Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Basil and ginger chicken balls in tomato sauce

Chicken balls with ginger and basil simmered in tomato and basil sauce! Yes!! I used ready made tomato and basil sauce and dried basil I had hanging in the kitchen. And lemon and pepper breadcrumbs. Yum. Yum. And I ate it with whole grain rice and some shaved Parmesan.


500 gr minced chicken
2 spring onions
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 tsp crushed ginger root
Dried basil
Ready-made tomato and basil sauce
Olive oil


Place tomato sauce in pan and bring to boil
Reduce to simmer
Chop spring onions
Crush garlic and ginger
Place minced chicken in bowl
Add ginger and garlic and stir to combine
Crumple dried basil and add to mixture
Stir to combine 
Place breadcrumbs on plate
Form balls from chicken mixture and roll in breadcrumbs
Pour olive oil into frying pan and heat
Quickly sear the chicken balls in batches
Add to tomato sauce and simmer for 30 minutes

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Baked sardines with orange and lemon

Ah! The second half of my birthday sardines was cooked differently a day or so later. A friend thought from a photo of them that the olive oil was lemon juice, so this time I added lemon and orange juice and used cumin seeds instead of sumac. I ate this lot with potato and sweet potato baked with garlic, rosemary and olive oil.  It wasn’t my birthday dinner but another delicious meal in Melbourne’s latest lockdown.


16 filleted sardines
1/2 lemon
1/2 orange
1 clove garlic
2 tsp cumin seeds
Olive oil


Preheat oven to 180c
Arrange sardines in baking dish
Crush garlic and add to sardines
Sprinkle over cumin seeds
Add olive oil
Squeeze orange and lemon and add to dish
Bake in 180c oven for 20 mins

Baked sardines with sumac

Well it was my birthday and for the second year in a row I was in lockdown and had to cancel my previously arranged dinner out with friends. So I had a lovely Zoom meeting with interstate friends (originally planned as pre-dinner event) and then wondered what to cook. Would it be fresh sardines or fresh tuna? This is what I went for on my birthday. I ate the sardines with potatoes roasted with olive oil, rosemary and whole garlic cloves. 


16 filleted sardines
1 tsp sumac
1 clove garlic
Olive oil


Preheat oven to 180c
Arrange sardines in baking dish
Sprinkle sumac over
Crush garlic and add
Sprinkle with olive oil
Bake in oven for 20 minutes

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Swordfish pie

Yum swordfish! I hadn’t had any for ages so when I went shopping and saw some I grabbed it. I wasn’t sure what I would cook with it but tonight I remembered the coriander pesto I had awaiting my ideas for it. Then it was a matter of seeing what I had in the way of vegetables and deciding whether to use phyllo or puff pastry. Then voilà! 


2 sheets puff pastry
140 gr swordfish fillet
Small carrot
1/2 red pepper
2 spring onions
2 heaped tsp coriander pesto
3 tsp crushed ginger root


Preheat oven to 180c
If using frozen puff pastry remove sheets from freezer to thaw
Julienne the carrot
Clean and chop spring onions
Roughly cut the red pepper
Crush ginger
Place one sheet of pastry in base of baking dish
Place the swordfish fillet on pastry
Spread pesto over
Add spring onion and crushed ginger
Top with carrot pieces and red pepper
Place second sheet of pastry on top
Trim and seal pastry and decorate as desired
Sprinkle with poppyseed
Bake in oven at 180c for 45 minutes

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Sardines St Clements

Yesterday coming out of the fog and lack of appetite from AstraZeneca I had a delicious lunch of chilli sardines with orange and rocket salad. What a lovely way to get my appetite back and no wonder I was excited to find fresh filleted sardines on sale today!  

This is not really like the whole sardines I had yesterday but a variant of a recipe I found years ago in a book by Lorenza de Medici. The name is from the combination of lemon and orange in my recipe. I used ready-made breadcrumbs with lemon, pepper and parsley but you could use whatever you have. I ate mine with rocket and some potatoes I had previously roasted. Delicious! 


1/2 orange
1/2 lemon
25gr pinenuts
1 tsp Sambal oelek
500 gr filletted sardines


Preheat oven to 160c
Juice the orange and lemon
Arrange the sardines in an ovenproof dish
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over
Add the orange and lemon juice
Sprinkle over the pinenuts and Sambal oelek
Bake in 160c oven for 40 minutes

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Lentil soup with coriander

I hadn't really intended to write this recipe up.  But I was talking to a friend when it was simmering and she wanted the recipe! The difference between this and the normal lentil soup that I make is that I used coriander instead of dill and I also added some ginger root.  It is also a cheat's lentil soup in the sense that I didn't cook the lentils from scratch but used ready to use canned lentils from my pantry. If you want to use dry lentils, you will need to soak them and prepare them before adding the other ingredients.  As I love the fresh taste of coriander, I really enjoyed this soup as a start to winter that has come to us in Melbourne in autumn. If coriander isn't to your taste, you can add the herb of your choice. 


400 gr diced tomatoes
800 gr canned lentils (2 400 gr cans)
2 tbs tomato paste
2 carrots
4 dried bay leaves
Bunch of coriander
2-3 cloves garlic crushed
3 tsp crushed ginger root
500 gr water (and as needed)
White wine vinegar


Place the tomatoes, tomato paste in a large stovetop pan on high heat
Stir to combine
Add the lentils, garlic and ginger and stir
Chop the coriander roughly and add it and the bay leaves to the mixture
Slice the carrots into circles and add
Add water and stir all to combine
Cover and bring to the boil stirring occasionally
Reduce heat and simmer covered until the soup has thickened and all the carrots are tender, still stirring occasionally and adding extra water as needed.
Serve with a dash of white wine vinegar (to taste)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Greens and ricotta lasagne

People have been known to say that I often make similar things.  And it is true I often do make something and then think maybe I could make it this way instead of how I did it last week, or maybe I could add some different ingredients for a different taste altogether.  That is why after not having made lasagne for years I am making it twice withinin a short time frame. This one is like a mixture of spanakopita and tomato lasagne,  It was great to have the combination of different flavours catching my tastebuds. I will certainly make this again.


400 gr diced tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste (without salt)
Bunch dill 15 gr
4 cloves of garlic
4 tsp crushed ginger root
1 leek
1 bunch endive
1/2 bunch silverbeet
375 gr ricotta
6 sheets lasagne pasta (type that does not require pre-cooking)


Preheat oven to 180c
Slice leek
Roughly chop endive, and silverbeet
Place vegetables in top of steamer
Crush 2 cloves of garlic
Add garlic and 2 tsp ginger to vegetables in steamer
Steam until tender
Meanwhile chop thyme
Crush 2 cloves garlic
Place tomatoes in saucepan on stove
Add thyme, 2tsp ginger, garlic and tomato paste
Stir to combine
Bring the boil and reduce to simmer
Simmer until thickened
Place a couple of tablespoons of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish
Add layer of pasta
Add the steamed vegetables
Add another layer of pasta
Spoon half the ricotta over the sauce
Add another layer of pasta
Spoon half the tomato sauce over the pasta
Spoon the remaining half of the ricotta over the paster
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Add another layer of pasta
Cover with remaining sauce making sure that all the pasta is covered
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes


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