Roast tomato and capsicum sauce


Photos by Gary Corbett

“I love recipes that you can cook in bulk, freeze then whip out for a quick mid-week meal. I always have containers of Bolognese, chilli con carne and pesto in my freezer and also this super easy roast tomato and capsicum sauce.  It all bakes in one tray then gets blitzed up for later use.  I’ve also included a few recipes I make using the sauce. Enjoy”

Sauce ingredients

  • 6 capsicums
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White sugar
Sauce method
  1. Halve and de-seed 6 capsicums and put them in a deep baking dish.
  2. Halve and core 6 tomatoes and put them inside the capsicums.
  3. Quarter 3 red onions and sprinkle them between tomatoes and capsicums.
  4. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and throw them in the pan.
  5. Douse in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Cover in foil.
  7. Bake in a 180c oven for an hour.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan with the foil on.
  9. Depending on the strength of your food processor you can remove the skins from the tomatoes and capsicums. I have a Thermomix so this isn’t needed. Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  10. Pour into a saucepan and heat on low. Add Balsamic and white sugar to taste.
  11. Pour into containers and store in the freezer.
Recipe for soup
  1. Heat up a few cups of soup with some veggie or chicken stock and stir until smooth
  2. Blitz some pine nuts, lemon zest and fresh basil to make a gremolata.
  3. Serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream, some gremolata and toasted sourdough
Recipe for pasta sauce
  1. Chop an eggplant into 1cm cubes, douse in olive oil and salt and bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Fry some chopped onions and mushrooms in a pan until soft. Add a few cups of sauce and the roasted eggplant.
  3. Stir in some fresh basil.
  4. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe for baked chicken (for 2 people)
  1. Pour some sauce in a small baking dish and add 2 whole chicken breasts. Cover with more sauce.
  2. Cover dish with foil and bake in a 200c oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Blitz some bread with herbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and take off the foil.
  5. Cover with your breadcrumb mix and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Serve with quinoa, roasted potatoes and green veggies.

 

Salsa verde

Photo by Gary Corbett

“Like most cooks, I use heaps of herbs in my dishes. It’s a great way to add freshness and a burst of flavour to your cooking. That’s why I love salsa verde. Not only is it delicious, it’s extremely versatile and can be used to jazz up salads, canapés and main courses. You can also use whatever herbs you have to hand, or put more of a herb you like in. Enjoy”

 Ingredients for salsa verde

  • Bunch of basil
  • Bunch of parsley
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of chives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice and rind of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Pick the leaves off your herbs and put into a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to break them down.
  2. Add the other ingredients except the olive oil. Blitz until you get the consistency you want. It works as a chunky sauce or a smooth one.
  3. Add olive oil until you achieve the consistency you want.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Caprese salad
Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and pickled onions on a plate.
To pickle the onions I use equal parts red wine vinegar and white sugar. Stir the vinegar until sugar is dissolved and put in finely chopped white onions. It’s best to leave the for a day to soften.
Dollop spoonfuls of greek yoghurt and salsa verde over the top. You can also put layers on some sourdough bread for a healthy lunch.
Fresh and delicious.
Baked potatoes
To bake the potato, drizzle with olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake in a 180c oven for 45 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way through. Cut the potato open and dollop some sour cream inside, Add the salsa verde and grate some parmesan cheese over the top.
Makes a great midweek dinner if you’re super busy.
Cucumber sandwiches
To be a little bit classy you can jazz up your cucumber sandwiches with salsa verde.
(I actually don’t like cucumber but with the salsa verde they’re delicious).
Butter some white bread and spread on a thin layer of salsa verde on both sides.
Peel your cucumber and add thin slices to one slice. Put the top on, cut off the crusts and slice in half.
Now you’re classy as hell!

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.

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!

Roast eggplant and tomato pasta

“I seem to be making a lot of vegetarian dishes lately.  It’s forced me to come up with new recipes to make things interesting.  One of my favourite ingredients is eggplant.  It’s also the only thing I haven’t been able to kill in my garden and have had a plentiful supply for months.  You can use it in eggplant parmigiana, baba ganoush and vegetarian lasagne but I also love roasting it and stirring it through a pesto pasta.  Having just bought a Thermomix (Instructions included) I decided to make an easy tomato sauce then stir the roast eggplant and a few other ingredients through.  It was an instant favourite at our house and will satisfy those pesky vegetarians when they drop over.  Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients

  • 700g eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Flaked sea salt
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 60g grated parmesan cheese
  • 60g sour cream
  • 40g roasted pine nuts
  • 60g sundries tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • Shaved parmesan
Method
  1. Cup the eggplant into 1.5cm cubes and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.  Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 30 minutes or until slightly browned.  Flipping the eggplant once during this time helps get an even colour.
  2. Add the spaghetti to a medium saucepan of salted boiling water and cook until al dente.  Drain when cooked.
  3. Cut the sundries tomatoes into strips and roughly shred the basil leaves. Put aside with the roasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan.
  4. Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a medium saucepan with a small amount of olive oil until translucent.
  5. Add the tomatoes, Dijon mustard and sugar to the onions and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the sauce is still hot add the parmesan cheese, then using a stab blender, blend the mixture until you get a smooth sauce.  Just before serving add the sour cream and stir through the sauce.
  7. Drain the pasta and in a large bowl stir through the sauce, roasted eggplant, sundries tomato strips and half the basil leaves.
  8. Once served into pasta bowls sprinkle on the pine nuts, remaining basil and shaved parmesan.

Thermomix method 

  1. Cup the eggplant into 1.5cm cubes and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.  Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 30 minutes or until slightly browned.  Flipping the eggplant once during this time helps get an even colour.
  2. Add the spaghetti to a medium saucepan of salted boiling water and cook until al dente.  Drain when cooked.
  3. Cut the sundries tomatoes into strips and roughly shred the basil leaves. Put aside with the roasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan.
  4. Add onion and garlic to Thermomix bowl and process on speed 4/3 seconds
  5. Wipe down the bowl with a spatula then add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook for 6 minutes/100 degrees/speed 0.5
  6. Add tinned tomatoes, Dijon mustard and sugar and cook for 6 minutes/100 degrees/speed 0.5
  7. Add parmesan cheese and sour cream then blend 20 seconds/ speed 7
  8. Drain the pasta and in a large bowl stir through the sauce, roasted eggplant, sundries tomato strips and half the basil leaves.
  9. Once served into pasta bowls sprinkle on the pine nuts, remaining basil and shaved parmesan.

 

Chicken and Leek Pies

“This is my partner’s favourite item off my catering menu.  For most events I make a huge batch of them and they fly off the plate.  I also do different fillings including Moroccan Lamb, Massaman Beef Curry and Mushroom for my vegetarian clients.  Having a pie maker makes life much easier as long as I can stop people from eating them before they make it to the venue.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 2 large leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 100g Parmesan cheese
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsn plain flour
  • 3 sheets short crust pastry
  • 3 sheets puff pastry (egg wash optional)

Method

  1. Rinse and dice leeks, dice garlic and fry in a pan with olive oil until soft.
  2. Add diced chicken thighs and simmer until meat is cooked through.
  3. De-glaze with white wine and add diced mushrooms.
  4. When wine has been cooked off add stock, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice and simmer for 15 minutes.  Season to taste.
  5. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to incorporate.  Let mixture cool completely.
  6. If using a pie maker cut round out of the shortcrust pastry for the base and puff pastry for the tops.  Spoon filling in and cook to manufacturers instructions (usually about 7 minutes)
  7. If cooking in the oven line the base of a pie tin with short crust pastry, spoon filling in and top with puff pastry.  Brush egg wash over the top and cook until pie is golden brown.