“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.
“As a caterer I’m always looking for new tasty treats that are easy to prepare but pack a punch in the taste department. These tasty little morsels certainly do that! The Parmesan biscuits are based on a recipe from a book called “Canape” by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille and the pesto cream was a combination of a few leftover ingredients I had in my fridge. The combination of the salty richness of the biscuits and the creamy pesto topping is quite addictive and we ended up polishing off all of them in one sitting. These will definitely become a staple on my catering menu from now on. Enjoy!”
(Photo by Gary Corbett)
For the biscuits
120g finely grated Parmesan cheese
120g plain flour
1 tsp Keens curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
90g chilled butter
For the pesto cream
1 bunch basil
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
200g cream cheese
Extra shaved Parmesan to garnish
Put the Parmesan cheese, flour, curry powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Remove to a bowl and knead together until all the ingredients have come together into a ball.
Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 5mm and cut out small biscuits using a cookie cutter.
Place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees C then leave to cool on a wire rack.
For the pesto combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Remove pesto from the food processor and add the cream cheese with 2-3 tbsp of the pesto mixture. (You can freeze the remaining pesto for a later date)
Put pesto cream in a piping bag and pipe a small mound onto each biscuit.
Top with a small sprig of parsley and shaved Parmesan.
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!