Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bits and pieces

Meals have been simple here, the heat is keeping me out of the kitchen as much as possible.

Last nights dinner: fish cakes with tartare sauce and salad. Today, home alone for a few hours, I thought I would share a few simple recipes that have we been making and enjoying over the summer.

Tartare sauce has been served with fish cakes and homemade fish and chips. We have put it on burgers and it's very good on chicken sandwiches too.

Tartare Sauce

makes 3/4 cup

• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon shallots (finely chopped)
• 1 tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)
• 1 tablespoon dill pickle (finely chopped)
• 1 tablespoon capers (finely chopped)
• 1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve.


I made up these two dressings to have in the fridge over Christmas, they make a simple salad much more exciting. To make a warm dinner salad, we added grilled chicken, lamb or prawns and then drizzled over some dressing. I also like the lemon vinegar dressing tossed through warm potatoes, or liberally poured over salads of white beans or chickpeas.

Honey Mustard Dressing

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 3 teaspoons honey
• 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
• 1 teaspoon djion mustard

Mix all of the ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.


Lemon Vinegar Dressing

• 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons lemon zest (finely chopped)
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
• salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.


I have been making this recipe for years, simple marinated olives, that I took 'everywhere' this summer. Most days I marinated them just a few hours before eating them and they were fine. Any olives not eaten, were tossed through salads: leafy, pasta, or cous cous. Yum.
Tuscan Olives

makes 1 cup

• 1 cup kalamata olives
• peel of half an orange (cut into 1 inch pieces)
• peel of half a lemon (cut into 1 inch pieces)
• 1 clove garlic (crushed)
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (lightly crushed)
• black pepper
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients and marinate overnight. If you cover the olives completely with the oil, you can leave the olives for 10 days to let them infuse.


And with chillies from the garden, we made sweet chilli sauce. For dipping homemade chicken nuggets and making asian salad dressings. The rest is in the fridge for cooking. The crushed chillies (sambal oelek) is great when there are no fresh chillies at hand. I have used it in marinades for barbecued meats and to add a little kick our our favourite pasta sauces.

 Sweet Chilli Sauce

makes 1 cup

• 12 red thai chillies (roughly chopped)
• 4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
• 250 ml white vinegar
• 125 grams sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt

Crush the chillies and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Put into a saucepan with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and put into a sterilized jar. This can be kept in the fridge for 2 months.


Sambal Oelek

makes 1/2 cup

• 20 red thai chillies (roughly chopped)
• 3 teaspoons salt

Put both the chillies and salt into a mortar and pestle. Pound into a course paste. Put into a sterilised jar. This can be kept in the fridge for 1 to 2 months.


 What have you been eating to keep the heat at bay?

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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