Category Archives: Appetisers

Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls

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These sausage rolls were a surprise winner at home.  Wal and the sprogs really LOVED them.

I was tired and in need of a quick filling meal and didn’t have any brilliant ideas springing to mind.  So I went to my ‘inspiration folder’ where I keep notes and recipes gathered from friends, magazines, newspapers and any other source that grabs my attention. In there I found the perfect inspiration to match my energy levels and the contents of my pantry.

This recipe is adapted from Australian Good Food, July 2010, p129.

Recipe

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 large leek, finely sliced
  • 1/2 sm red onion, finely diced
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 2 sm carrots, grated
  • 1/3 red capsicum,finely chopped
  • 2 T tomato sauce
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T poppy seeds

Line 3 pastry trays, and preheat oven to 180C. Lightly saute leek in the butter, set aside in large bowl. Add mince, onion, carrots, capsicum, tomato sauce and basil to bowl and mix well.

Cut pastry sheets in half.  Divide chicken mixture into 6 portions.  Spread a portion along the length of a cut sheet of pastry to create the sausage. Fold pastry over the mince and press the pastry together to seal. Cut the pastry roll into three equal portions and place on baking tray. Repeat with remaining mince mixture and pastry.

Baste each sausage roll with the egg, and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Cook for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and golden.

I served the sausage rolls for dinner with salad and vegetables on the side, but they could also be used for appetisers.  If planning to do so, I would cut each pastry roll into 4 pieces rather than 3.

Devilled Eggs

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Now that Easter is over, the chocolate supplies are dwindling, and the roast and all those other ‘just for Easter’ treats are gone – all except for those colourful boiled eggs the sprogs dyed during a holiday afternoon.  We included boiled eggs in the chocolate baskets, but for some reason, the chocolate was eaten and most of the eggs remained…

What do you do with a dozen left over hard boiled eggs? Well here is one idea – Devilled Eggs.  My great-grandmother made Devilled Eggs with eggs from her own chickens, so this recipe has been around for generations and has been a family favourate forever.

Recipe

  • 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/3 red capsicum, diced very finely
  • 1/2 spring onion, chopped finely
  • 2 T egg mayonnaise
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 t fresh lime juice
  • 1 T white vinegar
  • 1 t non-seeded mustard
  • salt to taste
  • sweet paprika

Cut eggs lengthways. Carefully remove yolks and place in mixing bowl. Mash eggs with sour cream and mayonnaise with fork and stir until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients except paprika and mix well.  Arrange egg whites on a tray and carefully fill cavities with the egg mixture.  Sprinkle with the paprika.

Sashimi Tuna with Orange Soy Sauce

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We ate a fair bit of fish when I was a kid, but if anyone had offered it to me raw I would have been totally grossed out. We weren’t especially adventurous with seafood anyway, but sashimi was way beyond us.  When I look back I think of all the sashimi eating years wasted!   Now that I have seen the light, I could eat sashimi every day – which is great because it is so healthy, but less great because it is expensive.  However, Wal and I will often spoil ourselves on a lazy sunny Sunday afternoon with a trip to the fish markets. 

Recipe

  • 250 g sashimi grade tuna
  • Wasabi paste

Sauce

  •  5 T soy sauce
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 t finely grated ginger
  • couple drops sesame oil
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh coriander

Mix all ingredients together and leave for 20 minutes for flavours to infuse.

Arrange fish on individual serving plates, and add some wasabi on the side.  Fill very small bowls with sauce and place on plate.  That’s it!  

If you feel like being really extravagent, buy some cooked prawns while you are at the fish markets.  They are also delicious dipped in the orange soy sauce.

Tomato Soup

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You know those weekends when you overdo it?  It starts on Friday when you have a wine after work to wind down, and next thing you know there is a pile of wine bottles empty on the table.  Saturday morning comes.  You get up at the crack of dawn to take those beloved offspring to whatever sport starts 3 hours earlier than you need to be awake, your head is pounding and your belly rumbles ominously.  You swear you will never drink again. But then at about 3 o’clock you start thinking hair of the dog is what you need to feel better, and then a couple of buddies pop over, and next thing you know you have another bigger pile of wine bottles empty on the table. Sunday morning is even scarier than Saturday, but thankfully the little sprogs have no sport on Sundays.  After a few hours of agony you start thinking about hair of the dog again.  What you really need is a serious health hit.  Something to expunge all those toxins and reinstate some lost vitamins and minerals.  This is when I make this tomato soup.

Recipes abound for tomato soup, and I have tried lots of them, but this one is so fresh and light I can’t go past it.  Wal calls it his liquid energy pellet.

Recipe

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, (crushed or grated)
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 t yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 t tumeric
  • 1 t sweet paprika (can also use hot)
  • 2 T plain flour
  • 1 T honey
  • 3 c chicken stock (homemade is best, but any stock works)
  • 400 g can tomatoes
  • 1 kg fresh tomatoes. chopped
  • 4 T dried red lentils
  • sour cream and parsley to serve

Saute onions, garlic and celery in oil, when onions start to become translucent, add spices and flour. Mix well and add 1 cup of water as bottom of pan starts to become sticky.  Add remaining ingredients, and cook on low for at least an hour. The s0up cooks quickly but needs time for the flavours to infuse.  The lentils are important because they break down and help to provide body to the soup, but if you don’t have any you can add a chopped potato.  Blenderizing the soup is optional, I do it sometimes, but if you chop the ingredients finely it has a good texture as is.  Serve with sour cream (or cottage cheese) and a generous topping of parsley and warm bread or toast.  Don’t have a wine with dinner.