Monday, August 29, 2011

Not everyones Idea of comfort food - but definitely mine!

Brussel sprouts are out and about at the moment. They are perfect and round and super delicious and a really quick and easy dinner - the stars of the show!

We had them for dinner (Max & I) all on their lonesome straight out of the pan.

Brussel Sprouts with pancetta, potato and new season garlic
you need:
500g Brussel Sprouts

100g paper thin pancetta - chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic or you could use shallots

1 large potato - sliced thinly (see photo)

olive oil

salt & pepper

Clean your sprouts - mine were perfect and needed absolutely nothing done to them, but to be sliced in half

Slice your potato - (loving my 'Love Heart' potato I found at the market)

Chop your garlic 

Chop your pancetta

Start by frying the pancetta in a little olive oil, once crispy add the potato and garlic

After a couple of minutes throw in the Brussel sprouts give it a good stir, then pop a lid over the whole lot and let it keep cooking stirring every now and then - this will steam as well as brown your spud and sprouts

Cook for about 15-20mins - check potato & the Brussel sprouts are cooked - season with salt and pepper
Sprinkle with parsley (only if you want) and drizzle with good olive oil  
Then eat them straight out of the pan!

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Thursday, August 25, 2011

As promised….


I have a girlfriend who is pregnant with her 3rd child. She has cravings for really ‘nasty cookies’(sorry honey,but those biscuits the other day were hideous). Anyway I promised her I’d put up a few biscuit recipes..really easy biscuit recipes, that take next to no time to make(no excuse to buy pre-packaged biscuits).
Rochie is super healthy(most of the time)so you and I ask, why? We all know (or those who have had kids,watched your partner’s have them or seen a friend pregnant know that) pregnancy can send us on some of the strangest food journey’s – mine was an obsession for green apples – perfect organic green new season apples, juiced, raw, made into icypoles any which way I could get them – that was with No.2, with No.1 it was Magnums, yes, Magnums the ones you buy at the 7/11 – and not one at a sitting, but several (see, we all have our dirty little secrets!)
Honey, I know you like your biscuits crunchy so these are crunchy to start and after a day, a little chewy too. Yum!

Anzac cookies

Anzac cookies

125g salted butter

1 cup wholemeal,wholewheat,spelt or even rice flour

1 cup of preservative free coconut - desiccated or shredded (I had flakes so I processed them 'til fine)

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
3 tablespoons of honey or 
golden syrup

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar or ¾ cup of Rapadura sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon bi-carb

A decent pinch of salt

So simple to make:
pre-heat your oven to 160c-(my oven is really crapping out, so I turned the fan off)

In your food processor put your flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, coconut and ½ cup of oats – blitz 'til well mixed (pulsing works even better)
Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan on a low heat

Transfer the already pulsed ingredients from food processor to a mixing bowl and the rest of the oats and stir with a wooden spoon – set aside
Now add the bi-carb to the warm butter and mix really well (it will foam up a little- this is normal), mix well

Pour the wet into the dry mixture stir with wooden spoon till well combined – the mixture will be very crumbly (this is how it's suppose to be)

Put either teaspoons (for small) or tablespoons (for large) of the mixture onto lined baking sheets and cook for 10-12min (depending on your oven and remember these cookies will expand) be careful transferring them to a cooling rack they will be very fragile and seem almost not cooked - but surprisingly they get crisp and chewy really quickly

I’ve consulted the Bickie Queen about some of her failsafe biscuit recipes and between her and I we came up with enough options to get you to the baby’s ‘birthday’ without ever having to buy another ‘packet’ of biscuits again.
I’m going to post one every week until that precious baby is born.

How many weeks is that again?


©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jerusalem artichoke soups

Last weekend was quiet. So I cooked.
At Eveleigh market on sat morning, I picked up so many goodies; heirloom tomatoes, heirloom beetroots, baby garlic shoots, baby spring onions and Jerusalem artichokes.
So I made Jerusalem artichoke soup and Beetroot & Tomato salad.

Jerusalem artichoke soup
Serves 6
1kg Jerusalem artichokes – peeled and roughly chopped
1 litre of stock
1 carrot – peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks – chopped
1 small onion – chopped finely
1-2 garlic cloves – chopped finely
1 bay leaf
2 small-medium dutch cream potatoes – peeled and roughly chopped
1 litre of stock - (you may need a little more water)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
chives or spring onion to garnish
(crispy bacon bits are also delicious)
* bowl of water with lemon juice

Jerusalem artichoke and smoked rib soup
Same ingredients as above +
1 extra carrot
Pork stock (if you have)
500g smoked pork ribs or bones

Now I’ve made this soup only three times and each time was different, so I’m no eddy the expert. If any of you have a version, please do share!

At the market I also found some tiny garlic (bulbs?) not sure what you’d call them but they are delicious so I used those instead of garlic cloves.
(garlic is out of season till October)

One thing I will say (if you’ve ever cooked Jerusalem artichokes you’ll understand), they’re a bitch to peel and clean, but so worth it.
They taste nothing like the Globe Artichoke, they have a sweet nutty potato flavor.
But beware they make you fart – big time!

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup 2 ways;

No.1 – With goats cheese

Clean and peel your Artichokes – mine were very dirty so I soaked them in warmish water, then tried to peel them as much as possible, then with a paring knife finished them off. Once they're peeled pop them into a bowl of water with the juice of one lemon squeezed in (so they don’t go brown)

Ok, so start with the base of your soup, celery, onion, carrot and garlic. Cook these till they just start to colour – stirring here and there

Season with salt and pepper then add your potato and artichoke, stir for a few minutes

Add your water or stock and cook for 30min or until all the vegetables are soft, then blitz till smooth

Add as much or as little cream as you like
Stir well and serve with chives or as I did, baby spring onions and goats cheese (a tip from Daniella)


No.2 – With pork
Do everything the same as above, except...
Blitz all your veggies in the food processor until well minced

After you’ve cooked your veg down add water to cover (a couple of cm’) above the veg and add your bones

Cook this until the meat starts falling of the bones around 45 min

Remove the meat from the bones and set aside for later

Add the potato and artichoke to the soup and cook until soft about 20 min
Once cooked blend till smooth, add a little cream and then the meat off the bones
Serve with chives or spring onions and crunchy bread


Because I had goats cheese left over and also because the beets and tomatoes were so pretty I had to make a salad. So I did….

Heirloom salad with goats cheese and activated walnuts and pecans

Steam your beetroot till you can just insert a knife with ease – let cool
Wash and slice your tomatoes
Peel your cooled beets and slice (same width as the tomato)

Assemble (see my picture above)
Crumble over the goats cheese and sprinkle the nuts (I broke them up a little)
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with Nolans rd Olive oil and a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar
This salad was beyond delicious – so I had it for dinner as well!
 * Activated nuts are simply organic nuts soaked overnight with a pinch of seasalt and filtered water to cover(this is because nuts in their natural state are hard for us to digest - this process makes them easy to digest)drain the nuts and towel dry. Then place on a baking tray and pop in the oven at the lowest temp (mine is 40c-50c)and leave for 24hours, by this stage they will have dried out and be like normal nut texture.



©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Friday, August 12, 2011


Well yes I’m feeling a little heavy at the moment, back to walking everyday (Heather where are you????) my‘trunk’ is in need of an overhaul, big time!

Anyway, this post is not about my weight. Tonight is the ‘official’ screening of ‘Songs’ new film clip called ‘Heavy’ directed and written by Max (babe, I hope to god you didn’t write that song about me?).

Because I am a very sweet girlfriend and also because my friend Daniella is coming to the launch with me, I decided I’d cook my Osso Bucco for dinner (before the show).

'Heavy' by Songs on Vimeo

Max is on one of his cleanses again which means this dish is perfect. Plus, the last time I cooked it Daniella was at our house for an after school Friday night dinner and I was trying to show off and I completely stuffed the polenta…so embarrassing to f@*# the polenta in front of an Italian.

I, of course had to show her that I’m not a complete dud when it comes to making oozingly good polenta, actually I’m pretty good (even if I do say so myself). Rochie will you vouch for me?
So tonight is the night. I needed to send Max off with a decent meal before he plays and we needed to eat too.

I feel confident in myself that I’ve held my head high and come back from the shame….yet again!

Osso Bucco my way.

Can I just say this is my 2nd attempt so I have changed a couple of things, so beware some of my photo’s might not be accurate as I photographed all of this (except the finished product and bones) the last time I cooked it.

You’ll need;

A tablespoon or 2 of flour, salt and pepper to start

4 large pieces of veal or beef Osso Bucco (organic or grass fed of course – goes without saying)
My veg is finely chopped in my photo's but in the one I just made I whizzed them in the food processor
The heart of a bunch of celery (leaves and all – see ingredients pic)

2 largeish carrots peeled

1 large onion (purple, brown or shallots, fine)

2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled)

A few sprigs of rosemary or sage

2 anchovies in olive oil

And 2 bay leaves

8 Roma tomatoes (any tomato will do) blanched in boiling water to remove skins and then de-seeded and chopped finely – you could also use tinned tomatoes or passata (which I did last time - but this one was better with fresh)

500g stock
1 glass of white wine

Olive oil

1 garlic clove
The zest of one organic unwaxed lemon and a squeeze of the juice
Extra virgin olive oil

How I made the Osso Bucco this time.
Pre-heat your oven to 150c fan forced
I was a little time poor today so to make it easier for myself I put all my veg and rosemary in the food processor and blitzed till really fine

It worked a treat (in my opinion it was better than the last time where I chopped everything finely)

First dry your meat with paper towel and then coat with a mixture of plain flour salt and pepper

In a heavy based pan, brown off your veal in a little butter and oil till well caramelized on both sides

Set aside

If your pot has a few burnt bits on the bottom try and remove with paper towel, if this doesn’t work wash it. I like to keep as much of the bits from cooking the meat as possible, because at the end of the day it adds flavour – but saying that if it’s burnt it will spoil the dish – so your call.

Now add another drop of oil and fry off your veg mince until it smells cooked and delicious, along with your anchovies

Add your bay leaves and Osso Bucco back to the pan and make sure they are all flat and not over lapping

The wine goes in next, let this cook for a minute until the alcohol smell is gone

Then add the stock and tomatoes

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to season, I like to season a little at every stage

Pop in your 150c pre-heated oven for 3-4 hours with the lid ajar

You will know when it’s cooked when the liquid has concentrated down and the meat will be super tender

To make my Gremolata;
Chop very finely the parsley, lemon zest and garlic
Then in a bowl mix in a little lemon juice, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil

Max ate his with a salad of rocket dressed with olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar – and he said I’d served him to much. 
Well babe you ate it all!

Daniella and I inhaled ours while trying to feed 5 children, 2 babysitters and 1 dog.

We had ours with wet polenta (cooked perfectly – phew!) and the Gremolata and lashing’s of grana (parmesan)
And Uncle Al, well you missed out – I’ll be sure to keep some aside for you the next time you stay over.
Great night all round!

 p.s Couldn't photograph our dinner because it was to dark - but it looked as good as it tasted!
*Also remember the only thing different with this recipe is that I used fresh tomatoes instead of tinned and I put all the veg in the food processor and blitzed till fine.
©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps
 'Songs' clip by Songs the band - Shot by the very talented 'Joshy washy wishy washy'
(Joshua Heath)