Friday, September 20, 2013

Lime & Oregano Lamb Patties

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Being frugal I tend to only buy food items that are on special (reduced in price). Also, we live rurally so it's not so easy to just pop to the shops to grab needed ingredients. Sadly this means I can't always recreate all the amazing recipes I see online or in magazines. I'll either wait until the particular ingredients are cheaper, or I adapt recipes and use alternative ingredients.

However, this predicament has its upsides. It means I end up free-styling meals; creating new recipes from what we happen to have in the cupboards that week. I really do enjoy free-stying in the kitchen, it's definitely fun and satisfying creating your own unique meals from what you have at hand. An example of this is the recipe I'm sharing today, for these amazing lime and oregano lamb patties. We've just moved towns and our pantry is a mish mash of random ingredients at the moment as we slowly start to stock it up.

So last week I decided to jazz up our 'on special' lamb mince with the few items I had at hand that I thought would give it some zing. Thankfully it turned out pretty damn amazing so this recipe is now definitely a keeper. The patties are moist and the citrus, herb and chilli imparts a delicious layer of freshness and zing to the robust flavour of the lamb. They are great as burger patties or on their own or with sides. If you don't have all of the ingredients feel free to adapt it yourself, e.g try lemons instead of limes, swap the oregano for another herb like coriander, or substitute the soy sauce with any other sauce or chutney. Who knows, you might invent a new favourite too.                  

Lime & Oregano Lamb Patties (makes approx 8)


600g lamb mince
Grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1 green chilli, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Mix all of the ingredients until well combined.
Shape into 5cm patties.
Fry in a pan on medium-hot heat for just a couple of minutes each side. Can also be grilled or barbecued.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Microwave: Lemon Self Saucing Pudding

Over the last several years I've lived in a few different towns in New Zealand, both in the North and South island. This year it was time for another move. Due to my husband's line of work as an outdoor instructor we go where the work is. Not that I mind getting dragged along; I get to experience places I would never have otherwise.

I have travel anxiety so have never really been very adventurous.  But since being with my husband it has been an awesome experience to get out of my comfort zone and experience so many new locations, and it has helped me develop a real love for NZ nature and its diverse landscapes.

So for our next chapter in life, we have recently moved from Hanmer Springs in the South Island up to the Tongariro area in the North. We're now living in a small house with a view of these guys down the driveway.

Mountains! Volcanoes! Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. Ruapehu is there too but didn't fit in the photo.

Not too shabby.

But there are trade-offs when you live in such a remote location. At home there is no tv, no internet, no mobile phone coverage, but most scarily, the kitchen is tiny. And most devastatingly, there is no bench space.

But thanks to our lifestyle I've learnt to be very adaptable, so I'm still going to be cooking up a storm and will attempt to update this blog whenever possible. (edit: a few weeks later and we now have internet!)

So for my first recipe from this new location I thought I'd share a nostalgic recipe that I've been making since my childhood. It's a lemon self-saucing pudding, but I've never called it that, I've always lovingly referred to it as "Shlops". It just rolls off the tongue a little easier. I called it that because it's not an elegant looking dish, kinda shloppy, and when you dump it on your plate, there's no being delicate about it, it just shlops right off your serving spoon. Thankfully it makes up for it in taste and convenience, it's a delightful combination of a lemon sponge and thick sweet lemon sauce all cooked together in one dish. It's actually a microwave recipe (hence why I loved making it when I was a kid), cake ready in ten minutes...oooh yeah! But you can cook it in a standard oven too, which I have just done as I don't have any microwave cookware in the cupboard. Actually I didn't have a lot of things in the cupboard, like measuring cups. Speaking of being adaptable, I made my own:

Is there any problem that duct tape can't solve?

Anyway enough rambling, I hope you give this recipe a try it's just the right tartness for a lemon pudding and is extra delicious when served warm. I guess it serves four, but between the two of us we can polish it off in one sitting, it's too damn yum.

"Shlops" - Lemon Self-Saucing Lemon Pudding


125g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon rind
3/4 cup flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1/4 cup caster sugar (regular sugar is fine too)
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 and 1/2  cups boiling water
1/2 cup lemon juice


Cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Mix in 1 tsp lemon rind, then fold in the flour and baking powder.
Add the milk and mix.
Spoon the mixture into a microwave or oven dish. (21cm round dish is ideal)
Next mix together another tsp of lemon rind with the castor sugar and cornflour.
Sprinkle this mixture evenly onto the cake mixture.
Now mix together the boiling water and lemon juice.
Spoon this liquid over the top.
Pop the dish into the oven or microwave.
In a microwave it will cook for approx 10 min on high  (though this was on my old decrepit microwave so check yours after only a few minutes! Someone commented that theirs only took 5 minutes max!).  In a standard oven it will take approx approx 35-40min at 180 Celsius.