Archive for July, 2007

Steak with creamy leeks and butter beans


This is inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, but modified to make it more user friendly. The results are lovely and would translate so well to a summer BBQ/dinner party, where you could cook up a whole fillet of beef and slice it for each serving. Classy and lovely.

~150g steak (I used the loin, but any decent cut of steak would do)
~1 large clove garlic, finely diced
~12cm length of leek (the white part), finely sliced
~1/2 cup butter beans, drained and rinsed
~1/4 cup white wine
~1/4 cup of milk (or cream if wanting a richer meal)
~fresh ground nutmeg
~sea salt and fresh pepper
~chopped fresh italian parsely

In a saucepan, gently wilt the garlic and leek in a good sploosh of extra virgin olive oil. Once tender, add the beans, milk and white wine and simmer over medium heat for ~10 mins or until the mixture has softened. If the liquid runs out, add a little water, more white wine, or more olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and keep over low heat to retain warmth. Sprinkle over the parsely.

In a grill pan, fry the steak over very high heat until cooked to the desired state. Flip to cook the second side. Once the second side has been cooked to ~1 min before perfect cooking time, remove to a board and slice. Cover with alfoil for 1 min or until meat has been appropriately rested.

Serve sliced steak over the bean and leek mixture and eat immediately.

I served this over a bed of wilted spinach which was lovely.

Serves 1 as a main course. Calories (based on a 100g piece of steak using skim milk) are approximately 380.

Serve this with a bold wine. A recent joy of mine has been the limited release Richmond Grove 2002 shiraz. This wine is well priced (considering the quality) at $22 and is available in selected bottle shops now.


July 28, 2007 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

Balsamic glazed salmon with cherry tomatoes, zucchini and cauliflower mash


Delicious and oh-so easy.

The mash can be made ahead of time and then reheated in the microwave. If you wanted to make the mash extra special, add some cream and parmesan cheese.


~1/4 cauliflower, stems removed and cut into chunks
~80-100g atlantic salmon fillet
~10 cherry tomoatoes, halved
~1 clove garlic, finely diced
~2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
~1 tablespoon lime (or lemon) juice
~2 tablespoons brown sugar
~1/2 zucchini, cut into chunks

For the mash: boil the cauliflower in boiling water until very soft (10-15 mins). Drain well. Mash with a potato masher and season to taste. Set to one side.

For the fish: combine the salmon with the tomatoes, balsamic, garlic, sugar and juice in a container. Toss to coat. Marinate for 30 mins to 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Heat an oven to 150 degrees C. Place the zucchini on one side of a roasting pan and toss with olive oil and pepper. On the other side of the pan, place the fish and cherry tomatoes. Do not coat with the excess marinade at this stage.

Roast for 5-6 mins. Remove from the oven, turn the fish and toss the veges. Now, ladle the marinade over the fish and the tomatoes. Return to the oven a further 2 mins.

Serve the tomatoes and reduced vinegar as a sauce for the fish, with zucchini and mash on the side. Serves 1 as a main course. Calories: approximately 300.

This dish is rich yet flavourful. Serve it with a full-bodied red wine. A recent delight that has caught my fancy is the Richmond Grove limited edition 2002 Shiraz. A real beauty at approximately $20 per bottle.

July 19, 2007 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Moroccan-style chicken with almonds


My first attempt at cooking with Moroccan flavours. No idea how authentic this is, hence the name “Moroccan-style”. This is rich with flavour and colour and the almonds give a lovely crunchy texture to the soft eggplant.

~1/4 cup flaked almonds
~100g free range chicken breast, sliced
~1/3 medium sized eggplant, diced
~1/2 brown onion, finely diced
~1 clove garlic, finely diced
~1/2 cup tinned diced tomatoes
~2 teaspoons sweet paprika
~1 teaspoon ground turmeric
~1 teaspoon ground cumin
~1 tablespoon chutney (I used beetroot chutney)
~fresh coriander, to serve

First, toast the almonds until just brown and crunchy. Set to one side. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken for 2-3 mins or until just browned. Remove and set aside. Heat more oil and fry the eggplant, allowing all sides to brown and the pieces to become soft, approximately 10 mins. Remove and set aside. Gently fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, spices and chutney. Season with salt, to taste. Return the eggplant and chicken to the sauce and cook a further 2 mins. The sauce should be thick and rich in colour.

Serve immediately with couscous. Top with fresh coriander leaves and toasted almonds.

Serves 1. Calories in this dish are approximately 400, not including the couscous.

July 10, 2007 at 2:19 am Leave a comment