Cook­ing with Karen

Mains, sweets and en­trees. Done!

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - October Contents -

Spiced sweet and sour blue­berry chilli sauce

Driz­zle on steamed fish or serve along­side roasted chicken, grilled pork skew­ers or duck. Love cheese? This condi­ment is your new best friend!

Seared pork steak with crumbed moz­zarella and tomato dressing

This quickly seared minute steak is a mod­ern take on a de­con­structed parmi­giana.


The sim­ple things in life, like baked ap­ples, are the best – just add spice for ex­tra flavour. Divine!

Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins Cook­ing time 30 mins Serves 5

50g but­ter, to grease

5 Granny Smith ap­ples, peeled, halved 5 beurre bosc pears, peeled,

halved, leave stalks in one half 100ml ver­juice

120g maple syrup

Juice of ½ lemon

200g clot­ted cream, to serve Clove crumb

100g rolled oats

50g plain flour

50g toasted hazel­nuts, chopped 100g brown sugar

120g but­ter

50ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

2 tsp ground cloves

STEP 1 Pre­heat oven to 180˚C fan-forced (200˚C con­ven­tional). Line an oven tray with bak­ing pa­per. Grease base and sides of a bak­ing dish with but­ter. Put ap­ples and pears in pre­pared dish.

STEP 2 In a small saucepan, bring ver­juice, maple syrup and lemon juice to a sim­mer. Stir. Pour over fruit and bake for 30 min­utes or un­til ten­der and slightly coloured.

STEP 3 To make crumb, put all in­gre­di­ents in a large bowl. Rub to­gether to com­bine. Spread over pre­pared tray. Bake for 12–15 min­utes or un­til golden. Set aside to cool.

STEP 4 Di­vide cooked fruit among serv­ing bowls. Crum­ble over clove crumb and serve with clot­ted cream.


Prepa­ra­tion time 5–10 mins Cook­ing time 25–30 mins Makes 500–600ml

4 cloves gar­lic, roughly chopped 2 tsp sea-salt flakes

10 long red chill­ies, roughly

chopped, seeds left in

4 baby red chill­ies, roughly

chopped, seeds left in 350g caster sugar

320ml red wine vine­gar

2 tsp cel­ery seeds

2 tsp ground white pep­per 4 es­chalots, peeled, finely

sliced in rounds

2 cin­na­mon sticks

300g blue­ber­ries

2 tsp fish sauce

STEP 1 Put gar­lic and salt in a large mor­tar and pes­tle. Pound to form a paste. Add all chill­ies and pound again to a rough paste. (You can also do this in a food pro­ces­sor). STEP 2 Tip gar­lic mix­ture into a medium saucepan along with caster sugar, red wine vine­gar, cel­ery seeds, white pep­per, es­chalots, cin­na­mon sticks and blue­ber­ries.

STEP 3 Put pan over a medium heat and sim­mer for 20–25 min­utes or un­til sauce starts to thicken just a lit­tle. The vol­ume will re­duce con­sid­er­ably. Don’t let it go too far or it will be too thick. Add fish sauce and sim­mer for 1 minute. Dis­card cin­na­mon sticks. Pour into a clean jar and set aside to cool. Serve.


Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins Cook­ing time 10 mins Serves 4

4 x 200g pork scotch steaks

2 ripe toma­toes

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

¼ bunch basil, leaves picked 150ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil Juice of ½ lemon

Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

2 large moz­zarella balls

3 Tbsp flour

1 free-range egg, whisked

1 cup dried bread­crumbs

STEP 1 Put each pork steak be­tween 2 sheets of bak­ing pa­per and use a meat mal­let or bot­tle to gently flat­ten to minute steaks, about 1.5cm thick.

STEP 2 Put tomato, chilli flakes,

6 of the basil leaves and 90ml of the oil in a small pro­ces­sor (or use a stick blender). Blitz to com­bine then add a lit­tle lemon juice to taste. Sea­son then set aside.

STEP 3 Slice moz­zarella into 1.5cm-thick pieces.

STEP 4 Put flour in 1 bowl, whisked eggs in an­other and bread­crumbs in a third.

STEP 5 Lightly coat moz­zarella slices with flour, then dip slices in egg, then coat all over with bread­crumbs.

STEP 6 Heat the re­main­ing oil in a large fry­ing pan over a high heat. Fry each moz­zarella slice for about 1 minute each side or un­til just golden. Re­move from the pan and lay on pa­per towel to soak up ex­cess oil. Keep warm in oven, if nec­es­sary.

STEP 7 In the same pan, over a high heat, cook pork for about 2 min­utes each side or un­til cooked to your lik­ing.

STEP 8 Serve pork steaks cov­ered in fresh tomato dressing, topped with 1 or 2 slices of fried moz­zarella and re­main­ing basil leaves.


Dol­lop home­made pesto onto this spring soup to make the green ve­g­ies re­ally sing!

Prepa­ra­tion time 20 mins Cook­ing time 1 hour 20 mins Serves 8–10

50g but­ter

90ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 brown onion, finely diced

6 cloves gar­lic, sliced

1 cel­ery heart, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 smoked ham hock, sliced

through the bone if pos­si­ble 1.5L chicken stock

100g medium-grain rice

2 medium zuc­chini, sliced

3/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

12 green beans, cut into short lengths 2 hand­fuls chopped flatleaf pars­ley leaves

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Basil pesto

100g basil leaves

200g pars­ley leaves, chopped

50g pine nuts

100g parme­san, coarsely grated 1 clove gar­lic, chopped

200ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

STEP 1 To make pesto, put herbs, nuts, parme­san and gar­lic in a food pro­ces­sor. Process un­til fine. Add oil, scrape down bowl, then process un­til smooth. Sea­son. Trans­fer to a bowl. Set aside.

STEP 2 To make soup, put but­ter and 50ml of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add onion, gar­lic, cel­ery and bay leaves. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til sticky but not yet caramelise­d. Add ham hock, stock and 500ml wa­ter. In­crease heat to medium and sim­mer for 30 min­utes. Stir in rice and sim­mer for a fur­ther 30 min­utes. STEP 3 Add veg and pars­ley. In­crease heat to medium-high. Bring to the boil and cook, stir­ring, for 10 min­utes. Re­move hock and shred ham off bone. La­dle soup into bowls. Top with pesto, ham, a driz­zle of re­main­ing oil and a squeeze of lemon. Serve.

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