Tag Archives: easy

Cheesy Potato Stacks

Potato Stacks 005aThese moreish potato stacks are a take on hash browns but are baked rather than fried so are healthier and as they are free-formed are easier to assemble.

I used parmesan cheese from local cheese maker Hohepa.  A fairly recent addition to their range, it is currently not as mature as some other parmesans but it has a great flavour and worked well in this recipe. You, of course, could use your favourite parmesan or mature cheddar. Some finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme is a
flavoursome addition.

Cheesy Potato Stacks

Prepare several hours in advance then bake when required. Small ones using a teaspoon of mixture are a tasty pre-dinner nibble.

Makes 12-16 stacks enough to feed 4-6 people

2 large (500g) all-purpose potatoes, quartered
2 cloves confit or roasted garlic
½ cup (50g) grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground sea salt

1              Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water, cover and bring to the boil. Remove lid season to taste with salt and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Drain, run under cold
water, drain again and set aside to cool completely.
2              Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a two baking trays with baking paper.
3              Grate cold potatoes on the large holes of a box grater and place in a large bowl. Add garlic and cheese and mix to combine – I find the easiest way to do this is with two forks.
4              Take tablespoons of mixture, place in heaps on prepared baking trays and bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Another potato recipe you might like to try:

Potato, Onion & Caraway Cake

Potato, Onion & Caraway Cake

 

Spicy Lentils & Mince Lettuce Wraps

Lentil & Mince Wraps 003a

With a crunchy wrap and mildly spiced filling these wraps are a great family meal and ideal for summer eating. It’s also a good way to get the kids to eat their veg – there is cabbage in the mince mixture, then a selection to top it with and lettuce leaves to act as a wrapper.

I love this sort of meal for causal entertaining too, as you can get everything ready in advance, set it out and allow everyone to
assemble their own wrap – if someone doesn’t like something there is no big fuss they just don’t include it in their wrap.

Spicy Lentils and Mince Lettuce Wraps

Sometimes I toss together the diced tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers then dress with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper and serve on the side as a salad which can be spooned on top of the mince mixture in the lettuce cups.

Serves 4

1 cup French green (Puy) lentils
3 cups water
olive oil
1 medium onion (200g), diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 medium heat fresh chilli, thinly sliced
300g beef, lamb or pork mince
¼ cabbage (250g), finely shredded
250g tomatoes, diced or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch radishes (250g), diced (optional)
1 cucumber (200g), seeded and diced (optional)
8 iceberg lettuce cups
¼ cup roughly chopped coriander
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1              Place lentils and water in saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

2              Place 1 tbsp olive oil and onion in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 4-5 minutes or until onions starts to
soften. Add garlic, cumin and chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.

3              Add mince and cook, stirring and breaking up mince over a high heat or until mince is brown. Add cooked lentils and cook,
stirring for 5-10 minutes longer or until lentils begin to brown. Add reserved cooking liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer or until liquid reduces and mixture is moist but not soupy. Add cabbage and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes longer or until
cabbage wilts. Add coriander, season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

4              To serve, place tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place sliced radishes and
cucumber, if using, in separate bowls. Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Transfer mince/lentil mixture to another bowl.

5              Arrange all bowls and serving platter on the table and allow each person to assemble their own meal by placing some mince/
lentil mixture in a lettuce cup, then top with tomatoes, radish and cucumber – wrap lettuce around filling and eat. Have plenty of
napkins on hand!

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Chorizo & Grilled Capsicum Frittata

Frittata 005cFrittatas are a great quick meal, can be made with just about
anything that you have in the fridge and are an easy and economical way to extend leftovers.

A meal for any occasion, frittatas are equally good hot, warm or at room temperature. Cut them in wedges and take on a picnic or add to an antipasto platter, place between slices of your favourite bread for a delicious sandwiches or cut into bite-sized pieces and serve with drinks.

A frittata is best described an open-face Italian omelette and
simplest are made with just eggs and cheese or eggs, onions and cheese.

The secret to making a great frittata is to cook it slowly over a low heat – it should be firm and set, but never stiff and dry.

The pan I use for making frittatas is cast iron with a 17 cm base and sides which slop out to 25 cm – some cooks recommend using a
non-stick pan however I find that as long as my cast iron pan is
well-seasoned I have no problems with sticking.

For how to season a cast iron pan refer to my earlier post for making a Simple Folded or French Omelette.

Frying Pan 004c

As the pan is going under the grill you need to use a pan with an ovenproof handle, however, if like me your pan has a wooden handle or non-ovenproof handle cover with several layers of aluminium foil to protect.

Chorizo & Grilled Capsicum Frittata
There is no need to peel the potato and take care not to overcook it. I usually cook the potato in the microwave – simply wash, then place on a paper towel in the microwave and cook on HIGH (100%) for 3-5 minutes or until just tender, remember it gets a bit more cooking in the pan and as the frittata cooks.

For this frittata I used Hohepa Danbo that I had in fridge but use
whatever is in your fridge.

Serves 4-6

6 free-range eggs
1-2 (200g) prepared grilled capsicums, cut into strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 onion (100-150g), thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium potato (250g), cooked and diced
1 cured chorizo (80-100g) sausage, thinly sliced
75g grated cheese, of your choice

1              Break eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork until evenly blended. Add capsicums, mix to combine and season to taste. Set aside.

2              Preheat oven grill.

3              Place onion and oil in heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes or until onions soften. Remove lid and cook for 5 minutes longer or until
onions start to brown.

4              Add potato and chorizo and cook for 5 minutes or until
potato starts to brown.

5              Pour egg mixture over ingredients in pan and push to
distribute evenly. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until eggs set and thicken – only the top of the frittata should still be
uncooked. Scatter with cheese, place under grill and grill for 5 minutes or until top just sets and cheese melts.

6              Loosen and serve straight from the pan or slide onto a
serving platter.

Frittata 011a

Serving suggestion: For a simple meal accompany with a salad of tossed leaves and crusty bread.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other egg recipes you might like:

omelette 017a

Simple Folded or French Omelette

 

Grilled Capsicum and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Cap & Tom Salad 011a

This salad is a riot of colour and full of summer flavour.

To prepare the capsicums refer to my post of a few days ago for Grilled Capsicums.

Look for heirloom tomatoes at Farmers’ Markets and in speciality fruit and vegetable stores. Here in Hawke’s Bay at this time of year there are a number of stalls at the Farmers’ Markets which carry a range of these colourful and tasty tomatoes.

Cap & Tom Salad 005a

Heirloom tomatoes come in many colours – black, lime green (some with stripes), orange, yellow, every shade of red you can imagine – and have exotic names like Green Zebra, White Cherry,
Moneymaker, Russian Red and Amish Paste, just to name a few.

For those who like to grow their own check out the Kings Seeds website or in the spring a great range is available from the plant stalls at the Farmers’ Markets.

Grilled Capsicum and Heirloom Tomato Salad
You could add torn or shredded basil leaves but I prefer to keep the
flavours fresh and clean.

Any leftover salad is great in sandwiches or on burgers. 

Serves 4-6 as a side dish or on an antipasto platter

500g heirloom tomatoes, diced
3-4 (300g) prepared grilled capsicums, cut into strips
RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1              Depending on their size, halve, quarter or chop tomatoes – you want all pieces to be about the same size.

2              Place capsicums and tomatoes in serving bowl.

3              To make dressing, place garlic, oil and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4              Pour dressing over capsicums and tomatoes and toss to
combine.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Cajun Beef & Beans with Summer Vegetables

Mince & Veg 004a

Another of those one-dish meals which I love but this one is cooked on the stove top and is on the table in less than 30 minutes.

I have used Cajun spice here, but at other times I have used a Moroccan or Middle Eastern spice mix and curry powder would also work – use whatever you have in the pantry or suits the tastes of those you are feeding.

Cajun Beef & Beans with Summer Vegetables

Serves 4

Use whatever beans you have to hand for this dish – cannellini, red kidney or even a bean mix all work equally well. If you need to extend the dish simply add another can of beans and some more vegetables.

2 tbsp oil vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
500g lean beef mince
1 tbsp Cajun spice
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno chilli, seeded (optional) and sliced
420g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup beef stock
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
steamed brown rice, to serve

1              Place oil and onion in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent.

2              Add beef, Cajun spice and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until beef is browned.

3              Add celery, capsicum, zucchini, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are just starting to soften. Stir in beans and stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer or until mixture reduces and thickens, vegetables are tender and beans are heated through. Stir most of the parsley into the beef mixture, reserving a little for garnish. To serve, spoon beef mixture over rice and scatter with remaining parsley.

Mince & Veg 018a

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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One–dish Indian Roast Chicken & Vegetables

Indian Chicken 006a

I love one-dish meals – they save on preparation time and with just one dish to wash also on clean-up. I also love spiced food and
roasted food – so this dish is ticking all the boxes for me.

The raita is good served with any Indian-style dish and is a standard condiment in this part of the world – it can be used as a sauce, dip or salad and provides and an explosion of freshness when served alongside spicy food. This raita is a very simple one, but raitas can
include fresh or ground coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and other herbs and spices.

One–dish Indian Roast Chicken & Vegetables

This one-dish meal is great for feeding a crowd – simply increase the quantities accordingly – and serve with a tossed green salad if desired.
Use any in-season vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli or carrots are all good alternatives to the zucchini.

Serves 4

vegetable oil
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 chicken thighs
500g potatoes, cut into large chunks
500g zucchini, cut into 2.5cm pieces
2 onions, cut into wedges
1 medium heat chilli, sliced and seeded (optional)
chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
CUCUMBER & YOGURT RAITA
1 cucumber
1 cup Greek-style natural yogurt
¼ cup shredded fresh mint leaves

1              Preheat oven to 220°C. Brush a large baking dish with a little oil – the dish should be large enough to accommodate the chicken and vegetables in one layer, if you do not have a large enough dish divide the mixture between two dishes.

2              Place coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and salt and
pepper, to taste in a large plastic bag and shake to combine.

3              Add chicken, potatoes, zucchini and onions to bag and shake to coat in spice mixture – if bag is not large enough to accommodate all the ingredients at one time, do this in batches.

4              Transfer chicken and vegetables to baking dish, scatter with sliced chilli. Bake, turning every 15 minutes, for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.

5              While chicken is cooking make the raita. Grate cucumber on a piece of muslin or chux cloth, sprinkle with a little salt, place in a colander and set aside to drain for at least 30 minutes. Wrap cloth around cucumber and squeeze to remove as liquid as possible. Place cucumber, yogurt and mint in a bowl and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.

6              Remove chicken and vegetables from oven, cover loosely with aluminium foil and stand for 5-10 minutes. Scatter with
coriander and serve straight from the baking dish. Pass raita
separately.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Asian-Marinated Steak with Sweet & Sour Radish Salad

Asian Steak 006c

This robustly marinated steak accompanied by a pungent radish and garlic salad is a barbecue meal with a difference.

I have been making this for a number of years and it is one of the dishes which I do as a ready-to-cook for guests staying in our
cottages and it always seems to get rave reviews. The original idea came from the creative Australian-Chinese chef Kylie Kwong and a similar recipe using roasted Wagyu beef can be found in her book Heart and Soul, Penguin Books 2003.

Chinese cooking rice wine and Chinese black vinegar are available from Asian grocery stores. Kecap manis or ketjap manis is
Indonesian sweet soy sauce and is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets – look for the ABC brand.

Asian-Marinated Steak with Sweet & Sour Radish Salad

A fresh salad of mixed leaves is a great accompaniment which gives this meal a fresh zing.

Serves 4

4 steaks of your choice such as porterhouse, scotch fillet or rump
ASIAN MARINADE
½ cup Chinese cooking rice wine
2 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
SWEET & SOUR RADISH SALAD
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 bunch radishes, washed and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1              For marinade, place all ingredients in a shallow dish large enough to hold the steaks in a single layer and mix to combine. Add steaks, cover and refrigerate until ready to use – at least 4 hours, but the steaks can happily marinate for up to 24 hours.

2              To make salad, roughly crush garlic and salt together with a mortar and pestle. Add oil and continue working to make a paste. Transfer paste to a bowl, add vinegar and sugar and whisk to
combine.

3              Add onion and radishes to dressing and toss to combine. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but the salad can be made up to 8 hours in advance.

4              Remove steaks from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes
prior to cooking. Preheat barbecue grill to hot. Remove beef from marinade and drain. Place on barbecue and cook for 2-5 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove steaks from heat and stand covered for 5 minutes. Serve with Radish Salad.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore 

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Baked Cherry Tomatoes & Feta

Baked Cherry TomatoesThis traditional Greek recipe with the (I think) romantic name of Ntomatakia Kai Feta, for cherry tomatoes and feta cheese is perfect for this time of year – it is quick and easy can be served just as is with bread as a light meal, on a barbecue or buffet table as a side dish or as part of an antipasto platter. But best of all it makes great use of the wonderful cherry tomatoes which are plentiful at this time of year.

Baked Cherry Tomatoes & Feta (Ntomatakia Kai Feta)

I like to use a herbaceous oil such as The Village Press manzanillo oil, our local Hohepa feta cheese and cherry tomatoes from a local grower. This dish looks particularly pretty if you use cherry tomatoes of mixed colours.
Keep the heat out of the kitchen and cook on a covered barbecue instead of in the oven.

Serves 4-6

juice ½  lemon
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely diced
2 tsp dried oregano
500g ripe cherry tomatoes
100g feta, cubed

1              Preheat oven to 160°C.
2              Place lemon juice, oil, garlic and oregano in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add tomatoes and toss to coat.
3              Tip tomatoes into a baking dish in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. Add feta, toss to combine and bake for 10 minutes
longer.
4              Serve warm or at room temperature with crusty bread for mopping up the delicious juices.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore