Duck & Pork Terrine

This duck and pork terrine is a favourite of mine that I have been making for years. It is easy to make and looks impressive. It is excellent for an entree or starter at a dinner party. And perfect for a picnic lunch, served with a fresh garden salad.

Ingredients

Bacon rashers (remove rind) to line the terrine pan*
2 bay leaves
2 thin slices of orange
2 Tablespoons of duck fat or butter
1 onion (200g), half finely diced and half roughly chopped
15g minced garlic
70g bacon, diced
500g pork mince
565g duck breast, skin removed, roughly chopped
165g of chicken tenderloins, diced (small)
3 Tablespoons of green peppercorns
4 Tablespoons of pine nuts (or pistachios)
3 teaspoons of dry sage leaves
1 teaspoon of dry thyme leaves
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg

*the amount will depend on the length of the rashers. If using long rashers, you will need about nine.

Method

Line a terrine or loaf pan with baking paper. Place the two bay leaves into the base of the pan and top with the slices of orange. Line the pan with bacon rashers, overhanging the pan. Set aside.

Heat half the butter or duck fat, and sauté the roughly chopped onion to soften, do not brown. Remove from the pan and allow it to cool.

Heat the remaining butter (duck fat) and sauté the bacon for a minute; add the finely diced onion and sauté for another minute. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute. Remove from the pan, and put the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Blend the sautéed roughly chopped onion and pork mince in a food processor. Mix well until the pork is finely minced. Add the pork to the mixing bowl with the bacon, onion and garlic.

Add the duck to the food processor and chop for a few seconds (depending on your food processor). You will want the duck minced but not as finely as the pork (keep it a little chunkier). Put the duck into the mixing bowl with the pork.

Add the diced chicken to the mixing bowl. Add the peppercorns, pine nuts, sage, thyme, salt and the egg and mix well.

When the meat is well mixed, add it to the terrine pan, pressing n firmly. Fold the rashers of bacon over the top of the terrine. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and place it into a deep roasting tin. Pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the terrine and bake for 2 hrs or until a skewer comes out hot from the middle of the terrine. Top up the water while baking if needed.

Once removed from the oven, press the terrine as it cools. Use some cardboard (cut to fit the loaf tin). Place it on top of the terrine (still wrapped in foil), then top with something heavy. I used canned tomatoes. Cool the terrine to room temperature, and then refrigerate overnight.

Serve with french bread and caramelised onion or cornichons.

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Roasted Garlic Hummus

Since tasting the most delicious hummus in a restaurant, I have been trying to recreate it. It had a delightful garlicky taste, and it wasn’t until I roasted the garlic (and used 2 bulbs) that I got the flavour I was after.

Ingredients

2 bulbs of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 can of chickpeas
2 – 3 tablespoons of tahini
1 tablespoon of lime juice (or lemon juice)
1/8 teaspoon of ground chilli or cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
Salt

To garnish

Olive oil
A sprinkle of smoked paprika
Roasted pine nuts

dip

Method

To roast the garlic

Cut the tops off the garlic bulbs, drizzle with a little olive oil, cover loosely in alfoil (tin foil) and roast for 35-45 minutes on medium heat. The garlic is ready when the cloves are soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Gently squeeze the cloves from the bulb (I weighed my prepared cloves to know how much garlic I put in (47g).

To prepare the chickpeas

Place the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them under cold water. To peel or not to peel? I peeled, which was easy as I gently squeezed each chickpea from its skin. But you don’t have to. Peeled chickpeas do give a slightly smoother finish, though. But the smoothness will ultimately come down to the food processor you are using.

Blend it all up!

Add the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini, lime juice, chilli, cumin, and salt into a food processor and mix well until creamy and smooth.

To serve

Scoop it into a serving dish and drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with smoked paprika and roasted pine nuts.

Can I freeze it?

I have frozen mine in small containers and defrosted them overnight in the fridge. I find it is still delicious and creamy. Just stir it and then garnish as above to serve.

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dip

Thai Style Tamarind Fish

While in Australia, I made this recipe while waiting to get back to our boat in Thailand. We were missing Thai food, and one of our favourite dishes is tamarind fish. There are several places in Phuket where we enjoy this fish, so I decided to recreate it to eat at home. It turned out just like the fish at one of our favourite restaurants (which has unfortunately since closed down). It is unfortunate how the COVID-19 virus has hit places that rely on tourism!

Ingredients

1 whole fish (we used barramundi)
6 coriander roots
6 garlic cloves
2 small hot chillies
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup tamarind paste
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
Bran oil for deep frying
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of rice flour or cornflour

To Garnish

1 long red chilli, sliced
Coriander, chopped
Fried garlic slices (fried and removed before I add the fish to the oil)

Method

Prepare the fish

Scale the fish and then cut a fillet from both sides of the whole fish, leaving plenty of meat still on the frame. Rinse both the fish and frame under running water. Chop the fillets into bite-size chunks.

For the sauce

Pound the coriander, garlic, chilli and salt in a mortar and pestle to a paste. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to a wok or pan over medium heat and stir-fry for the paste for a minute to release the fragrance.

Add the ginger and stir-fry for another minute. Add tamarind, sugar and fish sauce and a few tablespoons of water. Mix well and let boil. If the sauce gets too thick, add more water to get the consistency you desire.

Set the sauce aside (you can reheat the sauce when you are ready to serve).

Cook the fish

Heat the bran oil for deep frying.

Mix the plain flour and rice flour with salt and pepper and coat the fish carcass. When the oil is hot, use tongs to submerge the fish in the oil and cook until crisp and golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Place on a serving dish.

Coat the cubed fish pieces with the flour mixture and cook in the hot oil in batches until crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels.

To serve

Place the crispy fish cubes on the concave fish frame and drizzle the dressing over the fish and fish cubes. Sprinkle with finely sliced chilli, chopped coriander and some fried garlic. You can serve excess fish on another serving plate.

You can make this recipe with fish fillets instead of a whole fish if you prefer. Just serve the crispy golden chunks of fish on a serving dish, drizzled with tamarind sauce and garnished with chilli, coriander and fried garlic.

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Thailand Thai Style Fish

Fish Mousseline Terrine

I made this fish terrine as part of an eight-course degustation for hubby’s birthday dinner. It was a good choice as such an extensive degustation needed something light and fresh, and this terrine hit the mark.

The light, fluffy mousseline was perfectly paired with horseradish and dill cream and a little smoked salmon.

A slice of fish terrine with dill

Ingredients

400g boneless, skinless white fish
3 – 4 spring onions
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cream

Smoked salmon, dill or thinly sliced chives to garnish.

Method

Line a terrine pan or a loaf tin with baking paper, leaving a couple of inches overhanging on the two long sides of the pan. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

The fish should be very cold when working with it. Place the fillets in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before chopping them. Roughly chop the fish and put it in a food processor.

Finely slice the green part of the spring onions and set them aside. Roughly chop the white part of the spring onion.

Add the white spring onions to the food processor, along with the salt and pepper and egg white. Blend well until very smooth.

Add the cream and blend again for a few seconds.

Remove the blender blade and gently stir the sliced green spring onions into the mix.

Pour the mix into the terrine pan, press down and smooth the top. Fold the baking paper over the top. Cover the pan with alfoil (kitchen foil) or the pan’s lid if there is one.

Place your terrine pan into a larger pan and add enough simmering water to come about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way up the mould’s sides.

Place the pan on a rack in the middle of the oven. Bake the terrine for 30 or 40 minutes until the centre registers 50°C (120°F) when tested with a thermometer.

Remove the terrine from the oven and let it cool. Top with a piece of cardboard wrapped in alfoil and weigh it down with a load such as canned food. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove from the pan, slice and serve cold, with Horseradish and Dill Cream, smoked salmon, trout or grilled white fish.

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Horseradish and Dill Cream

This simple, delicious creamy sauce is fabulous with my Fish Mousseline Terrine. Also super tasty with other fish dishes, including smoked salmon and trout.

Ingredients

190g of sour cream
35g of prepared horseradish cream
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper

Method

Blend the first four ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Devilled Quail Eggs

I first made these delicious little devilled eggs as finger food at one of our parties at least 12 years ago. We always have quail eggs on hand because we loved having them in our laska soups, and coming up with other ways to use the eggs was not difficult.

I have also made Scotched Quail Eggs, which are supper delicious and served quail eggs with five spice!

Devilled Quail Eggs are a tasty starter at a dinner party and great picnic or finger food. And because they are served cold, they can be made ahead of time.

Ingredients

Tin of quail eggs
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

Cut the quail eggs in half and remove the yolks, placing them in a bowl. Mash the yolks with the cumin, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and mix well.

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

When very smooth, put the egg mixture into a piping bag or similar and pipe the yolk mixture back into egg white halves.

Garnish with the egg halves with finely caviar or finely chopped coriander, tomato, cucumber and cracked black pepper.

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Chocolate and Avocado Protein Balls

We were couch surfing during COVID restrictions, stuck in Australia waiting to get back to the boat. When my son Alex went to New Zealand to visit family, we had the house to ourselves for ten days… bliss.

While rummaging around in a cupboard, I found a container of protein powder with only half a cup left. I decided this was an excellent opportunity to make protein balls. Trying to include foods high in protein, I came up with the following recipe.

Ingredients

1 avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons runny honey (add more if you want them to be sweet)
4 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup chocolate flavoured protein powder
1/2 cup *LSA
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
shredded coconut (optional)

Method

Mix together the avocado, honey and two tablespoons of water. Add the chia seeds, mix well and allow to sit for a couple of minutes. Add protein powder, LSA, coconut flour, cocoa and cashews.

Mix well. The dough is quite firm. Roll into balls and coat the balls with coconut if desired. Refrigerate.

About the ingredients

Avocado – nutrient-rich and high in protein compared to other fruits, also full of good fat.
Coconut flour – high in protein and fibre and low in carbs.
*LSA – Linseed, Sunflower Seed and Almond – high in protein and iron, also has good fats (omega 3 and 6).
Cashew – rich in protein, low in sugar and high fibre, also has good heart-healthy fats.
Cocoa – low in fat and sugar and rich in phytonutrients.

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Chocolate ND

Spicy Apricot Chicken

This spicy apricot chicken is my twist on the classic apricot chicken recipe my mum used to cook us all the time. It was my favourite of mum’s go-to weekly dishes. Dwayne also loves the original apricot chicken and often craves it. However, now that I have dressed it up somewhat and given it a touch of Oriental piquancy, I’m not sure we will ever cook the classic apricot chicken again.

This chicken has the sweet and savoury flavours of the original, but the addition of garlic, ginger, five-spice and chilli gives it a taste of Asian yumminess.

If like us, you enjoy cooking on a campfire, you’ll love this dish. So easy to make. However, it is just as easy to cook in your oven or slow cooker. Follow each step but instead of placing the ingredients into a camp oven, put them into your casserole dish or slow cooker. Cooking with coals and oven instructions are below.

Our camp kitchen

We cooked this delicious, hearty dish while camped at “The Gap” on Yorke Peninsula.

South Australia

Ingredients

6 Maryland chicken pieces, skin removed (joint each piece into leg and thigh if you prefer)
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of ginger paste
2 teaspoons of Chinese five-spice
2 teaspoons of chilli flakes
820g tin of apricot halves in natural juice or apricot nectar
40g French onion soup mix

Method

Place the flour in a ziplock bag and add the chicken. Close the bag and shake well to lightly coat the chicken.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden, and place into the camp oven.

Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onion until soft, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the five-spice and chilli and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the can of apricots & juice or the nectar and the soup mix, bring to the boil. Mix all the sticking spices from the bottom of the pan. Pour over the chicken (in the camp oven or slow cooker).

We cooked it in the camp oven for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the chicken was cooked and falling off the bone.

To cook in the oven

Preheat oven to 180c. Follow the above instructions, placing the ingredient into a casserole dish with a lid. Cook for 1 – 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

For more instruction on cooking with hot coals

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn a good amount of wood to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook with. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if time or good wood is in short supply, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the casserole too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the chicken after 10 minutes to ensure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

Alternatively, hang the pot over the heat with a tripod (or, in our case, a star-drop acting as one) and then top with coals.

*you only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the oven.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If it is windy, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

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Pie Maker Chicken Pies with Green Peppercorns and Tarragon

I have made these tasty chicken pies for years now. In fact, I think they were the first pies I made in the pie maker we purchased sometime early last decade. Now that we live on a boat I no longer have the pie maker. I simply do not have the room for that sort of thing. If we get a pie craving while sailing I make the pies with pie tins and cook them in the oven.

However, due to COVID we have been land bound for the best part of 2020 and 2021 and couch surfing with friends and family. Thankfully these couches usually come with a double bed and ensuite. LOL

This week while at my mum’s I noticed a pie maker in the cupboard and suddenly I have a craving for chicken pies with peppercorns and tarragon. So I set about making these super tasty treats.

Ingredients

1.2kg chicken thighs, chopped
150g flat Swiss brown mushrooms, chopped
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoon of plain flour
1 cup of chicken stock
3/4 cup of sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons of green peppercorns
1 tablespoons dried tarragon
6 sheets (25 x 25cm) frozen puff pastry, just thawed

Method

Heat a large frypan and add a little oil. Add the diced onion and fry for a few minutes until soft, and then add the garlic and cook a further two minutes.

Add the chicken and diced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, sour cream, peppercorns and tarragon, bring to the boil, reduce temperature and simmer until it thickens and is a good consistency for the pie filling.

Follow pie maker instructions.

Use the pie maker pastry cutter to cut 16 large and 16 small circles from the pastry sheets. Press 4 large dough circles into the pie holes. Spoon mince mixture over dough base until level. Top with the four small dough circles. Turn on the pie maker. Close and cook for 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Repeat with the remaining pastry and chicken mix.

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Date and pecan energy balls

I don’t usually make many sweet treats because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. However, there are times I do crave something sweet. I love these date balls as I get to stave off the cravings with a big nutritional hit.

These energy balls fuel your body with superfoods, filling an empty tum and providing energy to burn.

Ingredients

1 cup of dry dates (about 30) soaked in water for 3 – 5 hours
2 tablespoons of honey
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups almond flour

Method

Drain the water from the dates, reserving 1/4 cup of water.

Put the dates, reserved water and the honey into a small food processor/blender. Process until smooth, or leave it a little lumpy with tasty date chunks.

Pour the date mix into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Mix the chia seeds well. Let it sit for two minutes.

Add the almond flour, cinnamon, pecans and shredded coconut to the bowl, and mix well.

Roll the dough into bite-size balls and coat with your choice of finely crushed pecans, shredded coconut or cinnamon, or leave them plain.

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