Friday, August 8, 2008

Braised Chinese Vegetables

This quick and tasty combination of Chinese cabbage, broccoli, leeks and green beans only takes 20 minutes to prepare and cook. Serve with a meat dish and rice. Recipe serves 4-6.


6 1/2 ounces (200 g) Chinese cabbage, chopped
6 1/2 ounces (200 g) broccoli, cut into florets
5 ounces (150 g) leeks, sliced
5 ounces (150 g) green beans, sliced
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons (prepared) freshly crushed garlic
1 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili sauce
2 teaspoons cornflour mixed with water to form a paste


1. Heat oil in a wok or deep fry-pan. Add garlic and ginger, cook for a few seconds then add the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
2. Add the stock, soy sauce and chili sauce. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
3. Move vegetables to one side and add the cornflour paste. Stir until it thickens. Mix vegetables in the sauce and serve.

Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate cookies are so full of flavor, they'll be gobbled up in seconds. Recipe makes about 16 cookies.


1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 ounces (60 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring essence
3/4 cup dark Choc Bits
1/2 cup pecans, roasted and coarsely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
2. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
3. Put the butter and sugar into a second mixing bowl. Beat together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla flavoring essence and beat well.
4. Stir in the flour mixture. Gently stir in the Choc Bits and pecans until evenly combined.
5. Put 3 teaspoons of mixture per cookie onto the prepared baking trays, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Put on a wire rack to cool completely.

Tip: To roast the pecans, put them on a baking tray in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, grill them until golden brown. Let the nuts cool completely before adding to the cookie mixture. Use walnuts if you prefer and roast them in the same way.

Parsnip and Carrot Bake

This easy and colorful vegetable bake doesn't take long to prepare. A good side dish to serve with steak, chops or a roast. Recipe serves 8.


2 ounces (60 g) butter
1 pound (500 g) parsnips, washed and grated
11 ounces (350 g) carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 pint (300 ml) cream
Ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon (prepared) freshly crushed garlic
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes


1. Melt butter in a large fry-pan. Cook garlic 1 minute. Add parsnip and carrot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked.
2. Season with rosemary, parsley and pepper.
3. Transfer to greased shallow ovenproof dish and pour over cream. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese and dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F (200 degree C) oven for 35 minutes or until browned.