Friday, November 26, 2010

Veal Steaks with Lemon and Caper Gremolata and Sweet Potato Salad

We hadn't had veal for a long time so I was looking forward to last night's dinner. In fact I was praying that I got home from work early enough to cook it. I was very busy yesterday and it was made worse by the fact I had to drive home in very heavy rain.

Anyway dinner was very easy to prepare and as this recipe is basically broken up into 3 steps it was somewhat quick also, besides the roasting of the sweet pototo time wise.

The Lemon and Caper Gremolata made a nice change from having a sauce and I have to say the taste and textures of the Sweet Potato Salad was very enjoyable also. However, the next time I cook this I will change the cut of veal. Don't get me wrong there was nothing wrong with using thin veal steaks we just prefer a thicker cut of meat so I feel this recipe would work well with a veal cutlet.

Veal Steaks with Lemon and Caper Gremolata and Sweet Potato Salad
(recipe sourced from WW ProPoints Programme Cookbook 2010)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 11

800g sweet potato, cut into 2 cm pieces
cooking spray
3/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons baby capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
500 grams lean thin veal steaks, fat trimmed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

Preheat an oven to 220 degrees Celcius.

Place sweet potato on a baking tray. Lightly spray with cooking spray and toss to coat. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until golden and tender.

In a small jug whisk parsley, rind, juice, oil and capers together and set aside.

Lightly spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Cook veal for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through.

Place cranberries, pine nuts, vinegar, mustard, roassted sweet potato in a bowl. Toss to combine. Serve veal topped with the lemon and caper gremolata, along with the sweet potato salad.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chicken Saagwala and Steamed Rice

A quick dinner for us tonight but something tasty was required. I normally only like a curry if it's slow cooked or made in a traditional way, but I came across this recipe on the Weight Watchers website and just wanted to try it.

I must say very easy, very quick and very tasty. And of course the bonus factor is that the rice is incorporated into the ProPoints value.

Chicken Saagwala
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Australia)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 11

1 1/4 cups basmati rice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500 grams lean chicken breast fillet, diced
2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1/2 cup hot water
375 ml can Light and Creamy Evaporated Milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon water
4 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook rice according to the packet directions. Drain and set aside.

Place curry powder, coriander, cumin and garlic in a non stick frying pan. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, stirring over medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add chicken to the pan and toss to coat.

Combine stock powder with water, mix well.

Add tomatoes and stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir to combine.

Reduce heat to low and add evaporated milk. Stir to combine.

Combine cornflour and water, mix well.

Add the cornflour mixture to the curry and continue to stir until slightly thickened.

Add the spinach, mix well. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add coriander and simmer for 1 minute. Serve with rice.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

It was a beautiful day here in Melbourne today and of course we had a bbq for dinner.. not that we ever need an excuse to fire up the weber and cook steak over the coals!! Steak tastes magnificant cooked this way and in fact I cannot remember when we last used our actual bbq - it has been a long while that's for sure.

When we have steak we all love a nice sauce with it. Noel's favourite is creamy peppercorn sauce, I am quite partial to a mushroom sauce but we both love this one... creamy blue cheese sauce. Even Oliver is starting to enjoy this one also.

Before you get put off by the thought of "Blue Cheese" I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. This cheese sauce only has a hint of the blue and if you can use a really nice blue it makes such a difference to the flavour. We used gorgonzola which is somewhat strong but rich and creamy.

I have to admit this way is nice but if you cook your steak in a frying pan use the meat juices at the beginning of the recipe and this sauce is to die for. Saying this though it is perfectly yummy cooked as the recipe reads.

Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 3

cooking spray
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons brandy
100 grams danish blue cheese, crumbled
375 ml can Carnation Light and Creamy Evaporated Milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons water
freshly ground black pepper

Heat a medium non stick frying pan over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add spring onions and garlic, cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until softenened. Add brandy and swirl around pan for 30 seconds, scrapping the bottom with a wooden spoon to pick up any specks.

Add crumbled cheese and cook until softened, around 2 - 3 minutes.

Stir in the evaporated milk, stirring continuously. Combine cornflour with water, mix well and add to milk mixture. Continue stirring until sauce thickens. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lamb and Rosemary Parcels

Still experimenting with the new ProPoints values and converting recipes is keeping me quite occupied but I must say loving the whole concept behind the new Weight Watchers Program.

Last night's meal of Lamb and Rosemary Parcels fit perfectly into the new plan and we all enjoyed them.

Wrapped in filo pastry the lamb and gravy mixture was comforting and the rosemary added flavour considering there were no real pan juices to use, if you know what I mean? (I find gravy powder mixed with water very bland.)
I guess very similar to a pie, you could easily add extra vegetables such as carrots and peas to turn into a filling pot pie. Now we are talking definite comfort food!!

Lamb and Rosemary Parcels

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 10

cooking spray
600 grams lean lamb strips
1 brown onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons gravy powder
2 cup water
12 sheets filo pastry

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and over high heat cook lamb strips in batches for 2 - 3 minutes or until sealed. Remove to a plate.

To the same pan fry the onion over a medium heat until soft. Add the rosemary and season with freshly ground black pepper.

In a large jug mix together the gravy powder and water. Add to pan stirring continuously until mixture thickens. Add lamb and stir well. Remove from heat. Strain most of the gravy mixture from the lamb using a sieve and reserving the gravy. Allow lamb to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Working with one sheet of filo at a time, lay first sheet on a flat surface and spray with cooking spray. Top with a second sheet and spray with cooking spray also. Then put a third sheet on top. With the pastry facing longways from you place 1/4 of the cooled lamb mixture near the end. Fold the top end of the pastry over the mixture. Fold both the short sides over the mixture to enclose filling. Spray edges with cooking spray and roll up into a parcel. Continue with remaining parcels.

Place on a lined oven tray and cook fro 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling warm.

Reheat gravy and serve with parcels.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Panaeng Chicken Curry and our 300th Post!!

Firstly I have to apologize for my obvious slack effort at posting of late... we have been cooking and I have been travelling a lot with work - needless to say the lack of time up my sleeve is being reflected here loud and clear!! This year, with my change of jobs, has seen increased travel and therefore eating at motel restaurants more than ever has had me thinking if I should add reviewing restaurants to this blog? Interesting question - tempting but not sure if I am ready to whip the camera out in a restaurant and photo what I have order just yet!!! Will ponder that thought a little further I think... lol!!!

Secondly the Weight Watchers programme that I follow has just changed to ProPoints. From here on in the recipes will reflect the ProPoints values. Please bear with me while I go back over all the other recipes and revalue the points values to suit the new programme. It will take me a little time - that I am sure of.

Thirdly even though I have managed to spasmodically blog what we have cooked this year I cannot believe that we have reached our 300th post. What started off as my little hobby (which I didn't even tell my hubby about until he asked why I was taking photo's of cooked food for?) has grown so much! I am amazed by how many people come to visit our site, follow us and receive emails of what we cooked... in fact we feel truly privileged that you spend time with us. We love your comments and hope that if you do try any of our recipes that you enjoy them just as we do. Thank you all so very much!!!

So now on to what happened in the kitchen tonight. Thai curries are a huge favourite with us all but I tend to stear clear of them considering coconut milk is so high in fat. I have in fact been fancying a thai curry for some time now especially Panaeng, which has just a beautiful flavour.

This curry was easy to make although a little time consuming getting the ingredients ready as I did decided to add a lot of vegetables to it to bulk it up. Served with steamed rice (which is included in the ProPoints value) it was an excellent meal.

And YES it cured my thai curry craving.... mmmmm!

Panaeng Chicken Curry

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 9

1 cup dry basmatic rice
cooking spray
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on diagonal
200 grams Panaeng Curry Paste (I used Valcom)
500 grams, lean chicken breast, sliced
1 red capsicum, deseeded and large diced
230 gram can bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
230 gram can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
440 gram can baby corn spears, drained and rinsed
375ml can Light and Creamy Evaporated Milk Coconut flavoured
4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
150 grams snow peas
150 grams bean sprouts

Cook rice according to packet instructions and set aside.

Spray a wok or large frying pan with cooking spray. Over a medium heat cook onions and carrots until tender. Remove to a plate.

To the same wok or frying pan add penaeng curry paste and stirfry for approximately 30 seconds or until fragrant. Increase heat to high. Add chicken and cook for a further 3 - 5 minutes, stirring, until chicken is sealed and coated in curry paste.

Return onions and carrots to the chicken along with the capsicum. Stirfry for a further 2 - 3 minutes.

Add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and baby corn. Stirfry for a further 2 minutes.

Add evaporated milk, lime leaves, fish sauce, sugar, snow peas and bean sprouts. Continue to cook for a further 2 - 3 minutes but do not boil as the milk with curdle and separate.

Serve immediately with steamed rice.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Aleisha

I love trying to recreate restaurant meals at home especially the ones I have really enjoyed and this meal was no exception. Infact I was quite excited when I decided to attempt cooking this last night.

Recently we went to Kelly's Hotel in Cranbourne, which serves the most devine steaks but I wasn't in the mood for a lump of beef. I opted for this dish wish made my mouth water from the first time I read the description! "A plump chicken breast served with avocado, bacon and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce" I believe it read from memory... so here is my low fat version of the dish that I enjoyed throughly and was nearly guilty of licking the plate clean!

My recreation worked well, the taste was great and thankfully a little kinder to the waistline than the original dish.

Chicken Aleisha

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6.5

4 chicken fillets (150g each), no skin fat removed
cooking spray
100 grams bacon, fat trimmed, sliced
1/2 brown onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic
150 grams button mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock (made with stock powder)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons reduced fat thickened cream
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1 medium avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray and cook chicken fillets for 3 - 4 minutes on each side until golden and sealed. Place on a lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile spray frying pan with cooking spray and cook bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel covered plate.

Wipe out frying pan with paper towel, respray with cooking spray and cook onion and garlic over a medium heat until tender. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the wine and stock to the mushroom mixture and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Add cream and stir to combine, do not allow to boil.

Mix together the cornflour and water. Mix into sauce, stirring until slightly thickened. Return bacon to sauce and heat through.

Place chicken fillets on plates or a platter. Fan a 1/4 of the avocado on each chicken fillet. Gently top with sauce mixture and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)