Category Archives: dinner

Christmas Dinner Sides (aka What We Would Have Blogged About in December If We Weren’t So Busy Eating)

Table Spread

Warm Beetroot and Feta Salad
1 kg baby beetroots (fresh from the garden if you are lucky to have green thumbs around!)
100g feta, crumbled
olive oil
4 -5 stalks of thyme

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Cut the tops off the beetroots and then wash them thoroughly. Quarter them and pop them in a baking tray. Pour on some olive oil and add the thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper and chuck it in the oven until the beetroots are nice and soft. This took about half an hour for us but there was a lot of stuff in our oven. Keep an eye on them.

When they are ready, put them in a serving dish and sprinkle feta over the top. DELICIOUS.

Potato Salad
Serves an army – which is good because it is excellent with cold ham the next day (and any day!)
From Guest Blogger (and S-J’s ladyfriend/babymama), Esther!

12 – 15 small potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 fistful of continental parsley, chopped
1 small jar of good quality whole-egg mayonnaise
1/2 a small jar of baby dill pickles, roughly chopped
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 small spanish (red) onion
1/3 cup of salt (don’t worry! it doesn’t all end up in the salad!)


Slice the onion as finely as you can and place it in a bowl.
Add all but a few pinches of the salt, and toss so that the onion is thoroughly coated.
Set aside for at least 15 – 20 mins.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Add the remaining salt to the water. Bring to boil.

When the potatoes are tender, remove them from the heat, drain them in a colander, and then run cold water over them to cool them somewhat. Transfer them to a serving bowl.

You will notice that your onions look like they have sweated and gotten all wet. The salt has drawn out all the really strong ‘onioniness’ out of them, and left the nice sweet peppery flavour, making them much more pleasurable to eat!
Rinse the salt off them (i find the easiest way to do this is to toss them in a sieve under cold running water), and add them to the potatoes.

Add the parsley, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard, and gently toss until all ingredients are combined.

You can eat this warm, or chilled – either way is delicious.

If you’re not vegetarian, it’s also nice with some fried bacon tossed through.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
Serves 6 – 8 as a side dish
From Guest Blogger, Josie!

Cook 5(ish) sweet potatoes and mash with butter (your choice of butteryness). Add 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar and mix well. Spoon into a baking dish and bake at 180C for 30 minutes. Cover with minimarshmallows and bake until they are melty and brown (approx. 5-10 minutes).

Zucchini with Garlic and Parmesan
Serves 8 as a side dish


3 VERY large zucchini (or 5 regular sized if you don’t have a crazy veggie patch)
3 cloves of garlic
4 -5 stalks of thyme
Olive oil
30g Parmesan

Wash zucchini. Marvel at it’s ginormousness! Dice into about 1 inch pieces. Heat olive oil in a large fry pan. Mince garlic into pan. Turn on heat, crank to high. Once the garlic starts bubbling, throw in all the zucchini. Season well with S+P, add the thyme stalks. Resist turning until the edges start to brown. Gently toss occassionally until all delicious pieces are lightly browned and tender. Remove from heat and heap onto your serving dish, removing the thyme stalks as you go. Finely grate parmesan over the top, and serve.

Green Bean Supreme
Serves 6 – 8 as a side dish

1 kg beans
2 – 3 slices of bread
6 cloves garlic (2 crushed, 4 whole in skins)
5 tbsps olive oil
2 large leeks
2/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsps pomegranate molasses

This dish is an amalgamation of a few of my favourite things. That seemed right for a Christmas dinner that involved a few of my favourite people. I find that the tartness of the molasses and the leeks with the beans makes this an excellent side for a rich meat like ham, or with a creamy chicken dish.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Cook beans
Fill a large pot with water and heat over high flame. While the water is coming to a boil, wash the beans and remove the ends – leaving the beans whole (or chopping into 1 inch pieces if you prefer). Add beans to the boiling water and allow to cook for 3 – 4 minutes.

The beans should still have a nice crunch to them as you will be heating them again when ready to serve. Drain the beans into a colander, fill the pot with cold water and blanch them in the water, replacing the warm water with cold water until the beans are cool. Drain and set aside.

Make croutons
Remove the crusts from the bread and slice into 1 cm cubes.

Into an oven tray, drizzle 3 tbsps of olive oil, the whole garlic cloves, loads of salt and pepper, and cubes of bread. Toss to coat. Bake in oven until golden brown, approximately 5 – 10 minutes.

Caramelise leeks
Remove the tops and bottom of the leek. and outer layer, then wash well under cold water to remove any dirt trapped in the layers. Slice in half lengthways and then slice into thin half-moons.

In a medium frying pan, add 2 tbsps olive oil, the remaining garlic cloves,  and the sliced leeks. Saute over a medium heat until the leeks are softened. Raise heat and add the white wine. Cook until wine is reduced and syrupy. Add honey, stir together and remove from heat.

To serve
In a heat proof serving dish add the beans, cover with the leeks, then the croutons, drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the top. Set aside until ready to serve, reheat 5 – 10 minutes in the oven.

*** We will never stop to clean drips and spills off a serving dish just to take a photo, clearly. Just keeping it real here at NFL.

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Review: Punch Lane Wine Bar

Sometimes my boss and I like to go to fancy places to celebrate things. Yes, I am spoilt. No, I don’t mind!

Our clinic recently reached a milestone and so we decided to celebrate at a wine bar/restaurant chosen by my boss’s husband. He does most of our restaurant picking as he works in the city and hears about places we might like. He was not wrong with this pick. Nestled up at the Spring St end of Lt Bourke St, Punch Lane Wine Bar was a deliciously delightful find. We met my friend there (who was already enjoying the delightful waitstaff) and the four of us decided on the tasting menu (5 courses for $69, a fancy-food bargain!) and a delicious bottle of bubbly to celebrate.

Continue reading

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Latkes (or: a tasty treat for any time of the day)

Sometimes it’s fun to pretend I’m still in my vegetarian phase – I look back on that short period and laugh at myself, it was NEVER going to be sustainable for me to have a diet consisting of things that aren’t ever going to be bacon. This recipe (and many variations of it) appeared in that time and keeps appearing even though I am solidly an omnivore once more.

It all came about recently when we conveniently arrived at S-J’s house just at the right time to see the magical Thornbury produce ute making it’s way down her street. Much excited exclaiming occured, and we tried to think of something delicious to be made for dinner from it’s contents, we came up with potato pancakes and taking inspiration from various web recipes we made a dinner fit for queens.

Potatoes are delicious. It’s an actual fact. I feel it’s pretty safe to say that the potato is the most universally loved vegetable. Fried up into pancakes, as they are in this recipe, with a delicious crunch and soft starchy interior, brings a simple ingredient to an almost heavenly place. So grab your grater, a frying pan and all the condiments you can think of and make yourself a batch of potato pancakes!

They are excellent for a light supper (if you make big ones like we did), or as a canape base if you make smaller ones, or as part of any decent brunch and any size!

Latkes! (Potato Pancakes)

Time: 20 minutes (plus frying time)
Yield: 15 large (palm sized) latkes, enough to feed 3 hungry people for supper/ 30-40 canape sized latkes

Preheat oven to around 150C, you’ll be keeping the fried pancakes warm as you finish frying the whole batch.

1 kg of peeled potatoes (we used Blue Potatoes from the mythical Thornbury produce ute!)
2 onions, peeled and halved
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh sage, sliced into fine strips (thyme, rosemary or any herb you like could be subbed in)
2 tsps sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

vegetable oil

Optional toppings for supper-style latkes

Fried egg
Quince paste
Aged Cheddar
Aioli/flavoured mayonnaise
Creme Fraiche
Bacon/Chicken/all things meat

Note: you will need either a bit of cheesecloth/muslin, or a spare not-too-thick tea towel. A food processor also makes this recipe much easier.

First the vegetables

Fit your food processor with the larger grater blade (or using your hand grater, prepare for a bit of work). Grate all the potatoes and onion together.

In a large bowl, spread out the tea towel with the excess fabric hanging over the bowl. Remove blade and bits from the food processor, and pour/spoon the contents into the fabric. Once the potato and onion mixture is all in the fabric, gather up the sides and begin to wring the liquid out. Do this until no more liquid runs out into the bowl. Discard the liquid and leave the mixture, as is, for about 2 – 5 minutes. Wring out again. Discard liquid.

Batter up

In the bowl that was catching the liquid from the onions and potatoes, stir together the eggs, flour, sage, salt and pepper. It’ll be quite thick, resist the urge to loosen it up with any more liquid.


Add the well-wrung and hopefully no longer dripping onion and potato mixture to the batter. Using your hands (or S-J’s hands because I am sneaky and really don’t like getting messy) mix together really well for a few minutes. The last bit of moisture left in the potatoes will help to loosen up the batter and it will become a delightfully sticky mixture.

Into the frying pan

If you have a heavy based frying pan or cast iron skillet, use it now, if not, any large frying pan will be fine!

Pour in enough vegetable oil as to coat the bottom of your pan. On a medium heat let it get nice and hot.

Form your latkes into even sized blobs ready to drop into the oil, as you put then in the pan, flatten them out to the size that you are happy with (cook larger ones longer, canape size ones for less time. Also, if making latkes thicker than 1/2 cm, you will need to lower the heat slightly and cook them for longer).

Fry for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes or until a deep golden brown, flipping over gently and frying for a further 2 minutes on the other side. Remove cooked latkes to a plate covered in paper towel to drain off the oil. Keep plate and cooked latkes in a warm oven, repeating the paper towel and latke layers as they cook.

Once all the latkes have been fried, serve with your chosen toppings, and crunch away!

p.s. Q) How do you know if it’s a Katie-post? A) The photos are terrible! Sorry readers!

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Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (or, what you could be eating for dinner tonight)

Occasionally here at the New Fat Ladies, S-J and I do a bit of cooking on our own. This recipe is one such meal. S-J is also brewing up a singular sensation recipe of her own that is coming shortly, so look out for that (you’ve probably seen spoilers if you follow us on Twitter and/or Instagram, we’re the @newfatladies at both of those).

So, I have been making this soup for a fairly long time now. It’s my go-to cheer up/don’t be sick/I’ll make you love me with food/today is a day that ends in Y – soup!

It’s fairly basic, if you can chop and stir and reach the stove – you can make it. I made it up based on chicken soups I’ve had in the past. It used to be more complicated with other veggies, herbs and spices, but pared down like this to its basic parts, this is how I love it. Feel free to veg it up (finely sliced kale/spinach is great in it, so is a mix of finely diced potato/sweet potato and turnip minus the cream for a chicken and veggie soup, add parsley and lemon to freshen it up) and slurp it down.


I take terrible Instagram photos because the spiffy camera does not live at my house. NO APOLOGIES!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Time: approx 30 mins for me, so 45 mins if you haven’t made it eleventy billion times
Yield: enough for 6-8 people, freezes well.

  • 4 chicken breasts/5 chicken thighs (or a combination of both)
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 500 ml water (optional)
  • 50 gms butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek (thinly sliced)
  • 3 large carrots (finely diced)
  • 4 celery stalks (finely diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely sliced, or crushed)
  • 4 stalks of thyme
  • ¼ cup Polenta/Cornmeal (uncooked)
  • 1 cup dried egg fettucine (broken into one inch pieces) or orrechiette
  • ½ cup thickened cream or  1/2 cup full cream milk
  • S+P to taste

Note: Please have a heatproof mug/pyrex jug/something that can be dipped into a hot pot, at the ready.

Cook the chicken**

In a medium sized pot pour in one litre of chicken stock, bring to a gentle boil. Add the chicken breasts/thighs and return to the boil (if they are not fully covered, add the extra 500 ml water). Reduce heat and cook at a high simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove one fillet and check to make sure all pinkness is gone. Remove the rest of the fillets to a bowl to cool. Leave stock in pot.

Make the soup bit

In a large pot on medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add leeks and garlic and cook until just soft, add carrots, celery, thyme and S+P and sauté until all coated and shiny and beginning to stick to the bottom. Pour stock from your chicken pot into this large pot, add the other litre of stock and bring up to the boil.

Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to simmer until tender (but not squishy). Using your heatproof jug/mug/whatever, remove about a cup of the hot liquid. Add the cornmeal to this jug and whisk with a fork into a paste. Set aside. Shred/chop your cooled chicken, set aside.

Cook the pasta, and thicken it all up

Return pot to the boil and add pasta. Boil for 8 – 10 minutes. Reduce heat and add the cornmeal/stock mixture back into the big pot. Stir well to combine. Pour in the cream and the chicken and stir again. Leave to barely simmer for 2 – 3 minutes to reheat the chicken (don’t let it boil again as cream may split). Fish out the thyme stalks. Serve in bowls, and it doesn’t need it, but it is delicious with buttery bread on the side.

Now eat it, I promise that unless you are lactose/protein/gluten intolerant, you will immediately feel at least 10% better than you did before.

** I have also been known to make this with a barbecued chook from the supermarket, just remove all skin and stuffing (or keep the stuffing for sandwiches NOM NOM NOM), shred remaining chicken and add to the pot at the end just before serving.

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