Thursday, July 17, 2008

Asparagus with Prosciutto and Cheese

Select evenly sized fresh asparagus spears for this easy and delicious entree. Recipe serves 4.


24 asparagus spears, lightly steamed
24 small slices prosciutto, sliced very thinly
8 thin slices melting cheese (Raclette, Fontina or Mozzarella)


1. Roll each asparagus spear in prosciutto.
2. Arrange asparagus side by side on individual ovenproof plates (6 per plate).
3. Place in moderate preheated oven (400 degrees F/200 degrees C) or under grill until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.

Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes

The whole family will go bananas over these moist chocolate-studded cakes. Recipe makes 12 cupcakes.


1 3/4 cups self-rising (raising) flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 ounces (90 g) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
8 ounces (250 g) bananas (about 1 large standard or 2 small sugar bananas), peeled and mashed
8 teaspoons golden syrup
1/4 cup milk Choc Bits


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Thoroughly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with melted butter.
2. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, bananas and golden syrup. Stir into the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Fold in the choc bits. Spoon mixture evenly into the prepared tin.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and firm. Leave to cool in the tin for 3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tip: To freeze, pack into plastic freezer bags, seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 2 hours before use.

One Step Artichokes

This fresh artichoke, vegetable and herb dish is easy to prepare as well as being colorful. It is good both hot and cold and may be enjoyed as an appetizer or a side dish. Recipe serves 6.


6 whole artichokes, trimmed
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
1 tablespoon sweet basil leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste


1. Place artichokes in a deep heavy pan and just cover with water. Add remaining ingredients. Cook partially covered, at a gentle boil until leaves pull away easily, about 40 minutes.
2. Transfer artichokes to a large serving platter.
3. Strain the cooking liquid and strew the vegetables and herbs over the artichokes. Serve hot or cool to room temperature.