Spinach Dip

Drain 2 packets frozen chopped spinach
Mix together well
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonaise
2 packets spring vegetable soup
Drained spinach
Cut the top off a large loaf of bread and hollow out the centre. Reserve the bread and chop into bite sized peices.
Pour dip into bread case and surround with bread pieces. When these have all been eaten, it’s time to demolish the bread case.

Satay Sauce

Fry 1 chopped onion until brown.
3 cloves garlic chopped coarsly
1 tbspn Thai red curry paste (preferably Mae Ploy brand)
150g peanut butter
2 tbspns fish sauce
6 tbspns brown sugar
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 cup water

Simmer together for 10 mins until the starch in the peanut butter thickens the sauce.

Taste and adjust flavour to your liking with extra salt, sugar, chilli or lemon juice.

Cheese Biscuits


  • 250g or 2 cups plain cake flour
  • 35g or 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 250g block of parmesan cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 good teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cayenne to taste
  • 10g or 3 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 220g butter chilled
  • 1-2 tablespoons sour cream or lemon juice


  1. With food processor running drop cheese in giving it time to process each block before adding another.
  2. Add flours, cheese and seasonings in food processor and process until well combined.
  3. Cut into small pieces and add, processing until the mixture looks like sand.
  4. With motor running add enough sour cream or lemon juice so mixture just forms a ball.
  5. Roll into logs 4cm or 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic and chill thoroughly, or freeze for a couple of months!
  6. Cut up into slices about 3mm thick.
  7. Bake in oven, at 160C for 10 -12 mins. Rotate tray front to back then close oven door and turn off. Allow to cool in the oven to brown and crisp up.
  8. They're best when they are light brown.

Pork with Ginger

This has a really nice coating of soy and sugar

Mix 2t cornflour
2t soy sauce
1t oil
Thinkly slice one pork loin chop. Place in cornflour mix and refrigerate at least 10 mins for coating to set.
Place in non stick fry pan with
1t oil
6 slices ginger, shredded
Fry over high heat until brown. Add
1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry
Sprinkle with a little chopped coriander and serve.

Tamarind Sauce for Chicken

This sauce is delicious served with steamed or fried chicken.

First make the tamarind water.
Pour 100 mls water over 1 tablespoon (30g) tamarind from a block. Leave to soak then strain, pushing down on the tamarind to extract as much flavour as possible.

Fry 1 diced onion until brown
6 thin slices ginger, shredded

Add tamarind water
2 tablespoons kecap manis
½ teaspoon bottled chilli (or to taste).I use Masterfoods, but you could also use fresh.

Simmer a few minutes to combine the flavours, then serve over chicken.

Champagne Crepe Cake layered with Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Sour Cream

Crepes are really easy, if you get some elements right. Cook's Illustrated tested crepes and came to the following conclusions.

What doesn't matter

How long and vigorously you mix the batter
The type of flour you use - high or low protein
Resting or not
The liquid you use
This is because the gluten component of crepes is quite dilute. Crepes set because of the eggs, unlike pancakes which use gluten to turn the batter into a pancake. 

What does matter

Using a non stick pan
Using the correct heat
Heating the pan thoroughly

Crepe Batter

Whisk together
3 large eggs
375mls or 1½ cups sparkling wine
185g or 1½ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Filling 1
300g sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
300g smoked salmon
Filling 2
4 avocados
Salt and lemon juice to taste
Directions Heat a non-stick frypan over medium-high heat for 10 mins to allow the pan to thoroughly and evenly heat.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix.
Brush the pan with a little melted butter.
Check temperature of pan by dropping a small amount of batter into the centre. It should brown in 20 seconds. If the pan is too hot or cool, adjust the temperature and give it a few minutes to adjust before testing again. (Take a note of the settings on your particular stove and you should only have to do this adjusting once.)
Pour batter into pan and tilt to form a crepe. I find 60mls is good for a 30cm pan.
Cook until top is dry, and the edges are crispy. Flip and cook until the other side is just starting to colour.
Remove crepe and layer on a plate. No need to layer plastic in between the crepes because they separate surprisingly easily. These can be made ahead. 
Repeat until all the batter is used. (A Chinese proverb says “First pancake never works”. True in life, and sometimes true with crepes. This recipe should make 8, but may make less due to 'accidents'. Drizzle said 'accidents' with lemon juice and sprinkle with a little sugar for a cook's treat!)
Filling 1 - Mix the sour cream with salt and pepper, stirring to break it up.
Filling 2 - Mash all ingredients together with a fork.
Assemble the cake Layer the fillings with the crepes, creating a striped effect. You can put the smoked salmon in a layer on it's own, or add it to a sour cream layer. As you layer the avocado and sour cream, pile a little more filling on the outsides than the insides to prevent it becoming dome shaped at the top.
Leave a few hours in the fridge to settle together.
Decorate the top as you like using extra sour cream to create a nice white background. To this add prawns, smoked salmon, cucumber, caviar, lemon twists, baby tomatoes halved, parsley or dill. Google "Smorgastarta" in Images to get ideas. 
Cut like a cake into 6-8 wedges.

Super bircher muesli adapted from Neil Perry

2 green apples grated with their skin still on
125 mls orange juice
500 grams plain yoghurt
125 mls cream, whipped to soft peaks
200 mls maple syrup
2 tablespoons sultanas
2 tablespoons toasted dessicated coconut
8 dried apricots sliced finely
1 mango, diced
4 passionfruit, pulp sieved from seeds
2 cups instant rolled oats

Combine all ingredients and leave overnight in the fridge.
Alternatively, omit the cream and orange juice and substitute with 250 mls milk.
Use fruit as desired. 

Creme Caramel Brulee

Mix 1 cup sugar
½ cup water

Heat, stirring until dissolved. Then boil over medium heat without stiring until a brown caramel colour. Test by removing a placing a little on a plate, but be careful not to over cook or it will taste burned.
Place into 6 ramekins and swirl to distribute the caramel up the sides. Don’t allow the bottom caramel to be too thick or it won’t melt properly.
Preheat oven to 150.

300mls cream - unthickened
200mls milk
1t vanilla essence or extract
½ cup sugar
Heat until nearly boiling, then cool a little.

Whisk together
3 eggs
3 egg yolks

Add slightly cooled milk mixture, whisking as you add it.
Strain through a fine strainer, and pour into prepared dishes.
Place folded tea towel on the bottom of a baking dish. Place creme caramels into baking dish and pour boiling water around them to come 1/3 to ½ way up.
Cover with alfoil, and place in 150 oven for 20 mins. Turn the dish around, and cook another 10 minutes. After this time remove any that are set, and cook those not set for another 5-10 mins. The length of time in the oven depends on the temperature of the milk mixture before you put them in and the actual temperature of the oven.
Remove from oven and chill 4-5 hours.
Either turn them out to serve, or sprinkle with caster sugar and brown the sugar on top with a blow torch or under a grill on high.

Kobe Jones Imitation Sauce

Miso 40 grams
Sugar 40 grams
Cupie 60 grams
Sour cream 100 grams
Mirin 20 grams
Cream 60 grams
Egg yolks to thicken 2
¼ packet bonito flavoured seasoning
Pinch hot english mustard powder

Mix all together well and heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until thickened. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Some ideas for using this sauce

Toss through lobster or scallops. Place on top of avocado tossed with lemon, olive oil and salt.
Slice and cook mushrooms. Add uncooked sauce to hot mushrooms and heat until thickened. Serve over soba noodles.

Spoon a little over oysters in the shell, and brown briefly under a hot grill.

See also Chicken in Honey Mustard Sauce adapted from Cook's Illustrated 

Roasted Lemon Broccoli

Preheat oven to 250º and line a shallow baking tray with baking paper. It should be shallow so not much humidity builds around the broccoli. I use a scone tray with no lip at all.

Mix together

½t salt
1 T lemon juice
1 ½ T olive oil
½ t sugar

Cut 1 head of broccoli into flowerettes and mix with oil and lemon dressing.
Place on baking paper and roast 15 mins until cooked and partly browned. Do not overcook as the delicate flowerettes burn easily.

Granny's Caramel Sauce

Combine in a saucepan

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons butter

Melt together, then add
1 cup cream.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Select vegetables for this salad. They could include potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, onion, parsnip, eggplant, zucchini, red pepper or any other veges that might roast well.

Pre heat oven to 200º. If cut the vegetables smaller, this could be raised to 250º. The idea is that they brown on the outside, and cook on the inside without being overly dry,

Individually peel and toss in a bowl with oil, salt and sugar. The sugar helps them brown.

Keeping each type of vegetable in separate areas, place in a single layer on baking paper on a /shallow/ baking dish, The higher the rim, the more the veges steam and the slower they are to brown, so I use a scone tray with no rim.

Roast, turning occasionally, until cooked and browned, removing pieces when they’re ready.

Place rocket or baby spinach on a large platter and top with roasted veges. Strew over soft herbs and nuts. In the photo I’ve used parsley, macadamia and pomegranate.

Granny's Mayonnaise

1 tin condensed milk
2 eggs
1teaspoon dry mustard or hot English mustard.
Salt and Pepper
½ c vinegar
1 c oil (not olive oil)
Process first four ingredients in food processor
Add vinegar
Pour oil in slowly