Food, Fun and Face!

Welcome to my blog! I'm starting this blog to add some spice to some of your kitchens! I follow a primal lifestyle which basically means I eat a whole bunch of vegetables, good meats, some fruit, nuts and seeds and a little dairy. I avoid eating all grains and try not to eat processed food and limit the amount of sugar I throw down my throat. Basically the name of the game is to eat REAL FOOD. Sounds simple right? But sometimes people find it hard to start to eat this way. So this blog is here to help you (and me) throw together some awesome tasty food . So please stay a while and get your creative kitchen juices flowing again!!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Baked Fish with Salad and Veggies

I really love seafood but I don't eat enough of it. This dish here is a really easy fish recipe that can be made in about 30 mins.

I use Snapper in this one but you can use any similar fish like Gurnard or Tarakihi.

Ingredients:

For the fish parcels:
Snapper Fillets
Red Onion
Capsicum
Tomato
Sliced Lemon
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Tin Foil
Fresh Coriander for garnish

For the Salad:
Tomato
Red Onion
Cucumber
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Salt

For the Veggies:
1x White Onion
2x Courgette
1x Head of Broccoli
Lemon Juice


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Take your tin foil and pull off a strip the width of your oven. Place in the middle of the foil 2 fillets of your fish.

Then on top of the fish layer slices of Red Onion, Tomato, Capsicum and Lemon. Then drizzle over some olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.


Then wrap up the tin foil around the fish nice and tight to make a parcel. If you want to wrap it up with a little more foil then go right ahead.

Place in a roasting tray then into the oven you go with it.


The fish should take about 25-30 mins to cook depending on the size of your fish fillets etc. If I can start to smell the cooked fish aroma coming out of the oven then its pretty much done. (Good use of the word 'aroma' by the way).

While the fish is cooking then it's on to the salad.

This is my favourite salad in the whole wide world. It's my adaptation of a salad you get in Turkey.

Now I can't tell you the exact amounts you need of each ingredient as I go by the 'look' of it.

All you do is finely chop up 2-3 Tomatoes and put in a bowl. Add to that 1/2 to a whole medium sized red onion and a bunch of finely chopped cucumber.

You are basically going for equal amounts of the 3 ingredients. If you think you need more cucumber then add more. If you think it could do with more red onion then add more. Etc Etc.

Drizzle about 2-3 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the salad and the juice of 1 lemon.

Add 2-3 pinches of salt and stir it all up.

Now you will have to taste it. You all taste your food as you cook right? If you can't taste any lemon juice and it tastes a little oily the add more lemon juice and vice versa. Also add more salt if you think it needs it.


When the fish is almost done it's time to cook the broccoli and courgette.

Slice up the white onion and add to a hot frying pan. Roughly chop up your broccoli and Courgette.



Add your broccoli and courgette to the pan and stir for a few minutes. While that's frying away get the juice of 1 lemon ready to throw in the pan.

After a few minutes throw in the lemon juice and immediately put a lid on the hot pan. With the lid on shake it around a bit and then you want to fry it for a couple of minutes more.

On a plate turn out the fish from your foil. There will be lots of juice, you can discard some of this if you wish. Add some chopped coriander to your fish. Add some veggies and salad and again season with salt and pepper and eat!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Buffalo wings!

Some of you may know that I love going to the states. When I'm there I love eating buffalo wings. Which is just simply  chicken nibbles in hot sauce.

The only place in Auckland that you can eat proper buffalo wings that taste just like they do in the states is from Dos Amigos Mexican Cantina in mission bay. I highly recommend this place. They also do amazing ribs! (Which I'll do a post on, some time in the near future!)

I was getting sick of paying for the wings and thought I'd try and make them myself.

I did some research and found out that the sauce they use is simply a bottled sauce from a brand name called 'franks' which they get from the states.

Believe it or not all the ingredients in the Franks hot sauce are primal! So I looked to see if anyone in Auckland sold this bottle of buffalo wing gold.

One place does. It's called Martha's Backyard. Address is 114 Lunn Ave, Mt Wellington.

This place sells a whole bunch of American foods and sauces and clothes. Anything American that you can't get here she will get it in from the states for you.

So I got me a bottle of the Franks Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce and went home immediately to make my wings.

Here's what the bottle of sauce looks like:



To make the wings I got about 1 to 1.5kg of chicken nibbles form the butcher and popped them in the oven on a high heat for about 30 mins. Turn every so often to get them golden brown all over.

For the sauce all you need to do is melt 1/3 cup of butter in the microwave then add 1/2 cup of the Frank's hot sauce to the melted butter.

Once your wings are cooked put in a bowl and pour the sauce over and toss, and that's it my friends.


If you don't want to cook that many wings then just decrease the amount of sauce and butter to go over them.

These ones tasted like the real deal. Stoked!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Prawns for Breakfast?!

Who says you have to eat the traditional foods for breakfast like eggs and bacon, or Toast, Cereals, Porridge?

A lot of people ask when switching to a primal lifestyle, what do I eat for breakfast? And the next line is usually, "eggs would get boring every day".  So I say "The 2 pieces of toast you have been eating every day for the last 20 years isn't boring??"

A couple of days ago I woke up and didn't feel like eggs and veggies and had a look in the fridge and threw together this prawn dish. Was really quick to prepare and was just as quick to go down my throat!

Ingredients:

Big handful of Prawns
Big knob of Butter
1x Garlic Clove
1x Courgette
1x small red onion
Half a dozen Cherry Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Small Bunch of Fresh Coriander
Squeeze of lemon - optional

Put a frying pan on high heat and throw in the butter and chopped garlic.

While that's melting away chop up the onion, courgette and cherry tomatoes then throw them all in the pan.

After frying for about 3 or 4 mins add the prawns and cook till pink.

If you want you can squeeze a little bit of lemon over the top and then serve with some chopped coriander.


Too easy!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Spicy Mince with Vegies

I love cooking dishes like this one as all you need is one big ass frying pan with a lid and you're away laughing.

In the past every time I've cooked dishes with mince in them, they have usually been for a bolagnese sauce to go on the top of pasta. So since I don't eat pasta anymore I thought I can still make the mince topping but just add a bunch of veggies to it to punch it out.

This one came out really nice and not to spicy, as I'm not a huge fan of spicy foods, but you can make it as spicy as you like by adding more chili.

Ingredients:

1/3 Whole Pumpkin
700g - 1kg Mince
1x Sweet Red Pepper
2x Carrots
Handful Green Beans
2x Small Red Onions
1x Medium Heat Chili
Thumb Size Piece of fresh Ginger
3 Cloves Garlic
2x Tins Crushed Tomatoes
Some Fresh Thyme
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Chopped Italian Parsley
1x Heaped tsp Ground Paprika
1x Heaped tsp Ground Coriander
1x tsp Ground Cinnamon
1x Heaped tsp Ground Cumin



First thing to do is finely chop the onion, garlic and peeled ginger and add to a large frying pan on a high heat. Add a couple of swigs of the olive oil.

Also slice the red chili in half and take the seeds out and finely slice and add to the pan. If you want it spicy leave the seeds in and add two chilis.


While that's frying away take the pumpkin and cut the skin off it using a sharp knife.

Then cut the pumpkin into smallish sized cubes.



Take a bowl large enough to hold all the pumpkin and also one that can go in the microwave. Drop the pumpkin in the bowl, add a splash of water and put a lid on the bowl. I just use a plate big enough to cover the bowl.

Then put in the microwave on high for 5 mins.

Now it will be time to add the mince to the pan. Drop it in there and give it a good stir breaking it all up.


Once the mince has had a good stir now it's time to add the spices.

Throw in the Paprika, Coriander, Cumin and Cinnamon. And the fresh Thyme.

Also add 2 good pinches of salt and a few twists of black pepper.



Give it a good stir.

When the 5 minutes is up on the pumpkin take it out, (it will be hot!), give it a stir or a little shake and put back in microwave for another 5 mins. If at this point you think it only needs another couple of minutes then only put it in for that. The idea is to get it to a point where a knife runs through it easily.

Chop up the carrot into really small cubes and add to the frying pan and stir. No need to peel the carrot.



Take the ends off the beans and cut in half. De-seed the red pepper and roughly chop.

Add the beans and pepper to the pan and stir.


Add the two cans of chopped tomatoes to the mince mixture and mix in.

Then add the pumpkin from the microwave and stir in carefully



Turn the heat down now so it simmers away with a lid on and leave for about 30 mins.

Then serve it up in a large bowl and add chopped parsley.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Enjoy!

Quick Salad

This salad took about 45 seconds (might be a little under exaggerated) to throw together and tasted amazing.

I used some of the leftover lamb I had roasted a few days ago and some salad stuff that was lounging about in the fridge.

Ingredients:

Left over Lamb
1x Tomato
A few fresh Mint Leaves
A few fresh Basil Leaves
Some Chopped Italian Parsley
A few Cos Lettuce Leaves
Some Chopped Cucumber
1x 100g Packet Fressure Foods Guacamole. (Could use 1x fresh Avocado)
1x Sweet Red Pepper




Chop up all the ingredients into whatever size your heart desires.

Place in a bowl or in my case a lunch box, (lunch at work), and drop the Guacamole all over it.



Delish!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Lamb with Vegetables and Roast Kumara

On my previous post I did a roast lamb leg. This dish was made using some of the left over lamb and some veges with lots of herbs.

This was really quick to throw together. Took about 30 mins all up.

Ingredients:

Left over Lamb
1x medium Red Onion
4x Garlic Cloves
Thumb sized piece of Ginger
2 Sprigs Rosemary
Some fresh Thyme
Small bunch Fresh Coriander
1x Chili (medium heat)
2x Red Kumara
1x Long Sweet Red Pepper
1x Bok Choy
Handful of Green Beans
Salt and Pepper
Knob of Butter
Juice of 1 lemon



First thing is to get the Kumara into the oven for roasting. Turn on your oven to 220°C.

Now from the post before on the roast leg of lamb I said to keep the lamb fat that was left in the bottom of the pan. What I actually did is I just left that roasting tray in the oven overnight and didn't clean it. Shock horror! And then I used the tray for the roast kumara for this dish.

So when I turned on the oven to heat it up I left the tray in the oven and the lamb fat in the tray melted away nicely ready for my kumara.

Cut up your kumara into smallish cubes. No need to peel.

Take the leaves of rosemary off the sprigs. Peel and roughly chop 2 of the garlic cloves.

Drop the kumara, rosemary and garlic into the roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all up with the melted lamb fat and pop back in the oven. It should take about 30 mins to cook.


Take your cooked leg of lamb and cut off as much as you would like to eat:


Slice up your onion and drop in a frying pan.

Peel the ginger and finely slice and add to pan.

Cut your chili in half and take out the seeds and white pith and add to pan.

Peel and finely slice 2 garlic cloves and add to pan.

Add a knob of butter to pan then turn it on to a high heat.


Once you can start to smell the flavours of the onion and garlic and they have softened a bit throw in the cut up lamb and mix.

While that is cooking away you want to cut up your green beans, bok choy, red pepper, coriander and thyme so you can get it ready to throw in the pan. Take the ends off the beans and cut in half. Take the bottom off the bok choy and roughly chop. Cut up the coriander, stalks and all. Take the seeds out of the pepper and roughly chop. Take the leaves of thyme off the stalk.


Drop the red pepper into the pan and stir:


Make sure while you are doing this to have a look in the oven and give the kumara a good stir every now and then.

After a couple of minutes drop in the green beans and bok choy and stir.

After another couple of minutes drop in the thyme and coriander and stir.

At this stage add the juice of 1 lemon and stir.


Stir for another few minutes then it's ready to serve! Place some of the lamb and veges on a plate and the take the roast kumara out of the oven and add to the plate. Season with salt and pepper.


This one is really fragrant and got some awesome flavours. The kumara goes really well with lamb and veg.

Highly recommended!

Roast Leg of Lamb

I LOVE ROASTS!!!

Roasts are awesome. They are easy to prepare and always give you lots of leftovers so you can have easy meals for the next couple of days.

A couple of days ago I roasted up this leg of lamb with the intention that I would have it for dinner along with some veges. But once it was in the oven I got invited to a bbq so instead I thought no big deal, I'll cook it anyway and use the meat for dinner the next night. Remember, bbq's are awesome too!

So this post will be simply how to roast a leg of lamb.

Ingredients:

Leg of Lamb
Fresh Rosemary
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

First thing as you walk into the kitchen is to turn on your oven to maximum heat. You want to get the oven super hot to start with.

Take your leg of lamb and with a knife you want to push the knife across and through the lamb, about a centimetre under the skin and then using the knife as a guide slide a sprig of rosemary along the top of the knife. Then pull the knife out, leaving the rosemary in the lamb. It should look like this:



Do this in various places around the lamb so you have rosemary penetrating all over. If you wanted you could also push whole peeled garlic cloves into the holes.

Place in a roasting tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.



Pop in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 180°C. This was a 1.7kg leg so I had it in the oven for about 1hr 45mins. Adjust the time as necessary depending on size and whether you want it to be bloody or a little more well done.



Once you've pulled the lamb out of the oven, wrap it in some tin foil and allow it to rest for at least 15 mins.

Delish!

P.S. Save the fat that is collected in the bottom of the roasting tray to use to roast some veges at a later date.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Lamb Shanks!

I had some good friends around for dinner on friday night. And Lamb Shanks was on the menu!

The shank is a reasonably cheap cut of meat and with some tender love and care you can make it into a really tasty dish.

Ingredients:

6x Lamb Shanks
2x Carrots
1x Leek
2x medium Onion
1x Head of Cauliflower
3x Fresh Beetroot
About 15 leaves fresh sage
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
150g Butter
12x cloves of garlic
2x sprigs fresh thyme
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Tin Foil



First thing to do is preheat your oven to 180°C.

Cut the butter up into cubes and drop into a food processor. To that add 2 sprigs of Rosemary leaves, about 7 of the sage leaves and the leaves of the thyme.

Whiz that all up in the processor until its all combined into kind of a paste.

Take each Lamb Shank and make a small cut between the meat and the bone near the top and force your finger down the side of the bone so you make a kind of a 'pocket'.

With your fingers ram the butter mixture down the pocket you have just made. Divide the butter up evenly as you can between all the shanks. The end product should look something like this:



Now take your leek give it a good wash, chop it in a half length ways and then finely slice. Slice up the carrots (I don't bother peeling) and onion.

Peel all the garlic cloves and leave whole.

Get some tin foil and pull out about an arms length, rip it off and then fold in half. In the centre of the foil pile up some of the carrot, onion, leek and 2 of the garlic cloves.

Place one of the shanks on your veg:


Then drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 sprig of rosemary and a sage leaf.


Carefully pull up the tinfoil up and around the shank sealing tightly at the top. It should look like a Hersheys kiss for those who know:


Once you've made all your shanks as above then pop in the oven for 2.5 hours ideally. You could pull them out around the 2 hour mark and they should be fine if your pressed for time.

With about and hour to go on the cooking, Cut up your fresh beetroot (don't bother peeling). Put in a roasting dish , drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I also added some more peeled whole garlic cloves. And pop in oven for the last Hour of cooking.


With about 20 mins left to go on the shanks you can start to prepare the cauliflower. This is an awesome substitute for mashed potato.

Add about 2 inches of water to a pot and put on a high heat on the stove.

Cut up the whole head of cauliflower and then add to the pot.


It will take about 10- 15 mins to cook. To figure out when it's done just get a knife and if it pushes easily into the cauliflower then its good to go.

Once it's ready drain off any water left in the pot. Add 2 or 3 knobs of butter. Season with lots of pepper and some salt. And with a stick blender. blend it into a mash. If you don't have a stick blender then use a food processor.


On a plate serve up a good portion of the cauliflower mash, some of the beetroot.

 Pull out your shanks and leave in the roasting tray and just plonk that right in the middle of the table and people can help themselves and open up their shank in front of them at the table. Make sure they don't burn their faces on opening!

I forgot to get an end picture of this one as we all were having a good time eating but I can tell you it was delicious!

Enjoy.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Lunch

Hello people.

I've just come home from work and I don't feel like having a cook up and eating anything hot. So here's a little something I threw together.

When I go to the supermarket I'll always get some meats from the deli section like shredded chicken, ham, rare roast beef etc. Having these in the fridge allow you to throw together something to eat pretty quickly and easily.

So I threw on a plate some shredded chicken, ham, half an avocado, some artichoke hearts (from the deli also), tomato, cucumber, a tiny amount of mustard and some basil and seasoned with salt and pepper.


This could have been pretty bland but for the basil! How many times do you throw herbs and spices in your cooking? You should always have some fresh herbs on hand and some dried spices to zhoosh up your food.

Here's what the pantry looks like at the flat:

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Pork Belly with Silverbeet and Roast Garlic

Whenever I used to think of Pork Belly I thought it would be too hard to prepare. There are a ton of recipes out there with all sorts off different kinds of ways to cook it. The way I've done it here is pretty simple and also pretty hard to screw up.

The Pork Belly can be with the bone in or out. Doesn't matter. If you are buying it from the butcher make sure the skin has been scored. If not then ask them to do this for you. If you buy it from the supermarket it will always be scored, I'm pretty sure. If not no big deal you can do this yourself at home.

This dish takes about 2.5 hours to cook however...

Ingredients:

1-1.5kg of Pork Belly
3 Bulbs of Garlic
Enough Silverbeet for 3 people (about 4 big stalks)
2x medium to large Red Onions
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

First thing you want to do as soon as you walk into the kitchen is turn on your oven and put it up to max heat. (Even before you crank your favourite tunes and pour your glass of red)

Get your piece of pork belly and with skin side up you want to salt the skin. If the skin hasn't been scored then with a really sharp knife run lines along the skin one centimetre apart. Go deep into the fat but be careful not to go all the way down to the meaty part.

Use lots of salt. Lots of salt people. Really get it into the cracks. Turn the pork belly over and lightly salt and pepper the underside of it.

Place the pork belly in the middle of a roasting tray and put in the oven. Your oven should be at full temp by now but if it's not then wait until it is before you put the pork belly in.

After 30 mins turn the temp down to 180°C. Leave it in the oven now for another 50mins.

The first 30 mins at the high temp will get the crackling really nice. Oh how it will crackle. At this point it should look something like this:



While the pork belly is in the oven you can prepare the silverbeet, garlic and onions.

Take your stalks of silverbeet and cut out the white base of the stalk so you only have the green leafy part of the silverbeet left. Then chop it up into big chunks and put to the side.



Cut your red onion length ways down the middle into about half an inch thick:


Take your whole garlic bulbs and cut the top 8th off them:


After the 50mins is up on the pork belly take it out of the oven. Move the pork to one side of the pan and place the red onion circles in the middle of the pan in one layer. Place the pork belly back on top of the red onion.

Place the bulbs around the pork and pour a generous amount of olive oil right on top and into the garlic.

Put the tray back in the oven and cook for a further 1 hour.


Once the pork, onions and garlic have been in the oven for about an hour take them out and cover with tin foil and let rest. It should look something like this coming out of the oven:


Just before you get the pork out of the oven put on a pan with a couple of inches of water in it on a high heat. Once the water starts to boil drop in the chopped silverbeet and put on a lid. This is an easy way to steam your silverbeet.

Let the silverbeet steam for about 5 mins.

Take your pork belly out of the pan and cut up into one inch pieces length ways. On your plate put some of the onions, pork belly, a garlic bulb and some of the steamed silverbeet.



Season with salt and pepper. You can also add a small squeeze of lemon juice over the silverbeet if your that way inclined.

This dish is so nice as every few mouthfuls you should have a clove of the roasted garlic which is delicious! If you like you can also have a dollop of dijon mustard to go with the pork.

Delish.