Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken


So here’s a recipe I posted on my Instagram recently and was asked for the recipe! This slow cooked Moroccan lamb is super easy and I usually have most of the ingredients on hand. I’ve served it here with cauliflower mash for an extra serve of vege but now it’s getting warmer, you might prefer it with a nice green salad or some couscous.


1 brown onion, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil

1 large eggplant, cut into 3cm cubes
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 x 3cm knob of ginger, finely grated
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp mild paprika
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 bunch of coriander
2 carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthways then into 1cm slices

1kg chicken thigh fillets, skin off
100g pitted prunes
700g passata
1/2 large cauliflower, cut into florets
Greek yoghurt, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. In a large cassarole dish over medium heat, cook onions until beginning to turn translucent but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add eggplant and cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, tumeric, paprika and cinnamon and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Finely chop the roots of the coriander. Add to pan with the carrots, chicken and prunes and stir to combine. Pour in the passata and stir through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours, or until the chicken is falling apart.
  6. Meanwhile, for the cauliflower mash steam the cauliflower until just tender when tested with a knife. Do not overcook otherwise mash will be too runny.
  7. When the cauliflower is just cooked, transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste.
  8. Serve chicken with the cauliflower mash, topped with chopped coriander leaves and a dollop of yoghurt.

Serves 4

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Christmas Canape ideas

We’re already into December so that means the Christmas parties are starting! So to help you out, today we’re bringing you three fail safe canapé recipes to try! Thai Chicken Balls are not only super easy, but also super popular. Serve them hot or cold in a dollop of chilli jam. If you’re after wow factor, try some Corn Blinis with Prawns – just make sure you buy the best prawns you can afford. Otherwise, if you’re after something sweet, try making your own pastry for some Strawberry Custard Tarts. Don’t be scared, the pastry is very forgiving.



500g chicken mince
100g Thai red curry paste
4 slices of white bread
2L canola oil for frying

1/2 cup chilli jam and toothpicks to serve

  1. Remove crusts from bread and cut into 1 cm cubes. Place in a bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to sit for 3 minutes then drain well. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer bread to a tea towel and squeeze out remaining liquid.
  2. Combine bread, chicken mince and curry paste and mix until well combined. Using wet hands, shape mix into 25 meatballs and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  3. Heat oil to 180C and fry meatballs in batches until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve meatballs hot or cold. Dollop teaspoons of chilli jam on a serving tray and place a meatball on each, skewering each with a toothpick.

Makes 25



1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
310g can corn kernels, drained
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp powdered gelatin (optional)

24 (about 1kg) cooked medium prawns, peeled, deveined

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, egg, milk and corn. Season well with salt and pepper. Using a stick blender, blend lightly until thick and lumpy, retaining a few whole corn kernels.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and spray with a little oil. Dollop tablespoons of mixture around the pan and fry for a few minutes either side until golden and cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Repeat until all the mix is used up.
  3. Combine the sour cream, dill, chives and lemon rind and season to taste. If using, mix the gelatin with 1 tsp hot water and stir to dissolve. Mix gelatin through the sour cream and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes. Adding the gelatin will help thicken the sour cream and prevent it running off the pancakes, but you can skip this step if you like.
  4. When ready to assemble, spoon a tbsp of the sour cream onto 24 of the pancakes and top each with a prawn. Sprinkle with extra dill and chives before serving.

Makes 24



250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
125g unsalted butter, chilled, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
50g dark chocolate

2 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp extra
6 large egg yolks
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp butter, softened

24 small strawberries, cut in half
1/2 cup apricot jam

  1. For the pastry, in a food processor process flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Lightly whisk 1 egg with 1 tbsp cold water and add to the flour mixture. Process until the pastry just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease 2 x 24 cup mini muffin trays. Lightly whisk together 1 egg with 1 tbsp milk.
  4. Cut pastry in half and roll one half out finely, to about 3mm. Using a cutter, cut pastry into 24 x 57mm rounds or whatever size fits your tray, gathering scraps and re-rolling as necessary. Repeat with remaining pastry. Push pastry gently into greased tin. Lightly prick pastry with a fork and brush with a little egg wash. Place in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer trays to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until just golden. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  6. For the custard, prepare an ice bath in a bowl large enough to fit your saucepan. Whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and flour and mix through.
  7. In a saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and vanilla until it begins to simmer. Gently pour half the milk into the egg mix and whisk well. Transfer egg mix back into the saucepan and return to the heat, whisking continuously until thick. Remove from heat and transfer the ice bath to cool, careful not to get any water in the custard, whisking occasionally.
  8. Once the custard and pastry are cool, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave until thin and runny. Brush the base of each pastry shell with a little melted chocolate to keep them going soggy. Allow to set. You can prepare up to this point in advance.
  9. When you are ready to serve your tarts, lightly whisk the custard and transfer to a piping bag. Fill each pastry shell to the brim with custard and top each with half a strawberry. Brush the strawberries with a little melted jam and serve immediately.

Makes 48

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Prawn, Eggplant & Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry


With summer almost here, now is the perfect time to cook one of my favourite proteins: prawns! This is a great easy stir fry dish I’ve based on a recipe by Masterchef Justine Schofield. Full of mushrooms and eggplant, it’s a tasty way to get your three serves of vege for the day.


25g dried shiitake mushrooms
400g green prawns, peeled & deveined
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch knob of ginger, finely grated
2 long red chillis, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 large eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp cornflour
1/2 cup unsalted cashew nuts
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander, plus extra to serve

  1. Pour enough boiling water over mushrooms to cover and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine prawns, garlic, ginger, chillis, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, honey, and Shaoxing wine. Set aside.
  3. Heat canola oil in a wok. Add eggplant and cook until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add prawns and cook until they begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the mushrooms and reserve the liquid. Add the mushrooms to the pan.
  5. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom liquid. Whisk in the cornflour and add to the pan. Stir until sauce thickens, then add cashews and coriander.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles, topped with extra coriander.

Serves 2

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Chia Puddings w/ Strawberry & Rhubarb Compote


Recently, my dad invited me to dinner and I was tasked with bringing dessert. With summer just around the corner, I wanted to create something delicious AND healthy, so came up with these chia puddings with strawberry and rhubarb compote. With only 2 tablespoons of caster sugar in the entire dish, they are a great way to get that after dinner sweetness without feeling guilty. Plus, chia seeds are packed with omega 3 and paired with the yoghurt and protein powder make these a good source of protein. I’ve used vanilla protein powder to flavour my yoghurt, but feel free to substitute with extra vanilla extract, or leave it out completely for a sharper taste.


200g white chia seeds
700ml low fat milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 punnets (500g) strawberries, halved
1 bunch (5-6 stalks) rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths
2 heaped tbsp caster sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/2 cups low fat greek yoghurt
1/3 cup low carb vanilla protein powder

  1. In a bowl, combine chia seeds, milk and vanilla. Leave to absorb in the fridge for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon chia into 6 serving glasses and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, add the rhubarb, caster sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Cook until rhubarb is just beginning to break up, about 3 minutes. Add the strawberries and cook for another minute or two until the fruit is just tender. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly before refrigerating until cold.
  3. When ready to serve, stir together the yoghurt with the protein powder. Top the chia with yoghurt, then compote and serve immediately.

Serves 6

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Melbourne Taste Festival back for 2015


Hey guys! After a short hiatus The Melbourne Food Files is back and we are excited to let you know about this year’s Taste of Melbourne Festival!

Launching tonight at Albert Park, Taste of Melbourne brings you some of Victoria’s most sought after restaurants and premium dining experiences, local entertainment, exotic cuisines and some of the country’s finest food and beverage suppliers, all in one convenient location. The event will run a lunch and dinner session each day for the next 3 days, concluding Sunday.


Whether you are a discerning Melbourne foodie or simply seeking something different in the spring sunshine, Taste again this year will be bringing you a series of Masterclasses by some of the countries best chefs. Pick up insider tips from the likes of George Calombaris, Mark Best, Robin Wickens, Matt Dempsey and Peter Gunn who will all be conducting intimate, live cooking demonstrations.

A new addition this year is the South African Garden, a unique experience featuring South African MasterChef and BBQ expert Benny Masekwameng. Discover the colourful food culture of South Africa with meat on the ‘Braii’ with wines to match. The garden will also feature a pop up restaurant from South African five-star dining destination, Five Hundred with executive chef, David Higgs.

MFF_TasteOfMelbourne15_03 MFF_TasteOfMelbourne15_01

For those wishing to bypass the crowds and indulge themselves, the Platinum Lounge is the exclusive enclosure for Platinum Pass holders with an open bar, wine tastings and long lounges to luxuriate on after a hard day’s indulgence.

The humble sandwich is often regulated to lunchboxes and high teas, but this year’s Lurpak ‘Go Freestyle’ cooking classes will teach you how to take it to the next level. Learn to master the art of the sub, the secrets of the Reuben and the best of the BLT, combining unique flavours in these free classes presented by the Danish premium butter label. Places are strictly limited and work on a first in first served basis.

Reflecting the picturesque Adelaide Hills region in South Australia, the Nepenthe Wines Hill will be the perfect position to take in the stunning surrounds of Albert Park Lake and enjoy a selection of quality Nepenthe Wines (official wine partner for Taste) and other artisanal delights from the region. A fruit-filled oasis in the heart of indulgence, the Australian Pear orchard and juice bar is a healthy alternative amid the artisanal producers.


Unlock the secrets of India’s eclectic range of spices and their origins in the India Pavilion, where leading Indian culinary experts including MasterChef’s Neha Sen will take Taste attendees on a gastronomic journey from the farthest reaches of the Ganges to the streets of Mumbai. Learn everything there is to know about Indian cooking including family recipes and tips and tricks on how to make an authentic curry.

But the real draw card is Taste’s lineup of some of Victoria’s best dining institutions, which this year includes Supernormal, Luxembourg, MoVida, Pei Modern, Circa The Prince, Royal Mail Hotel, Mamasita, Pastuso, San Telmo and Saké Restaurant & Bar, along with new additions Gladioli and South African pop-up Five Hundred. Stock up on crowns (the Taste currency) and choose from 3-4 small dishes from each restaurant’s popup. Taste is the best place to sample all of these renowned venues conveniently, without the need to book or add your name to a never-ending list.


Full schedules, booking details and ticket information
can be found on the Taste of Melbourne website
Tickets start from $25.00 from Ticketek

Taste of Melbourne 2015
Thursday November 12 – Sunday November 15
Pelican Lawn, Albert Park Lake

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