Spanish Rice with Chorizo and Veg

I love this kind of recipe. You know the one that mostly uses ingredients you’ll find in the pantry. Rice, stock, tinned tomatoes – building blocks for so many simple dinners.

Throw in some spices for flavour, veggies, either fresh or frozen, for goodness, and top with golden chorizo – for no other reason that it tastes brilliant and always gets the kids over the line with any meal. 

“What is this green bit?” one child might say, staring at his fork. 

“Yum, isn’t this Chorizo amazing!” I will reply, hoping to distract the enquiring child from realising I did indeed put asparagus in AGAIN! 

The original recipe is a Bill Granger classic from Delicious Magazine October 2012. 

I have left out the marinated roasted red capsicum simply because that is a more expensive item that won’t always be in a normal pantry and I added more vegetables, of course. 

Once again, don’t be a slave to the recipe. If you hate beans or don’t have any asparagus, use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge or freezer. 

We are a family of Chorizo lovers, but if you don’t have any or don’t like it, just simply leave it out.  It will then become a fragrant vegetarian rice dish. 

Spanish Rice with Chorizo and Veg
Serves 5
A frangrant rice dish, with mixed vegetables and chorizo.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  3. 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, paprika and coriander
  4. 1 1/2 cups (300gm) basmati rice
  5. 400gm tin crushed tomatoes
  6. 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  7. 200gm green beans, cut into 3-4cm lengths (frozen works well too)
  8. 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 3-4cm lengths
  9. 250gm (2) chorizo, cut into thin rounds
  10. fresh coriander or parsley, chopped to garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and mix well.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes and 3 cups chicken stock.
  5. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  7. You will need to check it a few times, and give it a stir to prevent it from sticking. If the stock is all absorbed and the rice isn't quite cooked, add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time.
  8. Add the beans and asparagus, and cook for a further 5 minutes until they are slightly soft, but still bright green.
  9. In another frying pan, over medium heat, cook the chorizo rounds until they are golden brown.
  10. Throw the chorizo and fresh herbs on top of the rice and serve straight from the pan.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine Oct 2012
Adapted from Delicious Magazine Oct 2012
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Sticky Lemon Slice

When life gives you lemons, make a Lemon Tart. 

That might not be the version most people know, but it’s my favourite and I am sticking with it. 

It’s the dessert I cannot look past if it’s on a menu and the one I love to make for special occasions. 

But on an ordinary day, in the middle of an ordinary week, feeling a little unhinged by life and all it’s stuff, it’s not quite as simple to whip up a Lemon Tart.

Enter the Sticky Lemon Slice. It’s really a Lemon Tart in slice form. No fussing with pastry, no blind baking, just a few simple steps with a bowl, beaters and a spoon. 

I dare you to make it and eat it with your eyes closed and see if you agree?

Sticky Lemon Slice
A sticky lemon-curd like slice with a shortbread base.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1/4 cup icing sugar mixture
  3. 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 cup castor sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  7. 1/2 cup lemon juice (approx 2 lemons)
  8. icing sugar to dust (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 degrees fan forced)
  2. Grease and line a rectangular slice tin
  3. Cream butter and icing sugar mixture with electric beaters until smooth
  4. Stir in 1 cup of the plain flour.
  5. Press mixture over the base of the tin with your hands and palm until even and smooth
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Place eggs, castor sugar, 1/4 cup remaining flour, rind and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk with a hand whisk to combine
  8. Pour mixture over hot base and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until firm
  9. Cool in tin
  10. Dust with icing sugar and slice into pieces
Notes
  1. This slice will last for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

So…. I didn’t exactly tell the boys that the star of this loaf was pumpkin.

I just left it on the bench, still a little warm from the oven, for when they arrived home from school. 

The one who hates banana bread, said “this better not have bananas in it!” and I was able to answer confidently that it did not!

No-one guessed the main ingredient, as it was gobbled up and grubby hands reached for seconds. 

I am planning on making another loaf soon, this time leaving out the nuts so I can send it to school for morning tea. 

The smell of this baking made me think of my American sister-in-law and transported me to a White Christmas in North America. Pumpkin and spices baking together in the oven will do that to you. 

Feel free to sub gluten-free plain flour and soy/rice/nut milk to make this a gluten free/dairy free loaf. 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread
A moist pumpkin loaf, with craisins, nuts and a hint of spice.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour or wholemeal plain flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon bi carb soda
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1 cup craisins, raisins or dates
  8. 1 cup of nuts of choice, roasted and chopped (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts work well)
  9. 1 1/2 cups of grated raw pumpkin
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1/3 cup olive oil
  12. 1/2 cup milk
  13. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  14. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and Sesame seeds for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 degrees fan forced)
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, bicarb soda and spices.
  4. Whisk with a balloon whisk till there are no lumps.
  5. Add in the craisins, nuts and pumpkin.
  6. Stir till combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.
  8. Add to the dry ingredients and stir till combined.
  9. Pour into loaf tin and sprinkle with seeds.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. This loaf freezes well. Just slice and wrap each piece separately.
Adapted from Mix and Bake
Adapted from Mix and Bake
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

 

 

1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake and Lessons from a Little Blue Fish

I never thought I would be reminded of some important life lessons from an animated movie about a little blue fish.

As I sat watching Finding Dory with the family, I found myself fighting back tears.

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Dory, with her short-term memory loss, really struggled to survive in the ocean and needed a buddy with her most of the time to help guide where she was going.

She had lost her family and she was afraid.

She was different to the other sea creatures and lacked the skills the other fish had to survive.

The creatures that end up helping her find her family had their own difficulties too, such as the Whale shark with bad eye sight and the Octopus, with relationship and commitment issues. Nemo and his dad Marlin, knew what it was like to lose someone they love, but despite their fears of it happening again, agreed to help Dory find her way home.

 Just Keep Swimming.

And when Dory finally made it home, her parents had not given up either.

They had been faithfully waiting for her to make her way home, laying out paths that might help her eventually remember and find them.

finding-dory-movie

 

 

 

 

 

You’re in another hard season.

Just Keep Swimming.

You thought maybe the battles were slowing down, or it was your turn for a break from the hard stuff.

But life doesn’t work that way and you find yourself weary and discouraged.

Just Keep Swimming.

Despite the fear and the pain and the difficulty.

Just Keep Swimming.

And don’t swim alone. Gather your crew around you, your imperfect, motley crew of people who love you unconditionally, and get them to pull you along when you don’t think you can go any further.

Do the next thing. Take the one next step.

Don’t look too far ahead, but for today, just don’t give up my friend.

quotes-courage-voice-mary-anne-radmacher-480x480

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake
Serves 1
Lemon and Coconut Cake, mixed and cooked in a mug in 1 minute in the microwave.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons self raising flour
  2. 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  3. 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or normal milk)
  5. 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 tablespoons store-bought lemon curd
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, coconut and sugar in a 11/2 cup capacity mug or cup.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add milk, olive oil and egg.
  4. Mix till thoroughly combined.
  5. Gently stir through lemon curd, do not mix in completely.
  6. Cook in the microwave for 50-60 seconds.
  7. It will puff up and rise to the top. If the cake batter is not fully cooked, put in for another 10 seconds or so.
  8. Enjoy immediately with extra curd and cream if desired.
Adapted from Tasty Express
Adapted from Tasty Express
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Polenta & Herb Crumbed Fish Fillets (gluten free)

This recipe may seem a little odd, coming to you on a freezing winter’s day here in Sydney. 

As much as we love the roasts, soups and stews that we live on during winter, there are still days where we want a quick and simple protein and salad meal. 

Taken from an idea found in Delicious magazine, June 2008, this crumbed fish recipe, using polenta instead of your usual bread crumbs, gives people who are gluten free a chance to enjoy a golden crunchy topping on their fish once again. 

I usually like to buy my fish fresh, but for those days when I haven’t had the chance to get to the shops, I keep boneless and skinned firm white fish fillets in the freezer. Whether you simply pan fry them as they are, or put an easy crumb on them like this, it’s a speedy and nutritious dinner option that suits the whole family. 

If you have children who love store-bought fish fingers, then these will surely impress them.

Enjoy x

Polenta & Herb Crumbed Fish Fillets
Serves 4
Fresh herb and polenta crumbed firm white fish fillets.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup polenta
  2. zest of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
  3. a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, rosemary, oregano or thyme, leaves only
  4. 1 egg
  5. 4-5 firm white fish fillets, boneless and skinless
  6. 2 tablespoons butter
  7. 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine polenta, zest and herbs in a food processor and blitz till combined and herbs finely chopped.
  2. Place on a plate.
  3. Whisk egg and place in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each fish fillet into the egg on both sides and then coat with the polenta mixture, using your fingers to press the mixture on all sides.
  5. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan till hot, then cook 2 pieces of fish at a time, 3-5 minutes on one side and 3-4 minutes on the other. Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your fillets are.
  6. Drain on paper towel and serve with lemon wedges and salad.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine June 2008
Adapted from Delicious Magazine June 2008
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/