Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits

Serves: 8 | Preparation Time: 25


1 1/3 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (45g) polenta or fine milled corn meal
3 tablespoons (45g) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups packed, 170g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (1 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons diced fresh jalapeños (more or less to taste)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream (200ml), plus extra for brushing


Preheat oven to 220°C. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, salt, sugar, cayenne, and baking powder. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the grated cheddar cheese and the diced jalapeños.

Make a well in the centreof the flour mixture. Pour the cream into the centre of the well and your (clean) hands to gently bring together the ingredients. If you need to add a bit more cream then do so a tiny trickle at a time. You just want everything to get wet enough so that the dough will be sticky and clumpy.

Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead the dough just a few times - maybe only three or four pushes. You just want it to come together. (Over-kneading will result in firmer, denser biscuits.)

Form the dough into a disc about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter (or a small juice glass) to cut round biscuit shapes out of the disk. Combine the leftover dough and keep forming small round biscuit shapes until the dough is used up.

Place on a lined baking sheet, with at least an inch or two between the biscuits. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little more cream. Top the biscuits with a sprinkle of the remaining cheese.

Bake at 220°C for 11-12 minutes or until golden and the cheese is nicely melted.

Roast Carrot Soup with Cashews and Chili

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min


  • 6 good-sized carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • A splash of olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • 50g cashew nuts (or 2 tbsp peanut butter)
  • 750ml-1ltr veg stock
  • A handful of fresh mint
  • 1 lime


Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas 8. Place a roasting tin in the oven to heat up.

2. Add the carrots, garlic and a splash of olive oil to the hot roasting tin. Season with salt and pepper. Roast till the carrots have coloured up and are mashably tender.

3. Toast your cashews till golden. Whiz in a food processor or a pestle and mortar till like peanut butter (or just use peanut butter).

4. Warm your stock.

5. Once the carrots are cooked, whiz with the nut butter and a few splashes of the stock till you have a thick, smooth and creamy mash. Add a hit of chilli powder, to taste. Whiz in a handful of fresh mint to counter the chilli heat.

6. Trickle and whiz in enough stock to get the soup as thick or thin as you like. Season to taste and finish with a refreshing squeeze of lime juice.

Jerusalem artichoke potato cakes with red onion jam

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 15 min


Potato cakes

  • ½ kilo mashed potatoes
  • 8-10 small Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 medium onion diced, fried without colour
  • 1 tbspn chopped fresh thyme
  • 3-4 tbspn hazelnut oil
  • 1 tbspn Dijon mustard
  • Fresh breadcrumbs
  • Fine polenta meal
  • Seasoning to taste

Chilli jam

  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce

Rocket salad

  • 4 handfuls wild rocket
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbspn pear concentrate (available in health food stores & worth investing in) If not, peel and mince 1/4 pear and use instead.


Potato cakes
Combine all ingredients except polenta. Slowly work breadcrumbs into mixture to form about 8 cakes.
Roll cakes in polenta. Gently pan fry or deep fry till crisp.
Chili jam
Slowly fry onion in oil until caramelised, about 10 minutes. Add chili sauce. Place on a chopping board and roughly chop the mix to create a slightly chunky jam.
Rocket salad
Place balsamic in saucepan and simmer till reduced by half. Stir in pear concentrate (minced pear).
Toss through rocket leaves.
To serve
Place the rocket on the plate and top with the artichoke and potato cakes. Drizzle with the chili jam.

warm spanner crab, chilli & muscle salad

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 0 min


  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1kg pot-ready black mussels (see note)
  • 40ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Chopped segments of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dired chilli flakes
  • 1 cups watercress sprigs
  • 1/4cup coriander leaves
  • 300g blue swimmer or spanner crab meat, picked through
  • Mixed leaf lettuce, to serve


Place potatoes, a pinch of salt and garlic in a saucepan, cover with cold water and cook over medium heat until tender, then drain. Discard garlic. Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and chop.
Meanwhile, place mussels in a saucepan and steam, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until mussels open. Cool slightly, then remove mussels from their shells.

Combine oil, onion, lemon segments & chili in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add warm potatoes and mussels and toss gently. Layer potato salad, watercress, coriander and crab meat through the lettuce.

Spicy Stuffed Eggplant

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min


  • 75 Gram basmati rice
  • 1 Unit eggplant
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) olive oil
  • 1 Unit brown onion, halved
  • 2 Clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Teaspoon (Metric) ground coriander powder
  • 2 Teaspoon (Metric) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 0.2 Teaspoon (Metric) fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 0.25 Cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon (Metric) lime rind, finely grated
  • 1 Unit lime, juice of
  • 65 Gram reduced-fat yoghurt


Preheat oven to 200°C. Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

Meanwhile, cut the eggplant in half lengthways. Use a small sharp knife to cut a 1cm border around the edge of each eggplant half. Scoop out the flesh within the border, leaving about 1.5cm of flesh on the base of each eggplant half. Finely chop the flesh.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, coriander, ginger, chilli and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.

Add the chopped eggplant and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant is soft. Remove from heat.

Add the rice, lime juice to eggplant mixture, and stir to combine. Place eggplant shells in a large baking dish. Spoon rice mixture evenly among eggplant shells. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until eggplant shells are soft and filling is golden.

Place the lime rind into bowl with the yoghurt and serve as you wish.

Lemongrass chili chicken recipe (ga xao xa ot)

Serves: 3-4 | Preparation Time: 20 min


  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 lemon grass stalks, white part only, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 long red chilli, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup young coconut juice
  • 3 mint sprigs for garnish


In a mixing bowl combine fish sauce, sugar and mix until sugar has dissolved. Add half of the lemon grass, half of the garlic, half of the chilli and all of the chicken. Coat the chicken then marinate it covered and refrigerated for 1 hour or over night for a better result.
Bring a large saucepan or wok to medium heat, add oil and remaining lemon grass, garlic, chilli, and fry until fragrant and slightly brown.
Turn heat to high then add the chicken sealing all sides until browned, around 2 minutes on each side.
Now add coconut juice, onions and cover with a lid, then cook on medium heat for a 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half.
Transfer to a bowl, garnish with mint and serve with jasmine rice.