Posts Tagged 'chilli'

Roasted vegetable frittata

When I was a teenager I was blessed with a relatively decent metabolism. I was never stick-like in any way, but I was able to eat what I wanted and still maintained the same shape.  I had heard that your metabolism slows down when you reach 30, but I thought “ah, that is ages away; I’ll be an adult and will eat sensibly and exercise so it shouldn’t be a problem”.

Well, I was wrong. On both accounts. New studies have shown that your metabolism begins to slow down in your 20s, and despite being close to 30 I am not even close to being an adult. (Never mind eating sensibly or exercising) I lack a sense of self-control when it comes to food. Combined with a love of baking, a declining metabolism, and a dislike for exercise; it is starting to smell like trouble!

As Sydney has launched us into spring in a big (and wonderful) way, I am inspired to get back into exercising so I am able to go to the beach in summer without giving children nightmares. I joined a local gym yesterday, and was up at dawn for my first class this morning – boxing. True to form the instructor wasn’t interested in hearing that I haven’t exercised in almost a year, and didn’t let me stop. So it’s a miracle I’m able to type this right now, my arms and my legs are taking strain!

the jasmine in our backyard, so pretty!

For dinner tonight we had a delicious and healthy frittata. Good intentions and all that… but mostly it’s because I forgot to take meat out the freezer this morning once again. (Sorry Frank) I roasted some of the vegetables we have in the fridge, popped them in our beautiful frying pan with some onions and garlic, and covered it all with the best farm eggs that Mama and Papa C keep us supplied with. Served with a salad it makes a tasty and filling dinner. And there are even leftovers for lunch tomorrow, yum!

Roasted vegetable frittata – another lollcakes original!

1 onion, finely diced
2 gloves garlic, finely diced
chilli flakes to taste
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mixed herbs
5 large eggs
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 carrot, cubed
2 courgettes, cubed
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 red capsicum
1/2 cup cheese, grated

Put the vegetables in a tray and roast for 30 minutes.

While roasting, fry the onion, garlic, chilli and paprika in the frittata pan. Add in the roasted vegetables and peas and fry for a minute. Whisk the eggs with 1 tbsp water and the mixed herbs and pour over the vegetables, and cook until almost set.

Turn on the grill, sprinkle cheese on top of frittata and grill until set (important: use an oven-proof pan). Serve with a salad. Enjoy!


Warming smoked sausage stew

I have adjusted! Today was a great day as I’ve finally picked up my stride at work and am starting to settle in. All we humans need is a little time. So, in the theme of today, I have made a list of good things that made up my day.

1. I had a delicious muffin for breakfast

2. I treated myself to something I really should have bought a long time ago, Nigella Lawson’s How to be a domestic goddess

3. I found out I’m allowed a free half-day’s holiday as I worked back these past two weeks

4. We had the most amazing custard/pastry thing to celebrate one of the chef’s birthdays. Not only was it delicious, but the chef is a minor celebrity and I was chuffed!

5. My monthly subscription to Australian Good Food magazine was waiting for me in the post box, so now I have something new to read before bed

6. Frank walked me home from the station tonight. We haven’t gone to or from the station together in ages.

7. I FOUND MY SENSE OF HUMOUR! Woo hoo, I was worried this one was gone for good after last week

8. I discovered there is a departmental dance (not the noun but the verb), and this dance I have been eager to attempt in public for almost 5 years now. See the dog on this link.

9. I sang “Lady in red” and “when a man loves a woman” with the radio to Frank. Nothing gets him running out the room quite like it!

10. I attempted dance from point 8 while cooking dinner. Frank just looked at me with a mix of fear and confusion.

As fantastic as it is have my ‘groove’ back, I was late home again tonight. I was held up at work as I was discussing cook books with my colleague. (How many? Stopped counting. Which ones? AWW, with a good mix of others. Which are good? ALL!) So when I got home I was in search of something quick and hearty for dinner. I had picked up some rookwurst on Tuesday night, so I decided to make a sausage casserole/stew and serve it with some pasta. Once again, it was slightly on the spicy side (and Frank’s response is “when is it NOT spicy?”) but it warmed us up and filled our bellies, which is what food was made to do.

Rookwurst stew – a lollcakes original

Serves three big eaters, so probably four normal…

350g smoked sausage (you can use chorizo if you can’t find smoked sausage), sliced
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli (add more or less, depending on your taste)
1 carrot, chopped into cubes
1 capsicum, chopped into cubes
1 courgette, chopped into cubes
1 tin tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

To serve:
grated cheese and either pasta or rice

Fry onion and garlic until soft, add chilli and paprika and fry until fragrant. Add in sausages and fry for a couple of minutes. Add in tin of tomatoes, tomato paste, stock powder, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and red wine; stir to combine. Add in carrot and simmer for 15 minutes. Put pasta on to boil, and add capsicum and courgette to stew. Simmer until pasta is done, then toss pasta into sauce.
Top with grated cheese and pile into a bowl.

Frank reading his book while I'm cooking 🙂

A spicy Anglo-African cottage pie

I love my new knives! I received a lovely shiny set for my birthday, and after using one blunt knife for everything for the last six months, I am in heaven. Frank was worried about giving me the new set of knives, as I am incredibly accident-prone, but in the end it was Frank who shed the first drop (or five) of blood. Not to worry, all wounds are healed, and I am proud to announce that I have not cut myself yet! (touch wood, touch wood.) We both used to dread it when I found a recipe that required sweet potato or pumpkin, as it took us hours – and buckets of sweat – to get the vegetables looking anything like they did in the recipe. Not with my new knives though, my chef’s knife just slid through those sweet potatoes like they were marshmallows. Never under-estimate the value of a good knife!

mince cooking in the pot

During a slow day in the world of bean-counting, or “work” as people like to call it, I was looking for some delicious recipes for dinner. As Sydney has been plunged into ice, I wanted some winter comfort food to fill our bellies. As luck would have it, I found a recipe for spicy parsnip cottage/shepherd’s pie. This recipe was very different to what I’m used to, as it had a tasty Moroccan twist to it. Needless to say, I made it and Frank hoovered it up! (Which is his fee for being chief dish-washer)

pie, waiting for the oven

The dish is a little time-consuming as it has three stages to the recipe. What’s great about it is that you can make it the night before and just pop it in the oven when you get home from work. It tastes as delicious the next day, as all curries seem to do. The cottage/shepherd’s pie has a surprisingly bobotie-like taste, bobotie being a traditional meat-and-custard dish from South Africa, so if you’re looking for the taste without the hassle, give it a go! I would recommend you serve it with a green salad and some crusty bread, but it’s also great on its own.

pie, out of the oven

Spicy shepherd’s pie (adjusted from BBC Good Food website)

For the meat sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
small knob of ginger, peeled and granted
2 tbsp medium curry powder
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
500g minced beef or lamb (or even chicken/turkey)
400g can chopped tomatoes
100g frozen peas

For the topping:

600g sweet potatoes , peeled and chopped into large chunks
large potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 chilli , deseeded and chopped
large bunch coriander , chopped
2 tsp turmeric
juice of 1 lemon
50g butter (or nuttilex if you want to go dairy-free)

For the sauce, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook until soft, add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, then cook until aromatic. Turn up the heat, add the mince, fry until browned, then add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and simmer for 20 mins until thickened. A few mins before the end, add the peas.
Meanwhile, tip the sweet potatoes and potatoes into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then cook for 10 mins. Drain, season and mash with the rest of the ingredients.
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 8. Assemble the pies in individual dishes (or one large one) by placing some meat sauce on the bottom and topping with mash. Ruffle up the tops with a fork, then bake for 20 mins until golden and bubbling.

Frank's portion... 😉

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All recipes are on Petitchef