Monday 29 December 2014

Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

Serves 4

This simple, sensational marinade for grilled chicken marries lemon, garlic and rosemary in a perfect flavour combination. Serve, as pictured, with my Sweet Potato, Spinach, Bean and Feta Salad (recipe here)

What's in it?

500g chicken breast, pounded to around 1-2cm thick with a meat tenderiser
3 cloves garlic, peeled 
Leaves of 2 stalks of rosemary
1tsp finely grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1tbs dijon mustard
20g olive oil 

How do I make it?

1. Place garlic and rosemary leaves in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl. 

2. Add zest, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil and mix for 10sec / speed 3. 

3. Pour over chicken, coat well and marinade in fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. 

4. Preheat non-stick frypan, grill or BBQ and cook chicken over medium heat for around 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. 

4 ProPoints per serve. 

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Orange and Pistachio Stuffed Turkey

Serves 8-10

I had grand plans of posting recipes for a whole spread of Thermomix made Christmas fare, but those plans have been overtaken by the crazy hectic nature of my life of late. Work has been busy and so too has my social life with Christmas and school functions galore. It's just that time of year. But this is one recipe I definitely need to share. When cooked perfectly, turkey should be moist and juicy and delicious and the flavours of the stuffing should infuse the meat. It's therefore important to make sure that your stuffing is a good one, and this one is in my humble opinion the best that I have ever had. There's no reason why it couldn't also be used to stuff a chicken or a pork loin roll. 

Orange and Pistachio Stuffing

Stuffed and Prepared

Didn't quite get the photo before the carving had begun!

What's in it?

4kg turkey
40g butter, melted
Salt and pepper

Orange and Pistachio Stuffing
40g butter
1 brown onion, peeled and halved
6 x 35g slices of white bread
1 1/2 tsp finely granted orange rind 
1/2 cup orange juice 
Bunch of parsley and mint
1/2 cup pistachios
1 egg, lightly beaten

You will also need some skewers and a meat thermometer. 

How do I make it? 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. 

2. Prepare turkey Remove and discard neck from turkey. Rinse turkey (including the cavities) under cold water. Pat dry inside and outside with paper towel. 

3. Make orange and pistachio stuffing Place bread in mixing bowl and chop Turbo / 1sec / 2-3 times or until a breadcrumb consistency is reached. Remove to a separate large bowl.  Place butter and onion in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl and cook for 5min / 100°C / speed 1. Add to breadcrumbs. Place pistachios in mixing bowl and chop Turbo / 1sec / 1 time. Add to breadcrumbs and onion. Place parsley and mint in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7, then add to breadcrumbs and onion together with the orange rind, juice and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. 

4. Fill the large and neck cavity of the turkey with the stuffing. Using skewers which have been cut in half, secure skin over both the cavities. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Tuck wings under the turkey. 

5. Place turkey on a greased wire rack in a large roasting pan, or in a disposable aluminium roasting tray. Brush turkey with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. 

6, Wrap wings and legs in aluminium foil (this will help to stop these from drying out), cover rest of the turkey with a large piece of grease proof baking paper and then cover pan or tray tightly with alfoil.

7. Place turkey in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours, then remove the foil, and baking paper. Roast for a further approximately 1 1/2 hour, basting turkey frequently with pan juices. After turkey has been cooking for around 2 1/2 hours, check the temperature with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. The turkey is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F or 75°C. If you don't have a meat thermometer handy, pierce with a skewer. The juices will run clear when the turkey is cooked. 

8. Once cooked, transfer the turkey to a platter or board to rest for 15-30 minutes. Remove and discard string and skewers. Serve with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. 

4 ProPoints per serve of stuffing and 4 ProPoints for 100g of cooked turkey meat (skinless).


This recipe can be easily converted for a larger turkey. I usually cook an 8kg turkey to serve around 30 people, and simply double the amount of stuffing and increase the cooking time. An 8kg turkey takes around 6.5-7 hours. There are plenty of good guides available on the internet as to approximate cooking times for different sized turkeys. 

I prefer to order my free range turkey from my butcher and pick it up fresh on the day that I am cooking it. But if your turkey is frozen, thaw it in the fridge. This will take around 3 days for a 4kg turkey and 4-6 days for a larger turkey. 

Thursday 11 December 2014

Chicken Caesar Salad

Serves 4

A recipe for a healthy caesar salad. The dressing for this salad is derived from a Jamie Oliver recipe. He uses yoghurt rather than a mayonnaise base, and nothing is sacrificed in terms of taste. 

What's in it?

1 sourdough baguette, cut into 3-4cm pieces
40g parmesan, cubed
1 clove garlic, peeled
100g full fat greek yoghurt
Juice of half a small lemon
2tsp worchestershire sauce
2 anchovies, finely chopped
2 cos lettuce hearts
120g short-cut bacon, fat trimmed
400g chicken tenderloins

How do I make it?

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lie sourdough pieces on baking tray and spray with olive oil. Bake in oven for around 5 minutes, or until crisp and chewy but not overbrowned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place parmesan in mixing bowl and grate for 10sec / speed 9. Set aside. Add garlic and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add yoghurt, lemon juice, worchestershire sauce, anchovies and half the parmesan and mix for 10sec / speed 4. Set aside. 

3. Heat a non-stick fry pan and fry bacon pieces until crisp. Remove to plate lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil. Cook chicken tenderloins in same pan for approximately 5-8 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

4. Tear lettuce pieces into a large bowl. Add bacon, sourdough croutons, cooked chicken and dressing and toss to combine. Divide into large bowls and sprinkle with remaining parmesan to serve. 

9 ProPoints per serve. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Serves 4

I decided to make this after trying the spaghetti and meatballs recipe in the new EDC which is, frankly, a bit bland. I added a variety of flavour enhancing ingredients and the taste is vastly improved. The meatballs are cooked in the varoma, so you won't get a nice caramelised crust on them which you would by cooking them on the stove in a pan. If you prefer, you could quite easily follow this recipe but cook the meatballs on the stove rather than steaming them over the cooking sauce in the varoma. I opted for the convenience of an all in one dish and the result was very tasty. 

What's in it? 

60g fresh white breadcrumbs
80g skim milk
60g parmesan, cut into 1-2cm cubes
2 cloves garlic, peeled
6 sprigs parsley
500g low fat beef mince
2 eggs
1/4 tsp each of freshly ground salt and pepper
250g spaghetti

1 onion, peeled and halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
40g tomato paste
30g balsamic vinegar
800g canned chopped tomatoes
1tsp sugar
2tsp vegetable stock paste or 1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper
Small handfull torn basil leaves

How do I make it?

1. Soak breadcrumbs in milk. Set aside until needed. 

2. Place parmesan in mixing bowl and grate for 10sec / speed 8. Set half aside and leave the other half in the mixing bowl. 

3. Add garlic and parsley to mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Add mince, salt and pepper, eggs and soaked breadcrumbs and combine for 10sec / speed 5. Pour mixture into separate bowl and clean and dry mixing bowl. 

4. Lightly spray varoma dish and tray with olive oil. Shape mince mixture into meatballs approximately 4cm in diameter and arrange them in the dish and on the tray, not touching. Set aside. 

5. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil.  Add spaghetti when water is at boiling point and cook per packet directions. 

6. While waiting for the water to boil, place onion and garlic in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7.  Add olive oil and saute for 3min / 120°C (TM5) or Varoma (TM31) / speed 1. Add tomato paste and balsamic and cook for 1min / 120°C (TM5) or Varoma (TM31) / speed 1. Add canned tomatoes, sugar and stock paste or salt and freshly ground pepper. Put varoma in place to steam the meatballs and cook sauce and meatballs for 20min / varoma / speed 1. Add basil leaves to mixing bowl during last 5 minutes of cook time. 

7. To serve, drain pasta and place on plates. Place meatballs on spaghetti, pour over sauce and sprinkle with reserved parmesan. 

15 ProPoints per serve. 

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Seafood and Potato Pie

Serves 6

This is my idea for a great seafood pie, loaded with fish, salmon and prawns with a creamy sauce. Just add a simple green salad or some steamed vegetables on the side for a complete meal. 

What's in it?

Mashed potato
800g potatoes (preferably Royal Blue variety)
250g skim milk
1/4 tsp each freshly ground salt and black pepper
20g butter

60g cheddar cheese, cubed
4 sprigs of parsley
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into 3-4 pieces
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
250g skinless salmon
300g firm fresh white fish
250g de-shelled prawn meat
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1L skim milk
40g butter
40g plain flour
1/4 tsp each freshly ground salt and black pepper

How do I make it?

1. Place cheese in mixing bowl and grate for 10sec / speed 7. Set aside.

2. Place parsley in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Set aside separately from cheese.

3. Place onion, carrot and celery in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Set aside in a large non-stick fry pan together with salmon, fish, milk, bay leaves and peppercorns.

4. Next, make the mashed potato. Insert butterfly and place potatoes and milk in mixing bowl and cook for 25min / 95°C / speed 1. Once finished, add the butter and mash for 30sec / speed 3. Place mash in thermoserver to keep warm until pie is ready to assemble. Wash and dry bowl.

4. While potato is cooking, bring seafood and vegetables to a simmer in a non-stick pan. Turn down to a low heat and simmer for around 15 minutes or until fish starts flaking. Place prawns in pan for last few minutes of cooking. Using a slotted spoon, remove seafood and vegetables from pan (discarding bay leaves) and place in a large casserole dish. Break fish and salmon up slightly using two forks. Strain milk into a jug.

5. Next, make the creamy sauce. Place butter in clean mixing bowl and melt for 3min / 100°C / speed 1. Add flour and cook a further 3min / 100°C / speed 1. Finally, add 500g of the strained milk, salt and pepper and cook for 6min / 90°C / speed 4. Once finished, add cheese and mix for 20sec / speed 4. Stir through reserved chopped parsley with spatula.

6. To assemble the pie, pour sauce over seafood and vegetables and spoon over mashed potato, smoothing the surface with a fork. 

7. Place casserole dish in oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until potato has lightly browned and filling is bubbling.

10 ProPoints per serve.