Friday, November 26, 2010


Posted by Rebecca

I have never really been a fan of Bruschetta until recently, perhaps I’d never experienced a well made Bruschetta.  I definitely wouldn’t have considered making it; it just looked too complex and time consuming. However I did recently give it a go, using a recipe my mother makes and adding my own splash of something (you’ll see).
Serves 4

What do I need?
·         Three tomatoes
·         2 cloves of garlic
·         1 sourdough loaf
·         A handful of fresh basil
·         2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
·         Salt and pepper to taste

How is it done?
·         You can pre-prepare the tomato mixture beforehand and leave in the refrigerator
·         Dice the tomatoes
·         Chop the basil and mix into tomatoes
·         Add the balsamic vinegar and mix thoroughly
·         Add salt and pepper to taste, I usually sprinkle crushed rock salt and skip the pepper
·         Slice the sour dough thickly
·         Grill in the oven until golden brown on one side only
·         Rub the garlic over the warm bread
·         Spoon the tomato mix onto the bread pieces
·         Serve immediately

Tips and tricks:
·         Try using olive or tomato pesto spread thinly on the bread before adding the tomato mix for a richer flavour
·         Substitute the balsamic vinegar with equal amounts of sweet chilli sauce for a little bit of zing
·         Instead of using sourdough, try it with grilled pita bread or on a pizza base

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kofta: Middle Eastern Meatballs

Posted by Alison

Basic Kofta Mixture
What do I need?
  • 1kg finely ground lamb (or beef but lamb is better)
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spices
  • 1 cup finely chopped or ground onions
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
What do I do?

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and knead well. Place the mixture through the fine blade of a grinder twice or alternatively knead well for a further 20 minutes occasionally adding small quantities of iced water.  
Then add
1 egg white
1kg Basic Kafta Mixture flour
Olive or Nut oil
Mix the unbeaten egg white into the kafta mixture. Mould the mixture into little patties. Dip the patties in flour and pan fry in hot oil.
Tips and Tricks: Serve with potato chips and salad or sauteed vegetables. Hoummus b'Tahini (otherwise known as Homus) can be used as a sauce.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Post by Rebecca

One of my favourite foods is Sushi, I have a particular fondness for the salmon variety (fresh that is) and have been very fortunate to have been eating regularly at the Japa Deli in Auckland ( and the Sushiko in Port Macquarie, NSW due to work commitments.

My favourite evening meal at a Japanese place would involve the Salmon Nigiri (see above), Salmon sashimi (see below) and either the vegetable tempura or the pork pancake.

I think my fondness for these dishes are that they’re simple but tasty and always make me feel good after I’ve eaten them. My disappointment is that when I’m not travelling then the closest sushi place is a good 20 minutes away and focuses more on the sushi roll variety (I love the salmon and avocado or the cucumber and avocado variety)  than the nigiri or sashimi.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Home Made Apple Pie

Post by Alison

I love to bake and I caught onto this recipe for apple pies due to the pastry being the best and the recipe being a lot easier to use. So lets have a go...

Serves 8

What do I need?

For the apple filling:
  • 1kg (about 5 large) Granny Smith apples
  • 74g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) water
For the pastry:
  • 150g cold butter, roughly chopped
  • 56g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 165g (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) plain flour
  • 85g (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) self-raising flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

How is it done?
  1. Peel  the apples, then chop apples into quarters and remove the cores. Then chop apple into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Place chopped apple, 74g sugar and water in a large saucepan. Cover saucepan and place over high heat. When the water in the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir mixture every five minutes or so during the cooking time. The apple should take about 15 minutes to cook. Remove saucepan from heat when the apple has lost its crunch and is just tender when pierced with a knife.
  3. Set the filling aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Place butter, 56g caster sugar and flours in a food processor. Process ingredients on medium speed until the mixture resembles fine fresh breadcrumbs (about 25 seconds).
  5. Add the egg and process until the egg is incorporated and the mixture clumps together (about 20 seconds).
  6. Remove pastry from processor and divide it into two pieces, making one slightly larger than the other. Shape each piece of pastry into a disc.
  7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Place oven shelf in the lowest shelf position in the oven (this is not necessary if you are using a fan-forced oven).
  8. Place the larger piece of pastry between two sheets of baking paper and roll pastry out to form a 25cm diameter circle (pastry should be about 5mm thick). Remove the top sheet of baking paper. Lift the pastry, still on the baking paper, and invert it into the pie dish. Peel the baking paper away from the pastry and ease the pastry into the dish. Gently press the pastry into the dish, trying not to stretch the pastry. We do not extend the pastry onto the lip of the pie dish as we found that this part of the crust tended to break off when the pie was cut.
  9. Roll out remaining pastry between two sheets of baking paper to form a 24cm diameter circle.
  10. Spoon apple filling into the pastry case and smooth the surface of the filling with the back of a spoon.
  11. Cover filling with pastry lid and press edges of pastry base and lid together. Using a sharp knife, trim edges of pastry and cut a 3cm slit in the centre of the lid.
  12. Bake pie for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced), then reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced) and cook for a further 18 to 22 minutes, or until pastry is golden.
  13. Remove pie from oven and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the pie to cool slightly, making it easier to slice and serve neatly.

Tips and Tricks: Add a cinnamon stick and vanilla pod to the apple filling for that little bit extra flavour. Serve warm or cold with ice cream, custard and/or whipped cream.