Martha Stewart’s Poached-Chicken-Salad Sandwiches

Serves: 4

This is a pretty classic, Martha Stewart sandwich and one I’ve done plenty of times.

Just add a well buttered baguette – toasted if you can – butter lettuce and avocado.


2 chicken breasts
1 small yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Baguette, halved lengthways, toasted and buttered
Butter lettuce pieces


  1. In a pot, cover chicken breast and yellow onion with water by 2cm; season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over a high-heat; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the pit from the heat and let stand, covered for 12 – 14 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the water and let cool completely.
  3. Shred the chicken, then mix with walnuts, raisins, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, yogurt and tarragon.
  4. Assemble the sandwiches with the toasted baguette, chicken mixture, lettuce and avocado.

Martha Stewart’s Pea Salad

Serves: 4

We had an amazing Bill Granger Pea Salad last week and inspired, I was looking up pea salads we could serve this week along with some spicy lamb meatballs we we’re having for dinner.

This recipe came up a lot.

I used Parmesan rather than Cheddar and I cooked and then refreshed the peas rather then letting them de-thaw in the salad in the fridge for 4 hours… something you are most welcome to do if you wish.

The reason I’ve typed it up of course is that is a fantastic salad.

So much so that the next day, I did a double batch for a BBQ pool party and everyone loved it. Even kids.

Get onto this!

(Note: we cook our greens in the microwave; a dash of water in a microwave dish and you have crunchy, crisp greens without the need to boil or broil… In typing up this recipe, I haven’t prescribed how to cook the peas and however you do it, enjoy.)


1/4 cup (low fat) egg mayonnaise
1/4 cup (low fat) sour cream
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
500gm frozen baby peas
1/4 cup, packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
60gm, Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
120gm smoked bacon


  1. Cook the bacon in a large frypan over a medium heat until browned and becoming crispy: around 10 minutes. Drain well on paper towel and then julienne.
  2. Cook the peas until warmed through; refresh in cold water.
  3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Fold in the peas, onion and parsley.
  4. Refrigerate until needed and gently fold in the Parmesan and bacon just before serving.

Mrs Kostyra’s Meatloaf

Mrs Kostyra’s Meatloaf

Serves: 8

I found this recipe on Martha Stewart.

It is written up across the Internet as the 101 of meatloaf and as a closet lover of meatloaf, getting the 101 right is pretty important, right?

(Albeit pretty simple to get right as you’ll soon discover.)

The vegetables fill it out really nicely, the glaze of ketchup, dry mustard and brown sugar is predictably awesome… though far-and-ahead the best reason you’d cook this – as if it wasn’t obvious – is because it’s mince.

The world’s greatest invention.

I doubled the recipe and froze a big zip-lock bag ready to cook again for a week of lunches and snacks. Undoubtedly, it is what I looked for first in my lunchbox each morning.

It is a simple recipe though that is all you want here. Simple, wholesome, amazing, no-nonsense, eat-it-everyday meatloaf, ready to be served warm or cold with plenty of ketchup, peas and hopefully, some good potato mash.


Olive oil
4 slices white bread, torn into pieces and processed to breadcrumbs
1.5kg ground beef
1 onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, small dice
2 carrots, peeled and small dice
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large egg
1 cup ketchup, divided
3 tsp dry mustard, divided
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180c. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the finely diced onion, celery, carrots and crushed garlic and parsley in a bowl. Add the meat and mix well. Add the egg, ½ cup ketchup, 2 tsp dry mustard, salt and pepper and combine thoroughly. Transfer to the baking tray and shape into a… meatloaf.
  3. Combine the remaining ½ cup ketchup, 1 tsp dry mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
  4. Brush/baste the mixture over the meatloaf. Place the meatloaf in the oven and look for between 60 and 90 minutes or until the meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads 70c.
  5. Serve with peas, mash, plenty of ketchup and cold beer.

Crab Canapes

Serves: Plenty

This is a canape my mother used to serve whenever anyone came over for a lunch or a dinner, a quintessential 80s-style French number that I used to hoover down every time it was presented.

Indeed, I warmly remember going out on my parent’s boat – Whatthehell – and chowing down on dozens and dozens of these as we back-anchored to the beaches of Middle Harbour. I’m not sure if it was noticed that I consistently ate a third of them though if I had noticed I would have been annoyed. They’re that good.

The memories.

Bring forward the mid 2010s and they’re back, courtesy of Nat’s complete love for them and our collective agreement that no picnic is a picnic without this wonderful crab number.

You will never look back if you prepare these. Seriously… never… look… back.

(I seriously recommend you double the recipe which I have never not done!)


1 cup crab meat
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce to taste
Pepper to taste
Melba toast


  1. 1. Combine all the ingredients (except the toast).
  2. Spread on the toast and serve immediately.

Stuffed Turkey Breast (and Turkey Subs)

Serves: 4 -8 per breast, depending on breast size

Christmas was always a pretty big deal in my family, something consistent with most families I guess.

My mother being an excellent – and calm – cook, would prepare the same amazing turkey lunch each year, remit with the world’s best stuffing, smooth, buttery mash, peas, gravy, ham and plenty of cranberry sauce. You left the table stuffed and poorly on your feet.

But the best part of this lunch wasn’t the lunch.

It was dinner.

Because after a few hours of playing with your toys and snoozing, it was time for turkey subs, an American invention my father would take control off.

Whoever invented turkey subs was a genius, because it is Christmas lunch all over again, except this time, served in a pile on a piece of bread. Think of it like Christmas Lunch Express™ but at dinner time.

And so with all this background, we arrive at this recipe.

For the past 10 years, I have done this Martha Stewart stuffed turkey breast rather than a whole turkey. A variety of reasons for this including that the breast is easier to cook and the breast really is what everyone wants right?

It also travels better than a whole cooked bird, is easier to slice the next day into sandwiches or a salad and well… it’s just easier and nobody complains or that I am aware of.

You could well add some chilli flakes to this dish, maybe some fennel seeds. The flavour by no means overwhelms and is just a subtle background flavour.

Turkey subs

Turkey subs simply make Christmas for me. They are your pat on the back that all your preparation and cooking and effort has been worth it and you can sit back with a vino and toast the end of the year.

To make the sub, start with a slice of bread for each person and then layer:


1kg turkey breast
Coarse Salt and Pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Sausage and Sour Cherry Stuffing

2 cups bread cubes from load of rustic
2 tbs olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Coarse salt and pepper
200g sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried sour cherries
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

For the Sausage and Sour Cherry Stuffing

  1. Toast the bread in a toaster or grill until golden. Allow to cool.
  2. Make the stuffing: Set a large frypan over medium-high heat until hot, then heat the oil.
  3. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in cherries and rosemary, and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Pour in stock and stir to combine, then stir in bread, making sure all parts are moistened with liquid. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Adjust seasoning as desired.

For the stuffed turkey breast

  1. Heat oven to 200c.
  2. To butterfly the turkey, use a slicing knife and your fingers to remove skin from breast, reserving skin. Turn the breast over (so the side that had the skin is facing down), and lay it flat on the cutting board. Holding the blade of the knife parallel to the board, about halfway down, slice into the thickest portion of the breast. Cut along the length of the breast, but not all the way through. Unfold so the turkey opens like a book. Remove the tough piece of cartilage. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform thickness (about 1/2 inch). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread stuffing evenly (about 2cm thick) over turkey, leaving a 3cm border. Starting with one short end, roll into a log, completely enclosing the stuffing, and wrap the reserved skin around the breast, over the seam. Season all over with salt and pepper. Roll in a piece of cheesecloth, and secure both ends with kitchen twine; if you don’t have a cheesecloth, use twine all over as I do. Rub butter evenly all over cloth.
  4. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle registers 70 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes (the internal temperature should rise to 75 degrees).
  5. Remove cheesecloth and twine, then place turkey on a cutting board and slice crosswise about 2cm thick.

Bacon Jam

Yields 2 ¾ cups

I’m on a health kick at the moment, pretty exclusively focused on undoing the impressive, red wine tyres around my tummy and chin.

And whilst, as I get further and further into my regime and more and more committed to it – and cognisant that the calories I am eating are subtracted from the calories I am burning at the park walking the dog – I still have a few vices once in a while. (Including, unfortunately, the culprit whose handiwork got me to where I am now: red wine!).

Another such vice – once a fortnight on a Saturday lunch – is a burger. Starting with Neil Perry’s Burger, I’m slowly making my way through a veritable number of burger recipes and rewarding myself for long walks and cutting back on bread, wine and snacks.

I was up in Newcastle with my good mate Josh and I came across a peanut butter and jelly burger. Aware that this would either be terrible, a none-event or life-changing, I had no choice.

Peanut butter and jelly aren’t the only odd-fellows. The recipe calls for bacon jam, something I hadn’t heard of.

A quick search and Martha Stewart and Nigella are falling over themselves. And so it begins.

To wrap up, the burger itself was a bit of a non-event. I think that if I had added mayonnaise, it might have been interesting, though as it was, it was dry and slightly dull.

But wow, the bacon jam. Rich, sweet, sour. And spicy, What a relish!

In a sterilised jar, given that bacon is already cured, it should be able to sit on the counter like any jam, though my batch is in the fridge. Given my current, fitness trajectory, I can’t say I will be eating much of it, though when the occasion arises, the bacon jam will be the first to know!

This recipe is Martha Stewarts.


750gm bacon, sliced into 1cm pieces
2 c shallots, finely chopped (3 large or 8 small shallots)
4 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground mustard
½ c bourbon
¼ c maple syrup
1/3 c sherry vinegar
1/3 c packed light-brown sugar


  1. Spread half the bacon in a single layer in a large frypan and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned. Around 20 – 25 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Remove fat, repeat with remaining bacon, reserving browned bits and 1 tbsp fat in pan.
  2. Add shallots and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until translucent: around 5 minutes.
  3. Add chilli powder, ginger and mustard and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and add the bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits.
  4. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to the boil.
  5. Add reserved bacon and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze: around 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 4 weeks.

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

Serves 10

Pulled pork has been a bit done to death, though there are times that call for it.

And that time was Courtney’s 25th birthday when 30 or so of her closest friends came for a casual, winter’s BBQ dinner and drinks.

This recipe is from Martha Stewart and whilst it’s the pork that does most of the talking, the rub makes a great difference. Shredded and mixed through with a good BBQ sauce, who could want more?

I should note that I have varied significantly from her method; she seals the meat and doesn’t focus on the crackling.

Having cooked 12-hour pork so many times, I reckon the crackling is half the point and whilst sealing the flesh would add another dynamic, once shredded, I’m not too fussed.


5kg pork shoulder (I cooked it without bone in, though bone in would be ideal)
3 tbsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp dry mustard
½ ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Place the pork shoulder on a baking paper lined tray. Combine the rub ingredients and rub all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and ideally, overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250c or as hot as possible.
  3. Pull out the pork and bring to room temperature; 30 minutes. Pat the skin dry with paper towel, score if necessary and rub the skin all over with olive oil and salt.
  4. Cook the pork in a baking dish at 250c for 30 minutes or so to allow the crackling to start to form. You could add the grill if necessary; really anything you need to do to get that crackling proud!
  5. Drop the oven to 150c and let the pork cook for another 6 hours. Check to make sure it is not dry every hour or so and add water as necessary to the dish.
  6. Remove the pork and it should start to fall apart under its own weight. If not, return to the oven for however long is necessary.
  7. Remove the crackling and cut up; remove the fat and shred the meat with two forks.
  8. Run through a Texan BBQ sauce and serve on brioche buns, slaw, all the good stuff.