Curried Sausages

Photo by Gary Corbett

“The smell and taste of food is amazing at bringing back memories. There are heaps of dishes my mum used to cook (and still cooks) that I remember growing up. A lot of them I still cook today.  My favourite was always curried sausages. As an adult I cook it regularly and for me it must contain two important ingredients. Keens curry powder and sultanas. I usually use beef sausages but any variety will do, in fact the vegan version I did using store bought veggie snags worked brilliantly.  I’m sure this recipe is quite different to mums, but it’s delicious and still brings back those childhood memories. Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/mGenqVTgS_g

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoons Keens Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Korma paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 x 400g tin tomatoes
  • 400g vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons Indian mango chutney
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • Parsley
  • Rice (to serve)
Method
  1. Cook some sausages and allow to cool.
  2. Fry the onions in a pan until they start to soften.
  3. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two.
  4. Add the Keens curry powder, Korma paste and tomato paste and stir for a few minutes.
  5. Stir in a tin of tomatoes then fill the tin with vegetable stock and add to the pan.
  6. Add the mango chutney, salt and sultanas and let the sauce simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Cut up your cooked sausages into bite-sized chunks and add to the sauce. You can let them simmer in the sauce and finish by sprinkling the cashews over the top before serving.
  8. If you’re baking the sausages transfer to an oven-proof dish and sprinkle the cashews over the top. Bake in at 200c oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Serve with rice, a dollop of yogurt and mango chutney and sprinkle with more cashews and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

 

Baked beans and Breakfast pizzas

Photos by Gary Corbett

“Like many people I grew up eating tinned baked beans for breakfast. It was an easy staple that filled you up and could be prepared in no time. The only problem with the tinned version is the amount of sugar it contains.  For that reason (and because it’s delicious!) I started making my own version, playing around with different types of beans, herbs and seasonings.  This recipe is where I landed, so when I decided to do a video to launch the Spotty Kites song “Say hello”, I decided to turn it into a breakfast pizza. We had a great time cooking in my kitchen with Lauren and Costa (check out the video on YouTube). I can’t wait to see if they try it for their families. Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/2UQ4ptY6oMw

Ingredients for baked beans

  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin red beans
  • 1 x 400g tin white beans
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Splash of Tobacco sauce
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 cup marinated green olives
Method
  1. Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof covered dish and add a diced  red onion, stirring until they start to soften. Dice the garlic and cook off with the onion.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to cook of for a minute. Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and stir to combine.
  3. Add 2 tins of tomatoes and the beans and stir for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the vegetable stock then add the salt, Tobacco, Worcestershire, red wine vinegar and white sugar.
  5. Put a few sprigs of thyme in the mix and cover with the lid.
  6. Bake in a 180c oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir in the diced green olives.
  8. Serve on crusty bread topped with an egg. (You can freeze portions of the baked beans and defrost for meals later.)

Ingredients for Breakfast pizzas 

  • Sprinkle – Parmesan, fresh basil and pine nuts
  • Prosciutto
  • Baked beans
  • Pizza bases
  • Pizza cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • eggs
Method
  1. Put some parmesan, fresh basil and pine nuts in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds or until they make a crumble.
  2. Lay the prosciutto on a baking tray and bake in a 180c oven for 7 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Remove from the oven to cool. Increase the oven to 230c.
  4. Cut 4 mini pizzas out of a pizza base. (You can also make a full pizza if you want to)
  5. Top with the baked beans.
  6. Top with the pizza cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in a 230c oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Lightly oil a fry pan and gently crack the eggs into it. Reduce to a medium heat and cover the pan with a lid until the eggs are cooked. (2-3 minutes)
  9. Remove the pizzas from the oven and place on a serving plate. Top with an egg and some prosciutto.
  10. Sprinkle the crumble over the top and serve. Enjoy!

 

Parma burgers

Photo by Gary Corbett

“With all the catering I do I’ve become used to doing alternative meals for vegetarians and vegans. Sometimes it’s great to have a recipe up your sleeve that can suit almost anyone.  These Parma burgers are great for feeding a crowd or just a fussy family.  Personally I love the mushroom Parma best but my husband loves the chicken version, so everyone’s happy. The sides of sweet potato fries and tangy coleslaw are also super easy to assemble and a healthy alternative to the store-bought varieties. I haven’t given weight amounts for the ingredients but it’s pretty easy to work out how much you need per person. Enjoy!

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/Yt6WdtVEFkU

Sweet potato fries ingredients

  • Sweet potato
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Method
  1. Cut the sweet potato into chunks.
  2. Sprinkle olive oil and salt over the top.
  3. Bake in a 200c oven for 30 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.

 Burger ingredients

  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken thighs
  • Plain flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Chunky tomato pasta sauce
  • Pizza cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Gouda cheese slices
  • Brioche buns
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles
Method
  1. Get three bowls ready and fill with some plain flour, beaten eggs and Panko bread crumbs.
  2. Remove the stalk from the mushroom and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Next dip in the eaten eggs and finally in the Panko bread crumbs. Place on the plate and finish the remaining mushrooms. Refrigerate.
  3. Repeat the process with the chicken thighs. Refrigerate.
  4. Heat some oil in a fry pan and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes on each side or until the crumbs have gone golden. Place on a baking tray.
  5. Repeat with the chicken.
  6. Top with some chunky tomato pasta sauce, some pizza cheese and some parmesan.
  7. Bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Tangy coleslaw ingredients
  • White cabbage (or a combination or white and red cabbage)
  • Snow peas
  • Red onion
  • Grated carrot
  • Dried apricots
  • Cashews
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce or tangy dressing
Method
  1. Finely cut the cabbage, snow peas and red onion.
  2. Grate the carrot and dice the apricots and cashews.
  3. Mix in a bowl and add the dressing.
Putting it together
  1. Put a slice of Gouda on the bottom half of the brioche buns and warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
  2. Once they’re ready top with some sliced tomato a lettuce leaf, the chicken or mushroom Parma and some sliced gherkins.
  3. Put the top half of the brioche on the burger and hold together with a wooden skewer.
  4. Serve with the sweet potato fries and coleslaw. Enjoy.

Frozen watermelon margarita

Photo by Gary Corbett

“I started making these delicious frozen margaritas with the leftovers from my “Watermelon bites with feta and mint”. They’re super easy to make and can be whipped out of the freezer, blitzed and into a martini glass in no time at all. There has been discussion on whether this is a margarita or a daiquiri. Not really sure, I suppose it depends on which alcohol you put in.  Best to be safe and try it both ways. Great for a summer party. Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/kXQZf3Ziol8

Ingredients

  • Fresh mint
  • 800g watermelon
  • 6 tablespoons sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar has dissolved then cooled)
  • 2 limes, zest and juice.
  • 1 cup malibu or tequila
Method
  1. Put a handful on fresh mint into your food processor and blitz until fine.
  2. Add 900g of watermelon, 6 tablespoons of sugar syrup, the zest and juice of 2 limes and 4 shots of malibu or tequila. (or more if you’re feeling adventurous)
  3. Blitz until smooth.
  4. Transfer to some ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
  5. Transfer frozen mix to food processor and blitz until it resembles a slushy.
  6. Spoon into a martini glass and garnish with a watermelon disc and a sprig of fresh mint.

 

Watermelon bites with feta and mint

Photo by Gary Corbett

“I started making these for summer parties in Queensland.  Sometimes hot canapes are just too much hassle and something cool and refreshing is the best option. Not only are they a delicious combination of sweet and salty with a burst of fresh mint, they’re also really easy to prep at home then put together at the venue.  Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/kXQZf3Ziol8

Ingredients

  • Watermelon
  • Fresh mint
  • 200g Smooth feta
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
Method
  1. Cut the watermelon into 2cm slices.
  2. Using a ring cutter cut discs from each slice.
  3. Using a melon baller cut a small indentation into each disc. Refrigerate.
  4. For the whipped feta, put a handful of mint into your food processor and blitz until fine.
  5. Add smooth feta and a couple of tablespoons of Greek yoghurt and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
  6. Transfer to a piping bag.
  7. Cut the tip off the piping bag and pipe a small ball of the whipped feta onto each watermelon disc.
  8. Top with some finely sliced fresh mint and serve immediately or refrigerate until later.

Corn, cheese and herb muffins

Photo by Gary Corbett

“These corn, cheese and herb muffins were one of the earliest things I remember baking (once I left home).  They’re incredibly moorish and fabulous warmed up with a bit of butter.  They also freeze really well so you can throw one in your bag straight from the freezer for morning tea. You can use whatever fresh or dried herbs you have to hand, so I used a combination of sage and parsley.  Good luck eating only one! Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/2UQ4ptY6oMw

Ingredients

  • 200g creamed corn
  • 200g buttermilk
  • 60g melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g frozen, tinned or fresh corn kernels
  • 75g grated cheddar
  • 75g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs (I used sage and parsley)
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Extra parmesan for topping

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 180 celsius.
  2.  In a food processor, whisk the creamed corn, buttermilk, melted butter and eggs together.
  3. In another bowl mix the corn kernels, cheeses, herbs and flour until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Spray a silicon muffin pan (or use cupcake liners) and spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each cup.
  6. Sprinkle each muffin with a bit of parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool and then devour!

Spotty Kites

Since the beginning of 2017 I’ve been working with my song-writing partner Donna Dyson on producing high quality children’s songs.  Each track is sung by industry professionals and features my colleagues from the QLD Symphony Orchestra and other Australian musicians in the backing.  We are also releasing some of our best contemporary songs for adults under the title Dyson and Young.

All of these songs can be purchased through iTunes by searching for Spotty Kites or Dyson and Young.  There are also videos on our Spotty Kites Youtube channel.  Enjoy

Songs on iTunes include:

  1. Goodnight (featuring Renae Suttie)
  2. Is it Possible
  3. Make a Scary Face (featuring Craig Allister Young)
  4. Sneezy the Reindeer (featuring Peter Murphy)
  5. Colours of Christmas (featuring Renae and Maddie Suttie)
  6. Light up the Christmas Tree (featuring Peter Murphy with Inversion Vocal Group)
  7. Gifts for Santa (featuring Renae Suttie)
  8. Scruffy’s Christmas List (featuring Renae Suttie and Craig Allister Young)
  9. December Child (3 versions featuring Greg Moore and Renae Suttie with Inversion Vocal Group)
Spotty Kites Strings
Violin 1 – Nicholas Thin
Violin 2 – Natalie Low
Viola – Charlotte Burbrook de Vere
Cello – Craig Allister Young
Bass – Marian Heckenberg
(Plus Donna Dyson and producers Garry Smith and Daniel O’Brien)

 

 

Christmas Chocolate Fudge Cake (GF)

“This recipe came from necessity.  I needed a dessert for a catering job that was Christmas themed and gluten free, so I adapted my mud-cake recipe to include some Christmas flavours.  The result was a super moist cake that works brilliantly as a warm dessert served with ice cream or custard and a hearty cake for your Christmas celebrations.  If you don’t need it gluten free then substitute regular flour.  For the dessert cake I slightly undercook it so it is still fudge and moist inside. Enjoy”

Ingredients

  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 250g butter
  • 600ml water (or red wine)
  • 300g almond meal
  • 200g gluten free self raising flour
  • 400g dark sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 150 chopped walnuts or almonds
  • 5 eggs
  • 1kg Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
Method
  1. Place chocolate, butter and water (or red wine) in a saucepan and bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are melted and combined.  Allow to cool.
  2. Combine in a mixing bowl the almond meal, GF flour, sugar and spices.
  3. Beat the eggs and mix into the cooled chocolate mixture.
  4. Add the Christmas mince to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture and the nuts into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Pour into a large flat lined dish or several smaller ones.  I use one that is 35cm by 24cm.  If you try to use a traditional cake pan it will take ages to cook and burn around the edges.  You want the cake to be about 4cm tall (It won’t rise much at all)
  7. Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until just set.  As long as there’s no movement in the cake when you move it and a skewer comes out relatively clean it should be fine.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan in the fridge before turning out and cutting.

Christmas Crinkle Cookies

“I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes to make for Christmas parties and presents.  These biscuits are based on a Mexican recipe I found that I deleted the chilli and spices and added Christmas mince.  They turned out so well I’ve had requests to make more. (Mainly from my husband)  I love the texture of the crinkle and on the outside which is achieved by rolling them in icing sugar.  Enjoy!”

(Photos by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

  • 450g plain flour
  • 80g dutch cocoa powder
  • 300g sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 300g Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
  • Icing sugar to roll balls in
Method
  1. Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat the eggs with the oil, then stir in the Christmas mince.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat until combined.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (this makes them easier to roll)
  5. Put icing sugar into a small bowl.
  6. Roll golf ball sized balls in your hand then roll then in the icing sugar until covered.  shake off the excess and place on a parchment lined baking tray.  (You can press them down slightly so they won’t roll around but don’t flatten them out.  They will keep their ball-shape once they’re cooked.)
  7. Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 10-12 minutes or until the crackle patten has emerged.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Mince Pies (Vegan)

“Every year I make Christmas mince pies.  Mum’s been doing making them for years but I’m sure mine are better!  She will disagree with this.  Anyway, this version is very tasty and vegan friendly.  Of course, you can make them with a traditional shortcrust pastry but I love the texture of this pastry and it’s really easy to make and work with. This recipe makes enough pastry for about 3 dozen mince pies, so halve it if you don’t need that many. I make the Christmas mince in bulk every year and use it to make Christmas cakes, biscuits and other delicacies. I haven’t given weights for the dried fruit because with this method you can make as much or as little as you like and use a combination of fruits that you like best.  I would also suggest you use less expensive cooking port or it can get expensive. Enjoy!”

(Photos by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients for Christmas mince

  • Sultanas
  • Currents
  • Dates
  • Dried apricots
  • Dried figs
  • Cranberries
  • Cooking port
Method for Christmas mince
  1. Cut up the dried fruit into small pieces or use a food processor.
  2. Place fruit in a large saucepan pour over enough port to saturate the fruit.
  3. Bring the heat up to medium and keep stirring until the port has been incorporated and the fruit has softened. There should be no liquid left in the mixture and the fruit should be glossy and sticky.   (When doing 2kg of dried fruit this takes up to 20 minutes) You can always add more port and keep the mixture on the heat if you want cook it for longer.
  4. Let the Christmas mince cool completely in the saucepan then transfer to a plastic container and refrigerate.  Because of the high amount of natural sugars the Christmas mince will last for ages!
Ingredients for Vegan shortcrust pastry
  • 190g Nutilex (or non-dairy margarine)
  • 190g icing sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
Method for Vegan shortcrust pastry
  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and combine until it comes into a ball.  If you mixture is crumbly add a small amount of cold water. If it’s to soft put some more flour in.
  2. Empty mixture onto some plastic wrap and knead into a disc. (This will make it easier to roll out later)
  3. Wrap disc in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.
Method for Christmas mince pies
  1. Roll out the pastry until it’s about 5mm thick.
  2. Cut out circles of pastry to fit your pans.  (I have specialty pans that are shallow with a fluted edge that are perfect for these pies)
  3. Press the pastry into the base of each mould so it comes a few centimetres up the side. (Or as deep as you want if you want bigger pies!)
  4. Fill the moulds with the cooled Christmas mince and smooth the top.
  5. Using Christmas cutters make tops for the pies.  I use stars, Santas, Christmas trees or baubles for mine.  You can also enclose the top completely if you like.
  6. Before you put them in the oven you can use an egg-wash, milk or any vegan milks to paint over the pastry tops.  Or you can sprinkle a bit of sugar over them.
  7. Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and starting to brown.
  8. Give to all your family and friends and everyone will love you!