Our latest feast

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pork Cutlets with Apple Glaze

This looked like a very easy recipe to make, and I wasn't wrong in my thinking. So simple and a wonderful mid week dinner that had a wonderful sweet but not sickly glaze on the pork which didn't require any additional condiments.

A winner in our house, devoured by the kids and on the table in 30 minutes - who's complaining... not me!

Pork Cutlets with Apple Glaze
(Recipe adapted from Symply To Good To Be True Book #4)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6

4 Pork Cutlets (200g each) all visible fat removed
2 green apples
cooking spray
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup apple sauce (in jar)
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 tablespoon water

Peel and core apples, cut in half and slice.

Coat a large non-stick frying pan with cooking spray, add sugar and apple. Allow apple to brown with sugar, cooking on both sides. Once cooked removed from pan to a small bowl, cover with foil and set aside.

Recoat the same frying pan with cooking spray and over a high heat cook pork cutlets for 3 to 5 minutes each side turning once during cooking. Remove to a large plate and cover with foil.

Pour brandy into frying pan and cook for 30 seconds, scrapping the pan base. Add apple sauce and stir well. Combine cornflour with water and add to pan, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Return pork cutlets to the pan and heat through.

Serve pork cutlets with apples and drizzled with sauce.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken

I have to say that this is one of those recipes that never fails. Easy to prepare, easy to cook and easy to eat - what more can you ask for especially on a week night when fast order is required. In fact this has been a favourite meal in our house for many years now.

Allowing the chicken to marinate over night is the key to this dish being a success. The chicken once cooked is tender and juicy and delicately spiced. Served with a mild fruity curry sauce made from the remaining marinade it is a dish that pleases everyone.

Hawaiian Chicken
(recipe sourced from WW Simply The Best Cookbook)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 5.5

440 gram can unsweetened pineapple slices
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 clove garlic crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 chicken breast fillets (200 grams each), all visible skin and fat removed
1 teaspoon cornflour

Drain pineapple and reserve the juice. Cover pineapple slices and refrigerate.

Combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, curry powder, garlic and ginger in a bowl. Mix well and add the chicken, ensuring the chicken is covered by the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight if possible.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender, occasionally brushing with half of the remaining marinade.

Cut pineapple rings in half and place on top of the chicken. Return chicken to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan blend cornflour with remaining marinade. Place over a medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Serve sauce over the chicken.
(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Braised Chicken with Tomato and Rosemary

As winter is settling and the nights are definitely becoming cooler (if not freezing) rustic, home cooking, comfort food is starting to creep onto my menu planner. Tonight's meal was no exception and went down a treat.

Best of all, very easy to put together and on the table in 30 minutes. Just what's needed for a week night. Everyone enjoyed the robust Italian flavours, what's not to like about tomatoes and rosemary? The capers added their own little distinctive flavour with each mouthful also. We served this with plain cooked pasta spirals and some additional steamed vegetables but I imagine it would be deliscious served with anything especially fresh crusty bread to mop up the juice.

Braised Chicken with Tomato and Rosemary

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6

2 teaspoons olive oil
8 chicken thigh fillets, all visible fat removed
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
1 red onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
400gram can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dry red wine
freshly ground black pepper
extra rosemary sprigs to garnish

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the chicken for 3 - 4 minutes each side or until browned all over. Add half the choped rosemary and stir to combine. Transfer chicken to a plate.

To the same pan cook onion for 3 - 4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and remaining rosemary. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, capers and wine. Bring to the boil and return chicken to the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter over extra rosemary.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ham Cheese and Tomato Omelette

Both Alex and I are sick today, she has a sinus infection and well as for me an accumulation of things relating to high blood pressure and high blood sugars combined with just feeling under the weather. Both of us went to see the doctor after dropping Oliver off at school so needless to say there was no breakfasts for either of us before we left.

I decided to make myself a nice healthy lunch, especially after the spray I got from my doctor about my blood pressure, sugar levels and then of course it all came down to my diet (or lack there of!). Like I was saying a healthy lunch (or I will say brunch) was on the menu, so we came straight home and I decided an omelette would fit the bill covering both breakfast and lunch, being low fat and of course yummy.

Of course you could share this omelette with someone and half the points but I was hungry and it has fit in nicely with my daily total.

Ham Cheese and Tomato Omelette

Serves: 1
Points per serve: 7

2 eggs
2 tablespoons skim milk
freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
50 grams lean ham, roughly chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
30 grams grated reduced fat tasty cheese

Preheat grill.

In a small bowl or jug beat the eggs and milk together. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Spray a small frying pan with cooking spray, add ham and tomatoes and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until ham is slightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley. Pour in eggs ensuring to cover the base of the pan. Cook over a medium for a further 2 minutes or until eggs are starting to set.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and place under grill until melted and golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lemon Veal Cutlets with Smashed Potatoes

I have to say I wasn't quite sure on how this dish was going to turn out but I am glad that we gave it a go.

Lemon doesn't really strike me as a perfect match for veal in fact I would have thought the strong sharp taste would have overpowered the veal but to my surprise it didn’t – if anything it was a pleasant tang complimenting the soft pan fried veal.

Saying all of this though, I was the only one that liked the sauce. Noel and the kids had their meals without it and actually feel that they missed out on enjoying the flavours once combined. The only lemon sauce the kids like comes from the local Chinese take away and is served with battered chicken!

Lemon Veal Cutlets with Smashed Potatoes
(Recipe adapted from WW Cooking for Everyone)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6.5

1 kilogram baby chat potatoes, cleaned
cooking spray
¼ cup plain flour
freshly ground black pepper
4 veal cutlets (150g), all visible fat trimmed
1 tablespoon baby capers, drained
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Place the potatoes on a lined oven tray and using a potato masher, gently press the potatoes to squash them. Cooked with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Place the flour in a large snap lock bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the veal, seal the bag and toss to coat veal cutlets completely. Remove from bag shaking off the excess flour.

Heat a large frying pan and coat with cooking spray. Add the veal and cook for 2 – 3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the capers, juice and water to the pan. Using a wooden spoon scrap along the bottom to pick up any bits. Bring to the boil, stirring.

Serve the veal drizzled with the pan juices accompanied by the smashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sizzling Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

There is something intriguing and quite exciting about ordering an asian dish described as "sizzling". Even as I young girl I have always been fascinated by this style of serving dish. I love the moment when it is brought to the table by the waiter. The sizzling noise, the raising steam and the wafting aroma teases the tastebuds even before you start to eat.

The idea of the cast iron sizzle plate is quite simple. To achieve the exciting sizzling sound when serving, place the platter in a hot oven approximately 8 -10 minutes until plate is hot. When ready to serve place the iron plate on the wooden trivet and then arrange cooked foods on top just prior to serving with a touch of cooking oil, sherry or even water.

Please note: this dish is actually quite a large serving so we did need two sizzle plates and we did not double the recipe and I will tell you that it was all eaten. The dish was full of flavour, not only from all the fresh vegetables but from the marinade sauce which was pleasant, noticable but not overpowering.

Sizzling Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 5pts

1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sherry
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon chinese five spice
500 grams lean beef strips
cooking spray
1 brown onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced on diagonal
1 red capsicum, diced
1 bunch brocollini, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
200 grams baby corn spears
1 bunch baby bok choy, rinse and roughly chopped
200 grams fresh bean sprouts
1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius.

Place sizzle plate in oven for at least 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine sesame oil, sherry, soy sauce, chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, garlic, ginger and chinese five spice. Add beef, mixing well and allow to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Coat a large wok with cooking spray and heat over high heat.

Using a fork, lift the beef from the marinade and add to the wok, reserving remaining marinade. Stir fry for 2 - 3 minutes until browned all over but not overcooked. Remove from pan and set aside.

To the same wok add onions, carrot, capsicum and brocollini. Reduce heat and stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes. Add corn spears and stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Return the beef to the wok along with reserved marinade, bok choy and bean sprouts. Stir fry for 2 minutes or until all ingredients are sizzling hot and sauce is bubbling.

Carefully remove sizzle plate from oven and place on wooden trivet. Quickly, and carefully, transfer stirfry to sizzle plate, drizzle with water. Be careful of the steam and any spits from the sizzling sauce whilst carrying and placing on the table.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hoisin Sweet Chilli Lamb with Mixed Vegetables

This stirfry was a huge hit for dinner. We hadn't had a chinese/asian dinner for awhile so it made a pleasant change.

Nice tender lamb and full of vegetables, which was what I had been craving, and the sauce had the wonderful hoisin flavour with a hint of chilli. I say a hint of chilli as that's all it really was so definitely a kid friendly meal.

As with most asian inspired meals, once all ingredients are prepared and ready to go, the cooking stage is easy. I am sure you will love this dish. We all did - so much so that wanted more but alas the plate was emptied!

Hoisin Sweet Chilli Lamb with Mixed Vegetables
recipe adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly Stirfry Chop Wok Toss cookbook)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 5.5

cooking spray
500 grams lean lamb strips
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
150 grams buttom mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed and cut into 4 cm lenghts
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 x 400g can baby corn spears, drained and rinsed

Heat a large wok over high heat and spray with cooking spray. Stirfry the lamb in batches, quickly until just cooked. Transfer to a plate.

Respray the wok with cooking spray. Stirfry the garlic, onion and carrots for 4 - 5 minutes or until tender. (If they start to burn add a tablespoon of water, additional to the recipe, and continue to stirfry.) Add capsicum, mushroom and broccolini and stirfry for a further 2 - 4 minutes or until the broccolini stalks softened.

Add the sauces and the water, stir to mix well. Return lamb to the wok along with the baby corn. Stirfry until hot and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)