Mango Rice Pudding with Palm Sugar and Lemongrass Syrup

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This gorgeous pudding is so different with some beautiful Thai flavours that are light and summery.

For the rice pudding

1 cup (200g) arborio or risotto rice

3 cups (750ml) water

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

2 cups (500ml) coconut milk

¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar

4 mango cheeks, halved

For the palm sugar and lemongrass syrup

1 cup (250ml) water

½ cup (60g) grated palm sugar

2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and bruised

–       To make the lemongrass syrup, place the water, palm sugar and lemongrass in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until syrup has thickened. Remove lemongrass and set aside.

–       Place the rice, water and vanilla in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.

–       Add the coconut milk and sugar and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for a further 5–8 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Top pudding with syrup and serve with mango halves.

Serves 4.

Recipe by Donna Hay

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Slow Braised Lamb Shanks

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This is definitely in my top 5 favourite recipes! This requires some love and a lot of cooking time. But it is totally worth it! I just can’t say enough about this recipe and how yummy it is. Its pretty fool proof too! Perfect for dinner parties or a Sunday Lunch Family Treat! Treat this one good… it’s special to me!

To prepare the lamb shanks

4 lamb shanks 

3 garlic cloves, sliced into 4 pieces

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, sliced into 3 pieces

4 anchovy fillets, sliced into 3

To cook the lamb shanks

3 tbsp olive oil

4 medium shallots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

300ml red wine

400g canned whole tomatoes

3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

750ml beef stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

–       Preheat the oven to 140C

–       To prepare the lamb, using a sharp knife, make three small incisions in each of the lamb shanks. Secure together a piece of garlic and rosemary by wrapping an anchovy third around them and insert this into one of the incisions in the lamb, pushing in firmly. Repeat to use up all the garlic, rosemary and anchovy.

–       To cook the lamb shanks, heat a frying pan until hot and add one tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Add the lamb shanks and fry on each side for one minute until browned all over.

–       Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof casserole dish until hot and add the remaining olive oil, shallots and garlic.

–       Fry the shallots and garlic for about 2-3 minutes, until just softened, but not browned. Add the red wine and bring to the boil. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and red wine vinegar and return to the boil.

–       Place the lamb shanks into the sauce and cover with the beef stock. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

–       Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven to cook for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender and falling off the bone.

–       To serve, remove the lamb shanks from the sauce and place onto four serving plates.  Blitz the sauce (in the pot) with a hand held blender. Or if you don’t have one, then you can put the sauce in a food processor and blitz for a few minutes until smooth. Put it back in the pan and a low heat and whisk the butter into the sauce and stir in the flatleaf parsley.

–       Taste to check the seasoning and add a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary.

–       Spoon the sauce over the lamb shanks and serve with mash potatoes. Drizzle over a little extra olive oil to finish.

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

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I’m a huge fan of baked cheesecake, I’m not such a fan of fridge cheesecake. This is an amazing creamy baked cheesecake with two distinct layers of colour that tastes better than it looks!

For the Crust: 

200g Chocolate digestive biscuits or Nutticrust biscuits

45g unsalted butter, melted

– Crust the biscuits and mix well with the melted butter (you can blitz everything together in a food processor if you like)

– Grease a 24cm springform tin and spread the mixture onto the base and freeze for about 1/2 an hour.

For the filling: 

500g Philadelphia Cream cheese (room temperature)

500g smooth creamed cottage cheese

250 ml Cream Fraiche or sour cream

22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) custard powder

15ml lemon juice

4 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

250ml sugar

250g dark chocolate, melted

60 – 75 ml cream or milk

100g white or dark chocolate melted for decoration

– Preheat oven to 140 C

– Gently beat the cream cheeses together with the sour cream (creme fraiche). Add the custard powder and lemon juice. Whisk the eggs and yolks with the sugar and add to the cream cheese mixture.

– Pour half the filling onto the biscuit base. Lightly tap to remove any air bubbles and bake for about 45 minutes.

– Melt the chocolate with cream or milk. Whisk chocolate mixture into the remaining half of the filling.

– After 45 minutes, gently spoon the chocolate filling on top of plain filling and continue baking for a further 40 minutes or until cake is slightly wobbly but firm.

– Turn the oven off and leave it in the oven, cooling for 1 hour and then place in the fridge (this method of cooling will prevent cracks from forming).

– when ready to serve, release from the tin and serve with melted chocolate and some fresh raspberries to cut through the richness.

Serves 12

Recipe by Sharon Glass

Barbecued Calamari Noodle Salad with Litchi Dressing

barbecued-calamari-noodle-salad-with-lychee-dressing

A gorgeous, light and healthy way of serving calamari without all the heavy lemon buttery stuff! The litchi’s add an incredible element to this dish! You will go back for more and more! This is a perfect starter as its light and fresh and you can stretch the calamari further!

250g dried flat rice noodles

1 can litchis, halved and 1 cup (250ml) syrup reserved

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

8 baby calamari (squid)  tubes, cut and scored

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup Thai basil leaves

1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves

1 cup Vietnamese mint leaves

1 cup spearmint leaves

2 cups (160g) bean sprouts

lime wedges, to serves

–       Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 6 minutes or until softened. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.

–       Place the litchis and reserved litchi syrup, fish sauce, lime juice and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.

–       Place the squid, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to coat. Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue over high heat. Add the squid and cook for 30 seconds each side or until just cooked.

–       Place the noodles, basil, coriander, Vietnamese mint, spearmint, bean sprouts, and squid in a bowl and toss to combine.

–       Drizzle with the litchi dressing and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4–6.

Recipe by Donna Hay

Orange Chicken with Pine Nut and Couscous Stuffing

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I’m totally loving the partnership of orange and chicken lately. I love this recipe as it has many of my favourite flavours! 🙂

1 whole chicken (insides removed)

For the Stuffing: 

125 mls (1/2 cup) cooked couscous

1/2 red onion, finely chopped and lightly fried in a little olive oil

75g soft dried apricots, finely chopped

30 mls pine nuts

15 mls chopped parsley

10 mls Ina Paarman Rosemary and Olive Seasoning

15ml Fresh Orange Juice

Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

– Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and place in the cavity of the chicken. Seal with (soaked in water) toothpicks.

For the Sauce: 

175 mls – 250mls Fresh orange juice

The rind (zest) of 1 orange

Freshly ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Paprika for colour.

– Preheat oven to 180 C

– Place chicken in a small roasting pan, breast side down. Pour over the orange juice. Add orange rind, Rub the chicken skin with salt, pepper and paprika.

– Roast for 45 minutes, basting often.  Turn the chicken over and roast for another 45 minutes basting often until golden and glazed.

Serves 4

Recipe by Sharon Glass

Crispy Thai Fish Salad with a Sweet Lime Dressing

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I made this the other night and it was such a great new way of doing fish. I used frozen fish and it worked beautifully. A nice difference to boring old fish and veggies for a mid week meal. This is super easy and so tasty!

For the Salad: 

500g fresh or frozen hake

Olive oil

Coarse salt

1 English cucumber, very thinly sliced

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

80 ml (1/2 cup) fresh coriander

One handful of bean sprouts

60ml (4 tbsp) toasted cashews

– Preheat your oven to 220 C

– Drizzle fish with a little olive oil and some freshly ground salt and black pepper and roast for approximately 20 minutes or until fish is jut cooked through. Remove from the oven and flake half the cooked fish with a fork until its is very fine. Set aside the remaining half.

– Heat a little oil in a small frying pan and fry the finely flaked fish in batches on high heat until very crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

– Break the remaining half of the cooked fish into large pieces and crisp quickly in the same oil. Drain on paper towel. Set aside until ready to use. Do not cover with anything as it will go soggy.

For the dressing: 

1/2 tsp fish sauce or soya sauce

60 ml (4 tbsp) fresh lime juice

30 ml (2 tbsp) soft brown sugar (muscovado)

– Mix the dressing ingredients together and heat to dissolve the sugar.

– Place the large pieces of fish on a serving platter. Top with cucumber slices, onion, bean sprouts and cashews. Sprinkle with the crispy fish. Drizzle with dressing just before serving.

Serves 6

Recipe by Sharon Glass

Broccoli and Bean Salad with a Pepperdew Dressing

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This is quite an exciting way of getting some good greens into your systems! It livens up your beans and broccoli so much and the spicy dressing gives it a fantastic flavour!

For the Salad

250g very fine green beans

250g broccoli tender stems (spears)

1 cos lettuce

2 Avocados, sliced

30ml (2 tbs) freshly chopped mint

For the dressing

4 – 5 mild pepperdews

15 mlo (1 tbsp) sweet chili sauce

80 ml (1/2 cup) sweet mayonnaise

80 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil

15 ml (1tbsp) poppy seeds

30ml (2tbsp) lemon juice

Coarse salt and pepper

– Blanch the beans for 5 minutes and then submerge in ice water  (to stop the cooking process)

– Blanch the broccoli for 2 – 3 minutes and submerge in ice water after cooking.

– Break up the cos lettuce, place on a platter. cut up beans and broccoli and place on top of the lettuce.

– To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped.

– Drizzle the dressing over just before serving as the vegetables absorb the flavours. Decorate with avo slices and chopped mint.

Recipe by Sharon Glass

Gordon Ramsay’s Chili Beef Lettuce Wraps

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This is a fantastic ‘dinner with friends’ meal! you can serve it all separately and people can help themselves. Its fun food and not expensive at all to make! and you can make a LOT if you are feeding more people – just multiply the recipe 🙂

Olive oil for frying

200g lean beef mince

200g minced pork

Toasted sesame oil for frying

1 – 2 red chilis – finely chopped

1 x 5cm piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

Zest and juice of 1 lime

3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 little gem lettuces, separated into leaves, to serve

Sweet and spicy dipping sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 – 2 tsp fish sauce

1/2 chopped chilli (leave the seeds in for extra heat)

The juice of 1/2 a lime

A bunch of coriander, chopped

– Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Mix the beef and pork mince together and season with salt and pepper and mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Fry the mince in the hot pan for five to seven minutes until crisp and brown and broken down to a fine consistency. Drain the crisped mince in a sieve – this will help it stay crispy. Set aside.

– Add a tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan and add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry with a pinch of salt and the sugar for two minutes. Add the drained mince and stir to mix.

– Add the fish sauce and heat through. Stir in the lime zest and juice, then add the spring onions, stirring for thirty seconds. Turn off the heat.

– Mix all the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste.

– To serve, spoon some of the mince mixture into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little dressing and serve.

Gordon-Ramsay-chilli-beef-wrap-recipe

Fish Curry with Lime and Coconut Rice

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Not only is this curry packed with delicious flavour, its also a great way to stretch fish! I have used frozen fish and frozen mussels, which works perfectly well, but its obviously better with fresh fish and mussels if you can. Its a spicy one! So you can reduce the amount of chilli if you want to. Great to serve with friends as it looks gorgeous in little separate pots. Keep the rice separate until you serve as it looks and tastes gorgeous on its own, so let people serve it separately and mix as they wish!  You can serve any firm white fish that wont break up. I’ve only ever used hake and it works perfectly 🙂

For the fish curry:

400g hake fillets cut into bite size pieces.

400ml coconut milk, mixed with 400ml water

500g mussels in their shells

1 tbsp palm sugar

2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce

150g sugar snap peas

3 – 4 spring onions, finely chopped

1 handful of basil or coriander leaves to garnish

2 tbsp groundnut oil (or sunflower oil)

For the Curry Paste 

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 large shallots, roughly chopped

6 – 7 mild red chillies, desseded and chopped. (if you have hot chillies you only need 2 or 3)

5cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped

A small handful of coriander stems, chopped

1 lemongrass stalk , finely chopped

2 Kaffir lime leaves finely chopped (or finely grated zest of 2 limes)

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground tumeric

3 – 4 tbsp water

For the Lime and Coconut rice 

300g Thai fragrant rice (Jasmine or Basmati Rice) washed and drained

200ml coconut milk, mixed with 200ml water

Juice of 1 lime

2 kaffir lime leaves

Pinch of sea salt

Toasted coconut shavings, to garnish

– Pit the fish pieces into a large bowl with a little sea salt and pepper and spoon over a few tablespoons of coconut milk. Cover with cling film and chill until ready to cook. If your fish is frozen you can just leave it out on the counter to thaw a bit.

– Wash the mussels and set aside

– To make the lime and coconut rice, put all the ingredients – except for the coconut shavings into a medium saucepan. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer fir 8 – 10 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Without removing the lid, turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam for 10 – 15 minutes.

– While the rice is cooking, put all the ingredients for the curry paste into a food processor and whiz to a smooth paste, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides. As necessary, add a little more water to get a finely ground paste.

– Heat the oil in a deep pan or a wok. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for about 2 – 3 minutes over a low heat, just until the paste smells fragrant. Pour in the coconut milk and water, then stir in the palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

– Tip in the sugarsnap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mussels and fish to the pan, cover and summer for a few more minutes until the mussels have opened and the fish is opaque and just cooked through.

– Scatter over the spring onions and basil or coriander leaves. Serve immediately with the lime and coconut rice, garnished with a sprinkling of toasted coconut shavings.

Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

Stir-Fried Duck with Sugar Snap Peas and Asparagus

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This is a great recipe to do in a wok as it calls for high heat and quick cooking. You can make this with chicken or pork as well if you don’t have any duck 🙂  But I absolutely love the duck and orange combination! You can also play around with different veggies. Beansprouts, water chestnuts, spinach or baby corn.

4 x Duck Breasts

2 tsp chinese 5 spice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

2 large handfulls of thin asparagus, trimmed

2 large handfulls of sugar snap peas or mangetouts

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 – 3 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

4 oranges, zested then peeled and segmented

1 tbsp honey

A handful of fresh mint, leaves picked.

4 tbsp soy sauce

– First, score the skin of the duck with a sharp knife, then dust the breasts all over with 5 spice and a good pinch of salt. Put the duck breast skin side down in a hot pan and press down until skin goes crispy. Turn over and cook the flesh side until done to your liking.  Set aside.

– Get all your veggies and flavourings ready to go and heat a wok up to its maximum temperature. Add a couple of tbsp of your sunflower or groundnut oil and swirl it around so that it coats the wok well.

– Add your asparagus and sugar snap peas and toss around. Then add garlic, chilli and ginger. Continue stir-frying on the highest heat for a couple of minutes until the asparagus has softened a bit but still has a nice crunch.

– Remove the veg to a plate. slice up your duck breasts into little slivers and put these back into the wok with any resting juices and maybe even an extra pinch of 5 spice. Cook until nice and crispy.

– Put all your vegetables back into the wok and turn down the heat. Add the oranges, honey, half the mint and the soy sauce and serve straight away on a large plate, sprinkled with the rest of your mint.

– Serve with rice or noodles as a started or main course.

Serves 4

Recipe by Jamie Oliver