Tutorwood Cooks – Pork, Leek, Apple and Sage Sausage Rolls

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Tonight’s dish is one to do when you’ve got a bit of time up you’re sleeve as there are a couple of elements to prepare if you’re going to make it from scratch as I did here. I only have a small oven and can cook 16 sausage rolls at a time. Each batch takes about 40 minutes to cook so if you have a full-size oven, you’ll get it done quicker. This recipe makes a total of 48 sausage rolls.

Pour yourself a wine, put on the slippers and let’s get into it.

Ingredients:

Pork Mince                            1 kg

Bacon                                      200gram sliced

Leeks                                       2 large, finely sliced

Chilli                                        1 red, 1 green finely sliced

Garlic                                       6 cloves, smashed

Continental french

onion soup mix                      1 pack

Sage                                          1 tablespoon Fresh chopped.

Eggs                                          4 medium to large

Butter                                        2 tablespoon

Olive Oil                                    2 tablespoon

Stewed Apple                           1 cup, either homemade or storeboughtDSCN0003

Salt                                              1/3 teaspoon

Black Pepper                             1/2 Teaspoon

Puff pastry                                6 sheets

Panko Breadcrumbs.               1/2 cup

Parmesan Cheese                     1/2 cup

Milk 1/2 cup

Method,

  1. Finely slice the leek, chilli, and garlic then add a knob of butter and a splash of olive oil to a skillet then pan fry until translucent and the leeks have reduced by half.DSCN0004
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool., ( I put the mix in the freezer for about 20 minutes to cool)
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the pork, bacon, soup mix, 2 of the eggs, parmesan, breadcrumbs, sage, stewed apple and cooled leek mix. Add a touch salt and pepper to taste, then, use your hands to combine all the ingredients. Mix till evenly combined but don’t overmix; otherwise, the sausage rolls will end up tough.
  4. Get the puff pastry sheets from the freezer and separate on your bench and leave till soft enough to roll. I lay the pastry on the edge of my worktop and can tell when it’s ready to use as it flops over the edge DSCN0012
  5. Mix the remaining eggs and milk to form a glaze for the pastry.
  6. Lay a pastry sheet on a floured breadboard, then coat with the egg wash. Cut the sheet in half and place a roll of the meat mix. Place it along the centre of the pastry then roll with the joint on the bottom. Cut into four then place on in a baking tray lined with baking paper.DSCN0016
  7. Repeat until you’ve filled the baking dish then bake at 180º for 40 minutes or until golden brown.DSCN0017
  8. Serve with a green salad or enjoy them on their own

As always, feel free to tweak the recipe to make it your own.

Have fun and cook on!!

Cheers,

Bryan

Tutorwood Cooks – Simply Scrumptious Stir Fry

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Tonight’s dish is a simple, wholesome tasty meal, which with chopping the vegetables, can be on the table in about 20 minutes. The secret to its rapid preparation is to use a combination of fresh and frozen stir fry vegetables, microwave basmati rice and pre-prepared stir fry shots, which are brilliant flavour filled spice mixes. They take all of the guesswork out of making a tasty Asian meal.

You know the drill, comfy slippers, a glass of wine and let’s get into it.

 Ingredients;

Chicken Breast                                    600 gram finely sliced

Red Onion                                            1 finely sliced

Red Capsicum                                     1 finely sliced

Bok Choy                                             4 loosely chopped (include leaves)

Chillies                                                 2 Red, 1 Green, all finely sliced

Stir Fry shots                                      3 tubs, I used Vietnamese for this dish

Bean Shoots                                         1 x 150-gram can

Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables               1 x 500-gram pack

Fresh Ginger                                       1 tablespoon

Soy Sauce                                             2 tablespoons

Microwave Basmati Rice                  2 x 250-gram packs

Method;

The secret for getting this dish cooked quickly is in the preparation. You want to make sure everything is ready to go before you start cooking. I use stainless steel trays to hold the ingredients when I’ve sliced them. My method is to load the containers with the vegetables in the order I’m going to cook them.

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  1. Finely slice the chicken and season with one of the tubs of the spice mix.
  2. Slice the onion and chillies and place in the same tray as the chicken
  3. Open the frozen vegetables and put in another dish ready for cooking
  4. Chop the bok choi and capsicum and place together in another plate with the bean shoots.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a wok and stir fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes per batch until all cooked. Put aside and keep warm.
  6. Repeat the process with the frozen vegetables, remove and put with the chicken mix, then cook the bok choi, capsicum and bean shoots.

 

7. Combine all ingredients back in the wok, add the remaining spice packs, and a generous splash of soy sauce for extra taste. Cover and simmer on low heat while the rice cooks.

8. Cook the rice according to the packet directions, then serve and enjoy when it’s all ready.

As always, play with this recipe to make the taste and flavour your own. You can change the meat and use either pork, beef or seafood; it’ll work equally well with any of these meats.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated.

Have fun and cook on!!

Cheers

Bryan

Tutorwood Art -Watercolor Grey Butcher Bird

I’m enjoying the downtime of Easter and have been working on improving and further exploring my drawing and sketching skills.

Earlier this year I discovered a brilliant American artist Juliette Aristides, and I’ve been working through one of her excellent books, “Beginning Drawing Atelier.”

The lessons have empowered me with the skills to look at how I draw in a new way and not to get too tied up in planning a picture – just get on with it and draw the picture.

The image I’m posting here is another view of the young Grey Butcherbird which paid us a visit a few days ago. The last post was a coloured pencil sketch, this one is in watercolour pencil.

I hope you like it.

Cheers for now

Bryan

Tutorwood Cooks – Chicken with Spinach, Parmesan and Ricotta Rice

Tonight’s recipe falls into the “I’ve had a bugger of a day so, let’s get this done quickly” category. We’re pairing pan-fried seasoned chicken breast with an off the shelf packet rice, but by adding a few tweaks, we’ll elevate from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Hopefully, we’ll knock this over in about half an hour. 

 

Let’s get started.

 

Ingredients;

Skinless Chicken Breast – 600 gram

Garlic powder – 2 Tablespoons

Paprika – 1 teaspoon 

Tarragon – 2 tablespoons

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon

Red Pepper (capsicum) sliced – 1 large

Brown Onion – 1 medium

Zucchini sliced – 1 medium

Continental Spinach ricotta and

parmesan rice – 3 x 105gram Pack

Butter – 2 tablespoons

Olive oil – 2 tablespoon

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Method; 

 

  1. Mix the herbs in a small stainless steel bowl and dredge the chicken breasts until well coated. Don’t be afraid to add more herbs if needed, be sure you’ve got everything well covered. 
  2. While the chicken is marinating, slice the onion, capsicum, chilli and zucchini.
  3. Add one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of oil to a heavy skillet, cover, and pan-fry the chicken for about 6 minutes each side until the chicken’s cooked to your liking. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan, leaving the juices, and place on a plate to rest covered in foil.
  5. Add the remaining oil and butter in the skillet and stir fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  6. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place in a bowl covered with foil to keep warm.
  7. Following the packet directions, add 3 cups of water and a dash of oil to the skillet, add the rice mix, and when boiling cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about eight minutes.
  8. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces while the rice is cooking then add to the vegetables.
  9. When the rice is ready, stir through the chicken and vegetable mix then remove from heat, cover and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Enjoy!!

This recipe serves four adults and has plenty of taste and veggies to satisfy nearly everyone. We had it for dinner on Monday night. The meal went down very well judging by the absence of leftovers.

 

As always don’t be afraid to experiment and substitute ingredients that are more readily available in your part of the world. Drop me a line to let me know what you’ve done to make this recipe your own.

Questions and comments are always appreciated.

 

Have Fun and Happy Cooking

 

Bryan

 

Tutorwood Cooks – Easy Pork Burgers

 

Today’s dish is a family favourite in my household and uses low-fat ground pork as a base. With the addition of a few herbs and a soup mix pack for an additional layer of flavour, you’ll end up with a dish that you can get from the bench to the table in around 40 minutes. Pork is in plentiful supply at the moment and is relatively inexpensive so, with the cost of the additional ingredients, you’ll find this tasty dish is cheap to make.

Ingredients;

Pork Mince                                       500gram

Bacon or Ham                                  200 gram

Red onion, finely sliced,                 2 medium

French Onion Soup Mix                  1 pack

Garlic Powder                                  2 teaspoons

Marjoram                                           1  teaspoon

Smoked Paprika                                1 teaspoon

Parmesan Cheese                              1 tablespoon

Eggs                                                      2 large

Olive Oil                                               2 tablespoon

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Method;

  1. Mix the meats, herbs, parmesan, soup mix, eggs and one tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl. Use your hands to ensure even dispersion of ingredients but don’t overwork the mix or you’ll end up with dry burgers. 
  2. Divide the mix and roll into 12-14 balls, then flatten slightly and place on a plate. Cover with kitchen wrap and place in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes to allow then to firm up which helps them keep their shape while cooking
  3. Place the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frypan and cook the burgers for approximately four minutes each side or until cooked to your liking.
  4. Serve on fresh rolls with tomato and a crisp salad or with chips and gravy for a real comfort food meal.

 

I hope you enjoy trying out this recipe and don’t be afraid to experiment to make the recipe yours. 

 

As always, I welcome your questions and comments.

Cheers

Bryan

 

 

 

Setting Up The Workshop

As the commercial furniture market becomes saturated with mass-produced pedestrian objects, more and more people are exploring the option of designing and making their own unique pieces. The first question that is often asked is, “what tools do I need?”.

As a power tool trainer and specialist tool salesman for over ten years, my advice is to buy the tools as you need them for a particular project and when you decide on a plan, look at the tools you will need to perform each of the stages of the build. Generally, there are five stages of any project, and you need to have one or two tools from each group to make the piece. The stages are: dimensioning, cutting, joining, detailing, and finishing. Let’s look at each step individually.

*Dimensioning *: The first part of this stage involves transitioning the timber from the milled slab or board size to the size you need for the project. Power tools for this stage include both table saws and handheld electric saws, as well as band saws. Traditional tools for this stage include panel or carpenters saws as well as bow saws.

The second part of dimensioning involves dressing the timber to ensure a flat smooth and most importantly square surface so you can accurately cut and join the various components of the workpiece. Power tools for this stage include thicknessers, jointers, and drum sanders, while a variety of hand planes are generally used to complete this stage in a traditional build.

*Cutting:* When cutting board stock rather than sheet material, the most commonly used power tool to achieve this stage is the slide compound mitre saw. While you can complete this stage with a handheld circular saw it is a lot easier and safer to use a mitre saw. If your project contains sheet material components such as plywood or particle board, you’ll need to use either a circular saw or a table saw. If you’re following the traditional path, then a right quality panel saw and tenon saw would be your preferred tools.

*Joining:* The joinery stage involves the assembly of the various components of the project to achieve its close to finished form. If you want to use power tools at this stage you’ll need a cordless or corded drill, which will enable you to use things like pocket hole jigs or dowelling jigs; otherwise, tools such as biscuit or domino joiners allow you to complete a successful joint. The hand tool path is more complicated at this stage and calls for the use of hand saws and chisels to cut mortice and tenon or dovetail joints. While more complex this is a technique that is well and truly worth learning as it will raise the overall standard of our pieces to a much higher level.

*Detailing:* The detailing stage of the build is where you add ornamentation such as round overs, bevels or inlays to the edges of the piece to enhance the overall design. If you’re building using power tools the primary tool you’ll need is a router which, with the correct cutters will enable you to create a variety of decorative treatments. In the traditional build, you’ll need a router plane or a selection of moulding planes as well as a variety of chisels and scrapers.

*Finishing:* The finishing stage is the final part of the build where the surfaces are fully sanded before the application of the lacquer or varnish. The most commonly used power tool for this stage is the random orbital sander. Often available in either 4 inches, (125mm) or 6 inches, (150mm), a variable speed random orbital sander will become one of the most regularly used tools in your workshop. If you’re following a traditional build, you’ll need a sanding block and a range of sanding sheets ranging from 80 grit to 1000g grit to hand sand the surface to a satisfactory finish.

When you’re buying tools, either power or hand, always try to get the best tool you can for the budget you have.  If you need to get some savings somewhere, I would forgo purchasing a thicknesser initially as most timber yards will cut timber and dress it to size for you for a minimal cost.

As usual your questions and comments are appreciated

Cheers,

Bryan

Welcome Aboard Proxxon

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It’s been a while now since Bosch Australia pulled the pin and removed themselves and their subsidiary brands such as Dremel from the bulk of specialist tool stores in Australia. They aimed to focus on the big box outlets and while their corded and cordless tools were easy to find replacement brands to cover; the problem we’ve had, was to find a suitable replacement for the range of Dremel rotary tools that we had sold.

Part of my job in the store I work at is to source and evaluate new product lines to enhance and expand our range, so the demise of Dremel created quite a headache. I looked at some alternatives but found that on the whole, they were only offering a tool, with just a few accessories. While the tools on offer were adequate, I was looking for something better.

 My idea was to replace the Dremel range, which was a good DIY product, with a selection which was exceptional. 

A few months ago one of the sales reps that visit our store mentioned that his boss had the opportunity to secure the distribution rights to Proxxon in Australia, and wanted my opinion. While I hadn’t heard of the brand for years, I was familiar with it as I had a 12v Proxxon rotary tool back in my early woodworking days in the mid-’80s. I remember it was a robust little unit so my recommendation to him was to go for it. 

Proxxon began in the small German town of Nierbasch in 1977 and has grown to become one of the worlds leading manufacturers of precision power tools. Specialising in high-quality power tools for model builders, precision mechanics, mould makers, tool makers, opticians, goldsmiths, watch-makers and more; Proxxon is giving users high-performance power-tools in a size never offered before. The Proxxon  Micromot system offers tools ranging from benchtop table saws and thicknessers to small angle grinders and polishers, as well as an extensive range of rotary tools and bits.

If you have a delicate and detailed project, then Proxxon have the tools to help you make it happen.

After a month of negotiation, they managed to secure the rights and I was delighted when my boss gave me a catalogue and price list and told me to choose what I wanted, (sometimes I love my job!).  

For our initial offering, I decided on two rotary tools, the FBS 240E, and the IBS/E, the power carver, MSG, the awesome micro belt sander BS/E and the Long Neck angle grinder, LHW, as well as the full range of accessories for all these tools.

Given the extensive range offered I felt that this was a good beginning to our relationship and I’m certain the range will grow when I get more of a feel for what our customers require. 

In the following posts I’ll go into the more details of the features and accessories of the individual tool, so please watch this space.

Thanks for reading, and as usual, your questions and comments are appreciated.

Bryan

 

Five minutes with Festool

Five minutes with Festool is the title of a new series of articles I’m working on which will give you an in depth view of a wide variety of Festool tools and accessories tied up in a bite sized package. With each article being about 500 words they’re intended to be a quick and informative read.

Being the lead salesperson in one of the busiest dealers in Melbourne I field a lot of questions about the whole range Festool products and this article, which covers the range of blades available for the Festool TS55 , will hopefully address some of the questions you may have about them

Please click on the link below to read the full article.

Festool Blades 

 As always your questions and comments are appreciated and I’ll endeavour to answer as many as I can. 

See you next week for the next instalment.

Cheers

Bryan

 

  

 

 

    

  

I’m back in the saddle…..

Well, I’ll admit that it’s been a long time between posts and a hell of a lot had gone on in the last few years. The most significant change, which has shocked most of you who know me personally, is the fact that I’ve gone from a weight of 178 kg down to a meagre 74kg. I had some quite severe medical problems which resulted in 7 hours of surgery and me losing 75% of my stomach.

That was back in Dec 2016, and while the body healed a while ago, it’s been a challenging 18 months dealing with all the changes to my body and working on getting my head in the right place so that I can focus on writing again. A big thanks to those of you whose words of support have helped me move forward and I must admit that It would have been a damn sight harder to get through this without the love and support of my wife Sharon and children.  Love you all guys.

Cheers,

Bryan

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