Jaffle Pies

My Chow Mein Toasted Sandwiches got me wondering whether I could use the sandwich iron to make jaffle pies.

Only one way to find out.  I happened to have some sheets of pastry in the freezer so I got them out to thaw.  I still had a ton of chow mein left over so I decided that could be the filling.  If the experiment didn’t work it would not be such a disaster.  It worked.  The pies were cooked in around 20 minutes.  These are short pastry.  Next I shall try flakey.

This is an easy project to do with the kids, I am thinking.  Make a mince and vegetable filling in the electric frypan, and turn it into jaffle pies, 8 economical pies at a time with less fuss and bother than making normal pies.

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Chow Mein Toasted Sandwiches

The best way to enjoy left-over chow mein.




Posted in bread, Breakfast, Chinese, Con-fusion cooking, fusion, Leftovers, sandwich, vegetables | Tagged | 1 Comment

Slow Cooker Baked Egg Custard

I do not have a much of a sweet tooth, I prefer savoury foods as a rule.  My occasional and rare craving for sweet is usually pacified by eating fruit; fresh, dried or canned.  Or a muesli bar.  Very rarely, dark chocolate.  But today I really wanted something to go with  fruit salad, and I thought I would like to try to make a baked custard.


I have never made it before.   It occurred to me this was something that might work in the slow cooker.  So I decided to add it to my list of slow cooker experiments.  I have a large squarish soup bowl that fits into the slow cooker nicely so that it goes under the lid but is suspended above the bottom by where its sides meet the bowl of the cooker. It seems ideally made for a water bath rig.

So, I gave it a go.


  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups -500ml -milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • A kettle of boiling water
  1. Heat the milk almost to boiling.
  2. While it is heating, beat the eggs and sugar together.
  3. Whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture along with the vanilla.
  4. Place it in a bowl that can be heated and put into the slow cooker. If the bowl sits on the bottom of the slow cooker, put a rack or a ring of folded aluminium foil under it (If you have a rice cooker, the rack that comes with that should fit in your slow cooker. Mine does).
  5. Pour boiling water into the slow cooker until it reaches a level about the same as the custard mixture in the bowl.
  6. Turn the slow cooker to high and wait 2½ to 3 hours before testing the custard to see if it has set – a knife comes out clean.

Grind some nutmeg over the custard and serve hot or cold.

Refrigerate covered and use it within a couple of days.



NOTE TO SELF. It was a bit too sweet for someone who does not often have such things. Next time use less sugar.

Zeus the dog usually likes eating human food in preference to dog food, but tonight he turned his nose up most disdainfully at my custard.  I am surprised.  And just a little hurt.

Posted in Custard, Dessert, slow cooker | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Fusion Chow Mein

Fusion Chow Mein. I can’t think of anything else to call it.  This is one of my favourite ways to prepare chicken and vegetables.  As cold leftovers it is also one of my favourite sandwich fillings.  Chow Mein sandwiches.  Believe it or not.  Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  With soft fresh bread, a little butter, and some chilli sauce.

For this dish to be at its best it is essential you marinate the chicken at least 18 hours in advance.  Trust me.



How much of everything really depends on how many servings you need to prepare.  This is what I made for Zeus and me. We ended up with a week’s worth of leftovers. Adjust the seasonings etc. to suit the amount being prepared.

Choice of vegetables depends on what you have available.  If I had cauliflower, celery and capsicum for example, I would have included them.  Be adventurous

  • 2-4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • A generous dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
  • A good dash of fish sauce
  • A jolly good splash of mushroom soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine – if you have it.  Sherry, white wine or cider if not.
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour
  • A few grinds of Szechuan pepper
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • plenty of crushed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp crushed ginger or 2 tsp ground ginger if that is all you have (it was).
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cabbage
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 good size cup mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 packet Hokkien noodles
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil for frying


  1. Cut the chicken into large bite size pieces
  2. In a sealable container put the chicken, rice flour, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, mushroom sauce, rice wine, rice flour, five spice, sesame oil, garlic & ginger.
  3. Stir it all together so the chicken is well coated with the mixture of sauces and spices and cover it with an airtight lid.
  4. Refrigerate and let it marinate for at least 18 hours.

Next Day:

  1. Slice the mushrooms thinly
  2. Julienne the carrot into matchstick size pieces
  3. Shred the cabbage finely
  4. Slice the florets of broccoli (or cauliflower) thinly and matchstick the stumps
  5. Peel and slice the onion into segments
  6. In an electric wok – or electric frypan if your wok was stolen, as mine was – heat the oil and brown the chicken.
  7. When it is nearly cooked add the vegetables and stir fry for a few minutes.
  8. Add the noodles and stir into the vegetables
  9. Rinse out the marinade container with the water and add the water to the pan
  10.  Stir until the sauce thickens.

It’s ready.  Serve.

You could serve with rice, but I have been told to cut out rice.

She didn’t mention noodles though.

Posted in chicken, Chinese, fusion, sandwich, vegetables | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Peppercorn Sauce


This is a peppery onion sauce which is dark and tasty and ideal for use with steak, roast beef, or sausages.

  • 1 x 440 ml can of  Guinness  (or substitute a dark porter ale such as Speights Old Dark)
  • 1 smallish onion, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • a pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon of cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of whole green peppercorns
  • 500 ml beef stock or water plus 1 pod Continental beef stock concentrate
  • 25g butter
  • 125 ml thick cream


  1.  Take a swig of the Guinness.  Leave about 3/4 of it for the sauce.  (If you have a 330 ml bottle of Old Dark no swigs. Use it all).
  2. In a heavy-based pan, sweat the onion in the butter for 8-10 mins over a medium heat until nicely caramelised
  3. Add the cracked black pepper and cook for another two minutes.
  4. Increase the heat and add the water/stock, beer, cayenne and green peppercorns
  5. When it begins to boil turn down the heat and simmer gently until the liquid is reduced to one third of the original volume.
  6. Add the cream
  7. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon.


    Image result for GuinnessImage result

Beef Stock Pot

I am hoping that with this blatant product placement, someone will send me a wee Christmas bonus.

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Fusilli, Bacon and Cheese

The ultimate comfort food.  Bacon, cheese and pasta.



This is what the Greeks meant by Ambrosia.

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this recipe before.  It is truly the best.

Making it this way with layers, rather than mixing everything together gives a more satisfying texture.

  • 200g fusilli, spiralini, or macaroni
  • 120g bacon pieces (chopped/minced bacon)
  • About ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp plain flour
  • 1½ cups milk with a dash or two of Kaitaia Fire or Tabasco Sauce
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese ( I like to use a mixture of cheeses if I have them handy)
  • Parmesan and Paprika for on top
  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC.
  2. Boil the pasta in salty water until al dente.  Strain into colander and drain well.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and fry the bacon and onion for several minutes until the onion is translucent
  4. Blend in the flour and mustard powder and cook a few minutes over medium heat
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and with a whisk stir the milk into the mixture
  6. Return to the heat and continue stirring until the sauce thickens and begins to boil
  7. Turn down the heat and simmer a few minutes more.
  8. Butter a 2 litre baking dish or casserole and arrange the pasta, sauce and cheese in layers, topping off with a good layer of cheese.
  9. Sprinkle Parmesan and Paprika on top
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.


  • Fry mushrooms or chopped spinach with the bacon as well as, or instead of onion.
  • Add garlic
  • Reduce the milk to 1¼ cups and blend ¼ cup of cream or sour cream into the sauce after removing it from the stove and before layering in the baking dish.




Posted in Bacon, cheese, chilli, Cream, fusion, Party Food, Pasta, sacred food, Traditional | Tagged , , | Leave a comment