Pea and Asparagus Risotto

Easy Pea-sy Risotto

Pea and Asparagus Risotto

This risotto is fabulous any time of the year, you can use either frozen or fresh peas, when they are in season. It’s a simple and nourishing meal that is purely delicious comfort food and makes you feel great from the inside out.

The one pot, all liquid in, absorption approach means it’s quick and easy to make, which is perfect for after a long day at work! Great as a main meal topped with some roasted cherry tomatoes and crispy prosciutto, or the perfect side to slow cooked meat.


  • 1 tbs of butter
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 brown onion – finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic – diced, dependent on taste
  • 3 cups of Arborio rice
  • 4 cups of hot chicken stock – you can use vegetable stock if you would like to make this meal vegetarian friendly
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • ½ tsp of dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp of ground dried oregano
  • 2 ½ cups of McCain Peas
  • 2 bunches of asparagus – cut into 5cm lengths
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup of shaved parmesan, to serve
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Heat oil and butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes or until softened and translucent.

2. Add rice and herbs and stir to coat. Add stock and 1 cup of boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 12 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add 1 cup of boiling water, McCain Peas, asparagus, lemon and 1 cup of grated parmesan. Stir well and cover for 5 minutes.

4. Remove lid, stir well and serve in bowls topped with shaved parmesan.


Tuna Patties

Tuna Fish Cakes

Tuna Fish Cakes


  • 500g of golden delight potatoes – cut into 2cm cubes
  • 425g of tuna – drained
  • 2 cups of McCain Peas, Corn and Carrot mix – cooked and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups of breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup of chopped shallot greens
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Chips – to serve
  • Mixed green leaves, dressed – to serve
  • Tartar sauce – to serve
  • Vegetable oil to fry


  1. Add diced potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water, bring to the boil over a high heat and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes or until to potatoes are soft to touch.
  2. Meanwhile, place drained tuna in a large mixing bowl and use a fork to break into flakes. Add McCain Peas, Corn and Carrot, 2 tbs of lemon juice, shallots, eggs, season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
  3. Drain potatoes, mash and allow to cool to just above room temperature. Add potatoes and ¼ cup of breadcrumbs to tuna mixture and mix well to combine. Divide into 12 even portions and shape into 6cm patties.
  4. Place remaining breadcrumbs in a small bowl and coat each pattie.
  5. In a large fry pain add vegetable oil to coat the base and heat over a high heat, reduce heat to medium and add tuna patties in batches, cooking for 4 minutes each side or until golden. Repeat with remaining patties and allow to drain on paper towel once cooked.
  6. Serve with McCain Italian Herbs Mini Roasts, salad and tartar sauce.


15 Minute Monday – Turkish Eggs

Image: Stone Soup Virtual Cookery School

These Turkish style baked eggs are perfect for family dinners, served with a light green salad or are an impressive addition to any weekend brunch.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion – halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can of cushed tomato with paste and capsicum
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100g of feta – crumbled
  • 2 sprigs mint – leaves picked and finely sliced
  • 4 rounds pita bread – to serve
  • 1/2 cup roast garlic tzatziki – to serve
  • 1/2 cup of hummus – to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add paprika, coriander and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomato and 1/2 cup of water. Season. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Wrap pita bread in foil and place in oven. Cook for 5 minutes or until warm.
  3. Make 4 holes in tomato mixture and crack 1 egg into each hole. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook covered for 5 minutes or until egg white is set and yolks are still runny.
  4. Top with crumbled feta and chopped mint.
  5. Serve with tzatziki, hummus and pita bread.


Spiced Chicken Wings

Image: Australian Gourmet Traveller

Image: Australian Gourmet Traveller

With Footy Finals Fever in full swing one thing I know everyone can agree on is the need for something delicious to munch on while you cheer your team onto glory! With that in mind, one of my all-time favourite finger foods would have to be chicken wings. They can be cooked a thousand ways, eaten with your hands and downed between sips.

Without further ado let me introduce to you one of the most deliciously, devilish chicken wing recipes I know – Spiced Chicken Wings with Roast Garlic and Chipotle Sauce.

Ingredients – Wings

  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp each smoked sweet paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground garlic and ground onion
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lime
  • 1 kg chicken wings, jointed

Ingredients – Roast Garlic and Chipotle Sauce

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 chipotle chillies in adobo  – available from delicatessens
  • To serve: juice of 1 lime, or to taste, plus wedges
  • Pinch of caster sugar


  1. Whisk buttermilk, spices, oil and lime rind in a bowl, season to taste, add wings, stir to coat and transfer to a non-reactive container. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  2. For roast garlic and chipotle salsa, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap garlic in foil, roast until tender (40-50 minutes), cool slightly, squeeze flesh from skin and set aside. Meanwhile, place tomatoes cut-side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper, add onion, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until tender (35-45 minutes). Cool, peel tomatoes, process in a food processor with remaining ingredients to a thick sauce, season to taste and set aside.
  3. Preheat a barbecue or char-grill to medium-high. Drain wings and grill, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (8-10 minutes). Season to taste and serve hot with salsa and lime wedges.

Best served with a Rose, pear cider or icy cold beer!

Enjoy! Oh and go Freemantle!

Caramel Chicken

Image: Super Food Ideas – August 2011, Page 61. Photography by Mark O’Meara.

Caramelised Chicken or ga kho is a sticky, sweet and spicy Vietnamese dish. And, before you get freaked out by the words Caramel and Chicken appearing alongside each other, it is savoury caramel rather than a sweet caramel. So don’t worry you won’t be tucking into a bowl of Jersey Caramels with a side of chicken thigh!

This Vietnamese style savoury caramel sauce weaves together the perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour and spicy by making a caramel using sweet brown sugar, salty fish sauce, sour lime juice and spicy chilies along with some garlic which reduces to a glaze while it cooks, for a full flavour punch. Delicious.

Ingredients – Caramel Chicken

  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 800g chicken thigh fillets –  trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • Steamed rice to serve

Ingredients – Pickled Cucumber

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbss caster sugar
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers – cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 green onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cold water


  1. To make the pickled cucumber, place the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add cucumber, stir to combine and set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the green onion.
  2. Place the chicken and oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat until hot. Add half the chicken and cook for two minutes on one side until lightly browned, turn and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add a little extra peanut oil if needed. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the pan, add the soy sauce, chilli flakes and stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, add the sugar and stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce is rich, dark and syrupy.
  5. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and stir to combine.
  6. Place in a serving dish and serve with steamed rice and pickled cucumber.



Ben has recently proclaimed that his favourite food ever is dumplings. Boiled, steamed, pot sticker or even gyoza – he is sold! And you know what, I love them too. Delicious morsels of tasty meat and silky wonton wrappers – what’s not to love?

This tasty recipe is for a quick, simple and delicious boiled dumpling; which I can’t more highly recommend you try!

Ingredients – Dumplings

  • 500g pork and veal mince
  • 150g minced fresh prawn meat
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tsp of lemongrass
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 2 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 tbs of fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs – more if the mixture is still too wet
  • 2 packets of wonton wrappers

Ingredients – Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 tbs of fish sauce
  • 1 tbs of fresh chopped chilli
  • 1/2 bunch of chopped corriander leaves


  1. Put the onion, carrot, garlic and stalks from the coriander in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  2. Add the mince, prawn meat, lemongrass, 1/2 coriander leaves, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce and breadcrumbs to the food processor and mix to combine.
  3. Now onto folding the dumplings – there are many, many ways to do this. If you have a sure thing technique then go for it! But, what I like to do is grab a wonton wrapper, place 1 tbs of mixture in the centre, wet the edges of the wrapper with water, fold to form a semi-circle, press tightly to seal, now pinch the edges to form a pleat – I can usually do about 4 per dumpling, place on a dry surface and repeat!
  4. Pressing the edges to form a seal and pleating will ensure that your dumpling is water tight – this means when you plonk them in the water to cook they won’t explode or get all soggy and gross.
  5. Bring a large pot of boiling water to a rapid boil, add the dumplings in batches so they don’t stick together, cook for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, add all ingredients for the dipping sauce to a bowl and mix well to combine
  7. Remove from the water, drain and serve with the dipping sauce.


15 Minute Monday – Crab Briks with Cous Cous

This weeks DELICIOUS bad boy comes from none other than my good friend Jamie Oliver, the undisputed King of all things quick, wholesome and delicious!


  • For the briks

  • 1-2 preserved lemons
  • 2 spring onions
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
  • 400 g pot-caught crabmeat (a mixture of brown & white meat), from sustainable sources – of course!
  • 2 teaspoons harissa, plus extra to serve
  • 4 large sheets of filo pastry
  • olive oil
  • For the salad

  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ a mug (150g) couscous
  • 2 teaspoons sun-dried tomato purée
  • ½ a bulb of fennel
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pomegranate
  • For the salsa

  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • ½ a lemon
  • To serve
  • fat-free natural yoghurt


Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large frying pan, medium heat • Food processor (coarse grater)

Finely chop the preserved lemons, trimmed spring onions and coriander (stalks and all) • Mix in a bowl with the crabmeat and harissa • Lay out a sheet of filo pastry, add ¼ of the mixture and shape into the size of a packet of playing cards at the centre of the bottom of the sheet, then push your thumb into the centre of the filling to make a space for it to expand as it cooks • Fold in the sides, then fold them up • Repeat until you have 4 briks • Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan, then add the briks and cook until golden and crisp on both sides • Add the caraway seeds to the side of the pan and toast for a minute, then scrape into a salad bowl

Put ½ a mug of couscous, 1 mug of boiling water, the tomato purée and a pinch of salt into a bowl and cover • Pick and reserve the fennel tops, then roughly chop and grate the bulb in the processor • Tip into the salad bowl, then chop and add the top leafy half of the mint • Squeeze in the lemon juice and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil • Season to taste and toss everything together

Finely grate the tomato and ginger into a little bowl • Add a pinch of salt and pepper, a good squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix together • Fluff up the couscous, then tip on to a platter • Pile the salad in the middle, then bash the halved pomegranate over the top so the seeds tumble out • Scatter over the reserved fennel tops, pop the crab briks on a board and serve with dollops of yoghurt and the salsa



Spanish Paella

Paella is one of those festive looking dishes that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste-buds. With a base hue of bright yellow and splashes of red and green throughout this dish is as synonymous with Spain as tapas or sangria or really bad wine hangovers for that matter.

Originating in the rice-growing region of Valencia, Paella was traditionally a dish to feed farm workers and peasants, but aren’t the best? Consequently, it was bulked up with whatever was at hand, typically rabbit, chicken, snails and beans dependent on the farm location with each region adding their own twist; like seafood which is not in the original incarnation of paella, however is now a popular inclusion in variations found by the coast.

While within reason you can throw just about anything into your Paella there is one crucial rule that you must follow – DO NOT STIR! Paella is meant to be a dry rice dish that relies on the delicate partnership of absorption and evaporation. At the end of cooking, the aim is for the surface to be pitted with holes and the base crusty, crispy and slightly caramelised. This is called a socarrat and is the sign of a good Paella.

Serves 6-8


  • 3 tbs olive oil – this seems like a lot but you need it to coat the rice
  • 1 large brown onion – diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 long red chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g short grain rice such as calasparra or arborio which is more common to find
  • 2 good quality chorizo – sliced diagonally
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets – trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbs of turmeric – you’re welcome to use saffron here if you can afford it would like
  • 2 tbs of smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of ground oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1.5L of good quality chicken stock
  • 500g green prawns with tails in tact
  • 1 large red capsicum – cut into strips
  • 1 cup of frozen green baby peas
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley – coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon – cheeks cut off to serve


  1. Heat half the oil in a Paella pan or a large flat pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry until translucent.
  2. Add the rice and chorizo to the pan and allow to fry, constantly stirring, until the rice and chorizo turn golden. Do not freak out that the chorizo will release oil, this oil will act as a delicious flavour base for the Paella.
  3. Add the remaining oil, chicken and all spices, salt and pepper to the pan and fry until fragrant the chicken has browned. Add the stock, cover, turn the pan down to a simmer and allow to cook for ten minutes. This is where you will stop stirring.
  4. If your burner is not big enough to directly heat the entire pan ensure you are rotating the pan every two minutes so that your Paella cooks evenly.
  5. Uncover and add the prawns to the Paella by pushing them into the rice mixture with the tails slightly visible at the top. Cover and allow to cook for another five minutes.
  6. Uncover the Paella and check the consistency of the rice and the amount of liquid in the pan. The rice should be almost cooked and almost all of the liquid absorbed. If the rice is still hard and there is not much liquid you will need to add a little more, use your best judgement but you shouldn’t need anymore than 250ml.
  7. Pour the lemon juice evenly over the top of the Paella, arrange the capsicum strips to fan out from the centre of the pan and sprinkle the peas over the top. Cover and allow to cook for another five minutes.
  8. Remove the lid from the pan, sprinkle with chopped parley and arrange with lemon cheeks. Serve the pan straight to the table for your guests to serve themselves.


Sweet Potato, Carrot, Leek and Pumpkin Soup


With the morning hovering below zero in Young it has been hard to drag myself out of bed of a morning and when I manage to I am normally greeted by my over enthusiastic dog, coffee and peanut butter toast. While going through the usual morning procrastination about get out of my dressing gown, brushing my hair and plying my face with make-up the other morning. I decided it was simply imperative that I make a soup to greet me when I came home for lunch; and, boy am I glad I did.

Arriving home, the smell of delicious soup filled the air. I hurried over to my slow cooker, lifted the lid and knew I was in some kind of soup heaven. So, in summary I suggest that you make this soup for lunch or dinner. You can have everything in the slow cooker and ready to go in under five minutes – yes, I know, it’s crazy quick to prepare. And, if you leave it long enough everything will have collapsed so much that you don’t even need to blend it.


  • 1 sweet potato or yam for our friends from the U S of A
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek, white part only
  • 1 cup of dried yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin – I use butternuts as I find them to have a creamier more subtle flavour but feel free to use whichever variety you have on hand.
  • 2L chicken or vegetable stock – if you use the vegetable you’ll have a lovely vegan soup
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tsp of mixed dried italian herbs
  • 2 tsp of dried ground oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel the pumpkin and sweet potato.
  2. Cut all vegetables and split peas into chunks and place in slow cooker.
  3. Add all spices and stock.
  4. Place slow cooker on HIGH if you would like the soup ready in around 3-4 hours or on LOW if you would like it ready in 5-6 hours or more.
  5. Cover and let cook!
  6. Uncover – remove rosemary stalks and bay leaves. Taste and add any additional seasoning needed.
  7. If you would like the soup to be free of chunks use a stick blender or blender to blend until smooth in batches.
  8. Serve in a bowl as is or with sour cream.

Tip: if you’d like to give this soup a twist add in a tin of Coconut Milk at the end, stir through and top with coriander leaves.