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Hot Smoked, Rum Soaked Salmon with Mango Salsa

Smoking salmon is easier than you think – all you need is a hooded barbecue and a little patience for the curing process. This dish is a winner is you’re having friends for lunch or dinner, as it can be fully prepared the day before. Quantities can easily be increased and this method can be used to smoke other oily fish varieties such as ocean trout, mackerel, tuna and swordfish. The Mango Salsa pairs wonderfully with the smoked salmon, but if you’re feeling lazy garnish with finger lime pearls, currently in season and available at Noosa Farmers Market.

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Pickled Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are at the height of their season, and this refreshing salad is a delicious way to enjoy them.  It’s ideal served with an Asian meal or alongside a spicy dish, or even as part of a buffet. We serve it our Indonesian Banquet Cooking Class, and it matches perfectly with Chicken Satays and Peanut Sauce.

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Prosciutto Wrapped Fillet of Pork

This dish is a winner in our Italian Long Lunch cooking class, and what’s not to love about pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto, flavoured with fresh herbs and oven roasted with white wine and cherry tomatoes? Like all Italian cooking, the success of this dish depends on quality ingredients: free range pork (preferably from a female pig), fresh herbs, good extra virgin olive oil, decent wine (only cook with wine good enough to drink) and a quality salt such as Murray River Gourmet Salt Flakes (scroll down for a chance to win a gourmet pack of Murray River Salt goodies). This dish is delicious served with our Panzanella Salad of Mixed Tomatoes.

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Chai Coconut Chia Pudding

After many weeks of festivities and overindulgence, it’s time for this Noosa Foodie to clean up her diet. Whilst I’m a fairly healthy foodie at the best of times, I will be giving up a few of my favourite things for a little while – cheese, wine, coffee, chocolate to name a few – and following a paleo eating regime minus the meat. This Chai Coconut Chia Pudding is a perfect breakfast solution as it’s super healthy, tasty and satisfying. Flavoured with chai flavours of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, it’s delicious served with seasonal fruit (I also like to serve it with a homemade grain-free granola). It’s easy to make too – you just need to be a little organised as it’s best made the day before to allow the chia seeds to gel and the pudding to set.  It will keep up to 5 days in a sealed container stored in the fridge.

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Lime Ice Cream

Limes are in season, it’s humid and too hot to cook, so what’s a Noosa Foodie to do? Make Lime Ice Cream! This tangy, refreshing ice cream is not only extremely delicious but super-simple to make. An ice cream maker is a useful appliance to own if you enjoy homemade ice cream, and you can pick them up inexpensively from department stores and electrical retailers. For those of you that don’t own an ice cream maker, I’ve included alternative instructions in my recipe (it will require a little more work). Regardless, your efforts will be well rewarded!

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Mango Daiquiri

With summer in full swing and mangoes and limes in abundance, it’s the perfect time to whip up this delicious cocktail.

It’s super-easy to make, and the only equipment you need is a blender or food processor (or a NutriBullet if you have one). I like to think there are health benefits to this summery cocktail, but regardless, drinking it is a highly pleasurable experience.

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Panzanella Salad of Mixed Tomatoes

With tomatoes in abundance right now, it’s the perfect time to make this Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes.  We make this in our Italian Long Lunch cooking class when tomatoes are at the height of their season, and it is always a winner.  There are a number of variations where ingredients such as onion or anchovies are added, but I like to make it simplistically with just the additional of fresh basil.  The success of this salad relies on the quality and variety of the tomatoes, so choose a selection of different types and colours. And like all Italian cooking, always use quality ingredients including good vinegar, the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford and fresh garlic and basil. As well as being utterly delicious, this salad is also a great way to use up stale bread (nothing is wasted in the Italian kitchen).

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Oliebollen (Dutch Doughnuts)

With the start of the New Year just a couple of days away,  I felt it appropriate to share my recipe for a traditional Dutch food – Oliebollen.  Enjoyed as a New Year’s treat in The Netherlands, Oliebollen (translated “Oil Balls”) are essentially deep fried balls of dough, similar to a doughnut. As my husband is Dutch and I lived in the Netherlands for 3 years, cooking a batch of these irresistible morsels is a ritual I have been doing for many New Year’s Days.
Happy New Year and wishing you health and happiness for 2019.

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Festive Tropical Trifle

The traditional trifle gets a makeover with this tropical version which combines a coconut custard with panettone (Italian sweet bread) and fresh mangoes. And what would a trifle be without a little booze, so in keeping with the tropical theme we have used white rum. This luscious dessert is perfect for your Christmas table, and can be made the day before so all that needs to be done on the big day is to tuck in and enjoy.

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Honey & Smoked Paprika Roasted Nuts

These addictive sweet, spicy, salty nuts will go down a treat this Festive Season. They were a big hit in our Christmas Cooking Class last weekend, and as well as being a cinch to prepare they make a wonderful gift. Use a selection of nuts – almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamias, etc – just make sure they are not already roasted. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and the nuts will keep fresh for a week stored in an airtight container.

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