Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Asian Braised Beef Ribs

I have to say I can never resist beef ribs especially if they are marinated and slow cooked so that they literally just fall off the bone. I purchased some beef ribs recently as they always look so good in the butchers – the nice thick piece of meat on a chunky bone and even more appealing is that from Springvale (where I buy a lot of meat) there is hardly any fat on all cuts of meat.

Asian Braised Beef Ribs

Serves: 8
ProPoints per Serve: 8

2 kilograms beef ribs
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, roughly chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 star anise
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons beef stock
1 cup water

Place beef ribs in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming water surface when required. Drain well.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Place ribs in a large casserole dish along with the onions and the carrots.

Mix together all the other ingredients in a large jug. Add to casserole dish.

Cover casserole dish with lid or foil. Place in oven and cooked for 3 hours, turning ribs over once.

Remove lid or foil, increase oven heat to 180 degrees Celsius and cook for a further 30 minutes or until ribs start to brown and crisp, turning ribs once.

Serve with steamed rice if desired and some of the juice. Remember to add extra ProPoints for the rice.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Rosemary and Mustard Kangaroo Fillets

This post has been a long time coming - once again due to my work load and the fact that for some reason we are just soooo busy! Anyhow - enjoy!!
Despite the fact that Kangaroo is a national emblem on our Coat of Arms and an Australian icon it’s a meat that we enjoy eating. It is quite gamey to taste but it is very lean so therefore a better meat to eat.

The key with cooking Kangaroo is that it needs to be cooked medium rare – medium but no more otherwise it will go tough. We tend to cook ours either over the coals in the Weber or on the BBQ.

This time I marinated the roo fillets overnight and they had a beautiful flavour. The rosemary and the mustard really complimented the natural flavour of the meat without overpowering it.

Rosemary and Mustard Kangaroo Fillets

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 7

1 kilogram lean kangaroo fillets
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons seeded mustard
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the fillets in a large snap lock bag or a large dish.

Mix together all remaining ingredients in a jug and mix well. Pour over the fillets. Seal bag or cover dish and refrigerate for 2 hours, overnight if time permits.

Preheat grill or weber.

Remove fillets from marinade, reserving if desired. Cook fillets for 3 – 4 minutes each side. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Bring reserved marinade to boil in a small pan and allow to reduce by half. Serve with kangaroo, if desired.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Savoury Beef Mince with Pasta

Dinner was minced beef last night... but as per usual I was looking for something easy but more importantly full of flavour. I was having a look at Pam's blog, For The Love of Cooking, and saw her recipe for Italian Goulash which not only looked magnificent but reminded me of a staple dish my mam used to cook when I was growing up - Savoury Mince.

I remember as a child having this for dinner when my dad was away at work, usually it was served on buttered toast or just as it was in a big bowl and had a taste I vaguely remember today. The sad thing is I have never cooked it for my kids. I added pasta to my version so it was filling and served it with a crusty french stick.

Now here is the twist I have no idea how my mam made her version nor can I say it tasted the same but I will say watching my kids facing devour this one dish dinner did take me back to my childhood... in fact they have already requested it again TONIGHT. Thankfully we did have leftovers which I was planning to freeze in small portions and take for my lunch.. well that was my plan!

Savoury Beef Mince with Pasta

Serves: 6
Points per serve: 9

cooking spray
750 grams lean beef mince
1 onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 red capsicum, diced
1 large zucchini, grated
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons beef stock powder
800 grams diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
250 grams pasta of your choice
125 gram can corn kernals, drained
1/2 cup frozen green peas

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and add mince, onions and garlic. Cook over a high heat for 5 - 8 minutes or until beef is browned, breaking up beef lumps as you stir.

Add capsicum and zucchini, mix well and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.

Combine water and stock powder. Add to pan along with tomatoes, parsley, oregano, chilli powder, Worchestershire, barbecue and soy sauces. Stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to medium low allowing to simmer for 1 hour or until sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook pasta according to packet directions. Drain and set aside.

Once mince mixture has cooked for at least an hour and thickened, add corn and peas. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until peas are cooked.

Add pasta and stir to combine.

Serve with crusty bread and parmesan cheese, if desired, allowing extra points for both.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spicy Ham and Pineapple Quesadilla

A quick enjoyable lunch was on the cards today. Something full of flavour and different to a sandwich or a salad.

I remembered I had a packet of tortillas in the cupboard and had several ingredients that could be used to make up the fillings for a Quesadilla - one of my favourite treats.

Saying this my filling combination wasn't exactly Mexican but it was really nice.

Spicy Ham and Pineapple Quesadilla
Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

cooking spray
4 96% fat free tortillas
80 grams ham
80 grams crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 medium avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely sliced
1/4 bunch coriander, roughly diced
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or to taste
80 grams reduced fat tasty cheese
Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and place on tortilla in the pan.

Top with half of the ham, pineapple, avocado, tomato coriander, chilli flakes and cheese.

Place second tortilla on top.

Place over a medium heat allowing to heat through for 3 - 4 minutes. Reduce heat if too hight.

Place a dinner plate over the quesadilla and flip over. Return quesadilla to pan to cook other side for a further 3 - 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Cut each quesadilla into four pieces and serve immediately.
Note: You could easily cook this in a large sandwich press and it wouldn't be as fiddly!

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Raspberry and Coconut Cup Cakes

These muffins came from a recipe for an actual cake but needing something for lunchbox treats I decided to split between cup cake cases. I have cooked this cake before and it went down a treat so I knew these cup cakes wouldn't fail either.

The flavours are magnificent - enjoyed by all kids in our household including the big kids. The coconut isn't overpowering and the fresh berry taste is just sweet enough.

An interesting twist with using frozen berries is that by tossing the frozen berries in cornflour actually prevents them from 'bleeding' too much juice into the mixture and making the cakes soggy.

I have to tell you that they don't last very long in our place.

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Cook Tasty Cookbook)
Serves: 24
ProPoints per serve: 3

1 3/4 cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
100 grams reduced fat butter or spread, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams frozen raspberries
2 teaspoon cornflour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Line two muffin trays with 24 cases.

Combine the flour, sugar and coconut in a medium bowl.

Stir in the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla.

Place the berries in another medium bowl. Add the cornflour and toss to coat the berries.

Spoon on spoonfull of mixture into each case. Sprinkly with half the berries. Top with remaining cake mixture and the remaining berries.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Veal Involtini with Rustic Vegetable Sauce

We had veal schnitzels in the freezer that needed using. I am a fan of the veal schnitzel but others in the house aren't. Therefore I had to find something different to do with them - something that was tasty.

I was looking around Taste.com and saw recipes for Involtini. Using some of the recipes for inspiration I set about creating my own version and with some success I must add.

Veal wrapped around a spinach, tomato and cheese stuffing served with a rustic style vegetable sauce is definitely a comfort dish.

Veal Involtini with Rustic Vegetable Sauce

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 9

cooking spray
1 onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprkia
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
2 x 410 grams diced tomatoes
1 cup water
3 medium zucchini, diced
freshly ground black pepper
8 veal schnitzels (800 grams)
150 grams baby spinach leaves
50 grams sun dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped
120 grams low fat grated mozarella cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and onions, cooking for 5 - 8 minutes or until slightly softened.

Add oregano, paprika and chilli powder, if using, stir well to cover vegetable mixture.

Stir through the diced tomatoes and water until combined. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add zucchini, season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile lay all veal schnitzels flat. At the wider end of each schnitzel layer baby spinach leaves, sun dried tomatoes and cheese. Wrap tightly and secure each roll up with tooth pick.

Heat a second frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Over a high add veal involtini and cook until browned and sealed.

Place on a foil lined oven tray and cook for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Veal should be cooked through but still tender.

Place Rustic Vegetable Sauce in a serving dish and top with Veal Involtini.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mexican Beef Pizza

Homemade pizza, as you may know by know, are a favourite meal in our house. Not only are they easy to make but at times taste so much better than a brought pizza not to mention they are a lot healthier depending on the toppings. Speaking of which when we have homemade pizza it's a family affair with each of us choosing our own toppings.

Tonight I choose to create a Mexican Pizza but instead of using ham or salami I decided to use minced beef that was seasoned prior to putting on the pizza itself. It was very enjoyable and the flavours of the vegetables and seasoned meat was really good.

Mexican Beef Pizza
Serves: 2
ProPoints per serve: 11

cooking spray
150 grams premium beef mince
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground chilli
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 Lebanese Bread (100g each)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
80 grams reduced fat grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 brown onion, sliced
1/2 green capsicum, sliced
100 grams button mushrooms sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 black olives, sliced
dried chilli flakes to tastePreheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and over medium heat cook mince, cumin, coriander, chilli and garlic until browned and mixed through. Remove from heat.

Spray a pizza tray with cooking spray and place Lebanese bread on tray.

Spread the tomato paste over the Lebanese bread.

Sprinkle half the cheese over the base.

Top with onion, capsicum, mushrooms, tomatoes and olives.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and chilli flakes, if using.

Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Another successful quick dinner last night that was enjoyed by all.

We really enjoyed the sweetness of the honey combined with the savoury of the mustard. There is something about honey mixed with mustard - they just go so well together. This really flavoursome marinade becomes a delicious light sauce to serve with the dish.

Now I just need to master my new camera and it's multitude of settings/buttons etc to get better photos...... lol!! I am working on it.

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

500 grams pork chops
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed ginger
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Place pork in a snap lock bag or casserole dish.

Mix together the oil, mustard, honey, soy, garlic, ginger and thyme leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture of pork chops and allow to marinate for 30 minutes, or longer if time permits.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a high heat. Remove pork from marinade while reserving marinade. Cook pork chops for 2 - 3 minutes on each side, or to your liking, remove from heat and set aside.

Pour the remaining marinade into the frying pan. Over a medium heat bring to the boil while stirring, cook until slightly thickened. Return chops to the pan along with any juices to reheat for 2 minutes, turning to coat with sauce.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Avocado and Tomato Salsa

This is a tasty side dish and goes well with nearly everything not just Mexican food.

One of the most easiest salsas to make - in fact it takes a matter of minutes making it not on easy but quick not to mention very full of flavour with the coriander and lime.

The trick I find though is to ensure your avocado is ripe but not over soft. If it is too soft it will mush making the salsa not look the best.

Avocado and Tomato Salsa

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 2

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 medium avocado, peeled and stone removed, diced
1 medium red onion, finely diced
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl gently combine all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate until required.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Lemongrass and Chilli Scallops with Lap Cheong

Last night the menu planner said Beef Fajitas with Salsa but what the menu planner didn’t know was that both of our kids would go for sleepovers at their friends’ leaving just Noel and I at home. Knowing that anything Mexican is a favourite of the kids we put the Fajitas on hold until tonight.

Instead, Noel and I decided to have scallops. Not just scallops but a spicy, flavoursome stir fry Noel created packed with vegetables and to add a different twist some Lap Cheong (chinese sausage).

To describe this meal that Noel cooked – DELISH!! It was magnificent and that’s coming from me - not a huge lover of scallops!

Lemongrass and Chilli Scallops with Lap Cheong
Serves: 2
ProPoints per serve: 10

500 grams scallops, roe removed, rinsed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 Lap Cheong (chinese sausage) 30 grams
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
2 red bullet chillies, sliced
100 grams button mushrooms, sliced
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
½ green capsicum, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, cut into 2 cm pieces
3 tablespoons lemongrass paste
2 tablespoons water
½ bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Pat scallops dry on paper towel.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok or large frying pan. Stir fry scallops until almost cooked, remove to a plate and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in work and Lap Cheong, carrot, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 1 – 2 minutes. Add chillies and stir fry for a further 1 minute. Add mushrooms, capsicum, spring onions, lemongrass paste and water. Stir fry for 3 – 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender and paste mixed through. Return scallops to the wok and cook for 1 minute to reheat. Remove from heat.

Add coriander and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)