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A. Delicious Pizza
B. Spaghetti & Mince
C. Pork Curry
D. Chinese Stir Fry
E. Hearty Soup
F. Greek Salad

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Worthingtons Workshop

Recipes

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Some interesting tried and successful recipes from the Worthington kitchen. This section is intended to introduce non cooks to some simple and delicious foods. If I can make these recipes consistently without failure, then you can too. Who says you can't cook.


A. Delicious Pizza

Pizza being prepared Pizza ready for consumption

The Dish: Pizza is a cooked biscuit with a delicious topping. This one is my speciality, with lots of flavour from anchovies and capers. It is an ideal thing to have with a good glass of red wine. This is a great tasting pizza due to the type of base and the way it is cooked. It was developed from Saturday night model train sessions, and beats the commercial pizza we were eating hands down. The secret to a great pizza is a layer of onion that infuses the pizza with a great aroma, while the anchovies plus the capers really make a difference. This pizza should serve two, but will adequately feed one really hungry bloke - with hopefully some leftovers.
Ingredients:
Pizza Base Get a thin pizza base from the frozen food section of your supermarket. Previously sold as a pair of bases without the tomato paste topping. Don't buy the pre topped bases as they are too thick for a crusty pizza.
Meat A 5cm piece of salami (I prefer Danish) - or two slices of Bacon - even smoked chicken drumstick will do.
Anchovies Every pizza must have at least eight fillets for a good flavour. Try the Russino brand of Morrocan anchovies in Olive Oil, or 200 gms Superior Gold brand Danish cocktail prawns. Seafood extender can also be used as a last resort.
Tomatoes Four small size Roma type tomatoes, well and truly drained. Don't use the sun dried tomatoes as they are too chewy and lack flavour.
Tomato Paste I used to buy the Dolmio brand, but now use 170gm Home Brand. Don't use the specialized "Pizza Base" pastes as the spices taste wrong.
Onions Use a medium size white, brown or red onion - colour doesn't matter. Each will infuse the pizza with a slightly different flavour. Experiment.
Garlic I generally use two table spoons of crushed garlic, but flavour to your own taste.
Mushrooms Two big mushrooms or one handfull of button type or a small can of mushrooms stems and pieces.
Capsicum A quarter of a medium red capsicum.
Garden herbs Use fresh garden herbs by all means, but avoid jars of "Pizza Topper".
Capers My secret weapon for pizza flavour. About thirty of the little buggers will do nicely!
Olives 20 pitted Kalamata olives. The Australian grown olives are excellent.
Olive Oil Use an Extra Virgin, Early Harvest oil such as Viva, as the flavour is better.
Cheese A large handfull of shredded Mozarella. Buy it in a resealable zippered bag.
Lemon Juice I use the 500mL containers of Sunshine brand.
Cooking Tip! Start with a thin base which can be cooked crisply. Don't overdo the toppings - keep it manageable and keep the individual flavours identifiable. Don't use "wet" ingredients for toppings - or the pizza becomes soggy. You can use two or more types of cheese, but one must be Mozarella.
Preparation: Lay the pizza base on a flat surface. Drain any wet ingredients. Chop the meats, cheese and the vegetables separately into piles of 1 cm squares. Spread the whole can of tomato paste and the garlic evenly over the whole pizza surface. Sprinkle the pizza with a light drizzle of olive oil. Spread the onions directly over the tomato paste and garlic. Apply the meat over the onions, and then spread the vegetables evenly. Lay the Anchovies diametrically around the base. Cover with herbs and a small sprinkle of olive oil. Drop the capers randomly on top and cover with the cheese.
Cooking: Cook in a hot oven - about 260C or 400F. Use the griller until the cheese on top melts and the bottom of the base is slightly burnt. The pizza base should look thin and crispy as per above photograph.
Presentation: The aroma of the onion will have permeated the meat and the vegetables. Enjoy with a glass or two or red Australian wine - a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Browns Malbec, or even a Lambrusco sparkling red. The pizza also tastes great after two days in the fridge. Reheat in an oven for crispness, rather than done to a soggy mess in a microwave.



B. Spaghetti and Mince

The Dish: Spaghetti and Mince Meat Australian Style, with reduced fat. Designed for four medium sized serves, it goes well after maturing in the fridge for a couple of days. Mince meat spaghetti sauce is a means of flavouring spaghetti. This recipe has a "secret mens business" ingredient that restores the flavour of the meat when the fats are removed.
Ingredients:
Spaghetti 250 grams of Rigatoni (large diameter 5 cm long tubes).
Meat 500 grams of low fat mince.
Tomatoes Half a can of Roma tomatoes.
Capsicum half a medium red or green capsicum.
Mushrooms Two big mushrooms or one handfull of button type or a small can of mushrooms stems and pieces.
Onions Use a medium size white, brown or red onion - your choice - try something different.
Garlic I generally use two dinner spoons of crushed garlic, but flavour to your own taste.
Cheese A large handfull of shredded Mozarella. Buy it in a resealable zippered bag.
Spaghetti Sauce A full jar of Dolmio sauce for the best flavour.
Garden herbs Use fresh garden herbs by all means, but avoid jars of "Pizza Topper".
Olive Oil Use an Extra Virgin, Early Harvest oil such as Viva, as the flavour is better.
Curry Powder 2 tablespoons of Keens Curry powder.
Cooking Tip! Add the curry powder to the mince after the fats and liquid have been poured out of the pan. This restores the flavour of the mince, but does not give a curry flavour to the meat.
Spaghetti: Boil 7.5 cm depth of water in a large saucepan. Add a moderate shake of salt to flavour. When boiling add the spaghetti and turn the heat down. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the spaghetti is soft (al dente). Wash the spaghetti under warm water to clean off the gluten. Leave to dry in a collander.
Sauce: Dice the meat and the vegetables into piles of 2 cm cubes - a good size for your fork. Add the olive oil and the onion to a cold frypan then ignite the burner. Use a medium heat on the onion only until it is opaque - burnt onion has an acrid taste. Put the mince meat in another frypan and cook until the meat browns. Tip out the fat extracted from the meat whilst it cooks. Combine with the cooked onion and the curry powder in one frying pan. Stir the contents together.
Simmering: Turn the heat down until the flame is quite small and stir in the spaghetti sauce. Simmer for 15 to 25 minutes, whilst stirring and turning over occasionally. The flavour of the meat and vegetables infuses into the sauce.
Presentation: Distribute the spaghetti onto the plates and smother in the sauce. Enjoy with a glass or two of red Australian wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon. The flavour improves after two days in the fridge - just reheat in the microwave.



C. Pork Curry

The Dish: Curry is a simple stew using a sauce of extremely flavoured spices. Designed for four medium sized serves, it goes well after maturing in the fridge for a couple of days. This recipe basically follows the simple instructions on the side of the Pataks can - nothing special, but what an introduction to curry! For the first taste of curry try the mildest version - Pataks Delhi flavour of tomato and coriander.
Ingredients:
Meat 500 grams of diced pork or four chicken drumsticks/breasts. I now prefer the pork.
Rice A cup full of Australian Sunlong rice or use Naan bread as a replacement.
Curry Paste One 375 gram can of Pataks brand curry sauce, or two dinner spoons from a concentrate jar of curry sauce.
Coconut Milk One 400mL can of Pandaroo brand.
Onion Use a medium size white, brown or red onion - your choice - try something different.
Olive Oil Use an Extra Virgin, Early Harvest oil such as Viva, as the flavour is better.
Cooking Tip! Adding coconut milk reduces the heat of the curry. When cooking a really hot curry, such as a Madras, be sure to add the coconut milk and simmer for up to three hours. All the heat will have gone, the meat will fall off the bones and the curry will have a delicious sweet flavour.
Rice: Boil 7.5cm (3 inches) depth of water in a large saucepan. Add a moderate shake salt to flavour. When the water is boiling add the rice and then turn the heat right down (until the flame is at it's smallest on a gas stove). Simmer for approximately 25 to 40 minutes until the rice has absorbed the water and is soft. Wash the rice under warm water to clean off the gluten. Leave to dry in a collander.
Sauce: Dice the onion separately into 2 cm cubes - a good size for your fork. Add the oil and the onion to a cold frypan then ignite the burner. Use a medium heat on the onion only until it is opaque - burnt onion has an acrid taste. Add the meat and cook at the same temperature until the pork turns white or the chicken turns slightly brown. Turn the meat regularly to even the cooking. Mix the meat and the onion.
Simmering: Turn the heat down until the flame is quite small and add the curry paste and the coconut milk. Simmer for at least 30 minutes to infuse the flavour of the meat into the curry sauce. Warm the Naan bread in the microwave to be ready to serve with the curry.
Presentation: Distribute the rice onto the plates and cover with curry. Use yoghurt for a side dish to cool down the curry as water or alcohol will not work. Serve with a yoghurt drink (Lassi) or a nice cup of Dilmah tea. I now enjoy the hot Madras curry with only occasional side effects. The flavour improves after two days in the fridge - just reheat in the microwave.



D. Chinese Stir Fry

The Dish: Stir Fry is a great Chinese meal full of crisp vegetables and sauce. It is prepared in an extremely hot Wok.
This meal will feed two people and is extremely filling - there will be no need to go back back for second helpings after an hour.
Ingredients:
Meat 250 grams of diced pork or chicken stir fry pieces.
Stir Fry vegetables. Birds Eye Stir Fry Oriental Pack 850 grams is recommended. It contains Broccoli, Yellow Bean, Carrot, Sugar Snap Peas, Water Chestnuts and Red Capsicum. There are also others in this range.
Extra vegetables. Add any combination of the following that you would have in your cupboard: typically a Small Brown or White Onion, Snow Peas, Mushrooms.
Garlic Crushed Garlic.
Salt & Sugar Salt - Iodised Table Salt.
Brown Sugar - the secret ingredient of your favourite local Chinese take-away.
Sauces Soy Sauce - Kikkoman
Honey and Soy Sauce - Lee Kum Kee.
Sweet Chilli Sauce - Mae Ploy.
Oils Olive Oil - I use an Extra Virgin, Early Harvest Olive Oil such as Viva - or -
Rice Bran Oil - either Alfa One or Woolworths Select; cheaper and a higher flash point than Olive Oil.
Sesame Oil - Chang's.
Cooking Tip! Be sure to keep the heat up to the Wok plus cooking times down to keep the vegetables crisp.
You will get to know the best balance of sauces for your preference with repeated attempts at cooking.
Preparation: Turn the heat up on the stove to near maximum, heat up the Wok and add a thin layer (approx 2mm) of Olive/Rice Bran Oil. If the oil starts to smoke, turn down the heat.
Add a Dessert Spoon of Sesame Oil and a shake of Salt to the mixture.
Cut 250 grams of Meat and the Extra Vegetables into large sections that will sit neatly on a fork. Set both aside separately.
Cooking: Chuck the meat into the Wok and stir/turn over to get both sides white - this should take less than 5 minutes.
Add half of the pack of the Stir Fry Vegetables and the Extra Vegetables to the Wok.
Stir fry the mixture for another 5 minutes.
Add a shake of the Soy Sauce, two Dessert Spoons of Garlic, a Dessert Spoon of Brown Sugar and two Dessert Spoons of each of the Honey & Soy plus the Sweet Chilli sauces to the mix.
Stir Fry for another 5 minutes to get the sauces and oils to mix into the meat and vegetables.
Surprisingly the Garlic is not overpowering.
Presentation: Use chopsticks; if you are as dexterous as I am, a fork will have to suffice.
Serve with a Green Tea or as I prefer a refreshing glass of coconut water.
Best eat all in one setting as I don't think the vegetables would survive refrigeration.



E. Hearty Soup

Soup starts to boil Soup ready to eat

The Dish: Suitable for Winter nights and a good means of using all the leftover vegetables in the pantry. I have been sustained over many a winter night with this soup, and always have some left over for a neighbour.
Ingredients:
Water Five litres in a large stainless steel pot.
Meat If required - 500 grams of soup bacon bones or chicken drumsticks or wings.
Tomatoes Two or three small "Gourmet" tomatoes, ripened in a sealed container for two days.
Onion Half a medium to large brown onion, or three to four spring onions with green stalks.
Mushrooms Half a dozen small button Mushrooms.
Capsicum Half a medium red Capsicum.
Celery One or two stalks of Celery.
Swede Half a medium sized Swede - this tends to thicken the soup.
Potato A medium sized Potato - this will also thicken the soup.
Turnip Half a medium sized Turnip - to add a rich flavour to the soup.
Curry Powder Two or three teaspoons of added Keens Curry Powder creates a nice warmth in each mouthful.
Salt and Pepper Experiment to personal taste. I use Mixed Pepper Seeds and Sea Salt in grinders.
Wasabi Paste My secret ingredient to add a little heat - a one inch squeeze of S&B Wasabi Paste.
Soup Mix This is mainly Barley seeds - use a handful.
Peas Use a handful of Peas for a slightly lighter flavour.
Tubular Spaghetti A handful of the small diameter Macaroni tubes for something to bite onto.
Vegetable Stock Massel brand Vegetable stock powder in a 168g can - use 3 to 4 tablespoons
Chicken Stock Massel brand Chicken stock powder in a 168g can - use 1 to 2 tablespoons
Cooking Tip! You do not have to use the complete list of ingredients. Try various combinations to suit your taste. Everything is available off the shelf at a Woolworths or Coles supermarket.
Preparation: Bring 5 litres of water in a big stainless steel pot to the boil on the stove. Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer (just boiling). Dice the vegetables into 5cm chunks and throw the lot into the boiling water. Sprinkle the water surface with Salt, Pepper, Curry Powder and add the squeeze of Wasabi. Stir everything in together and add the meat if that is required.
Variations: My previous cook-up of this soup used Onion, Tomato, Celery, Swede, Curry Powder, Salt and Pepper, Wasabi, Barley Seeds, Tubular Spaghetti, plus Vegetable and Chicken stock. You do not need to use all the ingredients, merely use what is on hand and experiment with the different possible flavours. You may also add soup bacon bones or chicken pieces to create a hearty meat based soup - delicious and filling!
Simmering: Cooking involves simmering the soup for about 3 to 4 hours. The longer it takes, the richer coloured and deeper flavoured it gets. Sample the soup every half hour for the improvement in flavour, passing from a thin salty stock flavour through to a full bodied vegetable or meat soup. Be sure to stir the soup every half hour and ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Don't be surprised if one third to a half of the water level disappears during the simmering - you can always top up the water and stir for a good mixture.
Presentation: This soup always goes well on a cold winters night with a couple of pieces of buttered toast. With the added Curry Powder and Wasabi it is certainly not boring. Enjoy!



F. Greek Salad

The Dish: An authentic Greek Salad made with the proper ingredients. The results will produce adequate salad for four people. It makes an ideal side salad for cold meat slices. Greek Salad also reduces your blood glucose level - excellent for diabetics. The effect may be due to the enzymes in the olive oil, lemon juice and onion. The salad is inexpensive and nutritious, and so delicious that it can be eaten every day.
Ingredients:
Onion One medium to large red salad onion.
Tomatoes Two medium tomatoes kept in a sealed container for two days to ripen.
Mushrooms Two big mushrooms, or a handful of button mushrooms.
Capsicum A quarter of a medium red capsicum.
Garden herbs Use fresh garden herbs like pre packaged fresh spinach
Olives 20 pitted Kalamata olives. The Australian grown olives are excellent.
Olive Oil Use an Extra Virgin, Early Harvest oil such as Viva, as the flavour is better.
Cheese A 3 cm slice of Australian made Lemnos brand Fetta goats milk cheese
Lemon Juice I use the 500mL containers of Sunshine brand.
Cooking Tip! Do Not Substitute any Ingredients - eg: the olives or the cheese. If you don't have the right ingredients, don't make it. Don't add any extra ingredients (don't be tempted to include chunks of meat), otherwise you end up with something that resembles a salad, but definitely is not a Greek Salad.
Oil Topping: Combine the olive oil and the lemon juice in equal parts in a small nozzled jar called a Cruet. Shake the mixture until it combines.
The Salad: Chop the onion, tomato, mushrooms and capsicum into piles of 2 to 3 cm cubes. Dice the cheese and the herbs. Combine the vegetables with the cheese, herbs and olives in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture with the oil topping mixture. Store on the bench top for a few hours before serving for the enzymes to take effect - it manages to make the onion far less acidic.
Presentation: Divide the mixture into four small plastic bowls. It can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. Serve with fried calamari or even better - sun dried baby octopus (Delicious!) - Woolworths now has this amongst the jars of salads.