Recipe Mama

Gravy – with a twist June 9, 2013

Filed under: Extras & Side Dishes — obsidian @ 9:07 am

When I make a roast, I always put about 2cm of water in the bottom of the roasting dish, and baste the meat as it cooks (and I cook it for a couple of hours) – then when it’s time to put the potatoes into the roasting pan,  I pour off the water into a saucepan and use that as the base for my gravy.

Well tonight I made some really good gravy and that’s because I added something else, which will be my secret ingredient from now on!

Last night we had lasagne, and my mix was a little bit too liquidy, so I put it into a colander and drained off the extra liquid – keeping it….  The lasagne mixture was made with eggplant, zucchini, leek, mushroom, carrot, garlic, herbs & spices, a tin of lentils, a tin of tinned tomatoes, a jar of tomato puree and the mince.  So it had a lot of flavour, nd all that flavour was in the liquid I drained off.

So in tonight’s gravy I added some of that lasagne liquid.  Which gave the gravy a great flavour!

I’ve frozen the rest of the lasagne liquid in icecube trays so I can add it to other dishes as a sort of stock.


Bread Bowls with Vegies & Dip May 19, 2013

Filed under: Extras & Side Dishes,For Kids,Nibblies and party Snacks — obsidian @ 2:02 pm

I saw this great idea on Pintrest for individual serves of carrot/celery sticks and dip.   Great for kids because it stops people having to worry about double dipping 😀  Plus there is no waste as the bowl is edible!   I’ve made it for my daughter’s school when they have had a party, and it was a great hit!


Simply get a bread stick and cut it into pieces.  Hollow out the insides, leaving a little bit left in the bottom – to make a bowl for the dip.  Make your dip however you like (cream cheese with spinach, olives and a little milk mixed through works well), then add cut up vegetable sticks.


Roti June 24, 2011

Filed under: bread,Extras & Side Dishes — obsidian @ 9:53 am

This is a pan cooked flat bread that goes nicely with curry.  I got the basic guide from watching this YouTube video, which I suggest you watch!


This recipe makes 8 roti.


Mix together 1 cup plain white flour, half a cup of water, about 2 tsp oil, a pinch of salt and if you like a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of cumin and a pinch of corriander.  Mix this together and knead it until it’s smooth (I use a spatula, so I can sort of knead it in the bowl without getting my hands sticky).  Set aside for a few minutes, then turn out onto a floured surface and cut it into 8 sections.


Roll each section into a ball, coat well with flour and roll out until thin.  It should make a sort of side-plate size rough circle.  Put that into a dry frypan, and heat until you can see brown spots forming on the under side.  Flip the roti over and cook that side until brown spots form.  I then flip over and redo each side again for a minute or less, – sometimes they puff a bit, sometimes not.  Flip onto a plate and give a light brush with melted butter (I add some garlic to my melted butter).  Then cook the next roti and put it on the one you just made.  You can butter both sides or just one if you prefer.


It’ll probably take about 15 mins to make all 8 (If I start when I put my rice cooker on for the rice, I finish when the rice does – which is 15 mins), so the bottom one will have cooled by the time you’re done, but if you time it right, you can enjoy the top ones with your curry while they are still warm (or you could put them in the oven on a lot temp to keep warm while you serve)


Shepherd’s Pie “Cupcakes”

Make these cute little savoury cupcakes!  Just line a muffin cup with pastry, fill with your pie filling stuff, and top it with very well mashed potato, piped on with a large piping tip.  Sprinkle some dried herbs, or poppy seeds on top as “sprinkles”

You can put a few drops of food colouring in the mashed potato to colour it if you like.  I’ve added some purple carrot to the potato to make purple ones


Spring Rolls August 4, 2010

500g pork mince
1/4 cabbage
3 good size carrots
handful of bean vermicelli
handful of bamboo shoot slices (optional)
handful of dried shitake mushrooms (optional)
about 2 tb finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)
handful chopped leek or spring onions (optional)

Spring roll wrappers (I find the ones from Asian grocers to be far better than the pampas ones you get in the supermarket)
1 egg, beaten
about 2tb soy sauce
about 2tb oyster sauce
about 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
about 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
a pinch of mace (optional)
dash (1/8 cup maybe) water

Brown off the mince in a dry frypan (I always fry mince dry, since it loses oil anyway and that’s enough to stop it sticking in my non-stick pan)… Soak the mushrooms and vermicelli in boiling water to soften.  Add the leek/onion and ginger to the mince and cook them off….  Finely chop (I use a food processor) the carrot, mushrooms, bamboo and cabbage.  Add the chopped veg to the pan and cook that until they start softening…

Chop the the vermicelli into small pieces and mix that through.  Mix the sauce ingredients together and pour that over (the egg should thicken things up), then roll the spring rolls up…

Put a heaped tablespoon in the corner of the sheet

Start to roll it up until you reach the centre

Fold one side over, then fold the other side over

Then roll almost to the end, wet the last point of the spring roll paper, and continue rolling it up.  The water sticks the spring roll closed.

(You can make mini spring rolls by cutting the sheet in half, but I find it more fiddly)


You can  just cook them in the oven as is….  but the outer goes a bit crispy… you can brush them with oil and oven cook them, but I have found the tastiest way is to shallow fry them in very hot oil for a second until the pastry outer starts to darken and bubble, then put them on paper towels to absorb excess oil and put them in the oven to finish off cooking.

I like them with chilli plum sauce.  To make that, mix equal parts chilli sauce and plum jam (you can microwave the jam to make it mix through well).  You can make a batch of this up and keep it in the fridge.


Curry Puffs February 21, 2010

500g mince
1 tin lentils
1 small onion
carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli
Curry powder, Cumin, Cardamon
Salt & pepper

Brown the mince and finely chopped onion. Drain off remaining fat/oil. Drain and rinse the lentils, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Chop enough vegies to make about 2 cups worth, and steam these until cooked. Mix all the ingredients together. Season with spices to taste – I never measure things, but I try 1tb curry powder, 1/2 tsp cardamon and about 1tsp cumin, and add more if you need it. Cut pastry sheets into 9 squares, put a spoonful of mixture into the centre and fold into a triangle. Pinch the seams closed. Bake at 200ºC for about 15 mins.


Meatball Patties

I find a flatter meatball is easier to eat… so I make these as a sort of golfball size meatball and then flatten it a bit.

500g mince
1 carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
1 small onion, diced (optional)
1 tin lentils
1 large egg
Spices to taste
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Drain and rinse the lentils, and press them into the colander to squeeze out extra moisture. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Form into balls/patties and place on a lightly sprayed oven tray. Bake at 180ºC for 15 mins, then flip them and bake for a further 15 mins.