These sensational sausage rolls made with spinach, chickpeas and sweet potato are a fantastic healthy take on a classic. You honestly won’t miss the meat because these tasty pastry rolls are so full of flavour. Plus they’re a great way to sneak a truckload of […]
Bacon and egg are a match made in heaven! And wrapped together in buttery flaky pastry in this delicious bacon and egg pie, they’re a real winner. This wonderfully tasty bacon and egg pie makes a great mid-week dinner, or picnic option. Its a hit […]
If you’re having company for afternoon tea, look no further than this raspberry slice with lime and coconut. Tart raspberry, tangy lime, and soft fluffy coconut all atop a soft shortbread base – what could be better?! This is a beautifully simple recipe but the […]
This interesting salad of grilled peach, ricotta and fennel is something of a surprise. It’s a wonderful combination of gently charred peaches, softened with fresh ricotta and balanced by crisp fresh cucumber and fennel. As we head into autumn, this salad is a great way to make use of the last of the beautiful summer peaches. Or if you’re lucky enough to be heading into spring, its the ideal dish to make to celebrate the warmer weather. Either way, add this beautiful salad to your table and you won’t be disappointed.
Sometimes a pretty little salad is just what you need to brighten your table. The sweet and earthy flavours in this salad match beautifully with grilled meat. I like to serve it alongside barbecued lamb in particular, but its also great with chicken, beef, or even on its own as a light meal.
To dress this pretty little salad, I simply drizzled the assembled salad with a tablespoon of basil oil. I didn’t want to overpower the delicate favours with a heavy dressing. The basil oil was perfect! You can use a basil infused olive oil or you can make your own basil flavoured oil. I had a lot of basil in the garden so this is how I made mine.
First, I put a small pot of water on the stove and brought it up to a rapid boil. While it was coming to a boil, I filled a bowl with water and one tray of ice-cubes and set it aside. Using tongs I plunged a large handful of basil leaves into the boiling water for 15 seconds, and then quickly removed them and put them straight into the iced water. After 30 seconds I drained the ice water and spread the blanched basil leaves on to a tea towel in a single layer. Then I carefully patted them dry before transferring them to a small blender with 1/4 cup of good quality oil. I blended them until the basil was very finely chopped and let it sit for 5 minutes before draining it through a fine sieve. The resulting flavour was rich with beautiful basil flavour.
It might seem like a fiddly process but blanching the basil first helps you get a nice, vibrant green result. If you don’t blanch the basil first, the resulting oil will be a dark, muddy green colour and not very appealing. Note: homemade herb oils don’t store well and can become unhealthy so if you don’t use it immediately, it’s best to discard any leftover oil.
Rating 5.0 from 1 reviews
- 2 peaches
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- ½ cucumber
- ¼ cup ricotta
- 1 fresh fennel fronds
- 1 tbsp basil oil to dress the salad
- Heat a barbecue grill or griddle pan over a medium heat.
- Cut the peaches into quarters, removing the stone. Brush the peach slices with the oil, and drizzle over the maple syrup. Sprinkle on the thyme and sea salt.
- Grill the peach slices for 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly charred. Remove from the grill and set aside.
- Wash and drain or pat dry the spinach leaves. Set aside.
- Slice the cucumber finely either using the blade attachment of a spiraliser, or a vegetable peeler. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad, scatter the spinach leaves onto a serving platter and arrange the cucumber over the top. Place the grilled peaches around the platter, and crumble over the ricotta. Garnish with the fennel fronds. Drizzle with the basil oil (if using) right before serving.
If you’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, this super simple, super quick 5-ingredient vegetable soup is the great way to get your appetite back. Deceptively delicious, with a beautiful soft creamy texture you’ll be surprised at just how much flavour this soup has. […]
This roasted vegetable salad is such a interesting and delicious vegetable dish to have in your repertoire. Served at room temperature, this is a wonderful make-ahead side. Or its also hearty enough to be a stand-alone meal. Grab a selection of your favourite roasting vegetables, add a […]
This wonderfully smooth and creamy chicken liver pate with brandy, sage and thyme is delicious and very moreish. Even those that claim not to enjoy pate will be tempted by this dish. Not only is this a brilliant make-ahead option for a drinks and nibbles occasion, its very easy to make. And chicken livers are incredibly affordable too, making this sensational pate a must-try!
I confess I’m not really a fan of offal. I understand the health benefits of eating offal. Liver in particular is full of vitamins A and B, iron and good protein amongst many other good things. I also admire people who follow a nose-to-tail philosophy with cooking, consuming as much of each animal as possible. I wish I could be that way too but I just can’t do it. I think it stems from the truly horrific over-cooked cows liver and baked beans meals served to us as children by our evil stepmother.
Pretty much the only way you’ll catch me eating offal is pate. And pate I LOVE! Particularly chicken liver pate made like this, with sweet brandy, and woody sage and thyme. Once again this is a recipe based on something my Mum used to make when we were kids (with a few Fare Sage tweaks for good measure). I recall with fondness the smell of chicken livers cooking – its quite intoxicating, especially when you add in the aroma of gently caramelised onion and garlic.
Though Mum likes to eat chicken livers whole as a meal, I’d much rather pop them in the blender with a little extra butter and cream. The resulting pate is velvety smooth, rich and flavoursome. This pate is so delicious even Mr Fare Sage who claims not to enjoy pate was seen licking the knife after spreading the last of it on a cracker.
Chicken liver pate is surprisingly easy to make yourself. The result is a hundred times better than the supermarket varieties. Its softer and so much more full of flavour. And homemade pate wins hands down when it comes to value for money. 100g of standard store-bought pate here can be anywhere from NZ$3.00 – NZ$8.00. The 350g tub of chicken livers I used for this recipe was only NZ$5.50. And I got two 250ml jars of pate which was enough for 9 people as a substantial nibble, with plenty left over for a few days of pate on toast and banh mi sandwiches.
This wonderfully rich and delicious chicken liver pate is a great way to introduce the uninitiated to the joys of pate. Make it for your next gathering of friends and you won’t be disappointed.
Rating 5.0 from 2 reviews
- 25g butter
- ½ brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 350g chicken livers
- 50ml brandy
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 50 butter
- 1 tbsp cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 25g butter additional to top finished pate (optional)
- Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic. Roughly chop the sage and thyme.
- Trim any excess sinew from the chicken livers and set these aside.
- Melt the butter in a fry pan, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until very soft and lightly golden. Be careful not to let the pan get too hot or the onion will start to go crispy and this will affect the texture of the pate in the end.
- Add the garlic, sage and thyme and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Move the onion mixture to the edges of the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken livers and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked.
- Splash over the brandy and Worcestershire sauce and let it bubble for a few seconds. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled almost completely, transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Dice the 50g of butter into 10-12 cubes. With the processor running, drop the cubes in one at a time, waiting a few moments before adding the next cube to ensure each cube is fully incorporated.
- Finally, add the cream and process to combine well. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Transfer the finished pate to the serving jars or ramekins of your choice. Smooth off the top with the back of a teaspoon or a small rubber spatula.
- The pate can be served immediately but the flavour will definitely improve with a few hours in the fridge.
- Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. Do not bubble. Once completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to rest for 4-5 minutes. The fats will sink to the bottom of the pan, leaving you with nicely clarified butter on top. Using a small spoon, carefully spoon the yellow clarified butter only over the top of the pate until just covered. Return the pate to the fridge to set the butter.
Sticky ginger teriyaki chicken nibbles are truly finger-licking good. Sweet and salty, gingery and garlicky, crisp and succulent, they are pretty addictive either hot or cold. They make a wonderful finger food for the party season, or are equally divine for a mid-week dinner with […]
This amaretto white chocolate brownie is just in time for the festive season. Soft and sweet, and spiked with a hint of delicious almond-flavoured amaretto, this white chocolate brownie is an ever-so-slightly indulgent treat. It would also make a wonderful festive gifts for friends, if you can […]
This sweet, salty and spicy popcorn is really addictive. Its just as well its so easy to make – and ready in under 15 minutes! The combination of sweet and salty is hard to resist, but add in a few delectable spices and you’ll find yourself unable to stop.
My regular readers will know I’ve recently returned to my full-time job after 12 months of parental leave. Its been quite a shift for us and life can only be described as chaotic as we all adjust. But I’ve discovered the silver lining. Food.
My work is based in the waterfront area of our beautiful city. The building is quite literally surrounded by very good restaurants. And it would be rude of me not to support the local businesses, right? At least thats my justification.
There’s one restaurant in particular that offers southern American style food thats really got under my skin. In my five weeks back at work I’ve had lunch there three times. Partly for their incredible jerk chicken with chipotle mayonnaise – finger licking heaven! Partly for their unbelievable cherry lemonade cocktail – a drink I’m going to try very hard to replicate over the summer holidays. And partly for the wonderful spiced popcorn they provide you with as you sit down. The little wooden bowls of spice dusted popcorn snacks are so so good. They’re incredible moreish and a great way to get your appetite going.
This sweet, salty and spicy popcorn is my nod to this delightful little snack. The flavour is incredible. By baking it in the oven the butter and powdered sugar form a thin crisp crust that has a beautiful crunch. You’ll want to try this recipe, trust me.
I have an air-popper for my popcorn. It makes a huge bowl of fresh, fat-free popcorn in a matter of minutes. Which is great, because it means we can have a large supply of this amazing sweet, salty and spicy popcorn ready to eat in under 15 minutes. But by all means pop the popcorn for this recipe using the traditional stove-top method.
I often wonder if I should rename this blog ‘I heart Cumin’ because this glorious spice features regularly (and in large quantities) in my recipes. Its no exception here. In the same way cinnamon works in both sweet and savoury dishes, the combination of sugar and cumin is what really makes this popcorn completely addictive. One bite and you’ll be hooked!
Serves: 4 cups
- Preheat the oven to 170C Fan Bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the butter, sugar and spices into a small pot and heat gently to melt the butter. Stir well to combine. Allow to cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
- Place the popcorn in a large bowl and drizzle over the butter and spice mixture. Stir well to ensure each piece of popcorn gets some of the flavouring.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Allow to cool slightly before devouring.
To really add a bit of zing to this popcorn, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper!
This popcorn will keep well for a few days in an airtight container.
Butter chicken is a classic curry and a favourite with many. This slow cooker butter chicken is a bit healthier than the takeaway version but no less delicious. Tomato, garlic, ginger and spices marry beautifully in the delicious gravy. The succulent chicken thighs all but […]