Friday, February 27, 2009

Intense Chocolate Cookies

Even though I would love to claim fame from these cookies because of their intense chocolate flavour, I cannot. The recipe belongs to Nigella Lawson, who's programmes, including Nigella Express, I am enjoying thoroughly.
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To my children's delight I made these last night. Surprisingly easy and must say hit to spot for an after dinner snack last night. The recipe only makes 12 cookies but be warned they are large and very moreish.
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And as Nigella says in her television series, these are definitely the cure for everything, well almost everything!
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Intense Chocolate Cookies
source: Nigella Lawson
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Serves: 12
3.
125 grams dark chocolate
150 grams plain flour
30g cocoa, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125 grams unsalted butter, softened
75 grams light brown sugar
50 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, cold from the fridge
350 grams dark chocolate chips
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Preheat the oven to 170 deg C.
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Break the 125 grams dark chocolate into pieces and place into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
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Place the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix well.
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In another bowl, cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and stir well.
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Beat in the vanilla extract and crack in the egg, then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate chips.
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Scoop out 12 equal portions of the mixture - an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job - and place onto a lined baking sheet about 6 cm apart. Do not flatten them.
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Transfer to the oven and bake for 18 minutes, then test with a skewer - it should come out semi-clean and not wet with batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
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Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.
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Just like Nigella did in her TV episode of Nigella Express I cooked only 6 of the cookies and froze the other 6 for later use. I froze them on a cookie tray and transfer to a snap lock bag when completely frozen. When required, defrost and then cook as above.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Okonomyaki (Japanese Pancake)

This is something I just had to try making especially with it being Shrove Tuesday yesterday but the idea of having normal pancakes for dinner didn't really inspire me although the kids would have approved without a doubt.
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I have read many recipes for Okonomyaki and like most recipes, there are so many different variations out there. Some with bacon, chicken or shrimps. Others with either grated potatoes or noodles. Ultimately I ended up making my own version of Okonomyaki or Japanese Pancake which I thought wasn't too bad and it got the thumbs up from Noel.
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Okonomyaki (Japanese Pancake)
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Serves: 4
Points per serve: 7

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1 cup plain flour
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 wombok, shredded
2 carrots, grated
1 large red capsicum, sliced
1 onion, sliced
150g bean sprouts
2 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
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In a large bowl mix flour, eggs, garlic, ginger and skim milk together into a batter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir through wombok, carrots, capsicum, onion and bean sprouts until all coated with the batter and well combined.
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Heat oil a small frying pan and add 1/4 of the mixture. Cook over a medium heat until firm and golden brown on the underside. Flip over and cook the other side. Once cooked, remove to plate and keep in a warm oven and continue with the remaining mixture.
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To serve, place Okonomyaki on individual plates and drizzle with both the barbecue sauce and the mayonnaise.
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Honestly the potential of ingedients and toppings that can be used in this dish is literally endless and can be left up to your imagination. I cannot believe that this was as easy as it was to not only prepare but to cook. Go on - give it a go!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Veal Goulash

Another meal cooked in the slow cooker and as usual meat very tender. Not only was the smell fantastic walking in the front door from work but the taste was great!
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Veal Goulash
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Serves: 8
Points per serve: 4
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4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 kilogram veal, cut into chunks
2 onions, sliced
1 large red capsicum, diced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup light sour cream
4 tablespoons chives, chopped (optional)
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In a large bag place flour and diced veal. Toss until all the veal is coated with the flour.
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Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook veal in batches until browned and sealed on all sides.
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Place in slow cooker. Add the onion, capsicum, garlic, cumin seeds and paprika to slowcooker also.
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In a jug mix the red wine and tomato paste together and then stir into casserole along with the beef stock. Cover slow cooker.
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Cook on low for 10 - 12 hours or high for 6 - 8 hours.
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Turn off slow cooker, stir through the sour cream. Once served sprinke with chives (if using).
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

As I posted the actual Pork Meatballs yesterday and following a request, I thought I would share the quick and easy tomato sauce I make to turn these meatballs into a meal.

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
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Serves: 6
Points per serve: 6
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1 serve of Pork Meatballs
2 x 425g tins diced tomatoes
2 tsp white sugar
1 cup water
250g spaghetti or pasta of choice
chopped parsley, for garnish

Make meatballs as per recipe shaping into 24 balls (not 20 like stated).

Heat a large frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Place balls into the pan, gently turning to ensure they are completely sealed and brown. Remove from pan to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

In the same pan add the tomatoes, sugar and water. Bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer for approx 5 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pan of boiling water until tender. Drain.

Serve pasta topped with meatballs and sauce, either in individual dishes or a large serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if using.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pork Meatballs

These tasty morsels are one of Noel's little specialties - he loves using pork mince and has made up these little balls on several occasions. I have added a nice delicate tomato sauce to accompany them for dinner but honestly any sauce goes well with them.
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Pork Meatballs
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Makes: 20
Points per Ball: 1
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500g pork mince
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried sage
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray
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In a large bowl mix the pork mince, onion, egg, tomato paste, parmesan cheese, oregano, sage, salt and pepper thoroughly and until well combined.
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Shape into 20 balls (you can make smaller or larger if you wish).
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Heat a large frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Place balls into the pan, gently turning to ensure they are completely sealed and brown. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes, continually turning to ensure they do not stick.
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(You could also place in a casserole dish, cover and put in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes on a low heat to cook through).
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Note: Adjust points to suit number of meat balls made.
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This is how we had them - Pork Meatballs with Tomato Sauce (and served with fettucine).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken Casserole

This dish has never failed me whether it is for a tasty supper, for a special dinner party, an impromptu get together or even for when you are in want of something "tasty". Dinner can be on the table in as little as an hour. I have cooked this for family, friends and even work colleagues and it always gets an applause especially from me. Not bragging but even my kids love it.
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I serve with some nice fresh crusty bread and a bowl of steamed greens but honestly it is nice just by itself.
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The early preparation is a little time consuming but trust me, it is well worth it. Even with very minimal ingredients this casserole is bursting with flavour and I am sure your guests will ask you for this recipe!
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Mediterranean Chicken Casserole
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Serves 6
Points per serve: 6.5
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1 tbs olive oil
6 small (about 600g) chicken drumsticks, skin on
6 (about 1.5kg) chicken thigh cutlets, skin on
1kg chat potatoes, halved, skin on
4 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
95g kalamata olives
1 head of garlic, seperated and skin removed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
125ml dry white wine
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
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Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a 3L (12-cup capacity) flameproof, ovenproof baking dish over medium heat. Add the chicken drumsticks and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the chicken thigh cutlets.
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Add the potato to the dish and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat. Return the chicken to the dish and gently mix through the potatoes. Top with tomato, olives and garlic cloves. Sprinkle with rosemary. Pour over the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
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Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and potato is tender. Serve immediately.
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Crumbed Camembert

This is definately one of my favourite entrees of all time. I have to confess that if this is on a menu anywhere I just have to order it. The crunchy outside compliments the soft and gooey centre, while the saltiness of the Camembert is offset by the sweetness of the Cranberry Sauce.

However irristable as this dish isn't it is not a dish that is friendly with the weight watchers out there!
 

Crumbed Camembert

Serves 2

200g camembert round
2 tablespoons skim milk
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons oil
handful of rocket or baby spinach leaves
4 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Cut camembert into 8 wedges. One at a time dip in the skim milk and then coat with breadcrumbs.

Heat oil in a small frying pan. Once oil is hot place all wedges in and cook for 1 minute. Gently turn pieces in oil until all sides are crisp and golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Serve on a bed of rocket or baby spinach leaves with cranberry sauce on the side.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cauliflower Au Gratin

This is the only fail safe way I can get Oliver and Alex to eat cauliflower. Don't get me wrong they eat it in a stirfry, as a vegetable with gravy but give them a Cauliflower Au Gratin and they are literally in heaven.
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This is a fairly straight forward recipe even though I have classed the difficulty of medium. If you do not get the cheese sauce smooth and thick the dish will just not come together.
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Cauliflower Au Gratin
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Serves 8
Points per serve: 2.5
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cooking spray
1 head of cauliflower
45g butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 cups skim milk
60g grated tasty/cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
ground white pepper
salt
1 slice white bread, made into fine breadcrumbs
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Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
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Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
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Cut the cauliflower into medium, even sized florets. Place in a large microwave proof dish, add a little water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 - 8 minutes or until florets are beginning to become almost tender. Remove from water and arrange in casserole dish so all florets are in a single layer.
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Make cheese sauce by placing the butter in a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine into a roux for approximately 1 minute. Remove from heat and slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Place over a medium heat, still constantly stirring add dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until mixture starts the thicken. Remove from heat and stir in 30g of the cheese.
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Pour cheese sauce over cauliflower florets evenly. Combine breadcrumbs and remainder of cheese. Sprinkle over the cauliflower and spray top evenly with cooking spray.
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Place in oven and cook for 30 - 40 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbling. Serve immediately.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Mixed Seafood Platter

I couldn't really decide on what entree to serve for Valentines Day dinner so I ended up making a Mixed Seafood Plate with two Dipping Sauces, one a Seafood Cocktail Sauce and the other was Garlic and Spring Onion Mayonnaise.

On the small plate is Noel's Chilli and Ginger Scallops. I will have to see if I can get him to share his recipe with us. They are delicious and so full of flavour. Definately one of his specialities!!

Mixed Seafood Plate

Serves 4
Points per serve: 6

500g white fish, no bones or skin (I used gummy shark)
250g raw peeled and deveined prawns
350g calamari hood
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 teaspoons paprika
salt and pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ red capsicum, sliced thinly
1 spring onion, sliced thinly on diagonal
coriander leaves, to garnish

Rinse the fish, prawns and calamari and pat dry.

Cut the fish into large cubes. Score the inside of the calamari hood and then slice into large pieces.

In a large snap lock bag mix the flour and paprika, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add all the seafood, seal bag and toss contents to combine.

Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan until hot, add contents on bag and fry until golden brown or approximately 5 minutes, separating pieces as required.

Drain on paper towel and place onto plate.

Garnish with the capsicum, spring onion and coriander leaves.

Serve immediately.




Garlic and Spring Onion Mayonnaise and Seafood Cocktail Sauce

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I wanted to serve something nicer than plain mayonnaise or tomato sauce with our entree, Mixed Seafood Platter. So I decided on two different flavoured mayonnaises or sauces with I thought would compliment the flavours of the different seafoods nicely and I must say they did.
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Seafood Cocktail Sauce
(pictured on the left hand side)
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Serves 8
Points per serve: 1
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1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup low fat cream
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In a medium sized bowl combine mayonnaise, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, brandy (if using) and lemon juice. Mix well until combined.
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Stir through the cream.
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Place in the refrigerator to chill until required. This will also maximize flavour.
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Garlic and Spring Onion Mayonnaise
(pictured on the right hand side)
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Serves 8
Points per serve: 1
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1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup low fat cream
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 spring onion, finely sliced
freshly ground black pepper
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In a medium size bowl mix all the ingredients until combined.
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Place in the refrigerator to chill until required. This will also maximize flavour.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

I love the ease of not only the recipe but the preparation. I use a concentrated paste but I believe the secret is to allow the meat to marinate for as long as possible. In this case it was overnight, but saying this you would get away with letting it sit for only 20 minutes.

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Cooked on the bbq, these are a quick and easy midweek dinner. Serve with rice or a salad and Mint Raita on the side.
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Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks
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Serves: 8
Points per serve:5.5
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2 kgs (16) chicken drumsticks, skin removed
12 tablespoons low fat natural yoghurt
8 tablespoons tandoori paste (I used Sharwoods)
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Place chicken drumsticks in a large snap lock bag.
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Mix tandoori paste and yoghurt together until combined. Add to snap lock bag.
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Seal the bag and then mixed around marinade with the chicken drumsticks until they are completely covered (this is actually a very soothing experience).
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Place in fridge and marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight if time permits.
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Heat the bbq grill. Place drumsticks in a flat layer on grill and cook for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Ensure thicker end of drumstick is cooked through.
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Note: The easiest way to remove skin off chicken drumsticks is to hold the thick end of the drumstick in one hand and using a tea-towel pull back the skin with the other hand. It will be easy until you get to the bone end which will require a little more force but the tea-towel will help you to grip the skin more effectively.
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Also you could replace the chicken drumsticks with chicken fillets/thighs or even lamb cutlets.

Mint Raita

This is my take on a favourite condiment for Indian Food, especially Tandoori flavoured meats such as Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks. Traditionally this would have grated cucumber in it but as only two out of four of us like it I omit the cucumber. Saves on arguments that way!!
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Mint Raita
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Serves 8
Points per serve: 0.5
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1 cup low fat natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
1 teaspoon caster sugar
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Mix all ingredients together until combined.
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Place in refrigerator until needed. The longer the dip stands the more the flavours will develop.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Penne Boscaiola with Chorizo

Another pasta recipe, it's creamy base combined with the amazing flavours make this pasta a dish that is requested often and one that can be whipped up easily at a moments notice, providing you have the ingredients of course.
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However last night I had an urge to introduce a new flavour to the dish, and of course received mixed reactions from my taste testers but that adds to the fun of experimenting. I had a Chorizo Sausage (Spanish Sausage) in the fridge begging to be used so to my surprise it actually enhanced this pasta dish but I must say I would not make it a regular addition due to the fat content.
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Penne Boscaiola with Chorizo
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Serves: 6
Points per serve: 8
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250g penne pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 rashers bacon, rind removed and diced
1 chorizo sausage approx 100g, sliced (if using)
1 tsp crushed garlic
150g mushrooms, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
375 ml can evaporated low fat milk
3 tbs sweet chilli sauce
40g grated parmesan cheese
100 g baby spinach leaves

Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside.
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Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray, heat and cook the onion, garlic, bacon, chorizo sausage (if using) until onion is soft and meat has started to crisp. Add mushrooms and capsicum and cook for a further 5 minutes.
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Add the milk and chilli sauce to the pan. Stir until combined. Add the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese and baby spinach leaves tossing until pasta is covered and heated through and the baby spinach has wilted.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Raspberry Brownie Slice

Once again Alex wanted to cook something on Sunday and when she wants cook it's generally something sweet. After a short time flicking through some cookbooks she came across this recipe and with having all the ingredients at home it was full steam ahead.
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Raspberry Brownie Slice
Source: WW Easy Entertaining Cookbook
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Serves: 16
Points per serve: 2.5pts
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cooking spray
80g reduced fat butter
3/4 cup soft brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup skim milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup dark choc bits
150g frozen raspberries
icing sugar to serve
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Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Spray and line a 19cm x 29cm slice pan.
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Place the butter, sugar, cocoa and milk in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat stirring until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and cool for 5 minutes.
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Stir the eggs, flour, choc bits and raspberries into the cocoa mixture. Spoon the cake mixture into the pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire racke to cool.
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Serve cut into squares and dusted with the icing sugar.
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Note: Store the brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Crunchy Asian Salad

I mentioned yesterday that I had a hard time deciding between which salad to take to Deb and Julien's Saturday night so I took both the Roasted Pumpkin Salad and this Crunchy Asian Salad, both I must say went down well.
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Crunchy Asian Salad
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Serves: 12
Points per serve: 3.5pts
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1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 Wombok (Chinese Cabbage), shredded finely
6 shallots, cut diagonally
1 red capsicum, finely sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
100g lightly tasted slivered almonds or pinenuts
1 packet Changs Fried Noodles (100g)

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In a small saucepan combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and olive oil. Stir well over a low heat until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool.

.Put the Wombok, onions, capsicum, carrots, coriander and almonds in a large serving bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing and mix well.
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Sprinkle with noodles just before serving and toss to mix through.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Roast Pumpkin Salad



This is a great salad when you want something different and going to a friends house for a bbq I wanted to take something different. I actually made two salads last night, the Roast Pumpkin Salad and a Crunchy Asian Salad purely because I couldn't decide. I couldn't decide because they are both so nice and their flavours are just so different and exciting.


Roast Pumpkin Salad

Serves: 8
Points per serve: 1


2 cups Jap/Kent Pumpkin, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks
freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
2 cups of salad leaves (mixed, baby spinach or rocket)
100g black olives, pitted
100g low fat fetta
3 tbs oregano leaves, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Coat a baking tray with baking paper or foil and spray generously with cooking spray. Lay pumpkin peices in a single layer on tray. Coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with pepper. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until pumpkin in golden and tender. Allow to cool.

Place the salad leaves on serving platter or bowl. Top with cooled pumpkin, olives, crumbled fetta and oregano leaves. Toss gently to ruffle but not mix.

Combine the balsamic vinegar and olive oil is a small screw top jar, securing lid and shaking well to mix. Drizzle over the salad.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Berry Dream

Alexandria, who will be turning 8 in March, decided it had been a long time since we had dessert. Don't get me wrong Noel and the kids all love desserts, and although I can sometimes be persuaded I am actually not a sweet tooth. Plus there is the fact that I am always trying to lose weight!

Since buying all the Symply To Good To Be True cookbooks (5 in a set) there has been one dessert that Alex has been longing to try, and that is this one - Berry Dream. Needless to say her wish came true so she helped make, decorated, served and also enjoyed eating this.



Berry Dream
Source: Symply To Good To Be True 5
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Serves: 8
Points per serve: 1pt
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2 cups frozen mixed berries
3/4 cup chilled evaporated light milk
2 x 200g tubs diet berry yoghurt
1 sachet lite raspberry jelly crystals
1/4 cup boiling water
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Before starting make sure evaporated mik is chilled.
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Semi defrost berries.
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Using an electric beater beat chilled evaporated milk until thick and stiff peaks form. Pour in yoghurt then add berries and beat until well combined.
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Dissolve jelly crystals with boiling water, pour into bowl beating until all mixture is blended (there should still be small pieces of berries through the mixture).
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Either leave in bowl or divide into 8 dessert dishes. Refrigerate until set.
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Note: As you can see our desserts were decorated with a swirl of thickened cream and some chocolate shavings... these are additional and not part of the recipe.

Italian Chicken Casserole

Having the thought of using my slow cooker more than just for cooking curries stuck in my head for the last few days I thought I would pull it out of the cupboard, dust it off and make our dinner in it.
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The slow cooker must be one of the most easy to use and useful appliance that one could own. Everything goes in, it gets turned on and then hours later a one-pot dinner is ready. My slow cooker is very old as it was my mother's and it is apparantly older than my sister, who is turning 32 years old this year. I often think it is time to upgrade but this one works well for the time being.
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Anyway before leaving for work I loaded up my ingredients for my dinner creation, set the slow cooker to low, left for work knowing that when I got home all I would need to do was to boil some pasta to serve with the Italian Chicken Casserole that would be ready.
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And on that note I must say that the house smelt wonderful when I opened the front door armed with a late edition of a fresh crusty french stick!
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Italian Chicken Casserole
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Serves: 6
Points per serve: 4 pts
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6 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 onion, diced
1 green capsicum, largely diced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon dried oregano
200g mushrooms, quartered
2 x 400g tinned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tbs cornflour
salt and pepper to taste

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Place chicken, onion, capsicum, olives, mushrooms, organo, and tomatoes into slow cooker.
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Depending on time, cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high 4 - 6 hours.
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Remove chicken pieces to a plate. Combine water and cornflour together, stir through casserole. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to slow cooker and turn up to high for 30 minutes allowing sauce to thicken.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hoisin Lamb with Noodles

Last nights dinner was delicious even if I say so myself! LOL!!
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No seriously, I tend to judge a meal on the reactions of my family so when Oliver and Alex ate 3 bowls full each and Noel was left scraping the serving dish the meal can't be to bad.... infact there was nothing left over!
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Hoisin Lamb with Noodles
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Serves: 6
Points per serve: 6
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1 x 200g packet long life noodles
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
500g lean lamb strips
500g brocolli florets
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 yellow capsicum, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp beef stock powder

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Boil a large pan of water and cook noodles until tender. Rinse and set aside in water.
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Mix 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoons dry sherry in a bowl, add lamb strips and marinate for 30 minutes or longer if time permits.

In a small bowl add a little water and broccoli florets, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes until slightly tender.
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Heat a large wok or large non-stick frying pan, spray with cooking spray and toss lamb in small batches until sealed. Remove to a plate to rest. Continue until all lamb has been cooked.
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To the same pan fry onion, garlic and ginger, stirring until onion is starting to soften. Add capsicum and toss for 3 - 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and lamb strips, stirfry for 1 minute. Add remaining sauces and combined water and stock powder. Continually stir until boiling.
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Drain the noodles and add to pan, tossing until completely covered and heated through.
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Serve immediately.
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Note - do not overcook the lamb as it will become tough and chewy. Any meat can be substituted for the lamb.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Xacutti

I bet I got your interest with the name of this meal, right?

Xacutti, pronounced sha-koo-tee, is a Goan curry, not as widely known as vindaloo but having the same spicy heat. Traditionally made with mutton or chicken (we actually used lamb) and a dry paste containing fried coconut and has lime juice added to it just before serving which further distinguishes it from the vinegary vindaloo.





Xacutti
Serves: 4-6
1 cup desicatted coconut
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
8 dried long red chillies
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 star anise
6 cloves garlic, quartered
2 tablespoons butter (or ghee if available)
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
1kg diced lamb
2 cups water
2 cups liquid beef stock
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 – 2 red chillies, sliced, if desired


Dry fry coconut in a large frying pan over a medium heat, stirring until browned lightly. Remove coconut from pan. In the same pan dry fry the cinnamon, cloves, chillies, turmeric, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns and star anise, constantly stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Blend or process coconut, spice mixture and garlic until fine.

Heat butter in a large saucepan, cook until soft, stirring. Add coconut spice mixture, and cook constantly stirring until fragrant. Add lamb, cook stirring for about 2 minutes or until the lamb is completely coated with the coconut spice mixture.

Add the water and the stock, simmer covered for 30 minutes and stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes or until lamb is tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir lime juice into curry. Garnish with sliced red chillies if desired.