chips n gravy

Posts Tagged ‘Quick

Do you love mussels? Flavourful but quick dish that you can make and impress ina hurry? (Think less than 30 minutes from start to finish).

Today, I was at the Victoria Market doing a spot of fresh produce shopping, walking around, the mussels looks great beside the rest of the frozen mollusc (they are also the only one thats ALIVE). I weaved my way through the stores and looked and compare the mussels, cleanliness and also the price. In the end, they are all about the same, so I bought a Kilogram worth (at $5.00 aud) from the one that looks like the most clean.

The thing with mussels is that, as with any other seafood, it is important not to overcook it. How many times have I ate rubbery deep fried mussels from the fish & chips shop? Its so bad, but for some reason, I seem to have amnesia, because I kept eating them. LOL

Anyway, it is important to clean the beards from the mussels and scrub them clean because if you don’t, you might catch some nasty food bug.

A tip: you can use a mussel to clean another mussel. Just use the flat bill part of the mussel and scrape the beard off the other mussels.

Ok, proceed to my quick and easy to impressed meal.


  • Mussels (obviously I have a kg)
  • Fresh basil (just pluck a few leaves and roughly torn them)
  • Flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped a handful)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (roughly chop)
  • Bacon trimmings
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/3 onion, chopped
  • A handful of button mushroom, quartered
  • Red capsicum, small dice
  • Half a zucchini, small dice

Seasoning: (note all cups measurement are in Australian standard cups)

  • Ketchup ( 1 tablespoon)
  • White wine (1 1/2 – 2 cup). I used a dry white chardonnay. If you do not have white wine, you can use beer. I prefer Lager.
  • Fish stock or vegetable stock or Chicken stock (1/2 cup)
  • 1 piece bayleaf
  • Few sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp curry powder (yes, I swear it is good)
  • Pinch of sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of coriander powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil in a high pot, I like a non intrusive flavour oil like canola. I only uses olive oil for dressing salads or finishing up a meal or a few drizzle before serving, never use it to cook because I do not like how it low it’s flash point is and how it likes to rob mild flavoured food of flavours.
  2. Fry the bacon trimmings briefly until slightly golden brown.
  3. Toss in onion and garlic. Saute onion and garlic together for a few quick minute, until you can smell the fragrance and onion is slightly translucent
  4. Add in all the herbs, zucchini, capsicum and mushroom. Give it a quick stir fry.
  5. Toss in the tomatoes and season with the spice. Give it a good fry until you can see the ingredients is a semi mush.
  6. Now, add in your cleaned mussels and with the heat on high, deglaze with the white wine, give a quick stir to coat evenly, and pour in your stock. (you can add extra stock, if you like the juice with the mussels, which I did)
  7. Mix in 1 tbsp of the ketchup and season with sugar. Cover the pot with a lid and on high heat, cook the mussel for 5-6 minutes, giving it a few shakes to cook them all evenly.
  8. Season with salt and discard unopened mussels.
  9. Serve with crusty bread and a slice of lemon.

If it ain’t good, I would not recommend it. 3 of us each ate 2 bowl. 😀




Muffins are one of those easy to make yet funnily can be hard to get right and a easy to impress kind of bakes. With a google, you can get a plethora of muffin recipes at your fingertips. This is my favourite recipe of all and never failed to impress.

I like banana and every food that is made from bananas. Maybe not artificially banana flavoured food (a good example is banana flavoured milk. Why does it even exist?). I have modified this recipe several times and am quite happy with it. It is a super moist muffin and is really low in added fat. I actually replace some of the fat element in it by replacing it with more milk and you can bake muffins in batches and then store them in fridge or freezer and defrosting them later for your daily lunches.


1-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large bananas, roughly mashed* (here I have used the Brisbane banana aka del monte banana)
170g brown or caster sugar
1 egg (60g)
75g butter, softened
80ml milk
80g chopped walnuts

*just roughly mashing the bananas will actually make the muffin really moist and you will get really soft banana pieces in the muffin. I prefer the texture of roughly mashed bananas than finely mashed bananas which although still yield you a moist muffin, but do not give that soft banana pieces as you bite into it.

Here, I used a topping of chocolate chips and crumble.
For the crumble, there’s 2 recipe for you. One is my own very simple crumble recipe Iwhich is a bastardised version of sable breton) and the other is the topping that was with the original recipe.

My crumble recipe
50g cold butter
50g icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar
100g flour

Crumbed topping
65g packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp chilled butter, cubed
2 tbsp flour

NOTE: all measurements done in standard Australian measurement cups.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Line muffin mould with patty liner or if you prefer to not use the paper cups, brush mould with melted butter then sprinkle flour into the moulds and tap well to get rid of excess flour.
  3. Mix all ingredients together. DO NOT over mix. Until just combine is good even if you can see lumps of butter or some flour as overmixing makes the muffin very tough.
  4. I measure the batter to 80g each for the muffin before pouring it into the mould. This is to ensure even sized muffins after baking.
  5. As for the crumble topping, just rub the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. If it is too soft, keep in chiller to set it.
  6. Top muffins with topping and bake in the oven for 19-20 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle of the muffin came out clean.


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