Lemon Delicious Pudding

August 30, 2010

Probably one of the first things I made with my grandmother as a child. I still have the worn wooden spoon and ceramic mixing bowl my Nana Margaret used to make this – a family favourite that deservedly results in the baking dish being scraped completely clean! There’s something about the golden-topped sponge and tangy lemon sauce I cannot go past. Here is Stephanie Alexander’s version (she suggests it serves 8 but I think that’s generous, more like 4 in our house!!).

2 lemons
60 g butter
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups milk


Preheat oven to 180°C and butter a 1 litre oven proof basin or serving dish.

Zest 1 of the lemons and juice both. In a food processor, cream butter with zest and sugar, then add egg yolks. Add flour and milk alternately to make a smooth batter.

Scrape mixture from sides of processor bowl and blend in lemon juice. Transfer to a clean basin.

Whisk egg whites until creamy and firm and fold gently into batter. Pour batter into prepared basin.

Stand basin in a baking dish and pour in hot water to come halfway up sides of basin. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool a little before serving.


This was thrown together yesterday for a light lunch with friends. If you don’t have feta, you could use goats chevre or gruyere. If you’d prefer vegetarian, omit the bacon.

Serves 4

1 packet shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and sliced
1 bunch silverbeet or chard, rinsed well and chopped coarsley
4 rashers of bacon, chopped roughly
100g feta, chopped
salt and pepper
Mixed salad leaves, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the pastry and press into a greased tart dish (approx 20-25cm).  Cover with greaseproof baking paper and either rice, dried beans or baking weights. Blind bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the onion and bacon for approx 5 minutes until cooked. Add the silverbeet, and saute for a further 5-10 minutes until softened. Season to taste.

Remove the greaseproof paper and weights from the tart shell. Add the filling and sprinkle over the feta. Bake for 20 minutes or until just golden.

Serve with mixed leaves.

Cauliflower Gobi

August 28, 2010

Another Leon fave, this is a delicious vegetarian curry that comes from the Leon cookbook by Allegra McEvedy.

bout the balance of spices, sweetness and making sure you time the veg right so it doesn’t all fall apart. The Gobi refers to the cauliflower. It’s the addition of ground almonds that provides the wonderful consistency.

Serves 6

1 medium onion, halved and thickly sliced
1 carrot, thickly sliced
2 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil
1 red chilli (go for a bird’s-eye if you like it hot – some do)
2 thumb-sized pieces of root ginger, washed but not peeled
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large tsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black onion seeds
1 medium sweet potato, washed and cut into 2.5cm dice
4 heaped tbsp ground almonds
A good handful of sultanas
½ a small cauliflower, broken into florets
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
150g frozen peas
Juice of ½ a lemon
A really big handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 heaped tbsp desiccated coconut, to serve


In a large saucepan, cook the onion and carrot over a medium to low heat in the oil for 15-20 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.

Blitz the chilli, ginger and garlic to a paste in a food processor. Stir the paste into the onions once they have begun to soften, along with the spices (including the onion seeds). After another five minutes, season with salt, add the sweet potato chunks and the almonds and mix well so that everything is well coated.

Turn the heat up a bit and stir in 500ml of water and the sultanas. Bring to a simmer and leave it to bubble gently for 10-15 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally.

Add the cauliflower florets and the coconut milk and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes, covered. Check that the sweet potato and cauliflower are both cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the peas.

It will need more salt, plus the lemon juice and chopped coriander to finish it off right. Serve it with a sprinkling of dried coconut on top, accompanied by rice, yoghurt and mango chutney, up to you!

Fish pie

August 28, 2010

A comforting dish that I only came to appreciate when living in London. This recipe is a combination of various, including Rick Stein & Nigel Slater. For a more luxurious sauce, you can add more cream than milk.

Serves 4

1 small onion, halved
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
600 ml milk
300 ml double cream
500-600g fish fillets (Whiting, Trevally, Salmon – a mix is fine)
4 eggs
100g butter
1 tbs plain flour
5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
1kg peeled floury potatoes, such as Dutch Cream, Sebago, King Edward
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Stud the onion halves with the cloves. Put the onion in a large pan with the bay leaf, 450ml milk, cream and fish. Bring just to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes or until fish is just cooked.

Life the fish out on to a plate and strain the cooking liquor into a jug. When the fish is cool enough, break it into large flakes, discarding the skin and any bones.

Sprinkle it over the base of a shallow 1.75 lt ovenproof dish.

Hard-boil the eggs for approx. 8 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Peel them and cut into slices. Arrange on top of the fish.

Melt 50g butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the reserved cooking liquor. Return it to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the rimte. Leave it to simmer gently for 10 minutes to cook out the flour.

Remove from the heat , stir in the parsley and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Pour the sauce over the fish and leave to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender (approx 15 minutes). Drain, mash and add the remaining butter and milk. Season to taste. You should have a soft, spreadable mash.

Spoon the potato over the filling and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.

Serve with peas.

Beef & Guinness

August 28, 2010

A hearty Winter warmer from the delicious Leon cookbook, by Allegra McEvedy. I’ve even made this without marinating the beef for 24 hours when pressed for time, and it’s still delicious!

Serves 4

1 kg diced braising steak
1 can of Guinness (use 2 if wanting a richer stew)
a few springs of thyme, tied together with string
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 large Spanish onion, cut into large dice
1/2 swede, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 tablespoons flour
600ml beef stock, half strength
salt and pepper


Marinate the beef in the Guinness with the thyme and bay leaves for 24 hours. Next day, drain the Guinness from the meat and set aside, then heat up a heavy-based pan that is ovenproof.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Season the meat, then brown it in two batches in the butter and oil until you get good colour on the meat. Put it all back together, then add the carrots, onion and swede and sweat for about 10-15 minutes, with the lid on, until soft.

Stir in the garlic and tomato puree, and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.

Sprinkle over the flour and mix well. Pour in the reserved Guinness marinade, and as it bubbles and reduced by a quarter, scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan.

Pour on the beef stock, then add 500ml of water and gently to a simmer. Put in the oven and cook for approx. 2 hours, keeping the lid on for the first hour and a half. After that, take the li off and keep cooking until the meat comes apart with a push of your finger. (If the sauce looks too watery put the pan on the stove top and bring to a simmer for a few minutes.)

Check the seasoning and serve with rice, pasta or mash, up to you!

Salmon patties

August 28, 2010

A light meal that even the children eat! Adapted from a Notebook magazine recipe. I have also used other fish fillets in this recipe, such as Ocean Trout or various white fish fillets. The accompanying sauce is lovely but if you’re pressed for time you could use a nice tartare from a jar.

Serves 4


4 sebago potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (or potatoes that mash well)
2 salmon fillets, cut into small pieces
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Handful chopped dill
6 spring onions, chopped
1/2 cup plain flour
3 eggs, whisked
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs coarsely chopped capers
4 small gherkins
Mixed salad leaves, to serve


Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash coarsely with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.

Add the salmon, lemon rind, half the dill, half the spring onions and 1 egg; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape into patties.

Place the flour, remaining eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip the salmon patties into the flour to dust lightly, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs to coat.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the salmon patties and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, gherkins, remaining dill and spring onions in a small bowl.

Serve the patties with mayonnaise mixture and salad leaves.