I HATE PEAS By Gary Keenan

I hate Peas those bright green squishy popping in your mouth like bursting zits things that I just cannot take.

Don’t get me wrong I have given the beggars’ a far chance over the decades I have been enticed many a time  by descriptive recipes that have sounded so wonderful, yet totally destroyed by the addition of Peas.

Why am ranting so much about Peas?

I am starting a movement for Peas to be added to the descriptive lines of all recipes that are now so commonly found.

For example I want to see Al a Penne, gluten free, dairy free, vegan friendly , vegetarian, egg free, sugar free , Paleo friendly, Whole thirty friendly ,nut free, AIP, Keto, grain free, healthy fats, 10 ingredients or less NO PEAS, Pasta with a big dash of boredom.

Why as recipe developers, restaurateurs and foodies do we feel the need to think our audience is so stupid and dumb that we need to entice them with a tag about their medical, dietary or belief/lifestyle system that we have to put in the description of our recipes?

I would rather read a recipe and be captured by its description than to go I can’t eat that because it has Peas in it.

My point is reading the title and sub title of a recipe should be enticing, beautifully descriptive that you need to make it or try it immediately.

Strawberry Cheesecake smothered in homemade dark chocolate sauce served with a  Vanilla bean ice cream with crunchy Caramel pieces, the end. That is all that is needed our readers will then make up their own mind on whether it is appealing to them, and if they can customise the recipe to their liking.

I find nothing more off putting when you start reading a recipe and once past the title, I am bombarded on how friendly or unfriendly the food is going to be before I can make an informed decision on the ingredients.

I am one of the fortunate people who does not have a worry about what my food contains, I suffer no allergies or misconception of my body’s ability to enjoy food to its fullest unless of course has Peas in it, so by the time I have read the description , if I have not fallen asleep with boredom,  I am thinking look another  boring recipe with no flavour.

Everything has its place and if writing a recipe book on food without Peas or Gluten free then fair enough wack it in the title, for that is an audience to be catered for by a book researched entirely for a consumers needs.

So for My First rant of 2017 I leave you with this

 

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Smokey bacon, and a creamy Garlic Potato Pea hash.

I will just take out the Peas LOL

 

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Best Banana Cake Ever

By Gary Keenan

Try this yummy Banana cake it will not dissapoint the taste buds.

 

Ingredients

125 gm Butter

1/2 cup Castor Sugar

2 Eggs (Beaten)

1 & 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour

1 Tsp Bicarb Soda

1/2 cup of Milk

3 Bananas (mashed)

Pinch of Cinnamon

Method

Place  butter in a bowl and with an electric mixer cream Butter  well then add Sugar and Eggs combining together, add mashed Bananas and pinch of Cinnamon mix well.

Mix Self raising Flour and Bi Carb together and then add Flour and Milk to Banana mixture  alternatively 1/3  at a time , mix well.

Line a 7 to 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper pour cake mixture in and bake at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Lasagna

By Gary Keenan

Serves 10

Ingredients

I kg minced Beef

1 Onion finely sliced

1 tin of crushed Tomatoes

2 cups Passata

1/2 cup Tomato Paste

3 tsp Sugar

4 cloves of Garlic Crushed

2 tabs of Butter

2 tabs of Plain Flour

5 cups grated Cheese

2 cups of Milk

1 x 250gm Lasagna Sheets (pre cooked)

2 tabs Olive Oil

Method

Lasagne Filling

Place Onion, Mince, Oil and Garlic into large saucepan on Med Heat  and cook until Beef has browned, then add Tomato paste, Tomatoes, Passata and Sugar, turn down heat and simmer for about an hour until sauce starts to reduce.

 Cheese Sauce

Place butter in saucepan and melt add Plain flour and make a roux, slowly add milk until a thick consistency , add 4 cups of grated cheese to sauce mixture, and stir until melted, add a little more milk depending on the thickness of the sauce you prefer.

In  a large square baking dish, place the first layer of Lasagne sheets, then pour a layer of Cheese sauce, then a layer of Lasagne sauce then another layer of Cheese sauce, cover with layer of Lasagne sheets and keep repeating the process until all sauces are used up, ending with a layer of Lasagne sheets on top, cover with white sauce and sprinkle 1 cup of Cheese over top, Place in a oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 45 Minutes or until top becomes crispy.

Raita

By Gary Keenan

Raita is traditionally served with hot and spicy food, giving a cooling sensation to the palette, you can also serve as a dip with crackers or Naan Bread.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

2 Cups Of plain Yoghurt

1 Cup Cucumber (peeled and seeded roughly chopped)

1/2 Cup fresh Mint (roughly chopped)

1/2 Cup of Spring Onions (Chopped)

Salt and Pepper

Method

Place all ingredients into bowl and mix well , season to taste with Salt and Pepper, keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve cold next to hot and spicy food.

Curried Rice

By Gary Keenan

Serves 4

2 cups Long grain Rice

2 cups of Water

3 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)

1 x Onion (finely diced)

90 gm Massaman Curry Paste (Store Brought)

Method

Place Rice, Onion, Garlic, and Curry paste into saucepan on medium heat and combine ingredients until Onion and Garlic are at translucent stage add two cups of Water and bring to boil once at the boil turn down and simmer until ready.

Note

Making Massaman curry paste from scratch is a very satisfying and rewarding job, however for this dish it is as easy to purchase a good quality store one.

Thai Bbq Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Chicken Breasts (each cut into 4 strips length wise)

3 Garlic Cloves (crushed)

2 Chilies red ( thinly  sliced )

1 cup Fresh Basil (chopped)

1 cup Fresh Coriander (chopped)

1/2 stalk Lemon grass (chopped)

2 tsp Sugar

1 tsp White Pepper

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cumin  Powder

1 Tabs  Olive oil

2 Tabs Lime Juice

1 large zip lock bag

Place all ingredients into zip lock bag and massage flavors into Chicken place in refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to achieve maximum flavor.

Heat BBQ grill on high and place Chicken on grill,

Pour marinade into small saucepan and heat on Bbq

Once Chicken is cooked place on serving platter and pour over hot marinade.

Serve with Raita and Curried Rice.

 

Yellow Watermelon Salad

By Gary Keenan

Ingredients

6 x slices of Yellow Watermelon

1/2 tsp Chilli powder

1/2 Red Onion diced

50 gm Marinated Feta

Method

Arrange slices of Yellow Watermelon on a plate sprinkle chilli powder evenly over Watermelon then scatter red Onion over, followed by crumbling Feta Cheese over the top.

Ingredients

Marinated Feta

1 x sprig of Rosemary

1/2 tsp dried Parsley

1/2 tsp dried Oregano

1/2 tsp black Peppercorns

100ml of Olive Oil or Canola Oil

200gm Hard Feta Cheese

Method

 Chop Feta into cubes add all ingredients in jar or container and leave in fridge overnight.

Feta will keep for a couple of months if stored in an air tight container in fridge.

Chorizo,Ham and Onion Quiche

By Gary Keenan

Prep Time 1/2 hour

Cooking time 45 mins

Serves 6

Ingredients

Puff Pasty x 1 sheet

Eggs x 5

Cream x 500ml

Grated Cheese x 150gm

Chorizo sliced 1/2 cup

Onion diced x 1

Ham diced x 1 cup

Method

Place a sheet of puff pastry into Quiche flan rounding off the edges place half the cheese over base and then lay sliced Chorizo , Ham and onion evenly over cheese.

Cover filling with the rest of cheese.

Whisk eggs and cream in bowl and pour mixture over filling.

Place in warm oven at 180 Degrees celcius and cook for about 45 mins.

Test by placing wooden skewer in centre of Quiche if skewer comes out clean Quiche is ready.

 

DUCK STOCK

By Gary Keenan

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When we cook a whole duck at home I become very excited I love duck in all shapes and forms. it is what happens after the duck is consumed that makes my taste buds start dancing.

There are many fantastic already made gourmet stocks on the shelves however I have not been able to find a good Duck stock though.

People seemed to be scared of making their own stocks, it really is a simple process and rewarding, so here’s my easy Duck stock recipe.

Ingredients

1 Duck carcass

1 med Onion (diced)

1 stick of Celery (diced)

1 Carrot (diced)

Salt and Pepper to season

Method

Once you have removed everything you want off the Duck that you are having for dinner, place all the ingredients into a heavy based pot and cover with water, don’t forget to scrape the bits off the roasting pan along with any juices into your pot.

Bring to boil and then simmer for a couple of hours, if the water level drops too much add some more water to avoid any burning on the bottom of the pot.

Strain the contents of the pot keeping the liquid and discarding the carcass and other ingredients.

Pour the liquid into a clean pot and bring back to boil then to a simmer, reduce stock to about half.

Let cool and skim fat off the surface. At this stage some people would strain the stock through cheese cloth to produce a clear liquid, I choose not to as I like my Duck stock rustic.

Once stock is cooled place into an air tight container and place in the refrigerator over night.

Now this is the exciting part.

Take the stock from the refrigerator and remove the lid, there will be a thin layer of Duck fat on the top, gently scrape this off and this can be used to roast Potatoes or any veg for that matter.

The stock has now set like a jelly this stuff tastes amazing.

I use this to flavour my vegetables, soups, stir fry’s and some times I am really naughty and spread it over my toast, it is like heaven on a stick.

Enjoy

EASY FRIED RICE

By Gary Keenan

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Prep time 10 min’s   Cooking time 30 min’s   Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup of long grain Rice

2 cups of Water

6 rashers of Bacon (diced)

1 med Onion (diced)

300 gm fresh Prawn meat (diced)

3 Tablespoons of Soya sauce

1 Tablespoon of Black Bean sauce

2 cloves Garlic (minced)

2 Tablespoons of Canola oil

1 Egg

dash of Milk

3 Spring Onions (chopped)

Method:

In a sauce pan add water bring to boil add Rice and cook, after the Rice has absorbed all the moisture I like to put it into the refrigerator for a couple of hours before frying, helps firm the rice.

Place 1 Tablespoon of oil into a Wok and bring to hot heat add Bacon,Onion and Garlic and cook for 5 minutes, remove from Wok and set aside keeping oil and juices in the Wok.

Whisk the Egg and a dash of milk together and pour into a small fry pan, cook the Omelette until firm, then remove from pan and roll into a tube shape, with a sharp knife cut the Omelette into fine slithers and add to other ingredients ready for frying.

Add the remaining Tablespoon of oil to the Wok and bring to a high heat add Rice and toss regularly, add Bacon, Onion, Garlic, Prawn meat, Spring Onions, Egg, Soya sauce and Black Bean sauce and cook for 5 minutes constantly moving the Rice to avoid sticking to the bottom of the Wok.

Enjoy