Our latest feast

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

French Pork Cutlets with Creamy Herb and Wine Sauce

I don't know about you but I really enjoy experimenting with pork especially what flavours compliment this tender meat.  Needless to say it's not always roasted and served with apple sauce at the House of Murray.

Pork is rarely eaten in our house as a whole family due to the fact that Ms 17 does not like pork unless it's Sweet and Sour Pork and Chinese Roast Pork served in pancakes.  Talk about being fussy and a tad demanding.  Despite her dislike of pork (unless it's on her terms) I decided that it would be on our menu this week as there are 4 others in the house happy to eat it.  Thanks team.

As mentioned I enjoy experimenting with flavours and if you look through our list of pork recipes you will see that so many other recipes have been tried.  Some got the tick of approval others not so.  What is your favourite way of serving up pork?  Or even what's your favourite cut of pork?  I really enjoy cutlets, medallions or fillet.  I find these very tender and easy to cook.

Now did I explain that Ms 17 is fussy right?  To add to her disapproval of pork being on the menu if I even consider making a sauce or marinade that has mustard, lemon, rosemary or occasionally other herbs such as tarragon or thyme it is on for young and old.... needless to say Ms 17 didn't eat dinner tonight.

When all cooked this smelled absolutely delicious.  The combination of the wine and herbs all enveloped into a thick creamy sauce complimented the thyme crusted pork cutlets.  Not to mention it was quick and easy with a total cooking time under 30 minutes.  An absolutely tasty dish that while accompanied by a creamy sauce is still full of flavour without the guilt factor.

French Pork Cutlets with Creamy Herb and Wine Sauce

Serves: 4
SP per Serve: 8

4 pork cutlets, fat trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup white wine or champagne
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon french mustard
1 cup extra light thickened cream
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Rub both sides of each chop with 1 tablespoon fresh thyme.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and place on a lined oven tray. Place in oven and cook for a further 10 minutes or to your liking.

Pour the wine into the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes to reduce the liquid. Add the chicken stock, remaining thyme, tarragon, mustard and cream and cook another 3-5 minutes. Stir through combined cornflour and water and continue to stir until sauce has thicken. Remove from heat.

Remove cutlets from the oven and place on a serving tray. Drizzle with sauce if desired or place in a serving jug. Serve with crispy potatoes and steamed vegetables.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Monday, August 20, 2018

Beef and Balsamic Ragu

The world has been throwing everything possible at me as of late and while we have still been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and eating I have had little time to do much else besides work and be a mam.  I cannot believe my last post was 3 months ago... before we all know it the jolly man in the red suit will be coming down our chimneysI  Yikes!!!!

Everyone knows that I love reading cookbooks, cooking magazines or basically anything with a recipe in it or even on it!  Yes I have too many cookbooks, in fact the house is full and I have been banned several times from puchasing anymore!  However there is nothing more enjoyable than the feel of a cookbook, flicking through the pages reading and drooling over the stunning pictures. Not to mention finding a page of a recipe you have cooked before, once or many times, which has been splashed on or scribbled on as you've adapted the recipe.

Coles and Woolworths both produce a wonderful monthly magazine that's actually free and readily available at most service counters or checkouts. While there is quite a lot of product advertising there are always lots of really good recipes inside also.  Why am I promoting these magazines?  Well I can take them home and technically I didn't buy them so that's a win! And secondly because I have actually cooked some wonderful and tasty dinners from each of them.

When I cook Spaghetti Bolognaise it is jam packed full of vegetables much to my kids disgust.  There is always complaints about "why are there so many vegetables?" or "Can't you just make it plain?"  Listening to their pleas of agony I remembered that I had seen a recipe for a Ragu (which is pretty much the same as a Bolognaise) in a recent Woolworths magazine so I decided I would test this recipe out and see if it would appease the natives.

To my surprise it was well recieved, no complaints, no facial expressions as there were no surprise vegetable finds.  This nice, thick tomato based sauce laced with rosemary and a hint of the sweet yet acidic flavour of balsamic made for a very comforting meal.  While one would think that it had been slow cooked for hours to achieve the consistency and develop the flavours it was literally on the table within 40 minutes.

Beef and Balsamic Ragu
(recipe adapted from Woolworths.com.au)

Serves: 4
SmartPoints Per Serve: 14

325 gram pasta of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, plus extra to garnish
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500 grams lean beef mince
1/3 cup tomato paste
400 gram can crushed tomatoes
1 cup salt-reduced chicken stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
garlic bread, to serve

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to packet instructions. Drain and set to one side.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until tender and starting to caramelise.

Add rosemary, garlic and mince. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring to break up any lumps, or until mince is browned. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, stock and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve with garlic bread (if desired).

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)