Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Buying and measuring ingredients for quantities of one can be tricky, but it's a necessary evil as I'm not really partial to eating the same meal for days on end. Luckily I managed to get it right and nailed this pesto. It was a nice change from the usual tomato-based pastas plus the new food processor got a work out!
If you're cooking for 2, 4 or more, just double the quantities as you go - just exercise caution with the canola so you don't end up with a oil slick.

Makes one serve

Fresh basil leaves
A couple of tablespoons of canola oil
40g parmesan
A handful of pine nuts
1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
Lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper

Toast the pine nuts for a couple of minutes in the frying pan. Take care and use moderate heat so they brown evenly and don't burn - mine did a little :s

Process all ingredients in the food processor.

The pesto should stick to an upside-side down spoon - again, only add more oil if needed, one spoonful at a time so you don't end up with an oily puree.

Stir through cooked pasta and serve!

Saturday, 14 July 2012


So I’m going to say this upfront. Just as McDonald’s new ‘Beijing chicken burger’ has basically no semblance of anything even vaguely relevant to China (save a dollop of sweet chilli sauce) what really makes these fritters Thai – apart from being a little spicy - demands a stretch of the imagination. But as the saying goes, a corn fritter by any other name will taste just as good. The original recipe used coriander (which I’m loathe to admit, but I can’t stand.. maybe it’s an acquired palate) So feel free to include half a cup of coriander leaves if you wish.

4 fresh corn cobs
1 red capsicum, diced to the same size as corn kernels
½ cup chopped spring onions
1 small red chilli, sliced
1 brown onion, diced
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 eggs, lightly whisked
Half to three quarters of a cup of flour – enough to form decent sized fritters that won’t fall apart in the pan

Start by slicing the kernels off the corn cobs. The best way to do this without losing a phalange is with a very sharp knife using a sawing motion. Place in a large bowl with the diced capsicum and chilli. Next, heat some vegetable oil in a pan and fry the brown onion, garlic and curry paste until the onion is just soft. Add the contents of the pan to the bowl. Now add the fish sauce, spring onions, eggs, flour and mix it all together.
Heat a frying pan to a moderate heat and add a shallow layer of oil. Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.
Tip: to prevent under-cooked fritters, try to make them flat as possible in the pan (and not too large) so you get maximal surface area cookage.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


So I went and purchased a new grill pan on the weekend (the kind with the ridged edges). A very wise decision it turned out to be, as I had these delicious grilled vegetables for dinner AND lunch for the following day.

1 zucchini, 1 red capsicum, 1 yellow capsicum, 2 sweet onions
Extra virgin olive oil
Masterfoods herb and garlic salt
Pasta of your choice
Jar of pesto sauce
To serve: cheese – you can use parmesan although I prefer feta
(Equal to two main servings)

Cut ends of zucchini off. Slice lengthwise into long strips. Cut out the core of the capsicums, removing seeds and white bits. Cut into 3cm wide, flat strips. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes.
Heat grill to a high heat. The vegetables will cook at different rates so take them off as necessary, put on a platter and cover with foil until the rest are done. 

Capsicum takes about 15 minutes to soften completely, zucchini 7-10 minutes and the onion only 5 minutes. 
Drain pasta and stir through the pesto sauce, add vegetables and finish with cubes of feta. 

Next goal: to make own pesto...