What's for dinner?

As another week in lockdown begins, here is some inspiration for dinners.

Joan Bishop’s irresistible pork balls

Photo: Linda Robertson
Photo: Linda Robertson
Moist and aromatic, these little pork balls are mildly flavoured with sweet chilli and peanut.

The creamy coconut sauce which coats the pork balls is infused with a touch of ginger, lime and a little more chilli, making this dish simply irresistible.

Serve with lots of rice and steamed asparagus or new potatoes and a crisp green salad.

Serves 4-6

700g trim pork mince

1 cup soft breadcrumbs

3 Tbsp peanut butter

3 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 Tbsp soy sauce


4 Tbsp peanut butter

1 Tbsp finely chopped root ginger

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp lime juice

½ to ¾ tsp prepared chilli

½ cup chicken stock

¾ cup coconut milk or coconut cream (I use the light variety.)

chopped chives to garnish


Combine pork mince and breadcrumbs in a medium-sized bowl.

In a small bowl, warm the peanut butter until it is soft. I do this on a very low heat in the microwave oven. Add the sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce and stir to combine.

Add this to the pork mince and breadcrumbs and mix gently using a fork or your hands until well blended.

With wet hands, form the mixture into about 30 balls about the size of golf balls.

Place in an ovenproof dish which will hold the meatballs in one layer. (I used a 18×30×6cm dish.)


Warm the peanut butter in a medium-sized bowl. Add the ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, chilli, chicken stock and coconut milk or coconut cream. Mix well and spoon over the pork balls.

Cover the casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid or foil, place in an oven preheated to 180degC and cook for 60-80 minutes until heated through and bubbling.

Remove the lid or foil for the final 10 minutes to brown a little.

Garnish with chopped chives and serve.

Alison Lambert’s peppered steak, mushroom and spinach sandwich

Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
It is hard to resist a great steak sandwich. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Obviously, the quality of steak and the cooking will make or break your sandwich, but otherwise the rest is up to you.

I have added mushrooms and spinach as the combination ticks all the right boxes for me. Enjoy this either for brunch, lunch or dinner — it works for all.

Makes 2

500g rump steak, cut into two steaks

4 large, medium-thick slices of ciabatta or sourdough bread

2 Tbsp oil

200g spinach

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

4 large Portobello mushrooms

salt and cracked black pepper

For the marinade

½ onion, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 small red chilli

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp red wine

2 Tbsp olive oil

freshly ground black pepper


Begin by marinating the beef. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, add the steak and leave to marinate for a few hours.

Remove the steak from the marinade, then strain the marinade and set aside.

Grill the bread on both sides until golden.

Heat the oven 200degC and place the mushrooms on a oven tray; add garlic slivers, 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and cracked pepper. Roast until tender and juicy (10 minutes).

Heat a heavy-based frypan until very hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and fry the steaks very quickly (2 minutes each side). Remove and rest.

Add the spinach, season with a little salt and cracked pepper. And cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Using the same pan add the strained marinade and reduce over high heat until it reduces to a glossy and thick sauce.

To assemble the sandwich, place the spinach on two slices of bread, add the steaks, mushrooms, pour over the sauce and top with the remaining bread. Press down and slice in half. Serve immediately.

Ask a chef: Nellie’s Restaurant’s chicken enchiladas

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Serves 4

½ onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp chopped fresh ginger

2 chicken breasts, diced

1 spring onion, sliced

4 Tbsp sweet Thai chilli sauce

4 tortillas

grated cheese

sour cream



Cook the onion, garlic and ginger in a little oil.

Add the diced chicken, and when it is just about cooked, add the chilli sauce and spring onion, and finish cooking on a low heat.

Spread the mixture over the tortillas, add some grated cheese and roll them up.

Spread more chilli sauce and grated cheese on top and bake in a hot oven until the cheese is melted.

Top with a spoon of sour cream and guacamole and serve with a garden salad.


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