All posts tagged: easy

Fish at work

It doesn’t matter if your co-workers love fish, zapping a fish lunch in the staff microwave is just bad manners. I love fish, especially smoked fish but I’ve always been careful not to have bring fish to work. Smoked fish pie and fish curries – while delicious – are dishes I enjoy at restaurants or at home. This smoked fish recipe is work-place appropriate. Because it is served cold, no one else needs to know you’re enjoying some yummy smoked fish. Kahawai is a firm white fish commonly found in New Zealand and most of the time is served hot smoked. Reasonably priced at around $25NZ per kilo for boneless sides, a 250gram (half pound) fillet will set you back less than $7NZ. If you can’t get a hold of smoked kahawai, feel free to use any smoked fish fillet – hot smoked trout would be a great substitute. Spring is just around the corner here and in my garden, the rosemary bush and onion weed is flowering so I’ve used these as garnish along with …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #3

  Being able to chuck a bunch of ingredients together and create something delicious isn’t so much a skill as a way of thinking. When cooking, I enjoy getting creative, using recipes only for inspiration. I find sticking to recipes tedious and restrictive and always find myself deviating. Understanding your own cooking style can help make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. When I took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? I was branded the Freestyler. Find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quiz quick here. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. Throw-together recipe #3 This is a easy, naturally gluten-free omelette for one that is good for any meal of the day. I make this style of omelette at least once a week and I like how each one can be customised without fuss. We’re …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #2

I recently took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? and was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries and going “off-piste”. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities, from the Curious Novice to the Professional and everything in between. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, recipes and appliances to make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. You can find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quick quiz here. Go on, I’ll wait. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. These recipes are more templates than traditional recipes. I’ve suggested ingredients, but in all honesty, whatever you have in the fridge can be substituted and you’ll only know if you try. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. …

Peking Duck for busy people

Peking Duck is a dish that you fall in love with. World famous from Beijing, crispy roast duck is sliced with a high skin-to-meat ratio and eaten with spring onion (scallions), cucumber, hoisin (or plum) sauce and wrapped in thin Chinese pancakes. Think of it as Chinese duck tacos. Shared with others, you usually get 2-3 pieces per person as a starter dish. It may be frowned upon to scoff 10 pancakes and call it a meal, but would you judge me if I said I did exactly that twice for this post? Let’s call it “research purposes”. When dining at Chinese restaurants, my family orders Peking Duck on almost every special occasion. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s a treat. You should see our eyes light up when the dish is brought to the table. Your turn can’t come quick enough. When I introduced Peking Duck to The Koala, he was was a bit peeved that he had gone so long without it. He loved it too. Beijing Duck In 2006, The Koala and I ate visited Beijing and …

Slow Cooked Orange Pulled Pork (with crackling)

We are hoarding oranges. We don’t eat oranges, but they keep turning up, hence the collection. I have good intentions, I mean to eat them, which is why I haven’t cancelled or blacklisted oranges. If we had a juicer we might get through what we we receive from our boxes. Therefore, the next best thing is to use orange as an ingredient. Luckily, we love our meat with fruit in this house and The Koala was eager for me to test out another pulled pork on him. I used a boneless pork shoulder for my Hoisin pulled pork recipe but this version uses one with bone in as it was cheaper this week. Feel free to use either. I am loving our first winter living with a slow cooker. A hand-me-down from Mum, it’s worth the extra space it takes up on our counter. To save on time and dishes, I used the ceramic pot and lid from our slow cooker to marinade in. This requires substantial fridge space so if you don’t have this, …

Hoisin Pulled Pork

The Koala asked me if I had any plans for the weekend. I replied “pulled pork” which he thought it was code and I that was feeling frisky. To be fair, he wasn’t disappointed with what I had in mind. I frequent blogs and forums with US inhabitants and I often suffer from major food envy. Pulled pork has been the object of my affection. Pulled pork is not a common dish in New Zealand though this is slowly changing. There are American-Mexican joints in Auckland now who all serve slow cooked pork in tortillas. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and could be doubled or even tripled if you are feeding a larger group. This recipe fed five adults for dinner but judging by how quickly it disappeared, it would be better suited for four. Pork has this annoying habit of shrinking which is a good reason to buy slightly more than you think you need. No one ever complained about pulled pork leftovers! Hoisin means “seafood” I added a Chinese touch by …

Tomato Soup

It’s been raining all weekend and we spent a hungover day holed up at home, wrapped in blankets, watching movies and feeling pathetic. It’s not super cold yet, but when you are feeling fragile, comfort is priority. Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches was just the ticket – pretty easy to make and to eat. I always have canned tomatoes in the pantry. I buy 3 to 4 cans at a time because one brand or another will have a special deal on. Canned tomatoes are a handy base for pasta dishes, nachos, stews and more recently, tomato soup. In terms of equipment, you really need 1 large saucepan and a stick blender. You can use a regular blender if that’s all you have. I would use 1/2 a cup of milk minimum. If you’re prefer a bit more milk or even full fat cream, go for it! Tomato Soup Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 onion 1 clove garlic 2 cans of canned whole or diced tomatoes (400 grams/14.5oz each) 1 can of …

Transferable skills

I was at work and in my fist was a small piece of paper that said “Italy”. During the world cup season, we each had to bring in a morning tea based on our drawn countries. What to bring? There are many yummy Italian foods. Pizza, pasta, antipasto, breads…. Being a terrible baker, I challenged myself to bake for everyone at work. Chinese fighting muffins Light, fluffy bread and moist cakes? Never! It’s not my style. My baking is generally hard and dry. So I figured, why not harness my natural talent for making Chinese fighting muffins? Look upon it as a transferable skill. Maybe you have a negative cooking skill that could be turned right given the perfect recipe? Biscotti is hard and never moist. Biscotti is classy. Biscotti would be perfect. I found this online chocolate biscotti recipe by Susan from Farmgirl Fare. If I’m afraid of making something, the words easy and beginners in the heading makes a big difference. I worried about burning these since it’s hard to tell if dark brown biscotti …

Quiche pies!

I make quiche pies about once a fortnight. They can be eaten hot or cold and are wonderful for breakfast, picnics, lunch, snacks or with a salad as a meal. I always change up the ingredients depending on what we have in the fridge. The ingredients I reckon you must have are puff pastry, egg and cheese, the rest you can be creative on. They keep fine for about 3 days…Maybe longer, but never had a chance to find out! Quiche pies Makes 12 Ingredients 3 sheets of puff pastry 6 eggs, beaten with a dash of milk 1 spring onion (scallion) finely sliced 6 sundried tomatoes 4 mushrooms sliced thinly Half an onion sliced thinly Cheese – 12 bite size pieces A bit of butter, melted A bit of oil A bit of salt A bit of pepper Preparation Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Optional: Fry mushrooms and onion in a little oil until they soften. Remove from heat and set aside. Brush butter onto a muffin tin. Cut each sheet of pastry into …