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Comfort foods- Recipes that are prepared easily



Potato Croquettes:
Warming finger food that can be made with left over mash.

Add to the mashed potatoes a lightly beaten egg, chopped parsley (or any herb you prefer), salt and pepper. Mix well.

Scoop up a small quantity and make a small ball in your hand, press a little opening in the middle and add a small amount of chopped mozzarella cheese, or any soft cheese you prefer, and anything else you might like: a small amount of chopped bangers?

Make an oval.

Dip into a lightly beaten egg, then roll onto breadcrumbs. (Those you made with the sliced bread ends?)

Deep or shallow fry until golden brown all around.

Place on a paper towel covered plate to drain excess oil.

Serve and eat while still hot.


Cottage Pie in a cast iron Skillet

The traditional Cottage or Shepherd’s pie was always a favourite of mine . Come in fishing recently with a couple of mates . Was as cold as a "mother and laws kiss " Needed something to warm us up when we got home so decided to throw together this recipe given to me by an American friend .


  • Cast iron Skillet . I used a well seasoned 28cm Croton from Aldis . Any frying pan would do I just like cast iron .

  • Saucepan to boil the potatoes in .

  • Vegetable grater . I used a box OXO good grip .

  • Potato masher

  • Measuring cups , spoons and spatula .


  • 500g of ground or minced meat . Use the leanest low fat meat you can get

  • 3-4 Medium to large sized potatoes . Peeled and quartered .

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 onion medium

  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste . I had none so used Mons sauce .

  • 2 - 3 sticks of celery .

  • I cup of peas . I used frozen . Some cooks add corn . I can’t digest it so left it out .

  • Parmesan cheese . Shredded or grated . You will need a cup of it .

  • Worcestershire sauce . I used Hoolbrooks but other brands just as good .

  • Red wine . I had none so we cracked a couple of VB’s and added about 3 tablespoons :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • Beef stock . I used Campbells

  • Seasoning to taste . I used home made SPG ( Salt , pepper and garlic ) To make your own SPG the recipe is 4 parts cooking salt , 2 parts garlic flakes and 1 part coarse black pepper . I give the pepper corns a wack in the mortar and pestle then add ingredients a glass jar and shake to mix .

  • A knob of butter and some milk to help in mashing the potatoes .


  • Put the quartered potatoes in the saucepan and start to cook them .

  • If using a cast iron skillet give it a good wipe with cooking oil . I used Extra Virgin Olive oil . Put it over a medium heat and add the meat . If the meat is very fatty pour the fat off as it is cooking . You want a dry mix . Pour it into a container not down the sink .Work the meat around with a spatula .

  • Grab your grater and grate the carrots very finely into the cooking meat . Then grate the celery and the onion into the mix in the skillet . Grating the vegetables finely means they cook quickly and bind the meat . Add 1 cup of peas . Frozen works .

  • Add 1/2 Cup of beef stock then 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce .

  • Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to mixture . I used Mon sauce

  • Use your spatula or spoon to work the Worcestershire and tomato paste ( sauce ) thoroughly threw the mixture . Add spices to your taste .

  • Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until mixture is that dry it starts to stick to side of pan .

  • Take the skillet off the heat source and put it aside .

  • The potatoes should be cooked soft by now . Drain them well and mash them adding butter or milk to get a good mash .

  • Add a cup of shredded or grated Parmesan cheese to the potatoes and keep mashing them till the cheese is well incorporated into the mix . You want a firm not too creamy mix . To test for this dip spatula into the mash . Turn it over , if mash stays on spatula the mixture is good . If it falls off add Corn flour , I used plain flour to thicken the mash .

  • Spoon the mash over the meat in the skillet smoothing it out with the back of a spoon until all meat is covered .

  • Place the skillet in the oven at about 200c temp for 5-10 minutes or until potato start to brown and crust . I threw some more cheese on the top . Some Bega extra tasty i had . Just thinly sliced it .

  • Took the skillet out of the oven when cooked . Put it on a trivet in the middle of the table , cracked another VB while it cooled , and then we scoffed the pie down .

  • This is a bare bones recipe other vegetables can no doubt be added . I used what I had on hand .

Cheers ,



Toad in the Hole

Seeing the Queen’s birthday long week end holiday is just around the corner I thought I would try a traditional Brit recipe . Thanks again to my Brit neighbour for helping me out with some of her recipes .


  • 1 cup plain flour

  • 1 cup of milk

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tbs rosemary fresh or dried

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 6 sausages


  1. Preheat oven to 220C.

  2. Cook the sausages in a fry pan until brown; they don’t have to be cooked all the way through, you just want to get some colour as they will continue to cook in the oven. Once browned, set the sausages aside.

  3. Meanwhile, make the Yorkshire pudding batter in a large bowl. Combine the flour, milk, salt, eggs and rosemary. Whisk until well combined.

  4. Add the olive oil into a large baking tray and heat this in the oven for a few minutes.

  5. Remove the tray from the oven and quickly pour over the Yorkshire batter and then place the sausages on top. Place the tray back into the oven for 20 - 30 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and has risen.

  6. Cut into squares and serve immediately with gravy and a selection of your favourite vegetables.



Swagman’s breakfast

Often called the " Hobo’s Dinner " in the US it is essentially a meal made from scratch cooked in an alfoil packet . The American version uses more spicey ingredients like chilli peppers , hot sauce etc . The Australian version leaves the adding of condiments to the diner after the meal is cooked . A rather nostalgic recipe for me as it took me back to my hunting days when we sat around the camp fire telling " tall tales but true " about the trophy boar or deer that got away .

We always put our "foil " packs of food in the hot coals to cook . Somehow they just tasted better. Memories .


2 x sheets 44cm x 50cm Alfoil . Normal alfoil is only 30-33cm wide . Buy the Multix Extrawide 44cm x 10 metre roll from Woolworth’s . The Coles Supermarkets near me do not seem to stock it .

A Glad Alfoil Baking Pan . These are great . They can be used a number of times and then recycled . Most supermarkets stock them .


  • 500gm of ground or minced beef . Get as lean as possible . I purchased it from Coles

  • 4 Sausages . I used thin ones from Coles but others would work . Hot Dogs might be the go too.

  • Some mixed vegetables . I used a can of Edgell Mixed for this . Frozen will work . The Edgell was a 420g can

  • A medium to large potato .

  • A medium sized onion . Red or white .

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Some dried marjoram , oregano leaves . I used Masterfoods

  • Some dried chives . I used Masterfoods


  • Place one sheet of your Alfoil on your chopping board or bench .

  • Take the meat out of it’s tray and place it in the middle on the Alfoil sheet . Try to keep the meat in the same shape it was in when in the tray as purchased .

  • Lay the 4 sausages on the mince .

  • Open the can of mixed vegetables , drain them and add contents over the sausages and mince .

  • Cut the potato into thin slices and place over the mix in the Alfoil.

  • Do the same with the onion .

  • Add the Spices

  • Add salt and pepper to taste

  • Bring the sides of the foil up so when you add 40ml of water it will stay with the mixture . You can use red or white wine as well . Beer would work too . I used water .

  • Bring the foil up from the 50cm side . Start to cover the mix and roll any excess foil down to get a snug fit on the mix . Fold the ends in the same way to form a packet .

  • Wrap the packet in the second sheet of Alfoil .

  • Preheat oven to 175c .

  • Place the wrapped packet in the baking pan and place in the middle of the oven .

  • Cook for about 20 minutes then turn the packet over . Cook for another 15 -20 minutes .

  • Remove from oven and cut the packet open length ways and then cut side to side. Fold back the foil and serve .