Saturday, December 26, 2009

Grilled piri piri drumettes with coleslaw

Hello everyone and happy Christmas! I hope that you had a lovely day and enjoyed some good food. My family had an enormous feast, the highlights being Jamie's whole stuffed snapper that he did on the barbie and Greg's Balmain bugs, which we also barbecued, served with a luscious lime butter. Mmmmmmmmmmm, it was all so good. I contributed a potato salad, and some lemon curd ice cream and a chocolate royal torte for dessert. It is a relief to be on the other side of all that food now. I am contemplating a very simple rice salad for dinner tonight! (Although wondering what am I going to do with the piles of cheese and cream in my fridge - I can think of things I could do with them, but none are very sensible ideas really so hot on the heels of all the Christmas excess).

This week's recipe is yet another for which I had lower expectations but was really happily surprised. I loved the flavour of the sauce and the mint gives the coleslaw a real freshness. It comes from my Women's Weekly Main Course Salads book which has provided a number of winners over the years. This one is great for casual entertaining in summer and easy for kids to eat. If you can't find drumettes you could use wings or drumsticks or a mix of both.

Have a great holiday time week and a happy new year. Love from Jane xxx

Grilled piri piri drumettes with coleslaw

Serves four

What you need:

  • 16 chicken drumettes

  • 1/2 cup piri piri sauce (you can buy at the supermarket)

  • 5 cups finely shredded red cabbage

  • 5 cups finely shredded white cabbage

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

Piri piri dressing

  • 1 tablespoon piri piri sauce

  • 1/2 cup peanut oil

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

What you do:

  1. Combine the chicken and the sauce in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

  2. Combine the ingredients for the piri piri dressing and mix well.

  3. Cook the chicken in the sauce on the barbecue (or in the oven) until browned and cooked through.

  4. To make the salad, place the cabbages and the mint in a large bowl with the dressing. Toss well to combine and serve with the chicken.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coconut apricot slice

Hello everyone, I've mentioned before the great sandwiches I have had from Via Abercrombie in the city. Yesterday I ordered sandwiches from them for a lunch I was having in the office. They were great - they are absolutely huge and a little difficult to eat politely as the fillings are so generous and made on very large slices of bread, but they are yummy and very good value, especially for the city. It's always so good to find a reliable caterer for office things - it's just one less thing to think about next time.

This week's recipe is one of those recipes that on first look I didn't think I'd like, as I don't approve of mixing chocolate with fruit (except for chocolate with coconut). So I can't think what actually made me try this one as it uses dried apricots, but it works! I really liked it. If you bought some coconut to make last week's coconut chicken strips then you can use it up with this slice. I can't even remember from where I found the recipe. Anyway, no matter - it's a good one to take to holiday season parties and barbies.

Have a lovely week! Love from Jane xxx

Coconut apricot slice

Makes 16

What you need:
· 125g unsalted butter
· 50ml thick cream
· 200g white chocolate, broken into pieces
· 1 ½ cups chopped dried apricots
· 250g shortbread biscuits, crushed
· 1 cup desiccated coconut


· 25g unsalted butter, melted
· 2 teaspoons lemon juice
· 2 1/3 cups (350g) icing sugar, sifted

What you do:
1. Line a 3cm deep, 18 x 25cm baking pan with baking paper.
2. Place the butter and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
3. Add the chocolate and stir until melted, then cool slightly.
4. Stir the apricots, biscuit crumbs and coconut into the chocolate mix.
5. Press the mixture into the baking pan and chill in the fridge for one hour.
6. To make the icing, combine the butter, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of warm water in a large bowl.
7. Stir in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
8. Spread the icing over the slice and chill again until set.
9. Slice in the pan and serve.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Coconut chicken strips with saffron aioli

Hello everyone, I have just returned from taking my niece to see Angelina Ballerina by The English National Ballet. It was fantastic! But my goodness, talk about little girl heaven. The theatre was a sea of pink, with truck loads of tulle, sequins and glitter. No wonder the few dads that came along looked bewildered.

This week's recipe is hot off the press as it was in this week's Good Living, which featured some recipes from a new book called Party: The Complete Guide To Food And Drinks. (I might have to buy it myself I so enjoyed both of the recipes from it that were featured). I had offered to prepare a few nibblies for drinks before the same niece's own ballet concert last night, and this recipe caught my eye. It is simple and sooooo delicious. The aioli makes a nice big quantity, so you can use the left overs with prawns or any's also delicious with home made potato wedges!

Have a great week. Love, Jane xx

Coconut chicken strips with saffron aioli
Makes about 12-14 strips

What you need:
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs (bap rolls are good)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 500g chicken tenderloins
  • Light olive oil or sunflower oil for deep frying

Saffron aioli

  • Generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 cup good quality mayonnaise (I use Thomy which you can buy in supermarkets)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

What you do:

  1. To make the saffron aioli, pour the boiling water over the saffron threads; stir and leave for ten minutes.
  2. Whisk the saffron liquid into the mayonnaise, then stir through the garlic and lemon juice.
  3. Cover the aioli and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  4. Put the flour and the beaten eggs into separate bowls
  5. Mix together the flour and coconut in a third bowl.
  6. Dip the tenderloins in the flour, then the egg, then coat in the coconut crumb mix.
  7. Place the tenderloins on a baking dish, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  8. Heat a pan on top of the stove until it's very hot, then add the oil to a good depth for frying and heat until it's very hot.
  9. Deep fry the tenderloins in batches (don't crowd the pan, space them out), turning once when golden on the first side, and drain as you cook them on paper towels.
  10. Serve either immediately or when they have cooled with the saffron aioli.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tomatoes braised in olive oil

Hello everyone, I was lucky to have a gorgeous few days away this week in Port Douglas. I did very little, other than lie by the pool, voraciously consuming novels, and having the occasional swim and a delightful massage. Sad to say that the food wasn't a highlight, although I picked a winner on my last night there, having dinner at a fabulous Japanese restaurant, Zai. I had spanking fresh sashimi to start and followed that up with one of my guilty pleasures, pork belly, which was luscious. It really made me conscious of how lucky I am to live in Sydney with an abundance of good cafes and restaurants that have imaginative menus, loads of good fresh produce and reasonable prices.

This week's recipe is one of those relatively simple dishes to which you can add good bread, prosciutto or ham or jamon, some nice cheese and all of a sudden you have a fabulous meal! It is excellent for summer and comes from my SOS Summer cookbook.

Have a great week. Love from Jane xxx

Tomatoes braised in olive oil

Serves six

What you need:
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 peeled cloves of garlic
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 6 peeled medium, ripe but firm vine ripened tomatoes (retain the stem if you are able) (To peel, cut a cross in the base of each tomato, place in a heat proof dish and cover with boiling water for a minute, then plunge into cold water - the skins should slip off)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of caster sugar

What you do:
  1. Cook the oil, garlic, basil and thyme in a large, heavy pan over a low heat, until the garlic begins to soften.
  2. Add the tomatoes, stem side down, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.
  3. Cover and cook very gently for ten minutes, then turn carefully, sprinkle again with salt, pepper and sugar, and cook, covered for a further twenty minutes, basting occasionally with the oil.
  4. When the tomatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, remove from the heat.
  5. Allow to cool and serve at room temperature with fresh basil leaves, the garlic cloves and a little of the olive oil in which the tomatoes were cooked spooned over, as well as some bread, cheese and other accompaniments.