Tag Archives: Spring

A Late New Year Post & Australia Day

I’ve had an impromptu hiatus from the blogging world, which is probably not healthy for this blog’s growth, but here I am back again.

New Year has come and gone and so too has Australia Day.  Since it was one of the hottest on record, mine was spent indoors enjoying movies, PS3 and a simple lunch.

This dish of Lamb with Two Mashes and Watercress is simple in flavour and delightful.  I found it so moreish I craved it again at dinner time – but (un)fortunately(?) didn’t indulge again.

Recipe: Lamb with Two Mashes and Watercress
Serves two.


For the Potato Mash:
-Roughly 6-8 very small/baby potatoes or 3 regular sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
-4 tablespoons milk
-50 grams butter
-Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

For the Pea Mash:
-1 cup/120 grams frozen peas, blanched
-1/4 cup olive oil
-Juice of half a lemon
-Rind of half a lemon, finely grated
-1/2 of one long mild green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
-Small bunch fresh parsley, stalks included, roughly chopped
-Small bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped

For the Lamb:
-4 lamb cutlets or 2 lamb chops
-Olive oil for brushing
-Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

-80-100 grams watercress


1. Fire up the BBQ grill on medium-high to high heat.  Put a kettle on to boil for the potatoes.  Brush lamb cutlets or chops with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.  Crack on some fresh black pepper and set aside.

2. Pour your boiled water into a hot pot, sprinkle in a generous portion of sea salt and slide in your potatoes.  Allow to boil for 10 minutes or until tender to a fork.

3. Meanwhile, place blanched peas, lemon juice, lemon rind, parsley, basil, chilli and garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse until chopped.  Stream in your olive oil and pulse until a soft but textured mash forms.  If needed, add more olive oil.  You’re looking for something in between a puree and a salsa.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

4. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the heat, drain, and put them back into the pot with the butter and milk.  Cover with a lid and put aside.

5. Cook the lamb on your pre-heated grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking.  When done, place immediately on a plate, cover with a lid or tinfoil and REST untouched for 6-10 minutes.  This is the second most important element of cooking meat, the first being heat.

6. While the lamb is resting you can go ahead and mash your potatoes using a fork or mixer to attain your desired level of mashedness.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more milk or butter as you need and like.

7. To plate up, spoon your potato mash as an island on the centre of the plate.  Next spoon a layer of the pea mash onto the potato.  Top with a crown of watercress.  Lay your lamb cutlets or chops neatly on top of it all.  Spoon on the delicious juices from the lamb’s resting plate, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.

This recipe was inspired by www.donnahay.com.au .


Favourite 15 Minute Dish…Crushed Cherry Tomato Pasta

After stumbling upon this recipe on the beautiful Donna Hay’s website it has become almost a weekly staple for my friend “Bing Bong” aka The Malaysian and me.  And also since finding it, variations of this recipe have been popping up in every magazine and website imaginable.  It’s so classic you could call it stylish.  It’s so simple you will be eating in less than 20 minutes.  It’s so cheap you’ll think you’re a college student.

This dish is perfect at any time of year and can be manipulated and augmented to suit different tastes or cravings.  Add some bacon (my favourite thing to do!), add some onions, serve it warm, serve it cold.  Splash in some dry sherry to flambeau the tomatoes.  Endless possibilities, yet so humble I’m almost ashamed to write about it.  Not.

Crushed Cherry Tomato Pasta
a manipulated recipe from donnahay.com

200g spaghetti (preferably organic.  You WILL taste the difference, trust me.)
500g cherry tomatoes (can substitute grape tomatoes.  Choose what looks fresher at the market.)
50g butter
3 cloves (yes, three) garlic, crushed with a fork
3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, also reserve and chop stalks
Shaved parmesan to serve
Sea Salt and black pepper

Cook spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes til al dente.
Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan to keep warm.  If needed, add a lug of olive oil to keep the spaghetti from sticking into a great glob.

While pasta is cooking, chop and prepare remaining ingredients:  halve the tomatoes, chop parsley, measure vinegar, crush garlic.  (You will want to be prepared as cooking goes very quick once the pasta is done.)  Put your plates or bowls in the oven on it’s lowest setting to warm them.

When the pasta is done cooking, put a wok or large frying pan on medium heat.  Add the butter to the pan and cook til melted.  Add the garlic and parsley stalks and cook for about 1 minute.  Now add red wine vinegar, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Using the back of a fork, gently crush about half the tomatoes.  Tip the pasta and parsley into the wok/frying pan and toss together.  Season to taste if needed.  Dish out onto the warmed bowls or plates and serve with shaved parmesan.