Tutorwood Cooks – Simple Tuna Mornay

Today’s recipe is one I’ve been making on and off for a couple of months now. I discovered the base recipe on taste .com and have tweaked it slightly whenever I’ve made it over the past few weeks. Featured here is the most current version which the family seems to enjoy.

With heaps of veggies, tuna and rice it falls into the achievable after work category as you can get this from the bench to the table in just under 45 minutes.


I always use tuna in spring water when I cook, as I find the dish is a little too oily for my liking when I’made it with tuna in olive oil. You can steam rice for this recipe or, you can cheat like I do and use a packet big pack of microwave basmati rice from the supermarket. I feel they taste the same, and you can’t beat the convenience.

Let’s get into it.


Olive Oil;                            1 tablespoon

Brown Onion;                   1 large, finely chopped

Garlic;                                 2 or 3 cloves, smashed

Celery;                                 2 sticks finely chopped

Carrot;                                1 large, finely chopped

Zucchini;                            2 finely sliced,

Green Beans;                      200g top and tailed

Butter;                                 2 tablespoons

Olive Oil;                             2 tablespoons

Flour;                                  2 tablespoons

Milk;                                    2 cups,  ( 500ml)

Tuna;                                   2 x 425g cans, drained and flaked

Parmesan;                          1/2 cup grated.

Rice;                                     1 x 250g pack streamed microwave basmati rice.

Spinach leaves;                 1 x 180g pack fresh leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 190C fan-forced and lightly spray a 2L (8-cup) ovenproof baking dish with oil.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion, celery and carrot, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the zucchini and beans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until just tender. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

3. Return the pan to medium heat and heat the butter until melted. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Slowly start adding the milk, stirring, until well combined and smooth. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the vegetables, tuna and half the parmesan. Season with black pepper to taste

4. Spread the rice over base of the baking dish. Top with the spinach, then the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

Its time put this one to bed and, I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do. Don’t forget to play with the flavours and to make the recipe your own.

Have fun and cook on!



Tutorwood Cooks – Glorious Mashed Potato

Mashed potatoes have been one of my favourite side dishes for years. As I was recovering from the significant stomach surgery, I had a few years ago; mashed potatoes have been one of the foods which I can consistently tolerate. My serving size for mash is about one tablespoon, so I’ve made it a mission to make the best tasting potato that I can.
It’s a work in progress so, please bear with me. This recipe is one of my most requested dishes by both friends and family when we have people over for dinner.

Let’s get into it.

A word on potatoes.
Now, I’m not a potato snob. I don’t have a particular preference for Idaho’s or Sebago’s but, I will admit that I’m quite fond of those little Kieffer potatoes, even though they are bloody expensive. Generally, if I’m roasting potato’s, I’ll use red ones, and if I’m mashing, I’ll use white ones. The dish, I’m featuring here has got a combination of red and white-skinned potato’s because that’s what was in the potato box.
Generally, I never peel potatoes, because I have a life and peeling potatoes has never factored into it: besides, I’ve always believed that the good stuff is under the skin. I chop off any suspect bits, and away we go.

Anyway, enough waffling – let’s get into it!!



Potatoes:                              2 kg
Brown Onions;                   2 medium
Garlic Scapes,                     six stalks
Or Garlic                              6 cloves
Sour Cream                         300 gram tub
Parmesan Cheese               250 gram pack
Butter                                    2 tablespoon
Milk                                       1/2 cup
Black Pepper                       to taste


  1. Quarter the potatoes, taking care to remove any eyes or gnarley bits and place in a large saucepan full of salted water.

2. Slice the onions and garlic and brown in a frypan over high heat.
3. Remove the onions and garlic when cooked and put aside to cool.
4. When cooked, drain the potatoes, in a colander then put them back into the saucepan on medium heat for about 5 minutes to dry out the excess water.

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5. Remove from heat and add the butter, milk, sour cream and black pepper then mash the mix to a coarse consistency.
6. Remove the masher then fold in the parmesan cheese and onion mix using a wooden spoon.

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7. Enjoy.
I hope you enjoy this mash as much as my family and friends do. If you have any leftovers, mix it with some egg and flour, and you’ve got potato pancakes for breakfast the next day.

Remember to play with the recipe to tailor it to your tastes and to make it your own.

Have Fun and Cook On.


Tutorwood Cooks – Braised Kangaroo with Onion & Leek


This dish is a bit of a classic which you should tackle when you’ve got plenty of time up your sleeve. With the extra time I’ve got up due to the Corona lock-downs, I decided to come up with a better method of cooking Kangaroo, with which I’ve always had a bit of a hit and miss relationship. Kangaroo is a delicious meat, but the cuts we get from the supermarkets aren’t consistent, and often end up really chewy, so I thought I’d try braising it to see if it ends up more tender and tasty.


This meal takes about three hours to prepare so turn on some good music, pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s get into it.




Kangaroo fillets            1 kg

Brown Onions               3 large

Leeks                               2 large

Red Chilli                        2 medium

Green garlic scapes      6 to 8

Garlic                               6 cloves smashed

Fresh Rosemary             2 sprigs

Plain Flour                      3/4 cup

Paprika                            1 teaspoon

Pepperberry, (or 

black pepper)                 1 teaspoon

Continental French onion 

soup mix.                        1 pack

Salt                                   1 teaspoon

Beef Stock                       1 litre

Butter                               2 tablespoons



  1. Place half the flour on a flat plate and add the salt and pepper berry. Mix with a fork then dredge the kangaroo fillets in the flour mix.


  1. Slice the onions, leeks, chilli, garlic shoots and garlic then place together on a tray ready to cook.


  1. Add one tablespoon of butter to a skillet and brown the Kangaroo in batches for 2 minutes each side. Remove when cooked and place in an ovenproof casserole dish.


  1. Add the remaining butter to the skillet then add the vegetables and cook covered for 4 minutes. Tip the rest of the flour mix over the veggies and stir in until well mixed.
  2. Add the stock and french onion soup mix to the skillet, stir well and bring to the boil then pour over the Kangaroo. Add the rosemary then cover and place in the oven at 180c for to 3 hours. The dish is ready when the meat can be pulled apart with a fork. 
  3. Serve with Glorious Mashed Potatoes, green beans and asparagus


If you can’t get your hands on Kangaroo, this dish works equally with most cuts of beef.


As always, don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients to suit your taste buds and have fun making it. 


Questions and comments are always appreciated. 




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.



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




  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




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.


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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  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.






Tutorwood Cooks – Beef Ravioli

Beef Ravioli with bacon, mushroom, green bean and goat cheese sauce.

Hi All

Welcome to my first recipe post in the new Tutorwood cooks pages.IMG_2057

Today we’re turning the proverbial sows ear into a silk purse by making a tasty homemade sauce to serve with a store-bought packet pasta. Now I’ve got absolutely nothing against supermarket pastas and with current troubles in the world at the moment they are an cheap way to get a good feed.

Pairing it with a home made sauce elevates it a special meal which well and truly fits into the comfort food category

With the ravioli costing between $4 and $6.50 (AUD) depending on where you shop and the rest of the ingredients costing around $15.00 your getting enough to feed a family of 4 for about $5.00 per serve

The link to the pdf of the recipe is  here (Beef Ravioli with bacon mushroom and goat cheese)

Have a look and please let me know what you think.

As always your questions and comments are appreciated



Tutorwood Cooks

Whats it all about?????

Tutorwood cooks will be my guide to the kitchen.

A number of years ago I had the change of life event where I had a run in with the big “C” and a host of other medical problems. To cut a long story short I survived, (obviously) but with only 25% of my stomach left. I total I’ve lost about 120Kg and once I got my head together, which was a major challenge after this type of surgery,

I decided that since I could only eat a fraction of what I used too what I eat has to be tasty and enjoyable. My lovely wife works evening shifts so I’m the chief cook and bottle washer in our house. My wife and daughter love the new menu’s I’ve been creating so 3 years down the track after my surgery It’s time to share what I do with the hope that it’ll  get blokes out of the workshop and into the kitchen and maybe help those of you out there who are struggling  after bariatric surgery move forwards.

One of the things I’ll be covering in detail is the Paprika app ( click on this link for more details ) which has changed the way I collate recipes and plan what I’m doing in the kitchen.

Anyway, please watch this page and feel free to email me your comments and questions




The New Festool Cordless Vecturo OSC 18

Well, it looks as there’s another new tool entering the oscillating tool market in Australia with Festool announcing the release of their new cordless Vecturo, the OSC 18.


Due for release in the UK in April 2019, when it hits the Australian market I would anticipate the price to be in the vicinity of $1200 to AUD 1300, for the set version. The set version for release in the UK comes with a dust extraction device, positioning aid, depth stop, adapter, 3 blades, a single 3.1ah battery, and TCL6 charger, all packed in a sys 2 t lock systainer.

The battery interface appears to suit the standard 18v platform so if you have more batteries with a higher amperage you should be set as I don’t feel you’ll get sufficient run time from a 3.1ah battery to suit most applications.

Whether Festool Australia keeps this configuration or changes, it is anyone’s guess. From the video and available images, it appears to be compatible with the Fein star lock blades though I am concerned that on the marketing information it states that it has a star lock plus tool holder. I’m hoping that this is a Festool version of the Fein Multimaster blade because if it’s different, it means you’ll be looking at a whole new blade system. I’d also hope that Festool has included an adapter so that customers who purchased the corded Vecturo can use their existing blade stock, (which is the old style supercut blade) with this tool



 Starlock Plus Blade


To watch a video on the OSC18 in action please click here:

Watch this space for more updates on configuration and release dates.

As always, your comments and questions are appreciated


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



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