I was just reading through some comments from my past couple of posts and there were quite a few questions about various recipes and how I make certain dishes. I thought rather than just type it in the comments I would share the answers with all of you in case you needed to know too.
I am so grateful for these questions too because they aren’t actually recipes I would have thought about putting up on the blog, so that is wonderful. Thanks a million.
Another thing that shocked me was the number of people who had pie makers. I didn’t realise they were such a thing and had never really seen one until our old cook – Aileen – bought one. She used to have a great little machine that made 8 mini pies. It died and she could not find another one anywhere so had to end up getting one that made 4 normal single serve pies. I think a couple of you even went out and bought yourself a pie maker after that post, so I hope you enjoy it. DD sure does love it so I figure if it is good enough for DD it is good enough for all of us.
Now, one of my lovely loyal readers – Dee – asked me if I could share the recipe I use for the meat pies or “is it one that I keep close to my heart”. Um, that would be a no Dee, it is not one I keep close to my heart, in fact I had never even made a meat pie until a couple of years ago. Mrs Savvy B told me that often she just whacks some mince on the stove, throws some gravy powder and water in and then makes a big family pie in a quiche dish. How easy is that. I thought it was brilliant and always love an easy meal. Mrs Savvy B is full of great, time saving, tips. So that is how I do it, there is no special recipe. You could add anything to that base: bacon, cheese, onion, tomato, mushrooms…. go wild! DD has also used left over bolognese to make a pie, she loved that one. Aileen used to use left over stew.
Elaine wanted to know how I made my bread twist, apple strudel and pizza. So lets start with the bread twist Elaine. Thanks for asking. It is so easy. Another one of our cooks from many years ago – hello Liz – taught me how to make this one and I have never looked back. I use my bread maker. Now when I say bread maker it is one that I asked my Mum to give me back in 2002 because I knew she didn’t really use it much. It is a Black & Decker (can you even believe it, do they really make kitchen appliances) and super basic but I love it. It has never skipped and beat and I will cry when it dies.
It came with a recipe book especially for it and I make the “Basic White Loaf” mixture but only on the dough cycle. The trick with bread makers is that you must put the ingredients in the machine in the exact order they are listed on the recipe. I don’t have the book here with me but will certainly put the recipe up on the blog, I am sure it would work no worries in any bread maker on the dough cycle. If you don’t have a bread maker just find a basic white loaf recipe and whip it up.
Once the dough is made I do leave it for a about half an hour in the bread maker and it seems to rise a little and get a bit fluffier. I then separate it into 4 equal parts turn them into long thin tube like rolls, maybe about 50cm’s long. I then get 2 of the rolls and twist them together and do the same with the other 2 rolls and pop them on a tray that I have lined with Glad Bake.
For the topping I mix up the following: about half a can of diced tinned tomatoes, a good couple of heaped tablespoons of tomato paste, a heap of minced garlic (maybe 2 or 3 tea spoons, possibly more) and a good sprinkle of Italian herbs. I also add some grated cheese to this mixture. Pop this on top of the bread twist and add a bit more grated cheese. Cook in an oven that you have heated to 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes.
How easy is that? Everyone loves it. Serve with lashings (and I mean lashings) of butter and you will never look back.
You can thank Aileen for this potato bake recipe/how to. I walked into the kitchen one day and saw her making a potato bake, it was very different to the way I did it and so much easier so I said a “Hell Yes” and adopted the Aileen way of making potato bake. All she did was slice up a heap of potatoes, depending on how big you want your bake, pop them in a big mixing bowl (I use a stainless steel one that looks more like a hub cap), chop up some onion and bacon (if you want) and add to bowl. I also throw in some grated cheese.
Mix up some cream with garlic. I also add some french onion soup mix if I have it and maybe some garlic sprinkle but Aileen used to just use cream and garlic. For my big bakes I use 2 or 3 cartons of long life cream. Add the cream mixture to the big bowl of potatoes and toss it all around – I use a spatula, Aileen just used her hands. You want that cream to coat the potatoes. Then all you need to do it pop the potatoes into a greased baking dish, cover with foil and cook in an oven that you have heated to 180 degrees C. It will take a good hour or more but you want to cook them until just soft. Take the foil off about 20 minutes before they are finished, add grated cheese and a sprinkle of paprika and bake until the cheese is golden. Too easy!
Elaine also wanted to know how I make my pizza. Again, they are super easy. I use frozen pizza bases (or you could use your bread maker to do a pizza dough). I just top the with tomato paste, salami, onion, mushroom, pineapple, stuffed olives, green capsicum and cheese. Then I pop some bbq sauce all over the top. Cook for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees C.
I had never made this before and was really surprised that it was so popular because it was just so easy to make. I just used some puff pastry, added some tinned pie apple, brown sugar, sultanas and a sprinkle of cinnamon, rolled it up, popped some slits in the top of the roll and added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the top, bake for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees C and serve with custard, cream (and ice cream if you have it). So easy and really yummy.
Another reader had never heard of crumbed steak. Well I am here to save you darls. It is just beef schnitzel. I use the “round” cut of beef, whack it with a big metal mallet and crumb. To crumb I coat the piece of meat with flour, then dip in an egg/milk wash (so pop a heap of milk and a couple of eggs in a big bowl and whisk up) then you pop the piece of meat into a tray of crumbs. For my crumbs I use coarse breadcrumbs (that I couldn’t seem to find in a regular supermarket but we do get them in a 15kg bag), I add some garlic sprinkle or some tuscan seasoning or even just some salt and Italian herbs.
Now the trick to making the crumbs stick is to really push them into the crumbs, push down with the palm of your hand, turn them over in the crumbs and go again, just push hard and get those crumbs to stick. Another tip is to crumb your steak in the morning, this will help the crumbs to stick when you cook them.
To cook the steak you are basically going to deep fry them. Don’t be stingy with the oil. I use vegetable oil and a large frying pan on the stove (actually I use 3 frying pans because I am usually cooking about 30 pieces). So you want a good couple of cm’s of oil in the pan, get it nice and hot and deep fry those suckers, turning once the first side is cooked. And there you have it. Serve it with potato bake, veg and gravy.
My friend Flick got me onto these and I have never looked back. Oh my lord they are yummy. So you want some chat potatoes and you need to par boil them until they are just cooked. Put them onto a baking tray (I always line my trays with foil and Glad Bake), “smash” the potatoes by pushing down with a potato masher until they are just squashed. Now you want a good (and I mean good) drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle some rosemary and sea salt on top. Finish them off in the oven, this might take about 20 mins – half an hour at 200 degrees C. You want them nice and crisp and golden. I serve with sour cream. Oh so yummy!
Well there you go, I hope I have answered your questions and that this helps you in some way. Feel free to ask me anything, happy to help.
Is there something else you would like to know. Just say hello in the comments and ask away. No question is too silly.
Do you have any hot tips or quick, go to dishes?