Asparagus and Proscuitto Wraps


After a rather stressful week, one of my good friends at work offered to have hubby and I over for dinner. Although we offered to bring dessert, we received firm instructions not to bring anything but ourselves for dinner. That was my licence to shop as they were expecting their first child in the next week weeks. I spent the blissful afternoon working up and appetite, hopping from one baby store to the next and by 6.30pm hubby and I were spoiled with this gorgeous starter. It was so delicious, I woke up the following day and recreated for the in-laws to enjoy. This ones courtesy of Scott and Sue, thanks for a wonderful night of fun and scrumptious food!

Estimated Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients;

  • 5 slices of proscuitto
  • 15 spears of slightly blanched asparagus
  • 5 thinly sliced preserved prunes
  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs of roast capsicum
  • 3 Green Olives
  • 1 Tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2tsp of sugar
  • 3Tbs of red wine vinegar
  • 1tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • Sliced slightly cooked Kumera Pieces for Grilling

Method;

  1. Lay a slice of proscuitto onto a board with the sliced dates and 3 spears of blanched asparagus on top.
  2. Roll the proscuitto around the aspargus and date and repeat this process till you make about 5 parcels.
  3. Lay the parcels under a grill, together with the sliced kumera and grill at 180degrees for 15 minutes till the proscuitto is crisp.
  4. To make the salsa, combine the sugar and red wine vinegar together and pop this into the microwave for 30 seconds till the sugar dissolves into the vinegar.
  5. To this hot mixture, add and mix the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped capsicum, olive and parsley.
  6. To serve, lay the grilled kumera on a plate forming the base, top with the asparagus parcel and drizzle the salsa on top. For a kick, a few drops of Tabasco sauce will go along way for those who prefer to spice it up alittle!


Chicken Lasagna


My wonderful mum knows my weak spot for the supermarket roast chicken and when the cold set in with little to do, nothing cures an itch for an easy dinner like an already cooked roast chook. When winter hits, and your body is craving the carbs, here’s my favourite dish to ensure that the traditional lasagna can be healthy, quick and ever so easy!

Estimated Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients;

2 cups of pre cooked shredded chicken

12 Instant lasagna sheets

2 cups of spinach

1 cup of Shredded Cabbage

1 cup of sliced capsicum

2 cups of thinly sliced pumpkin

1 bottle of pasta sauce

2 cups of low fat shredded cheese

1/2 cup of flour

2 cups of milk

Method;

Start by making the bechamel sauce, which is the white creamy sauce on the lasagna before the shredded cheese goes on

In a pot whisk in the flour and milk and slowly simmer till you get a slurry mixture. Set this aside to use once the lasagna has formed the layers

Preheat the oven to 180C

Slightly wash the lasagna sheet individually to allow a little bit of moisture to seep into the sheets, this will allow it to cook more easily

Line the baking dish with the first layer of lasagna sheets to form the base of the lasagna

To that base, lay the chopped spinach, sliced pumpkin and 1/2 the shredded chicken

Drizzle the pasta sauce onto the layer and place additional lasagna sheets on top to form the next layer

Layer the shredded cabbage, capsicum and the remainder of the chicken and drizzle this layer with the pasta sauce, before placing another layer of lasagna sheets on top

To finish off, pour the bechamel sauce on top of the final lasgana layer and spread evenly

To this layer, evenly distribute the shredded cheese and seal the baking dish up with foil

Bake in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes and remove the foil in the last 10 minutes to allow the cheese to be crispy and form a crunchy surface

I usually serve a main meal with a side dish of some sort, but this basic dish is best served on it’s own because all you need is oozing out of the delicious layers you’ve just created!



Grilled Barramundi with Coriander and Guava Pesto


Since finding out that hubby and I are about to be parents again, I have had an aversion to fish. It’s been an ongoing joke within the family since. Fish of all marine creatures is my favourite cuisine, so it’s been a rather frustrating the last few months. So you can imagine the sheer joy I had today, when I woke up and craved for the scaly jewels of the sea. To celebrate, I rushed to the nearest fish monger and the fresh barra was the perfect way to put an end to my morning sickness fishy famine.

Estimated Cooking Time – 35 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients;

  • 1kg of sliced Barramundi cutlet with skin attached
  • 4 Tbs of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped corinader
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbs of ginger
  • 1 Tbs of american mustard
  • 1 Tbs of Chilli Sauce
  • 2 Tbs of lime Juice
  • 1/4 cup of chopped guava (or green apple as a substitute)
  • 1/4 cup of garlic infused Olive Oil
  • 4 Cup Fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 kg of cooked mashed kumera
  • 3 Tbs of milk
  • 1/2 tsp of butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method;

  1. To make the pesto, combine the coriander, parsley, ginger, guava, mustard, chilli sauce, lime and garlic infused olive oil to a food processor and blend to a fine paste like consistency.
  2. Lightly drizzle the Olive oil onto the fish and pop the fish under the grill at 170C, skin side up.
  3. While the fish is grilling, melt 1/4 tps of butter in a pan and wilt the fresh spinach.
  4. To make the mash, heat the mashed kumera and combine with butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. The fish will be ready to serve when the skin is crispy and all the flesh has transformed from transparent to dense white.
  6. To serve, arrange the mashed kumera on the bottom to form the base on the plate before topping it with the wilted spinach and finally the grilled fish.

You can serve the salsa in a separate dipping dish or line it next to the tower you’ve just formed.



Dark Chocolate and Orange Tiramisu


Wet Sunday morning – the day after my girlfriend’s wedding and one day before the family and I head of to Tassie for our holiday. Heavenly commatized from the wonderful food the night before the only way to recharge my batteries would be the marriage of chocolate and coffee. I rummage through the pantry and found a pack of sponge fingers and dark chocolate Tim Tams, all that was left was a dash to the shops for some cream and mascarpone cheese!

Estimated Cooking Time – 25 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of Sponge finger biscuits
  • 3 Dark Chocolate Tim Tams
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp of Orange Zest
  • 2 tsp of Vanilla essence
  • 250ml of thicken cream
  • 500g of marscapone cheese
  • 6 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 cups of espresso coffee (regular coffee is also fine)
  • 1 cup of water

Method;

  1. Cream 4 Tbsp of sugar, eggs with a beater till the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. To this mixture, add the vanilla essence, cream and mascarpone cheese and continue beating for another 3 minutes.
  3. Set this creamy custard like mixture aside.
  4. Combine the coffee and water to together and dissolve 2Tbsp of sugar to the mixture.
  5. Dunk the sponge fingers into the coffee mixture and line the fingers next to each other in a tin, forming a layer.
  6. Top this layer with the creamy custard to coat the sponge finger layer.
  7. Repeat the previous two steps till the layers fill the tin, making sure that the top layer is the creamy custard.
  8. Crush the Tim Tams and sprinkle this along with the orange zest on top.
  9. Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving… if you can’t help yourself and you really must, I like to dip a dry sponge finger in any leftover custard and serve it with a berry sorbet of some sort.