Our latest feast

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mexican Tortilla Stack

This is a really nice and easy recipe, full of flavour and a huge hit in our family everytime. There is something about mexican food that can make you feel relaxed and comforted, whether you enjoy it mild or spicy.

Another recipe sourced from the Symply To Good To Be True collection of cookbooks but as usual it's been adapted a little - such a bad habit of mine but I do it with all good intentions!

Oh and as you can imagine my children's description of this meal is "like a lasagne but mexican".... and as usual, they loved it.

Mexican Tortilla Stack
(recipe adapted from Symply To Good To Be True #3)

Serves: 6
Points per serve: 5

cooking spray
500 grams lean beef mince
1 large brown onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 cup corn kernals
1 red capsicum finely diced
1 green capsicum finely diced
1 415 g can diced or crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 300g jar mild salsa
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon beef stock powder
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
freshly ground black pepper
5 Misson 96% fat free tortilla sheets
1/2 cup reduced fat grated tasty cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

In a large frying pan coated with cooking spray fry mince until cooked and browned. Drain and leave aside. Add the onion, capsicum, garlic, corn, tomatoes, tomato past, salsa, water, stock powder and taco seasoning. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the tomato sauce and leave to one side. Return to mince to the pan and bring to the boil.

Coat a deep round springform pan (or deep quiche or pie plate) with cooking spray and lay 1 tortilla sheet on the base. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the mince sauce over the sheet and top with another tortilla sheet. Continue this 3 times. With the top layer being a tortilla sheet, cover with reserved tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese has browned. Remove from springform pan and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dum Ka Murgh (Chicken in Yoghurt)

Called dum ka murgh in India, this dish was thought to have been introduced into Indian cooking by the Mughal dynasty. Dum is the name of the traditional style of casserole dish used, which is a tightly sealed pan and slowly steams the dish's ingredients so no flavour escapes and very little oil is required.

This dish was full of flavour and one that we all enjoyed.

Dum Ka Murgh (Chicken in Yoghurt)
(recipe adapted for Woman's Weekly New Curries)

Serves: 8
Points per serve: 6

2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 cup (80 grams) blanched almonds
2 cm piece fresh ginger (10g) chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, quartered
500g non fat greek style yoghurt
1.5 kilograms chicken thigh cutlets, skin and visible fat removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium brown onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

Dry fry spices and nuts in small heated frying pan, stirring until nuts are browned lightly.

Blend or process nut mixture, ginger and garlic unitl mixture forms a paste. Combine mixture with yoghurt in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and regfrigerate for 3 hours or overnight if time permits.

Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion, continually stirring until soft. Add chicken mixture, simmer covered for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and serve sprinkled with coriander.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chermoula Prawns

Chermoula or charmoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. This marinade is usually used with fish or seafood, but works well with most meats. Chermoula is often made of a mixture of fresh herbs, spices, oil and lemon juice. As you can imagine there are many different recipes for this marinade.

I had never cooked with chermoula before so I was a little excited about what would come of these lovely ingedients. The aroma while they were cooking filled the kitchen And I knew just from the smell that as soon as I tried these they were going to be my new favourite prawns dish. The flavour was amazing.

We used hot paprika but you could tone down the heat of this dish by using sweet paprika if you don't like the taste hot... mmmm we do!!

Chermoula Prawns

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 5

1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons hot paprika
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 kilograms peeled raw prawns, tails left intact
lemon or lime wedges, to serve

Combine onion, coriander, parsley, garlic, cumin, paprika and turmeric in a large bowl. Stir in oil. Add prawns. Toss until prawns are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.

Coat a wok or large frying pan with cooking spray and over a very high heat add the prawns. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, tossing continuously, until prawns are pink and cooked through. Place on serving platter and serve with lemon or lime wedges.

These could be cooked on the barbecue also. Preheat a barbecue plate on medium-high heat. Place half the prawns, in a single layer, on barbecue. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes each side or until prawns turn pink. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining prawns.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

I had been fancying stuffed mushrooms for a while now as I haven't cooked them for quite a long time. I love the fact that mushrooms can be filled with anything and can themselves be a main meal, a lunch or even a side dish.

These are incredibly easy to make as well and are a definite on the "quick" list also. Although these are a vegetarian recipe they are very filling and very satisfying even for a "meat" eater.

Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 2
 (Old Points per serve: 2)

8 large flat mushrooms
500 grams low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano flakes
1 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon crushed chilli paste or chilli flakes (if using)
freshly ground black pepper
40 grams parmesan, finely grated
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and finely dice.

In a large bowl mix together the mushroom stalks, ricotta, capsicum, spring onions, garlic, oregano, parsley, chilli (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill mushroom tops evenly and sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese.

Place mushrooms on a large baking dish sprays with cooking spray. Cook for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and cheese golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pork, Pear and Fennel Sausage Rolls

This recipe was inspired by this month's Royal Foodie Joust at the Leftover Queen Forum. The ingredients for this month's challenge decided by last month's winners, Joanne and Adam of Inspired Taste, are Pear, Ginger and Fennel. What an amazing combination!!! These ingredients could mean either a sweet or a savoury dishes and of course, with a bit of though, the potential was endless.

We however went savoury and came up with Pork, Pear and Fennel Sausage Rolls. With freshly grated ginger, grated pear and of course ground fennel as part of the challenge mixed with some other grated vegetables, pork mince and sausage mince the flavour was intense but not overpowering, even Miss Alex who detests sausage rolls ate two large ones for dinner tonight.

Pork, Pear and Fennel Sausage Rolls

Makes: 24 large or 72 small
Points per serve: large 4.5 or small 1.5

6 sheets frozen reduced fat puff pastry, 25cm x 25cm
500 grams pork mince
500 grams sausage mince
3 pears, peeled and grated
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teapsoon crushed garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons ground fennel
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
cooking spray
2 tablespoons fennel seed, for garnish

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Remove pastry from freezer and allow to come to room temperature. Cut each sheet in half to make two rectangles.

In a large bowl combine pork mince, sausage mince, pears, carrots, zucchini, ginger, garlic, ground fennel, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix really well using hands.

Cover baking trays with foil or baking paper. Spray each tray with cooking spray.

Sprinkle board and hands with flour. Divide mixture into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage the length of the pastry. Take one piece of pastry and place one length of sausage mixture in the middle of on the pastry. Brush either side with beaten egg. Roll to enclose. Cut into desired lengths (cut into two for large or into six for small) and place on prepared trays. Continue until all pastry and mixture is used. Coat with remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with fennel seeds, if using.

Place in oven and cook for 25 - 40 minutes until cooked through and pastry is golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

No Bake Chocolate Orange Tarts

I combined a chocolate tart that I found over at Almost Bourdain with some orange and VOILA - a tart that reminded us all of a family favourite, Terry's Chocolate Orange! Warning very very rich but this didn't stop all the family eating them!!!

No Bake Chocolate Orange Tarts
(Recipe adapted from Almost Bourdain)

Makes: 10
Points: WW Danger Beware

400 grams digestive biscuits
200 grams unsalted butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup
200 grams milk chocolate, chopped
200 grams dark chocolate, chopped, plus extra melted chocolate to drizzle
1 teaspoon orange essence
4 tablespoons pure icing sugar, sifted
400 ml thickened cream, plus extra to serve
1 Terry Chocolate Orange, for decoration

Place the biscuits in a food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. Place the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until butter melts. then pour into processor and pulse to combine. Press the biscuit mixture into the base and sides of ten 10cm loose-bottomed tart pans. Chill until required.

Melt the milk and dark chocolate together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Remove from heat, stir until smooth, then allow to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the orange essence and fold in the icing sugar.

Whip cream until soft peaks form, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the tart pans and chill for at least 2 hours until the chocolate filling is set.

Decorate with melted chocolate and wedges of Terry's Chocolate Orange.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Boiled Mud Crabs

I took the plunge the other day and purchased two live mud crabs even though I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with them. Like I said it was an urge! Whilst in the seafood shop in Springvale, prior to the purchase, I questioned one of the employees about what to do with the crabs. The asian man gave me a graphic detail of killing the crabs with a knife, cleaning and then stirfry in sambal sauce as "you look like a girl who likes sambal". Don't know where that comment came from. Then over came an older asian lady who yelled "don't take the string off until it's dead!" Looking at the claws I could see that was good advice!

I spent several hours of reading up on mud crabs, googling mud crabs and even speaking to friends about the best way to cook them and finally decided just to cook and eat them 'a la natural'. This decision wasn't because it was the easiest option but it was so we could see if we truly like the flavour of the mud crab as we had recently had a bad experience with tinned crab!

During my research, I also found out that the most hummane way to kill a crab wasn't to stab it as told but to put the crabs in the freezer for as long as it takes for them to not move completely, somewhat in a frozen state and then proceed with cooking. I must say I liked this option.

The mud crabs themselves were beautiful in flavour and will definitely be cooked again. As with all crabs they are very fiddly to eat but worth the effort.

Boiled Mud Crabs

Serves: 2
Points per 100g: 1

2 mud crabs 800 - 1000 grams each
ice/iced water
lemon wedges
Place the live mud crabs in the freezer for 30 - 45 minutes for a 800 gram crab, longer if required.
In the meantime bring a huge pot of salted water to the boil. One the crabs no longer move place in the water and boil for 15 minutes per 800 grams.

Fill a large bucket or sink with water and ice. Once crab is cooked place the crab directly into the iced water and leave for a further 15 minutes to cool completely.

Remove from iced water and drain. Cut crab into pieces or serve as desired.

Serve with lemon wedges and Seafood Cocktail Sauce or other dipping sauce of your choice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken and Prawn Mornay

Firstly I have to apologize for my spasmotic blogging of late.. we have been quite busy especially with the new arrival of Daniel, a second boy for Noel's brother Sean and his wife Vicky and another nephew for us and a cousin for the kids. Needless to say went to visit both Daniel and Vicky last night at the hospital and I am only getting to blog last night's dinner this morning. Plus we haven't eaten out a few times recently leaving me not cooking anything to blog!

We had planned to have left over spaghetti bolognaise from the night before upon returning from the hospital. The kids had a bowl ful before we left but I must admit I am not a fan of leftover dinners. Don't get me wrong I eat them for lunch or freeze for lunches but I don't really enjoy eating the same dinner two nights in a row... not sure why I just don't.

Needless to say I was fancying something different and for some reason creamy! My initial thoughts were "Mornay" and then decided that chicken and prawns would be nice! And it was. Infact I was quite pleased with the outcome and will cook this again for sure.

Chicken and Prawn Mornay

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 7

500 grams chicken fillets, diced
cooking spray
300 grams prawns, peeled and deveined
2 springs onions, sliced
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
50 grams reduced fat tasty cheese, grated
ground white pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, finely grated

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Coat a small frying pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Cook the chicken until sealed and slightly browned. Remove from heat.

Spray 4 individual ramekins (1 1/2cup capacity) with cooking spray. Divide chicken evenly amongst ramekins. Divide the prawns evenly and add to the chicken. Top with the spring onions and capsicum.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and remove from heat, add flour and mix into a roux. Return to medium heat and add milk and wine gradually, stirring continuously with a whisk ensuring a smooth sauce. Add the garlic, mustard and tasty cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and prawn mixture evenly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes in oven or until cooked through and cheese golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tropical Pork with Mustard

Before I start this post I really need to apologize for my photo's of late... they have actually been quite bad and it's because I have stopped using my light box and tried using my "daylight" globes in the kitchen but I am not getting the same results.... so I guess it's back to the lightbox for me!!

So on to this recipe... hmmm this is going to be an interesting one to explain. I started off wanting to cook Pork with Orange and Mustard Glaze but when I got home there was no orange juice in sight. In fact the only juice I had was tropical but that wasn't going to stop me.

Needless to say I made this whole thing up and have to say both Noel and myself were pleasantly surprise. Not quite sure if this is the right name for the dish but we'll go with it for now.

Tropical Pork with Mustard

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 5.5

8 pork medallions, 100g each
1 cup tropical fruit juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup wholegrain (seeded) mustard
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, crushed
freshly ground black pepper

In a large ceramic bowl or snap lock bag place pork medallions.

In a small jug combine tropical fruit juice, honey, mustard, thyme, oil, garlic and ginger. Mix well, ensuring the honey has dispersed in the sauce, season with pepper. Pour over pork and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, longer if time permits.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium high and coat with cooking spray. Remove pork from the dish and reserve marinade. Fry pork medallions for 3 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Place in a casserole dish or baking tray, place in oven and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until pork is cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile add the reserved marinade to the frying pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring, until reduced by half. Serve pork with glaze.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spiced Honey Chicken Stir Fry

I had really been fancying something different when I decided to cook a stir fry for dinner tonight. We are not normally eaters of sweet sauces although using honey in the sauce was luring me.

Armed with chinese five spice, honey, hoisin sauce and a few other ingredients I came up with Spiced Honey Chicken Stir Fry. I cannot really say where I got this combination from except from several different recipes mixed together.

However, it was nice. Everyone enjoyed it and will definitely be on the menu again. We served this with Sesame Noodles.

Spiced Honey Chicken Stir Fry

Serves: 6
Points per serve: 3.5

600 grams chicken breast, diced
1 teaspoon chinese five spice
cooking spray
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 4 cm lengths
200 grams broccoli, cut into small florets
1/4 cup water
1 red capsicum, cut into 4 cm strips
6 spring onions, cut into 4 cm lengths
125 grams snow peas, trimmed and halved diagonally
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce

Toss the chicken with the chinese five spice to coat. Coat a work or large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add chicken, in batches, stir fry until sealed and cooked. Remove to a plate and set aside.

To the same pan add the carrots, broccoli and ginger. Stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes, adding the water after 2 minutes. Add the capsicum and cook for a further 2 minutes or until just tender. Add the spring onions.

Return the chicken to the wok and add the combined honey, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Stir fry until heated through and fully combined.

Sesame Noodles

I always have a soft spot for noodles and when I saw this dish there was no exception. I came across it while reading Pam's blog, For The Love Of Cooking, and immediately knew this would be cooked soon. And it was, infact this is the second time I have cooked it and there will be many more servings of these I am sure.

Simple and quick to cook it was the perfect partner for Spiced Honey Chicken Stir Fry last night.

The amazing thing about this recipe is that there are no noodles used at all. Instead it's pasta, novel as it sounds, the pasta worked well. As it's a lot firmer than some noodles, cooking with it didn't end up in a mosh of broken up noodles. I do have to confess though I used angel hair pasta tonight and it was too thin - my advice would be just to buy thin spaghetti.

Pam, doesn't stir fry her's but I did as I wanted really hot noodles. I have made this once before and it was really nice but I thought I would experiment a little further with the recipe ~ hope you don't mind Pam? LOL!!

So this is my version, but if you would like to see Pam's original version please click here warning her photo looks much nicer ~ in fact Pam's blog is fantastic! Please go and visit her as it's well worth doing so.

Sesame Noodles

Serves: 8
Points per serve: 3.5

500 grams thin spaghetti
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 tablespoon hot water
3 to 4 spring onions, sliced thinly

Cook spaghetti according to packet directions. Drain and set aside.

Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, chilli sauce, canola oil and water in a jug. Taste and re-season if desired.

Heat a wok over high heat add combined sauce and noodles. Toss for 2 - 4 minutes until noodles are completely coated. Remove from heat and toss through spring onions. Serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Low Fat Hollandaise Sauce

I have to admit that Hollandaise Sauce is my favourite sauce of all time. Guaranteed if it's on a menu I order that meal with an extra serve of sauce on the side.... I know it's bad considering the sauce base is butter and lots of it.

Thankfully I have come across a recipe that is a mock Hollandaise and there is no butter involved. Not quite as silky smooth as a good Hollandaise but fits nicely into a diet plan that's for sure.

This recipe makes approximately 1 cup and can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for up to a week.

Low Fat Hollandaise Sauce

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 1
Points per serve: 1

1/4 cup water
2 tsp cornflour
1/2 cup light thickened cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly whisked

Place water and cornflour in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Add the cream and stir to combine. Use a balloon whisk to whisk constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until mixture boils. Remove from heat.

Whisk in lemon juice, mustard and egg until well combined. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly (do not overcook). Remove from heat.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Lamb

When I first read the ingredients for this dish I wasn't sure what we would think of it. It had spices that we use in a lot of our cooking but it also had apple and sultanas so I think I was unsure how "sweet" it actually would be.

Another quick and easy dish to cook, this recipe is from The Symply To Good To Be True collection and I have to say it pleased everyone in the house, as well as surprised Noel and myself. It was pleasantly sweet but not overly spicy either. I thought it could have been a little more spicier and will probably add a little chilli powder the next time I cook it. The kids gave it the thumbs up which is always a good sign.

I served this with Vegetarian Fried Rice but would be perfect with steamed rice or even couscous.

Sweet and Spicy Lamb
(recipe source: Symply To Good To Be True # 3)

Serves: 6
Points per serve: 4

600g lean lamb steaks (or strips)
1/3 cup almond slivers
cooking spray
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 cup onion, sliced
1 cup peeled apple, diced
1/2 cup sultanas
1 teaspoon cardamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 x 375ml can evaporated light milk
1 teaspoon imitation coconut essence

Cut lamb into strips (if required).

Toast almonds on a sheet of foil placed under a grill until browned, set aside.

In a non stick frypan or wok that has been coated with cooking spray saute lamb, ginger and garlic until meat is nearly cooked. Remove from wok. Add onion, apple and sultanas and cook for 2 minutes. Put cardamom, cumin, coriander, turmeric, stock powder and tomato paste into pan. Mix cornflour into the milk add the essence. Add to frypan stirring continuously until boiled. Return lamb to the pan and heat through.

Sprinkle almonds over top.

NOTE: for a thinner sauce reduce the amount of cornflour to 2 teaspoons.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Vegetarian Fried Rice

This is a colourful, yet wonderfully quick and easy side dish to serve and just as nice by itself. It is also a dish that you can bulk up with any vegetables as well as adding cooked meats such as chicken, pork or prawns to make it into a full meal, but that's a recipe for another time.

For a better consistency while stir frying it is good to use rice that has been cooked the day before or is at least ensure rice is cold and has been drained well.

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Serves: 6
Points per serve: 2.5

1 cup basmati or long grain rice
cooking spray
1 teaspoon garlic
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup skim milk
white ground pepper
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
4 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn kernals
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon kecap manis
100 grams bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh coriander chopped

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add rice. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain well and allow to cool completely.

In a small jug combine beaten eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, coat with cooking spray and add the eggs to cover pan base. Cook for until bubbles start to appear and flip over. Continue to cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool. When cool roll and cut into slices. Set aside.

Coat a wok with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add garlic, capsicum and spring onions, stir fry for 2 - 3 minutes or until capsicum has softened. Add peas and corn and continue to stir fry for another 4 - 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until fully combined with vegetables. Stir through soy sauce and kecap manis. Add bean sprouts, omellete and corinader, toss until warmed through.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Char Sui Roast Pork Fillets

Tonight we had rice paper rolls again as a quick yet refreshingly tasty dinner, and to my thanks, after all the chopping of the salad everyone can make their own rolls filled with what they want. We enjoy hands on dinners especially me!!

Normally we would cook Chinese Roast Pork as a meat for rice paper rolls but we fancied something different so decided to try a Char Siu Sauce marinade. Char Siu is a traditional chinese barbecue sauce and goes well with all barbecued meats especially pork and pork ribs.

I reccommend allowing this to marinade overnight as the flavour penetrated the pork but that would be dependent on your time frame but well worth the foward planning. Ensure you baste with the reserved marinade during cooking to get an extra glossy coating on the fillets.

Char Sui Roast Pork Fillets

Serves: 8
Points per serve: 4

4 x 400g pork fillets, visible fat and sinew removed
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup Char Siu Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, crushed

Place pork fillets in a shallow non metallic dish. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small jug and pour over pork fillets. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Line a shallow baking tray with foil. Place a rack over the tray. Remove pork fillets from marinade and reserve marinade. Place foil on rack and cook in oven for 30 minutes, turning and basting with reserved marinade frequently.

Remove from oven, place on a plate and cover with a foil tent. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice diagonally in 1 - 2 cms thick slices and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Cheesy Corn, Spinach, Bacon and Mushroom Risotto

Now that I have my children's attention when it comes to Rissotto they haven't stopped requesting it when asked what they would like for dinner. I have to say this recipe is similar to the Bacon and Mushroom Rissotto I cooked not long ago but I thought it would be okay to share it with you all.

I used frozen corn kernals and baby spinach leaves to the original recipe along with extra parmesan cheese, as "cheesy please" was requested by the children. It was quite nice I have to admit ~ mind you Noel still refers to it as gluggy rice pudding! LOL!! I am glad that the kids are starting to enjoy different rice dishes.

Cheesy Corn, Spinach, Bacon and Mushroom Risotto

Serves: 6
Points per serve: 5

1 litre (4 cups) water
1 tablespoon chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon reduced fat spread
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 rashers middle bacon, rind and visible fat removed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups (325 grams) arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as chardonnay
1/2 cup corn kernals, frozen
200 grams button mushrooms, finely sliced
200 grams baby spinach leaves
2 teaspoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
50 grams (1/2 cup) fresh parmesan, finely grated
freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan mix together the water and stock powder. Heat stock and keep simmering over a low heat.

In a large heavy based saucepan heat reduced fat spread over a medium heat. Add onion, bacon and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden

Add the rice into the onion mixture. Cook, stirring, until completely combined. Add the wine and cook, stirring for 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

Using a ladle add the stock, one ladle at a time. Stirring continuously after each addition until all the liquid is absorbed, this should take approximately 20 minutes.

Stir in corn kernals and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 5 - 10 minutes or until corn is cooked and the mushrooms are tender and liquid absorbed.

Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and parmesan. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Bocconcini Salad with Guinness Dressing

We had been requested to bring a salad as our contribution to Erica's 30th birthday. I knew exactly which salad everyone means when they say "Can you please bring a salad Jo?" Everyone adores the Crunchy Asian Salad that we make.

But I not only fancied something different, I had half a pumpkin that needed using. So roasting that was my first thought but honestly you cannot take a plate of cold roast pumpkin somewhere. Teamed with a tin of baby beetroots, some spinach and creamy bocconcini this amazing salad was created, I have no idea if anyone has done this combination before.

Next I needed a dressing, I made a vinegarette but it was oh so wrong. Noel suggested a few ingredients and voila we had a dressing, which included using Guiness!

Not only did I have a new salad but I had also just created an entry into the Royal Foodie Joust held by Jen at the Left Over Queen!! OMG here I was thinking that I was going to sit another month out!! Thanks Noel ~ MWAH! I love you....

Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Bocconcini Salad with Guinness Dressing

Serves: 12
Points per serve: 2.5

1/2 medium jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into 3 cm chunks (approx 800 grams flesh)
cooking spray
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch salt
pinch finely ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup Guinness
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
200 grams baby spinach leaves
1 400 gram tin whole baby beetroots, drained and halved
1 220g packet bocconcini, drained and quartered

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spray with cooking spray. Place pumpkin on tray in a single layer. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper and cumin. Sprinkle half over the pumpkin. Cook in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture and continue to cook for a further 20 - 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender and sugar caramalised. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

In a small jug combine honey, mustard, Guinness and olive oil. Whisk all ingredients together until combined and smooth. Season to taste with black pepper.

In a large flat casserole dish or serving dish place the spinach leaves all over the bottom. Top with roasted pumpkin. Scatter the beetroot and bocconcini over the top.

Just before serving drizzle dressing over the whole salad.

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