Mushroom, onion and mustard gravy

mushroom-gravy

A great gravy transforms the classic meat and three veg into a simple yet delicious meal. This little winner is especially scrumptious on top of a good medium rare steak with sweet potato mash  – the English mustard just gives the gravy a real pop! This recipe is as easy as pie (actually easier) and you’ll probably have all of the ingredients in your fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbl English mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • basil leaves, torn

Method

Fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the mushrooms are tender add the stock, mustard, salt and pepper and turn the heat down to low. Keep the gravy on low heat for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Add the basil just before serving.

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Homemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta

  

Nothing beats that melt in the mouth beautiful fresh pasta taste. I know I’ve posted a spinach and ricotta ravioli recipe a couple of years back now but this is my “new and improved” and it’s damn delicious… As you can see from the above picture I don’t own a pasta rack so my washing line just had to do haha. This recipe is great for dinner parties or a weekend evening dish for your other half.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 800g ricotta cheese
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper

Sauce 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jar passata
  • salt and pepper

Serves 6

Method

To make the dough use your hands to shape the flour into a circular mound and make a well in the centre. Place the eggs in the well and use a fork to lightly whisk. Use your fingertips to gradually blend a little flour into the egg mixture. Working with your fingertips, continue to gradually draw the flour into the centre (being careful the egg mixture does not run out of the well) until the mixture forms a dough. To check if the dough is the right consistency, press a clean, dry finger into the centre of the dough. If it comes out clean without being sticky, it is the right consistency. If not, knead in a little more flour and test again.

Lightly flour the surface if necessary. Firmly knead the dough by using the heel of your hand to firmly push down into it and then away from you. Lift the dough with your fingertips and fold it back on itself towards you. Turn the dough a half turn and repeat. Continue kneading the dough for 6-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and set aside for an hour.

To make the filling heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the spinach and toss for 1-2 minutes or just until wilted, then drain well. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop the spinach, then place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the passata, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the passata, salt and pepper and simmer. Reheat just before serving.

Divide the pasta dough into 4 portions, then working with one piece at a time flatten the dough firmly with the heel of your hand on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the pasta several times through the widest setting on a pasta machine and continue feeding it through reducing the settings one notch at time until you come to the second last setting. The pasta should feel silky and smooth. Use a wine glass to cut even circular shapes in the dough.

Start adding a teaspoon of filling to each circle of dough (making sure you don’t add too much filling or the ravioli won’t hold). Wet the outside with a little bit of egg so the dough sticks together. Place another circle dough on the top and press the sides then fork around the edge until the pasta is firmly stuck together.

To cook, carefully drop the ravioli into a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until al dente, then pour into a colander and drain well. Transfer the ravioli to a large serving dish, spoon over the hot passata, and top with grated Parmesan. ONE WORD: YUM!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

The besto pesto couscous

image (5)

I’ve only just recently gotten back into couscous, and oh my I forgot how bloody wonderful it is! It literally goes with every ingredient, it’s healthy, easy to make and pretty damn tasty. This little recipe I made up a few weeks ago and have eaten it about five times since – it’s the perfect mid week dinner. You can spice this dish up with capsicum, pumpkin, eggplant – the list is endless… You’ll always want to keep couscous in your cupboard after this. The roasted cherry tomatoes with balsamic are definitely the star of the dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 tbl olive oil (1/2 to drizzle on tomatoes, 1/2 for cooking)
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 2 tbl pesto
  • 1 tsp dried herbs

Serves 3

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and place tomatoes on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic on top then cook for about 15 minutes.

Boil the sweet potato in a small saucepan until tender, then drain.

Heat the oil in a medium pot and add the onion and the garlic. Then pour the stock and water and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, add the couscous then cover with a lid.

Once the couscous is cooked add the sweet potato, pesto and mix.

Serve the couscous with cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of dried herbs. A cheeky drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top tastes a treat too!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Vietnamese noodle salad

vietnamese noodle salad

I have been struggling to eat healthily since I moved out… Seriously I just want to do a cheap grocery shop, eat delicious food and be skinny… Is that too much to ask? Okay so I’ve recently discovered a few dishes which kind of work for me. This Vietnamese noodle salad is absolutely scrumptious, healthy and a little money saver too! I used the chicken breast and vermicelli noodles over two meals. I love this dish cold, but served warm would be great too. The sauce definitely makes it – I mean pour me some hoisen on raw veges and I’ll eat that everyday…

Ingredients

  • 1/4 bag vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  • 1 broccoli, chopped roughly
  • coriander, handful torn

Sauce/dressing

  • 2 tbl hoisen sauce
  • 2 tbl soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juice squeezed
  • 1 tbl oyster sauce
  • 1 tbl chili sauce

Serves 2

Method

Cook the noodles as per packed instructions – place in a bowl with boiling hot water until soft.

Lightly fry the onion, garlic and chicken in a saucepan until slightly brown.

Steam or boil the carrot and broccoli until slightly crunchy still.

For the sauce just mix all the ingredients in a small bowl – making sure to taste as you go.

Serve the chicken and vegetables in a bowl with the sauce drizzled over and top with coriander.

Then eat in front of the Bachelorette and drool over Sasha…. YUM!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Simply great tuna pasta

One of my favourite dinner dishes has to be my simply great tuna pasta! After getting home from a long day at work the last thing I feel like doing is spending hours in the kitchen – this little meal is simple to make, delicious, rather healthy, contains pantry stable ingredients and there’s always left overs! Since moving out I’m all about those leftovers…and damn somehow they always taste better the next day? Tuna, olives, garlic, tomato and you’ve got yourself a winner dish – well in my case I think so! The flavour combination is great, and it literally takes about 20 minutes to make tops. I normally put in a couple of anchovies too (cut really fine) for that extra delicious salty flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spiral pasta
  • 2 large cans of tuna in springwater, drained
  • 1 can tinned tomato
  • 1 brown onion, cut finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons black olives
  • 2 tsp chili
  • handful fresh coriander
  • salt & pepper to season

Serves 3

Method

Cook the pasta in a large pot with salt, then drain once Al dente.

Fry the onion and garlic lightly in a medium saucepan. Add the tuna, tomato, olives, chili and then stir. Tear in the coriander and season with salt and pepper.

Dish up the pasta with the tuna sauce and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Pulled pork tacos with coleslaw and salsa

mexican pulled pork tacos

Who doesn’t love a little Mexi night right? Pulled pork soft tacos, crunchy cabbage coleslaw, with a corn and tomato chili salsa.. Need I write more? So I will admit I didn’t make the pulled pork – I wanted to, but the beautiful weather got the better of me last weekend. However thank you chef Coles for providing the goods! Mexican is definitely a weakness of mine – I can’t stop after 4 tacos, it just doesn’t happen! The crunch of the fresh cabbage, mixed with the tender spiced pork and the kick of chili in the salsa is the perfect combo – my mouth was having a food orgasm. Who needs a man when there’s tacos huh?

Ingredients

  • Tortillas or hard tacos

Pork

  • 350g pulled pork
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • bunch of oregano
  • salt and pepper

Coleslaw

  • red cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 tbl sour cream
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper

Salsa

  • 2 corns on the cob, cooked and cut
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1/4 fresh red chili, de-seeded and chopped finely
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 packed cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • sea salt

Makes 8 tacos

Method

In a large bowl combine the cooked pulled pork, spices, garlic, sugar and oregano; then warm up just before serving.

Mix the cabbage, sour cream, lime juice and salt & pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the salsa ingredients in a large bowl and stir – may need to taste to add more salt or lime.

Heat the tortillas/tacos in the oven until cooked.

Pack your hot tacos with the delicious fillings and enjoy!!

Happy cooking, love Jem x