“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.
“The smell and taste of food is amazing at bringing back memories. There are heaps of dishes my mum used to cook (and still cooks) that I remember growing up. A lot of them I still cook today. My favourite was always curried sausages. As an adult I cook it regularly and for me it must contain two important ingredients. Keens curry powder and sultanas. I usually use beef sausages but any variety will do, in fact the vegan version I did using store bought veggie snags worked brilliantly. I’m sure this recipe is quite different to mums, but it’s delicious and still brings back those childhood memories. Enjoy!”
You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.
“Recently, in an attempt to have less meat in our diet, I’ve been trying to create vegetarian and vegan recipes that still satisfy me and pack a punch of flavour and texture. My favourite would have to be mushroom parmigiana. Right up there with the chicken version! One dish we eat heaps of is Bolognese or Chilli con carne and I’ve started using half beef, half lentils to great effect. I still wanted to do a vegan version, so started experimenting with this recipe. My aim was to get a dish that felt like you were eating the original and still had heaps of complex flavours. The fact that my carnivorous husband loves it means it must be a success. This is a good recipe for doing in bulk and freezing for later. Enjoy!”
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tsp star anise powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups red wine
1 x 400g can of tomatoes
1 x 400g can of lentils
1 x 400g can of chick peas
1 x 400g can of black or red beans
4 tbsp Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Barbecue sauce (optional)
100g pecans, finely diced
Cook the carrot, onion, celery and garlic in a large frypan until soft.
Add the tomato paste, star anise, cumin and paprika and cook off for a few minutes.
Add the red wine and tomatoes then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Put the mushrooms in a food processor until diced. You want to keep a bit of texture. Do the same with the chick peas.
Put mushrooms, lentils, beans and chickpeas in a large stockpot or slow cooker. Pour in the tomato and red wine mixture and combine. Allow this to sit on low heat for at least an hour. If the mixture gets too dry, add more red wine or vegetable stock.
Add the kecap manis (or dark soy sauce) and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want a smokey flavour add the barbecue sauce.
Stir in the pecans just before you serve for added texture.
Serve with the pasta of your choice and parmesan cheese.
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!