31 January 2010

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Salad

My partner's father turned 60 yesterday - to celebrate, we had a big family lunch with salads, seafood and cold meats. Ah, gotta love an Aussie party on a plus-forty day. We had an absolute cornucopia of food. My contribution to the day was a few salads - asparagus (panfried in olive oil and butter, with a little grated parmesan), potato (in a cream and mustard dressing with parsley) and one of my favourites, sweet potato and pumpkin. The latter seemed to go down a treat - so I thought I'd share the recipe.

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Salad

You will need

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp vinegar (we used white wine - but you can use balsamic, red wine - or even lemon juice)
1 Tbsp honey
250 g cashew nuts
250g pumpkin
500 g sweet potato
sea salt
200 g green beans
250 g feta
100g thinly sliced prosciutto

roasting pan
boiling water
knife + cutting board
salad bowl
spray oil
  1. Chop feta into 1 cm cubes.
  2. Mix olive oil, vinegar, cashews, feta and honey in a small bowl. (This can be done the night before.) Seal and refrigerate - the marinade is best if allowed to sit overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  4. Chop up pumpkin and sweet potato into 2 cm cubes. Spray with oil and sprinkle on salt, nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Roast until tender. (This took 45 minutes for the sweet potato and 30 mins for the pumpkin). Allow to cool (again, this can be done the night before).
  5. Top and tail the green beans and cut into bite sized pieces. Microwave in boiling water for 2 minutes or until cooked but still crunchy. Drain off boiling water and run under cold water until cool.
  6. Tear up prosciutto.
  7. In your salad bowl, layer the sweet potato, pumpkin, beans, feta, cashews and prosciutto. Top with the remaining marinade and serve!
A guaranteed crowd pleaser on the cheap and lazy - that's my kind of family meal!

30 January 2010

Restaurant Review - Los Amates

Only a couple of days late...

We went to Los Amates on a Thursday night. Normally, one needs to book weeks in advance to get a table, but we got one with (in retrospect) suspicious ease when we rang to book Wednesday morning. This Melbourne Mexican mecca is popular with both uni students and melbourne foodies alike - the cheap but satisfying and (relatively) authentic food (I'm not quite sure how popular chorizo is in Mexico...) has become somewhat of an institution on the Johnston St Mexican Strip. So when my partner and and his sister and her husband and myself headed down there at 7 pm on Thursday, it's fair to say we did have some high expectations.

When we arrived, a series of three (rather ominously) harried looking waitstaff tried to take our drinks orders in quick succession. While my margarita was not so quick off the mark as the beers and bloody tequila ordered by the rest of our party, it arrived and (one brain freeze later) was happily consumed. Margaritas at Los Amates are serious value at $12.50 for a very large lemony slushy full of tequila goodness, with the appropriate lime and salt accoutrements.

We shared an entree - guacamole with chicharrĂ³ns. On hearing the description of chicharrĂ³ns, you may think it is the most unappetizing dish in the world - it's deep fried pork fat - but I promise you, it's a) delicious, and b) thoroughly authentic. Don't get too attached to your arteries when you eat it, though. It's like a salty baconny prawn cracker - it fluffs up in the fryer and becomes all puffy and delicate. Delicious. You don't get many cracklings - but when you think about what they are (i.e. pure fat) you will realise that it is probably better all round that way.

We were so distracted by the deep fried goodness that we failed to notice that the presence of the waitstaff had gone from flustered but attentive to none whatsoever. After 20 minutes, we thought it was nice of the waitstaff to let us talk amongst ourselves. After an hour and no sight of our mains, we were starting to get a bit hungry, and the mollifying effects of the margarita was starting to wear off. The wait staff were very good and apologized - as did the owner - which made us appreciate what a worthwhile place this is to visit - but it didn't change the fact that we were hungry. Turns out there was a rather large table in the back, which turned out to be slightly more than the relatively small kitchen could cope with. So when we (finally) got our tacos around 8.15 pm, we were very much ready to eat.

I dove head first into my tacos al pastor, not realizing that the waitstaff knew how hungry we were, and had taken the meals out as soon as humanly possible - so quickly in fact that a) they hadn't made sure we were getting the appropriate amount of tacos, and b) that the fillings were rather hotter than anticipated. When I say hotter, I mean temperature wise (although I'll get to the salsa in a minute) - the result of which was a giant blister on the roof of my mouth (that still hasn't healed). Just goes to show it's fresh, I suppose!

One the steam had cleared and the meal cooled to palatable temperatures, we could really get going. I ordered the Tacos al Pastor (tender pork); my partner had tacos with beef and chorizo; and my partner's sister and her husband shared the value meal - tacos with beef and chorizo, lamb and shredded pork. As usual, once they had cooled, my tacos al pastor were tender and juicy, with the sharp, sweet pineapple contrasting well with the unctuous pork. Not being a raw onion or cilantro fan, I left those on the side. I braved a little of the salsa - apparently, this dish tends to be ordered by serious fans of Mexican food, not first time wimps, the result of which is it is served with a salsa that could probably dissolve your tongue. A drop or two is delicious, but any more pretty much sets your mouth on fire. The other dishes were served with salsa verde or pica de gallo - much more palatable for a chilli wimp like myself. The beef and chorizo tacos were lovely (provided you got enough chorizo - the beef was a bit bland on its own); the yucatan shredded pork tacos were popular; but the lamb was a bit grey and bland. We went a bit short on tacos, too - but that was because the freshly made, soft white corn tacos were so damn yummy that we couldn't help but want more. We also had some rather unmemorable frijoles (refried beans) - these were a bit bland and probably not worth getting again.

All in all, a very enjoyable night out. A bit slow to get our meals, but delicious.

Service = 3/5. Very slow to get our mains (but this was acknowledged) but otherwise friendly and efficient.
Ambience = 3/5. It's a bit crowded and the tables are very close together. It looks like a paint can or two exploded in there - crazy colours and patterns everywhere. I know that's the Mexican tradition, but still...
Value = 3.5/5. We spend $150 on a meal for 4, including booze. Although we felt a bit short changed in the taco department, overall you won't find better value Mexican in the city.
Taste = 4.5/5. The best Mexican I've found in Australia. Although one or two dishes fell a bit flat on the night, most of the food - and even the garnishes - were delicious (apart from being a bit hot!)

Overall = 14/20. If you can get a booking, go. A Fitzroy institution for a reason.

28 January 2010

IC:E Winter Warmup - Vote Here!

The Iron Cupcake : Earth Winter Warmup can be voted for here. Please vote!

You may remember I made Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream - please vote for them!

There are also some amazing looking creations made by some incredible bloggers - I have to say that I was blown away by these - it's literally a cup cake (or at least a mug cake...!).

Cupcakes make me happy... and what better return on investment is there? Really?

I'll be back tonight with another restaurant review - I promise, new recipes next week.

By the way - what would you like to see lazified? Savories? Sweets? More cakes? Quick dinners? Breakfasts? Lunches?

Please comment and let me know!

26 January 2010

Restaurant Review - Holgate's Bar and Restaurant

My partner decided today that, since I have never been to a winery before, that he was going to show me around some of Victoria's finest. It is utterly appropriate therefore, that today's restaurant review be for a winery restaurant.

It isn't - it's for a brewery.

Holgate's Bar and Restaurant is a local brewery in Woodend, Victoria. While it isn't quite the same calibre of boutique brewery as, say, Little Creatures (Fremantle, WA), it does a very nice (albeit limited range) of boutique beers. Although I can't tell you for sure, since none of them are gluten free.

However, quite a lot of their food was (or could be adapted to be) - the knowledgeable and friendly staff were able to point me in the direction of the Chilli Lamb Salad. They also unfortunately suggested the Paramatta Farms Pinot Grigio, which was, frankly, unpalatable (to my, admittedly, very unsophisticated palette - the acidity was completely overwhelming). None the less, with the wine omitted, the salad itself was surprisingly delicious - for $19, one does not typically expect perfectly rare lamb with subtle hints of smokiness complementing the sweet and tangy glaze. Served on a bed of (slightly wilted) rocket with balsamic dressing, with red onion, feta and olives (that were admittedly from a jar, but no worse the wear for that), it made a lovely lunch to start a day of wine tasting.
Wine choice aside (and really, who can blame a pub that specializes in beer for that?), the only real dampener on the whole experience was the ambience. Although the pub was clean with a friendly buzz, the afternoon was spoiled by the addition of a screaming toddler. Normally, I don't hold that kind of thing against a restaurant - but this child had a voice that could shatter glass. Repeatedly. And the acoustics created by the large vaulted ceiling did not help. Although one can hardly blame the restaurant for the behaviour of the child of a guest, it completely ruined the atmosphere.

All in all, a lovely country lunch - just avoid it when there are families around. And please - don't bring your kids.

Service = 4/5. Speedy, efficient and friendly. Orders are placed at the bar where the (very knowledgeable) staff can help you out. Who can ask for more?
Ambience = 2/5. Although the room was clean, well decorated and showed a history of the pub and brewery out the back (normally things I appreciate), all was shattered by the screaming of a small child - I couldn't notice anything else!
Value = 3.5/5. Excellent value - only one meal (the mixed grill) over $20. Serving sizes are generous and quality is excellent.
Taste = 3.5/5. Absolutely delicious. Perfectly tender, juicy lamb backstraps in a delicately balanced glaze. Sides were less lovingly attended to, but still yummy.

Overall = 13/20. A lovely country lunch spot - worth the drive to Woodend. Preferably sans small children.

24 January 2010

The Lazy Cook is in Melbourne!

Well, no recipes today - and no Perth restaurant reviews. The Lazy Cook is in Melbourne for the week - I will try and post updates when I can get access to the Net. Melbourne restaurants will be reviewed as I go to them - but for now, the lazy cook is being spoiled by her Melbourne relatives and having most of her cooking done for her!

Have a fantastic Australia day (to all you Aussies out there!)

22 January 2010

Cinnamon Fairy Cakes

These brown sugar cinnamon fairy cakes, are (I must admit) very similar to the salted caramel cupcakes I made last week. Now there's a reason for that - I just added a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon to the batter and icing recipes and omitted the caramel drizzle... yeah, I'm lazy and I have no problem with that! In fact, the recipe is so similar it barely warrants reposting... but the cupcakes were really yummy. :)

The icing was a bit of a flop, too - literally - I tried reducing the butter in the Swiss Meringue Buttercream... still tasted lovely, but it was far too soft. It needs the correct ratio of butter to give the SMBC its texture. Still- that's how we learn!

Cinnamon Fairy Cakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose gf flour
3/4 tsp gf baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Buttercream (What I should have done...!)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
125 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes (at room temperature)

3 bowls
electric beater
measuring jug + spoons
wooden spoon
wire cooling rack
muffin tin and pattypans

For the cupcakes:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes (Mine were done at 40 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the icing appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more. Add the cinnamon, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Top the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream. Delish!

21 January 2010

Bacon and Sweet Corn Risotto

I arrived home from work today tired, hungry and late. As such, I was definitely in the mood for something quick, easy and at least in the same vicinity as healthy. I also knew that I needed to eat up the last of my beautiful piece of bacon and the veggies in the fridge. A somewhat spontaneous, albeit delicious risotto was thus created.

Bacon and Sweet Corn Risotto

Serves 2

You will need

200 g of bacon, cut into lardons
1 onion, finely diced
2 handfuls arborio rice
100 ml white wine
stock cube
boiling water
kernels from 1 cob sweet corn
handful snow peas
sliced shallots, to garnish

cutting board + knife
frying pan + spatula

  1. Render the fat from bacon by gently heating it in the frying pan. Allow bacon to brown slightly.
  2. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the rice. Allow it to absorb the juices for a few seconds, then add the wine to the mixture.
  4. Crumble the stock cube over the top of the wet mixture and mix well.
  5. Once liquid has been absorbed, add boiling water (50 ml at a time) and allow to absorb. Once the rice dries, add another 50 ml and allow to absorb.
  6. When the rice has been cooking for approx 7 minutes, add the sweet corn.
  7. Continue to add boiling water in 50 ml increments until rice is soft all the way through. Risotto should flow unctuously in the pan.
  8. Mix through roughly chopped snow peas. Top with chopped shallots and serve.

20 January 2010

Restaurant Review - The Flying Taco

In true lazy cook form, I have been truly lazy over the last couple of days - I escaped the heat in my kitchen by heading over to my mother's house last night for steak and salad; and I got my favourite hot weather food (Mexican take away) for dinner tonight. It came from one of the best Mexican places in Perth - the Flying Taco, on Angove St in North Perth.The owner of Flying Taco works there every night. She's Californian, and it turns out she has the rather distinctive logo tattooed on her forearm (the tattoo came first - I asked...). They do pretty traditional Mexican food - lots of corn tortillas, proper soft tacos, real guacamole, lots of lime and pineapple. They aren't afraid to use proper spices either, but they let the customer decide how spicy they would like their meal by applying the heat themselves, via the salsa. And in true mexican style, there is a lot of food on offer for a very reasonable price. Sure, it's not what you'd get, strictly speaking, in the hills of Oaxoca - let's face it, Mexico isn't known for its steak - but it's much closer to the real thing than the Tex-Mex monstrosities that attempt to palm themselves off as Mexican.

The restaurant itself is a bit of a hole in the wall - a very simple, albeit colourful shopfront, with a few plastic chairs and tables available. Both dine-in and take away options are available - you can even BYO alcohol (for a relatively cheap - for Perth - corkage fee of $2 pp). Ordering is a simple 4 step process - choose your style, filling, salsa (ranging from mild to tongue-dissolvingly hot) and sides.

Tonight, I ordered takeaway. I had the Tacos Carnitas with Pica de Gallo salsa, with tortilla chips and guacamole; my dining companion shared the guacamole and chips, and had the mole poblano quesadilla. Between us, we spent less than $40 - no mean feat for the CUB capital of Australia. There was a bit of a wait to pick up my order - although the staff were very friendly and kind, only one person was serving, meaning that I could see my order sitting there, getting cold, while waiting for the register to become available. None the less, the food happily survived the trip home.

Although my tacos were very nice - the sweet, slightly acidic pineapple cut nicely through the meaty, albeit ever so slightly dry pork (although a spoonful of guacamole took care of that!), they had nothing on the cheesy goodness of the quesadilla. Although the cheese used isn't exactly the most traditional - cheddar - it is absolutely delicious - rich, creamy and heady. Unfortunately, a flour tortilla, rather than a corn one is used, so it's not gluten free - but if you can eat flour, it is well worth getting! If not, ask for the corn tortillas with sour cream - it costs $2 more, but it replicates the creamy meltingness - and elevates the tacos from 'good' to 'delicious'.

The absolute star of the show, though, is the corn chips. These are not your regular insipid supermarket corn chips. They are made to order, from freshly made corn tortillas cut up into wedges and deep fried - but strangely, not greasy or soggy, even after ten minutes sitting in a paper bag in the car. They are crisp, crunchy and perfectly cook. Thick without being heavy. Strong enough to hold a good dollop of the perfectly seasoned, zingy guacamole. The bags are deceptively small. The first time I saw them, I thought 'this can't be worth $6' - but oh was I wrong! 3 hungry eaters were not able to get through a tiny bag - the chips, though small, are so filling, being made from fresh tortillas.

All in all - recommended. If you're in the mood for quick, easy Mexican, you won't do better in Perth. One of the best value eateries this close to the city.

Service = 3/5 - Service was with a smile, but a bit slow to get there.
Ambiance = 3/5 - Unpretentious but friendly. You can see into the clean, bustling kitchen as you order. Busy but not crowded. There is something about plastic chairs though...
Value = 4.5/5 - You will struggle to find this kind of cooking in Perth for so little.
Taste = 4/5 - Absolutely delicious. Even the food that didn't shine was still yummy and satisfying.

Overall = 14.5/20. An excellent meal on the cheap and quick. Highly recommended any time you want a satisfying hit of easy Mexican.

The Flying Taco on Urbanspoon

18 January 2010

Caramel Swirl Icecream

Being as lazy as I am, there is nothing I hate more than wasting effort. Thus, after making the salted caramel cupcakes (awesome as they were) it somewhat irked me that I had some of the caramel drizzle left over. Since it had cream in it, I knew it wouldn't keep for long, so I had to do something fast unless I froze it. That gave me an idea.

Given that it has been disgustingly hot, there would be nothing better than cold, sweet caramel icecream. However, making caramel icecream traditionally involves making an egg based custard (it really doesn't work as a sorbet...!) - and who wants to heat up the kitchen using the stove unless they ABSOLUTELY have to??? Plus, I don't have an icecream maker... I then realised I could adapt the technique I picked up in boarding school - cooking eggs in the microwave - to make a microwave custard. Minimal mess, minimal fuss - and no hot kitchen!

This does take a while without an icecream maker. But the actual cooking only took half an hour - the rest of the time was taken trying to get the damn stuff to freeze... it was worth the wait though!

The only comment with this recipe is - when in doubt - WHISK! The more you whisk, the smoother it is!

So here it is - Caramel Swirl Icecream - Lazy Cook style!

You will need

leftover caramel drizzle from this recipe: I had about 1 1/3 cups (but however much you have will be fine!)
4 egg yolks (be sure to reserve the whites for your next batch of SMBC)
2 cups milk

(you can use more or less, depending on your quantity of caramel and how strong you like the icecream.... use 1/2 C milk per egg yolk and you're done!)

microwave +freezer
Glad resealable bags (or any sealable bag that can handle both heat and cold!)
measuring jug
microwavable bowl
freezable bowl
large heatproof glass
icecream container/plastic lidded container (1L)
frozen ice pack/ice brick (or similar)
wooden spoon
paper towels
  1. Set aside about 1/3 of the caramel mixture in a separate bowl - this will be your caramel swirl. Leave this in the fridge.
  2. Heat the milk to room temperature in the microwave.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks in your microwavable bowl. In a very thin, slow stream, add about 1/3 of the warmed milk, whisking all the while.
  4. Warm the remainder of the milk to just above body temperature (about the temperature you like your shower)
  5. Whisking the egg/milk mixture continuously, slowly add the remainder of the milk
  6. Heat the larger batch of caramel mixture until it is about as runny as water - I found this took about 2 minutes on medium high. Be sure to stir every 30 seconds! NOTE: clean the outside of the bowl before you do this, or your microwave will not look pretty afterwards! Cover with a paper towel while heating.
  7. Transfer the runny mixture into your measuring jug and SLOWLY (a few drops at a time to begin with), whisk into egg mixture. The idea is not to end up with scrambled eggs, but to bring the mixture up to cooking temperature very gently!
  8. IMMEDIATELY transfer to microwave. Microwave on medium high for 15 minutes (or longer if you need it), stirring (and this is important) every 30 seconds. Whenever it's out of the microwave, you should be whisking it!

    It won't seem to do much at first, but slowly, the colour will start to darken and the mixture will start to thicken.

    From this colour:
    To this colour:
    Notice how the custard has started to stick to the side of the bowl; that's how you can tell it's nearly ready! When it's done, the custard will stick to the side of the bowl like this:

  9. Stand up your (open) ziploc bag inside a heat resistant glass - this will make it much easier to pour the custard mix into the bag.

  10. Transfer the custard out of your bowl into a pyrex jug. Pour the custard into an upright ziploc bag - be sure to go no higher than the rim of the glass, or it will go EVERYWHERE! (I found I needed 2 for the whole mixture).
  11. Seal the ziploc bags (try to squeeze out as much air as you can). Place the ziploc bags in a freezer safe bowl (that way if something does go wrong, you won't end up with a freezer full of caramel custard...) and put in freezer. Set the bowl on an ice-brick (or similar) - most of the heat conduction will be by the bottom. If you have ice cubes, pack them around the bags.(I clearly don't have any!)
  12. Agitate every 45 minutes or so - pick up the bags and give them a (gentle) shake or squeeze, until semi-solid (this took me about 2.5 hours). Try not to keep the freezer door open for too long! As the mixture starts to solidify, make sure the solid bits get well mixed with the liquid - this will happen around the sides of the bags first, where the heat can be conducted most efficiently. Mixing this way will give it a nice creamy consistency and it means that the icecream will not end up as a solid lump. When semi-solid, scrape the mixture out of the bags into the sealable plastic container.
  13. Warm up the reserved caramel in the microwave (JUST TO ROOM TEMPERATURE - you only want to be able to spread it! 15 seconds on medium high was all I needed) and pour over frozen custard mix. Swirl it gently into the mixture with a fork and return to freezer.
  14. After 45 minutes, come back and give it a stir. Continue to gently stir every 45 minutes until it is quite stiff. If you want to stay true to the original cupcake recipe, sprinkle a pinch of salt over the finished product!
  15. If you have any caramel SMBC left over, top the icecream with it to serve - delish!

Summer Stir Fry

Today was hot. Damn hot. We hit 42 C before lunch... and it's the second day in a row we've gone that high... the last thing anyone feels like doing is cooking much (who wants to heat up the kitchen using the stove more than necessary??) or eating much. Hence the need for something cool and fresh and light for dinner. Therefore, I present:

Summer Stirfry (Serves 2)

You will need

150 g tofu, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp butter (note: the lactose in the butter helps the onion caramelise - it is a sugar! If you're vegan, this can be replaced with 1 tsp oil and 1/2 tsp sugar)
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 capsicum, cut into strips
Kernels from 1 cob corn
100 g sugar snap peas, strings removed and halved
1 Tbsp mirrin
1/2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if you can eat gluten)
2 drops sesame oil
Handful diced spring onions, to serve

frying pan + spatula
knife + cutting board
  1. Melt the butter in the frying pan and fry the onions until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and fry until it releases its aroma
  3. Add the tofu and brown on both sides
  4. Add the capsicum and stirfry for 1-2 minutes
  5. Add the corn kernels and peas and stirfry for 1 minute
  6. Season with tamari, mirrin and sesame oil
  7. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and serve!

16 January 2010

Coq au Vin

Well, the results of Thursday's poll were... a little inconclusive to say the least (please please please let me know what you would like to see on here!) so when I had my Mum over for dinner tonight, I decided to cook what I wanted to cook, which was Coq au Vin (chicken in red wine). It was inspired by this recipe.

I didn't have all the herbs that the recipe called for, but what I did have was proper lardons - big mumma hunks of bacon in all their baconny goodness... I found that my local butcher cures his own organic freerange bacon and it is just heaven! Normally, this would be more effort than I would go to, but oh.... the taste is just so worth it... smoky and sweet and creamy and rich... just amazing.

The bacon was expensive, but worth it! That being said, you can use normal bacon and it will still be good :).

I've managed to remove some of the extra effort, steps and ingredients from the recipe while (I hope) retaining the original flavour and intent of the recipe. It is seriously awesome. It did take a while though - all told, it took 90 minutes from go to woe. But it made lunch for the week - so it's worth it.

Coq au Vin
You will need:
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 250 g bacon
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, excess fat trimmed, skin ON
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups red wine (I used cabernet savignon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 g button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
large saucepan
knife + cutting board
wooden spoon
measuring cup
paper towel
foil + roasting tray

  1. Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. While the bacon is blanching, turn on the oven to 160 C.

  3. Peel potatoes and sweet potatoes and chop into 3 cm cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Place in oven. The time it takes to cook the dish will result in perfect tender potatoes! They should be fine for up to an hour and forty five minutes.

  4. Drain bacon. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 2cm by 0.5 cm pieces.

  5. Brown bacon on medium high heat in a dutch oven or saucepan with lid big enough to hold the chicken, for about 10 minutes. If bacon starts to stick, add a little olive oil.

  6. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add onions and chicken, skin side down.

  7. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken.)

  8. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the chicken stock cubes, boiling water, wine, and bay leaves. Add back the bacon.

  9. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. (This took me more like 30 minutes). Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

  10. Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. This took me about 15 minutes. Lower the heat, stir in the butter.

  11. Remove potatoes from oven.

  12. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve over roasted potato medly.

It was so yummy I ate it before I could photograph it!

Serves 6-8. This can also be served with potatoes or over gluten free egg noodles. Peas make a good side for this dish.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Oh. My. God. These cupcakes just gave me a pretty good insight into what heaven is like. (And I made it gluten free too!)

I fell in love with salted caramel when I was in the south of France. In Avignon, this little icecream shop in the Old Town centre sold Fleur de Sel Caramel icecream - I tried it as a dare, but from the moment I first tasted it, I knew it was true love - the little pops of saltiness that were then overwhelmed with a sweetness and creaminess.... *sigh* Unfortunately, that particular flavour profile is rather hard to come across where I live - until, that is, I discovered
this recipe on How to Eat a Cupcake.

I made a pretty literal translation of it - I didn't adjust the volumes of flour - but I did adapt the icing ever so slightly. (Can I just say, if you haven't seen the
HTEAC blog so far, do check it out - this girl can seriously make a cupcake!) I did, however, cook it for 20 minutes more than necessary, because (despite the fact that the cakes had shrunk and pulled away from the cupcake tin) the skewer just would not come out clean. I realised though, that for GF flour in a mud cake, this doesn't matter so much. That being said, they were actually really nice a little bit over cooked - the crunchy top contrasted beautifully with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

A quick comment on the recipe - you may not think it is typical lazy cook style. There are a lot of processes and bits of equipment involved - however, in terms of the rate of return on investment (i.e. enjoyment as compared to time and effort input) it definitely rates up there!

So: Salted Caramel Cupcakes - From HTEAC
via this recipe


1 1/4 cups all-purpose gf flour
3/4 tsp gf baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk


Caramel Drizzle
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Pinch salt

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
180 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes (at room temperature)

3 bowls
electric beater
measuring jug + spoons
wooden spoon
wire cooling rack
muffin tin and pattypans

For the cupcakes:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes (Mine were done at 40 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the toppings:
In a heavy-bottomed, high-sided saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat until it begins to melt around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stirring with a clean wooden spoon, continue to cook until the sugar is melted and has turned golden amber, about 3 minutes longer.

Carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream (it will bubble and spatter), stirring constantly until completely smooth. Stir in the salt. Pour the caramel into a small heatproof bowl and let cool completely before using. (The caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; bring to room temperature before using.)

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the icing appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more. Add the caramel drizzle (I only added about 1/2 cup) and beat until combined (or almost combined for a swirling effect), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. My drizzle was a little too warm when I added it; the result of which was my buttercream went runny. Beating on high for 5 minutes fixed that problem! It meant it didn't swirl though...

Put a spoonful of the leftover drizzle in the centre of each cake. Ice the cupcakes with the buttercream and drizzle another spoonful of the caramel over the top. (The frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before finishing.) Top each cupcake with a pinch of sea salt, and serve.

Yeah, so they're not very pretty... but dammit they tasted AMAZING!

14 January 2010

What lazy recipe do you want to see?

OK, so I out-lazied myself for dinner tonight - Indian take-away with leftover cupcakes for dessert. Yum.

Saturday night, however, I will be cooking up a storm (in true lazy cook style) by adapting a recipe to make it more slacker friendly. The question is, which recipe would you like to see translated into lazy-ese?

I've been reading Escoffier's Larousse Gastronomique (inherited from my mother - it's ancient!) and there are a couple of recipes I reckon I could lazy right up. So which one do you want to see?

13 January 2010

IC:E-WINTER WARM UP - Pancake Cupcakes

Here goes nothing: my first Iron Cupcake entry(!) Wish me luck!

For those not in the know, (like me, until a few weeks ago) Iron Cupcake is a serious bake-off held once a month. Very professional bakers participate (go check out some of the photos - pure food porn!) and come up with incredible creations. And then people like me try and tag along for the ride - hey, if nothing else, at least it gives me an excuse to eat cupcakes!!! They also have some very generous prizes:

So, the theme of my first ever Iron Cupcake is Winter Warm Up. At first, I was thinking of adapting all kinds of flavours into cupcakes of crazy awesomeness (I was originally gonna go with English Breakfast tea cakes - literally cuppa-cakes!)... but I realised that a) I don't have that kind of time (I left the office at 7 tonight!) and b) I'm kinda out of practice in the cupcake arena...

But then it hit me. When we were growing up, the best winter warm up breakfast in the world was pancakes - specifically, brown sugar cinnamon pancakes with butter and maple syrup. Not being able to eat wheat has made me miss out on this treat as of late: but combining these flavours into a gluten free cupcake - now that is the very definition of awesome!

These have been adapted from this recipe.

Pancake Cupcakes - Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Makes 12

You will need

3/4 cup gluten free self-rising flour

3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour*

125 g butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp powdered cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*if using non-gf flour, only 5/8 cup is required.

Maple buttercream
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp milk
2 cups icing sugar
125 g butter

Electric beater
2 bowls
cupcake tin plus patty pans
measuring cup + spoons

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

  2. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours and cinnamon. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

    (There were 12 originally... but I ate one.... totally worth it though!)

  5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

  6. To make icing:
  7. Mix the maple syrup and milk together. Cream the butter and slowly add the sugar (half a cup at a time) while continuously mixing. Alternate adding the sugar with the milk mixture. Cream until the icing is thick enough to spread. (The recipe says you might need more - but this stuff is seriously sweet as it is!)
Note that the recipe originally called for unsalted butter - but I'm a big fan of the salty-sweet combination, particularly in the cupcakes! I only ended up using about 1/2 the icing - but you really can't make it in a smaller batch, which is a shame...

I found the icing to be a bit on the rich side - next time, I reckon I'll do a cream cheese/sour cream type icing - nice bit of contrast (especially when it's nice and warm out of the oven....mmmm). But I was incredibly pleased with how these turned out! Normally, gluten free stuff is all crumbly - but these are light and fluffy and delicious! (I was going to share them with some people at work... but I'm not so sure about that now lol!)

(You can even see the bubbles!!!)

11 January 2010

Scallop and sugar snap risotto

Picture this. You've just left the office. You realise you will have approximately twenty minutes between getting home and your dinner guest(s) arriving. What do you do?

This was the problem I faced today - one of my best friends was coming over to dinner - although she is a kind and understanding woman, she gets hungry. After starting at 7 this morning, I left the office at 6 tonight (relatively early by my standards!) and realised I had less than an hour before she would arrive.

Fortunately, though, I had this recipe up my sleeve - Scallop and Sugar Snap Risotto. This version serves 2.

Note that I have cooked them in the St Jacques style (gently poached in white wine) - if you prefer, sear them in olive oil with some salt, pepper and lemon zest. I prefer this way, since a) they are much more tender (without being sashimi!) and b) they shrink less.

You will need:
2 handfuls arborio rice
1 onion
tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 lemon
1 glass white wine (200 ml)
400 ml boiling water
chicken stock cube
250 g sugar snap peas
10 scallops

frying pan + egg slice
cutting board + knife
lemon zester
small saucepan
  1. Finely dice the onion in the frying pan. Saute in olive oil until brown.
  2. Roughly chop the sugar snap peas.
  3. Add the garlic to the onion and brown.
  4. Add the arborio rice and allow to cook for a few minutes. If you let it get a tiny bit darker in colour, it will add a lot to the flavour.
  5. Dissolve the stock cube in boiling water.
  6. Add 1/4 of the chicken stock to the rice and allow it to absorb over a medium heat. As the rice dries out, keep adding small volumes of stock. Continue to do this for 6 minutes (or until the rice is only a couple of minutes away from being done)
  7. Zest and juice lemon and add to saucepan along with wine. Heat over the lowest possible flame.
  8. Add the scallops to the wine mixture in a single layer (this can be done in batches if necessary). The wine should not come more than halfway up the side of the scallops - if it does, tip the excess liquid off into the rice. Poach the scallops for about 2 minutes a side on the lowest heat.
  9. Remove the scallops from the poaching liquid. Cover and leave in a warm place. Tip the remaining poaching liquid onto the rice and allow it to absorb.
  10. When the rice has about 2 minutes left to cook, add the sugar snap peas.
  11. Cook the rice until it is soft through - it should melt on the plate. If any extra liquid is required, add a little more wine.
  12. Plate the risotto. Put the scallops back in the hot pan (no flame - just the residual heat is plenty) for ten seconds per side to ensure they are nice and warmed through. Top the risotto with the scallops and serve.
Voila! Dinner in under 15 minutes - and with perfectly tender, sweet scallops with a zingy risotto, who could ask for more?

(OK, I'm a foodie, not a photographer or a food stylist - but dammit, it tasted AWESOME)

10 January 2010

Easy Lunches - Frittata style

OK so I thought about making the cupcakes I described earlier... but then I realised that not only do I not have any patty pans (or cupcake trays for that matter), I don't actually have any flour. Slight problem! So will go on a cupcakery expedition soon - but in the interim, I have made my lunches for the week (in less than an hour) - do the maths and that's less than 12 minutes prep time per lunch - less time than you'd take to make a sandwich. And delicious! So I present to you - my first ever frittata! (Inspired by this recipe from For the Love of Cooking)

Bacon, Potato and Mushroom Frittata

You will need:

2 potatoes
boiling water
4 rashers of bacon
1 onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cob corn
6 eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
Spray cooking oil
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used a mix of freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella)

30 cm tart tray/shallow ovenproof circular dish
oven glove
frying pan + spatula
knife + cutting board
small saucepan
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Cut the potato into bite sized cubes. (Leave the skin on if you like - less effort than taking it off!) Add to saucepan with boiling water and salt, and simmer for 5 minutes or until just cooked (think al dente). Drain and run under cold water until room temperature.
  3. Dice the bacon and add to frying pan. Cook on a low heat and allow the fat to render.
  4. Finely dice onion and add to frying pan. Cook until translucent.
  5. Add the cooled potato to the frying pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
  6. Slice the mushrooms and slice the corn kernels off the cob. Add both to pan and cook for 5 minutes (or until they are just golden). At this point, your pan will probably be very full - try not to spill too much! (If you manage this you have much more skill than I do...)
  7. Spray a light layer of oil in your oven proof dish. Add a thin layer (2 Tbsp) of cheese to the bottom of the dish.
  8. Transfer pan contents into oven proof dish.
  9. Beat the milk into the eggs until just combined and pour over the bacon/potato mix.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until eggs are just set in the centre.
  11. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and bake for another 5 minutes.
And you're done! Serve either fresh from the oven or cold with a green salad - either way, it's delicious.

09 January 2010

Iron Cupcake

I love cupcakes. Freaking love 'em. (Can't eat too many of them, other than the ones I make myself...). Not being a particularly competitive soul, I haven't really been involved in the many cupcake contests to date, but I am a little intrigued by the latest Iron Cupcake: Earth contest. Now, admittedly, the theme is winter warm ups, and it's been sitting above 35C here for the last month (gotta love global warming) - but all I can think about is tea cakes. Specifically, how my favourite thing in the world to warm me up in winter is a hot cuppa - and how I usually (when eating cakes with tea) crumble them up into my tea anyway. It would be easy to substitute milk for milky tea when making cupcakes... at least in theory anyway... hmmm methinks I have a cunning plan...

Now if I could only find the time to actually do it!

04 January 2010

How do you cook your steak?

I love steak. LOVE steak. But, after god knows how many years of lazy cooking, I'm still not convinced I know the best way to cook steak. From what I understand, there seem to be two camps of steak - cooking: either
  1. 'Love' the steak - low heat and red wine (don't even let it simmer - just very gently cook); or
  2. Let the steak know who's boss - sear hard on both sides
As such, this is my first bleg: please tell me how you cook your steak - and if you think it works well! My current method (based on that espoused by Jamie Oliver in his School Kitchen series) involves a derivation of the latter method (he suggests a harder sear, but I just can't bring myself to do it!).

Steak a la LC

Steak (well duh... I like a small but thick porterhouse - preferably grass fed)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp crushed garlic
pinch salt
pepper to taste (i.e. none at all, in my case)

frying pan
Aluminium foil
Oven glove
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in pan until melted (not browned!) - keep the heat low until immediately before you add the steak.
  2. Season both sides of the steak (the salt draws the moisture to the surface and stops it burning - clever, no? The pepper just makes it taste funny - hence why I omit...)
  3. Smear both sides of the steak with crushed garlic.
  4. Turn up the heat in the pan until the butter starts to brown and sizzle, then add the steak.
  5. Cook for equal time (on medium heat) on each side - for a medium rare steak, I find 2 minutes a side generally suffices. The timing starts as soon as the steak starts to sizzle.
  6. Rub the remaining butter over the surface of the steak and rest (cover with aluminium foil and oven glove) for 8-10 minutes before serving.
This, served with salad, is one of the easiest meals I can think of to make! Minimal ingredients, minimal washing up - minimal effort - and YUMMY!

A tip (this time courtesy of Iron Chef!) - how to tell how well done your steak is (without having to cut into it):
  1. Rare feels like your cheek
  2. Medium rare feels like your earlobe
  3. Medium feels like the side of your nose
  4. Well done feels like the tip of your nose
You really do need to touch your steak to see if it's done to your liking (don't worry, it's thick and has a high heat transfer coefficient - you won't burn yourself!) - use the back of your (clean) fingers so that (a) if it is a little hot, you won't do yourself any damage (the back of your fingers are less sensitive to heat than the tips), and (b) you can then use your hands without getting greasy fingerprints all over everything.

So tell me: how do you do your steak?

03 January 2010

Blog Shout - Out

Have been doing a little soul (and internet) searching as of late, checking out some other foodie blogs.

Ones that I absolutely adore:

How To Eat a Cupcake - All kinds of baking wonderousness and joy. It makes me happy!

Gluten free girl - Amazing gluten free recipes. Plus, this girl can take a mean picture. Food porn meets health awareness (without too much vegetarian hippy consternation)

Engineer Baker - A woman after my own heart. Chemical engineers rock - are we clear? Particularly those with a foody bent!

In the spirit of these blogs, I'll do some experimenting to see if I can't adapt some of their recipes to make them (a) easy, (b) gluten free, while (c) retaining the inherent deliciousness!

Get-well-soon Chicken Soup

So, once you have roasted your perfect chicken (as per the recipe here), you will more than likely be saddled with some leftovers. So far as I'm concerned, it's far too much effort not to take advantage of them (otherwise, what was the point in keeping the leftovers? Sheesh!) - but chicken, as I'm sure you know, can be fiddly to remove from the carcass and a pain in the bum to strip from the bone. Not so if you follow the lazy cook methodology! Sure, there is probably 20 minutes of actual effort required- but the rest is pretty easy (particularly if, like me, you have discovered the joys of crushed garlic in a tube!).

I came up with this recipe this arvo, after discovering my mother was in a grump due to a cold, and simultaneously reading this article in the NYT.

You will need:
leftovers from your roast chicken (plus leftover gravy/pan juices if you saved them)
3 Tbsp olive oil
750 ml boiling water
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 onion
1 large Nadine potato
1 large carrot
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cobs fresh sweet corn

Large saucepan
Large bowl
Chopping board
Wooden spoon

  1. Wash your hands with a good antibacterial soap.
  2. Wash your hands again.
  3. Strip as much meat from the carcass as you can (or can be bothered to get). Omit any skin and bones. Set the meat aside.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat.
  5. Put the rest of the carcass, skin and bones into saucepan and allow to brown slightly.
  6. Add boiling water, cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. While simmering, finely dice onion
  8. Cut potato and carrots into cubes.
  9. Remove corn kernels from cob.
  10. Check flavour of simmering stock after 30 minutes. If it tastes like chicken, it's pretty much done. If not, allow to simmer for 10 more minutes.
  11. Once stock flavour has developed, strain contents of saucepan over bowl. Discard bones, skin and gristle; retain liquid for later.
  12. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to (now empty) saucepan. Saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
  13. Add cubed potatoes and celery; saute until potato starts to soften. If potato sticks, add remaining olive oil. (Keep stirring or else this will end very poorly!)
  14. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms start to brown and soften. Once the mushrooms start to release their liquid, add retained stock and chicken pieces.
  15. Add corn kernels.
  16. Simmer for 1 hour, or until potato is meltingly tender.
OK, so this is slightly more effort and higher in complexity than the recipes I usually favour. But I promise you, this soup is worth it (and much easier and cheaper than most chicken soups!)

How to Roast a Perfect Chicken

Note: Roast chicken doesn't take a lot of effort - but it does take a lot of time. While it is baking, retire to a quiet, secluded spot with a good book and a glass of good white wine.

You will need:

1 medium sized chicken (preferably free range - they taste the best)
olive oil
1 lemon
white wine (a dry white works well)

sweet potatoes
red capsicum (or red bell pepper to the yanks!)

deep roasting pan
oven proof tray
oven glove/thick teatowel
lemon zester/cheese grater
aluminium foil

sour cream (to serve)

  1. Preheat oven to 150 C (if fan forced oven is used; 160C if gas oven is used)
  2. Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in your deep roasting pan over a low burner.
  3. Rinse the chicken (make sure you rinse the inner cavity) with cold water; mince the garlic and rub (with some butter) all over chicken.
  4. Sear chicken on both sides until the skin starts to colour.
  5. Sprinkle lemon zest over the chicken as it is being seared.
  6. Juice lemon and pour over seared chicken.
  7. Pour enough white wine over chicken to come 1 cm up the side.
  8. Place chicken breast down in pan.
  9. Bake in oven for 2.5 hours. Chicken will be done when you can stick a knife into the joint at the thigh (the most insulated part of the bird) and the juices run clear.
  10. Remove bird from pan when cooked, and allow to rest (breast down) for 10 minutes (cover with foil and teatowels to keep it hot!) prior to serving
FOR THE VEG: Make sure you start this as soon as the chook is in the oven!
  1. Slice potato into desired size wedges, leaving skin on, and apply light coat of olive oil. Season with salt and place on (oiled and foiled) roasting tray. Ensure no pieces are touching.
  2. Peel sweet potato and brush with olive oil. Place, long side down, on oiled and foiled roasting tray. Season with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cut carrots in half and brush with olive oil. Place, flat side down, on oiled and foiled roasting tray. Season with salt.
  4. Cut capsicum into strips and brush with olive oil. Place, skin side up, on oiled and foiled roasting tray.
  5. Put roasting tray in oven along with chook. Bake until the chook is ready to serve.

Heat the pan juices on a low heat in the roasting pan and allow to reduce while the chicken rests - this will create your gravy

Serve the roasted veg with some sour cream, sea salt and black pepper - delicious!

So it's been a while...!

Howdy all

Apologies for the (extensive) wait between posts. A combination of a dodgy computer keyboard (you will likely notice some nonsensical grammar and spelling in this post - as said keyboard is not yet entirely fixed!) and holiday madness has resulted in little time to blog... OK I kinda let it slip my mind - but anyone reading this already knows I'm lazy! Given that I'm not 100% convinced anybody is actually reading this blog, I daresay that not too many hearts have been broken; none the less, as an apology of sorts, I bring you today a double whammy - roast chook - and what to do with the leftovers!