Italian pork sausage stew

Oof, haven’t posted in a while. Other stuff keeps distracting me. Here’s a recipe post…. I intend to write another post later in the week but we’ll see how that works out.

Sausages in a brown stew in a black deep-bottomed frying pan. Veggies like red capsicum and yellow corn are visible

Ingredients:

  • Onion
  • 6x small sausages
  • Mixed herbs (3-4 tsp)
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1x tsp garlic
  • 3 pinches chilli mix
  • Mushrooms
  • Capsicum
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Leek
  • Gnocchi
  • Vegetable stock & water

Tools

  • Large frying pan 
  • Saucepan
  • Spatula 
  • Kitchen spoon 
  • Crockery and cutlery 

Method

  1. Chop the vegetables
  2. Brown the sausages in the frying pan with garlic
  3. Tip veggies into the pan with vegetable stock, mixed herbs, diced tomatoes and chilli powder
  4. Let cook for 10 minutes on low heat – put water on for the gnocchi
  5. Cook gnocchi in boiling water
  6. Plate up and serve
Sausage stew plated - three sausages and a collection of vegetablies in sauce covering gnocchi on a white plate with green rim.
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Curried sausages

My grandma (Dad’s mum) makes great curried sausages. I asked her for the recipe, then tested it.

Grandma’s recipe

Ingredients:

  • sausages, gravox, curry powder, cornflour, margarine, veggies

Method:

  1. Boil sausages then cool and chop
  2. Sauce of gravox, tsp curry powder, cornflour, margarine
  3. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn 
  4. Combine sausages with sauce and veg plus grated apple

My Adaption

I prefer to chop and fry the sausages, then make the sauce around them then add the veg. It tastes so good!

Nachos

Last year, my partner and I made nachos for dinner. They’re quite easy to make though there’s a bit of a process involved.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1x can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 sachet of taco seasoning mix
  • Tomato paste & water or passata
  • 1x packet corn chips
  • grated cheese

Method:

  1. Chop onion and prepare other ingredients (now is the time to open jars or cans so you don’t have to scramble to open them later.)
  2. Preheat oven to 200C.
  3. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Cook onion for 2 minutes, or until soft.
  5. Add mince. Cook, stirring, until browned.
  6. Add kidney beans and seasoning (taco spice mix etc.) and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thick.
  7. Arrange corn chips in an oven dish. Top with mince mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until hot.
  9. While this occurs, make salad to accompany the nachos – we had lettuce and carrot.
  10. When nachos are finished, top with your choice of toppings if desired – e.g. salsa, avocado, sour cream. Serve.

Delicious.

Adventures in Cooking

To kick-start some more recipe posts and clear a backlog, I thought I’d start by sharing a few new things I’ve made.

Do you remember me telling you last year that I won a cookbook through an online competition, courtesy of The Big Issue magazine? It’s called The Great Australian Cookbook and it’s full of heaps of recipes from different Australian people – “cooks, chefs, bakers and local heroes”. I’ve tried a few. I should probably try more!

Like the “Best French Toast Ever!” recipe from Michael Klausen, involving soaking bread in an egg and orange rind mixture overnight, then serving it with strawberries stewed in orange juice. I’ve made this more than once and it’s delicious!

(Caption, as WordPress isn’t cooperating with me to do alt text on these images: on white, green-rimmed plates are (a) an eggy golden piece of toast covered by stewed strawberries; and (b) two pieces of eggy toast, with sweet ham scattered over the stewed strawberries on top of the toast, and juice pooled on the plate.) 

The special spiced rice and meatballs recipe by Charmaine Solomon. I need to make these again as they were part of a “meal set” of foods. (I can’t find the pictures I took of it, either.)

The “Seychelles banana fritters” recipe from Josette and George Gonthier; battered bananas (halved and cut lengthwise), fried until golden. Yum!

Most recipes have been adapted a little. I really enjoy it.

Other inspiration has come from areas such as the Good Food Guide or other publications, browsed when I’m back in my hometown for a weekend.

I’ve cooked my own twist on marinated baked chicken thighs and potatoes;

On a white plate with green rim, there are baked potatoes cut in quarters and chicken, coated in a dark marinade, next to cauliflower, corn and capsicum.

I’ve roasted chicken and veggies:

As well as roasting fish.

Looking forward to doing that sort of thing again – when it’s cool enough to use the oven properly, that is.

I’ve made a ton of vegetarian recipes; some which are completely new and I need to write them up, while others are tweaks on ones I’ve done before.

Cooking is fun! Expect more posts about it this year.

Adventures with Lasagna

In the past few weeks, I’ve learnt how to make lasagne two ways – one with mince and one with lentils and mushrooms.

Beef Mince Lasagna

I used a recipe I found here for this dish.

Ingredients:

  • Lasagna sheets
  • Cheese
  • Oil
  • Onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Beef mince
  • 1x bottle pasta sauce
  • Butter/ margarine
  • Plain flour
  • Milk

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan
  • Baking dish
  • kitchen spoon and spatula
  • Cutlery and crockery plus containers to store the leftovers.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180*C. Chop onion and garlic finely – also chop veggies to steam to have with the lasagna.
  2. First, make the meat sauce – fry the onion and garlic until soft, then add the mince and cook until browned.
  3. Stir in the pasta sauce, then cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  4. While it’s simmering, make the white sauce – heat the butter in the saucepan over low heat.
  5. Add the flour and mix until smooth.
  6. Gradually add the milk and gently bring to a boil, stirring until thick (try to avoid lumps!).
  7. Add cheese (I grated mine in) and stir until melted.
  8. Construct lasagna by lightly greasing a baking dish, then layering meat sauce, white sauce and lasagna sheets – make sure the lasagna sheets are fully covered. The topmost layer should be a white sauce layer.
  9. Add extra cheese and scatter herbs on top.
  10. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes (cook vegetables on the stove at the same time)
  11. Plate up and eat! I got four lasagna portions when I made this.

Lentil and Mushroom Lasagna

I got the recipe for this lasagna from Jack Monroe’s Ultimate Lasagne.

Ingredients:

  • garlic
  • lentils
  • mushrooms
  • leafy winter greens & peas
  • pasta sauce/ diced tomatoes
  • mixed herbs
  • onion
  • flour
  • oil/ butter/ margarine
  • milk

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan
  • Baking dish
  • kitchen spoon and spatula
  • Cutlery and crockery plus containers to store the leftovers.

Method:

  1. Peel and finely chop onion, garlic and vegetables.
  2. Gently fry the onion and garlic in oil for a few minutes on medium heat.
  3. Drain and rinse the lentils then add them to the pan. Add tomatoes and herbs. Jack adds a splash of wine here, too, but I didn’t have any so use a splash of vegetable stock instead.
  4. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then turn down again to medium to simmer.
  5. Ensure mushrooms are “chopped to smithereens” – they’re supposed to have an “almost-mince-like texture”.
  6. Add chopped mushrooms to the pan with leafy greens (and peas, in my case). Give it a stir.
  7. While the lentils are cooking and absorbing flavour, make the white sauce. Heat the oil/margarine and flour together and stir to form a paste.
  8. Add a splash of milk to loosen it, then another splash. Stir while you keep adding splashes of milk until it reaches a good consistency – don’t rush it.
  9. Once all of the milk is incorporated, leave it to cook on a low heat for about ten minutes or so as it thickens.
  10. Preheat oven to 180*C and lightly grease a baking dish. Spoon a layer of the lentil-mushroom mix into the dish, then add a layer of lasagna sheets, then a layer of the white sauce. Repeat until all of the lentil-mushroom mix is gone, remembering to finish with a white sauce layer.
  11. Place into the oven and bake for around thirty minutes, or more if the lasagna sheets aren’t cooked when you stick a knife into the top.
  12. Plate up and eat. Again, this gave me four portions.

 

Chickpea bolognese pasta bake

I made this last week and it was really yummy. I was a bit impatient and – at the time – had cream but no cheese, so it ended up being a little different than I’d thought. Still delicious though – and I’m sure there are ways of substituting dairy ingredients if needed… if I hadn’t had the cream to pour over just before baking, it probably would’ve been just as nice.

on a white plate with green rim is piled pasta with chickpeas and vegetables, brownish-red from bolognese sauce

Ingredients:

  • oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • vegetables: carrot, cauliflower, bok choi, mushrooms
  • 1x tin of chickpeas
  • decent quantity of pasta
  • jar of tomato paste and/or tin of diced tomatoes
  • mixed herbs
  • cream/ cheese/ substitute

Tools:

  • flat-bottomed frying pan
  • saucepan
  • baking dish
  • kitchen spoon
  • cutlery and crockery

Method:

  1. Choose and chop vegetables and onion into fairly small pieces
  2. Heat oil in the frying pan to a medium heat and add onion, vegetables and garlic – cook until soft.
  3. Drain chickpeas and (optional) if you have one on hand, you might pulse them in a blender for a few seconds until coarsely chopped (as suggested by the original recipe)
  4. Add tomato paste/ diced tomatoes with mixed herbs as well as the chickpeas to the frying pan, bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes or so.
  5. While this is happening, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente – it’ll soften more in the oven.
  6. Drain the pasta and combine with the chickpea bolognese mixture and mix.
    NB. If you like, stop here and plate up your chickpea bolognese. If you have a hankering for a pasta bake, though, continue to the next step.
  7. Tip the mixture into a baking dish and – if you have them on hand – top with cheese, or drizzle cream over the top.
  8. Bake in the oven at 190*C for 25-30 minutes or until it’s cooked enough for you.

Mixed-bean stew with rice

Another recipe! This was supposed to be a mixed-bean goulash, a la Jack Monroe, but I didn’t have any tomatoes…and then accidentally left it to simmer a bit too long on the stove so too much water evaporated, so it didn’t end up exactly as intended. Still yummy in the end though.

Ingredients:

  • 1x can of mixed beans
  • 1/4x onion
  • 1/2x carrot
  • a few bok choy leaves
  • 2x cauliflower florets
  • corn kernels
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • tsp of Vegemite
  • soy sauce
  • mixed herbs
  • hot water (at least half a bean tin, if not more)
  • stock cube
  • tsp sugar
  • Moroccan spice mix
  • Rice

Tools:

  • big frypan
  • small saucepan
  • kitchen spoon
  • teaspoons

Method:

  1. Chop vegetables and drain beans
  2. Fry onion in oil with garlic, ginger and mixed herbs
  3. Add other veg
  4. Add Vegemite with water and stock cube (remember to add extra water if you’ve got lots of veg!) and stir.
  5. Let simmer for fifteen minutes or so, stirring as needed so it doesn’t stick.
  6. If you leave it too long and it does stick a bit, use a firm spatula and more water to rescue it, plus a bit of soy sauce if required to get rid of any burnt taste. 😉
  7. Tip in the beans and stir to combine then heat for another ten minutes or so.
  8. Cook the rice while the mixture has its last ten minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

On a white plate with a green rim, viewed from above, are mixed beans, rice and veg in a dark brown sauce, mixed together

 

 

 

Tomatoey Lentils and Veg with Rice

I made this last week but unfortunately didn’t written anything down until I wrote this post, not even a title or recipe link saved on my phone. So I’ve had to take a bit of a guess at things.

Ingredients:

  • Onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Water/ vegetable stock
  • Vegetables – e.g. bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushroom
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Spicy sauce (optional – just something I had in the fridge, consists of a stir-fry sauce with chilli and garlic and mixed herbs)

Tools:

  • frying pan
  • saucepan
  • kitchen spoon
  • cutlery and crockery

Method:

  1. Chop onion and vegetables
  2. Put lentils in the saucepan on a low heat, in water. Add chilli sauce if desired and cook.
  3. Fry onion and mushroom in the pan until onion is soft and mushrooms are starting to turn golden.
  4. Add other vegetables and fry for a minute or two, then add mixed herbs and tomato paste with vegetable stock.
  5. Let simmer until vegetables are done (sauce will reduce, so top up with extra water as needed.).
  6. While vegetables are simmering, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and let cook.
  7. When vegetables are almost ready, add lentils into the pan and stir to combine.
  8. When noodles are finished, drain them and tip into the pan with the vegetables and lentils.
  9. I “fry-steamed” a couple of Brussels sprouts to go with this, just because I felt like it. They take 8 or so minutes in a small frypan.
  10. You’re ready to serve. This will make leftovers.

Flavoured Chops with Veggies and Noodles

Hi all. Here’s another recipe post.

The other night, I had chops, veg and noodles. I started out with a simple idea of dusting the chops with mixed herbs, then frying them with some garlic. A usual thing for me. But when it came time to cook, I didn’t want to have steamed veggies with it. So I did things a bit differently.

In a deep black frying pan are chops in a red tomatoey sauce with carrots, corn, bok choi and cauliflower with noodles stirred through

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 small chops
  • 1 clove garlic*
  • 1 tsp dried ginger*
    NB. Or whatever variations of garlic and ginger you have.
  • 2-3 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/4x onion
  • different veggies – as you can see in the picture, I used carrot, cauliflower, corn and bok choi
  • Water
  • Tomato paste (to taste)
  • 1x serving of noodles
  • Cooking oil

Tools:

  • 1x frying pan
  • 1x small saucepan
  • 1x kitchen spoon
  • 2-3 teaspoons
  • 1x tongs
  • cutlery and crockery for plating & eating

Method:

  1. Chop vegetables, onion.  and garlic clove.
  2. Take chops out of its packaging and chop off excess fat
  3. Fry the onion with garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes in oil.
  4. While this occurs, scatter a teaspoon (roughly) of mixed herbs onto each chop and ensure both sides are coated.
  5. Fry chops in oil with the garlic, ginger and onion.
  6. When both sides are browned, turn heat to low and add chopped vegetables.
  7. Give that another minute or two, then add water mixed with tomato paste. This shouldn’t cover the vegetables or meat but just create a nice sauce for them.
  8. Cook noodles in boiling water. Once done, stir them through the frying pan mixture.
  9. Plate up and eat.

Yum!

 

Meatloaf with mushroom sauce

This week has been busy! Yesterday was a real doozy. Something that keeps me grounded is my cooking.

On Monday evening, my partner came over and we made a meatloaf with mushroom sauce, steamed veg and noodles. It was really good.

Ingredients:

  • 2x serves of mince (we used 1x roo mince and 1x Adani Kofte-flavoured mince) – about 200g?
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp of Vegemite (or equivalent malt/ yeast spread)
  • 4-6 button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4x onion
  • vegetable stock
  • cooking oil
  • extra veg, for steaming
  • noodles or another carb, to serve

Tools:

  • 1x medium to large mixing bowl
  • 2x kitchen spoon/ spatula/ stirrer
  • 1x baking tray
  • 1x steamer pot
  • 1x saucepan

Method:

  1. Mix mince, breadcrumbs, egg and 1 tsp Vegemite in the bowl.
    NB.   You can add extra flavourings (e.g. mixed herbs, garlic) and/or extra veg (e.g. carrots/ celery/ zucchini, chopped finely), but I had no carrots in the house, and as we were using already-flavoured mince, extras weren’t really needed.
    NB#2. The Vegemite tip came from my dad – it gives the meatloaf a really nice subtle “extra” flavour.
  2. Drizzle a baking tray with oil, or cover it with baking paper. Shape the mince mixture into a rough log/ loaf and place onto the tray, then into the oven it goes. We put it in for 35 minutes.
  3. Chop the veggies for steaming then place them in the steamer pot. They’ll take about 15 minutes to cook – remember to time it so that they’ll finish at the same time as the meatloaf.
  4. Prepare the noodles for cooking and time this to the finishing time of the others.
  5. The last task is to make the mushroom sauce/ gravy. You’ll want to chop up the mushrooms quite finely and dice the onion.
  6. Put these into a pan over medium heat and let simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms start turning golden. Add either a tsp of Vegemite or a dash of soy sauce in at this point.
  7. Keep stirring and add a bit of flour, then veggie stock, then flour, then stock. Do this until you’ve reached your desired consistency, depending on whether you’re making a sauce or a gravy.
  8. When everything is ready, serve it up and dig in!