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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.