Spring rolls

Spring rolls are one of those dishes you can have as an entrée, a party dish, a footy season side dish or really, anytime once you see how easy these are to make! Warning – once you’ve made spring rolls fresh and lovely yourself, you probably will not order them at your local sushi bar again because they just can’t compare.

Ingredients

80 to 100 spring roll wrappers

1 kg chicken mince

A splash of vegetable oil

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp chopped lemongrass

300g kale slaw (a mixture of shredded beetroot, red cabbage, kale and carrot)

100 g bean sprouts

A handful of basil, chopped finely

¼ cup oyster sauce

4 tbs soy sauce

1 egg

3 L vegetable oil for frying

 

Method

Making your mixture is the first step in this very easy process. Place your splash of oil in a pan and heat on medium. Add your chicken mince, onion, garlic and lemongrass and cook until the mince is cooked through. Add your soy and oyster sauce. If you feel like you want more sauce, go for it. I keep it light myself. Now add your kale slaw and bean sprouts. Now add your basil and stir on low heat until everything is combined. Set aside to cool.

Take your spring roll wrappers out of the freezer and leave for 5 minutes or so. Separate each sheet now, just piling up together as they were, except you’ve divided them to make it easier when you are wrapping. Now to turn on some Eminem and Loose Yourself…. Ok, maybe not, but you are about to be a wrapper… so maybe some rap music is apt!

Crack your egg and whisk to make an egg wash. To make the rolls, simply turn your wrapper from a square into a triangle that doesn’t quite meet at the top edge. Now place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture on a triangular facing wrapper. Follow the pictures as shown, folding each side in, then rolling to the top. Seal your wrap with the egg wash and place your roll into a freezable container.

  1. Position your wrapper

2. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper to the top, leaving a gap of about 1.5 cm

3. Place a teaspoon of the mixture on the wrapper

4. Fold the right wing in over the mixture

5. Fold the left wing over the middle too

6. Roll upwards, tightly

7. Seal with egg wash

Ready for the freezer!

Freeze your spring rolls for a minimum of 2 hours. This allows for better cooking. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown and leave on a wire rack to cool. Pretty easy huh! And these have no comparison, once you start to make your own homemade spring rolls, you will probably never eat the mediocre sushi bar ones again. Enjoy fresh and hot, with or without your favourite dipping sauce. I went for a sweet chilli – so boringly normal but so delish! Have fun rapping!!

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Spring rolls

brown butter bread

This is such an easy and impressive side dish. My family love it, and the parishioners at mass really got into it over Christmas! Beware – once you’ve made it you’ll have it as a staple special occasion side!

Ingredients

One large sourdough or 4 individual portion sourdoughs

½ cup brown sugar

125 g butter

2 large sprigs rosemary

 

Method

Cut the bread into a checker board pattern. Combine the butter and sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat and leave to melt. Stir a little and then brush over the bread once. Add some chopped rosemary into the butter glaze and then pour over the bread. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes until golden and the aroma fills the room!

 

brown butter bread

sardine dip

Just a few ingredients make this dip a quiet hero, but it is lovely! Alter the amounts you use depending on your taste buds. That is the thing with cooking isn’t it, you just do what you like and you know it is going to be yummy!

 

Ingredients

3tbs cream cheese

2 sardines, tinned with oil dripping all over them

5 sundried tomatoes in oil

Salt and pepper to your liking (or anchovy)

 

Method

Place all ingredients into your nutri-bullet, blitzer, blender, whatever you are using to make things smooth and yummy. Blitz for 15 seconds and you are done. Have a taste, if you feel you want more salt, go for it, mine was salty enough because of the brand of sardines I used. Alternatively, add a few anchovies for saltiness! Serve with crackers and/or chopped vegetables.

sardine dip

Chicken soup

This is the bomb! The flu bomb! The sniffly nose bomb! The I feel like I need a hug bomb! It just happens to be my son’s favourite soup, and he was feeling a little off so I made this for his lunch. It freezes very well, so the rest is in the deep box for next time someone needs to feel better.

Ingredients

10 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 celery sticks, diced

1 can creamed corn

2 tbs vegetable stock powder

1 roast chicken, torn apart

3 desiree potatoes, diced chunky

1L water

Handful of parsley

A couple of sprigs of thyme

Splash of olive oil

 

Method

Shake a splash of olive oil into a large pot and heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery and carrots, cooking together for five minutes. Now add your water, stock powder, creamed corn and shredded chook. Bring to the boil and then simmer for ten minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for a further twenty minutes. Add your herbs and serve piping hot!!

Chicken soup

BBQ Beef ribs

Ribs were on sale at the local butcher, so I couldn’t resist! Although ribs are a mix of fat and meat, the low and slow cooking method makes them really tender and they are a big family favourite!

Ingredients

4 beef ribs on the bone

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup BBQ sauce

Splash Worcestershire sauce

Splash of whiskey, I used Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

Pepper

 

Method

Combine the brown sugar, bbq sauce, whiskey and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan and stir on low until the sugar has dissolved. Crack pepper into the mixture. I do not add extra salt because the bought bbq sauce if salty enough, but add some if you like. Place the ribs in a baking dish lined with alfoil and pour the sauce over them, rubbing the beef, getting the sauce all over them. Put the dish in the fridge for a few hours. An hour and 15 minutes before you need them, grab the dish and put it in the oven on 160 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes. At the 50 minute mark, turn the heat up to 200 degrees and leave for 10 minutes. Take the ribs out of the oven and cover with alfoil or a large plate to keep the heat in and leave them sit for 10 minutes. Serve as you like. Warning – there is no real lady-like way to eat these little beauties, even if you start with cutlery the bone will get you!! Lol!

BBQ Beef ribs

Brussel and haloumi starters

My kids call haloumi “squeaky cheese” and I do use it often, so they get their squeak on often! I found a paneer recipe of this in the ‘I Quit Sugar’ cookbook my dear friend Sara gifted me, but seeing as we just love love love haloumi, the adjustment had to be made! This was a winner as an entrée at our family bbq, but if I was having a dinner party I’d serve a couple on a bed of sweet potato puree or roasted capsicum. Have a go, they’re easy and yummy!!

Jan 2016 001

Ingredients

250g brussel sprouts

200 g block haloumi

Splash olive oil

Sprinkle of salt

 

Method

Slice the brussels in half and slice the haloumi into squares. Assemble the haloumi to be sandwiched in between the brussels, using a toothpick to secure them together. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot, place each morsel in and fry for 3-5 minutes, then toss/turn and fry for a further 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately!

 

 

 

Brussel and haloumi starters