Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

This is honestly one of the easiest dishes I have ever made – measure, blend and top. It is delicious, in fact I surprised myself with how good it tasted, and it can be ready in a flash. The vibrant green of the gazpacho against the red of the prawns gives this dish instant visual appeal which means it’s a sure thing for summer get together’s, parties or Christmas do’s.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of McCain Frozen Peas – thawed
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 ripe avocado – mashed
  • 2 tbs of lemon juice
  • ½ cup of thickened cream
  • 500g cooked peeled prawns
  • 1 red chilli – halved, seeds removed and finely sliced
  • ½ cup of pea shoots
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup of McCain Frozen Peas – thawed, to serve
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Oil olive – to serve, if desired.

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho Progress

Method

  1. Place McCain Frozen peas, garlic, vegetable stock, avocado and lemon juice in a large bowl and add in batches to a blender blitzing until smooth.
  2. Stir through the thickened cream and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the prawns, chilli, lime and pea shoots in a small bowl and toss to coat.
  4. Divide the gazpacho evenly among bowls, top with prawn mix, scatter with remaining McCain Frozen Peas and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.  Serve.

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

Pressure Cooker Char Siu Pork

Image: Super Food Ideas - August 2011, Page 60. Photographer: Mark O'Meara.

Image: Super Food Ideas – August 2011, Page 60. Photographer: Mark O’Meara.

This is a recipe for the lovely, sticky, red-coated pork that you see hanging in Chinese restaurant windows. Char siu is of Cantonese origin where skewers of pork are marinated in a honey, hoisin sauce and then roast in oven to charred, savoury and sticky sweet perfection.

This recipe smells divine as it cooks and is so easy to make. If there is a pork recipe that defines Chinese cooking, I think char siu would be it! And let’s face it, who doesn’t want an excuse to eat pork.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of hoi sin sauce
  • ¼ cup of light soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dry sherry or Chinese shoasing wine or rice wine vinegar
  • 1L of chicken stock
  • 1kg of pork belly – bones removed
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 1 tbs red fermented bean curd – available from Asian grocers
  • 3 drops of red food colouring (optional)
  • A large pinch of white pepper (optional)
  • Serve with steam rice, steamed Asian greens and top with fried shallots

Method

  1. Set your pressure cooker to sauté. Add the soy sauce, sherry, stock, bean paste, food colouring, pepper, Chinese-five spice and ¼ cup of hoisin sauce. Allow to cook for five minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. Score the top of the pork cutting through the skin in straight lines at 1-1.5cm intervals. Add the pork to the pressure cooker, turn to coat and submerge in the sauce – dependent on the size of your pressure cooker you may need to cut the pork in half.
  3. Set your pressure cooker and allow to cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Remove the pork from the pressure cooker, allow to mildly cool and cut into 18 even-sized pieces. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  5.  Combine the honey, sesame oil, ¼ cup of hoi sin sauce and ¼ cup of cooking liquid in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Heat the peanut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pork and cook for 5-10 minutes, brushing with honey mixture every minute, until golden brown and well coated.
  7. Meanwhile, place 1 cup of the cooking liquid in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to the boil and reduce to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened and almost syrupy.
  8. Serve the Char Siu pork with steam rice, steamed Asian green and sauce; top with crispy shallots.

Enjoy!

Vegan Broccoli, Mushroom and Tofu Soup

Okay, so I am sure the word vegan has thrown you off and you probably think this recipe will be tasteless and leave you hungry, but you would be wrong! This soup is a wonderful set and forget meal that is hearty and will fill you and the family to the brim. It’s packed full of goodness and is a great winter warmer.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 200g silken tofu
  • 1 x 2 person serve of 90 second brown rice
  • 1L of vegetable stock or chicken stock but obviously it won’t be vegan if you use the chicken stock
  • 1 large brown onion – diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic – minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish – I used my La Chasseur cast iron pot.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and fry until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Break the florets from the head of broccoli, chop the stalk, quarter the mushrooms and add to pan.
  4. Cover with stock, bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 40 minutes.
  5. Cook the brown rice according to packet instructions, add along with the tofu.
  6. Use your spoon to break up the tofu and a stick blender to blend.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!

I also cracked black pepper over the top when it was served so it didn’t look as much like a brown/green blob – just a thought.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Leek and Pumpkin Soup

photo

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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.

Enjoy!

Mulligatawny

Mulligatawny is an Anglo-Indian soup which translates literally from Tamil “Mulligatawny” or “Milagu thanni” to “pepper water”; With “Millagu” meaning pepper and “thanni” meaning water.

This is a rich and delicious soup, full of flavour and the sweetness of the apple is a divine.

Interesting, Dr. Seuss used the term to refer to a fanciful creature in his book If I Ran the Zoo. The young wannabe zookeeper says, “I’ll capture them wild and I’ll capture them scrawny, I’ll capture a scraggle-foot mulligatawny”.

Ingredients

  • 1 brown onion – diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs curry powder – I used Clive of India
  • 1L chicken stock – bought or homemade if you have the time. I recommend Campbells
  • 360g chicken thighs – trimmed and halved
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled and finely grated
  • 2/3 of a cup of red lentils OR a two person serve of 90 second microwave brown rice
  • 270ml can of lite coconut milk or coconut evaporated milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Fresh coriander leaves and cracked black pepper to serve
  • Optional: naan or pappadums to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and slightly translucent.
  3. Add curry powder and cook until fragrant. This will take around 30 seconds. The point of doing this is to release the flavours from the spices as they toast. Many are activated by heat and not toasting them will result in a dull flavour.
  4. Add the chicken and turn to coat and brown.
  5. Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken, place in a bowl and shred using a fork.
  7. Return the chicken to the pot and add the apple, lentils/rice and coconut milk.
  8. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
  9. Add the lemon juice, ladle into bowls and top with coriander leaves and freshly cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!