The Ultimate Mocha

Indulge yourself this weekend with a sumptuous rich mocha!

Ingredients

  • 50g Dark or Milk Chocolate
  • 2 TSP Cocoa Powder
  • 500ml Milk
  • 2 TSP Instant Coffee

Directions

Melt the chocolate by blasting it in the microwave, check every 30 seconds, so that it doesn’t burn. In a non stick pan, add the milk and instant coffee. Turn on the hob heat to medium and allow to simmer. Whilst the milky coffee is warming, dip the rim of the coffee cup into the melted chocolate and then into the cocoa power, tap off any excess powder and leave to one side. Add the remaining melted chocolate to the milk and stir with a whisk. Once the milky mocha has fully combined transfer to a jug, then pour into the chocolatey coffee cups. Sip the heavenly coffee in the company of your favourite person and comfort of your favourite blanket.

Coffee and Chocolate is a match made in heaven!

Coffee and Chocolate is a match made in heaven!

Tiger Prawn Risotto

Upgrade your frozen prawn risotto to this mouth watering fresh fish delight. Don’t get me wrong, i do use frozen prawns for fish pies, thai noodles etc, but its nice to treat yourself every once and a while to some fresh shellfish.

Luckily we are living next-door to the Auckland CBD harbour so there is always fresh fish. Last sunday we went on a beautiful walk along the harbour side and whilst we were there i couldn’t resist a look in the fishmongers. The tiger prawns looked so big and fresh i just had to get some, that night we had a rich and creamy tiger prawn risotto. See below for the recipe, enjoy!

 

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Ingredients

  • 6 large fresh Tiger Prawns
  • 1 Cup of Risotto Rice
  • 1 Cup of Peas 
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • Large handful of fresh chopped Parsley 
  • 1 onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 100g Butter
  • Olive oil

Serves 2

Directions

Chop the onion and garlic. Pop into a deep based pan with olive oil then fry in a medium heat until soft and translucent.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, put in the uncooked prawns and fill with water so that they are well covered. Add a tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Once cooked turn off the heat. This will become the flavoursome stock.  

Tip in the risotto rice into the pan of onions and garlic. Stir. Cook for a few mins until the rice has started to turn translucent. add more oil if needed.

Take a ladle of the prawn stock and pour it on to the rice. Stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed, repeat the process until the rice has cooked through.

When the prawns have cooked through and are a beautiful pink, remove from the stock and place into a bowl and cover. 

Tip the peas and half of the parsley into the risotto and stir in. Season to taste. I added a hefty amount of black pepper, yum! Once you are happy with the texture of the risotto. Add the butter and stir in, this gives it the rich and creamy taste. 

Serve with the remaining parsley and the prawns with the shells on or off.

 

True Italian Tomato Sauce

Here is an absolutely delicious recipe using simple key ingredients that we all know and love, made irresistible.

It’s so easy to grab a jar of ready made tomato sauce whilst doing your weekly shop, but this quick and healthy substitute recipe will convert you into a bellissimo cook-from-scratch chef in no time. You will find that probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboards at home already!

 

Tomato Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 5/6 Sun-dried tomatoes + 2 TBSP of the oil they are kept in.
  • Herbs of your choice. 1 Handfull of fresh basil if you have it. Otherwise dried italian herbs are a good substitute (1 TBSP).
  • 1 onion
  • 1 TBSP of brown sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

Serve with pasta and cheese.

Serves 2  |  Suitable for Freezing

Directions

Fry chopped onions in the sun-dried tomato oil until they become translucent. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, fry lightly until they start to gain some colour. Tip in dried herbs and stir. If you are using fresh herbs, add to the sauce before serving.

Tip all of the contents from the pan and the tin of chopped tomatoes into a blender and blitz until a smooth and silky. Transfer into a pan and heat the sauce through.

If you like a chunky textured sauce, skip the blender and add the chopped tomatoes straight into the pan of onions and sun dried tomatoes, simmer for 10 – 15 minuets until the sauce has thickened. 

Stir in a tsp of brown sugar (and the fresh herbs) a minuet before serving. The sugar is optional, it helps adds sweetness as the tomatoes can be quite acidic. 

Add cooked pasta to the sauce with a splash of the pasta water. The water helps combine the sauce and the pasta and stops the dish from drying out. Stir in the pasta until it is completely coated, this is the traditional way of serving pasta in Italy.

To finish add a handful of your favourite cheese, mozzarella is recommended for an authentic Italian taste. 

 

 

Salmon and Lemon Risotto

There it was sat at the back of the cupboard, shouting “Eat me, Eat me!”. Challenge accepted.

The nifty box of risotto rice is simple yet determined to impress. It’s a recipe that anyone can do but it is what you add that makes each risotto recipe different. It’s cheap, healthy(ish), italian, hearty and yummy. Whats not to love?

Salmon & Lemon Risotto

Ingredients

  • 320g Risotto Rice
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 1 Litre of boiling Chicken/Fish Stock
  • 1 Glass of Dry White Wine
  • 50g Butter
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Grated Parmesan (to personal taste)
  • 50g of Peas (I used frozen)
  • 2 Salmon Fillets (flaked/chopped)
  • 1/2 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • Bunch of fresh rocket

Fry off the chopped onion and garlic in the butter until softened. Add the risotto rice and stir constantly for 5 mins until the rice starts to turn transparent. Pour in the white wine and cook off until evaporated. Pour in a 3rd of the boiling stock and stir. Leave for a few mins. Add more stock when necessary. Continue process for 20 mins. Test the bite of the risotto. If to liking, add the salmon and peas. Stir until salmon is cooked through. Add the parmesan, the lemon juice and zest.

You should have a silky and creamy risotto. Finish off with a good douse of crack black pepper and rocket on top.

Serves 4 | 40mins

Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto

Pesto

Pesto is mainly served with pasta, but it is also great with chicken, fish, other meats, drizzling over pizza and any antipasti.

Great hot or cold!

Ingredients:

Top up with oil, this will help it keep for longer.

  • Large handful of fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil or Arrabiata oil
  • Handful of pine kernels and extra to scatter on top
  • 75g Parmesan Cheese
  • 100g Penne pasta
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Half a Lemon

The Arrabiata oil is a chilli oil which has a nice heat to it, where as Olive oil has the classic earthy flavour to it and is used in the original Pesto recipe. I used the Arrabiata oil in this recipe as i wanted a little kick to my pasta but using Olive oil is just as good and most commonly kept in store cupboards. So the choice is up to you!

First add your pasta to a pan of seasoned boiling water and leave to cook for 10 to 15 mins.

Toast your pine kernels in a pan, be careful not to burn them as they colour very quickly. You are looking for golden brown kernels, toasting the kernels enhances the flavour making it even more delicious! Once you have toasted your pine nuts, put the nuts, half of the cheese, blitz until a smooth oily sauce. (The smell of the basil will make your tummy rumble!!) Add more oil if needed, remember you want it to coat the pasta completely. Once the the pasta is cooked to desired bite. Drain, but not until bone dry, you want it to retain some moisture. Stir the pesto into the pasta. Serve and scatter your remaining pine nuts and cheese!

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AND HEY PESTO! There you have it!

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Green Basil Pesto & Penne