Chicken with Peppers (Capsicum)

chickenwithpeppers This is a wonderfully simple, rustic dish but so also tasty. It is my go to – one pot dish, when I can’t really be bothered cooking.

It comes from the book Limoncello and Linenwater by Tessa Kiros.

Serve it with a nice fresh ciabatta or sourdough. We like to squeeze the cooked garlic cloves and spread on the bread and then pile on the “peppers” and olives on top, and then to soak up the chickeney olive oil.

Serves 2


3 capsicum; red, green & yellow
2 chicken Maryland or 4 chicken pieces, skin on (Bone in is better, I use legs & thighs)
10 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 fresh bay leaves
3 rosemary sprigs
100 g mixed olives
4 Tbs olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180°C.chickenwithpeppers2

De-seed the capsicum and slice into pieces about two to three cm square and add to a heavy based casserole that has a lid.

Add the remaining ingredients, season generously with salt & pepper and toss to cover everything with oil.

Put on the lid and cook for 1½ hours. The chicken should be cooked through (85°C or higher in the center) and the capsicum nice and soft.

Take off the lid and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes to give the chicken some colour.

Serve with sliced ciabatta or sourdough and don’t be afraid to get your fingers messy.


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Leftover Christmas Ham, Egg & Pea Pie with (very) Rough Puff Pastry

Well, its been over a year again and so much has happened.  But I’ve finally got a few days off and wanted to share a couple of easy recipes that I have made over the holidays.

I volunteered to smoke the Christmas ham this year and I ordered a 5 Kg pickled pork leg from my butcher. When the DB went to pick it up for me, it had somehow grown into an 8.3 Kg leg. That was enough to feed both families and heaps leftover. The ham was in the smoker for about 10 and a half hours and I was a bit worried it would be dry, but it ended up being a wonderful juicy and flavourful (is that a word?) ham.hampie

Here is what I did with some of the leftovers:

Makes 1 x 20 cm pie


Rough Puff Pasrty:
125 g plain flour
½ tsp salt
125 g unsalted butter, soft, but not melted
70 ml cold water

¼ red onion, finely sliced
½ cup leftover ham, diced
¼ cup frozen peas
8 eggs
salt & pepper
¼ cup shredded cheese (any melting cheese is good, mozzarella, tasty or a mix)


Rough Puff Pasrty:
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

Roughly break or chop the butter into small pieces and rub loosely into the flour. Don’t worry if you can see bits of butter, that is a good thing.

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in most of the cold water. Mix until you have a firm rough dough and add the remaining water if needed.

Cover and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.

On a lightly floured surface, knead gently until the dough comes together. Roll the dough in one direction only, to make a rectangle. Roll until the dough is three times the width (about 20 cm x 50 cm). Try and keep the edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a nice marbled effect.pastry12

Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. This will give you  square again with three distinct layers.

Give the dough a quarter turn (so that the folds are at the top & bottom and (what was the long) end of the pastry is n the left or right.

Roll the pastry out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover and refrigerate another 20 mins before rolling to use.

On a floured surface, roll out your pastry to cover your pie tin, with the edges overlapping. You can trim there once the filling is in.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Directly onto the pastry in your pie dish, sprinkle the onion, diced ham and peas.

Gently whisk the eggs, salt & pepper together with a fork and pour into your pie dish.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, until the egg is cooked through.

Leave to sit for a few minutes before cutting, if serving hot. Otherwise, leave to completely cool and serve cold with a garden salad.hampie

Posted in Pork, Ramblings, Recipes, Savory Pies and Tarts | Leave a comment

Pulled Pork Tortillas

PPT4I did a recipe awhile ago for leftover pulled pork, which I made into risotto. Here is the pulled pork recipe from Adeline & Lumierie’s Pulled Pork Winter Tacos.
With a few tweaks of course 😉

NOTE: the spice rub makes much more than what you need, but is great to have on hand for next time as it saves you making it from scratch again

Make sure you start this recipe 2 – 3 days ahead to allow for brining and overnight slow cooking.


Pork Spice Rub: 
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
3 tsp paprika
½ cup brown sugar

½ cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbs spice rub

Slow Cooked Pork:
1 – 1½ Kg Pork Shoulder (Tell your butcher it is for Pulled Pork)
750 ml Apple Cider
750 ml Apple juice
Pork Spice Rub to cover (see recipe above)

Tomato Bean Sauce:
400 g can of crushed tomato
400 g can Black Beans
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs pork spice rub (see above)

Sour cream sauce:
3 heaped tbs sour cream
3 heaped tbs Greek yoghurt
1 tsp lime juice
pinch of salt
sprinkling of paprika

Tortillas: (makes 10 x 15 cm tortillas)
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup Semolina
¼ cup Polenta
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 ¾ cups water

grated purple cabbage
grated carrot
grated vintage cheese
Fresh coriander leaves


Pork Spice Rub:
Make the spice rub by mixing all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Mix all the ingredients with 500 ml of water in a bowl, bucket or container big enough to hold your pork shoulder submerged. Add the pork and cover with water until fully submerged. Give a stir to make sure the salt and sugar is dispersed and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, but overnight is better.

Slow Cooked Pork:
The next day, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Cover the meat with spice rub (if you feel you want to use a lot, leave 3 tablespoons for the spicy tomato sauce).PPT1

Place the pork into your slow cooker and cover with Apple Cider
and Apple juice until just covered.

Cook on low for 12 – 16 hours.

Once the pork is cooked, remove from the slow cooker and shred into a heat resistant container. Refrigerate until needed.

Place the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce until the bubbles are small and not “popping” anymore. This should take about an hour. You will be left with a very spicy reduction, that is not thick. Pour enough of this liquid over the shredded pork and mix in, so that the pork is nice and moist but not swimming in juice. Refrigerate enough for your tacos and any leftover you can vacuum seal (once cool) and freeze for a quick snack in the future.

Tomato Bean Sauce:
Heat oil in a frypan on med-high and add the onion. Brown the onion then add the garlic and spices. This is quite spicy, so if you want it a bit tamer or kid friendly, reduce the spice mix down. Cook until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes, until combined well and flavours have infused.

Soft Tortillas:
Add all ingredients together and beat until smooth. Once smooth, add a small ladle full of mixture to a non stick frypan (do not use oil or butter). Cook until the edges brown slightly, flip and cook the other side. Sprinkle a little water onto some aluminium foil and stack the tortillas on the foil. Wrap and place in the oven on low to keep warm until you serve them.

Sour Cream Sauce:
Mix everything together except the paprika. Sprinkle with paprika and refrigerate until needed.

Heat the pork, tomato sauce and tortillas. Lay everything out on the table and get everyone to help themselves.


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Lemon Pudding with Ginger and Black Pepper Tuile

IMG_2728I have been working nights for over 10 months now and still haven’t got used to the change. I just don’t seem to have time to do anything……

Anyway, last month I got my first dish on the menu.  We are currently serving my lemon pudding and ginger & Black pepper tuile with persimmon ice cream. It is served on its own as dessert or with the new sesame brulee in the tasting course menu. My recipe below is the “original” as they wanted less sugar and less lemon for the restaurant. I like this one tho 😉

You can serve the pudding hot from the oven, but is is designed to be served once it has cooled. Try it both ways and see which one you like best!


Lemon Pudding:
120 g Butter
330g Sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 Eggs, separated
80g S.R. Flour
350g milk
2 lemons, juiced

Ginger and Black Pepper Tuile:
50 g Icing Sugar
50 g Plain Flour
2 Egg Whites
20 g Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 Tsp Ginger juice (finely grate ginger and then squeeze the juice from the grated pulp)
Freshly ground black pepper
Black sesame seeds (optional)

Lemon Pudding:

Pre-Heat oven to 160°C
Mix butter, sugar & zest in food processor until well combined.
Add egg yolks and mix well.
Add flour and mix well.
Add milk and mix well.
Add lemon juice and mix well.
Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold through batter.

You can pour the batter into individual moulds (greased) or a cake pan and then portion later. Whatever you decide. I quite like serving in the individual ramekins it was cooked in.
Boil the jug and use the boiling water to create a water bath to cook the pudding in.
Cook in 160°C, until just set at centre. It will be lightly golden and still a little tacky inside if you insert a skewer. Approximately 25 – 30 minutes if cooking as a whole slab or 10 – 15 if in individual ramekins. Time all depends on how small or large a container you have used. Just check every 5 minutes after the recommended cooking time and if it is starting to get quite golden on top it is probably getting over done.

Ginger and Black Pepper Tuile:
Preheat the oven to 175°C

Line a baking tray with a silicon biscuit/baking mat. If you don’t have a silicone mat, spray the tray with cooking oil spray and cover with baking paper. If you have a fan forced oven with a strong fan, you may need to weigh the edges of the paper down, as the tuile is thin and light and in the commercial kitchen the paper just flies away in the oven.

Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl and then add the egg whites, melted butter and ginger, mix until smooth

(See alternative instructions below) Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking tray and spread with a palatte knife until it is a thin smear. Grind some black pepper on each and garnish with black sesame seeds if you wish.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until turning golden brown at the edges.

Leave to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container in between paper towel or it will go soggy and not retain its crunch.

OR: if you want to get fancy, you can do the following:

Put the tuile batter into a squeeze bottle (like an old tomato sauce bottle) and squeeze a thin line of tuile onto the tray. Use a palette knife to carefully adjust any lumpy or uneven parts. Bake as above.

NOTE: You have to work fast and the tuile is really hot. (Tip: I use food grade gloves to help insulate from the the heat)

As soon as you have removed the tray from the oven, using a palette knife or carefully with your fingers, remove a cooked tuile strip from the tray. Immediately (but carefully) wrap around a rolling pin, wooden spoon handle, or whatever it is that you want the tuile to take shape from. It will harden/set really quickly. As soon as it is set, remove and sit carefully on a wire rack covered with paper towel and move onto the next tuile.

OR: You can also make round shapes with the batter before baking. When they come out of the oven, carefully drape over the bottom of an inverted tea cup/ramekin/small bowl and gently press into the sides. This will form a nice tuile basket that you can fill with pudding, ice cream and sauce.

lemon cake

Posted in Baking, Desserts, Recipes | 2 Comments

Vanilla Mocha Bavarois

Bavarois was one of the requirements for my second year assessment. The brief was to be a cold dessert which includes or uses; bavarois, a chocolate component, anglaise sauce and a garnish of our choice. I have included all the recipes for you 🙂

Bavarois1 (2)A Bavarois is like a custard that is set with gelatine, similar to a panna cotta, but with eggs as well.

I chose to do a Vanilla Mocha Bavarois on Double Chocolate Sable Pate with Mocha Anglaise and Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans.

The picture at the top is the practice run at home without the sauce or coffee beans. The consensus was very yummy!
I forgot to take a picture of the one from my assessment….. I’ll try and get a copy 😛

Vanilla Mocha Bavarois:

50 g Caster Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
250 ml Milk
250 ml Cream
1 vanilla bean
1.5 leaves titanium gelatine
60g dark chocolate
2 tsp coffee powder

Bloom Gelatine in cold water

Scald milk and vanilla

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until sabayon (pale yellow. thick and can see ribbons when you trail the egg mix)

Slowly pour scalded milk into sabayon mixing continuously

Return mixture to pot and thicken over med-high heat

Once thickened remove from heat

Squeeze excess moisture from gelatine and stir into anglaise

Split mixture into two and add chocolate and coffee into one half until mixed evenly

Strain and refrigerate with cartouche (the trick if you want to do a fancy separation is to leave the bottom later out of the fridge so it sets slower. That way you can mix and pour the top layer and have it set firm before you pour the next layer)

Just before mixture sets, fold in ½ volume soft peak cream into each mixture

Pipe or pour into prepared moulds one at a time, allowing time for each layer to set

Chocolate Sable

85 g dark chocolate (frozen for 10 minutes)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
149g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
Grate the chilled chocolate with a fine grater and set aside.

Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt.

Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until just combined. Mix in the yolk. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and beat lightly together until just combined but still crumbly. Fold in grated chocolate. Bring the dough together by lightly squeezing in your hands; but don’t knead or overwork.

Divide the dough in half. Lay half the dough cling wrap and shape into a log. Seal into a sausage shape that is firm and smooth. Repeat with remaining dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 175 °C.  Line 2 baking sheet(s) with baking paper.

Slice logs into desired size, place on baking trays and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Bake approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans, about 5 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Mocha Anglaise Sauce

150ml thickened cream
60g sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
150ml brewed coffee
1 tablespoon instant coffee
50g dark chocolate
3 egg yolks


In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until sabayon.

Add the brewed coffee and coffee powder, until well blended. Temper the yolks by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture.

Return the custard back to the saucepan, add the chocolate and cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Refrigerate until ready with a cartouche. You can serve as a pool in the bottom of the plate/bowl or in a jug so it can be served to taste by the eater.


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