Sammy & Bella: Chefs. Sydney Food Blog. Catering. Best Recipes. Restaurant Reviews. Food & Travel. Recipes for food lovers, Catering for eating lovers, Everything for lovers of food Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:18:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Panko crumbed chicken nuggets, zucchini fries and home made natural yoghurt sauce, for Phillips Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:52:58 +0000 Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 7.51.35 PM
Nom nom nom we LOVE chicken nuggets, they are such a childhood favourite!

They can be very naughty though… so we have an AMAZING recipe that’s actually healthy!

Firstly, it’s home made. So you’re using real chicken and real ingredients. And we’re making zucchini fries, which are a great way to get kids to eat veggies.

Secondly, it’s made in a very magic machine, the Phillips air fryer! You get the same crispyness of fried food, but with much, much less fat. The circulation of the hot air means that it crisps up all around, and you just need to add a touch of oil to the actual breadcrumbs before crumbing any of your favourite foods.

Panko crumbed chicken nuggets, zucchini fries and home made natural yoghurt sauce

Serves 6

For the natural yoghurt:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup skim milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp pre-cultured natural yoghurt with live bacteria

For the crumb mix::

  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano flakes
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 free range eggs

to be crumbed:

  • 1kg free range chicken breast
  • 1kg zucchini, cut into spears

natural yoghurt sauce:

  • ½ bunch dill, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 2 small or 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 5 cups home made natural yoghurt, from above
  • salt and pepper
  1. Start the yoghurt at least 24 hours before service. To make the yoghurt, heat milk up to 95C, or almost boiling, then remove from heat and whisk in the skim milk powder. Allow to cool, then whisk in live cultured yoghurt until smooth. Place in the All in One and set to yoghurt function. Once set, transfer to fridge and cool completely. Note this recipe makes extra yoghurt.
  2. For the crumb mix, stir together panko, parmesan, oil and oregano in a bowl together with salt and pepper. Cut chicken into nugget sized pieces, and zucchini into thick spears. Dredge the chicken and zucchini in flour, then whisked egg, then parmesan crumb mix.
  3. Pre-heat air fryer to 220C. Place zucchini in 1 layer on each level of the multi layer basket, and air fry for 7-8 minutes, or until golden. Remove.
  4. Reduce air fryer temperature to 180C. Place a layer of the crumbed chicken nuggets on each level of the multi layer basket, and air fry for 10-15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through (timing will depend on how thickly you’ve cut your chicken).
  5. For the natural yoghurt sauce, gently mix together finely chopped dill and parsley, crushed garlic, lemon zest and juice, and 1.5 cups of natural yoghurt. Season to taste.
  6. To serve, place chicken nuggets and zucchini fries on a large serving plate alongside a generous amount of the sauce.
]]> 0
Turkey chili con carne, black beans, brown rice, with Phillips All in One Premium Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:45:58 +0000 recipe_shot-1

This recipe is magic – It’s not only super healthy and full of nutrient rich, high fibre and low GI foods, it’s also ridiculously delicious! Normally it requires lots of slow cooking, but if you can use the Phillips Premium All in One to speed things up with both the pressure cooking, browning and rice cooker functions. It’s all about set-and-forget, this is one of those dishes that you can pop on and forget about while you have a glass of vino 😉

This recipe freezes well too – so we recommend making double quantity of the chilli and beans.

Turkey chili con carne, black beans, brown rice

Serves 6

For the beans:

  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the chili:

  • 500g lean turkey mince
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 large carrot, chopped finely
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped finely
  • 1 bunch coriander, stems and roots chopped (leaves reserved)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sweet/mild paprika powder
  • 1 heaped tsp dry oregano flakes
  • 1 tsp dry thyme leaves
  • 1 to 2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 fresh of 4 dry bay leaves
  • 200ml dark ale/beer
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup (250g) tomato paste

for the rice:

  • 5 cups dry brown rice
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt

for the garnish:

  • 2 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • reserved leaves of coriander
  1. For the beans, place beans, water and salt in the stainless steel pot, in the Phillips All in One Premium. Seal with lid and set to “beans/lentils” pressure cooking function. When cooked, remove bowl from machine and set aside.
  2. For the chilli, place non stick bow in the All in One and set to “saute/sear high temp” function with the times set to 6 minutes. Once hot add half the olive oil and all the turkey mince, cook until browned. Remove the turkey using a slotted spoon and set aside. Add remaining oil to the non stick pot, along with chopped carrot/celery/onion/garlic/coriander root + stem and cumin. Cook until translucent, resetting the time for the sear/saute function to 4 minutes.
  3. Return turkey (and any juices) to the pot, along with all remaining chili ingredients. Stir until combined. Set All in One to “pressure cook”, and cook for 20 minutes, then release pressure, remove lid and stir in cooked and drained The result should be a thick soupy/stewy texture.
  4. For the rice, place rice, water and salt in the pressure cooker and set to pressure cook rice setting, this should take only 14 minutes.
  5. For the garnish, mix together chopped tomato and onion, and season.
  6. To serve, place rice in the base of a bowl, cover with chili, and garnish with tomato/onion mix and reserved coriander leaves.


]]> 0
Chicken, Barley and sweet potato soup w/spiced yoghurt, for Westfield Thu, 27 Jul 2017 04:15:10 +0000 Chicken Barley Soup

Soup is life. Seriously. If I didn’t eat soup daily in winter I think I might die! At least that’s what my Polish mother always said. Although you might not actually die, I can say that you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the glory of soup making.

Not only is it super healthy and great for anyone who’s watching their weight, but it’s a fantastic economical and tasty way to feed the family. Or, if you’re single or coupled up, remember that it’s fantastic to make a big pot and freeze in recycled takeaway containers in portions – perfect for a rainy day.

I often make soups out of veggies that I have sitting in the bottom of the fridge. The holy trinity of veggies is carrot, celery and onion (and some would argue garlic is a must) and these, along with a good quality stock form the basis of pretty much any hearty soup. Cured meats can also be added to this base, a bit of bacon or chorizo goes a long way to building the flavour.

To that you can add any protein (we have used leftover roast chicken, picked off the bones from last nights dinner), some barley (you could also use brown rice or lentils), and a whole lot of veggies.

A great way to make your soup sexy (yes, soup can be sexy) is to make a healthy yoghurt sauce to pop on top. We have mixed some paprika and chilli into ours, but you can use any spices that are in your cupboard. Dollop some on top, and you have instant “wow” factor.

A big thank you to Westfield Carindale for welcoming us to sunny Brisbane last week! We had an absolute blast cooking up a storm, and are so grateful to the local stores who provided us with such amazing produce. The Butchers Block has some delish roast chicken, and Fresh Sensations is fantastic for picking up amazing seasonal veggies.

Chicken, Barley and sweet potato soup w/spiced yoghurt

Serves 4

for the soup:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 chorizo, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ¼ bunch fresh thyme
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 400g sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1cm pieces
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • ½ roast chicken, meat picked and shredded
  • 1 bunch cavelo nero (Tuscan kale)

for the yoghurt:

  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • chilli powder, to taste
  1. Place a large pot on medium-high heat, add olive oil, chopped onion + celery + chorizo and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, cook for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Add pearl barley, sweet potato and stock, cook until tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Remove thick kale stems and discard. Finely chop remaining kale. Place shredded chicken and kale in soup, and bring to the boil for 1 minute or until kale has just wilted. Add some hot water from the kettle if it has reduced too much.
  4. In a small bowl, mix yoghurt with smoked paprika, crushed fresh garlic and chilli powder to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, top with a generous amount of yoghurt sauce.
]]> 0
5 spice Pork steaks with bbq fennel and caramelised mandarin, for Westfield Thu, 27 Jul 2017 04:02:56 +0000 BBQ Pork Steaks

In Chinese cooking, pork is often paired with 5 spice powder – a mix of cinnamon, clove, fennel, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns. Some go a few steps further, and even add ginger, nutmeg and liquorice. It’s a BRILLIANT spice blend to keep in the pantry, as it can jazz up so many everyday meals.

The secret to getting the most out of your spices is heat – as soon as it touches the pan, or BBQ, or heat from the oven, the flavours explode. That’s why it makes such a quick and easy marinade for everyday weeknight Aussie BBQ. You’ll get so much flavour in an instant, as soon as it hits the hot grill.

My favourite cut of pork to BBQ is the scotch fillet. It has a little bit of fat marbelling, which helps to keep it moist during cooking. It’s also a muscle that does a bit of work, so it’s full of flavour. Remember, lazy muscles taste bland, and hard working muscles are full of flavour.

This entire dish can be prepared on the bbq – including the fennel and mandarin, which are both in season right now. Any citrus can be caramelised on the bbq, from lemon, to lime, to grapefruit or even orange. But there’s something about mandarin which I love with pork so much. Let your guests squeeze out the juices, which will dress the dish with even more flavour.

It’s the perfect winter BBQ dish!

A big thanks to Westfield Carindale for welcoming us to sunny Brisbane. Especially the lovely people at the local stores who provided us with such amazing produce. Butchers Block for their yummy pork steaks and Fresh Sensations for their perfectly in-season fennel and mandarins.

5 spice Pork steaks with bbq fennel and caramelised mandarin

Serves 4

  • 4 pork scotch fillet steaks
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 small cloves garlic, crushed
  • chilli powder, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • extra olive oil
  • 2 mandarins
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 2 spring onions, sliced on an angle.
  • salad, to serve
  1. place pork steak, 5 spice powder, chilli powder, olive oil, garlic and seasoning in a bowl. Mix together, and marinate for at least 30 minute or overnight.
  2. Slice fennel into 2cm thick wedges and dress with olive oil and seasoning.
  3. Heat a grill pan or bbq to medium-high and cook the steaks until your desired done-ness. Set aside and rest under some tin foil. Next, grill the fennel until caramelised on either side (it can still be crunchy in the centre).
  4. Cut each mandarin in half lengthways. Brush the open side with oil, then sprinkle with sugar. Grill the mandarin, cut side down on the flat part of the grill (on high) until caramelised.
  5. Serve steak with fennel on top, and a few slices of spring onion. Place caramelised mandarin on the side (guests can squeeze themselves), and serve with salad of your choice.
]]> 0
Lamb and Pear Tagine with toasted sesame, for Westfield Thu, 27 Jul 2017 03:44:27 +0000 Lamb Tagie

Moroccan food is absolutely delish! It might seem like it’s always sweltering hot there, but they do indeed have a (mild) winter and love cooking with seasonal ingredients. It’s the perfect time of year to be cooking with pears, as they are fresh, cheap, and above all delicious! They add the perfect hint of sweetness to this dish, and a lot of healthy fibre.

A tagine is the name for the conical shaped cooked vessel for making braised dishes, and also the name of the dish itself. It’s awesome if you have a tagine at home, but otherwise a good cast iron pot with tight fitting lid is the best to use for all your braises, whether it be a Moroccan tagine, beef burgundy, or good old Irish stew. You can pop the whole pot into the oven and slow cook on a low temperature without it catching on the bottom (as you get sometimes get with stove top braising). But if you have a good cast iron pot and plenty of liquid you’re less likely to burn the base.

Always remember to use a cartouche – in english it’s just called a piece of baking paper! By tucking the braise in, as you would a baby to bed, you prevent the tops of the meats from drying out, and get a more evenly cooked, lush and soft braise.

When serving Morrocan tagines, make sure you give a side of cous cous or bread, it’s essential to soak up all the juices! And for an authentic garnish, use toasted sesame seeds.

A big thank you to Westfield Carindale for welcoming us to Brisbane, especially the local stores Butchers Block for their amazing lamb shoulder, Fresh Sensations for their glorious in-season pears, and Le Bon Choix for the freshest turkish bread.

Lamb and Pear Tagine

Serves 4

  • 1kg boneless stewing lamb (try shoulder, neck or leg)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 500g onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp harissa pasta
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • pinch saffron
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 3 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • cous cous or bread, to serve
  1. Cut lamb into 1 inch cubes. Heat a large cast iron pot to high, add olive oil, and brown the lamb in batches and set meat aside.
  2. Chop onions and garlic, place in the same pot as you cooked the lamb, along with all the spices and harissa paste. Reduce heat to medium and cook until translucent, then add a cup of water to deglaze the pot.
  3. Wash herbs, cut away leaves and set aside for decoration. Finely chop the stems and roots, add to the pot, along with saffron threads. Add cooked meat and any juices back to the pot. Add just enough water to almost cover the lamb.
  4. Place a piece of baking paper on the lamb, tucking it in (a cartouche). Cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until almost soft.
  5. Peel pears, quarter and cut out the core. Place pear in the pot. Return lid and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Once the braise is ready and pear has softened, serve in a deep dish (or in the pot itself) and garnish with reserved herb leaves and sesame seeds. Serve with bread or cous cous on the side
]]> 0
Gluten Free Smoked salmon scotch eggs with quinoa flakes, for Westfield Thu, 27 Jul 2017 03:30:09 +0000 smoked salmon scotch egg

Are you gluten free but love schnitzel? Quinoa flakes are your friend! They are crunchy, and yummy, and good for you too!

Today we’re making scotch eggs, which are traditionally made by coating an egg in sausage meat, then crumbing and deep frying. We love them, especially when you can shake up the flavours by coating in any number of things. Today we’re using a mix of smoked salmon and potato, but you can also do other kinds of fish such as tinned tuna or even salt cod, if you’d like to add a Mediterranean touch.

A big thanks to Westfield Carindale for welcoming us in Brisbane last week, we had a ball! And an extra big thank you to some of the local grocery stores in the centre – Healthy life for the potato flour and quinoa flakes, and Fresh Sensations for their gorgeous fresh herbs.

Smoked salmon scotch eggs with quinoa flakes

Serves 6, as a starter

  • 8 free range eggs

for the coating:

  • 400g mashed potato, cold
  • 300g smoked salmon
  • ¼ bunch dill, chopped
  • 100g potato flour
  • 2 eggs, extra for dredging, whisked
  • 150g quinoa flakes

to finish:

  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 100g mayonnaise
  • ¼ bunch chives, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  1. bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add 8 eggs. Boil for 4.5 minutes (if eggs are at room temp, or 5 minutes if from fridge). Remove from water and immediately plunge into cold water and peel.
  2. Cook potato and mash finely. Finely chop smoked salmon and dill. Stir into the mashed potato and season with pepper (it will be salty enough from the salmon).
  3. Cover the boiled eggs in the salmon mix, then dust in potato flour, then dip in whisked egg, and finally in quinoa flakes.
  4. Heat a deep fryer to 190C. Fry until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  5. In a small bowl, mix mayo, chopped chives and lemon juice. Serve sauce alongside the scotch eggs
]]> 0
Zakąski, polish antipasta platter Wed, 26 Jul 2017 23:05:11 +0000 Cold meats plate

Polish people love vodka, or wódka in Polish. And they especially love it in shots! But it’s not a drunkards way of behaving… even though it is indeed druk at the beginning of a meal with pre-dinner snacks called Zakąski. As the meal progresses, the drinks progress to beer (and sometimes wine) and you end the meal with flavoured vodkas, called nalewki.  Try wiśniowka, a cherry wódka, or żołądkowa gorzka, laced with medicinal herbs to aid digestion.

There is a wonderful ceremony and culture around drinking, and there are a few rules:

  • Always drink the best quality vodka you can buy
  • Always drink your vodka slightly chilled, but never frozen
  • Always drink with friends and family, never alone
  • Always wait until someone around the table says na zdrowie, cheers, to have a drink. The whole table drinks together, it’s very communal.
  • Wait for the table to decide if you’re drinking a half shot pół, or a full shot, do dna.
  • Always drink with food, never drink vodka without eating a meal

And when it comes to perfect flavour pairings with vodka, it’s all about strong smokey sausaages and hams, strong flavoured fish such as smoked mackerel or eel, or pickled herrings, and bitey acidic sides such as pickled mushrooms and dill cucumbers.

If you’re interested in reading further, we recommend the Dictionary of Drunkenness by Polish Poet Julian Tuwim, who writes of pickles herrings “the caviar of the poor, the fond silvery companion of a glass of pure silvery vodka”.


Zakąski, polish antipasta platter

Serves 10-12, as a starter

  • 1 myśliwska “hunters sausage” (about 170g), sliced on an angle, about 4mm thick
  • 200g polskie ogórki “fermented dill pickles”, sliced into spears
  • 1 loaf rye sourdough bread, sliced
  • 100g best quality butter
  • 2 kabanosy sausages (not cabanossi!!!) (about 200g), broken into inch long pieces
  • 200g szynka, triple smoked ham, sliced thinly
  • 100g grzyby marynowane, pickled forest mushrooms
  • 200g sledzie, pickled herrings
  • wódka, vodka


]]> 0
Ryba smażona w panierce, fish schnitzel, from Sopot in Poland Wed, 26 Jul 2017 22:56:18 +0000 Fish schnitzel

In so many cultures around the world, especially in Australia, summer beach holidays with family bring back memories of fantastic fish and chips… Eaten by the seaside with the smell of salt in the air and the roar of the waves on the shore. It’s such a strong evocative dish, that even Heston Blumenthal has recreated the experience of fish and chips in his michelin starred restaurant, the Fat Duck.

Poland has a long expanse of coastline along the Baltic Sea, which it shares with Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, and several other fish loving countries. The beach holiday area of trójmiasta aka 3 cities (Sopot, Gdansk, Gdynia) attracts visitors for their speciality dish – fish schnitzel, ryba smażona.

Dorsz/cod, flądra/flounder, szprota/sprats, szczupak/northern pike, halibuta/halibut, kargulena/icefish, Sandacz/Zander, Pstrąg tęczowy/rainbow trout, Miętus/Burbot, Makrela/Mackerel, and of course łosoś/salmon are all favourites on the menu here.

But for our dish, we’re staying local to Australian and using some lovely barramundi. Barra is quite a soft fleshed fish, so it’s perfect for crumbing of battering, as the skinless fillets often don’t hold up too well when grilled.

When making any schnitzel, make sure you keep a wet hand and a dry hand, to avoid schnitzelling your fingers.

Serves 4

  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs of your choice
  • 4 skinless and boneless fillets of baramundi, about 180g each
  • 1 egg, plus 2 Tbsp water, and seasoning
  • 2 heaped Tbsp plain flour
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  1. prepre the crumb mix in a medium bowl by mixing together bread crumbs, almond meal, and finely chopped herbs.
  2. Whisk egg and water in a medium bowl with a generous amount of seasoning.
  3. Place flour in a third medium bowl. Take each fillet of barramundi and dust in flour, then egg mix, then bread crumb mix.
  4. Heat a pan to medium with olive oil. Fry the crumbed fish until golden, then flip and finish cooking on the other side. Serve fresh and hot with lemon wedges.


]]> 0
How to cut capsicum with no mess Wed, 26 Jul 2017 06:47:57 +0000 food-peppers-kitchen-yum

If you’ve ever cooked with capsicum (or peppers, for our American friends), then you know the pain. The pain of those little annoying seeds which fly all over your bench. And you think you’ve cleaned them all up. And then the pesky little things keep showing up in secret hiding spots for weeks on end.

We have devised an amazing technique that makes cutting capsicums super easy, with no mess!

See our video on our brand new Sammy and Bella Youtube Channel here:


How to cut a capsicum

  1. Cut off the butt end
  2. Turn it on its head
  3. Slice off cheeks, as though you were slicing skin off an orange
  4. The seeds and stem should be perfect in tact, and ready to discard
]]> 0
Leek and roast chicken pilaf w/pomegranate, as seen at Westfield Carindale Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:45:25 +0000 JV (148 of 205)Leftovers. Love them or hate them? We love! It’s especially important to use up leftover meats, as we wouldn’t want an animal to go to waste.

A pilaf is a super quick and easy way to use up leftovers, especially since all the other ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry right now.

This recipe uses roast chicken which is so easy to pick up on your way home from work. It’s a quick meal, and although we are cheating a bit by using a roast chook, it’s fast food but definitely not junk food!

The secret to a good pilaf is to fry the basmati rice in butter. You can use olive oil, but it just won’t taste anywhere near as good or have that authentic Persian flavour. By frying the raw rice before adding liquid, you also help the rice to keep its shape and stay fluffy.

The other secret is to always cook in stock, or bone broth. It adds a big punch of flavour, and also loads of health benefits.

A big thank you to Westfield Carindale, in Brisbane, for welcoming us and letting us share this recipe with their customers! And an even bigger thank you to the local shops for providing us with the amazing ingredients, especially The Butchers Block for their yummy roast chooks, and Fresh Sensations for their fantastic fresh produce.


Leek and roast chicken pilaf w/pomegranate

Serves 4-6

For the rice:

  • 1 leek
  • 5 cup basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  • 25 cups chicken stock

to complete the dish:

  • 1 roast chicken (hot)
  • ¼ cup almonds, roasted and chopped
  • 1/3 bunch parsley, chopped
  • ½ pomegranate
  • green salad, to serve
  1. Cut green part from leek (save for making stock for a future recipe). Cut white in half lengthways and run under running water. Slice leek into 1cm pieces.
  2. Place sliced leek, butter and rice in a heavy based large pot on medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 or so minutes until translucent.
  3. Add spices, currants, lemon and stock, cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, turn off heat and leave to steam (without removing the lid) for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove meat from roast chicken, keep warm (retain bones and any trimmings for making stck for a future recipe). Chop almonds. Chop parsley.
  5. Cut pomegranate in half. Fill a large bowl with water. Hold pomegranate cut side down in your left hand, and whack the back of itusing a wooden spoon in your right hand, so that the seeds and pith fall in the water. Use a fine sieve to scoop out and discard any pitch which floats to the top. Use sieve to scoop out the seeds from the bottom of the bowl. Discard water.
  6. To serve, gently stir chicken through the rice mix. Top with parsley, almonds and pomegranate. Serve along with a garden salad.
]]> 0