It can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but a good fish pie is right at the pointy end of the comfort food pyramid for me.
boneless and skinless white fish fillets
salt and pepper, to taste
250 ml milk
50 g unsalted butter
40 g plain flour
100 g hot smoked fish, skinned, bones removed and flaked
100 g frozen peas
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
150 ml dry cider
50 g grated cheddar cheese
700 g floury potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
50 ml milk
50 g butter
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Step 2 Cut the fresh white fish into chunks and place in a small baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the milk. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 10 minutes or until nearly cooked through. Drain the fish and reserve the milk.
Step 3 Meanwhile, to make the mashed potato, cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Drain well, then return the potato to the pan. Add the milk and butter, then mash until smooth and season to taste.
Step 4 Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture becomes sandy in colour. Gradually whisk in the reserved milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the poached and smoked fish, peas, parsley, egg and cider, then season to taste and stir until just combined. Take care not to break up the fish too much. Spoon the mixture into a 1 litre-capacity baking dish. Spoon the mash on top and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Notes: It must have a mashed potato crust (not puffy pastry) and chopped boiled eggs. Make sure that the fish you buy is super-fresh and sustainably caught.
Source: Image by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by O Tama Carey. Creative concept by Belinda So.
This fruity winter pudding is perfect for cooler evenings.
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
500g frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
2 tablespoons whisky
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
Icing sugar, to dust
Thick cream mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to serve
Step 1 Preheat oven to 160C. Place the apple, juice and 1 cup (220g) sugar in a small pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apple softens slightly. Cool, then stir through berries. Transfer to a 1.25 litre baking dish. Set aside.
Step 2 Whisk eggs, milk, whisky, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl until combined. Set aside. Place fl our, baking powder and remaining sugar in a bowl. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients, whisking well to form a smooth batter. Pour over fruit, then bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
Step 3 Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with cinnamon cream.
Blueberry and lemon is a winning combination in this lush fruity swirl dessert. It’s also a great healthy snack option with a cup of tea at the weekend.
290g (2 cups) cashew nuts
185ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk, plus 1 tablespoon extra
125ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice
60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
125ml (1/2 cup) melted coconut oil
120g (3/4 cup) frozen blueberries, thawed in a bowl
80g (1/2 cup) cashew nuts, lightly toasted
80g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut, lightly toasted
150g fresh dates, pitted, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Pinch sea salt
Step 1Place cashews in a large bowl. Cover with cold water. Soak for 4 hours. Rinse under cold running water and drain.
Step 2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm (base measurement) square cake pan. Line with baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
Step 3 For the base, process cashews, sunflower seeds and coconut in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add dates, oil and salt. Process until well combined. Press into base of prepared pan. Use a straight-sided glass to smooth the surface. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.
Step 4 Use a high-speed blender to blend soaked cashews, milk, juice, maple syrup, vanilla, rind and 100ml oil until very smooth. Transfer two-thirds (about 550g) of the cashew mixture to a bowl and stir in extra coconut milk. Add berries and any juice from the bowl, and remaining oil to the blender with remaining cashew mixture and blend, scraping down sides occasionally, until very smooth. Spoon half the mixtures, in random spoonfuls, into the prepared pan. Use a butter knife to create a swirled effect. Repeat with remaining mixtures, using the knife to create a swirled effect. Place in the freezer for 6 hours or until set.
Step 5 Stand pan at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly. Cut into 18 pieces. Store in a lined airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Step 1 Place flour in a large snap-lock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in snap-lock bag. Seal bag. Shake to coat chicken in flour.
Step 2 Heat 1/2 the oil and 1/2 the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, shaking off excess flour. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Step 3 Add remaining oil and remaining butter to frying pan. Add eschalot, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until eschalot has softened. Add chicken stock, lemon juice and cream to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has slightly thickened.
Step 4 Add lemon slices to pan. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with capers, parsley and extra thyme. Serve with mashed potato and steamed green beans.
Light citrus cheesecakes are a common sight across Italy, where they are made with ricotta in place of cream cheese. The case also differs, made with sweet pastry instead of biscuit crumbs.
55 g (⅓ cup) sultanas
80 ml (⅓ cup) marsala (see Note)
250 g mascarpone
1.2 kg fresh ricotta (see Note)
150 g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
1 lemon, zested
2 tbsp plain flour
Sweet shortcrust pastry
350 g (2⅓ cups) plain flour
100 g pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, to dust
150 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
Step 1 Place sultanas in a bowl, cover with marsala and soak for 2 hours or overnight. Drain sultanas, reserving 1 tablespoon of marsala, and set aside.
Step 2 To make pastry, place flour and icing sugar in a food processor and process to combine. Add butter and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add egg and process until dough just comes together. Shape into a disc, enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Step 3 Roll out two-thirds of the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3 mm-thick and use to line the base of a 22 cm cake pan. Roll out remaining pastry until 3mm thick, cut into even pieces and use to line side of pan, pressing edges and base to seal. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 4 Preheat oven to 160°C. Using an electric mixer, beat mascarpone and ricotta until just smooth. Add sugar and beat to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, orange zest, lemon zest and flour, and beat until just combined. Fold in sultanas and reserved marsala. Pour into pastry-lined cake pan and bake for 1 hour or until just set. Turn off oven and allow cake to cool completely in the oven with the door held slightly ajar with a wooden spoon. Remove from oven and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until cold. Dust cake with extra icing sugar, to serve.
Notes • Marsala is a Sicilian fortified wine available from bottle shops.
• Fresh ricotta is available from the deli section of supermarkets and delis.
Source: SBS Food – Photography by Brett Stevens. Styling by Berni Smithies. As seen in Feast magazine, Apr 2014, Issue 30.
Topped with Easter eggs and icing sugar, this cake makes a perfectly sweet statement on Easter Sunday. Wishing you all a very safe and happy Easter!
1 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
3 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
1 cup (160g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups (150g) desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Easter eggs and icing sugar, to serve
Step 1 Preheat oven to 160°C. Place sugar, butter and orange rind in a large bowl, and beat with electric beaters for 4 minutes until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
Step 2 Fold flour and coconut through mixture, along with orange juice. Spoon mixture into a 22cm-round cake pan greased and lined with baking paper. Cook for 50 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.
Step 3 Allow to cool, then decorate with Easter eggs and a dusting of icing sugar.
Step 1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse under cold water. Bring quinoa and water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Separate with a fork and set aside to cool.
Step 2 Rub the Moroccan seasoning over the lamb. Heat the oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb for 2 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer lamb to a rack over a baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.
Step 3 Meanwhile, combine the quinoa, olives, tomato, beans, onion, capers and parsley in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the oil, vinegar, anchovy and garlic in a small bowl. Add the oil mixture to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine.
Step 4 Slice the lamb into cutlets. Divide the quinoa mixture among plates. Top with lamb and serve with Greek yoghurt.
This tangy dessert looks impressive but takes very little effort – most of the ingredients are ready-made, so it is simply a matter of construction. Perfect if you have to throw something together quickly.
Step 1 Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Line the base with a row of biscuits. In a bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice, mascarpone, cream, sugar and 50g lemon curd until thick and holding its shape. Transfer roughly 1 /4 of the mixture to a bowl and chill in the fridge for later.
Step 2 Layer the mascarpone and biscuits into the tin, and add the remaining lemon curd in spoonfuls between the layers. Break some biscuits to fill any gaps. You should have about four layers of biscuits, finishing with a layer of cream. Wrap the tin in cling film and chill for at least 8 hrs, or up to 48 hrs.
Step 3 When you’re ready to serve, unwrap the tin and turn the pudding out onto a platter or board. Peel off the parchment. Crush 4 of the mini meringues to a rubble texture and stir through the reserved mascarpone mix. Spread across the top of the pudding, then press the remaining mini meringues and lemon slices on top. Leftovers will keep for one day.
Source: Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2016. Recipe by Cassie Best.
Step 1 Grease a 5cm-deep, 18cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin. Process the pretzels and biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the brown sugar and butter and process until well combined. Spoon the biscuit mixture into the prepared tin and press evenly over the base and side. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set.
Step 2 Meanwhile, for the ice-cream, combine the cream, milk and condensed milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Use electric beaters to whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until very pale and thick. Add the lime rind and juice. While lightly whisking, gradually add the hot cream mixture in a thin, steady stream. Return to a clean saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon (be careful not to overcook as the custard may curdle). Set aside to cool.
Step 3 Stir in the tequila, Grand Marnier and a little green food colouring. Strain into an ice-cream machine and churn following manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon the margarita ice-cream over the biscuit base and place in the freezer for 8 hours to set.
Step 4 Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper. Use a spatula to thinly spread the chocolate over prepared tray. Top with a few drops of green food colouring. Use a skewer to create a swirled effect. Set aside to set. Break into shards.
Step 5 Process the caster sugar, lime rind and a few drops of green food colouring in a food processor until well combined.
Step 6 Remove ice-cream pie from the tin and place on a serving plate. Top with the chocolate shards and sprinkle with the lime sugar.
Source: Taste Magazine – November 2014 , Page 81
Recipe by Sarah Hobbs. Photography by Jeremy Simons.