Our latest feast

Friday, December 30, 2011

Xinjiang Lamb with Cumin and Chillies

The ingredients in this dish caught my eye straight away - which only meant one thing!  It had to be cooked.

This cumin spiked dish is inspired by Uygar cuisine in northern China and it sure left an amazing lingering flavour with each mouthful.  The chilli added the heat which complimented the dish nicely.

Xinjiang Lamb with Cumin and Chillies
(recipe adapted from Woolworths Good Taste Magazine January 2012)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

450 grams lean lamb strips
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 brown onion, halved and cut into wedges
1 green capsicum, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped, to serve
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
dried chilli flakes, extra to serve

Combine the lamb, garlic, cumin seeds, cumin powder, chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wok over high heat until just somoking.  Stir fry the onion and the capsicum for 2 minutes or until lightly charred and tender.  Transfer to a bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil in the wok over high heat.  Stir fry half of the lamb mixture for 2 minutes or until browned and just cooked through.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with remaining oil and lamb mixture.

Add the lamb mixture, onion mixture and remaining soy sauce to the wok.  Stir fry for 30 seconds or until heated through.

Divide among serving plates.  Sprinkle with spring onion, coriander and extra chilli flakes.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Prawn and Avocado Salsa Wonton Cups

Boxing Day we headed off for lunch at our long time family friends' house.  It was a lovely day so I decided to take something light yet tasty as my food offering.

Wonton cups are so easy to make and make an attractive entree, finger food and even a dessert.  They can be filled with whatever takes your fancy.  I decided that it would be prawns with an avocado salsa just for something different.

 Prawn and Avocado Salsa Wonton Cups

Serves: 30
ProPoints per Serve: 1

30 fresh wonton wrappers
30 cooked and peeled prawns
1 avocado, diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
freshly ground black pepper
150 grams Kraft Philadelphia Extra Light cream cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a large muffin tin with cooking spray.  Line each muffin hole with a wonton wrapper.  Spray tops of wrapper and cook in oven for 5 - 8 minutes or until wrapper is crisp and golden.  Remove and allow to cool.

In a bowl gently mix together the avocado, tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, chilli powder and black pepper.

In the base of the wonton cup place a teaspoon cream cheese, stand up the prawn and fill the wonton cup with a couple of teaspoons of salsa.


Note - do not fill too early before serving or wonton cup with go soggy.

Steamed Christmas Pudding

This steamed Christmas Pudding also seems to have become a tradition with everyone requesting it each year.  Even though we didn't host Christmas at home this year Vicky requested that this be our contribution to the celebration at their house.  I was only to happy to make it as it is quite easy although the cooking is the time consuming part of the process.

This is such a moist pudding - full of flavour and very morish.

Another recipe that I will not publish ProPoints for but will maybe look at next year modifying to lessen the blow!!  LOL!!

Steamed Christmas Pudding

Serves: 12 - 16
ProPoints: Danger Beware

1 kilogram Mixed Dried Fruit
2 cups fresh orange juice, no added sugar
1 teaspoon bircabonate of soda
1/2 cup brandy
400 grams unsalted butter, softened
2 cups soft brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Combine fruit, orange juice and bicarbonate of soda in a large saucepan and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes until liquid has almost evaporated and fruit is plump.  Remove from heat.

Add brandy, mix well and allow to cool.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in remaining ingredients along with fruit.

Grease a 2 litre pudding steamer/dish with butter and line base with a circle of baking paper.  Spoon in mixture.  Pleat a piece of baking paper to cover top of pudding.  Secure with lid (if you have) or cover with 2 layers of oil, securing edges tightly with string.

Fill a large saucepan with water.  Place an upturned small plate or saucer in the bottom.  Put pudding on the saucer, ensuring thatwater comes halfway up the sides of the pudding bowl.  Cover with lid and bring to the boil.  Boil for 4 hours, adding more hot water as the level drops.

Gently invert pudding onto a plate.

To reheat place in microwave for 5 - 8 minutes. 

(Click here for a printable version of the recipe)

Gingerbread House

On Christmas Eve while my mam was making her Mince Pies, which are such a family tradition to be cooked while watching Carols by Candlelight another Christmas tradition was being born.... the Gingerbread House. 

I used to make one most years when the kids were little but I do admit it has now been some years.  Alexandria asked for one last year but time was against us so this year I did everything I could not to disappoint her again and so our house was mixed, baked and decorated.

PS there is NO ProPoint value for this recipe - DANGER BEWARE!!

Gingerbread House
(Recipe sourced from The Essentials Christmas Cookbook)

250 grams softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
additional flour (for kneading)
1 egg white
2 1/4 cups pure icing sugar
sweets/lollies of your choice and quantity

Place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a bowl and beat until light and creamy.

Gradually add eggs, beating thoroughly after each additon.

Sift flour, ground ginger and bicarbnate of soda into the bowl and stir until combined.  Bring the dough together with your hands, turn it out onto a well floured work suface and knead until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cut a paper pattern for each part of the house. 

The pattern for the house is as follows:
~ 2 x sides - 10 x 20 cms
~ 2 x roof  - 18 x 20 cms
~ 2 x ends - 16 x 22 cms (measure 10 cms down the length to form two rectangles - measure 8cms     accross the length of the smallest rectangle then draw diagonal lines to make a triangle and cut off the corners giving you the peaked house ends)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, in batches, to 5 mm thick.  Using the paper templates as a guide cut house pieces (ensuring you have two of everything).  If you would like windows or a door cut these out now.

Line baking trays with baking paper.  Gently lift the pieces onto the trays and refrigerate for a further 20 minutes.

Bake each tray for 12 minuts each.  Set aside to cool.

For stained glass windows - crush assorted coloured boiled lollies and fill the cut out windows after cooking for 7 minutes.  This will allow them to melt together but not burn.

To make the icing, place 1 egg white in a bowl and gradulally add sifted icing sugar until you have a smooth mixture which will stay in place when piped.  If it is too runny add more icing sugar.

Assemble the house by joining the front and sides together with a piped line of icing and leave to dry.  Add the back of the house in the same way, hold for a few minutes and then leave to dry.  Decorate the outside seams of the house with more icing to strengthen.  Ensure house is dry and sturdy before decorating with lollies.

Decorate the house with sweets/lollies by attaching with icing.

Note - the quantity of gingerbread mixture will make approximately 30 gingerbread people.

(Click here for a printable copy of this recipe)

Roast Pork Cutlets with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Another one I created earlier.... LOL!!

These juicy pork cutlets are paired with an irresistible creamy mustard sauce which went down a treat.  The creamy mustard sauce was smooth and not over powering.  The vegetables soft and the pork cutlets were just mouthwatering.

I wasn't quite sure on the actual outcome - I had never roasted my potatoes with a sauce as such but I am really glad that I gave this recipe a go.  It was delicious and everything was tender.  Not to mention this dish was on the table with minimal fuss and minimal mess.

Roast Pork Cutlets with Creamy Mustard Sauce
(recipe adapted Super Food Ideas Magazine August 2005) 

Serves 4
ProPoints per Serve: 10

800g Desiree potatoes, unpeeled, cut into wedges
5 carrots, peeled, thickly sliced
2 green capsicum, deseeded, thickly sliced
250 grams button mushrooms
1/4 cup wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chicken stock
4 rindless pork loin cutlets
1/2 cup thickened low fat cream
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place potatoes, carrots, capsicum and mushrooms in a large roasting pan. Combine mustard, oil, stock and salt and pepper in a jug. Pour over vegetables. Toss to combine.

Place pork cutlets on top of vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until pork is just cooked through. Transfer pork to a plate. Cover with foil and stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add cream and parsley to vegetables in pan. Stir to combine.Return to oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Place vegetables and pork onto plates. Spoon over creamy mustard sauce. Serve.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Steak with Prawns in Bryon Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce

I was really fancying a Surf and Turf but the creamy garlic sauces are not a favourite with Noel so I decided to create a "prawn sauce" to top our steak that Noel would enjoy and would also satisfy my craving at the same time.

Recently we have really been enjoying the Byron Bay Chilli Co Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce.  It has an amazing flavour and while it's rate medium hot it sure does have a kick that's for sure.  Hog's Breath Cafe serve it on their menu and Noel always orders it when we eat there.

I have to say the sauce I made was actually delicious.  Still full flavoured even though I did combine it with cream it definitely made an interesting change to the normal "Surf and Turf".

Steak with with Prawns in Bryon Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce

Serves: 2
ProPoints per serve: 12

2 scotch fillet steaks 200 grams each, barbecued to your liking
cooking spray
250 grams large green king prawns, peeled and rinsed
2 spring onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Byron Bay Chilli Co. Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
2 tablespoons reduced fat cream

Cook steaks your preferred way and to your liking, keep warm.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and cook prawns for  1 - 2 minutes each size until colour starts to change (but do not overcook).  Remove to a plate.

Respray the same pan with cooking spray and add spring onions and garlic over a medium heat.  Saute for 2 minutes or until spring onions have softened.  Add chilli sauce and water, mixing well to combine.

Stir through cream until combined.

Return prawns to the pan and cover with sauce.  Continue to stir until heated through and sauce has returned to a slight boil (do not boil).

Serve prawns and sauce drizzled over steak.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Herb and Spice Steamed Fish

It has been so long since my last my last post but I have not neglected my treasured hobby - in fact my absence saddens me as I love nothing more than cooking a delicious meal and then of course bragging oops I mean blogging about! 

I have been so overwhelmed with my work load of late and of course the Christmas period otherwise known as the Silly Season, where everything is frantic. I have to admit not a great deal of new recipes have been cooked most nights it's been trusty old favourites but I do have a few dishes I want to share with you....

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This was one recipe that had always enticed me.  I firmly believe that we do not eat enough fish although we do tend to eat seafood.

The combination of the herbs and spice was delightful especially teamed with the lemon.  The fish itself was very tender and I was surprised considering I cooked it in the oven as the steamer I have wasn't big enough for all the fish fillets.  Next item on my shopping list is a large bamboo steamer and then I will try this recipe again as I really enjoyed it.

Herb and Spice Steamed Fish
(recipe sourced from WW Secrets of Success Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

2 teaspoons Master Foods Moroccan Seasoning
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
800 grams fresh flake or other firmish white fish
1 medium fresh lemon, sliced

Combine the seasoning, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander and oil in a large bowl. Add fish, turn until coated in the mixture, refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Line base of a large steaming basket with a sheet of baking paper. Lay fish pieces side by side on the paper. Lay lemon slices over fish.

Cover with the lid or a sheet of foil. Place basket over a wok or saucepan of simmering water, without the basket touching the water. Cook for 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.

Alternatively cook fish in a covered baking dish in a 180°C oven for 15 minutes or until cooked.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken Potato and Bacon Casserole

With being so busy recently with studies, work and family this meal is definately a one pot wonder and I have to admit there is nothing better than roast chicken with gravy.

This casserole was no exception with all the vegetables cooked amongst the chicken and the gravy.  The potatoes were beautiful and soft.  The hint of bacon amongst the casserole gives it a little lift making it stand out when it comes to mid week casseroles.  Such a flavoursome dish.

This is a lovely homestyle recipe that is not only easy but can be made ahead of time and reheated.

Chicken Potato and Bacon Casserole
(recipe adapted from WW Secret Recipes Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 9

cooking spray
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
600 grams potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, sliced
150 grams button mushrooms, sliced
175 grams 97% fat free bacon, chopped
6 tablespoons chicken gravy powder
3 cups water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Coat a large dish with cooking spray.

Coat a fry pan with cooking spray, heat and brown the chicken.  Arrange in the prepared dish.

Top with potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms and bacon.

Combine the gravy powder and water, mix well.  Pour over the chicken and vegetables.

Cover and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are soft.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Chickpea and Rocket Salad

I recently made this lovely salad as we were invited for a BBQ at our dear friends' Tanya and Pete's house for Melbourne Cup Day yesterday.  In true tradition I had to make a "different" salad and I immediately fell in love with the sound of this recipe and the taste also.

Very easy to make just don't dress it too early or it will go soggy.  Be quick as it goes very fast - trust me!!

Roasted Pumpkin Chickpea and Rocket Salad
(recipe adapted from Good Taste March 2009)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 3

2 large red capsicums, halved, deseeded
cooking spray
750 grams Kent pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 2cm pieces
1 large red onion, halved, thinly sliced
1 x 400 gram can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
200 grams baby rocket leaves
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
2 teaspoons caster sugar
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat grill on high. Place the capsicum, skin-side up, on a baking tray. Spray with cooking spray. Cook under grill for 8-10 minutes or until charred and blistered. Transfer to a sealable plastic bag. Set aside for 5 minutes (this helps lift the skin). Peel and discard skin. Cut the flesh into thick strips.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190°C. Spray baking tray with cooking spray. Place the pumpkin on the tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Combine the capsicum, pumpkin, onion, chickpeas and rocket in large bowl.

Combine the vinegar, juice, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small jug or jar.  Mix to combine well and sugar is dissolved. Pour over the salad just before serving and toss to combine.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mustard and Herb Roast Potato Bites

I managed to buy baby (chat) potatoes somehow instead of normal ones so my plans for making wedges to go with our hamburgers went out the window.  Instead I quarter the baby potatoes and make some yummy potato bites.

Very easy, quickly marinade the potatoes and then roast......

Mustard and Herb Roast Potato Bites

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 3

800 grams baby (chat) potatoes
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1 medium lemon
1 tablespoon Masterfoods Pizza Topper (mixed herbs)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Quarter potatoes and place in a large snap lock bag or bowl.

Mix together the mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.  Pour into bag or bowl and mix well to cover all potatoes.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Cover a baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Empty potatoes on to the tray spreading to one layer.  Cook in oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until potatoes are crispy on the outside and cooked through.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Caramelised Capsicum Relish

I love a nice relish as it makes such a change to tomato ketchup or plain old store brought Barbecue Sauce.  I saw this recipe in a new cookbook, The Australian Women's Weekly Family Barbecues, that Noel recieved for Father's Day back in September.

The relish itself was very easy to make and the taste was really surpising.  The caramelisation came from using sweet chilli sauce and not sugar so not only did it possess the sweetness but a nice hint of chilli.

We enjoyed this on hamburgers served with Mustard and Herb Roast Potatoes Bites.

Caramelised Capsicum Relish
(recipe adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly Family Barbecues)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 1

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce

In a heavy based saucepan or frying pan heat oil over medium heat.  Add capsicum and onion, cooking, stirring occassionally for 10 -15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.

Add sweet chilli sauce, cook stirring for about 2 minutes or until mixture caramelises.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moroccan Lamb Shanks

These went down a treat last night.  We loved the decadence of the moroccan flavours - the cumin, coriander, paprika to name a few combined with the sweet tomato and sultana sauce.  The aroma was tantalising and the lamb just melted in your mouth.

Once a little prep work is done and the dish is in the oven it's just a matter of waiting a few hours before sitting down to this wonderfully morish dish that we served with couscous but would accompany mashed potato just as well.

Moroccan Lamb Shanks

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 12

2 tablespoons plain flour
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 french style lamb shanks, 180 grams each, fat trimmed
3 red onions, thickly sliced
2 cups beef stock
2 cups water
2 tins 440g diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons tumeric
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 carrots, peeled, cut into batons
1 green capsicum, largely diced
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup freshly coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Place flour in a large snap lock bag, season with salt and pepper.  Place shanks in the bag, seal and shake to coat in seasoned flour.  Remove from bag shaking off any excess flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy based frying pan and cook 4 shanks until browned all over.  Remove to a large lidded casserole dish.  Repeat with remaining oil and shanks.  Add onions to shanks in casserole dish.

In a large jug combine beef stock, water, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, paprika, tumeric, fennel seeds, garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix well and pour over lamb shanks.

Place lid on casserole and cook in oven for 2 - 3 hours, turning shanks occasionally or until tender.

Add carrots, capsicum and sultanas.  Stir gently to combine in sauce and cook for a further 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pasta Milano

I am a little slow at posting this recipe as I have been flat out with work.  We actually enjoyed this last week and I can still remember the flavour (actually I am fancying more).

This was a delicious pasta dish - packed with flavour, filling and very comforting. Although a little high on ProPoints but well worth them.

I saw a recipe for Rigatoni Milano on Taste.com and knew that it would go down a treat even it I made a few ingredient changes.  I didn't have any Italian sausages so I used pork mince and additional herbs.

Pasta Milano
(recipe adapted from Taste.com)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 13

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
500g pork mince
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried chillies flakes
1 cup tomato passata
1 cup beef stock
freshly ground black pepper
400 grams spiral pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
100ml reduced fat thickened cream
80g parmesan, grated

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until light golden.

Add pork mince, oregano, dried parsley and garlic to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned.

Add rosemary, chilli, passata and stock. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes until meat is cooked.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain.

Add to sauce. Stir parsley and cream into sauce just before serving. Scatter with parmesan.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken with Prosciutto, Blue Cheese and Semi Dried Tomatoes

This very easy and quick dish is wonderful for not only a mid week dinner but would be an inpressive meal at any dinner party.

The flavours were powerful yet bordering on the rich side due to the combination of the stuffing of blue cheese and semi dried tomatoes topped with the chicken being wrapped in prosciutto.  The hint of basil provided a delicious underlying flavour.  The simple sauce enveloped the whole dish, which rounded of the meal.

Ideally I would ensure that you use small chicken fillets due to the richness but definitely worth trying, even if you are not a blue cheese lover.

Chicken with Prosciutto, Blue Cheese and Semi Dried Tomatoes
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Australia)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 9
4 small lean chicken breast
50 grams blue vein cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup semi dried tomatoes, not in oil
4 slices prosciutto, fat trimmed
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
4 tablespoons white wine
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket into each chicken breast. Place 2 basil leaves in each pocket, then share the cheese and tomatoes equally between them. Close the pockets and wrap each chicken breast in a slice of prosciutto.

Arrange in a shallow baking dish and add the stock and white wine. Season with some freshly ground black pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Serve, garnished with extra basil leaves.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Slow Cooked Cider and Herb Braised Beef Ribs

Tender and delicious short ribs are slow cooked in apple cider and beef broth, with herbs, carrots, and chopped onion.  Not only was the aroma inticing but this meal was a sure winner tonight.

Once they had cooked I transfered them to a casserole dish (carefully as they were falling apart) and thickened the sauce a little but that was my choice.  You do not have to do the final steps and the flavour would still be the same.

Served with pasta and crusty bread it was a definite midweek hunger buster.

 Slow Cooked Cider and Herb Braised Beef Ribs
(recipe adapted from Southern Food.com)

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 10

1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika
2 kgs beef ribs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, cut into wedges
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 cups apple cider
2 cups beef stock
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary still on stalks, roughly cut
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley 
2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons arrowroot 

Mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bag.  Add ribs and ensuring bag is closed, shake to cover with seasoned flour.

Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook ribs in batches until ribs are browned on all sides.  Once cooked place in slow cooker dish and repeat with remaining ribs.
Place onions and carrots on top of ribs.  Add cider, beef stock, herbs and the garlic. Cook on low heat for 6 - 8 hours or until beef is tender.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Remove ribs and vegetables carefully from slow cooker and place in large casserole dish.

Strain remaining juice into a large saucepan.  Disregard herbs.  Heat sauce over medium heat.

Combine water and arrowroot in a small jug.  Add to saucepan, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.  Pour over ribs and place in oven for 20 minutes or until ribs are warmed through.

(click here for printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Satay Pork Parcels

Along with the Mexican Chicken Sausage Rolls Alex and I made Satay Pork Parcels.

These were nice, not unsimiliar to a samosa but a different flavour.  The satay sauce combined with the pork mince and lots of vegetables went down a treat.

Using the filo pastry made them light and delicate, a nice lunchtime treat and these would be perfect as an entree or even finger food.

Satay Pork Parcels

Serves: 28
ProPoints per serve: 2

500 grams pork mince
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1/2 cup satay sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
14 sheets Antoniou fresh filo pastry
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Combine pork, spring onions, zucchini, carrots, capsicum, satay sauce, soy sacue and sesame oil in a large bowl.  Mix well to combine.

Taking one sheet of pastry at a time, place first sheet on pastry board or work bench and spray with cooking spray.  Top with a second sheet.  Cut equally into 4 rectangles.  Place a spoonful of mixture in the closest corner of each sheet to you.  Working with one pastry at a time fold over mixture in a triangle shape down the length of the pastry until all folded.  Continue with remaining pastry and mixture.

Place on a baking tray and spray with cooking spray.  Cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, turning once during cooking.

(click here for a printable version of the recipe)

Mexican Chicken Sausage Rolls

Alex and I decided to do some baking today so we set out to make some sausage rolls.  Instead of using traditional sausage mince I had some chicken mince wish is definitely lower in fat. 

This was a quick and easy recipe that we made up as we went along and the results were quick surprising.  Not overly spicy considering the use of mexican chilli powder but enough to leave an enjoyable tingle in your mouth afterwards.

Mexican Chicken Sausage Rolls

Makes: 28
ProPoints per serve: 2

4 sheets Pampas reduced-fat puff pastry
500 grams lean chicken mince
375 gram jar mild tomato bassed salsa
2 teaspoons mexican chilli powder
1 zucchinni, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Allow sheets of pastry to defrost at room temperature.   Cut each sheet in half.

Mix together chicken mince, salsa, zucchini, carrot and oregano.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle a pastry board or bench with a little flour.  Take 1/8th of chicken mixture and roll into a sausage shape the same length as the pastry. 

Place sausage onto pastry along one edge, brush the opposite edge with egg and roll up to enclose ensuring seam is at the bottom.  Repeat with remaining pastry.  Cut each sausage roll into 4 pieces.

Coat a baking tray with paper and cooking spray.  Place sausage rolls on tray and brush with remaining egg.

Cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Caribbean Style Pork Cutlets with Rice Salad

OMG the flavour on these pork cutlets was truly amazing - a hit with both adults and kids tonight.

I was a little worried with the use of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice as these are ingredients I associate with baking but these combined with the garlic and the lime flavours made a rub that absolutley complimented pork. 

The rice salad was light and not as stodgy as some made with a mayonnaise dressing - the fresh pineapple made it very refreshing to eat with the pork cutlets.

I will definitely be doing this marinade again and will try on chicken.

Caribbean Style Pork Cutlets
(recipe sourced from WW Eat and Enjoy Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 8

2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teapsoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teapsoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 x 180 gram lean port cutlets, fat trimmed
2 cups cooked long-grain rice
1/2 small pineapple, cut into 1cm pieces
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice

Combine garlic, rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and half the oil in a small bowl.  Rub spice mixture over pork.

Heat a barbecue or chargrill over medium-high heat.  Cook pork for 4 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking.  Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, place rice, pineapple, onion, capsicum and basil in a medium bowl.  Drizzle with juice and remaining oil and toss gently to combine.

Serve pork with rice salad.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Beef Noodles

There is no kidding when I say I love noodles..... I crave them often and normally give in to my stomach when passing a noodle shop.

The flavours of this dish not only mesmorised my tastebuds but left me wanting more after each mouthful.  The sweet wasn't sickly and the spicy wasn't overpowering - quite a nice balance.

An easy dish to make as long as you have everything ready to go when you start to cook.  Both kids had 2 serves each so I know it must have been okay.

Sweet and Spicy Beef Noodles

Serve: 6
Points per serve: 10

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 tablespoon char sui sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
750 grams beef strips, fat trimmed
200 grams Changs Dried Egg Noodles
1 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
2 medium onions, sliced
125 grams mushrooms, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
150 grams bean sprouts
200 grams baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tablespoon oil, extra
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Sweet and Spicy Sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons cornflour
1 cup chicken stock (made with stock cubes)
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon char sui sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teapsoon chinese five spice
1 - 2 teaspoons curry powder (to taste)

Place 1 tablespoon soy sauce, chilli sauce, char sui sauce, and sherry in a large bowl, mix well.  Add beef strips and allow to stand for 60 minutes.

Cook noodles as per packet directions until tender.  Drain well. 

Heat wok or large frying pan over high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, ginger and onion and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes  or until softens. Add mushrooms and capsicum.  Stir fry for a further 2 minutes.  Remove vegetables from pan.

Add sesame oil to wok or large frying pan, add noodles and one tablespoon soy sauce, tossing for two minutes, remove from pan and keep warm.

Combine all ingredients together for the Sweet and Spicy Sauce in a jug, mixing well.

Heat extra oil in wok or large frying pan, add half the meat and fry quickly until meat just changes colour, remove from pan.  Repeat with remaining meat.  Return all meat to the wok. Add sauce mixture, tossing until boiling, add vegetables along with bean sprouts, bok choy, coriander and noodles.  Toss gently for a further 2 minutes or until combined and heated through.  Serve immediately.

(click here foir printable version of recipe)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Casserole

This is a wonderful springtime casserole as it's not as heavy as a winter stew.  Saying this it is still full of flavour and very filling.

I must admit I love using fresh thyme which complemented the chicken, the vegetables and the delicate sauce.  The recipe itself is a little fiddly in the beginning with frying ingredients individually but well worth the effort.  Once all combined and simmering the aroma filled the house with everyone complimenting the smell.  Served with pototaes it was definitely another keeper for a mid week dinner.

Chicken and Vegetable Casserole
(recipe adapted from WW Magazine August 2011)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 10

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, peeled and quartered
60 grams reduced fat bacon, chopped
4 chicken thigh fillets chops, fat trimmed
2 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 small carrots, cut into 6 lengthways
2 small parsnips, cut into 6 lengthways
150 grams green beans

Heat oil in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat.  Add onons and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add bacon to pan and cook, stirring for 3 minutesd or until browned.  Remove from pan and add to onions.

Add chicken to the pan and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned all over.  Remove chicken from pan and add to onions and bacon.

Sprinkle flour into pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for a further 30 seconds.

Remove pan from heat.  Add stock a little at a time, stirring out the floury lumps between each addition.  Bring pan to the boil, stirring, over medium heat.  Return cooked onion, bacon and chicken to pan.  Add thyme.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Add carrot and parsnip slices, then cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add beans and cook for a further 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through.  Serve.

(click here for a printable version of recipe)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beef and Spinach Cannelloni

This was very easy to make, very tasty and a family pleaser of course not only because it was full of flavour but because it was pasta of course!!  Pasta has always been an instant success at our place.

No fiddly cannelloni tubes to use with this recipe as it calls for fresh lasagne sheets making the process a lot quicker. 

You could really taste the fresh basil in the rich tomato based beef sauce, this accompanied by the creamy cheese sauce topping made this dish a very comforting meal.

Beef and Spinach Cannelloni
(recipe sourced from WW magazine September 2011)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 12

cooking spray
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
500 grams extra lean beef mince
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400 gram can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup beef stock
100 grams baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon reduced fat butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup extra light (50% fat) tasty grated cheese
4 fresh lasagne sheets
3/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Lightly spray a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity oven dish with cooking spray.

Lightly spray a large non stick frying pan with oil and heat over high heat.  Add the onion and carrot, cook stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add mince and garlic and cook, breaking up lumps, for 3 - 5 minutes or until mince is browned.

Add tomatoes, paste and stock.  Bring to the boil.  reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 - 15 minutes or until mix tickens.  Stir in spinach and basil and cook for 2 minutes.  Cool.

Meanwhile melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minutes.  Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth after each addition.  Bring to the boil, stirring.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 minute or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in half the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Spread pasta sauce over base of prepared dish.  Cut pasta sheets in half.  Divide mix into 8 portions, spoon down the centre of each pasta piece, then roll pasta to enclose filling.  Place cannelloni, seam side down, in one layer.  Pour over cheese sauce, sprinkle with parmesan and remaining grated cheese.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prosciutto and Semi Dried Tomato Tortilla

I was a little hesitant with this one as I have never really cooked frittatas or the spanish equivalent tortillas before but saying this was very keen to give it a go. With just hubby and I at home this week I thought we could be a little adventurous anyhow.

With all my concern I have to say that this dish was very easy to make. I loved the texture of the potatoes amongst the omlette like texture and the prosciutto gave it a distinct taste compared to using bacon. This dish would be idea hot or cold for any meal of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Prosciutto and Semi Dried Tomato Tortilla
(recipe sourced from WW Eat & Enjoy Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 9

3 small desiree potatoes, thickly sliced
1/3 cup semi-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
100 grams fat trimmed prosciutto, chopped
1/4 teaspoon mexican chilli powder
3 eggs
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon reduced fat cream
freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray

Cook potato in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Transfer to a medium bowl and add tomatoes, chives, prosciutto and chilli powder.  Mix well to combine.

Whisk eggs, oregano and cream in a jug.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Lightly spray a medium heavy based frying pan with cooking spary and heat over medium-high heat.  Add potato mixture and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.  Pour egg mixture over potato mixture, shaking gently to loosen mixture from base of pan.  Cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until the base is golden and set.

Meanwhile preheat grill on medium high.

Grill tortilla (in pan) for 5 - 6 minutes or until top is golden and set.  Cool for 5 minutes and cut into to wedges to serve.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Steak with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

There has to be something said about having a creamy sauce with chargrilled steak.  Depending on the flavour of the sauce it's does nothing but compliment the flavour of the meat itself.

This sauce has a delicate yet distinctive flavour with the tarragon adding a touch of aniseed to the subtle mustard undertones.  Becareful using sour cream - only add the sour cream to the pan once it is removed from the heat otherwise the sour cream will curdle.

Served with a baked potato (3ppts) and some roasted cherry tomatoes it was very nice and made a change from our usual choose of Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce.

Steak with Creamy Tarragon Sauce
(recipe adapted from WW Australia)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 9

cooking spray
4 lean beef steaks, fat trimmed (200 grams each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
250ml beef stock
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon low fat sour cream

Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over high heat. Cook steaks for 3–4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Rest steaks for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in same pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add stock, mustard and tarragon and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3–4 minutes or until reduced slightly. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Serve steaks with vegetables and tarragon cream sauce.

(click here for a printable version of the recipe)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mu Shu Pork

I fell in love with this recipe the minute I turned to the page in the new Weight Watchers Cookbook Eat and Enjoy.  It quickly took it's place on this weeks menu planner and I think we have all been looking forward to trying it.

Fork free dining is always a hit at our house with rice paper rolls, tacos, fajitas etc frequently on the menu - the dinner table is always relaxed and we seem to chat more (I have no idea why) except for tonight - everyone was too busy eating. 

This dish from northern China combines pieces of delicately flavoured pork and the pungent yet sweet flavour of hoisin sauce in everyone's favourite Peking Duck pancakes.  I changed the suggested vegetables as I knew my kids wouldn't eat the choy sum by itself.

All I can say was it was amazing and has already been requested again.

Mu Shu Pork 
(recipe adapted from WW Eat and Enjoy Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 8

1 tablespoon salt reduced soy sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon canola or sunflower oil
450 grams lean pork fillet, trimmed, cut into 3 cm pieces
4 green shallots, cut into 2 cm pieces plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150 grams fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, shopped
1 tablespoon water
12 peking duck pancakes
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 bunch choy sum
1 bunch broccolini
2 teaspoons kecap manis

Combine soy sauce, shaoxing wine, sesame oil and sugar in a small bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Set aside until required.

Heat a wok over a high heat heat.  Add half the canola or sunflower oil and heat for 30 seconds.  Stir fry pork, in batches, for 3 - 4 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to a plate.

Reheat wok over high heat.  Add remaining oil and heat for 30 seconds.  Add shallots, ginger and garlic and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and bamboo shoorts and stir fry for 1 minute.  Return pork to wok along with soy mixture and water.  Stir fry for 1 minute or until heated through.

Meanwhile warm pancakes in microwave following packet intstructions.

Steam choy sum and broccolini until just tender.  Place on a plate and drizzle with kecap manis.

To serve spread 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce over each pancake.  Top with pork mixture and roll to enclose filling.  Sprinkle with extra shallots and serve with steamed choy sum.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Creamy Lemon Linguine with Prawns and Scallops

I have a passion for creamy pasta and although it's not that popular with my hips it's probably something that I would class as "real" comfort food, something I have been fancying for a while now especially with all the travel I have been doing.

I have read several recipes now combining lemon, seafood and cream and knew I would be able to come up with something combining all these flavours along with knocking the yearning for comfort food on the head.

Then I found a recipe in one of my Weight Watcher cookbooks which I adapted to suit the desired outcome my tastebuds required.

Creamy Lemon Linguine with Prawns and Scallops
(recipe adapted from WW Cook Fast Cookbook)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 9

300 grams linguine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
400 grams green prawns, peeled
300 grams scallops
cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 green shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon cornflour
375 mil can evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon fingely grated lemon rind
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet directions.  Drain.  Return pasta to the pan and drizzle with lemon juice.

Rinse and drain prawns and scallops, pat dry on paper towel to remove excess water.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Cook prawns 1 -2 minutes on each side or until just turning pink and remove to a plate.  Respray pan and cook scallops for 2 minutes on each side or until just cooked also.  Remove to a plate.  Wipe out frying pan with paper towel.

Return frying pan to stove and heat oil over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 - 4 minutes or until softened.  Blend the cornflour with a little of the evaporated milk in a small jug.  Stir in the remaining milk.  Add the milk mixture and cook stirring over low heat until mixture bubbles and slightly thickens. 

Add the lemon rind, prawns and scallops and cook until seafood is heated through.

Add the sauce and parsley to the pasta and toss to combine.  Serve garnished with extra parsley sprigs.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)