Buzo’s lasagne in MC magazine…omit the prosciutto if you prefer vegetarian. I replaced the truffle paste with a sprinkle of truffle salt (from Gewurzhaus) over each layer of  mushroom filling – yum!

Serves 6


120g butter, plus extra, to grease
20g dried porcini mushrooms
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
500g field mushrooms, stalks discarded, thinly sliced
500g Swiss brown mushrooms, stalks discarded, thinly sliced
60g prosciutto, roughly chopped
50g truffle paste (or use truffle salt or omit altogether if you prefer a less rich version)
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
750ml (3 cups) milk
250ml (1 cup) pouring cream
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or a good sprinkle of the spice rack variety)
1 bay leaf
100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
360g fresh lasagne sheets
80g (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm x 30xm (2.6L) ovenproof dish with extra butter.

Place dried porcini mushrooms and 250 (1 cup) boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving porcini liquid. Rinse porcini mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit, then finely chop and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 tbs oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Cook half the field and Swiss brown mushrooms, tossing occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden, then add to porcini. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tbs oil and mushrooms. Add prosciutto, truffle paste and parsley, seasono with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

To make white sauce, combine milk, cream, nutmeg, bay leaf and 125ml (1/2 cup) reserved porcini liquid in a saucepan, then bring lamost to the boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. In a second saucepan, melt 100g butter over medium heat, then stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture is grainy.

Remove pan from heat, then gradually whisk in milk mixture until smooth and combined. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf, then season. Makes about 1L.

Stir half the white sauce into the mushroom mixture, then spread half the remaining white sauce over the base of the prepared dish. Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, cutting to fit if necessary. Spoon over half the mushroom mixture, then scatter with one-quarter of the Parmesan (and some truffle salt if using that option).

Add another layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining mushroom mixture and one-quarter of the Parmesan (and some truffle salt if using that option).

Top with a layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining white sauce and one-quarter of the Parmesan. cut remaining 20g butter into small cubes and scatter over the top.

Bake lasagne for 1 hour or until top is golden (cover dish with foil if over-browning). Cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Divide lasagne among plates, scatter over remaining Parmesan, drizzle with extra oil and season with pepper to serve.


A Maggie Beer Masterchef masterclass, this is a rich dessert that takes time to prepare but is worth the effort. I use a loose base tart pan which makes it easy to serve. Serve with double cream.

Serves 12


Pot Roasted Quinces

750g Quinces, peeled, cored and cut into large wedges
Squeeze of lemon juice
300ml water
200ml verjuice
165g castor sugar

Chocolate and almond cream

120g unsalted butter, softened
150g fine castor sugar
200g ground almond meal
2 free range eggs
1 free range egg yolk
80ml vino cotto
50g dark chocolate cocoa

Sour Cream Pastry

200g Chilled unsalted butter
250g Plain flour
125ml Sour Cream

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 170c.

Once you have peeled and cored the quince place in pot of water with a squeeze of lemon and set aside, to help stop oxidising.

To pot roast the quinces, place the quinces, water, verjuice and sugar into a medium sized pot, place this over a high heat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, then give the quinces a very light toss making sure not to break up the wedges. Place back into the oven.

Check the quinces every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure that the liquid has not all evaporated, if it starts to and looking like that they will catch on the bottom and an extra 100mls of verjuice. They will take between 2 and 2 ½ hours to cook.

Once the quinces are cooked they should be a beautiful ruby red colour and a small amount of syrup left in the base of the pot. They should not be dry or the caught on the base of the pot. Remove the quinces from the pot and place onto a plate or tray and set aside to cool.

Increase the temperature oven to 200c

for the filling –

To make the almond cream, place the butter and castor sugar in to a food mixer, beat until light and creamy (approx 6 minutes).

Add the eggs and yolk (1 at a time) then cocoa, vino cotto and mix for further 1 minute.

Add the almond meal, mix until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

for the pastry –

To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Add ¾ the sour cream, pulse a couple of times then add the remaining sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

Tip the pastry out onto the bench, bring it together and form it in to a rectangle (approx 2cm thick) with your hands. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to rest.

Roll out the sour cream pastry to 3mm thick.

Grease a flan tin (23cm x 2.5cm) and line with the pastry, cut off the excess pastry around the edge but allow the pastry to come above the fin tin by 5mm, this is due to the pastry shrinking during blind baking. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to chill.

Remove from the tart shell from the fridge, spike the bottom with a fork, line the top with bake well paper and place blind baking beans on the top.

Blind bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and bake well paper, cook for a further 5 minutes then remove.

Reduce the oven temperature to 175c

Place one third of the chocolate and almond cream mix on the base of the tart shell. Top with cooked quince wedges and dot the remaining amount of chocolate almond cream on top of the quinces.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1hr, this time will depend on the oven, but need to make sure that the almond cream is cooked in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

As I chopped these ingredients to make a soup I decided they would make a delicious pastie instead! Serve with some Persian feta and leafy green salad.

Makes 4-6 pasties


for the pastry –

250g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g cold butter, cubed
iced water

for the filling –

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, finely chopped
500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1.5cm cubes
250g dried small green lentils
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf


To make the pastry, Place the cumin and fennel seeds in a small frying pan and stir over a low heat until fragrant. Cool and finely chop with a knife.

To make the filling, rinse the lentils and put in a saucepan covered with water. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are cooked (make sure they aren’t too soft). Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over a medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pumpkin and the spice mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften slightly.

Remove the thyme stalks and bay leaf. Add the lentils to the vegetables and mix gently to combine. Season to taste.

Divide the pastry into 4-6 round discs and roll our roughly. Put a good few spoonfuls of the vegetable and lentil mixture into one half of the pastry. Brush the edge with a little beaten egg and fold the pastry over so you encase the filling. Crimp the rimmed edge by pinching it together. Repeat the process with the remaining pastry discs and filling.

Put the pasties on a tray lined with baking paper. Brush with beaten egg and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Drizzle with Persian feta or home made chutney and serve with a green salad.

A cross between a tart and a pie, another Susie Theodorou recipe. The lemon curd filling can be made the 2-3 days before and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Serves 8


for the filling –

finely grated rind and juice of 4 lemons
9 medium eggs
350g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) double (thick) cream

for the pastry –

300g (2 3/4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
25g (2 tablspoons) vanilla sugar
2 small eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water

to finish –

1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons pine nuts
icing sugar to dust


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Start by making the filling. Put all the ingredients in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook for 1 hour, stirring frequently until thick. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow to cool. (Nb. you can strain the curd if a little lumpy or stringy)

For the pastry, sift the flour, and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter (or use a food processor) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar and vanilla sugar.  Mix the eggs with the water, then combine them with the dry ingredients until large clumps form. Bring the mixture together with your hand, to form a dough. Knead gently for 1-2 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Press to a thick disc, cover with cling film, and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line a lightly greased 23cm fluted, loose-based tart tin 3.5cm deep. Spoon in and spread the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to cover the filling, pressing the edges to seal.

Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush over the pastry top. Sprinkle over the pine nuts. Bake for 40 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and leave to cool completely for the filling to set.

Sausage rolls

April 25, 2011

Yummy for a cool Autumn lunch or perfect party food, this Masterchef recipe is delicious, even with the ‘hidden’ vegetables!


1 tbs unsalted butter
1 large carrot, peeled, grated
1 tbs olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g beef mince
350g pork mince
1 tbs wild oregano
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 x 375g packers Careme frozen puff pastry, thawed, halved
3 egg yolks, lightly whisked
Poppy and sesame seeds, to garnish
tomato or BBQ sauce, to serve


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add grated carrot and cook for until carrot starts to soften. Cover with a lid and cook for 4-5 minutes until very soft. Puree carrot mixture in a blender until smooth (or mash with a fork for slightly lumpier version). Season to taste. Set aside to cool completely.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, then add onion, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until onion has softened. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf and set aside to cool completely.

Combine minces, ¼ cup of the carrot puree, oregano, onion mixture and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Season with salt. Divide the mince mixture into 4 portions and shape into a 25cm log. Place pastry sheet onto a floured work surface and roll to about 4mm thick. Slice each pastry sheet in half lengthways. Place the sausage log across the closest edge of a pastry sheet. Roll to enclose mixture until the two edges of the pastry meet, trim and discard excess pastry. Brush a little egg wash on the join to secure.

Place sausage rolls on a lined baking rack, brush with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with seeds. Repeat with remaining pastry. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Slice rolls on an angle, about 2cm wide. Serve with either tomato or BBQ sauce.

Apple and quince pie

April 24, 2011

My adaptation of Nigel Slater’s apple pie with blackberries. Quince adds a delicious depth of flavour. You will need a traditional oval 2-litre pie dish that measures about 32cm in length.

Serves 6-8.


250g plain flour
150g butter, cold from the fridge
ice-cold water

For the filling:

6 large Granny Smith or other apples
1 quince
sugar to taste

double cream to serve

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl with a small pinch of salt. Cut the butter into small chunks and rub into the flour with your thumbs and fingertips (or you could do it in the food processor).  To bring the mixture to a rollable dough, add a little ice-cold water. Start with a tablespoonful, adding it gingerly (too much is difficult to correct) and draw the dough in from the sides to form a ball. You may need a couple. You are looking for a dough that is firm enough to roll but soft enough to demand careful lifting. Wrap in cling film and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Set the oven at 200 C. Peel, core and quarter the apples, cutting them into thick slices or chunks, then put them into the pie dish. Peel, core and slice the quince and add to the apples. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.

Roll the pastry out to fit the top of the dish. You want enough extra pastry around the edge to be able to cut off and cover the rim of the dish. The simplest way to do this is to turn the dish upside down on the pastry and score around the top, then score a second line around the outside as wide as the rim.

Wet the rim of the pie dish – water will do – then fix the outer rim of pastry to it, cutting and pasting to fit. Wet it with water or egg. Lift the pastry on to the pie, pressing the edge firmly on to the pastry rim. Crimp it to seal with your thumb and first finger, or by pressing down with the prongs of a fork.

Cut two or three short slits in the centre of the pastry to let out any steam. Brush with a little milk and dust with caster sugar.

Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and pale gold, covering it as needs be to stop it browning.

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.