Monthly Archives: January 2014

Chicken cacciatore

This week I’ve gone back to some old trusty recipes – here is one of them..
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets skin on
  • 1 medium brown onion chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 410 g canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 drained anchovy fillets, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup seeded black olives, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Heat half the oil in a large saucepan, cook chicken, in batches until it browned all over. Remove from pan.
Heat remaining oil in same pan, cook onion and garlic stirring until onion softens. Stir in wine, vinegar, stock, tomatoes, paste and anchovies.
Return chicken to pan, fitting pieces tightly together in a  single layer, bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20 mins.  Uncover, simmer for 30 mins or until chicken is tender and sauce is reduced.
Skim fat from surface, stir in olives and parsley.
Tip: For enhanced flavour, slice half a chorizo, fry it and add it to the mixture when you add the chicken.

The Humble Egg Curry

I grew up eating this dish but I have changed the recipe ever so slightly. When I get lazy this is what I cook.  Luckily it is my husbands favourite dishes so it is well received.
  • 6 Eggs hard-boiled, shell removed.
  • 1 small red onion finely sliced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes chopped roughly
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed and chopped finely
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1/2 large red chilli (de seed it if you wish)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a wok or frying pan. Add eggs and blister their skins by frying for a minute or so. Remove and set aside
Add remaining oil to pan. Add mustard seeds, as they start to pop, add fresh chilli, coriander stalks, and onion: fry till onions begin to soften, add garlic,salt and spices. Fry for a minute, add the water and tomatoes.  Lower the heat, add eggs and simmer for 4 mins or until the sauce is reduced.  Add spinach leaves, once the leaves start to wilt give the curry a gently mix and remove from heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Roti, parathas or hot rice.

Condensed Milk Ice Cream

This is amazing – ridiculously sweet but heavenly in small doses. Make an affogato or serve it with a tarte tartin like I will this weekend.
Just amaze balls and so easy!! Another Adam Liaw recipe.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • Devika’s Option: couple of tbsp’s  or more of frangelico
To make ice cream, pour condensed milk and cream, frangelico into a bowl of an electric mixer and whip to stiff peaks. Transfer to a container and freeze for at least 4 hours until firm.

Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)

Another Adam Liaw recipe – this is a great alternative to your everyday stew. I think this will be great using Lamb as well.  Next time I will pop this into a slow cooker at the simmer stage.
  • 1.5kg chuck steak, cut into 4 cm cubesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3 thick slices ginger
  • 1 brown onion , peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and bruised
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 litres low-salt beef stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Lime wedges to serve
  • Red onion rings to serve
  • a handful of coriander leaves to serve
  • a handful of a basil leave to serves
  • French style baguette to serve
Toss the beef in the flour and paprika and season with a little salt.  Heat the oil in a heavy casserole dish and fry the beef over medium heat (in batches if necessary) until it is well browned.  Add the tomato paste, ginger, onion and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes or until  the onion is translucent.  Add the five spice powder, curry powder, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, lemongrass and bay leaves and stir to combine.  Pour in enough beef stock to cover the meat completely, add the fish sauce and salt and bring to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours (skimming the top at regular intervals to remove any scum), or until the beef is just tender.
Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften.  
Allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.
Adjust the seasoning with salt or fish sauce, serve with lime wedges, thinly sliced red onions, coriander and basil leaves and pieces of baguette to dip into the rich sauce.


Adam Liaw’s No. 88 Special Fried Rice

I am a great fan of Adam Liaw and his cooking. I just purchased his cookbook and there is nothing in there that i will not cook. Here is the first tried and tested recipe. I garnished this dish with fried shallots and spring onions just to make it  look pretty – it definitely did not need it. My daughter would squirt tomato sauce over this before she would devour it, funnily enough so does Adam Liaw. Enjoy.
2 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 brown onion peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt
150g raw prawns, peeled deveined and split completely in half lengthways
2 Chinese sausages thinly sliced or 100g char siu pork diced
1 carrot diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
6 cups cooked rice
a pinch of white pepper
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Heat wok over medium heat, drizzle 1 tsp of oil and add onions, and then garlic. Season with a little salt and fry until the garlic starts to brown.
Add the prawns and chinese sausage and toss for about 30 seconds, then add carrot and peas.  Continue to toss for another 1-2 mins, or until the vegetables start to soften.
Move the content of the work to one side of it, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the open side and crack in the eggs.  Move the eggs around to break up the yolks and when they are just starting to set, combine the eggs  with the other wok ingredients.
Add the rice, and toss to combine all ingredients, pressing the rice grains to the edges of the work to break up any clumps.  Add the rest of the of the salt,  pepper and soy sauces and fry until the rice is warmed through and free of any clumps. 
Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.
Tip: You can use rice cooked the day before or if using freshly cooked rice, be careful not to mash-up the grains.

Eggplant & Tofu in XO Sauce




  • 1/2 medium-sized eggplant cubed 2-3 cm
  • 1/2 block tofu cubed 2cm
  • 2 stems of spring onion
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp mince ginger
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp XO sauce 
  • 1 tsp Hoi Sin Sauce
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


Chop the white part of spring onions coarsely,  Chop green part of spring onion finely to be used for garnish.  Slice 1/2 chilli on a diagonal finely.   Heat oil in a wok, add eggplant and cook for 2 mins.  Remove eggplant and put to the side.  Add spring onions and chilli and ginger,  stir fry for a minute. Add XO sauce and stir fry for another minute. Add stock and hoisin sauce and bring to a boil.  Add semi cooked eggplant and mix into stock, lower heat and let simmer for 3 minutes.  Add tofu and juice of half a lime and simmer for another 2 mins.  Season to taste. Garnish with spring onions and red chilli and serve with hot rice.




Prawn and Tofu Laksa

  • 12 uncooked medium prawnsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1 Litre chicken stock
  • 3 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded finely
  • 155 g rice stick noodles
  • 155 g tofu cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions sliced thinly
  • 1 fresh long red chilli sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
Laksa Paste
  • 3 dried medium red chillies
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 small brown onion chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm fresh ginger grated
  • 10cm stick fresh lemon grass chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp halved roasted unsalted Macadamia
  •  1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves loosely packed
  • Shell and devein prawns, leaving tails intact
  • Laksa Paste:  Cover dried chillies with water in a small bowl, stand 10 minutes and drain. Blend or process chillies with remaining ingredients until mixture is smooth. 
  • Cook laksa paste in large saucepan, stirring, about 5 minute or until fragrant. Stir in stock, coconut milk and lime leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile place noodle in large bowl, cover with boiling water and stand until tender, drain.
  • Add prawns to laksa mixture, simmer uncovered about 5 minutes or until prawns start to change colour.  
  • Add tofu and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat , stir in juice.
  • To serve, divide noodles among serving bowls, ladle laksa into bowls, top with sprouts, onion, chilli and coriander.