Teriyaki and Chickpea Nori and a dash of mercy

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Several weeks ago one of my dearest friends had some very bad news. Originally from Wales, she has made her home in Australia for more than 20 years. Since she moved to Queensland to start a new job a couple of years ago, we have seen less of each other but we do manage to stay close and visit each other as much as possible.

Teriyiaki Chicken

Her Dad had a stroke a few weeks ago. There is no one to look out for him and unfortunately he is still living far away in Wales. After she rang me in tears I dashed off to help her pack up her life and store it away. She’ll be back, but possibly not for a year. There are all kinds of things that you have to do when you are going away for a while and the least of them is buying an airline ticket. Some of her things could easily be discarded, like that fluffy jumper with the owl on it * just saying* there were a few clothes that should never have been allocated hanging space, also.  Other things are far more problematic- a car, wardrobes, your bed…… all that kitchenstuff you don’t want to part with or don’t want to replace again.  She managed to sublet her house to a family who have furniture and she had exactly 2 weeks. I arrived in the last 4 days when things just got too much for her. I came along to offer up support and use up the stuff in the fridge for moving day when we’d be starving.

Picnic rolls

Just in case you are wondering, she managed to find a company called Fort Knox Storage, who would not only provide her with secure month by month storage but gave her great tips for how much space she would need, how to pack things quickly and efficiently and also provided not only the boxes and packaging materials but a free trailer as well. Lets not talk about how bad I am backing up a trailer.  She’s got access 24/7 and they have security on site. Well she doesn’t really have to worry about it for a while and she can pay monthly on line. I can’t believe how it worked out .  So my next mission on our last day was to use up some of her bits and pieces, in a cooking sense of course.  The last hard day needed food. That’s possibly what I am best at.

She’s been gone a couple of weeks now. Life has changed for her and she’ll have to sacrifice her own life for a while, but I feel happy that she has her stuff in storage cause thats my insurance she will be coming back.   So for moving day snacks I made some Nori rolls from chicken, carrot, asparagus and a can of chick peas and some lovely savoury muffins out of a can of corn and some left over cheese. Yes I did, and here come the recipes.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Teriyaki and Chickpea Nori
 
These are rolled in just the same way as nori rolls made with rice.
My Kitchen Stories:
Ingredients
  • 1 packet nori paper
  • 1 can drained chickpeas ( 400gm/14oz) drained
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or Kewpey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
  • salt
Teriyaki Chicken
  • 500gm/1 lb chicken fillet strips ( tenderloins)
  • 2 tablespoons Kikoman or light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime/lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 small clove of garlic crushed
Pickled carrot
  • 2 cups of thick grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar or wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 zip lock bag
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Instructions
To make the carrot.
  1. Put the sugar, vinegar, salt and ginger in the bag with the grated carrot. shake and set aside
To make the Teriyaki
  1. Put the chicken into a bowl with the soy, sesame, ginger, maple syrup, garlic and lime and a pinch of salt. set aside
To make the chickpea paste
  1. Put the drained chickpeas into the processor with the mayo and wasabi. Process till very smooth by adding a little lemon or lime.
  2. Heat a grill or frypan till hot. Add the asparagus and sear till just coloured and starting to soften.. set aside. Next add the chicken to the grill and cook for 6-8 minutes until cooked through
Assembly:
  1. Lay a teatowel on the kitchen bench. Lay nori paper out. Spread with a very thin layer of the chickpea paste, leaving a small portion at one end without. Lay a piece of chicken and a piece of asparagus in a line adding carrot before rolling up tightly ( just like making nori rolls with rice) . Cover with a teatowel or refrigerate till needed

tray to go
5.0 from 3 reviews
Feta and Corn and Tomato Cheese Muffins
 
My Kitchen Stories:
Ingredients
Muffin papers, muffin tin, oven 350F/180C
  • 2½ cups SR flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 x 400gm /14ozes) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 100 gm crumbled feta
  • ½ tomato per muffin
  • ½ teaspoon salt fresh grated pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Put the flour, sugar into a big bowl and stir. Add ½ the crumbled feta, the grated cheddar and parsley and stir.
  2. In another bowl mix the egg, oil, milk and creamed corn and seasonings. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and mix till only just mixed (there will be some unmixed bits).
  3. Spoon into muffin cups and crumble over the remaining feta adding a ½'d tomato to the top (Makes approx 9). bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

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Easy Tuna Cakes

Tuna and potato cakes

When I was growing up a can of Tuna often constituted a good square meal.  My Mother’s repertoire of recipes was small and Tuna was a big part of that list on regular rotation.

Tiny cakes of  tunaFor a working Mother, Tuna not only had nutritious qualities worth considering, it was also very quick. Staples like, Tuna bake or a Kedgeree with Keens English curry powder or Rise a Riso with Tuna and peas, always our favourite, were constants on the menu. This dish was a packet of Risoni with added flavouring from the supermarket, to which we added tuna and peas and any other stray vegetable in the fridge and all four of us learned to make it over time. While our neighbours of Italian, Maltese and Polish heritage were tucked away in the surrounding houses making all kinds of hand rolled pastas, dumplings and stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner, we were taking turns to whip this up.

Although I scoff just ever so slightly at my Mothers cuisine choices, she grasped the industrial production of quick meal ideas with both hands and after teaching us to cook them, she collapsed on the coach. Some foods from your child hood just can’t seem to be erased from the memory banks, they are sometimes comforting and they can become a part of our childrens childhood too.  When Skater was young I tried to encourage him to eat Tuna bake or this Rise Riso with absolutely no success. In fact a can of Tuna opened anywhere within close proximity of his nose can drive him out the front door. Sad really.

This is what lead me to buy some fresh tuna pieces and offcuts at the market the other day . You can buy 500gm of tuna offcuts and pieces in most shops in the fish market for around $14. You could also use 500gm of Tuna fillet, just a little bit more expensive.  I thought if I made fish cakes with fresh tuna I may have more luck, and I was right.

cakes with tuna

I’ve added an exotic Italian influence just to prove how far I have fallen from the tree. These little capers are from the Island of Pantelleria, in the Strait of Sicily100 km (62 miles) southwest of Sicily and just 60 km (37 miles) east of the coast of Tunisia. It is dry and wind swept and caper bushes grow from rocks and crevises all over the island, as well as on terraces where they are hand harvested. After curing in Trapani salt from Sicily for a couple of weeks they are cleaned and immersed in Extra Virgin Olive oil. There is nothing in the world like these special capers.

Tuna cakes with capers

Any way, I do go on. These fish cakes are very simple, made with very few ingredients so that the flavour of the Tuna shines through the crispy Panko Crumbed exterior.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Tuna Cakes
 
These cakes can be made with tuna tails or offcuts as well as fillet. this recipe will make 8-10 large or 15-18 small snack sized cakes
My Kitchen Stories:
Ingredients
  • 500gm raw tuna
  • 500gm steamed potato ( preferably a waxy one like deseree)
  • 1 Tablespoon very finely chopped shallot or Spanish onion
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • optional chilli if you like
To crumb
  • 2 cups of panko crumbs
Serve with Caper mayonnaise or seared cherry tomatoes and capers in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Cool and crush the potato and refrigerate till cool. ( I steam whole in the skins and peel after)
  2. Cut the tuna into pieces and put into a food processor and blitz till it is well minced but not completely smooth.
  3. Add the parsley, tuna, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, egg, salt and pepper and crumbs to the potato in a medium bowl and mix well.
  4. Shape the mixture into cakes flattening to around 5-6 cm so they are not too thick to cook through. The recipe can be made to here and chiiled if you want to make ahead.
  5. Put 2 cups of panko crumbs into a dish and coat the cakes with the crumbs. Pushing them onto the outside so they stick. I had no need to eggwash, the crumbs should stick with no problems but you can egg them first if you prefer
  6. Heat a fry pan with 3 cm of oil. When it is hot add the fish cakes in batches frying till golden on both sides, drain on kitchen paper.
  7. These make great canapes and only take minutes to cook. You can prepare them ahead of time and cook them at the last minute, just before handing around with a sauce.
  8. I've served them with caper mayonnaise ansd deseeded green Bella Cerignola olives
  9. This recipe makes approximately 12 cakes or around 24 small ones

 

Tuna cakes & capersTuna offcuts

Tuna mixture

Tuna cakes ready to cook

Crumbing the tuna cakes

Frying tuna cakes

tiny tuna cakes

Delicious tiny Tuna cakes with caper mayonnaise and Bella Cerignola olives

Tuna

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