Outback Parmesan Bacon & Mushroom Fettuccine

Quick and easy fettuccine with a hint of outback lemon myrtle.  Add the lemon myrtle at the end, so it does not lose its flavour.

  • Fettuccine for four serves
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon (I use bacon pieces – already chopped)
  • 1 cup  sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp lemon myrtle
  • 125 ml thickened UHT cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Tasty or Colby cheese
  • Black pepper
  1. Cook the pasta al dente.
  2. Fry the bacon pieces in a dry pan until they release their bacon fat, darken and begin to crisp.
  3. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown
  4. Stir in the garlic powder and Italian herbs
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and cheeses
  6. Mix in the pasta, and the lemon myrtle then grind some black pepper over it.
  7. Serve.



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Rempeh Balletjes

Indonesian-style Meatballs

Something nice to dunk in peanut sauce.


  • 400 g minced beef, chicken or pork
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 medium leek finely shredded
  • 1 small to medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp sambal or chilli sauce
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • Peanut oil


  1. Chop the onion and shred the leek very finely
  2. Mix well with the spices, salt coconut and breadcrumbs
  3. Stir in the beaten egg and then the mince and mix well.  (The dough hook on the Kenwood does a good job).
  4. Chill the mixture for an hour or so, covered, in the refrigerator
  5. Roll a heaped teaspoon at a time into balls
  6. Fry in oil over medium heat until brown and cooked through


Serving suggestion:  Sprinkle with coconut and serve on toothpicks to be dipped in a nice sauce, such as peanut sauce, mango chutney, plum sauce, or a dip made from Greek yoghurt, lime juice, chilli, garlic, chopped coriander and mint leaves.


Posted in accompaniment, barbecue, Beef, chicken, chilli, Chutney, entree, fusion, Indonesian fusion, Mince, Party Food, Pork, sauce | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Peanut Sauce

It can be done!  Another use for the slow-cooker.  It is even easier to make, and in my opinion, just as good as my more complicated version.  I had some on toast this morning. and a few spoonsful left over after bottling.


Easy Peanut Sauce

I used dried ingredients because I don’t need to stand over the stove frying and stirring while I am studying.  I can put it on and leave it to cook overnight.


  • 1 x 375 g jar of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried garlic flakes
  • a good tablespoon or more of trasi (AKA terasi,  Belacan shrimp paste)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. tamarind pulp in a cup of hot water
  • 2 x 300 ml tins coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seed whole
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander seed ground
  • 1 teaspoon galangal
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 – 7 teaspoons Sambal Ulek  (or chili sauce, or 3 -10 chillies)  (to your taste)
  • a good splash of lime juice
  • a good splash of thick soy

If you want a vegetarian/vegan version just leave out the trasi and add salt.

Put it all in the slow cooker, stir, and leave to cook overnight.

Bottle in hot clean jars.  Refrigerate when cool.

Great on satay of course and on barbecued chicken drumsticks and wings.  Goes down well at a party or BBQ.

It is a vital ingredient in Sayur.

Also good with rice, on toast (with or without Avocado and extra chilli),  or as a substitute for peanut butter in sandwiches.  Or eat by the spoonful.  I Love this stuff.


Posted in accompaniment, coconut, Indonesian, satay, sauce, spices, Traditional, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Chocolate Cake Vs. Sachertorte

In 2008 I visited the Sacher hotel in Vienna, and tried a piece of their famous cake.  With a cup of coffee, a slice cost me 10 Euro, about $NZ25 at the time.   I took a great photo of Eric the Chicken sitting beside the cake and for some inexplicable reason that photo and a few dozen others I took the same afternoon were lost.   The sad story is recounted here.

This chocolate cake is better than Sachertorte, in my opinion.

Chocolate Cake



  • 2 cups flour
  • 10 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled.


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 250g dark chocolate



  1. Preheat oven to 180° C
  2. Grease a 20-25cm cake tin
  3.  Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer and mix well
  4. Make a well in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs, sour cream, coffee/milk and oil
  5. Beat well. The batter should be just pourable.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer comes out moist with crumbs but no liquid batter
  7. Do not overcook.
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes or so in the cake tin before removing to a wire rack to cool well before icing.


  1. In a double boiler (or a small saucepan inside a larger one filled with simmering water), melt the chocolate.
  2. Stir in the cream until well mixed and pourable
  3. Pour over the cake and smooth off with a knife
  4. Chill in the refrigerator to set

Serve with whipped cream and a cup of good coffee.
It should be noted that I use Australian size measuring utensils.  The cup is 250ml. Take it from there. The Internet will help.

Afterthought:  Apricot Jam!  A layer under the chocolate icing, or perhaps between two layers of cake.




The original Sachertorte recipe is still kept secret, but the following recipe* is said to be as close as anything anyone else has been able to make.  Try making both and see which you prefer.

For the Sachertorte

  • 150 g  butter
  • 150 g  sugar
  • 150 g  bittersweet chocolate, melted in a double-boiler
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 120 g flour
  • Extra butter
  • Dry bread crumbs
  • Apricot preserves

For the glaze

  • 150 g bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 200 g sugar, divided
  • 125ml (½ cup) water


  1. Beat the butter together with half of the sugar and the melted chocolate, adding the egg yolks one at a time, until thick and foamy.
  2. Sift the flour over the mixture.
  3. Beat together the egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff and mound on top of the flour.
  4. Fold everything together carefully.
  5. Pour the mixture into a springform pan that has been buttered and coated with bread crumbs and bake at 180°C (350°F) for about an hour.
  6. To cool the cake, turn it upside down onto a wire rack.
  7. After about 2 hours, remove it from the pan (you may want to cut the top side to make it level) and place it on a platter with the smooth torte base on top.
  8. Spread with a very thin layer of apricot preserves and glaze with a chocolate icing.

Chocolate glaze:

  1. Melt the chocolate in bain-marie or double boiler and stir in the oil.
  2. Bring the sugar and water to a boil.
  3. A spoonful at a time, stir the cooled sugar solution into the melted chocolate until you have a smooth mixture.

The Viennese serve Sachertorte with whipped cream and a cup of coffee.

*The source of this recipe is here.  

Posted in cakes and confectionery, chocolate, Con-fusion cooking, Dessert, Party Food | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Portuguese Pork Curry

Now at last I have a working oven and stove again, and I am released from bondage to the slow cooker.  I also bought a big pile of nicely priced short-dated lean pork fillets last time I was in Halls Creek.

This is the same recipe I made earlier using beef.   It is traditionally made with pork. Here we go again, this time with tender, lean pork that will not need slow cooking. I knew this because have already tried a fillet.  Of course as usual on second goes, I had to indulge my habit of tweaking the recipe a bit. I substituted macadamia oil for olive and added garlic.  I also added a little water to keep the sauce from drying out while simmering.

This is a very pleasant hot curry.  My lips are tingling.  This recipe is certainly good with Pork or beef, and I am pretty sure it would be just as good using chicken, goat or lean lamb.


  • 400g lean pork cut into largish cubes 2-3cm.
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. macadamia oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. chilli
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala
  • 1 heaped tsp crushed garlic
  • More oil for frying


  1. Mix the spices, vinegar, garlic, chopped onion and macadamia oil and add to the meat, stirring to ensure each piece is well coated.
  2. Cover, refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Brown the sliced onion in hot oil
  4. Add the bay leaves
  5. Add the meat and spices
  6. Cook on high heat while stirring until the meat is browned
  7. Turn down the heat to a slow simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is done (add a little water if necessary).




Posted in Con-fusion cooking, curry, fusion, Pork, Portuguese | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Outback Dukkah with Home-made Bread


The original recipe for dukkah (or duqqa) is Egyptian I believe, and I understand there are Moroccan variations.  This is my version.  What goes into my dukkah depends on what is available.

I made some ciabatta to eat it with.   



  • Roasted hazelnuts – ½ cup
  • roasted brazil nuts – ½ cup
  • blanched almonds – ½ cup
  • roasted pistachios – ½ cup
  • roasted macadamia nuts – ½ cup
  • sunflower seeds – ½ cup
  • roasted cashews – ½ cup
  • pumpkin seed – ½ cup
  • toasted sesame seed – 2 Tbsp.
  • toasted whole cumin seed – 1 Tbsp.
  • toasted ground coriander – 2 tsp.
  • chipotle chili powder 1 tsp.
  • Spanish paprika – 1 tsp.
  • Cinnamon – ½ tsp.
  • raw sugar – 3 tsp.
  • rock salt 2 tsp.


  1. Heat a baking tray in oven to 180C.
  2. Roast or toast any nuts not already roasted for about 4-5 minutes
  3. Transfer all to a food processor
  4. Toast the sesame seeds, cumin and coriander about 1 minute and add to the nuts
  5. Add the sugar, salt, chipotle and paprika and pulse the mix to a crumble

To serve, lay out a bowl of virgin olive oil or macadamia oil with a bowl of dukkah and a plate of warm crusty home-made bread broken into pieces.

Take a piece of bread, dip it in the oil and then into a bowl of dukkah.

Dukkah can also be sprinkled on avocado and toast, added to salads, garnish mashed potato and artichoke heart or soup.  Or used any other way you like.  Except on custard, probably.

Store in an airtight container

Caution – May contain nuts.

Posted in accompaniment, barbecue, bread, entree, Party Food, Side dish, spices, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment