate ours with a spicy plum sauce which i will give you the recipe for when our plum tree has been harvested and we make more of it (a few months away yet).

Butt Hat Snot All

Is it just me or does this businesses web site need some rethinking. Seen on the way to work this morning.

Soba Noodles with Sichuan Fried Tofu and Sesame

This is a delicious vegetarian recipe and I highly recommend it. Don't be scared of the tofu it's delicious. You may want to play around with the dressing a little as it's quite mild, a little fresh, finely chopped red chilli pepper would be a good addition and we used soy sauce on the the meal as we ate it. I'm afraid we can't claim this one as our own it comes from the NZ Heralds 'Viva' section and is attributed to Amanda Laird. We made an addition to this recipe by adding fresh mixed asian mushrooms to the pan with the gai larn, this worked very well.
Serves 2

150g of soba noodles (they don't have to have completed the 12 steps but if they have at least got up to number 4 and made a searching and fearless moral inventory of themselves then that will be fine)
150g of silken tofu
2 teaspoons of Sichuan pepper, roughly ground with a mortar and pestle
2 tablespoons of cornflour
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 bunch of gai larn, rinsed and trimmed of any tough stalks
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
Sea salt

1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, very finely diced
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of mirin

Bring plenty of water to the boil in a large pot. Gradually add the soba noodles stirring to prevent them sticking to each other. Cook until tender, drain and rinse. Set aside and to reheat simply immerse briefly in boiling water.
Combine a the cornflour with the Sichuan pepper. Cut tofu into cubes about 2cm square and dust with the pepper/cornflour mixture. In a wok or frying pan heat the vegetable oil (we used rice bran oil) and when a shimmer is obvious on the surface of the oil add the tofu. When coloured turn and cook the opposite side. Don't play with the tofu just put it in let it cook and then turn it once just as you would with a steak.
Remove the tofu from the pan when done and add the gai larn and sesame. Stir for a minute until the gai larn is wilted, then remove.
Combine the noodles with the greens and sesame in warm serving bowls. Stir in the dressing and season with salt if necessary then spoon over the noodles.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Clafoutis Redux

If you didn't make this last time it was posted please make it this time you may amaze yourself. This is one of the simplest and easiest deserts to prepare. The ingredients were changed slightly (again). We used fresh frozen raspberries and whole cherries preserved in brandy courtesy of julia's mother. Thankyou Shona the cherries were outstanding please to be making more.
Here is the link to the recipe

And here is the finished dish in all it's glorious deliciosity.

Steak Sandwich

We are right in the middle of a bumper asparagus season and as it's one of our favourite vegetables why not use it in every meal right?
No recipe for this one as I'm sure eery reader of this blog has made a steak sandwich before. As you all know the sandwich is the perfect food, give me any dish and I'll show you how it can be made better by making it into a sandwich. This being the case why not use the best ingredients you can find rather than just slapping a crusty old bit of minute steak between two bits of white bread and squirting a bit of tomato sauce on top.
Here we have aged organic free range sirloin, Turkish pide bread and organic vegetables from the local farmers market all topped off with hollandaise sauce.

Roast your vegetables, tomatoes and capsicum first for around 40 minutes at 160C and then your courgette and asparagus for around 20 mins. Start to cook the steak when the second lot of vegetables goes in the oven. You will need around 10-15 minutes to cook the steak and 5-10 minutes to rest it depending on the thickness of your meat (stop laughing down the back).
Rub the steak with rice bran oil and cook in a frying pan over a medium-high heat turning just once. Do not put oil in the pan.
Once your steak and vegetables are done slice the steak serve on the bread with hollandaise. If you want to be truly decadent insert some thin slices of blue cheese and be transported to steak sandwich heaven.

Middle Eastern Lamb & Couscous

Somehow we have ended up with a freezer full of meat so to make room (for more meat as it happens) we decided to prepare one of the most famous vegetarian dishes in the world, lamb. If you don't get the reference go out and rent 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' immediately.

You will need

1 leg of lamb on the bone
Tipiak greek style couscous
Small Tomatoes cut in half
Courgettes, thickly sliced
Capsicum, cut into 2 cm pieces
Asparagus, cut into 5-6cm lengths
Lemon Juice
Low fat unsweetend natural yoghurt
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 160C.
Rub the lamb all over with lemon infused olive oil and then coat with the Za'atar. The lamb leg should look like this.

You will need to calculate how the long the lamb will take to cook acording to how heavy it is. Bone in lamb takes around 50 mins per kilo at 160C. The tomatoes and capsicum will need to roast for around 40 minutes, the courgette and asparagus for 20 minutes. Spray the vegetables with a little oil as they go into the oven
Put the lamb in the oven on a rack in an roasting pan so that it is not touching the base of the pan.
Prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions and when ready mix with your roasted vegetables and a little lemon juice.
The yoghurt sauce is simply low fat unsweetened natural youghurt, cucumber, lemon juice and salt & pepper.

Salmon Lover


I can't really think of a much more healthy meal than this one particularly if you are concerned about cholesterol. There is almost no cholesterol in the dish and salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

You can marinate your salmon fillets in any asian style marinade. We used Continental Chinese Sichuan Pepper & Hoi Sin flavour base and marinated the salmon for an hour.
Fry the fish in a little rice bran oil till done and serve with wild rice and steamed bok choy. The sauce is the same marinade heated up.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I have posted a quesadilla recipe before here and this is just a variation on the theme.
Quesadilla are great, once you have the basics in place you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. When I went to find corn kernels in the pantry I didnt have any so I substituted chilli beans! I know, you must be as excited as I am about that. What can I say? I like living life on the edge. Oh and for the extremely observant the picture below is from the last time we did quesadilla. They are so delicious and I was in such a hurry to eat them that I forgot to take a photograph. Oh man I am lolling, as I'm sure you are too. Here is what the wonderful Wikipedia has to say on the subject. The recipe below will make 4 quesadilla.

1 Old El Paso Mexican chargrilled fajita kit (sure you could make it all from scratch but seriously do you have the time?)
1 medium onion, diced
350g of rump steak, finely cubed (less than 1cm square)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of chilli beans
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 large courgette, finely diced
1 large tomato, diced
Fresh red chilli (optional)
Grated cheese
Salt & pepper

Cook the onion in a little oil and when it starts to soften add the steak and brown. Once browned add the fajita seasoning from the fajita kit and stir well to coat the meat and onions. Preheat your oven to 170C.
Add the tin of tomatoes and the chilli beans and as much finely chopped fresh red chilli as you like (if using it) and cook on a low heat for approx 20-30 mins until reduced. Once the mix is the right consistency so that it won't run off the tortilla add the tomato, capsicum and courgette. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Cook until the vegetables are done.
Once the mixture is ready place your tortillas on an oven tray (baking paper on the oven tray will help) and spread a thick layer of the meat and vegetable mixture on the tortillas. Add grated cheese and place a tortilla on top. Place in the oven for around 10-15 mins until the tortillas just start to turn brown. Remove from the oven and serve with sour cream and the Mexican salsa from the fajita kit. Viva Mexico!

Chicken Burger

No recipe really necessary tonight, chicken burger and chips is fairly self explanatory. In the burgers are chicken fillets cooked on a rack in the oven and served with home made chips baked with the skin on. Very healthy (for burgers) and very tasty.

Pork Belly

There are probably very few food products in the world that can immediately produce blocked arteries and induce high blood pressure in their victims but pork belly is one of them. It is roughly two thirds fat and one third meat and when cooked well will transport you to gastronomic heaven.
It is tricky to get a balance bewteen moist tender meat and crispy skin but if you succeed you will never look at a pig the same way again. We have experimented with various cooking methods and this time we grilled them to try and get some of the skin crackled.

Serve with roasted potatoes and cauliflower cheese.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Experimental pizza. We usually add the pizza ingredients to the pizza base one by one layering them up, tonight we mixed all the ingredients together and spread the mix on the base. It was successful, the pizza was great.

Romanos pizza bases are very good and you would be hard pressed making a better one yourself so why not let them do all the hard work for you (seriously they should pay me for this that's the second mention they have got in this blog).
We used Mutti Italian Pizza Sauce on the bases which is imported from Italy, completely authentic and delicious.

For two pizzas mix the following in a large bowl
1 large onion, diced, cooked and cooled
1 courgette, finely diced
2 field mushrooms, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 a cup of marinted olives (we used greeen and black)
1 tablespoon of capers, drained
8 anchovies, chopped
2 tablespoons of marinated capsicum, diced
1 teaspoon each of dried oregano and parsley
100g of shaved ham, shredded

Spread sauce on bases and then add the above topping. Sprinkle with cheese (we used light mozarella, organic cheddar and a little dried parmesan) and cook according to instructions on the bases, around 10-12 mins at 220C.

Fairy Bread

I highly recommend doing things as an adult that you used to do as a child, it's extremely good for the soul. We had a 'shared lunch' at work last week and I took these among other things. White bread, a very thin layer of butter and hundreds & thousands. Perfect. Now go to the park and get on the swings then go fly a kite.

Marinated Pork Steaks

Here's a very easy and very tasty way to cook pork. Just marinade the meat for an hour in a tablespoon of tart apple syrup from Stams a tablespoon of blackcurrant and apple glaze from Gourmet Direct and a tablespoon of pomegranate syrup (we got ours from a deli in Cambridge). Fry the pork until very lightly browned and serve with steamed new potatoes and aparagus with hollandaise sauce. Grind sea salt and fresh black pepper over the lot.