Braised Duck with Orange

Duck and orange are a match made in heaven, and the long cooking will ensure a sweet and tender result. The use of maryland pieces (drumstick and thigh) means there is no last minute carving, it is perfectly portioned and is less intimidating for those that have not much experience cooking duck. Pinot Noir is a perfect wine match for this delicious dish.

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Sweet and Spicy Tempeh

With the temperatures starting to fall, it’s time to warm up by adding some spice to your life! This tasty dish is a winner in our Indonesian Banquet Cooking Class, and is as nutritious as it is delicious. If you’re not familiar with Tempeh, it is a traditional Indonesian product made from fermented soybeans. It has a nutty flavour and is packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and probiotic benefits. Tempeh is a terrific meat substitute if you’re trying to reduce your animal protein (like I am), and can be found in the vegetarian refrigerated section of most supermarkets. Serve this dish with steamed jasmine rice.

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Moroccan Carrot Salad

Who doesn’t love flavourful Moroccan food? This delicious salad, ever-popular at our Moroccan Magic Cooking Class, is a great choice for your next barbecue or picnic. Like all my recipes, it has a high wow-factor and is low effort, and it can be made a day ahead of time, making it perfect for entertaining. You can serve the salad either warm, at room temperature or straight from the fridge.

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Greek-Style Cocktail Meatballs with Tzatziki

With summer fast headed our way, picnic and party season has commenced! When invited to such an occasion, it is often customary to bring a plate of something tasty to share. These cocktail meatballs fit the brief and will please any given crowd (okay, maybe not the vegetarians). With Greek flavours of lamb, lemon, mint and a touch of spice, they are utterly moreish. The tzatziki dipping sauce is delicious in its own right (and the vegetarians will be happy with that!). The meatballs, which can be served hot or at room temperature, can be made the day before and the tzatziki several hours before, making it the perfect party food. Read the rest of this entry »

Thai-Style Prawn and Mango Curry

Mangoes are readily available now, and as you know I like to cook and eat by the seasons. This delicious curry is often on the menu in our Easy Asian Dinner Party Cooking Class and is always well received. Look for a firm but ripe mango (you want the cubes to maintain their shape in the curry). To save yourself time, you can buy pre-peeled raw prawns, but look for the Aussie ones as they are of a superior quality to those imported from Asia. For wine pairing, I recommend either a Rosé or a Sauvignon Blanc.

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Grilled Haloumi with a Lime & Caper Dressing

With Spring in the air and the temperatures warming up, it’s time to dust off your barbecue and get into some outdoor cooking – and this simple yet impressive dish is the perfect place to start. Haloumi is a slightly salty cheese that originates from Cyprus and is excellent grilled as it maintains is shape when heated (and in fact is best eaten cooked). It has a beautiful flavour and texture, and goes particularly well with this Lime and Caper Dressing which cuts through the saltiness. Always a winner at our Gourmet Aussie Barbecue Cooking Class, this dish can be served as an entree or as a meat-free main. My recommended wine pairing is a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients (serves 6-8 as an entree or 4 as a main course):
2 x 250g blocks haloumi cheese
A little olive oil for brushing
150g baby rocket leaves
Lime caper dressing
1 lime, zested 2 tablespoons juice measured
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon baby capers, drained
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat a barbecue to medium-high heat direct grilling.
2. For the dressing: place all dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well.
3. Drain the haloumi and cut each piece into 8 slices width-ways. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil.
4. Carefully place the haloumi on the barbecue and cook for 2-3 minutes each side, until golden and grill marks appear.
5. Serve the haloumi on a bed of rocket leaves. Give the dressing a good shake and drizzle it over the haloumi.

Passionfruit and White Chocolate Muffins

You know the old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”….  My passionfruit vines have delivered an abundance of fruit recently and never one to waste food I have found plenty of ways to use them. These include eating them au naturel, including them in my morning smoothie, giving plenty away, freezing the pulp for later use and using them in my cooking. I came up with this recipe, as I like to serve fresh-from-the-oven muffins to participants at my Cooking Classes when they arrive. Yes they have been well received!

The secret to making light and fluffy muffins is not to over-mix. When you add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir together using a large metal spoon with the minimum of strokes, only until just combined. It’s perfectly fine for there to be lumps and flecks of flour visible. Also, the use of yoghurt or sour cream improves the muffins’ texture. Muffins freeze well, so if they don’t all get gobbled up in one sitting, tuck some away for later.

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Prawn and Chorizo Skewers

There’s nothing like the smell of seafood cooking on a barbecue, and with the official start of Spring just days away, outdoor eating is no doubt on your agenda! These Prawn and Chorizo Skewers are guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, as they are in our Seafood Barbecue Cooking Class.  Inspired by the Spanish flavours of Smoked Paprika, Garlic, Lemon and Olive Oil, they can be prepared ahead of time and take only a few minutes to cook.

Choose large prawns, as you need to be able to wrap them around the slices of chorizo, and ensure the chorizo is uncured or raw, as it will be cooked together with the prawns.

A dry rosé is a good wine match, but a sauvignon blanc goes well too.

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Chicken Santorini

I named this dish after the beautiful Greek Island, Santorini (yes, dreaming of travel….), as the ingredients olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs are characteristic of Greek cooking. As well as tasting divine, Chicken Santorini is simplicity itself. Serve it with steamed basmati rice or mashed potatoes and a Greek salad. Oh, and a glass of oaky chardonnay.

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Chocolate Nutella & Walnut Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone

In these challenging times, uncomplicated and delicious home cooking is more of a necessity than ever. Having a repertoire of such recipes is essential, and we have been aiming to bring you these via Noosa Foodie for the past 4 months. Whilst healthy eating is important, the occasional treat (especially homemade) is a great way to cheer yourself up.  We make this Chocolate Nutella and Walnut Cake in our Italian Long Lunch Cooking Class. It is always well received and ticks all the boxes: it’s a little bit naughty but extremely nice, quick and easy to make and guaranteed to brighten even the gloomiest of moods.

I hope you have been enjoying our recipes. If you have, feel free to share or leave a comment below.

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