Let’s get feast-ive! Here’s an easy to prep recipe for Beef Brisket Sliders that can slow-cook while you’re at work and will wow even the most hard to please Ladies-a-Plate aficionados.
Silver Fern Farms new cut, Beef Brisket is the star of these picture-perfect sliders, which can be assembled in 5 minutes and make a great family dinner as well as a delicious dish to share this holiday season.
Trying something new with an old fave
is an easy way to find some much-needed dinner inspo as we cruise into summer
and the holiday season.
Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce and chicken are pretty easy to come across in kiwi kitchens, so Dave and I came up with this super quick and easy Sticky Chicken Bao recipe that we guarantee the whole family will love!
Approx 600g Chicken thigh or tenders
¼ cup Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
¼ tbsp Lee Kum Kee minced ginger
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pack Bao buns, find in freezer
section at supermarket
Coleslaw, coriander, spring onions to
garnish to taste
Combine Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce, honey,
vinegar, garlic and ginger in large bowl. Mix well to combine. Add chicken and
stir to coat. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Add olive oil to pan, adding chicken
when pan is hot. Reserve marinade in bowl to add later.
When chicken is cooked through and
beginning to turn a golden-brown colour add remaining marinade. Turn chicken to
coat in marinade, reduce until sauce coating chicken is thick and sticky.
Steam buns according to directions on
pack. Fill with coleslaw, chicken, dress with coriander and chopped spring
onions. Create a spicy mayo by adding hot sauce, (the more the better) to your
mayo and drizzle over your filled bao.
The seasonal rain hasn’t yet arrived here in New Zealand but there’s no denying that Winter is here. We are currently enjoying bluebird days but the temps aren’t playing around – she’s cold mate!
Along with buying too many jackets and woollen socks (my winter fashion weaknesses!), when the days get shorter I love, love spending time in the kitchen and cooking some classic, hearty meals. Rich gravies and casseroles, slow-cooked, large cuts of meat and traditional kiwi-comfort food like this beautiful chicken pie form the menu for our family over the winter months.
The original Chicken Pie recipe was shared with me by Stevens, I have adapted it a tiny bit to suit our tastes. The gorgeous stoneware casserole dish I used (kindly gifted) is from their Winter Cooking range – shop Oslo Casserole Dish – and as at time of publication is 50% off!
The BEST Country Chicken Pie Recipe
2 x pre-rolled sheets of puff pastry, big enough to cover your dish
1 free-range egg beaten
750g chicken breast chopped into 3cm chunks
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
300g carrots chopped
15 button mushrooms sliced
130g fresh baby spinach leaves
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp crème fraiche
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper
First, cook the vegetables – melt half the butter with a tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions, and sauté until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook until the water evaporates, and they begin to brown on the edges. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken to the pan and brown slightly. Next, add one cup of the chicken stock and return the vegetables to the pan. Simmer for around 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Spray the Oslo Casserole Dish with oil and line with the first pastry sheet. Remove the chicken and veggies from the pan and place this in the base of your pie dish, reserving the cooking stock in a bowl. Melt the rest of the butter with a dash of olive oil in the pan and sprinkle in the flour stirring gently to brown it slightly. Add the mustard and then the reserved and extra stock, stirring all the time to thicken. Finally, stir through the crème fresh and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the spinach leaves through the hot sauce to wilt them, then pour the spinach mustard sauce over the chicken and vegetables, stir gently to combine.
Preheat oven 200°C fan bake.
Lay the second pastry sheet over the filling and using a fork go around the dish edges to seal. With a sharp knife cut two to three steam holes in the top.
Brush the pastry surface with beaten egg and bake for around 25 minutes or when the pastry is golden and crisp.
I’m a firm believer that meal kits are one of the greatest, most convenient marvels of modern living – at least for parents lol – we are hooked! However, choosing between the various subscription box options we now have in New Zealand can be a bit daunting. Our family has tried 90% of them but after purchasing HelloFresh since September it’s time to dish!
Before I get into it, HelloFresh have hooked you guys up with a discount code so you too can experience the convenience, variety and peace of mind that this awesome service had brought to our dinner table! For $35 off your first HelloFresh order, CLICK HERE – I can’t recommend it ENOUGH guys so give it a whirl!
Dinner doesn’t get any more convenient than this
I really can’t emphasise this enough. Our delivery arrives on a Monday, ready for the week ahead. Because we are not meal planning each week and shopping for dinner is excluded from our weekly shop, we are saving time (and stress) in other areas of our life – not just at 5pm every day when the “what’s for dinner/I forgot to get the meat out!” panic kicks in.
One point of difference between HelloFresh and its competitors that Dave and I LOVE is the colour coded paper bag system. Everything you need for each meal (except the chilled ingredients) is in ONE recyclable paper bag, saving time 2 ways; I don’t have to unpack 5 meals worth of ingredients when our delivery arrives, I just pop the bags straight in the fridge. Secondly, when it’s time to cook, I don’t have to refer to the recipe card and collect all the ingredients needed for the meal – everything is in the bag! Love it.Variety is the key to happy mealtimes in our house
Variety is the key to happy mealtimes in our house
Those of us who are responsible for preparing dinner for either ourselves or others have our go-to meals that pop up again and again, week after week – inspo is hard to come by at 5pm when everything is happening at once right? Guys, there is no need to exaggerate how amazing it is to flick through the HelloFresh recipes each week and literally be so stoked at the variety that you can’t decide which meal to make first. Not even joking.
The kids LOVE it!
I’m loving saying goodbye to second-guessing whether the meals arriving each week via a subscription service will be liked by the kids. If you’re a Classic or Family Box customer, it’s super easy to jump onto the HelloFresh site or the app and switch out recipes if they’re not quite right for you. The boys are also loving HelloFresh as the recipes are perfectly suited to family meals. In Mum-Speak, I’m not having to recreate every dinner to suit the tastes of our finicky five-year-old and stubborn teenager.
Rediscover the joy of cooking!
Our HelloFresh subscription has incidentally removed any barriers (real or perceived lol) that had been preventing Ethan (our 14yo) from getting more involved at mealtimes. He loves to cook, but stress levels in our kitchen around dinner time often mean that Dave and I don’t have the capacity to guide him through dinner prep or cooking. The HelloFresh recipe cards provide step by step instructions complete with photographs, that allow E to get started on dinner prep when he can and jump in and assist us on those busy days when another hand in the kitchen is always welcomed.
All in all, we are loving HelloFresh – can you tell?! Cooking, eating and sharing meals together as a family has chilled out so much over the past couple of months since HelloFresh arrived in NZ and in our kitchen – I can’t imagine life without it anymore. The service and quality of ingredients are outstanding considering how well priced the deliveries are and don’t forget, I’ve got a code to share which makes it even better value!
Try HelloFresh for yourself and you’ll definitely see what I’m talking about. Don’t forget to use the code BESTNEST for $35 off your first order and find a little more time in your day and out of your kitchen!
Prawns are an ingredient that I think we shy away from a lot here in New Zealand, in fact, I don’t think I’d ever actually eaten one until I was well ensconced in my 6 year ‘OE’ in the states. After living in both Florida and San Deigo where ‘shrimp’ are a dietary staple I’ve definitely come around to the fact that these bite-sized beauties are a perfect inclusion into many kiwi faves from summery salads to pizza and pasta. They’ve got to be one of the most low-fuss, easy proteins to cook, which makes them even more attractive in my book.
Prawns, shrimp, whatever you call them, also pair beautifully with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – incidentally, my favourite varietal, as well as the rest of the country – yes, it’s official, kiwi sav is our nations favourite wine variety! I’m all about discovering and celebrating our wonderful local winemakers, so, after finding my own new fave in Peter Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017, I decided to get creative in the kitchen.
Taking my cues from the winemakers tasting note (I’m NOT a wine connoisseur btw, more like a devoted fangirl!), marrying the citrus aromas and finish of the Reserve Sauvignon Blanc with lemon, lime, garlic and seafood seemed a no-brainer. The result? A bloody cracker of a dish that’s so easy to prepare I cooked it on holiday in a minimally equipped AirBNB kitchen.
It’s International Sauvignon Blanc Day on May 4th so why not add some prawns to the grocery list this week and see what you think of my wine pairing. There’s also a super fun comp running right now to celebrate our love of Sauv!
To enter; create a dish that you think pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc, upload your photo here, share with friends using the #ExpressYourSauv hashtag and tagging @Yealands and you’re in to win! Lemon Garlic Prawn Tacos Recipe
500g raw prawns, tails removed
2 tbsp butter
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt n Pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
Chopped red onion
Spicy sauce (mix sriracha or taco seasoning with aioli to taste)
Melt butter in pan, saute chopped garlic over medium heat for a couple of minutes max.
Remove from heat and pour butter and garlic over prawns. Add juice of lemon and lime, stir in sugar and salt and pepper. Toss to coat prawns and add mixture to pan. Cook quickly over medium/high heat until prawns are pink and getting some good colour on them. Remove from heat.
Heat corn tortillas in a stack wrapped in foil in the oven, microwave for around 20 seconds, or sprinkle with water and warm in a clean pan. Don’t skip this step as corn tortillas are more brittle than flour and will crack and rip when folded cold.
Layer tortilla with coleslaw, prawns, tomato, onion and coriander. Serve with spicy aioli and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Pairs perfectly with Peter Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017.
Vegetable prices here in New Zealand are absolutely ridiculous this summer. If mortgaging your house to keep up a steady supply of the green gold aka, avocados is not your jam, then you’ll be looking to purchase in-season produce whose price point reflects the fact that it’s IN SEASON lol.
And that brings us to corn.
I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t love fresh, kiwi grown sweetcorn. It’s the perfect summer vege, it stays fresh in its husk in the fridge, travels well and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
After travelling in Japan for 2 weeks, we had been missing our kiwi fruit and vegetables like crazy so every meal at the moment revolves around salad and veges. Last night I whipped up some Twice Baked Sweetcorn and Bacon Potatoes using fresh as, LeaderBrand sweetcorn and spinach. We’ve got a winner here folks, these corn taties and variations on them will be a menu regular in our house from now on. Sub the bacon for a hearty Meat Free Monday Meal, or switch your protein and dice up some leftover bbq sausages etc. This is a super easy recipe to get creative with and prep early so you’re not rushing at dinner time.
I wish I could take credit for this amazing recipe but I can’t lol. For more yummy, fresh ways to eat NZ sweetcorn, check out the recipes section over at www.leaderbrand.co.nz
2 cobs LeaderBrand sweetcorn kernels, cut from corn
6 rashers bacon cut into small pieces
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup cream or milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 pack LeaderBrand spinach
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to season
1. Preheat over to 180℃.
2. Place potatoes on lined baking tray, poke holes in them, bake for 45 mins or until soft through. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, cook bacon pieces for 2 minutes, add corn kernels and stir for a further 2 mins. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
4. Cut a large flat slice off the top of baked potatoes. Using a tsp, scoop out the insides into a large bowl being careful to leave a thin layer of potato around the skin so it doesn't tear.
5. Add corn, bacon, sour cream, milk or cream, chopped spinach and parsley to the bowl and mix with potato. Season with S&P.
6. Using a tsp, fill the potato skins with the bacon and corn mix and place back on the oven tray. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven for 20mins or until cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately.
No-one’s got time for endless hours of food prep – at least no one I know. Or maybe just me. Either way………saving time in the kitchen allows much more time for other enjoyable pursuits, such as leaving said kitchen and venturing out to eat food other, more talented artisans than yourself have prepared.
The days are finally getting longer and my family is itching to spend more time outdoors in the evenings. As such, I’m getting my ducks in a row and starting to think of ways Dave and I can create ‘Cook Once, Eat Twice’ meals and incorporate them into our weekly meal planning a bit more often.
Obviously, time-saving is a big reason why anyone would meal plan or want to smash out two meals in one prep session, but it also makes economic sense. Bulk buying or meal planning so you can make use of larger cuts of meat can save you heaps at the grocery store and encourage seasonal eating which is always less expensive and exactly what our bodies crave at any given time of year.
Saving on energy costs is yet another way to benefit from your brilliant meal-planning and forward-thinking – pat yourselves on the back! Heating an oven to cook one meal and utilising ONE oven rack makes no sense. Turn that sucker on and load it up to maximise your power usage. Even better, level-up your Kitchen Super Hero status by cooking during your off-peak, FREE Hour of Power from Electric Kiwi. If you haven’t switched yet do it! The 9-5pm off-peak slot is perfect for us SAHMs, or get up at 6am and get dinner ready before the kids wake.
Let’s get into it, here are 5 family-friendly meal ideas that will help you cook once but eat twice!
5 Ways to Cook Once, Eat Twice!
Meatballs – instead of purchasing a 500g pack of beef, chicken or pork mince, lookout for specials and pick up a kilogram pack. Whip up an extra-large batch of meatballs, freeze half or go meatball crazy two nights in a row. Think spaghetti, stir fry, meatball subs, on top of fried rice, with a banging salad, or try my own delicious Thai Chicken Meatball Recipe here.
The Kiwi Roast – Pop a roast on the weekly menu, bulk the meal out with heaps of seasonal veggies and a salad and you’ll be good to go for two nights! De-bone the meat and get creative with some hearty pizzas or pies on night two.
Tacos/fajitas/stir-fry – Using schnitzel cuts of meat is a great way to lighten up your family’s servings of animal protein – a little goes a long way. Lightly pan fry or bake your schnitzel (beef, chicken or pork), divide in two and season half for tacos or fajitas while the other half is ready for inclusion into your fave stir-fry or stroganoff recipe. Try my Shrimp Fajita Recipe here.
Chili – Try a vegetarian version and have a meat-free meal once a week! Chili is amazing just served in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese, but try it in a quesadilla on night 2, or on a pizza, in a toastie or – my fave – pick up some large roasting potatoes, twice roast them and top with your chili! Soooo good!
BBQ Chicken Salad / Pasta Bake – I always buy in bulk when I see chicken breast on sale for $9.99kg. Dave has started slicing the breasts in half through the thickness as this saves on cooking time and helps decrease our portion sizes. Marinate your chicken and cook on the bbq for a quick, easy, light meal. Serve with a fresh, green salad and you’re ticking all the nutrition boxes. For night two, cut up your leftover chicken and combine with some seasonal veges (try grating courgette and carrot if your kids are picky eaters), pasta and your favourite sauce for a hearty pasta bake.
If you’ve got any amazing Cook Once, Eat Twice meal ideas please add them in the comments below, as I absolutely LOVE expanding our easy-dinner menu xx
To take advantage of Electric Kiwi’s free daily Hour of Power, make the switch here, it’s fast, easy and they do all the work for you – isn’t that a change lol!
Mushrooms are up there on my faves list, alongside avocados and cheese. All three can usually be added to anything to instantly improve it.
Aside from cake.
Anyway, this recipe is amazing, I wish I could take credit for it (not that clever!) but I plan on making these ALL the time, the addition of lemon zest is genius I tell you! I used my pie maker and the recipe made four large pies. These delish Mushroom Pies are perfect winter warmers, they’re super-quick to whip up, inexpensive, filling and make an easy addition to your family meal plan.