Mexican Cups

Mexican cups recipe

When thinking of a recipe to create for the Pampas blogger search competition I could not go past a family friendly recipe that would also make great leftovers for lunch and school box fillers.

The flaky, pastry and mince filling is a great combination and let’s face it who doesn’t like to eat with their hands?

There seems to be some special kind of enjoyment as you pick these colourful cups and take your first bite……first there is a slight crunch then a big hit from the Mexican spice mince which is then enveloped by the grated cheese, finely chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes and dollop of sour cream. Each mouthful is perfect. Sure a little mess is to be had and fingers are to be licked but that is the best part! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all did.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green capsicum diced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 700ml passata
  • season with salt and pepper
  • 4 sheets puff pastry, thawed cut into squares

For toppings

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Grated cheesed (I used tasty)
  • Deseeded and diced tomato
  • Sour cream

METHOD

1. In a deep 30cm sautee pan, add oil on medium heat. Once heated add onions and stir for 2 minutes. Add the green and red capsicums and cook until they are all soft and translucent. Add herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

2. Turn heat on high and add mince and cook until browned breaking out any lumps. Season.

3. Reduce heat to low and add the passata and stock. Partially cover simmering for 30 mins stirring occasionally. Check seasoning again. Leave cover off for a further 20 min or until the sauce thickens stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick.

4. Take off heat and spread on a flat baking tray to cool quickly.

5. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

6. Cut thawed puff pastry into squares and lightly spray 3 x ¼ cup capacity muffin trays with oil. Place the squares in pressing firmly.

7. Place the cooled beef mince in the pans.

8. Lift the edges of the puff pastry and slightly fold to encase the filling. Bake in oven for approx.. 25 mins or until the pastry is puffed and dark golden brown. Stand for 10 mins and serve with toppings. Enjoy!

Mexican cups recipe

One Pot Lemon Chicken

One Pot Lemon Chicken

There is something comforting about this dish. When other children were coming home to BBQ chicken and chips, I would come home to the aromatic bliss of cloves and all spice. Although the potatoes are fried off separately I call this a one pot lemon chicken meal, as they are cooked a second time in the pot with the chicken. It is the simplest, foolproof, tastiest lemon chicken, Greek style. You simply cannot get this recipe wrong, it is that easy.

The chicken will melt in your mouth and the twice cooked potatoes will make you want even more. I have used chicken chops this time around but my mum always made it with chicken Marylands, making it an affordable budget friendly meal. We love to serve ours with a traditional Greek salad.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 chicken chops or marylands
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1kg potatoes (I used 4 large), cut into quarters
  • oil for frying the potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 whole allspice piemento
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano + ½ tablespoon extra
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt + 1 teaspoon extra
  • 1 ½ cups oil + 1 tablespoon extra
  • ½ cup water + ¼ cup water extra

METHOD

1. In a bowl, rub ½ tblsp oregano, ¾ tblsp salt and 2 tsp of the lemon juice onto the chicken.
You will need a large 30 cm deep pan with lid.

2. On medium to high heat add 1 tblsp olive oil. Brown the chicken placing skin side down for about 4-5 minutes. Turn over brown. Turn over again skin side down and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add 1 ½ cups oil, lemon juice, juices remaining from chicken in the bowl and ½ cup water.

4. Sprinkle the nutmeg, cloves and all spice piemento on top. Put heat on low and add lid. Cook for 45 minutes turning chicken over twice, the last time being skin down.

5. Meanwhile deep fry the potatoes until golden and par cooked. I used a 20 cm deep saucepan and filled it with oil 8cm deep for frying.

6. Add the potatoes to the pot with the chicken when the 45 mins is up and sprinkle with remaining oregano, salt and ¼ cup water.

7. Put lid on and carefully give the pot a little shake to distribute ingredients. Cook for a further 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Enjoy your one pot lemon chicken!

Christmas Waffle Cones

Christmas waffle cones

INGREDIENTS

  • Mini waffle cones
  • Queen Fine foods royal icing
  • Green food colouring (for smooth and thick consistency)
  • Edible decorating e.g. sprinkles.

METHOD

1. Smooth onto the waffle cone using a knife gently spreading it round.

2. Decorate cone with sprinkles. Work quickly before the icing sets.

3. Use as an edible decoration on your Christmas table or serve with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Enjoy!

Chocolate Brownie Gelato

Chocolate Brownie Gelato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Litre Queen Make at Home Gelato, chocolate or any plain good quality chocolate ice cream
  • 1/2 batch of brownies (batch from scratch or use a packet).
  • 1/2 cup grated 70% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup moist coconut flakes
  • Cherries for decoration

METHOD

1. Make gelato as per instructions or allow store brought one to soften.

2. Roughly break up your pre-made brownies into small pieces after cooled. Once gelato is ready mix in the brownie pieces. In a tin line the sides and base with overhanging cling wrap.

3. Place chocolate gelato and brownie mix in tin and cover tightly with wrap.

4. Once gelato is frozen remove cling wrap and coat in grated chocolate. Top with moist coconut flakes and fresh cherries.

This creation was one of my submissions to the Queen Make at Home Gelato win a Trip to Italy Competition 2012.

Leftover Chicken and Lentil pizza

Leftover chicken and Lentil pizza

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x Large round pizza bases coated in a pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated pizza cheese
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green capsicum diced
  • 1 tin lentils rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly shredded chicken
  • 1 large tomato thinly sliced
  • 3 boconcini roughly torn

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

2. In a fry pan saute red onion, with olive oil with red and green capsicums until soft for about 5 -10 minutes on low heat stirring occasionally. Season.

3. Sprinkle grated pizza cheese between 2 bases. Add onion mixture on top of 2 bases.

4. Add chicken with lentils, sliced tomatoes and torn bococcini.

5. Sprinkle with oregano and place in oven until crisp and cheese is golden. Enjoy!

Lighter Moussaka

Lighter Moussaka

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 3 eggplants
  • Olive Oil spray
  • 1/2 cup grated permesan
  • 500g Lean beef mince
  • 500g Pork mince
  • 810g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large red capscium
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cups stalt reduced chicken stock
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tsp Gourmet Garden Mediterranean Herbs
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste

Bechamel:

  • 500ml no fat milk
  • 25g butter
  • 50g flour
  • Pinch of nutmeg

METHOD

1. Grill 4 medium potatoes sliced to about. 5mm 3 eggplants sliced lengthways. Add Olive oil spray and 1/2 cup grated parmesan.

2. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

3. Line 3 trays with baking paper and spray with olive oil. Line the eggplants and potatoes and season and spray with olive oil. Place in oven for approx. 20 minutes until potatoes are just starting to soften and change colour slightly and eggplants are golden brown. Set aside.

4. In a large pan heat oil on medium heat and add onions and stir until starting to soften.

5. Add the garlic, capsicum and carrots, season and cook stirring occasionally until soft. Adjust heat to high and add mince stirring until browned.

6. Add tomato paste, stir. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken stock. Adjust heat to low and allow sauce to simmer partly covered until sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat.

7. For Bechamel In a small saucepan add butter, melt. Add flour and with a whisk stir continuously until it comes away from the sides. Add half the milk, whisking constantly until starting to thicken then add remaining milk and whisk until bechamel becomes thick. Add nutmeg, stir. Set aside.

8. Lower heat in oven to 180 degrees. In a square baking dish line a layer of eggplants then a layer of mince. Add a layer of potatoes then a layer of eggplants then another layer of mince. Top with Bechamel sauce then sprinkle with parmesan. Bake until golden brown. Allow to rest about 20 minutes before serving.

Peanut Butter and Nutella Chocolate Mousse

Peanut Butter and Nutella Chocolate Mousse

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate ripple biscuits
  • 1/2 cup macadamias
  • 60g melted butter
  • 70g dark chocolate, chopped.
  • 65g peanut butter
  • 65g Nutella
  • 225ml Milk
  • 150ml cream
  • 2 eggs

METHOD

1. BASE 1 1/2 Cups chocolate ripple biscuits, crumbed 1/2 cup macadamias, ground in food processor 60 g melted butter

2. For mousse 70 g dark chocolate, chopped 65 g peanut butter 65g nutella 225ml milk 150ml cream 2 eggs (I made I mini springform pan and 8 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tray cases).

3. Prepare base ingredients and press into cupcake patty cases in muffin trays and mini springform pan. You can make all cupcake sizes if you prefer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until firm.

4. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celsius.

5. Place peanut butter, nutella and chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.

6. On low heat place cream and milk in a small saucepan and bring to just below boiling point.

7. Pour cream over, peanut butter, nutella and chocolate and stir until smooth and melted.

8. Add eggs one at a time whisking gently until well combined.

9. Pour mousse into pre-prepared cases/pans.

10. Bake for 10 minutes for the cupcake size and 15 minutes if making the mini spring-form pans. You will know they are ready when they are JUST beginning to set.

11. Remove from oven to cool completely.

12. Serve with a dollop of thickened cream and fresh fruit or chocolate shavings.

Note: I like to serve mine chilled but room temperature would be okay if that is what you would prefer. Enjoy!

Pureed Broccoli Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Pureed Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 g pasta of your choice (macaroni is good for the whole family)
  • 250 g pureed broccoli florets (fresh or frozen is fine)
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 1 cup of cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder (or nutmeg or paprika)
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • Extra parmesan for top

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celsius.

2. Prepare macaroni as per instructions and make sure it is just al dente. Do not overcook at this point. Set aside.

3. Prepare broccoli by steaming, boiling or by microwave, its your choice.

4. Puree broccoli. Add cream and cheeses. Set aside.

5. In a medium saucepan on low heat add butter, melt then add flour.

6. Whisk until the mixture comes away from the sides.

7. Add half the milk, whisk quickly to avoid lumps, add remaining milk, continuously whisking until thick.

8. Add curry powder, nutmeg or paprika.

9. In a big bowl mix ALL the ingredients well together.

10. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle extra grated parmesan on top.

11. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Easy Garlic Prawn Skewers

Easy Garlic Prawn skewers

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of prawn cutlets.
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 tsp of garlic paste
  • 5  garlic cloves

METHOD

1. Prepare some prawn cutlets and skewer 3 on mini skewers.

2. Prepare a basting of 3/4 cup olive oil, squeeze of half a lemon and 4 tsp of garlic paste or 4 garlic cloves crushed.

3. Cook the prawn on medium heat with a little oil for a minute or so on each side.

4. When done brush with the garlic marinade and Enjoy…..yes it is that easy!

Noodle cakes

Noodle cakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 210g dried thin noodles broken up into smaller pieces (roughly)
  • 2 tblsp Sweet Chilli sauce
  • 2 tblsp soy sauce
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked with fork
  • 6 tablespoons self-raising flour

METHOD

1. On medium heat in a large saucepan spray some oil.

2. After combining all the ingredients together, scoop a large icec ream scoop’s worth of batter and place in the pan.

3. Press down with a flat spatula and flatten.

4. Repeat this step and allow 2 cm per noodle cake.

5. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Enjoy!