Category: Starters

Porcini Soup

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Porcini-Soup-webI love mushrooms and eggs and this soup  recipe is a great winter warmer


4 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grass fed butter

Sprig of mint or oregano

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (broth)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

2 free range eggs 


In a pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Throw in a sprig of mint or oregano. Add the fresh porcini to the pot and let them cook for a minute so that the mushrooms absorb all the flavors. 

Add a ladle of vegetable stock (broth) and allow the porcini to cook for another minute, or until the broth has been absorbed. Season with salt and black pepper, and pour in the remaining broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 

Before plating, add the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs. Stir very well for a minute and serve hot.

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Antipasto Chicken Liver Spread

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chicken_liver_spread-webI often make this spread and keep in the fridge to form part of a snack. I love it spread in the middle of celery pieces as well a cucumber slices. This is also how I serve it as part of an Antipasto.

This can be made several days ahead and should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Serves 6 – 8 as part of an Antipasto 


3 tbsp chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 cup brandy
150g (6 oz) trimmed chicken livers
5 large egg yolks
1 cup whole grass fed milk or coconut milk
1/4 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
salt & fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 170C (350F).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the onions until lightly golden brown, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two.

Remove from the heat and add the brandy and then return to the heat and cook until the brandy has reduced by half.

Place the onion mixture in a food processor along with the chicken livers and egg yolks and blend until smooth.

Add the milk, flour, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper and blend until well mixed. Pour the mixture into


 a ceramic oven proof bowl (crock) large enough to hold it all, and then place the crock in a larger oven-proof pan and filled halfway up the sides of the crock with water.

Bake until the spread has set when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes.

Remove from the water bath, and cool to room temperature. This can be made several days ahead and should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Giacomo’s Antipasto

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antipasto-2The Italian translation for antipasto is ‘before the meal’ and was traditionally made up of salty olives, deli meats, marinated vegetables and cheeses and offered to diners to stimulate their appetite before the main meal. 

Unless you’re planning a party with lots of guests, keep the antipasto simple so you don’t crowd out the main meal. 

No matter how basic or lavish, antipasto should simply complement the meal you’re planning. 

The fragrance and appearance of the food that you serve is important, so blending flavours, aromas and colours will make for the most interesting antipasto plates. 

I usually prepare my antipasto selecting from the following ingredients 

Serves 20 as a starter (Scale as required for numbers) 

1-2 heads iceberg or cos lettuce

250ml (1 cup) Italian salad dressing

400g (1lb) thinly sliced ham

400g (1lb) brie or other soft cheese of choice, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) chemical free salami, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pepperoni, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) prosciutto, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) cold roast beef, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) fresh mushrooms, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) roasted red capsicums

100g (1/4 lb) black olives, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pickled mild green chilli peppers, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) Gorgonzola, crumbled

200g (1/2 lb) mozzarella, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) grated Parmesan

fresh chopped Italian herbs to garnish 

Preparation of the plate 

Remove large outer leaves from the heads of lettuce. Arrange approximately one third in a layer on a large serving platter. 

Drizzle desired amount of Italian salad dressing on top. Layer with ham and Taleggio cheese. 

Layer with another third of the lettuce leaves, desired amount of Italian salad dressing and salami. 

Repeat layering with remaining lettuce, dressing, pepperoni, prosciutto and roast beef. 

Layer with mushrooms, roasted red capsicums, black olives, green chilli peppers and green olives. Drizzle with more Italian salad dressing, as desired. 

Top with Gorgonzola, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To garnish, sprinkle with fresh chopped Italian herbs, such as basil, parsley and oregano.

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Caprese Salad

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Caprese-Salad-webCaprese salad is a family favorite of mine. I love the fresh taste and is quick and easy to bring together. 

Serves 4 

2-3 heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into 10mm (1/2-inch) thick slices
200g (8 oz) wet mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
15 small basil leaves
Sea salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste 


Arrange sliced tomatoes on a large serving platter.

Cut mozzarella cheese and place over tomatoes.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Serves 4.



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Eating Savoury by Jimmy Boswell

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Cover-special-5-00“Eating Savoury by Jimmy Boswell”

Super SPECIAL  Only $5.00 NZ$ – Save 60% ($4.00 US$)

All recipes are in imperial and metric so no conversion needed. 85 recipes, 135 pages with loads of pictures. 

Also includes charts on how to use and match herbs to meats and vegetables. Herb blends and loads of yummy savoury recipes.

Click this link to get your copy today.

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Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Beef Bites

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Bacon_Beef_Fillet_Bites_webGreat as a starter. There is a underlying layer of spicy tang with a sweet finish. The bacon wrap gives a nice, light smoky flavour. 



2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
¼ cup raw honey
1 tbsp fresh diced rosemary
pinch of sea salt
coarse ground black pepper to taste
small red onion, chopped
1-2 small fresh red chillies, cored, de-seeded and chopped fine 
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed and diced fine 

Beef Cubes 

½ kg (1.1 lb) grass fed beef fillet (tenderloin), diced into small, 25mm (1 inch) cubes
8-10 rashers chemical free streaky bacon, cit into thirds
200g (8 oz) ricotta cheese, room temperature
bamboo skewers, soaked for a couple hours 


Combine the marinade ingredients well and add the fillet cubes. Mix well to ensure the cubes are all coated, cover and marinate overnight in the fridge. 

Preheat BBQ or oven grill on high (Broiler). 

Remove the beef from fridge. 

Spread some cheese on the bacon slices, add a beef cube and wrap tight. 

Thread 3-4 pieces onto a skewer, leaving 25mm (1 inch) between each piece. 

Make as many as you need to serve. 1-2 per serve as a starter. 

Place on a rack to catch the juices as they cook under the grill if using the oven, turning often until bacon is done and crispy, about 15 minutes.

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Slow Cooker Pork Ribs

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Slow_Cooker_Pork_Ribs_webI love my ribs and using my slow cooker is the best way to get melt in the mouth taste and texture. 


2 1 kg (2.2lb) racks pork back ribs, cut into 3-4 rib sections

1 cup raw honey

1 cup pineapple juice

Juice of 1 orange

1 tbsp fine orange rind

1 tbsp fine lemon rind

3 tablespoons ginger, fresh, grated

3 spring onions (scallions), green part only, thinly sliced (optional)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional) 

In a medium bowl, combine the honey, pineapple and orange juice, ginger and the lemon and orange rind. Arrange the ribs in a slow cooker and pour half of the sauce mixture over the ribs. Set the remaining sauce aside in the refrigerator. 

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the ribs are very tender. 

About 1/2 hour before the ribs are done, remove the sauce from the refrigerator, to bring it to room temperature. 

Arrange the ribs on plates or a wooden platter and brush both sides with some of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the diced spring onions and sesame seeds, if using. 

Serve the rest of the remaining sauce at the table. 

Tip: I serve these with a small bowl of warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice to clean fingers as you eat.


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Bacon-Wrapped Sea Scallops

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10 slices chemical free streaky Bacon, not cooked

10 fresh large Scallops

Lemon Pepper, to taste

Sea Salt, to taste


Olive or coconut oil 


Turn your oven onto the grill (broil) setting. 

Carefully wrap each sea scallop with one slice of bacon and secure it with use a toothpick. 

Lightly oil a baking tray (sheet) and place the wrapped scallops on the sheet.

Sprinkle with Lemon Pepper and Sea Salt. 

Grill (broil) for 5-6 minutes, then flip the wrapped scallops over and grill for an additional 5-6 minutes. 

Remove toothpicks before serving.

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Grilled Lemon lime and Honey Chicken Skewers

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4 – 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, diced fine
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup raw honey
200g (1/4 lb) streaky bacon, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) pieces (optional)
Zest of 1 large lemon, I use a zester that makes strips
Zest of 1 lime


In a large bowl add the cubed chicken and the rest of the ingredients except the bacon and mix well ensuring all of the chicken cubes are well coated. Cover and rest over night in the fridge to marinade. 

The next day soak plenty of bamboo skewers in water for at least 1 hour. This will ensure that they do not burn when you cook the skewers over a hot grill. 

Take the chicken out of the fridge and let come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes before you assemble the skewers. 

To assemble, start with a chicken cube then a piece of bacon and then continue chicken, bacon etc till you have a layered skewer about 100mm, 4 inches in of length on the skewer. 

Continue with loading skewers till you have used all the chicken and bacon. 

Reserve the left over marinade to use as a baste when cooking. You can chill these covered on a flat plate until you are ready to cook. If you chill them take them out of the fridge for 20 minutes to come to room temperature before cooking. 

BBQ – on a medium heat, for 10 to 15 minutes, turning and basting every few minutes or until chicken is no longer pink & bacon, if using is crisp.

Serve with seasonal fresh salads


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BBQ Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken Bites

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Glazed-chicken-pieces-2-webA quick to plate brunch and the kids love. 


1kg (2.2lb) chicken nibbles (bites)
1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons raw honey


In a bowl season the chicken nibbles with salt and pepper. In a small metal bowl sitting in some warm water mix together the oil, thyme, vinegar, honey, lemon juice and basil until its quite fluid. 

Pour over the seasoned chicken nibbles and turn the chicken in the bowl until the nibbles are evenly coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Over night is even better. 

Remove from the fridge 20 minutes before you want to cook and let the chicken come to room temperature. While the chicken is warming up get your BBQ started on a medium high heat. 

Once the bbq grill is up to temp cook chicken for about 15 minutes, basting with sauce and turning chicken halfway through cooking. Continue barbecuing, without basting, until brown all over and cooked through. Reheat reserved sauce to serve with the chicken. 

I serve this with sweet potato chips cooked on the bbq and a fresh seasonal salad. 

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