I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mediterranean Watermelon Salad

 Apparently I am not allowed to post a blog just because I like the recipe.  It has to be a unanimous decision that the meal is a winner!  Given those parameters there would be very few recipes posted!  Usually there is only two to three of us eating most of the meals that I prepare in this house on any given night.  Yes, I am still catering separate meals to suit the finicky palates of "The Darlings"!  I keep telling them that it is time that they tried a little more, mind you they a starting high school in a week or so, so I think I have done my dash on that one.  I pity their poor wives, they a going to be so hard to feed, and I can tell you it is not for lack of trying on my part!


Anyway, back to the story.... Last night's meal as far as I was concerned, was a winner!  Not, so for DH, he left most of his on the plate!  So the cat dined well last night on swordfish!  What was it that was so repugnant?  A lovely fresh watermelon salad along with a piece of panfried swordfish, and our usual - smashed potatoes (thank goodness for them, as that was all DH ate!).  I will let you make your own decision on this one.  If you like watermelon, cucumber, olives and feta cheese, give it a go, it is lovely and light and refreshing (perfect for summer dining, that is if we ever get any summer, one month to go and we really haven't seen too much in the way of summer weather this year!).


Mediterranean Watermelon Salad

From Good Taste Magazine, February edition




Serves 4


600g seedless watermelon, rind removed

1 Lebanese cucumber, end trimmed

1/4 red onion, finely diced

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves

100g feta cheese, crumbled

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp red wine vinegar 

Sal and freshly ground black pepper to taste 


In a small cup combine the vinegar and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Keep aside.


Cut the watermelon and cucumber in to 2cm chunks.  Place the watermelon, cucumber, onion and olives into a bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad, and gently toss to combine.  Gently mix through the feta and mint leaves.


Serve with grilled/barbecued fish or chicken.


I thought it was a winner!  You decide!






Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An International Mish Mash

I just love it when I get an unexpected comment from a reader about how much they love my blog.  The only problem is that the comments seem to be random in nature, and usually only if I happen to be speaking to them personally. I know that my blog is being seen by lots of people out there all over the world, (I often look at the stats to see where people are from, and what they are looking at) but the disappointing thing is that no one is stopping and leaving a message of hello!  Please, I would love to hear some feedback from you Dear Readers, it is often a lonely place here is blogsville, and a hello from a friendly reader would be a nice addition to my day!

We finally seem to be getting back into the swing of things here at home.  Although I still haven't quite got the pantry stocked back up, and hence lasts nights meal was a little bit of an international mish mash.  The meat component was  Moroccan Lamb Patties.  I then teamed them up with Indian chapattis, and an Indian inspired mint raita, then topped them with sour cream (Mexican) and sweet chilli sauce (Thai?).  Guess what though, they were pretty darn good even if I do say so myself!
Moroccan Lamb Patties
Adapted from recipe found in Good Food Magazine, February Edition

Serves 4-6
 1kg lamb mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine the lamb, onion, parsley, coriander, and spices in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Using slightly wet hands, shape the mixture into meatballs (use whatever shape you like. I made mine long, instead of round!)

Place on a tray, and put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Catecancook.blogspot.comHeat a frying pan over medium meat.  Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, turning often, or until cooked through.  
Place on a towel that has been lined with a paper towel to drain any excess fat. 
Mint Raita
1 bunch of mint, leaves only
250g Greek style yoghurt
2tbs sweet chilli sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mint leave in a food processor (or the Thermomix), process until the leaves and very finely chopped.  Add the yoghurt and sweet chilli sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the meal.  Onto a chapatti place two meatballs, top with some mint raita, lettuce leaves, chopped tomato, sour cream, and sweet chilli sauce.  Not the most conventional of wraps, but very tasty indeed.  The lamb with the Moroccan flavours (especially the cinnamon) was great!  Using the chappatis, instead of tortillas also gave it a different textural component.
I was really quite surprised.  I expected "The Darlings" to turn their noses up when they saw the bits of green in the meat, but they didn't, in fact they did not even make a comment!  Perhaps all the lecturing abut being so fussy is paying off?  Naw, I'm sure it was just a fluke!
So Dear Readers, as you are stopping by, please take the time to stop and introduce yourself!  I would love to meet you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Salad Days!

Well we made it!  Sailing around the Whitsunday islands in a yacht is not all it appears in the glossy pictures!  We started the journey with some high wind conditions, which didn't make for smooth sailing for the first few days.  The poor "Darlings" didn't quite know what had hit them!  On day one I was already doling out the seasickness pills, and that was before we had even made it out of the harbour!  (mind you we were sitting in the Harbour for four hours, while they briefed us on how the boat worked!)  Day two had me sitting there, holding my head, wondering what the rest of the trip would be like!  Thank goodness it all calmed down after about day three!

I must say that sailing can certainly be a test of endurance.  Being confined in such close quarters for long periods of time certainly tests your limits.  Majority of the day is taken up sailing to particular locations.  Along the way you may stop and snorkel, and get to see some of the visual wonders that the area is famous for.  The beauty of the area is breathtaking.  The water is that lovely azure colour everywhere you look.  At times you would be snorkeling, seemingly alone, only to find yourself in the middle of a school of fish.  It was amazing, because until they changed direction, and the sun reflected off them differently, you had absolutely no idea that they were there with you!

One night, this guy decided that he liked the look of us, and spent a lot of time circling the boat, he would  occasionally would jump up out of the water so we could get a better look at him.  He was quite large, around about dinner plate size!

It's quite amazing, it takes you several days to get acclimatized to the sea, and quite some time to get your land legs back again too!  I am sure that I was swaying with the water for several hours once we were back on dry land!

Thank goodness once were back home the weather had improved, and we were actually getting some summer weather!  It has been a long time coming, but I think it is here now -  that is if the summer storm we had the first night back is anything to go by!    (And boy am I glad I didn't experience that one at sea!)

So life goes back to normal again.  I was pleased to be able to cook something light and healthy for a change.  The meals that we prepared on the boat were somewhat limiting (we were very poorly provisioned - due to a  lack of forward planning!)

This is a recipe that I found in the current edition of Good Food magazine.  I did pretty much follow the recipe, but of course, I did tweak it a little.  It was great, lovely fresh zingy flavours, courtesy of the lime juice!  Just what the doctor ordered after the bland meals of late!

Sweet Chilli Chicken And Corn Salad

Adapted from Recipe found in Good Food Magazine, February edition

Serves 4

3 x single chicken breasts
2 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce, plus 2 tbs extra
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 corn cobs, husks and silk removed, cut into 4 pieces each
400g tomato medley
2 limes, quartered, plus juice of 1 lime extra
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 head of baby cos lettuce, leaves separated, and torn into pieces
2 avocados, cut into wedges

Place the garlic, olive oil and sweet chilli sauce into a large ziploc bag.  Add the chicken, and allow 
to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Place the corn, lime quarters, and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Add a good couple of tablespoons on olive oil, and toss to coat well in the oil.

In a small bowl wisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, and the juice of one lime. Add the chopped green onion. Season well with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Pre heat the barbecue to medium high.  Place the chicken breasts and the corn onto the BBQ.  Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through, and rotating the corn to ensure it browns evenly.  Add the lime pieces and tomatoes to the grill.  Cook until the limes are caramelized, and the tomatoes are browned slightly.

Slice the chicken breasts into thick slices.

Place the lettuce into a large serving bowl.  Add the chicken, lime wedges, avocado, tomatoes, and the corn.  Add the dressing, and toss lightly.

What a great light, tasty salad to have on a warm summer's evening!

Oh, it's good to be home again!

What did you do over the Christmas New Year's break Dear Readers?  Did you have fun?  Please share!