Yummiest fish cakes from Cornersmith

Yummiest fish cakes from Cornersmith

We recently introduced you to Cornersmith’s amazing new book Use It All: The Cornersmith guide to a more sustainable kitchen and we’re delighted to share this fish cakes recipe from the book. They are aptly delightful!

This is the kind of recipe where you can throw in anything you have leftover in the crisper and it will all just work. Though I highly advise making them exactly as stated here so you don’t miss out on the awesomeness that is Cornersmith’s fish cakes, and no other.

Don't miss the book - Use It All

These fish cakes are really nice on a roll with some lettuce and grated carrot – perfect for the lunch box. I have also made them smaller so they dip beautifully into things like aoli, mayo or sweet chilli sauce. Experiment and see where they take you. Hopefully onto an imaginary Thai island somewhere with a really good book to read. That book would be Use It All, of course. 😉


Ooh, don’t miss Cornersmith’s sausage rolls too!


 

Fish cakes

Cornersmith fish cakes - these are so good!

Recipe, image and words from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

Whole-food cook Jude Blereau’s cookbooks taught us how to make fritters and fish cakes when our kids were little, and they’ve been a family favourite ever since. This is our version using left-over fish and whatever vegetables and herbs are hanging around in the fridge. If you’ve got left-over mash, it all comes together in a matter of minutes.

Makes 8
Takes about 35 minutes

400 g (14 oz) cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes
Splash of full-cream (whole) milk
salt
¾ cup (75 g) thinly sliced crunchy vegetables
spring onions (scallions)
sweetcorn kernels
celery
fennel

Small handful of finely chopped herbs
dill
parsley
fennel fronds
celery leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon or lime
Freshly cracked black pepper
300 g (10½ oz) left-over flaked baked fish (page 48)
1 egg
1 cup (100 g) stale breadcrumbs
100 ml (3½ fl oz) good-quality vegetable oil such as sunflower or rice-bran oil

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with the milk and a pinch of salt. Add the thinly sliced vegetables, along with the herbs, garlic and lemon or lime zest. Season with salt and pepper and combine well with a fork, then stir through the flaked fish, being careful not to break it up too much, which can make the mixture gluey.

Divide the mixture into eight fish cakes. Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl and tip the breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl. Dip each fish cake in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium–low heat. Fry the fish cakes in batches for 3–4 minutes each side until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and serve with a crunchy slaw (find the recipe in the book) and condiments, such as toum (also in the book), aioli or hot sauce.

Will you make these fish cakes, do you think?

Images and text from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

Fish cake by Cornersmith are the absolute best

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s hunter’s chicken stew

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s hunter’s chicken stew

A fresh new recipe from A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura. This hunter’s chicken stew makes a delightful family meal for the ‘almost cold, almost not’ nights that we tend to get around Sydney in spring. 

I honestly can’t stop cooking from Julia’s new book. I liked her first, Ostro, very much indeed, but it is this one, her second that has my heart. There’s not a recipe in here that my family wouldn’t enjoy. They are also really well thought out and easy-to-follow, just as a recipe should be.

It bothers me a great deal when steps seem to be missing from a recipe. I cook from sites like Taste and what not a lot, but I seem to be confused by their recipes more often than not. I cook and bake a lot too, so I can only imagine how baffling the recipes sometimes are for beginners or those who aren’t confident.

No such problems with recipes from Julia like hunter’s chicken stew. She instinctively seems to know that a cook can get distracted (she has a young child, after all) and writes her recipes accordingly. You won’t be left wondering how you possibly managed to end up with three leftover ingredients after making a dish.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, perhaps Julia should write instructions for IKEA…


Don’t miss Julia’s peperonata too


 

Hunter’s chicken stew

Hunter's chicken stew from A Year of Simple Family Food

There are countless variations of hunter’s stew, known as Pollo alla cacciatora – some in bianco (without tomatoes), some without olives or with dierent herbs or aromatics. Mine is a very simple one, with tomatoes, large green olives and fragrant rosemary and bay. It is a straightforward dish that is even better the next day. Serve it on a bed of soft polenta or simply with bread to mop up the juices.

Makes  4-6 servings, depending on appetite
Takes about 20 mins to prep and about the same again to simmer

1 x 1.2 kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces
sea salt
100 g (⅔ cup) plain flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
20 g unsalted butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
1 rosemary sprig
1 fresh bay leaf
400 g canned whole peeled tomatoes
250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
100 g whole green olives

Season the chicken with salt, then dredge lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan or cast-iron pot over a medium heat and brown the chicken in batches until golden on all sides. Set aside.

Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and celery. Gently fry for around  10 minutes and, when beginning to turn golden, add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Pour in the wine, scraping up any brown bits left over from frying the chicken. Add the rosemary, bay leaf, tomatoes and chicken stock and break up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.

Increase the heat to medium and, when beginning to simmer, return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the liquid. Simmer over a medium–low heat for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the stew has thickened.

Scatter over the olives and cook for a few minutes more, then season to taste and serve.

Thank you, Julia.

Reckon you’ll give Julia’s hunter’s chicken stew a go?

Don't miss Julia's new book A Year of Simple Family Food

A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Armelle Habib.

 

Hunter's chicken stew recipe from A Year of Simple Family Food

Veggie-packed sausage rolls from Cornersmith

Veggie-packed sausage rolls from Cornersmith

This is so much more than a recipe for sausage rolls that will blow your tastebuds.

The gems behind Sydney cafe Cornersmith have a new cookbook out and it’s a ‘do not miss’ for the shelf! Use It All: The Cornersmith guide to a more sustainable kitchen shows us how to reduce waste (and save money) while eating ethically and healthfully.

I’ve been concerned about the amount of waste going into our ‘red bin’ each week, and this new book from Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards has given me practical, achievable ways to cut down on our plastic and food waste. The book is laid out in seasonal ‘shopping baskets’ with delicious recipes and ‘leftovers’ ideas for each basket. It’s a really simple way to plan your meals each week.

Shopping Basket from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

Beautiful and practical

Like everything else this amazing duo do, it’s also a good looking, aspirational handbook on how to live a kinder, more purposeful life. I just love it!

We’ve been lucky enough to score a couple of recipes from the book. First up, these delicious sausage rolls you can make from scratch. They are literally packed with veggies (the kind of veggies that lurk in the crisper, getting more and more wilted while you try to figure out what to do with them until, oh dear, too late…).

Sausage rolls recipe from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

The authors say the recipe will take you five minutes (see their commentary below), but I found that 15 was truer for a starter like me. What they were absolutely correct about was how super-tasty these sausage rolls are. They are truly the best I’ve ever eaten (sorry Mum!), and my kids agreed.

By the way, making your own pastry for these sausage rolls is a commitment that’s worth it – it will only take you five minutes plus extra time for the whole food-processor-washing-up-thing. That said, I won’t tell anyone if you buy in some puff pastry to wrap these babies in.  Food processor washing up is the worst.

Sausage rolls

Don't miss this sausage rolls recipe that's full of veggies and so easy to make

Recipe, image and words from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

Makes 15 party-sized sausage rolls
Takes 15 minutes plus resting time
Bakes 30 minutes

Good old sausage rolls are still favourites in school canteens and at sporting events, but the ingredients lists for some supermarket sausage rolls are alarming. This recipe is easy to make and contains 50 per cent vegetables. It maintains that sausage-roll flavour, but with far less meat, salt and fat.

For this recipe, we use a basic homemade pastry; it honestly takes five minutes to make and while it does need to rest for 30 minutes, you can use this time to make the mix and preheat the oven. We still buy premade pastry when we’re pushed for time (the same goes for wonton wrappers and pizza bases). When you do buy store-bought pastry, look for brands that contain the least amount of ingredients, choose butter over margarine and avoid palm oil.

200 g sausages
200 g grated vegetables
cabbage
cauliflower
zucchini (squeezed dry)
carrot
celery
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2–4 tablespoons chopped herbs
parsley
thyme
coriander (cilantro)
oregano
1 garlic clove, minced (use 2–3 cloves if using plain sausages)
1 tablespoon tomato sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, plus a little beaten egg or milk for brushing
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Basic pastry

345 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon sea salt
250 g cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup iced water

To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, slowly pour in the iced water and pulse until the mixture forms a ball.

Turn the dough ball out onto a floured workbench and lightly knead. Flatten the dough into a disc, then wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).

Squeeze the mince from the sausage casings into a bowl, add the grated vegetables, breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic, tomato or Worcestershire sauce and egg and combine well. If you want to check the seasoning, make a little meatball and fry it in a frying pan, then taste and adjust the flavours where needed.

Roll out your pastry on a floured workbench to 30 cm x 40 cm.

Cut the pastry into two 15 cm x 40 cm rectangles. Form the sausage mixture into two long logs and place them down the centre of each strip of pastry. Fold the pastry over to seal and create long sausage rolls.

Brush each sausage roll log with egg wash or a little milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut the logs into 7–10 cm sausage rolls and bake for a good 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Tip

The sausage roll mixture can also be used to make meatballs. After you’ve combined the ingredients, roll the mixture into balls and either fry or bake until golden brown. We serve these with flatbreads and a tangy cabbage, carrot and apple slaw.

Use It All

Images and text from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s peperonata recipe

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s peperonata recipe

We’re so thrilled to bring you a recipe from Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s new book A Year of Simple Family Food. Julia’s Ostro cookbook is a firm favourite around here, and this gorgeous peperonata recipe is proof that Julia’s second book will be just as addictive as her first. Julia just instinctively knows what ‘real people’ like to cook and eat.

Peperonata is a case in point. It’s the perfect dish for summer weekend lunches or dinners.  We’re talking all the big flavours of the season – capsicums, oregano, basil and tomatoes; plus it’s one of those forgiving dishes that allows you to throw everything in and let the stove gently simmer it into deliciousness. Matter of fact, easy dishes that are packed with flavour are a specialty of Julia’s cooking. A Year of Simple Family Food is basically a year of bloody good eating. Not fussy, daunting recipes, but good food the family will look forward to preparing and eating.

Enjoy this peperonata dish and don’t hesitate to grab a copy of Julia’s new book (it’s currently over 25% off at Booktopia!). You won’t regret it.


Enjoy Julia’s hunter’s chicken stew as well


 

Peperonata

Peperonata is such a versatile dish. Served simply with bread, stirred through pasta, as a topping for pizza, stuffed into a panino, served on top of polenta and, maybe most obviously, as a side dish to meat or fish – I especially like it with swordfish. Use red and yellow capsicums for their sweetness and make sure you adjust the seasoning at the end. The splash of vinegar really lifts this peperonata, so although I’ve suggested two teaspoons, don’t be afraid to add more to achieve the right balance.

Peperonata recipe - recipe from A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Makes 4 serves
Takes about 1 hour | 20 minutes hands-on cooking

2 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
800 g capsicums (a mixture of red and yellow), trimmed and sliced into 1 cm strips
400 g canned whole peeled tomatoes
pinch of caster sugar
2 oregano sprigs or a small handful of basil leaves
sea salt
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, plus extra if needed

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a low–medium heat. Gently fry the onion and garlic for 10–15 minutes until softened and just beginning to colour. Increase the heat to medium and add the sliced capsicum, stirring it through the onion and garlic. Add the tomatoes, sugar and herbs and simmer for 30–35 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, until the capsicum has softened and the sauce has reduced.  Season with salt and stir through the vinegar. Taste and add more sugar, salt or vinegar if necessary. You can serve immediately, otherwise the peperonata will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Don't miss Julia's new book A Year of Simple Family Food

A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Armelle Habib.

 

Make this one-pot Mediterranean chicken recipe tonight

Make this one-pot Mediterranean chicken recipe tonight

This one-pot Mediterranean chicken recipe from the new book The Feel-Good Family Food Plan makes a great family meal. Throw in whatever veggies you have in the fridge. The book is jam-packed full of everything you need to feed your family well, from one of Australia’s favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing experts.

I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling to keep cooking through the corona crisis. It’s not even that I’m finding it hard to get ingredients (though there is that). It’s more the realisation that even one or two nights dining out a week is a genuine break from the kitchen. It’s hard cooking from scratch every single night.


More great family dinner recipes here.


Which is why a recipe like this one-pot Mediterranean chicken is a keeper.  It’s from the new book The Feel-Good Family Food Plan, which I highly recommend. Not only is it full of great recipes that are not a chore to put together, it’s also packed with advice from Joanna McMillan and Melissa Clark. Sensible food advice that works. Not featuring hard-to-get ingredients or recommending four courses of salad for an eight-year-old. It’s just food that makes sense and they help you plan it all out as well.

Enjoy their one-pot Mediterranean chicken and you’ll see what I mean. You should also try the vegie ricotta muffins, because we’ve made them three times in the past fortnight.

recipe from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan and Melissa Clark

Mediterranean chicken

One-pot Mediterranean chicken recipe

You can make endless variations of this dish, and it works with lots of different vegies. For a one-pot meal, add some asparagus, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, fennel or spinach to the chicken for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Takes 15 minutes
Bakes 1 hour
Makes 4-6 serves

6 kipfler potatoes, skin on, scrubbed
1–2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 chicken thigh cutlets,  bone in and skin removed
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup (40 g) pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine
10 g salted baby capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground  black pepper
1 lemon, halved
2 cups (120 g) broccoli florets
4 cups (180 g) shredded silverbeet

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10–12 minutes or until just tender. Drain and allow to cool. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and arrange in a large ovenproof dish.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the chicken in two batches until brown on both sides. This will take about 10 minutes. Place the browned chicken on top of the potatoes.

Add the leek and garlic to the same frying pan and sauté until softened, about 2–3 minutes. Stir in the dates, olives, wine, capers and parsley, then pour the mixture over the chicken and potatoes. Season with salt and sprinkle with the pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and potatoes and add the lemon halves to the dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Just before serving, microwave, steam or boil the broccoli until tender.

Add the silverbeet to the same frying pan, adding more oil if needed, and sauté for 2–3 minutes or until wilted. Season with a squeeze of lemon from the roasting tin and some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the broccoli and silverbeet alongside the chicken.

The Feel-Good Family Food Plan

Images and recipe text from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan with Melissa Clark, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00. Published with permission.

One-pot Mediterranean chicken

 

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