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Cheesy fennel scrolls

March 4th 2014 09:29
cheesy fennel scrolls

What's that you say? It's March? No. It can't be, because I was on here just the other day, and it turns out that was January...


OK, maybe you're right.

During the past few months I have definitely been cooking, and most definitely eating. One of my favourite things that I made is the more wholesome, savoury sister to these delicious morsels. Don't get me wrong. When I say wholesome they are still absolutely delicious (and they carry a fair bit of cheese, so they're not really all that good for you), but you could happily eat them for dinner with some pickled bits and pieces and not feel that you had to have a lettuce leaf the next night.

This recipe is a variation of Deb's from Smitten Kitchen. Her original is launded as a breakfast bun, but I find her inclusion of onion to be a bit overpowering for the morning. Instead, I prefer these with the use of a fennel bulb instead, and I made them mid-morning, making them ready to devour at lunch...

Cheesy scrolls

3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
7 grams instant yeast
1 cup milk
55 grams melted butter, plus extra to brush


1/2 cup grated fennel bulb (about 1/2 a bulb)
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the dough, combine the flour, salt and a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the yeast into the milk until it dissolves, then pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the melted butter. Mix together until the dough forms a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 8 minutes, until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with glad wrap. Leave in a warm place until it doubles in size, about two hours.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12cm by 16cm. Mix filling ingredients together and spread thinly over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the short ends. Roll tightly from one short end to the other. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 event pieces.

Line a pan with baking paper and stand each roll on the tray, with enough room between them so they can expand slightly. Brush the tops with the extra butter, then cover with glad wrap and leave to rise again, approximately 2 hours.

Preheat over to 180 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the cheese bubbles from the centre. These are best eaten immediately.

cheesy fennel scrolls


Leek and chicken (or turkey) parcels

January 2nd 2014 05:20
chicken leek parcels

Similar to what my sister and I do at my grandma's place every 6 weeks or so, a friend and I have been doing some hard-core cooking at home to fill our freezers with delicious morsels.

A current favourite are these lovely chicken and leek parcels, made with a simple puff pastry case. We partly cook them, then wait for them to cool, wrap them in gladwrap and put them in the freezer for another day. If you have an excess of turkey laying around from Christmas, then an excellent alternative to these would be turkey and leek parcels, simply substituting the chicken fillets for your cooked left over turkey meat.

25g butter
2-3 medium leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
400g chicken fillet (a mix of breast and thigh is good) - or cooked turkey meat
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
120ml cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
store bought puff pastry sheets, thawed

Melt the butter in a medium sized frying pan. Add leeks and cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft and golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Slice chicken into bite sized pieces. Add chicken to pan and cook until golden and cooked through. Add thyme leaves, cream and mustard. Stir through to combine. Add leeks back into pan and stir everything together so that it is well mixed.

Allow to cool a little. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into two, slicing diagonally through the middle. Place two large spoonfuls of the mixture in one corner of each triangle and fold the remaining pastry over the top to form a triangle. Use a fork to seal the edges all the way round.

Bake in the over for 20 minutes, or until golden and nicely puffed.

TO FREEZE: Partially cook parcels in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then wrap parcels in two layers of gladwrap and put in the freezer. To cook from frozen, simply place frozen parcels into a 190 degree pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.

sweet potato spinach frittata

With a basket full of eggs staring me down the other night, and feeling like something a bit lighter for dinner after a week of heavy eating, I turned to an old favourite in the form of a frittata. I find frittatas to be a bit like risottos – the basics are always the same, and then you can add in a bit of whatever you have on hand. I had on hand some sweet potato, some spinach and some pine nuts – so we had a sweet potato and spinach frittata.

500g sweet potato
100g baby spinach leaves
50 toasted pine nuts
6 eggs
½ cup cream
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup mixed parmesan and mozzarella cheese
small handful chopped parsley.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Slice sweet potato into thin rounds then steam until soft. Allow to cool slightly. Layer half sweet potato, spinach, pine nuts and cheese into a lined 20cm square cake tin, then repeat. Mix together eggs, cream, paprika and parsley. Gently pour egg mixture over the layers. Place in the oven, and cook for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden and the egg is cooked through. Serve with salad.

sweet potato spinach frittata


Caramalised onion tarte tatin

November 26th 2013 10:35
onion tarte tatin

It always surprises me how ‘sweet’ lots of vegetables are. Onions, carrots, pumpkin, leeks – they just need a little bit of butter or oil and some patient, gentle cooking time. It’s not really a surprise then that a dish which is traditionally made with fruit and served as a dessert also works very, very well when made with vegetables. Tarte tatin is one of my favourite dishes out there. It is such a simple idea, to cook your fruit or vegetable until they are beautifully golden and caramalised, and then add a sheet of pastry over the top to hold it all together. It is certainly one that is well worth having in your repertoire

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North african squash and chickpea stew

November 11th 2013 05:35
pumpkin and chickpea stew

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (or Hugh Feathery What'shisface as he is affectionately known around here) is fast becoming one of my favourite 'celebrity' chefs. His River Cottage Veg Everyday book is very popular in our kitchen, and among my friends, it is the most common book that we share

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Japanese pancakes

November 3rd 2013 10:38

Way back when, we hosted a Japanese dinner party for friends, with everyone bringing along a course to share. One of our friends made some delicious cabbage pancakes, and pretty soon after that I asked her for the recipe and started making them regularly - I love the ways some recipes fall into your repertoire

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Meet my new space

September 7th 2013 04:03
rough cooking kitchen

Welcome to my new kitchen

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Changing up your default flavour

July 10th 2013 12:01
lamb shanks

My default flavourings for lamb shanks have always been rich, hearty and tomato-based, which when slow cooked meld together for a delicious, mouth watering taste which seems both sumptuous and extravagant

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Tomato risotto

May 22nd 2013 10:45
tomato mozzarella risotto
I do love a good risotto. And I do mean love (see here, here and here). The creamy starchiness from the rice, a few veggies or pieces of meat standing out like jewels in the rice-y goodness and a nice sprinkling of strong parmesan over the whole lot. Yum.

For those days when you’re definitely in the mood for a veggie version, but looking for that creamy, cheesy goodness, this is one to try. Adapted from The River Cottage Veg Everyday cook book, I have made this a bit easier, by using a store bought tomato basil sauce, and I have even on occasion, when I really can’t muster the energy of heading to the shops, used a very simple passata with a few fresh basil leaves thrown in. My favourite part of the dish is the little islands of mozarella, which sit in the tomatoey rice, appearing from the surface to be mainly intact, but in actual fact have a melted, stretchy interior and base which are delicious to bit into

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Artichoke stuffed shells

May 16th 2013 06:44
artichoke baked pasta shells

I love these giant pasta shells, but normally I have to buy them when I go to the markets in town, so I was very excited to see them for sale at our local supermarket. And I know its silly, but I really like the fact that these come in a paper bag, rather than your normal cellophane packaging... its the little things

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