Jan 20th

argentinian bbq feast

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This Argentinian bbq feast has become a favourite at home. It’s reasonably quick and easy to prepare, and is full of vibrant colours and flavours.  It looks great thrown together on a large wooden chopping board, jamie style.  You can pick and choose elements of this dish, and while you really only need either the salsa or the chimmichurri to accompany the beef, I’ve prepared and posted the recipe for both, so you can take your pick!

Beef is a staple in Argentinian cuisine, and is generally grilled on the bbq and served with chimmichurri sauce.  Their secret to beautifully juicy, flavoursome beef is plenty of salt, and it is truly amazing how much flavour the salt brings out in this recipe.

I’ve adapted and combined a number of donna hay and delicious magazine recipes for this feast.  The potatoes, sour cream and salsa are also great accompaniments to a roast chicken.


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Dec 28th

homemade pappardelle + fresh basil, oven roasted cherry tomato & chorizo

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Homemade pasta is a breeze. There are just 2 things to remember; ‘many hands make light work’ and ‘go hard or go home’. Invite friends over and put them to work. Get a production line happening, hand them a glass of red for their troubles and you’ll be laughing.  After having the right ratio of flour to eggs (which you will after you read this recipe), the next most important step is in the kneading and working of the dough.  You need to be prepared to give it some good elbow grease and body heat to develop the gluten, as this is what makes the end product springy and al dente. You want the texture of the dough to be silky smooth. You’ll soon see that it really isn’t hard at all to have perfectly al dente, fresh, home made pasta everytime you feel the urge for a bit of I-talian.

In making great pasta, it’s also important to use Tipo 00 flour. This refers to how finely the pasta is milled, and Tipo 00 is the finest durum wheat flour available. Containing high levels of gluten and protein, it’s perfect for pasta making (and pizza too).  You can get it at most supermarkets these days.

As for the accompanying sauce or flavours, the key is; less is best. After you’ve gone to the effort of making fresh pasta, you want it to be the hero, and the additional flavours to complement, not overpower. My favourite pasta is fat pappardelle because it’s big enough that there’s still loads of texture if cooked to perfection. My favourite accompaniments are chorizo for its saltiness, spiciness and meatiness, basil for its beautiful flavour and the colour it adds to the dish, lemon for its freshness and the way it makes everything taste that little bit healthier, mozzarella for its subtlety, parmesan for its savouriness and bite, and olive oil – but only the best.


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Nov 27th

cobb salad with honey mustard dressing

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Chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, egg, bacon & potato…. it sounds so boring. It sounds so American. But while I’m confident Aristotle did not intend for the phrase to be used in this way, when it comes to a cobb salad, if prepared in good taste, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is a fun salad – it is colourful, fresh & summery. It has a little bit of something for everyone, and everyone has their own adaptation. In my version, I use prosciutto instead, and rather than having everything cut to minuscule, identical cubic portions, everything is still identifiable. Because all my guests still have their teeth. Let’s call it rustic. (more…)

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