Monday, June 30, 2008

Potato Beef Pot Pie


A tasty ground beef pie with a cheesy potato topping that is cheap, easy to make and always popular with my family for dinner. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 pound (500 g) ground beef (mince)
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup water
1 small beef stock cube, crumbled
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups mashed potato
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup packaged breadcrumbs
Paprika for sprinkling

Method:

1. Heat oil in large saucepan, add onion and carrot, cook, stirring, until onion is soft (or microwave on High for 3 minutes), add beef and cook until well browned (or microwave on High for 8 minutes).
2. Add peas, water, stock cube and rice, bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until meat is tender (or microwave on High for about 15 minutes); stir in sauce.
3. Pour mixture into a 10 cup capacity ovenproof dish, top with mashed potato, cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in moderate oven for minutes or until golden brown, sprinkle paprika over top.

Herbed Cheese Spread

This creamy spread tastes every bit as good as a bought full-fat herb cheese but it is lower in fat and calories (kilo joules) and much less expensive. Serve it on crackers, accompanied by fruit, or in a rye bread sandwich. Recipe makes 1 cup.

Ingredients:

1 whole clove garlic
8 ounces (250 g) low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives or spring onion tops

Method:

1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the garlic for 1 minute. Drain off the water and transfer the garlic to a food processor of blender.
2. Add the cottage cheese, parsley, basil, pepper and chives to the food processor and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors merge. Will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 10 days.

Sun-Dried Tomato Variation: In Step 2, add 1 teaspoon sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped. Reduce the amount of fresh chives to 1 tablespoon.

Avocado Variation: In Step 2, add 1 medium-sized ripe avocado and 1 medium-sized ripe tomato, skinned and chopped. Substitute 1/2 tablespoon fresh coriander for the basil and chives.

Crumbed Chicken Strips with Tomato Sauce


These fried strips of chicken breast fillets with a crunchy Parmesan-flavored coating and simple dipping sauce accompaniment are perfect for relaxed summer dinners. Serve with green salad. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast fillets
1/2 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup stale white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons oil
Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 bacon rashers, chopped
13 ounce (410 g) can tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup water
1 small chicken stock cube, crumbled

Method:

1. Cut chicken into long thin strips; toss lightly in flour, shake away excess flour, dip in eggs, then coat in combined breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley; refrigerate 10 minutes.
2. Heat oil in medium frying pan, add chicken, cook until golden and tender. Remove chicken from pan, drain on absorbent paper, serve with tomato sauce.
Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onion, cook for about 2 minutes or until onion is soft. Stir in chili sauce, bacon, crushed tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, oregano, water and stock cube; bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vegetable Bean Patties


Serve this easy meatless or vegetarian main with baby new potatoes and zucchini strips. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

14-15 ounce (440- 465 g) can red kidney beans, drained
2 cups mashed potato
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 carrots, grated
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups packaged breadcrumbs
2 ounces (60 g) butter
Tomato Sauce:
1 1/2 cups tomato vegetable juice
3 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

1. Blend or process beans. Stir in potato until smooth, add egg. Stir in carrots, spring onions and curry. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, roll each portion in breadcrumbs, mould into patties.
2. Heat butter in a large frying pan, add patties, cook on both sides until golden brown, drain on absorbent paper. Serve patties with tomato sauce.
Tomato Sauce: Combine juice in a saucepan with cornflour blended with water, add basil and sugar. Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.

Swiss Peach Dessert


You can use a bought Swiss roll for this easy dessert. A sponge cake layer can be substituted; cut 4 even rounds from cake. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 ounces (60 g) flaked almonds
1 Swiss roll
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 pint (300 ml) carton thickened cream
13 ounce (410 g) can peach halves

Method:

1. Toast almonds on oven tray in moderate oven for 5 minutes, cool. Cut Swiss roll into four equal slices, place each piece on serving plate, sprinkle cake evenly with combined orange juice and brandy. Spread top and side of each piece of cake with whipped cream.
2. Press almonds around side of each piece of cake. Top each with a well-drained peach half, pipe remaining cream around peaches.

Fish with Citrus Oregano Sauce


Use your favorite kind of white fish fillets for this recipe. Serve with a simple green salad for an easy summer dinner. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 white fish fillets
All-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method:

1. Remove skin and bones from fish. Coat fish in flour; shake away excess.
2. Heat oil in large frying pan, add fish to pan in single layer, cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain fish on absorbent paper.
3. Add oregano, juices and sugar to pan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for about 3 minutes. Serve sauce over fish.

Creamy Yogurt Spread

Spoon yogurt spread generously onto baked potatoes or spicy dishes, or use it to make low-calorie (kilo joule) dips for fruit and sandwich fillings. Recipe makes 2-3 cups.

Ingredients:

2 pound (1 kg) natural low-fat yogurt

Method:

1. Line a large sieve with 4 layers of dampened cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the sieve, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. (The longer it drains, the thicker it becomes.) The yogurt will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Chive or Dill Variation: Add 1/4 cup chopped, fresh chives or dill, and 1 clove crushed garlic to the Creamy Yogurt Spread. Mix well.

Sweet Variation: Add 1 mango, peeled, stoned and pureed, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon to the Creamy Yogurt Spread. Mix well. Serve with a platter of freshly cut fruit.

Apple and Blackberry Pudding


Fruit for pudding can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; store, covered, in refrigerator. Serve dessert warm with cream or ice cream. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 green apples, peeled
1 pound (500 g) frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon water, extra
1 cup stale white breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons caster sugar, extra

Method:

1. Chop apples into small pieces. Place apples and berries into a saucepan, add water and half the sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, 4 minutes.
2. Blend cornflour with extra water, add to berry mixture, stir until mixture boils and thickens. Spoon into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, press down lightly.
3. Combine eggs, cream, milk and remaining sugar in a bowl, spoon over breadcrumbs and sprinkle with combined cinnamon and extra sugar. Bake in moderate oven for about 15 minutes or until topping is set.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Creamy Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse has long been a well-established favorite for easy dinner-party desserts, and the recipe given on this page is a beauty. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (125 g) dark chocolate
4 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups cream
1 tablespoon brandy

Method:

1. Chop chocolate roughly, put into top of double saucepan; stir over hot water until melted.
2. Remove from heat, cool a little, then blend in egg yolks, one at a time. Beat until mixture is smooth and thick.
3. Fold in whipped cream, brandy, then softly beaten egg whites.
4. Spoon into individual serving dishes, refrigerate until firm.
5. To serve, top with a little whipped cream and grated chocolate.

Curried Chicken and Apple Sandwich


Sweet, sour, spicy and creamy flavors intermingle in this substantial pita-bread sandwich. Recipe makes 4 sandwiches.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup low-calorie (kilo joule) mayonnaise
1/4 cup natural low-fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups diced cooked chicken
5 spring onions, including tops, chopped
1 large green or red capsicum (pepper), cored, seeded and chopped
1 small Golden or Red Delicious apple, cored and diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley mixed with 1/4 teaspoon dried coriander
Lettuce leaves
4 wholemeal pita rounds, halved

Method:

1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, cayenne pepper and garlic. Add the chicken, spring onions, capsicum, apple and coriander and combine thoroughly.
2. Tuck several lettuce leaves into each pita half, then stuff with the filling. Cover with plastic food wrap and chill until ready to serve. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

Aioli

This traditional garlic sauce can be used as a salad dressing or as a dip. Recipe serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

8 cloves garlic
2 egg yolks
White pepper and salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 1/4 cups olive oil

Method:

1. Peel garlic and puree in a food processor or blender.
2. Add egg yolks, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth.
3. With machine running, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Continue blending until sauce is thick and glossy.
4. Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Macaroni Beef and Vegetables


Try this tasty one-pot meal of macaroni, ground beef and mixed vegetables for an easy mid-week dinner. Serve with warm crusty bread. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound (500 g) ground beef (mince)
2 teaspoons French mustard
14 ounce (440 g) can tomato soup
1 1/4 cups water
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) pasta
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

Method:

1. Heat oil in large saucepan, add onion, cook until soft. Add chili and beef, stirring until beef is cooked. Add mustard, soup, water, pasta and vegetables; stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

Individual Cherry Pies


These scrumptious fruit pies made with canned cherries are easy to make and a dream to eat. Serve warm for dessert with whipped cream, if liked. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

13 ounce (410 g) can red cherries, drained
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Bakeo (or similar prepared) pastry mix
1/2 (15 g) ounce butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons sugar, extra
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

1. Cut cherries in half, place in 4 ovenproof dishes (1/2 cup capacity).
2. In small bowl of electric mixer combine milk, sugar, pastry mix, butter, eggs and essence, beat until smooth. Pour mixture over cherries, bake in moderate oven 10 minutes, sprinkle with combined extra sugar and cinnamon; bake further 15 minutes.

Celery and Fish Casserole


Any type of boneless white fish fillets may be used in this casserole. You will need to cook 2/3 cup of rice. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice
2 ounces (60 g) butter
1 red capsicum (pepper), sliced
3 sticks celery, sliced
4 ounces (125 g) mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
13 ounce (410 g) can condensed cream of celery soup
2/3 cup cream
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 pound (750 g) white fish fillets, cubed
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

Method:

1. Spoon rice over base of a shallow ovenproof dish. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add capsicum, celery and mushrooms; cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes or until tender.
2. Sprinkle flour into pan, cook, stirring, 1 minute. Combine soup, cream and water in a large jug, stir into pan, stir until mixture boils and thickens.
3. Add fish, reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes. Pour sauce over rice, top with cheese, bake in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Onion Jam

A delicious side dish accompaniment - particularly when served with fried Camembert. Jam can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 month. Recipe makes about 4 cups.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 pound (1 kg) brown onions, finely sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
8 ounces (250 g) raw sugar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups (15 fl oz/430 ml) red wine

Method:

1. Heat oil in large saucepan and cook onion over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned.
2. Stir in spice and sugar and stir over low heat for 30 minutes.
3. Add vinegar and wine and cook over low heat for about 60 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated and the mixture is of a jam consistency. Spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal while hot.

Fruit Jubilee Dessert


Selected fresh and canned fruits presented in a decorative glass bowl is the ultimate easy dessert. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup passion fruit pulp
14 ounce (440-450 g) can pineapple pieces, drained
10 ounce (310 g) can mandarin segments, drained
8 ounces (250 g) strawberries, halved
2 kiwi fruit, sliced
1 banana, sliced

Method:

1. Combine sugar, cornflour, juice, water and passion fruit pulp in medium saucepan, stir over medium heat 3 minutes (or microwave on High 3 minutes) or until mixture boils and thickens.
2. Add remaining fruit, stir gently over medium heat 2 minutes (or microwave on High 1 minute) or until heated through.

Steak and Kidney Pie


This pie is the perfect dinner choice on a cold Winter's night. Try making the cubed steak and lamb's kidneys filling 1 day before required; this will allow time for the flavors to blend. Serve with vegetables of your choice. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1/2 x 12 ounce (375 g) packet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Filling:
2 pound (1 kg) chuck steak
8 ounces (250 g) lamb's kidneys, chopped
2 cups water
1 small beef stock cube, crumbled
2 onions, chopped
1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 cup water, extra
1 tablespoon light soy sauce

Method:

Filling: Cut steak into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Combine steak in a large saucepan with kidneys, water, stock cube and onions. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours or until steak is tender. Blend flour with extra water and soy sauce, add to pan gradually, stirring constantly over medium heat, until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
1. Pour filling into deep pie dish (4 cup capacity). Roll out pastry large enough to cover pie dish, brush edge of pie dish with water, place pastry over filling, seal edge of pastry with a fork, trim edge. (Use scraps of pastry for decorative leaves, if desired).
2. Brush top of pie with egg yolk. Cut 2 small slits in top of pastry, bake in hot oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to moderately hot, bake further 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts


A quick and easy vegetable side dish with an Asian flavor. Recipe serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

8 ounces (250 g) bean sprouts
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) beans
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) snow peas
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) broccoli
1/2 can baby corn
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons chili sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Method:

1. Wash bean sprouts. Top and tail beans and snow peas. Cut beans into 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths and broccoli into small florets.
2. Heat oils in wok or fry pan. Fry garlic for 2 minutes then add beans and broccoli, cooking until tender. Add baby corn and snow peas. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Add bean sprouts, soy sauce and chili sauce and cook until heated through.
4. Stir in coriander and serve immediately.

Blackberry Whip Dessert


An easy but impressive-looking fruit dessert, especially when decorated with extra whipped cream and whole blackberries. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (125 g) frozen blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 1/2 ounce (100 g) packet blackberry jelly crystals
1/2 cup thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar

Method:

1. Combine blackberries with sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for about 1 minute (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes). Stir in rind; cool.
2. Make jelly according to instructions on packet; cool, refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until very thick, but not set. Beat cream and icing sugar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold cream into jelly.
3. Divide blackberry mixture evenly among 4 glasses, top with jelly mixture, cover, refrigerate for about 1 hour or overnight.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tomato Broccoli Bake


This easy pasta and vegetables combination is as equally suited to vegetarians as it is to those who enjoy the occasional meatless main. Bake can be prepared several hours ahead. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (125 g) macaroni
1 ounce (30 g) butter
1 onion, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 ounces (250 g) broccoli
13 ounce (410 g) can tomatoes
1 small chicken stock cube, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese

Method:

1. Add macaroni gradually to large saucepan of boiling water, boil rapidly, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until just tender; drain.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add onion, celery and garlic, cook until onion is tender. Cut broccoli into florets. Add broccoli, undrained crushed tomatoes, stock cube, parsley and oregano to pan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes; add macaroni and half the cheese; mix well.
3. Pour into a greased ovenproof dish (8 cup capacity), sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.

Fruit and Nut Bars


Try serving these delightful dried fruit and nut bars hot or cold for dessert with whipped cream or ice cream. Equally delicious on their own. Recipe makes 4 large or 8 small bars.

Ingredients:

1 cup self-rising (raising) flour, sifted
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sultanas
4 ounces (125 g) butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method:

1. Lightly grease an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake pan. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Press into prepared pan. Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Fisherman's Pie


Any type of boneless fish fillets may be used for this pie, which should be prepared close to serving time. Serve with steamed green vegetables. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 pound (500 g) boneless fish fillets
6 ounce (200 g) can peeled shrimp (prawns), drained
1 1/2 ounces (45 g) butter
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspoons seeded mustard
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Potato Topping:
1 pound (500 g) potatoes, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 ounce (30 g) butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

1. Poach, steam or microwave fish until tender, cut into large pieces. Place fish and shrimp over base of a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish.
2. Melt butter in medium saucepan, add spring onions, stir over medium heat 1 minute (or microwave on High for about 2 minutes) or until onions are soft. Stir in flour over medium heat 1 minute (or microwave on High for 1 minute). Gradually stir in combined mustard and milk, stir over high heat for about 3 minutes (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) or until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in dill and cream.
3. Pour sauce over fish and top evenly with potato topping, sprinkle with cheese. Bake in moderate oven about 20 minutes or until pie is heated through and lightly browned.
Potato Topping: Boil, steam or microwave potatoes until tender, drain. Mash potatoes, add milk, butter and cheese, mix well.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding


Serve this yummy chocolate dessert warm or cold with custard, whipped cream or ice cream. Cook pudding close to serving time. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 cup self-rising (raising) flour
4 ounces (125 g) dark chocolate, melted
1 ounce (30 g) butter, melted
1 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Icing sugar

Method:

1. Sift flour into large bowl, make well in center, stir in combined chocolate, butter and milk. Pour mixture into greased, deep ovenproof dish (6 cup capacity).
2. Combine brown sugar and hazelnut spread in medium bowl, gradually add water, stir until smooth, gently pour over mixture in dish, sprinkle with hazelnuts.
3. Bake in moderately hot oven for about 40 minutes. Dust with icing sugar, serve immediately.

Beef Patties with Corn Relish Sauce


Another easy and economical recipe using ground beef. Serve patties with either a salad or mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 pound (500 g) ground beef (mince)
1/2 cup seasoned stuffing mix
3 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
All-purpose (plain) flour
2 ounces (60 g) butter
Corn Relish Sauce:
2 tablespoons corn relish
1/2 cup water
1 small beef stock cube, crumbled
3 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water, extra

Method:

1. Combine beef, stuffing mix, spring onions and egg in a large bowl. Divide evenly into 4 patties. Coat patties with flour, shake away excess.
2. Heat butter in large frying pan, cook patties on each side for about 3 minutes or until cooked through; drain on absorbent paper. Serve patties with corn relish sauce.
Corn Relish Sauce: Combine relish, water and stock cube in a small saucepan, bring to boil. Stir in cornflour blended with extra water, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for about 1 minute or until sauce thickens slightly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vegetable Curry


Another easy meatless dinner recipe that's also suitable for vegetarians. Vegetable Curry is best made close to serving time. Accompany with boiled rice. Recipe serves 4 and includes directions for cooking in a microwave oven.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons garam marsala
1 potato
11 ounces (350 g) pumpkin
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large vegetable stock cube, crumbled
2 cups water
12 fl oz (400 ml) can coconut cream
6 1/2 ounces (200 g) cauliflower
5 ounces (150 g) broccoli
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) green beans, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Method:

1. Heat oil in large saucepan, add onion, garlic and ginger, stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) or until onion is soft.
2. Stir in curry powder and garam marsala, stir over heat for 1 minute (or microwave on High for about 1 minute).
3. Cut potato and pumpkin into 1 inch (2 cm) cubes, add to pan with carrot, stock cube, water and coconut cream; bring to the boil, stirring, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for 15 minutes (or microwave on High for 10 minutes).
4. Cut cauliflower and broccoli into small florets, add to pan with beans, cook further 10 minutes (or microwave on High for about 6 minutes) or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Veal and Vegetable Stir-Fry


This quick to cook stir-fry bursting with healthy vegetables is guaranteed to be a popular dinner choice for the entire family. Serve with boiled rice or noodles. Recipe quantities serve 4.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons polyunsaturated oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 onions, chopped
1 green capsicum (pepper), sliced
1 carrot, sliced
10 ounce (300 g) can corn kernels, drained
7 ounce (220 g) can bamboo shoots, drained, sliced
6 veal steaks, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup (sauce)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 small chicken stock cube, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Method:

1. Heat oil in wok or medium frying pan, add garlic and ginger, stir over medium heat for about 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add onions, capsicum, carrot, corn and bamboo shoots to pan, stir-fry over high heat for about 4 minutes or until onion is soft, remove from pan; keep warm.
2. Add veal to pan, stir-fry over medium heat for about 1 minute or until veal is brown. Return vegetables to pan with remaining ingredients, stir-fry over medium heat until sauce boils and evenly coats vegetables and veal. Serve immediately.

Fish Kabobs with Orange Ginger Sauce


To save time, I use boneless white fish fillets for this recipe. Kabobs can be prepared several hours ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator but they are best grilled close to serving time. Orange Ginger Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in refrigerator. Serve with potatoes, fresh steamed carrots and broccoli. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 pound (500 g) thick white fish fillets
4 ounces (125 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons polyunsaturated oil
Orange Ginger Sauce:
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoon cornflour
1 tablespoon water

Method:

1. Remove skin and bones from fish, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Thread fish and tomatoes alternately onto bamboo skewers, brush with oil. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side (or microwave on High for about 4 minutes) or until fish is tender. Serve with Orange Ginger Sauce.
Orange Ginger Sauce: Combine rind, juice, ginger, sugar, sherry and sauce in a medium saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, until mixture is reduced by one-third, stirring occasionally. Blend cornflour with water, add to pan and stir over high heat until mixture boils and thickens.

Carrot Dessert Cake


You will need 1 medium carrot for this healthy dessert. Cake is delicious served warm or cold with yogurt topping and fresh fruit. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites
2/3 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup self-rising (raising) flour
3/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 cup packaged ground almonds
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup caster sugar, extra
Yogurt Topping:
1/3 cup low fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Method:

1. Grease a 3 x 10 inch (8 x 26 cm) bar pan, cover base with paper; grease paper. Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form, gradually add sugar, beat until dissolved. Transfer mixture to large bowl, stir in sifted flour, carrot, almonds, rind and yogurt.
2. Spread mixture into prepared pan, bake in moderate oven for about 45 minutes or until well browned. Turn cake onto wire rack, stand rack over shallow tray.
3. Combine juice, water and extra sugar in small saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved (or microwave on High for about 2 minutes). Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes (or microwave on High for 3 minutes). Pour syrup mixture evenly over hot cake.
Yogurt Topping: Blend or process all ingredients until smooth.

Vegetable Soup with Cheese Wedges


I'm not vegetarian but this delicious vegetable soup is one of my top picks for an easy winter dinner. Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead or frozen for up to 2 months. Cheese Wedges are best made close to serving time. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

8 ounces (250 g) cauliflower, chopped
8 ounces (250 g) broccoli, chopped
8 ounces (250 g) pumpkin, chopped
1 potato, chopped
3 zucchini, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cups (1 1/2 litres) water
2 small chicken stock cubes, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Cheese Wedges:
4 pieces wholemeal pita bread
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup grated low fat cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika

Method:

1. Combine vegetables, water and stock cubes in large saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes (or microwave on High for about 20 minutes) or until vegetables are tender, stir in parsley. Serve soup with hot cheese wedges.
Cheese Wedges: Spread pita bread with tomato paste, sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Place onto oven tray, bake in moderate oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wholemeal Spinach and Cheese Pasties


Flavored with fresh spinach and cottage cheese, these delightful pasties are the ideal choice for a low fat dinner. Serve with a salad. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 large potato
1 tablespoon polyunsaturated oil
1 onion, chopped
4 large spinach (silver beet) leaves, chopped
1 large tomato, peeled, seeds removed
1 egg white
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2 sheets ready rolled wholemeal shortcrust pastry

Method:

1. Cut potato into 1/4 inch (5 mm) cubes. Boil, steam or microwave potato until tender, drain. Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onion, stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes (or microwave on High for about 2 minutes) or until onion is soft. Add spinach, cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes (or microwave on High about 2 minutes) or until soft.
2. Transfer spinach mixture to medium bowl, add potato, chopped tomato, egg white, cottage cheese and herbs, mix well; cool.
3. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares. Spoon filling evenly onto center of each square, brush edges of pastry with water, fold pastry over to form a triangle and enclose filling, press edges together with fork to seal. Place pasties onto lightly greased oven tray, bake in hot oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Peach Meringue Bake


This easy peach dessert with baked meringue topping is best when made close to serving time. Recipe quantities serve 4.

Ingredients:

5 ounces (150 g) ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon icing sugar
13.5 ounce (425 g) can peach halves, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
8 fl oz/250 ml bottle peach nectar
Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar

Method:

1. Grease a shallow ovenproof dish (4 cup capacity). Combine ricotta, nuts, rind, juice and sifted icing sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Spoon ricotta mixture onto cut sides of peach halves, place peaches, filled side up, into prepared dish.
2. Blend cornflour with nectar in a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Pour nectar mixture around peach halves. Spread meringue on top of peaches, bake in moderately hot oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Meringue: Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form, gradually add sugar, beat until dissolved between each addition.

Hot Trifle


Enjoying dessert without the guilt is easy with this healthy fruit trifle that is packed full of fiber. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 ounces (100 g) plain sponge cake
2 x 14 ounce (450 g) cans boysenberries
1 tablespoon sweet sherry
1/4 cup custard powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup toasted muesli
1/4 cup All-Bran

Method:

1. Cut sponge cake into 4 rounds to fit bases of 4 ovenproof dish (3/4 cup capacity). Drain boysenberries, reserve 1/2 cup syrup.
2. Combine sherry and reserved syrup, pour over sponge in each dish. Divide boysenberries evenly among dishes.
3. Combine custard powder and sugar in small saucepan, gradually stir in milk. Whisk over high heat until mixture boils and thickens, reduce heat, simmer for 1 minute.
4. Spread custard evenly over berries. Sprinkle with combined muesli and All-Bran. Bake in moderate oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Genoese Bean and Potato Bake


Vegetables play a major role in Italian cuisine. This delightful combination of potatoes and fresh green beans may be served with any meat dish or on its own as an appetizer. Recipe serves 6.

Ingredients:

1 pound (500 g) potatoes
1 pound (500 g) green beans
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

1. Peel and roughly chop potatoes. Cook in boiling water until tender; drain and mash.
2. Meanwhile, top and tail beans, chop roughly and cook in boiling water until tender; drain. Mash, blend or process until roughly mashed.
3. Combine potatoes and beans with lightly beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, dill and pepper.
4. Spoon into 6 x 1 cup ramekins dishes or spread into a 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate or 1 quart (1 L) dish. Sprinkle with combined breadcrumbs and oil. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F/180 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.

Apple Pudding


One of my family's favorite desserts, this apple pudding is just too easy to make. Serve with packaged or homemade custard, whipped cream or ice cream. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces (125 g) butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 cup self-rising (raising) flour
Icing sugar

Method:

1. Arrange apple slices over base of greased ovenproof dish (6 cup capacity), sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
2. Cream butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Add water, beat until just combined. Fold in sifted flour.
3. Pour mixture over apples, bake in moderate oven for about 40 minutes or until pudding is golden brown and apples are soft. Dust with sifted icing sugar.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gingered Fruit Salad


This delicious dried fruit salad can be made 1 week ahead; keep, covered, in refrigerator. Serve cold for dessert with whipped cream and shredded orange rind, if liked. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup caster sugar
12-13 ounce (400 g) packet dried fruit salad

Method:

1. Combine water, ginger, rind, juice and sugar in medium saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, add fruit, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until fruit is plump; stir occasionally.
2. Remove from heat, transfer mixture to medium bowl, cool to room temperature, cover, refrigerate.

Oven Fried Crumbed Fish


Any kind of white fish fillets can be used for this dish that can also be cooked in a microwave oven. Serve with a salad and lemon and lime slices for an easy dinner. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 white fish fillets
1 cup milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups stale breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 ounces (60 g) butter, melted

Method:

1. Place fish in single layer in shallow dish. Combine milk and garlic, pour over fish, stand 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain fish, then coat firmly with combined crumbs, parsley and cheese.
2. Place fish onto greased oven tray, drizzle with melted butter, bake in hot oven for 15 minutes (or microwave on High for about 4 minutes) or until fish is tender.

Caramel Banana Ice Cream


This dessert can be made 1 day ahead; keep, covered, in freezer. I use Cottees' Hot Caramel Fudge. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Corn Flakes
1 quart (litre) vanilla ice cream
1/3 cup coconut
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons caramel fudge sauce

Method:

1. Lightly crush Corn Flakes in plastic bag with rolling pin. Combine crushed Corn Flakes, softened ice cream, coconut and bananas in large bowl.
2. Gently swirl fudge sauce through ice cream mixture. Spoon mixture into 4 dishes (1 cup capacity), freeze until firm.

Decorate with whipped cream, extra banana and toasted coconut, if desired.

Beef and Pasta Bake


Economical ground beef and pasta combine deliciously in this budget-conscious family dinner. Bake can be partially cooked in the microwave oven. Serve with vegetables. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
13 ounce (410 g) can tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 pound (500 g) ground beef (mince)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small beef stock cube, crumbled
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cornflour
1/4 cup water, extra
1 cup risoni pasta
2 ounces (60 g) butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
1/3 cup packaged breadcrumbs

Method:

1. Place onion, undrained crushed tomatoes, mixed herbs, beef, garlic, tomato paste, stock cube and water in medium saucepan; cook, uncovered, over medium heat, for about 20 minutes (or microwave on High for about 12 minutes) or until mixture is thickened slightly.
2. Blend cornflour with extra water, stir into pan, bring to boil, boil for about 3 minutes (or microwave on High for about 2 minutes) or until sauce is thickened. Pour sauce into an ovenproof dish (8 cup capacity).
3. Add pasta to large saucepan of boiling water, boil, uncovered, for 12 minutes (or microwave on High for about 15 minutes) or until pasta is cooked; drain well.
4. Melt butter in medium saucepan, stir in flour, stir over medium heat 1 minute (or microwave on High 1 minute), remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, stir over high heat (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) until mixture boils and thickens. Stir pasta and egg into sauce.
5. Pour pasta mixture over beef sauce. Sprinkle with combined cheese and crumbs, bake in moderate oven 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Apricot Roly Poly Dessert


This delicious dessert made with chopped dried apricots is best if cooked just before serving. Accompany with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups self-rising (raising) flour
3 ounces (90 g) butter
1/4 cup water, approximately
Milk

Method:

1. Place apricots in medium bowl, cover with boiling water, stand 20 minutes; drain well. Combine apricots, sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl; mix well.
2. Sift flour into medium bowl, rub in butter, add enough water to mix to a firm dough. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out dough to a 10 x 13 inch (25 x 33 cm) rectangle, spread evenly with apricot mixture, brush edges with milk.
3. Roll up dough from long side to enclose filling, cut into 8 slices. Place slices 2 inches (5 cm) apart on a greased oven tray. Bake in moderately hot oven 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned.

Seafood Chowder


Chowder can be cooked either on the stove top or in a microwave oven. Any type of boneless white fish fillets may be used. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 ounce (30 g) butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2 potatoes, diced
2 small chicken stock cubes, crumbled
4 cups (1 litre) water
8 ounces (250 g) boneless white fish fillets, chopped
10 ounce (310 g) can corn kernels, drained
6 ounce (200 g) can peeled shrimp (prawns), drained
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Method:

1. Melt butter in medium saucepan (or microwave on High 30 seconds), add onion, stir over medium heat for about 3 minutes (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) or until onion is soft.
2. Stir in flour, cook 1 minute (or microwave on High 1 minute). Add potatoes and combined stock cubes and water, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for about 8 minutes (or microwave on High for about 10 minutes) or until potatoes are tender.
3. Stir in fish, corn, shrimp, milk and lemon juice, simmer for about 5 minutes (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) or until fish is cooked. Serve sprinkled with dill, if desired.

Raspberry Custard


Fresh, frozen or canned raspberries can be used for this dessert. Decorate with whipped cream and extra raspberries, if desired. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

6 ounces (200 g) raspberries
1/3 cup custard powder
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 cups milk

Method:

1. Blend or process raspberries until pureed, push through sieve to remove seeds. Combine custard powder and sugar in medium saucepan, gradually stir in milk, stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens.
2. Remove from heat, add raspberry puree, stir until well combined. Pour mixture into 4 glasses. Refrigerate until set.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paw Paw (Papaya) Fruit Salad


Always a favorite, this easy to prepare fresh fruit salad is spectacular when served as a center piece for a dinner party or buffet. Recipe serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

1/2 paw paw, cut in small squares
2 oranges, cut in segments
3 kiwi fruit (gooseberries), sliced
Small bunch sultana grapes
Small bunch Cardinal grapes
2 passion fruit, pulp only
1 banana, sliced
1/4 pineapple, cut into small squares
1/2 pound (250 g) strawberries
6 mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)

Method:

1. Place all of the cut fruit into a large glass bowl and mix with hands.
2. Pour lemon juice over the fruit salad; this will bring out the flavor of the paw paw.
3. As an optional extra taste delight, pour over Grand Marnier. Serve as a center piece on a buffet table.

Onion Tart


This creamy onion tart can be made 2 days ahead and kept, covered, in refrigerator or frozen for up to 2 months. Delicious hot or cold with a salad. Recipe serves 6.

Ingredients:

3 onions
1 ounce (30 g) butter
3 rashers bacon
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 x 12 inch (30 cm) sheet rolled short crust pastry

Method:

1. Line a 10 inch (25 cm) flan tin with the pastry. Prick base repeatedly with a fork. Bake at 30 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 20 minutes.
2. Peel and slice onions. Heat butter in a fry pan and saute onion over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until tender.
3. Trim bacon and cut into dice.
4. Scatter onions and bacon over pastry base.
5. Combine cream, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg, mixing well. Four into flan tin.
6. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden and filling has set.

Onion Soup


One for onion lovers. The flavor of this classic soup is magnificent. Do not be tempted to reduce the cooking time as the taste will be compromised. Recipe serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

1.5 pound (750 g) onions, thinly sliced
2 ounces (50 g) butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 pints (2 litres) beef stock, boiling
2/3 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cognac or brandy

Method:

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions over a low heat for 15 minutes.
2. Add the salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are a deep golden brown.
3. Add the flour and stir for 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil. Remove onions from the heat and gradually stir in the stock and wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Simmer, partially covered, for 30-40 minutes, skimming occasionally. Adjust seasoning.
6. Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Serve with rounds of French bread and a sprinkling of grated cheese if desired.

Baked Onion

Baked onions are the ideal vegetable side dish to accompany roast dinners. The slow cooking tempers the onion flavor. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 large onions
Salt and pepper
Butter

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 260 degrees F (130 degrees C). Place unpeeled onion in baking tray with 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water.
2. Bake for 2 hours or until onions are soft when squeezed.
3. When cooked, pull skins back and cut off at base. Serve with salt, pepper and butter.

Mango Fool Dessert


With its decorative whipped cream and fresh fruit topping, this easy mango dessert is the perfect conclusion to a special family meal or dinner party, especially since it can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 x 5 1/2 ounce (170 g) cans mango pulp
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 teaspoons dark rum
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 pint (300 ml) carton thickened cream

Method:

1. Combine mango, sifted icing sugar, rum and cinnamon in medium bowl. Beat cream in small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form.
2. Reserve 1/3 cup whipped cream for decoration. Fold remaining cream into mango mixture; mix well, pour into 4 serving glasses, cover, refrigerate 30 minutes.
3. Decorate with the reserved cream and fresh fruit.

Cheesy Fish Puffs


Any kind of fresh white fish fillets may be used in this recipe. Puffs can be eaten hot or cold but I always serve them hot for dinner accompanied with carrots, peas, potatoes and tartar sauce. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

12 1/2 ounces (400 g) white fish fillets
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 ounce (375 g) packet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk

Method:

1. Remove skin and bones from fish. Process fish, juice and paste until smooth. Transfer fish mixture to a medium bowl, add cheese and parsley, mix well.
2. Cut pastry in half, roll out one half pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 9 x 13 inch (22 x 32 cm) rectangle. Cut pastry into 8 even sized rectangles. Spread fish mixture evenly over each rectangle leaving a 1/2 inch (1 cm) border.
3. Roll out remaining pastry to 10 x 14 inch (26 x 36 cm) rectangle, cut pastry into 8 even sized rectangles.
4. Brush edges of each filled pastry rectangle with water, place other pastry rectangles over fish mixture, press edges together firmly. Pinch edges to make a frill.
5. Place puffs onto greased oven tray, cut 3 small slits in top of each puff, brush with combined egg and milk. Bake in moderately hot oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple and Fruit Mince Tart


This delicious tart is best served on the day it is made. Serve warm or cold for dessert with whipped cream. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup bottled fruit mince
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 ounce (150 g) packaged sweet short pastry flan
1 apple, thinly sliced
Icing sugar

Method:

1. Combine fruit mince and egg in medium bowl, mix well. Pour mixture evenly into pastry flan, arrange apple slices decoratively over top.
2. Bake in moderate oven for about 50 minutes or until filling is set. Dust lightly with sifted icing sugar.

Confetti Chicken Salad Sandwich

Red capsicum, corn and spring onions add crunchiness, color and vitamins to this healthy and spicy chicken sandwich. At Christmas time, use left-over cold turkey as a specially tasty alternative to chicken. Recipe makes 4 sandwiches.

Ingredients:

2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
1 small red pepper (capsicum), cored, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
2 spring onions, including tops, sliced
1/2 cup natural low-fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
8 slices wholegrain bread

Method:

1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, capsicum, corn, spring onions, yogurt and cumin. Spread about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture on each of 4 bread slices. Top with the remaining bread slices and cut each sandwich
in half.

Chicken and Asparagus Variation: Omit the capsicum, spring onions and cumin. Remove the tough ends from 3 ounces (80 g) fresh asparagus and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Boil for 3-5 minutes and let cool. Combine with remaining ingredients. Or use well-drained canned asparagus.

Cottage Cheese and Chives Variation: Substitute 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese for the yogurt and substitute 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives for the cumin.

Sausage and Vegetable Stir-Fry


Cook stir-fry close to serving time in either a conventional or microwave oven. Serve with boiled rice for a healthy but inexpensive family dinner. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces (250 g) cauliflower
1 red pepper (capsicum), chopped
1 green pepper (capsicum), chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 Continental sausages, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
1 cup water
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce

Method:

1. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan, add garlic, ginger and onion, stir over heat for about 1 minute (or microwave on High for about 2 minutes) or until onion is just soft.
2. Cut cauliflower into florets, add to pan with remaining vegetables and sesame seeds and stir over high heat for 3 minutes (or microwave on High for about 4 minutes) or until vegetables are just tender.
3. Add sausages, stir over heat until heated through. Blend cornflour with water in small bowl, add to pan with remaining ingredients, stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) or until sauce boils and thickens.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fruity Chicken Breasts


This recipe has a delicious rice and dried fruit filling and can be cooked in either a conventional or microwave oven. For a complete dinner, serve the chicken with boiled baby new potatoes and a selection of fresh steamed vegetables. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 double chicken breast fillets
1 ounce (30 g) polyunsaturated margarine
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup apricot nectar
2 tablespoons reduced cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Seasoning:
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 ounce (15 g) polyunsaturated margarine
2 tablespoons chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon sultanas

Method:

1. Spoon a quarter of the seasoning over one side of each breast, fold over to enclose seasoning, secure with toothpicks. Melt margarine in large frying pan (or microwave on High for about 1 minute), add chicken, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side (or microwave on High 2 minutes).
2. Remove chicken from pan, transfer to ovenproof dish. Add onion to pan, stir over medium heat for about 3 minutes (or microwave on High for about 3 minutes) or until onion is soft. Spoon onion over chicken, drizzle with half the nectar, bake, uncovered, in moderate oven for about 25 minutes (or microwave on High for about 15 minutes) or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from dish, keep warm, reserve pan juices.
3. Combine remaining nectar, reserved pan juices, cream and parsley in small saucepan, stir over medium heat (or microwave on High for about 2 minutes) until heated through, serve over chicken.
Seasoning: Combine all ingredients in small bowl; mix well.

Pan Fried Curried Fish


I prefer bream, but any type of fresh white fish fillets can be used to make this quick and easy summer dinner. Cook fish as close to serving time as possible and serve with a green salad. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 ounces (60 g) butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
4 white fish fillets
3 teaspoons lemon juice

Method:

1. Melt butter in frying pan, stir in curry, spring onions, garlic and lemon rind, stir over heat until spring onions are tender. Add fish to pan, cook until fish is tender, turning once. Sprinkle with juice before serving.

Oriental Beef Kabobs


Try serving these Oriental-style kabobs, made with economical ground beef, accompanied with boiled rice and vegetables for an easy but impressive family dinner. Kabobs can be made up to 1 day ahead. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

24 baby new potatoes
1 pound (500 g) ground beef (mince)
1/2 pound (250 g) ground sausage (mince)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons plum sauce
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Sauce:
2 tablespoons plum sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder

Method:

1. Boil, steam or microwave potatoes until just tender, drain. Combine meats with ginger, garlic, sauces and sesame oil. Roll mixture into 24 balls, thread onto skewers alternately with potatoes.
2. Brush with sauce, grill 5 minutes on each side or until meatballs are cooked and browned. Brush with sauce several times during cooking.
Sauce: Combine all ingredients.

Italian Lemon Lime Gelato


Any fresh citrus fruit juices can be used to make this refreshing Italian dessert, either alone or in combination, for example, orange, mandarin or tangelo, as well as lemon and lime. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup lime juice
2 egg whites

Method:

1. Combine water and sugar in a pan; stir over heat until dissolved. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes; cool.
2. Add lemon and lime juice to syrup; pour into large shallow container. Freeze for 1 hour or until mixture is firm but not solid.
3. Turn mixture into a food processor or electric mixer. Add egg whites; blend until smooth. Return to freezer container. Freeze until firm.

Individual Fruit Trifles


Any type of fresh berry can be used for this easy fruit dessert - raspberries, strawberries and boysenberries are all available frozen. Recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 jam sponge roll
4 tablespoons sweet sherry
Packet (85 g) strawberry jelly crystals
1 cup boiling water
8 ounces (250 g) frozen or fresh berries
2 tablespoons sweet sherry, extra
2 tablespoons custard powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 pint (300 ml) carton thickened (double) cream

Method:

1. Arrange slices of sponge roll in 4 individual serving dishes, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sherry over sponge in each dish.
2. Dissolve jelly in boiling water, add berries (do not thaw if frozen), add extra sherry; refrigerate until partly set. Pour jelly into dishes; refrigerate.
3. Blend combined custard powder and sugar with 1/2 cup of the milk, bring remaining milk to boil, gradually stir in custard powder mixture. Stir over heat until custard boils and thickens; cover, cool to lukewarm, then pour over jelly in dishes, refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with whipped cream, and decorate with toasted flaked almonds, if desired.