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From Helen’s Kitchen

An archive of recipes published in the Lane Realty Newsletter


1. Entrees, Pasta, Savouries, & Soup

Other Recipe Pages:

  1. Entrees, Pasta, Savouries, & Soup
  2. Salads
  3. Main Courses & Vegetables
  4. Desserts
  5. Cakes, Confectionery, Pickles & Drinks
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Autumn Soup

This will feed a ravenous family of 4 or a genteel family of 6.

500 grams topside mince
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups hot water (not boiling)
2 cups diced potato cubes - soup size
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried basil leaves*
1 tsp dried oregano*
Freshly ground pepper
3 tomatoes cut into eights and sliced in half

Mix mince, onion and celery in a 5 litre casserole. Microwave on HIGH until mince changes colour, 5 - 7 minutes, stirring after half the cooking time to break up the mince.

Add water, potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Microwave on HIGH for 20 minutes (until potatoes are tender).

Add tomatoes and microwave on HIGH for a further 10 minutes.

NOTE 1: It is nicer if you use fresh herbs and surprisingly, the actual volume and ratios do not appear to be nearly so critical! Use 2-4 times the measure or to taste.

NOTE 2: This soup is great when freshly made but improves noticeably if left to stand for 24 hours and reheated.

MouseNote: When the cold westerly winds come in July, this is a quick and easy way to warm up the system! As stated above, it is nicer the next day; particularly with some thick buttered toast and a glass of red wine! - IGG

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Avocado Dip

2 ripe avocados
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp prepared French mustard
1 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
125 ml (¼ pint) double cream

Remove skin and stone from avocados. Mash the flesh well with a fork. Mix together lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper and then stir into the avocado pulp. Beat cream until thick and forming soft peaks. Fold into avocado mixture and serve with potato or corn crisps, sticks of celery and carrot or sprigs of raw cauliflower.

This dip can be frozen. Thaw at room temperature for about 6 hours before serving.

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Bolognese Sauce

I make Bolognese Sauce in a big old fashioned boiler and freeze in quantities to feed 2, 4 or 6. When visitors come, it takes about 10-15 minutes to defrost in the microwave while the pasta cooks.

5 large onions, finely chopped
2.5 kilograms top quality mince
6-8 tbsp olive oil
700 grams (25 ounces) triple concentrate Tomato Paste
3 litres (5 pints) water
salt, pepper
10 beef stock cubes
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 heaped tsp dried thyme

Saute onion in heated oil until golden. Add mince. Cook very well, stirring constantly until it is well browned and crumbly. Pour off any surplus fat. Add water, tomato paste, crumbled stock cubes, salt, pepper and herbs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 1.5 hours, stirring frequently. Cool completely and freeze in small portions to suit your needs. Keeps 6 months.

When available, handfuls of fresh herbs are always preferable!

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There are as many recipes for Bruchetta (or Bruschetta) as there are cooks/chefs. This one started out being modelled on Kevin Brunelli’s tasty version.

2 Turkish rolls / 4 thick slices of Italian bread
2 Oven roasted capsicums
2 Bocconcini cheese (the big, egg-sized ones)
1 Clove garlic
2 - 3 Tbsp butter
2 - 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 - 2 Tbsp chopped Basil (well bruised)
Grated parmesan and light balsamic vinaigrette for final garnish

Drain capsicum then place on paper towels. Pat well with more paper towels. Obviously, if you are one of those people who roast your own capsicum, all you will need to do is peel off the charred skin!

Chop capsicum into bite sized pieces & put on fresh paper towels. Pat again & leave to one side. Slice Bocconcini. Chop Basil.

Mix oil & butter together with a crushed clove of garlic (or sliced into about 4 pieces). Melt butter, oil & garlic mix until warm & liquid.

Toast bread on both sides. Spread one side with butter mix. Top with capsicum and sliced bocconcini; sprinkle with chopped basil.

Put back under the grill and toast until cheese just starts to melt. Sprinkle with grated parmesan & serve with a drizzle of light balsamic vinaigrette.

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Cheese Pate

5 oz (145 g) grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz (227 g) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp sherry
½ tsp good curry powder
¼ tsp salt

Allow Cream Cheese to reach room temperature. Use a blender or Kitchen Wizz to beat it thoroughly until light and creamy. Add Cheddar Cheese and beat very well. Add other ingredients and beat again. Spread out in a flat shallow dish about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Chill over night. Prior to serving spread with a little chutney - I prefer the Palms Sweet Mango Chutney - then sprinkle with chopped chives.

Serve with a variety of crackers or slices of French Bread. If you’ve got a bit left over, try it spread on toast for a tasty breakfast treat.

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Creamy Mushroom Soup

60 grams butter
250 grams mushrooms, chopped
2 cups chicken stock (1 stock cube + 2 cups water)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tsp French mustard
½ cup cream
1 Tbsp chives
¼ tsp salt and freshly grated pepper

Combine butter and mushrooms in large bowl, cover and microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Mix in stock, wine, mustard, cream, salt and pepper. Microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes. Puree in blender or processor. Stir in chives, reheat and serve.

- Woman’s Weekly Microwave Cookbook

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Crudités with Tapenade (Vegetable Dip!)


Whizz together in a blender/food processor:

1 cup good mayonnaise (home made is best)
1 clove garlic chopped
6 Tbsp drained capers
1 small tin (60 grams) drained flat anchovy fillets
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon (or similar) mustard

Blend well and chill until required

To Serve:

Prepare and slice a selection of fresh vegetables such as - carrot, celery, cucumber, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, spring onions and radishes. If using avocado, peel and slice just before serving and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.

Cradle vegetables in a deep tray with ice and set a bowl of the dip in the middle.

Have extra vegetables prepared and chilled - you will need to top up as they vanish quickly.

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Fish Chowder

500 grams white fish fillets, fresh or frozen
4 slices bacon
34 cup onion, chopped
420 g can chopped tomatoes
2 cup boiling water
1 cup potatoes, diced
½ cup carrot, diced
½ cup celery, chopped with leaves
13 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp thyme, dried
¼ tsp marjoram, dried
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced or finely chopped

Thaw fish fillets if frozen. Remove bones & skin from fish & cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut bacon into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large saucepan over moderate heat, fry bacon until crisp, turning frequently. Add onion, & cook & stir over moderate heat until tender & translucent. Add tomatoes & liquid from can, & all remaining ingredients except the fish & parsley. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover & simmer for about 45 minutes. Add fish; cover and simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes until fish flakes & is tender. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of parsley.

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Helen’s Pasta Sauce

1 large onion finely chopped
250 gram packet bacon, rind removed and diced
2 Tbsp good olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
Freshly grated pepper
810 gram can SPC Mixed Crushed Tomatoes
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in medium sized saucepan. Fry onions and bacon in oil until onions become transparent - about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, oregano, basil and pepper. Return to boil stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes with the occasional stir to ensure it is not sticking to the bottom. Spoon over hot spaghetti and top with your favourite Parmesan. (We prefer it freshly shaved from the block)

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Portofino Pate (Vegetarian Pate)

250 g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
60 g butter, softened
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
13 cup finely chopped black olives
1 Tbsp finely chopped red capsicum

Beat cream cheese and butter until soft and light - Use Food Processor if you have one.
Add garlic and Basil and beat some more.
Stir in olives and capsicum.
Spoon into good plastic mould (the Tupperware moulds that come apart are ideal for this).
Allow to set overnight or longer. Remove from mould.
Serve with Melba Toast, crackers and crisp vegies.

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Last updated 19 August, 2010