I shared a pic of this chicken soup after making it for dinner last night and quickly received a flurry of requests asking for the recipe. The thing I love about this dish is that it’s a quick and easy chicken soup recipe, and it means I can get dinner on the table in a flash—particularly great for when the kids are starving and need to be fed immediately! It also uses really easy to find ingredients, so most of the time you can usually whip it up with what you may already have on hand in the fridge and the pantry. If you’re like me and like collecting simple yet delicious recipes to add to your dinner repertoire I highly recommend this one, plus even better, it is kid-approved. I know I’m going to be doing this soup a lot once winter rolls around. I hope you like it!
What you need:
2 litres of chicken stock
1 x 400g tin of corn kernels
1 x 400g tin of creamed corn
1 BBQ chicken, shredded (or you can poach chicken breasts if you’d prefer to DIY)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
What to do:
1. Put all of the above ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil and lower the temperature and leave to simmer while you prep the noodles.
2. Cook a packet of Hokkien noodles (whatever size you like) in a bowl of boiling water for 2-5 minutes.
3. Chop shallots, coriander and bok choy (you can use however much you like) to add to soup.
4. Drain noodles and add them to the soup.
5. Add the greens and be sure not to leave them cooking too long as they will go soggy.
5. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
6. Serve hot. You also can garnish with chilli and coriander before serving if you wish.
Having been cooking virtually every meal at home over the last few weeks I’ve been relying a lot on tried and tested family favourites to make getting a meal on the table every night a little easier. It’s just good to know that everyone will like what’s on the table and there won’t be any dramas with what’s been served up. Enter this fish recipe (see above for the finished product). I shared it on Instagram a few weeks ago and had some requests for the recipe, so I’m sharing it here. I swear by this dish, as it’s one of the rare times I can get Luke to eat fish! It’s healthy, quick and easy and I highly recommend giving it a go.
1 knob ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 long red chilli (you can leave this out if you don’t want the heat)
1 bunch spring onions
1 bunch of broccolini or green vegetables of your choice
Optional: extra soy sauce, sliced chilli and coriander for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced.
2. Cook rice.
3. While the rice is cooking, finely grate the ginger. Mince garlic. Finely slice the spring onion. Finely slice the long red chilli (if using).
4. Trim broccolini (or green veg) to get it ready for later.
5. In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, long red chilli (if using), spring onions, soy sauce, honey and a drizzle of olive oil and mix well. This forms your marinade for the fish.
6. Place large squares (around 30cm) of aluminium foil onto an oven tray (one per person). Divide the broccolini between the squares and top with the fish fillets. Spoon the marinade over the fish and vegetables and fold in the foil to form parcels. Make sure you fold the parcels tight as that will keep the steam in and help the fish to cook.
7. Pop the fish parcels on an oven tray and put it in the oven to bake for 15minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.
8. Place rice on plate. Open up the foil parcels and top the rice with the veggies and steamed fish. Spoon over any remaining juices from the parcel.
9. For extra kick, I like to add a little extra soy and chilli on the fish once plated. I also top it with a few coriander leaves. Bon appetit!
It’s all about getting back to basics right now and as a result it’s the simplest things that are bringing a little brightness into my days. I’ve been embracing cooking, spending time with my family and also ensuring I’m incorporating some exercise during the day which has made another week of being in iso just that little bit better.
My slow cooker
I know I might be late to the party on this but I recently got a slow cooker and it has been amazing! I got one by Russell Hobbs and it has been such a great addition to the kitchen. It’s made getting a yummy dinner on the table easier and quicker in amongst home schooling and running my business, as I can quickly pop something on in the morning and by the evening it’s ready to go.
Australian Women’s Weekly slow cooker recipe book
To accompany my new favourite appliance I had to enlist the help of this great cook book. It features so many great recipes and so far I have tried making Mexican pulled pork, Hungarian goulash, Thai chicken curry and my husband’s favourite – American ribs. Can’t praise this book highly enough as cooking at home for almost every meal has meant needing to have plenty of dinner inspiration at the ready and this doesn’t disappoint.
The Last Dance
This docuseries featuring Michael Jordan and the 90s Chicago Bulls is consistently topping Netflix’s list of most watched shows so we decided to check it out and it has quickly become a fave in our house. I was a huge fan of MJ as a little girl in the 90s as my brother used to watch all the Chicago Bulls games when we were kids and it has been great to relive all those moments and check back with some of the iconic players of the era.
Horse riding with my girls
Even during isolation we have been luckily enough to be able to ride and exercise our ponies. It’s so amazing to get out in the fresh air and be with these incredible animals. It’s one of the things I absolutely love doing with my girls, and it’s nice to see that they’ve also developed a love of horses.
Exercising during the week
Every weekday morning I try and get out of the house by myself for a run and some exercise. My husband and I tag team—he goes first and then, when he comes back to be with the kids, I head out. It’s only for about 40 minutes but it’s a great way to start the day. I also mix it up with Fit For Dreams Zoom classes, especially when it’s raining.
With a successful career as a fashion designer, with the likes of Naomi Watts and Kim Cattrall wearing pieces from her eponymous label, Stephanie decided to follow a different path, one that would allow her to follow her passion for food. Having studied at the Le Cordon Bleu and a brief stint in catering, she decided to start her blog, The Hostess. The hugely successful site is now where Stephanie is able to share her love of food with the world. From her favourite recipes to helpful entertaining tips, Stephanie’s aim is to make cooking and hosting friends and family a fun, exciting and enjoyable experience.
With all of us now having to self-isolate, and with more time spent at home, it means we’re all getting very acquainted with our kitchens and cooking is on the cards every night. To help make getting dinner on the table nightly an easier but also tastier exercise, I turned to Stephanie to share her top tips for quick, easy cooking that will still impress.
Get organised at the start of the week
“Thinking of a new dish to cook every night for the family can be a challenge. Make no mistake that cooking and the time it takes to get a meal on the table is not a quick fix. I always say the only way to combat this is to be organised. At the beginning of each week take the time to sit down and work out your menu for the week ahead, you can be ahead in what you need to buy which will give you more time to do other things rather than continuously go to the market to pick up food.”
Stock your freezer
“I always have a few things in the freezer that I can easily take out and defrost. If you can make two of something and freeze the other you can have a cheat day!”
Set a time limit
“When thinking of meals to cook, choose weekly dinners that can be prepped and cooked in around 30-45 minutes. More involved recipes should be for the weekend or when you can take your time and enjoy the cooking process.”
Experiment with condiments
“Focus on experimenting with salsas and sauces that can add flavour quickly and using lots of fresh herbs. Fish tacos are a great way to get the kids to eat fish, make a simplified version for them then spice yours up with a quick salsa and cabbage slaw. I always have meatballs in my freezer and the kids love them with pasta but I like to add black olives and chopped parsley to mine and have a rocket and fennel salad.”
Stock up on the basics
“Have a pantry stocked with the basics such as oils, vinegar, dried herbs, spices, nuts, grains, beans and pasta. Look to these pantry staples for inspiration. Other great ways to simplify your cooking is to gravitate to recipes that can be cooked in one pot or meals with 5 ingredients, it takes the pressure off and they are quick and easy to pull together.”
Have go-to weekly dinner options
“Some of my favourite weekly dinners are fish tacos with fresh salsa, meatballs in tomato sauce, beef stroganoff, roasted veggie bowl with freekeh, seared salmon nicoise and beef burgers with homemade pickles. We love to have a BBQ which is very simple but I always make great sides of salad and veg to keep it interesting. I like to focus of fresh produce and home cooked simplicity.”
If iso life has you feeling like you’re spending a helluva lot of time in the kitchen trying to prep meals then you’re not alone. So why not just make it easier by cooking once but eating twice? These recipes by nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge are nutritioust, delicious and best of all, can be eaten for dinner and lunch. Because less time cooking is something we all could use right now.
Meatballs with ragu and zoodles
SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME: 25 MINS COOKING TIME: 35 MINS
1 kg tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves
1/4 bunch basil, leaves picked
4 zucchini, spiralised
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g turkey mince
400 g chicken thigh mince (it’s important you use thigh meat as it stops the meatballs from drying out)
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Spread out the tomatoes on the prepared tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and collapsed. Allow to cool slightly, then purée until smooth.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook for a few minutes or until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme.
Add the stock, oregano, most of the basil (leaving a few leaves to garnish) and the puréed tomato and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the meatballs, combine the turkey and chicken mince, oregano, parsley, olives, garlic and parmesan in a bowl. Add the egg and then the rice breadcrumbs, ensuring everything is evenly mixed.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Roll the mince mixture into golf ball–sized balls and place on the prepared tray. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Place the meatballs in the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, briefly blanch the zoodles until tender.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Stir through the meatballs and season to taste.
Divide the zoodles among four bowls and serve with the meatballs and ragu on top.
CHANGE UP THE PROTEIN: Omit the turkey mince and use 800 g chicken mince, or try a mix of half pork and half beef mince. Lamb is good too. In fact, any mince will do!
FOR CARB-LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS: Serve with pasta.
Chicken and Cauliflower bake with creamy tahini sauce
SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINS COOKING TIME: 30 MINS
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Combine the olive oil and ground coriander in a bowl.
Remove and reserve half the mixture. Add the chicken to the remaining spiced oil in the bowl and toss to coat well, then set aside to marinate.
Use your hands to coat the cauliflower in the reserved spiced oil. Spread it out on the prepared tray, taking care not to overcrowd it, and roast for 10 minutes. Stir the cauliflower and add the chicken to the tray. Roast for another 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Meanwhile, to make the tahini sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or stick blender until smooth and creamy.
Serve the roast chicken and cauliflower on a bed of rocket or spinach, topped with the tahini sauce and parsley.
GO VEGETARIAN: Use almonds or GMO-free firm tofu for protein, roasting just as you would the chicken, reducing the roasting time accordingly.
NIX THE TAHINI: Replace the tahini with a soft goat’s cheese or feta, or plain full fat Greek style yoghurt.
FOR CARB-LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS: Serve with quinoa or brown rice, or add a serve of legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas.
Scrumptious fish cakes
SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINS COOKING TIME: 15 MINS
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
sweet chilli sauce (preferably low sugar), to taste
700 g firm white fish fillets (such as flathead, snapper, whiting or dory), skin and bones removed, roughly diced
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons green curry paste
1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2 spring onions, white part
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease eight holes of a standard muffin tin with the olive oil.
To make the fishcakes, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a medium coarse texture.
Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin holes, filling them only three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm and cooked through. Rest on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, mash the avocado flesh and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the fishcakes with the mashed avocado, lime wedges and sweet chilli sauce.
MAKE IT A NEW MEAL: Turn these muffins into meatballs and toss through konjac noodles dressed in sesame oil and lime juice.
FOR CARB-LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS: Make the patties bigger and serve on wholegrain buns as burgers.
Now how to turn dinner into lunch…
(Clockwise from top)
Tahini chicken salad
Make a salad with the roast chicken and cauli above – just add a green leaf of your choice, 1/4 tin drained chickpeas, some diced red capsicum and thinly sliced red onion, then drizzle over the tahini sauce as a dressing.
Serve the fishcakes above with a rocket, tomato and cucumber salad dressed with olive oil and your favourite vinegar.
Meatball salad bowl
Take the turkey meatballs above and transform them into a salad bowl by adding cooked brown rice and fresh greens, and seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle some flaxseeds on top and you’re ready to go!
With many restaurants closed right now, that has left many of the world’s biggest names in the culinary world with a little more time to focus on cooking at home. Lucky for us, they’ve let us join along! With some of the Australia and the world’s most esteemed chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Yottam Ottolenghi and David Chang now sharing their fave recipes and even doing live demos on their Instagram accounts, there’s never been a better time to be an amateur cook. Tap into their expertise and you may walk away from self-isolation with some flashy new cooking skills, and a lot of new favourite recipes.
She’s an awarded pastry chef, the founder of Momofuku Milk bar and often called the queen of desserts so if you’ve got a sweet tooth don’t miss Christina Tosi’s baking club. She manages to create some pretty epic desserts using simple pantry staples so you’re going to be well covered for this entire quarantine period.
You can bet anything with Hamish Blake is going to be wildly amusing but enter Ben Shewry, founder and head chef of Melbourne’s Attica which has frequently been named one of the best restaurants in Australia and was in the top 20 in the world and you’ve got yourself and you’ve got one of the most watchable cooking partnerships around. Together they’re teaming up to make date night meals on Instagram Live so be prepared for a great meal with plenty of laughs.
If you want a quick meal on the table in 10 minutes and fancy cooking you alongside Gordon Ramsay then get into #Ramsayin10. The meals he prepares are all family friendly and features easy to find ingredients so give it a go if you want dinner on the table fast.
Dan Hong is the chef behind dining heavyweights such as Mr Wong, Lotus and Ms G’s and his at home cooking videos—complete with his three adorable kids making cameos—are relatable and easy to follow. He made cheeseburgers in the below video, but he’s also done rigatoni alla vodka and XO king prawn linguine.
When else will you be able to cook along with a three-Michelin star chef and the man behind the Osteria Francescana, the restaurant named the best in the world in 2018? Massimo Bottura is doing a kitchen quarantine series which has already featured faves such as tiramisu, mac and cheese and gelato, and he’s pretty entertaining to watch too.
Chef and restaurateur Matt Moran is doing warming recipes perfect for this time of year on his IGTV channel so why not take advantage of the expertise of one of Australia’s best chefs and whip yourself up a delicious, restaurant quality meal at home.
French chef Eric Ripert is the owner and head chef of Le Bernadin in New York City which holds three Michelin stars and regularly features on the list of the best restaurants in the world. Not only does he have some really useful how-to videos such as how to preserve vegetables but there are plenty of tasty meals including ratatouille, crepes and a roasted leg of lamb that is sure to impress.
Momofuku founder David Chang is a chef, author and TV presenter and his culinary dispatches from his New York City apartment are one way to learn how to utilise whatever you may have in your pantry or fridge. He regularly offers substitutes for ingredients even prepares food using a microwave.
English Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton is doing an at home cooking series with classics such as rhubarb and apple crumble to Eton Mess and burgers. The best bit is you’ll have plenty of new recipes up your sleeve post-quarantine.
Tasty, comforting dishes are what Ottolenghi does best and he’s now doing a quarantine series that features his recipes along with other chefs. All the dishes shared are tasty and hearty and the kind of dishes we all need right now.
Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef, cookbook author and owner of the Jamie’s restaurant empire. His rise to fame began with his television show The Naked Chef and was followed by a cookbook that became a bestseller. He has strongly advocated healthy eating and cutting out junk food and in 2003 was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Oliver, 41, chatted to me about why he is back in Australia, his biggest hurdle and what excites him most about his food empire.
What are you visiting Australia for?
I’ve basically come over to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on buying back my Australian business, which was a franchise and they went into receivership. There was nothing wrong with the JI [Jamie’s Italian] business but it got dragged down with the mother ship and it’s never happened to me before so it’s a bit of new one for me. But the good news is that we bought it back and I’m now 100 per cent owner of my [Australian JI] restaurants, instead of a partner of my restaurants.
What was your first reaction when you first heard Keystone was going into receivership?
I was like OK, why? The business is really good, we are really busy, we get low grumbles, they are all profitable, so why? And then you just realise that you are part of a bigger picture and you can’t control it.
Was the plan to always buy Jamie’s Italian back?
Definitely for me, I’ve just never done it before and it’s not necessarily straightforward – other people wanted to buy it as well and that was challenging.
What are going to be the biggest changes to Jamie’s Italian restaurants?
There is now no difference to the UK and Aussie business and that’s a first, because internationally we always go with a partner because they have local knowledge and always we learn from them as well. The Aussie operators that used to own this business were brilliant but we are where we are and I think we are in an ever better place than we were before.
What can we expect on the new menu?
The JI menu is comfort food – we make pasta every day, we make our bread every day, we have got a long list of super-food salads, grills, steaks, pizza, antipasti. It’s not designed to be complicated or show off; it’s fun, dynamic comfort food for sure. But we try to be good value for money and be all over the welfare – farm visits and all of that stuff. They are busy, buzzy restaurants.
Do you have a favourite dish?
That’s a toughie, it’s like asking which one of your kids is your favourite! … I also like the menu to be predictable. Being predictable is almost underrated, everyone is always trying to be super f—ing cutting edge!
What motivates you to keep improving your culinary skills?
It’s a constant journey. I’ve just been in Puglia – I’ve been cooking with nonnas for the past 12 months on and off … it’s not about the recipe, it’s about the heart and the soul and what it means.
You have television shows, books, restaurants, the cookery schools and the endless merchandise. What excites you the most in the “Jamie” empire?
Back home at the ranch, it’s just a very creative, exciting thing to do … I cook every day, I’m writing most days, even designing a fry pan; it’s utterly exciting because it’s all to do with giving you a more [enjoyable] cooking experience. Everything that I do is energised by the ability to solve a solution, so I don’t see any difference between writing recipes, [creating] product … Ultimately, everything is about raising the bar. And for me, the concept of getting “non cooks” to have a go, it gets me really excited.
You’ve had a huge impact on British health food reformation. What are you most proud of?
I think having a general contribution … just changing the conversation, changing the tone, just moving things on a bit, is what I’m most proud of. But if it was a single thing, probably the school dinner campaign in the UK. We were feeding them s–t 190 days of the year and there were no standards, so to be central to the government creating those standards in the first place is amazing.
What’s been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome?
So many! I think just resistance to change, humans just f—ing hate change, they really do. I’m not that bright; if you look at what I’ve done in the last 20 years, none of it is clever, it’s all just really basic – don’t feed kids s–t everyday! It’s not revolutionary, it’s really f—ing basic! … It always amazes me how basic my challenges are.
You married your childhood sweetheart, Juliette Norton, in 2002. How did you know she was the one?
I just did; I’ve been with her since I was 18 and I remember the first time I ever met her, I absolutely fell in love with her and I think she has been on the whole journey with me from The Naked Chef on. She has been a pillar of strength for me. I couldn’t haven’t have done what I’ve done without her and she has always kept home and the kids down, which allows me to be more dynamic outside … She is a very private person, she is not outgoing, she’s not in the public eye like I jump around. We don’t talk about work when I go home, never. You would know more about my work life than she does. So we just keep it normal and simple. And it seems to work.
How do you juggle it all?
I have every weekend off, we have our holidays down and that’s a good start, and then I have a handful of girls who look after my time really brilliantly, and then we get amongst it. It’s a busy family now – five kids!
What else will get up to while you are in Sydney?
Squeeze in some lovely breakfasts. There are an amazing amount of people from my area who live in Sydney; we normally get them all together on my annual visit.
WE WENT TO Jamie’s Italian, Pitt Street, Sydney CBD
WE ATE “Classic Meat Plank” fennel salami, artisan mortadella, prosciutto and Angus bresaola, with mini buffalo mozzarella, pecorino and chilli jam, pickles, olives and purple slaw
WE DRANK Vermentino, Margaret River
JAMIE WORE Private White jacket, Tiger jeans, Adidas sneakers
I love Italian food. In fact, I love it so much it was the type of cuisine I served at my wedding. This is why I decided to chat to Enrico Tomelleri, the head chef at 10 William St, a cosy wine bar and restaurant in Sydney’s Paddington that serves up some tasty Italian fare. Here we chat about his philosophy to cooking, what ingredients he always has on hand and the one mistake people make when it comes to Italian cooking…
What was your aim when you took over as head chef at 10 William St? The main aim has been accepting the challenge and having the chance to deliver food that I like to our customers. After a few years at 10 William St I got to know what they want and what they like.
Why do you think 10 William St has been so well received? 10 William St has been so well received because it is a fun little bar that serves good wine and honest food. You can spend a night there every week without getting over it. This simple formula is the reason why we have the chance to work with a lot of regular customers.
What has inspired the menu at 10 William St? The menu is constantly changing and we get inspired by what is in season and what our suppliers are recommending at the time. Having a solid base of Italian food is a good start. I like to collaborate with the rest of the team trying to find a fun and interesting way to create a dish by twisting some of the classic recipes that we know. That helps to keep us motivated.
The cosy interiors of 10 William St
What’s the key to great Italian cooking? It could sound obvious but the key is to follow the seasonality of the ingredients. It is also a good ethic to follow and the right way to respect and to deal with your food and with your customers.
What are some common mistakes people make when it comes to cooking Italian cuisine? The spelling of “Bolognese” sauce!
What’s your philosophy when it comes to cooking? I try to use [the least amount of] ingredients as possible trying to exalt the main one. Also, at the moment, I focus on the sustainability of them.
10 William St head chef Enrico Tomelleri
What’s your favourite Italian dish to cook? I like to cook any kind of risotto.
What’s one Italian dish you love to eat? I guess a good pizza is probably unbeatable
What’s one dining trend you think has been done to death? Burger perhaps… but there is always room for a good one.
For those who love cooking Italian food, what are some ingredients you must always have on hand at home? Garlic, anchovies and a bottle of good olive oil (maybe some fish sauce..)