“I love recipes that you can cook in bulk, freeze then whip out for a quick mid-week meal. I always have containers of Bolognese, chilli con carne and pesto in my freezer and also this super easy roast tomato and capsicum sauce. It all bakes in one tray then gets blitzed up for later use. I’ve also included a few recipes I make using the sauce. Enjoy”
3 red onions
6 cloves of garlic
Halve and de-seed 6 capsicums and put them in a deep baking dish.
Halve and core 6 tomatoes and put them inside the capsicums.
Quarter 3 red onions and sprinkle them between tomatoes and capsicums.
Peel 6 cloves of garlic and throw them in the pan.
Douse in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Cover in foil.
Bake in a 180c oven for an hour.
Allow to cool in the pan with the foil on.
Depending on the strength of your food processor you can remove the skins from the tomatoes and capsicums. I have a Thermomix so this isn’t needed. Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Pour into a saucepan and heat on low. Add Balsamic and white sugar to taste.
Pour into containers and store in the freezer.
Recipe for soup
Heat up a few cups of soup with some veggie or chicken stock and stir until smooth
Blitz some pine nuts, lemon zest and fresh basil to make a gremolata.
Serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream, some gremolata and toasted sourdough
Recipe for pasta sauce
Chop an eggplant into 1cm cubes, douse in olive oil and salt and bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes.
Fry some chopped onions and mushrooms in a pan until soft. Add a few cups of sauce and the roasted eggplant.
Stir in some fresh basil.
Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe for baked chicken (for 2 people)
Pour some sauce in a small baking dish and add 2 whole chicken breasts. Cover with more sauce.
Cover dish with foil and bake in a 200c oven for 20 minutes.
Blitz some bread with herbs and Parmesan cheese.
Remove the chicken from the oven and take off the foil.
Cover with your breadcrumb mix and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered.
Serve with quinoa, roasted potatoes and green veggies.
“With all the catering I do I’ve become used to doing alternative meals for vegetarians and vegans. Sometimes it’s great to have a recipe up your sleeve that can suit almost anyone. These Parma burgers are great for feeding a crowd or just a fussy family. Personally I love the mushroom Parma best but my husband loves the chicken version, so everyone’s happy. The sides of sweet potato fries and tangy coleslaw are also super easy to assemble and a healthy alternative to the store-bought varieties. I haven’t given weight amounts for the ingredients but it’s pretty easy to work out how much you need per person. Enjoy!
You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.
Bake in a 200c oven for 30 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.
Panko bread crumbs
Chunky tomato pasta sauce
Gouda cheese slices
Get three bowls ready and fill with some plain flour, beaten eggs and Panko bread crumbs.
Remove the stalk from the mushroom and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Next dip in the eaten eggs and finally in the Panko bread crumbs. Place on the plate and finish the remaining mushrooms. Refrigerate.
Repeat the process with the chicken thighs. Refrigerate.
Heat some oil in a fry pan and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes on each side or until the crumbs have gone golden. Place on a baking tray.
Repeat with the chicken.
Top with some chunky tomato pasta sauce, some pizza cheese and some parmesan.
Bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Tangy coleslaw ingredients
White cabbage (or a combination or white and red cabbage)
Vietnamese dipping sauce or tangy dressing
Finely cut the cabbage, snow peas and red onion.
Grate the carrot and dice the apricots and cashews.
Mix in a bowl and add the dressing.
Putting it together
Put a slice of Gouda on the bottom half of the brioche buns and warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
Once they’re ready top with some sliced tomato a lettuce leaf, the chicken or mushroom Parma and some sliced gherkins.
Put the top half of the brioche on the burger and hold together with a wooden skewer.
Serve with the sweet potato fries and coleslaw. Enjoy.
“I’ve got to thank my friend Marian for this recipe. She made it for me years ago and ever since I’ve had it on my stand-by list for quick and easy dinners. It even features on my Moroccan catering menu alongside slow-cooked beef with dates and orange almond cake. The best thing about this dish is the combination of flavours and textures. You get the sweet and sour tang from the vinegar and sugar and the caramelised goodness of the chicken with the salty hit from the capers and the olives. Whoops, just drooled on the keyboard thinking about it! Of course as an avid cook I couldn’t quite leave the recipe alone so I’ve tweaked it ever so slightly (Sorry Marian!). You may also notice that this recipe feeds quite a few (Christmas party catering!) so just cut the ingredients in half if you want, or make huge amounts and eat as leftovers. I’ve paired it with a roast pumpkin cous cous salad. Enjoy!”
2kg chicken thighs
1 red onion
8 cloves of garlic
400g pitted prunes
400g dried apricots
300g pitted olives
8 bay leaves
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups light olive oil
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 tbsn dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Quarter the chicken thighs and mushrooms and place in a large container.
Finely slice the onion into rings and slice the garlic. Add to the chicken.
Add the prunes, apricots, olives, capers and bay leaves.
Combine the vinegars, oil and wine with the sugar and stir into the chicken mixture.
Finally add the oregano, salt and pepper and refrigerate covered for 4 hours or overnight.
Place mixture in an baking dish and cook at 200 degrees c for 40-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Don’t worry if some of the fruit and chicken caramelises (burns!) during the cooking process, this adds to the flavour.
Roast pumpkin and cous cous salad
1 kg pumpkin
2 tbsn ras e hanout (Moroccan spice)
1 cup cous cous
1/2 cup currents
150g pine nuts
1 red onion
Salt and pepper
Cut the pumpkin into 1cm cubes. Coat in olive oil and Ras e hanout and bake in a moderate oven until cooked. Allow to cool.
Place cous cous in a sealed container and cover with boiling water. Place the lid on and let sit for 15 minutes.
Stir with a fork to separate the grains.
In a dry pan roast the pine nuts until they start to turn golden then put in a bowl.
Finely dice the red onion and coriander and add to the cous cous with the other ingredients.
Top with roast pumpkin and some more coriander.
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!