Braised Lamb Shanks

This is one of my favourite winter recipes when the temperatures get really chilly, as they did last weekend. Tender lamb, falling off the bone in a rich and tasty sauce of vegetables, wine and seasonings. Who can resist?

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Sweet Roasted Carrots

With temperatures plummeting, it’s the perfect time of year to fire up the oven and cook a homely roast. Whenever I have the oven in use I like to maximise its space, so I will invariably find something else to throw in there too. This side dish accompanies any roast very well, and indeed most main courses. Roasting carrots enhances their flavour due to the caramelisation process, making them sweet and irresistible. And with prep time under 10 minutes, it’s super simple as well as delicious.

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Smoked Salmon & Basil Mini Frittatas

With Covid-19 restrictions starting to ease, picnics are a great way to reconnect with friends (in Queensland we are permitted groups of up to 10 from this weekend). These frittatas are a cinch to make and are perfect picnic food as they can be made up to 24 hours in advance. They are also wonderful served at a cocktail party, or as part of an antipasto platter.

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Stir Fried Beef with Szechuan Peppercorns and Vegetables

Another mid-week marvel that I make regularly, this Chinese-style stir fry packs a punch thanks to the Szechuan peppercorns and fresh chilli. You can replace the beef with either chicken or pork, and substitute beans, asparagus or other vegetables for the snow peas.

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Pasta with Broccoli, Garlic, Anchovies and Chilli

This is a go-to mid-week meal at my place when I need to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. It’s tasty and satisfying plus you’ll get a good serving of greens. Serve it with a mixed salad and a glass of pinot grigio and you’ll feel like you’re dining in the best Italian restaurant in town!

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Osso Buco with Gremolata

This morning the temperature fell to a single digit in Noosa (a chilly 9 Celcius) – a reminder that winter is not far away. At this time of the year at my place, salads and simple barbecue meals begin to get replaced by comfort foods such as casseroles, curries and braises. Osso Buco literally means “bone with a hole” and the bone barrow is an appealing part of this classic Italian dish. Like many braised dishes, this tastes better the day after it is made. Osso Buco is traditionally served with Gremolata (lemon, parsley and garlic mixture) and often on a bed of polenta, but potato mash is a worthy accompaniment. Serve with a glass of Pinot Noir or Merlot.

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Warm Olives with Lemon and Herbs

We make these scrumptious Warm Olives in our Moroccan Magic Cooking Class and they always get gobbled up quickly. It’s so easy to marinate your own olives and they are so much better than the ones you buy from the deli. Feel free to vary the flavours – for a European style replace the fennel seeds and coriander with a couple of bay leaves and a two teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves. Or you could add fresh chilli instead of the cayenne pepper. Whatever you decide, be sure to serve with plenty of fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices!

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Spiced Crispy Skin Duck Breasts with Asian Slaw

Just because we’re in isolation doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy home-cooked restaurant quality food! Many people seem to shy away from cooking with duck but it’s actually very simple. The secret to achieving crispy skin is to start cooking the duck in a cold pan then heating it until the fat renders. This easy recipe will be on the table in 30 minute from start to finish. Serve with a  glass of Pinot Noir.

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Chicken and Leek Filo Pie

This tasty pie is a real winner and a great way to use up leftover chicken. Cooking with filo pastry is not difficult (actually it’s a lot of fun!), but make sure you choose filo from the refrigerator section of the supermarket rather than frozen variety which tends to be brittle and can easily break. Serve this with a salad and fresh bread and you have a perfect lunch or dinner.

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Grain-Free Granola

Try your hand at making your own granola with my simple grain-free / gluten-free recipe.  Flavoured with tahini, honey, allspice and vanilla, my recipe is super-delicious: after making this, you will never buy commercial granola again!

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