Outback Linguine and Meatballs


A standard Italian dish with a subtly delicious outback twist.   Lemon myrtle.

The sauce is prepared in a slow cooker.


  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 capsicum, chopped
  • 1 pod of chicken or vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1 Tbsp Italian mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • a dash of bitters
  • 1 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.


  • 300g minced beef
  • 200g sausage meat
  • 1 finely grated carrot
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp lemon myrtle
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, cover and leave to stand in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
  2. Roll a heaped teaspoonful at a time into balls.
  3. Just before cooking the pasta, fry in olive oil until brown and cooked through
  4. Drain on paper towels before transferring to the slow cooker.


  • Pasta of your choice
  • lemon myrtle
  • grated cheese
  • Parmesan
  1. Cook the linguine (or tagliatelle or spaghetti) until al dente.
  2. Drain and sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of lemon myrtle.
  3. Mix before serving.

Serve portions of pasta onto a plate,  Add some grated cheese then cover it with meatballs and sauce. Top with Parmesan

Posted in Beef, cheese, Con-fusion cooking, fusion, Italian, sauce, slow cooker | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smoked Cod Fish Cakes



For these fish cakes I recommend using instant mashed potato, for the very simple reason that it allows you to make full use of the smoked fish flavour by making the mash with the milk used to cook the fish.   Preparing everything the day before and keeping it in the refrigerator until needed will make the fish cakes easier to form and keep their shape when frying.

  • 2 cups instant mash flakes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 fillets of smoked cod
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • a grind of black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a pinch of mace
  • a nob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or polenta
  • oil for frying
  1. Put the milk, fish, bay, mace, zest, pepper, and curry powder into a pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat,
  2. Stand for ten  to twenty minutes then remove the fish,  break it up and extract any bones
  3. leave fish to cool
  4. Bring the milk back to the boil, remove the bay leaves and mix the hot milk with the instant mash potato and butter and mix well.
  5. Leave to cool or refrigerate overnight
  6. Mix the potato, onion, fish, parsley and egg and form into cakes
  7. roll in breadcrumbs or polenta to coat and fry in oil until golden both sides

Nice served with a spoon of caper cream mayonnaise: 

  • 1/4 cup “Best” brand mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients and chill in the refrigerator until needed.


Posted in Breakfast, Con-fusion cooking, entree, fish, fritters, potato, seafood | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potato~top Mince Pie

Some might call this a cottage pie.

I don’t.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, one grated, one sliced or diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp mushroom soy sauce
  • 1 packet of mushroom Cup-a-Soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp each of sage, rosemary and thyme
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • olive oil forcooking
  • olive oil spray
  • a sprinkle of paprika
  • 3 cups mashed potato made with a nob of butter and 2 Tbsp sour cream.
  • 1 tomato, sliced.
  1. Fry the onion in the oil until translucent
  2. add the mince and brown
  3. turn down the heat
  4. add the carrots, sauces, tomato paste, and herbs,
  5. stir in the soup powder and add the water.
  6. stir and bring to a simmer
  7. Simmer on low for 20 minutes
  8. preheat oven to 170C
  9. stir in the frozen vegetables and transfer the mixture to a baking dish
  10. lay slices of tomato on top then carefully cover with the mashed potato
  11. rough up the surface of the potato with a fork so there will be crumbly bits that can go crisp in the oven
  12. spray the potato lightly with olive oil spray and sprinkle with paprika,
  13. place in the oven at 160 – 170 C and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is brown and crisp.


Posted in Beef, Corn, Cottage, fusion, Mince, pies, potato, Sweet & Sour, Traditional, vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barramundi Tortilla

Barramundi Tortilla

  • A piece, or pieces of saltwater barramundi, or your favourite flaky fish
  • a tortilla for each piece
  • mashed potato made with a knob of butter, a few drops of lemon juice, and some sour cream
  • lemon myrtle
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying.
  1. Make the mash and keep warm
  2. coat the fish with lemon myrtle
  3. salt and pepper
  4. Pan-fry in oil and put aside for a few moments
  5. Sprinkle the tortilla with a little water then heat on a hot skillet or frypan. This one was cooked in the same pan after the fish.
  6. place fillet and some mash on the Tortilla, sprinkle on a little more lemon myrtle
  7. Wrap and serve.

This could have other ingredients, such as salad, added as you may desire. I kept it very simple because I did not want to overpower the delicious fish and native herb combination, but it occurs to me that with or without the lemon myrtle, there are a few additions that could be included if available.  Salad, tartare, mayo, pickle…


Posted in Con-fusion cooking, fish, fusion, potato, seafood | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Salmon and Black Rice Salad

Now that I have discovered black rice, with its delicious flavour and nutty texture, I am working out new ways to enjoy it.  Especially ways that use ingredients easily obtained and stored here in the back of beyond.  That basically means dried foods, canned foods and frozen.


Here is a simple yet really delicious rice salad.

  • 3 cups cooked black rice*
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can salmon, drained and bones removed (unless you like the bones)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp of your favourite mayonnaise
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1 stick chopped celery, (if available)
  • 1 tsp mustard or peri-peri sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • A few grinds of pepper

Mix ingredients, chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so, until the flavours blend and the peas thaw.

That’s it.

I am thinking that black beans, or chickpeas would go with this too. Also shrimps, or prawns.

* I cook rice in a rice cooker. It is reliable and simple.  For black rice I put two cups of rice, four cups of water, a knob of butter and a teaspoon of salt in the cooker and turn it on.  Black rice takes a little longer to cook and should be left on warm for five to ten minutes after the cooker clicks over. 

Posted in fish, fusion, Leftovers, Portuguese, Rice, sauce, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chilli Pies

On Friday I made a big pot of my internationally famous chilli, and invited my friends and colleagues around for dinner.

One by one they didn’t show up.

I was left with a pot of chilli. So I mixed in some frozen vegetables (carrots, peas and corn) and made pies, using frozen pastry sheets.


Posted in Beef, chilli, fusion, Mexican, pies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment