Archive for February, 2008

Meatballs with SW BBQ Sauce

Meatballs with SW BBQ Sauce (from the Complete Canadian Living Cookbook)

2lbs / 800g ground beef/mince

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

(NOTE – I used about 300 g of beef and cut down the other ingredients by half which made the right amount for the 4 of us)

Combine all ingredients. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls. Place of a foil lined baking tray and bake at 375F/190C for about 15 mins or until cooked through (mine took 20 mins)

SW BBQ Sauce

1 teaspoon vegie oil

1 small onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon each chilli powder and cumin

3/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)

1 tablespoon each Dijon mustard and worchestershire sauce

Dash hot pepper sauce

Heat oil in pan. Cook onion, garlic, cumin, chilli powder, stirring often for 5 mins. Add remaining ingredients, bring to simmer and cook for 5 mins. Add meatballs and turn to coat.

(note – I made about 1/4 of this amount of sauce – it was very tasty, kind of like homemade ketchup with a little kick – and that was more than enough for us. If you served it with pasta or rice or something, you could do more sauce)


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Here’s how I make my quiche :


1 cup plain flour

90g/3oz butter

1 egg yolk

1 tblspn lemon juice.


Rub butter into flour, add egg yolk and enough lemon juice to mix to firm dough.

Refrigerate for 30 mins.

Roll out and place in dish.

Line pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with rice/beans.

Bake in mod hot oven (180C/350F) 10 mins.

Remove paper and rice, bake further 5 mins.

  For the filling I use 3-4 eggs, a cup of milk, grated cheese (any combination of cheddar, mozzarella or whatever else I have) and then whatever fillings you like. The kids like ham, tomato and corn (can use canned or frozen) and I usually some dried Italian herbs or fresh basil. You can really put almost anything you like in there though .. Bake for 45 mins at 180C/350F or until starting to brown on top. Serve warm or cold.

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Ginger Chicken

Ginger Chicken with rice and steamed vegies.

This is a new recipe that I hadn’t tried before. It was tasty and the chicken was kind of poached which is nice for a change.

Ginger Chicken

(Nadine Hughes)


4 chicken breasts

250ml/8oz  chicken broth

60g ginger, thinly sliced ( I substituted minced ginger from a jar)

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (left this out so it was kid friendly)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar


Sauce ingredients

1 teaspoon fish sauce

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (left it out)

60g sugar snap peas (not sure where these fit in. I ended up steaming them and serving them on the side with some steamed green beans and carrots)

coriander to garnish


Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Place chicken breasts and broth in a large, shallow pan. Add enough cold water to cover chicken

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins. Remove chicken and allow to cool, reserving liquid in pan

Simmer liquid until reduced by ½ (about 10 mins)

Add remaining sauce ingredients  to pan and remove from heat.

Slice chicken breasts and arrange on a large piece of foil. Place ginger, onions and green chillies on foil.

Mix soy sauce, lemon juice and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chicken. Fold foil over and around chicken to make a parcel. Bake for 15 mins.

Serve with noodles or rice.


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Monday – 25th Feb

Gnocchi with bacon, tomato and baby spinach sauce

This is one of those recipes that you jus sort of make. It can be made with any pasta and almost any ingredients you like. Here’s my version from Monday : fry some chopped bacon in a large pan until just cooked, add some chopped fresh tomatoes and about 1/2 cup tomato pasta sauce or tomato paste, cook for a few mins until tomatoes just start to soften. Add some baby spinach leaves and a teaspoon of chilli sauce. Quickly stir through. Add cooked pasta to the pan, stir through and serve hot with grated parmesan.

Sometimes I add onions (not this time, because the kids were eating it too and they constantly tell me they don’t like onions), or you can use ham or chorizo instead of the bacon and add in other vegies. 

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Saturday and Sunday (23rd & 24th Feb)

Saturday – broke out the NEW bbq and had steak, pork sausages and salad

 Sunday – the lasagna that would not die ….

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Lasagna, salad, garlic bread

Here’s how I make lasagna

500g/1lb ground/minced beef

1 1/2 -2 jars of pasta sauce

white sauce (see below)

500g/16ox ricotta cheese

grated cheese (cheddar, asiago, parmesan, mozzarella or any combination)

dried lasagna sheets

Cook the beef in a pan until browned. Drain any fat, add pasta sauce and simmer 20 mins. if desired, can add some chopped onion, garlic, fresh or dried herbs to the beef mix.

Make white sauce – heat pan and melt 2 tablespoons butter. When just melted, remove pan from heat, and add enough flour to get a fairly stiff roux. Then add a small amount of milk. Return pan to heat, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t stick. As the mixture thickens, gradually add more milk (about 1.5 cups is usually enough), stirring frequently.

Add ricotta and about 2/3 of other cheeses to the white sauce and mix until combined.

Layer pasta sheets, meat, pasta, white sauce until the lasagna pan is full, finishing with a white sauce layer. Top with more the remaining cheese and bake for 50 mins at 180/350F.

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Crispy Baked Chicken

Crispy baked chicken  (from the Complete Canadian Living Cookbook)

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated parmesan

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons mayo

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 chicken breasts, boneless

Melt butter, combine with breadcrumbs and cheese.

Whisk together mayo, mustard and some pepper. Spread over chicken, then dip into crumb mix.

Place chicken on rack in baking dish and bake for 20 mins at 425F/220C or until golden and cooked through.

We also had mashed potatoes, asparagus and carrots (yellow and orange !)

Really, this chicken recipe is just a variation on crumbed chicken, but a particularly tasty one. The mayo mixture seems to make the whole thing more moist, and then butter added to the breadcrumbs gives them a texture more like fresh breadcrumbs.

For a basic version, I dip chicken in a beaten egg, then  dried breadcrumbs, then fry in a pan. But you need plenty of oil to make it crispy. The alternative is to oven bake. Ideally, drizzle some butter over the chicken to give it that crispy finish. If you like it crispy all over, you need to turn it half way through cooking and/or put it on a roasting rack as otherwise the juices tend to accumulate.

You can leave out the mustard in the above recipe, if you like but honestly, its not a strong flavour and I like it.

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