Monday, June 22, 2020

Chicken and dill balls in tomato sauce

This is for you, Maria Ganotis Brent, as I try to stop hitting the carbs during COVID lockdown. Sadly we didn’t get to meet this year in Greece or the Lake District but there will always be του χρόνου. But I often think of you as I gobble down bread (albeit multigrain sourdough) and know that I should be reducing my carb intake, particularly the refined products and sugar.  Yes, I know I served this with rice but you don’t have to.

As readers of this blog know, I love meatballs in any shape or form. These happened because I found chicken mince in Piedimonte’s and looked to see what I had in the fridge and pantry. The other evening I watched a cookery show of Jamie Oliver and was in awe about how he used up all his dying vegetables to make sachets of tomato sauce to freeze. Yes, I do use whatever is around to make sauces but not usually in volumes enough to store.  I find there are good ready made sauces in the supermarket and I alway have some of those ready at hand in the pantry whether I am in Melbourne or Athens. This time I used a Melbourne favourite, the Five Brothers tomato and basil pasta sauce.


500 gr tomato sauce
250 gr water
500 gr chicken mince
3 teaspoons crushed garlic
3 teaspoons crushed ginger root
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 spring onions
Olive oil
Shaved Parmesan 
Wholemeal brown basmati rice


Place the tomato sauce in a pan to heat
Add the water to sauce jar, shake and add to sauce
Stir to combine
Bring to simmer and reduce heat
Place chicken mince in bowl
Crush garlic and ginger and add
Chop dill and add
Chop spring onions and add
Stir to combine thoroughly using hands if needed
With a tablespoon sized mixture form balls
Meanwhile heat olive oil in frying pan
In batches seal the chicken balls in the oil and add to the tomato sauce
Simmer in sauce until cooked through and imbued with tomato sauce flavours
Serve with multigrain basmati rice and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Lemon and pomegranate chicken

I always love cooking Alba’s chicken wings in garlic and as well as the constant variants on it I decide about when I look in my pantry while cooking. The focus in this one includes the normal salt, garlic and lemon but with the addition of ginger and pomegranate molasses. Yummy! 


16 chicken drumettes
2 dessertspoon rock salt
3 lemons
1.5 tbs of minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger root
4 tsp pomegranate molasses


Preheat oven to 210c.
Arrange the chicken drumettes in a baking dish
Sprinkle with rock salt 
Roast for 30 minutes
Meanwhile juice the lemons
Add minced garlic, minced ginger and pomegranate molasses to juice (about 350 ml in total)
Stir thoroughly
Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the  mixture over chicken
Return to oven and roast for another 25-35 minutes.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Spicy orange chicken revised!

Ah spiced orange baked with chicken! How delicious is that! I had forgotten until in lockdown a suggestion from a Greek friend reminded me that I had been intending to roast  a chicken and to use it to make soup as well.  So I went off to buy a chicken and on the way home thought of my Stephanie Spiced oranges stored in a high kitchen cupboard. Just the thing!

And indeed they were! I had previously cooked a variant of this, but this time I added the fresh orange I had bought to go with the chicken before I remembered the delicious spiced oranges.


1 fresh chicken
6 cloves garlic
Spiced oranges (orange and syrup)
4 potatoes
1 orange sweet potato
1 parsnip
1 navel orange
Dried rosemary
Olive oil


Preheat oven to 220c
Quarter potatoes, chop sweet potato and place in bowl
Peel parsnip, chop  and add to vegetables
Crush with blade of knife three garlic cloves still in their skins
Add these garlic cloves and rosemary to vegetables
Dribble with olive oil
Pull up your sleeves and mix vegetables to coat with oil
Rub the chicken inside and out with several pieces of the spiced orange
Place remnants of spiced orange inside cavity
Quarter orange and place in chicken cavity 
Peel and crush the remaining garlic cloves and rub over chicken
Add any remnants of garlic to the cavity
Sprinkle several spoonsful of the spiced orange syrup over top, bottom, sides and cavity of chicken
Place chicken in baking dish on its side
Arrange vegetables around
Rub chicken with remaining oil from bowl
Place in centre of oven and cook for 20 minutes
Bring out of oven and turn chicken to other side
Pour several spoonsful of spiced orange syrup over chicken
Turn the vegetables
Cook for another 20 minutes
Bring out of oven and turn chicken onto back (ie breast facing upwards)
Turn the vegetables
Cook for another 20 minutes
During this final 20 minutes of cooking prepare salad or vegetables to accompany.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Lockdown pie

Well, of course, you could actually plan to cook this pie or you could just scour your products and decide to experiment any time. But I have hardly been out of the house for weeks and today I wanted to cook a pie for dinner and wondered what to cook. So I had some fresh vegetables, some coriander pesto, puff pastry and lentils. This is the result.


2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1/2 red pepper
3-4 mushrooms
2 spring onions
2 tbs coriander pesto
400 gr can lentils
Poppy seed


Preheat oven to 180c
Remove pastry from freezer to thaw
Peel and chop spring onions
Chop red pepper
Slice mushrooms
Place one sheet of thawed pastry on base of baking dish
Add vegetables
Drain and rinse lentils and add
Add coriander pesto and stir to combine
Place second sheet of pastry and form pie 
Sprinkle with poppy seed
Bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Sardines in orange

Fresh sardines at Piedimonte’s? Yes please! In these days of being hunkered down at home it was great to see some sardines. And an orange (though why have them from overseas rather than Australia I don’t know), breadcrumbs and mixed peel! A meal fit for the goddesses and delicious it was.


500 gr sardines (filletted and spread flat)
Bread crumbs (seasoned and with Parmesan)
1 orange
1 tbs mixed peel


Preheat oven to 180c
Place the sardines in ovenproof dish in whatever layout pleases you
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs
Juice the orange
Pour over the sardines and breadcrumbs
Sprinkle on top the mixed peel
Cook at 180c for 30 minutes
Serve with crisp green salad

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pork meatballs in tomato sauce

A week or so ago I bought some chicken mince with an idea of making meatballs in tomato sauce to freeze for eating in isolation. I made them and they were delicious. But I ate them all over a few days. Whoops.

Since then I have looked unsuccessfully for chicken mince (yes I know I could mince my own but...lazy). Finally I gave in and bought some pork mince. Delicious meatballs! I hope I manage to freeze some of these!!


600 gr pork mince
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 heaped tsp chopped ginger
Half bunch coriander
Olive oil
Previously prepared tomato pasta sauce
Brown basmati rice separately cooked
Shaved Parmesan cheese


Bring tomato sauce to boil in large pan
Turn down heat to simmer
Place the mince in a bowl
Chop the spring onions and add
Crush the garlic and add
Add the ginger
Chop coriander roughly and add
Using your hands combine the mixture together
Place breadcrumbs on a plate
Form the meat mixture into rissoles using a dessert spoon
Roll them in breadcrumbs
Heat oil in a frying pan
Fry the rissoles in batches until they are crisp on the outside
Add to tomato sauce and similar until cooked to your taste
Serve with brown basmati rice 
Sprinkle shaved Parmesan over dish

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tasmanian salmon & coriander pesto pie

Another pie you might be saying? Well yes indeed and why not. Rain and hail and plummeting temperatures today invite ideas for pies. And more importantly I am in Melbourne where I have an oven. When I am travelling I rarely have access to one.

This pie is delicious: Tasmanian salmon with coriander pesto (bought but you could make your own) as well as red capsicum and spring onion encased in crisp puff pastry. It serves two people. 


1/2 red capsicum
1 spring onion
2 heaped dsp coriander pesto
220 gr skinless Tasmanian salmon
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
Poppy seed


Remove pastry sheets from freezer to thaw
Chop spring onion and red capsicum
Place one sheet of pastry in baking dish
Add salmon
Cover top of salmon with pesto
Arrange vegetables around salmon
Cover with second sheet of pastry
Roll edges to seal
Sprinkle with poppy seeds
Bake in 180c oven for 45 minutes


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