Friday, 27 April 2012

Baking-Pumpkin Spinach and Feta Pizza

After a crazy shoot in Victoria, I was so happy that the Easter holiday had arrived.  I joined in on the Cosh family trip to the Barossa.  They have a cute Bed and Breakfast in Tanunda call the Tin house.  I must admit that one of my favourite things I get to do there is having fires at night.  No need for a jacket when I get one roaring.

Tanunda is in South Australia, a beautiful wine region.  It has great little hidden treasures, finding them is half the fun.  My parents told me that our family has a vineyard, friends in the area helped me find it. Sadly its closed.

 When you head to the Barossa you have to make a plan and stick to it there is so much to do.  Breakfast at the markets, where you will find amazing products for the area.  Maggie Beers Pheasant Farm, if you are lucky you can book a cooking class.  Pretzels from the Tanunda bakery, Metwurst from Hahndorf. As well as many restaurants and wineries.
Our first day was Good Friday and we were also celebrating Linda's birthday.  The Laycock family were hosting a celebration for Linda at their beautiful home which is surrounded by their vines.  They supply St Hallett grapes for their Blackwell Shiraz.  The Barossa is well know for their bold body Shiraz and this one is a must try!  Jeff also has his own label Debarcle a Barossa hidden treasure :)
The Laycock's family home is well know for hosting fantastic gatherings.  The home is surrounded by rolling hills full of grape vines.  Jeff is also a well know wood fire pizza oven builder and of course they have one at their home.  Parties consist of everyone gathered around the kitchen island creating masterpieces.  Here is one of my favourites.

1 1/2 teaspn dried yeast
1 1/2 teaspn caster sugar (dough)
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup flour (dough)
1 TBLspn olive oil
1/3 cup flour (kneading)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil spray
10 slices of peeled pumpkin
2teaspn crushed garlic
75g danish feta
1cup spinach leaves
2teaspn olive oil-to brush the pizza with when cooked
Most fruit and veg shops sell pumpkin wedges.  This recipe uses half of this piece.

*Preheat oven 180'c

1. Mix the sugar, yeast and warm water together and sit to the side
*NOTE DO NOT USE HOT WATER this will kill the yeast
2.Put the flour, olive oil, 1/2 teaspn of salt and pepper in a mixing bowl
3. Mix the flour and yeast mix together for 2 min, the dough ball will be sticky when you are done
4. Cover with a wet towel and set aside for 10 min
5. Flour down your bench and put your dough ball on the floured surface
6. Knead for 2 min, then rest for5 min
 7.Spray pumpkin with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper
8.Roast for 15 min
9. Roll out with a floured rolling pin
10. Spray you oven tray with oil
11. Lay your dough on the tray
12. Lay spinach leaves down

13.Arrange pumpkin on the pizza
14.Crumble feta on
15.Bake for 17min
16.Brush the edges with olive oil
17.Cut into wedges and enjoy :) 


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Braising-Slow cooked Ham Hock- two ways

When Tour de Cure finished I had a quick break then I headed back to Victoria. Thornton to be precise. The rest of the Canadian Kitchen team was working hard on a new TV show call the Frontier.
My new home was in the Thornton Caravan park which was right up the road from a trout farm. I will admit I was like a child who was fishing for their first time. Eventually I figured out what I was doing and I caught my first trout :)

My Canadian bosses are awesome foodies and before you know it Linda had found the best places in the area for us to dine on our day off. The Tea Rooms at Yarck were amazing, I didn't eat that night or breakfast the next day, SO MUCH FOOD :-0
Ruffy Road Produce Store was a blast, even the fruit trees in the garden proved to be great entertainment for Juno who's 3. Why buy a apple when the one above our table taste so much better.
Da Noi in South Yarra's country restaurant
The Produce Store had fantastic deserts

On the last day of shoot I got to do Braised ham hock for the crew so here are two ways you can do it.
These two recipes together will use one braised ham hock.

First you need to braise the ham hock-

1 smoked ham hock(you can find these in the deli section of your supermarket)
2 small brown onions diced
2 medium tomatoes diced
1teaspn minced garlic
1teaspn salt
1teaspn cracked pepper
2TBLspn maple syrup
1/4cup water
1.Preheat oven 170'c
2.Place ham hock, onion, tomato, garlic, salt, pepper, maple syrup and water in a oven proof dish
3.Cover with alfoil
4.Braise in oven for 2 hours
5.Remove from the oven

6.Remove the ham hock from the liquid
7.Dispose of the bone and knuckle
8.Rough dice up the meat-you can dice the skin. I prefer to use half of it
9.Return the meat back into the braising liquid
10.Continue to braise for 30 min
11.The meat is now ready to be used
Ham & Tomato Fettuccini

1ltr water
1teaspn table salt
1TBLspn olive oil
75g fettuccini
1/2 cooked braised ham hock mix
5 leaves basil thinly sliced
1TBLspn shaved Parmesan
10 leaves rocket

1.Place water, salt and oil in a pot and bring to the boil
2.Cook fettuccini- make sure you stir to make sure the pasta does not stick
3.Strain the pasta
4.In a mixing bowl place pasta, ham, basil, and parmesan
6.Serve in a bowl topped with rocket
7.Enjoy :)
Ham and Bread Pudding
1 crusty bread roll diced
3 eggs
2TBLspn cream
2TBLspn Parmesan
1/2 ham hock mix
4 basil leaves
8 spinach leaves
Salt and pepper
Grease proof paper
-Preheat the oven at 170'c
1.Whisk egg and cream together
2.Add the bread and allow to soak for 3 min
3.Add ham, parmesan, basil, spinach, salt and pepper
4.Mix thoroughly
5.Line a small cake tin with grease proof paper
6.Put the bread mix onto the tin
7.Cover with alfoil bake for 30 min
8.Remove the alfoil and bake for a further 40 min
9.Cool down for 20 min then remove from the tin cut into wedges enjoy :)
Great when served with creme fraiche :)

Breaky-Bircher Muesli

This year I was lucky enough to be asked to cater for a cancer fund raising group, TOUR DE CURE.  They are a amazing group of people who ride their bike to raise money and awareness for cancer.  This ride went from Geelong down to Warrnambool then we came up the Great Ocean Road finishing at Torquay.
 I am always amazed by the passionate people who undertake such huge experience.  Its not just a group of people who jump on the push bike to raise money, its the amazing journey the ride takes you on.  This ride focused on getting help to remote areas in Victoria. They raised $100,000 on this ride which will go to a number of causes.  Flying doctors for fuel, putting people in schools so children can deal with cancer and donating to medical research hoping one day we can find a cure.
Everyday the bike riders stopped at schools to inspire children to be fit, be healthy and be happy. Not only is it a bike ride but they stop and listen to those people who their ride will effect.  This gives the riders the inspiration they need to ride when they feel they can go no longer.
Being on the support team for TDC will keep you on your toes.  We make sure that all they have to focus on is the ride and the experience. We feed, hydrate, keep them safe and care for their well being when they are on the ride. Lisa, Shani, Paul, Emma, Brendon and Sam I had a blast on this ride with you :)
One of the favourite dishes on the ride is Bircher muesli.  It is low GI, a slower burning fuel for the riders as well as it taste yummy.  I was asked many times on the ride for its recipe so here it is.
1 cup rolled oats
2TBLspn Greek yogurt
2teaspn maple syrup
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 2 oranges
1/3 cup apple juice
1 cup milk
1 apple grated
1TBLspn whipped cream
1TBLspn toasted shaved almonds
2teaspn toasted coconut threads
 1. Soak the oats with yogurt, maple syrup, OJ, zest, apple juice, milk and grated apple
2. Cover and refrigerate overnight
 3. Fold the whipped cream through the oat mix
4. Serve topped with almonds and coconut
5. Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Chocolate-Rocky Road

Everyone loves Rocky Road, its a great treat I love to make for my friends as you can use their favourite lollies to make it extra special. A couple of my friends have been taking care of Bruce my Budgie :) So i whipped up a batch to say thanks!
I haven't been able to do a blog for a while as I have been on the road with my job.  One of my employers is Canadian Kitchen.  It is a location catering company, so every now and then I have to hit the road and go to remote towns which means no internet.
 So for the last 7 weeks I have been on a few adventures which you will hear about in my next few blogs. 
But as they say there's no place like home, so coming home and cooking in my own kitchen is like heaven :)
For Angela I made her Rolo milk chocolate rocky road. 
 Christian loves dark chocolate so I made him a cherry ripe version. 

375g chocolate
50g marshmallows
150g raspberry lollies
50g moist coconut flakes
100g rolo/cherry ripe

note- you can change the lollies and chocolate types to suit your needs
I prefer to use the moist coconut flakes as it has a better texture and sweeter flavour.


1. In a dry microwave safe bowl break up the chocolate up into bite size pieces and put on for 1 min
2. Stir chocolate around and the microwave for 1 min
 3.Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix
note- with the cherry ripe version I chopped the cherry ripe bar into bite size pieces
4.Scoop your mix into muffin trays
note- I used the silicone version you can use the metal tray as well 

5.Refrigerate for one hour
6.Remove from the trays
7.Cut into quarters and enjoy :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lunch- Slow Cooked Pork Bun


Olive oil spray
1 pork chop
1/2 small red onion
1TBLspn jalapeno
1TBLspn Dijon mustard
1teaspn crushed garlic
1/2teaspn cayenne
1 cup red wine vinegar
1Tblspn BBQ sauce
1/2teaspn Salt and Pepper
Fresh crusty roll
Mixed salad leaves 
1. Preheat the oven at 160'c
2. Blend onion, jalapeno, mustard, garlic, cayenne, vinegar, BBQ, salt and pepper
3. Oil a oven proof dish
4. Put chop in the dish cover with the blended marinade
5. Cover with foil and bake for 90 min
6. Remove chop from the juices
7. Cut off the bone and the fat
8. Rough cut the pork
9. Put meat back in the juices
10. Cut bread in half
11. Butter roll
12. Spread aoili on the roll
13. Lay mixed leaves
14. Remove meat from the juices
15. Place meat on the bun
16. Enjoy :)