Friday, June 29, 2012

Portuguese Chicken and Prawn Pizza

Home made pizza night always works well .  Everyone makes their own flavours - Alex had a Satay Chicken, Ollie a BBQ Meatlovers and Noel made a pizza with Chicken, Hot Salami and Chilli BBQ Sauce.  As you can see we all have a creative streak when it comes to making pizza!

Tonight inspired by a dish one of my previous bosses had at Kelly's hotel in Cranbourne when we went out for dinner Thursday, last night.  Joe ordered Piri Piri Chicken and Prawn Rissotto.  It looked nice although it was too spicy for Joe.  The dish itself looked like a paella so I used that style of cooking as a basis for my recipe.

Marinating the chicken and prawns in a portuguese marinade topped with spanish style vegetables and of course black olives sprinkled with a little cheese made for a different pizza, that's for sure.

Portuguese Chicken and Prawn Pizza

Serves 4
ProPoints per serve: 8

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon chopped chilli paste
2 teaspoons crushed ginger
2 teaspoons dried oregano flakes
200 grams chicken fillet, sliced
200 grams raw prawns
cooking spray
1 x large pita bread (100 grams)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 brown onion, sliced
1/2 red capsicum, sliced
1/2 green capsicum, sliced
60 grams grated light cheese
100 grams whole pitted black olives

Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chilli, ginger and oregano until well combined.   Place chicken and prawns in a medium bowl, add marinade and toss to coat.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer if time permits.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat.  Remove chicken from marinade, reserving the prawns and marinade and cook for 1 -2 minutes until sealed.  Remove from heat.

Place pita bread on a pizza tray sprayed with cooking spray.

Spread tomato paste over entire base.  Sprinkle with 40 grams of grated cheese.

Place chicken over pizza base and top with onions and capsicum.  Place prawns on top.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with olives.

Cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese has melted and pizza cooked through.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tex Mex Chilli Bowls

Anything Mexican inspired excites me - I think it is because I love the simplicity of the cuisine (even though at times it is a hard cuisine to cook).  The vibrant colours always inviting your taste buds to experience the combination of flavours.

These Tex Mex Chilli Bowls definitely caught my eye is a recent Weight Watchers Magazine.  A full meal served individually in it's own little edible bowl.

To be totally honest, eating this meal was so comforting and unlike any "diet" mexican dish I have ever eaten before.

Tex Mex Chilli Bowls
(recipe sourced from Weight Watchers Magazine June 2012)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 12
 cooking spray
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 grams extra lean beef mince
1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder blend
2 x 400 gram cans diced tomatoesf
freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400 gram can red kidney beans, drained
4 x 48 gram reduced fat tortilla
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
6 iceberg lettuce leaves shredded
1/2 medium avocado, coarsely mashed
60 grams grated extra light tasty cheese
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream

Lightly spray a large non stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened.  Add mince and cook, stirring to break up lumps, for 5 minutes or unmtil browned.  Add chilli powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in canned tomatoes, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated.  Stir through the beans.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 

To make tortilla bowls, line 4 bowls (with a base measurement of approximately 8cms and a top measurement of approimately 15cms) with tortillas.  Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.  Set aside to cool and then remove from bowls.

Combine fresh tomatoes and coriander in a medium bowl and season with salt and freshly black pepper.

Divide mince mixture amongst tortilla bowls.  Top with lettuce, avocado, grated cheese, sour cream and fresh tomato mixture.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sweet Chilli and Rosemary Lamb

As you all know by now lamb is one of the favourite meats in the Murray household but it is just so damn expensive here at the moment.  Thankfully I managed to get some lamb sirloins on special, so I stocked up freezing for many more meals to come.

This recipe is one that I have often looked at but just couldn't imagine the sweetness of the chilli sauce with the lamb.  I decided to try it anyway and really glad I did.

To take away some of the sweetness I added fresh rosemary leaves and also added a little wine to thin the thickness of the marinade for the first part of the recipe, allowing it to cover all the lamb. 

The outcome - the flavour was brilliant and the cooked sauce, somewhat sticky, smothered over tender juicy lamb.

Sweet Chilli and Rosemary Lamb
(recipe adapted from WW Secrets of Our Success Cookbook 2008)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 13

cooking spray
8 baby chat potatoes
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
4 x 200 gram lamb sirloins
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into batons
1 bunch brocollini, trimmed
2 bunches baby bok choy, rinsed and cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cut potatoes into quarters.  Place on foil lined baking tray, spray with cooking spray and roast for 45 minutes or until cooked through and golden.

Meanwhile combine chilli sauce, sugar, rosemary, rind, juice, wine, garlic and paprika in a shallow dish.  Add lamb, toss to coat in marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat a non stick frying pan over high heat, spray with cooking spray.  Remove lamb from marinade and reserve marinade.  Cook lamb for 6 - 8 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove from pan allowing to rest.

Meanwhile steam vegetables until just cooked.

Bring reserved marinade to the boil in the frying pan.  Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes or until thickened.

Serve lamb topped with chilli marinade along with potatoes and steamed vegetables.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Potato, Onion and Bacon Bake

Once again travelling for work has seen me away from home and not cooking.  As always I love coming home and catching up of my favourite and enjoyable hobby!

I wanted to cook something different as a side dish.  I have always liked the look of Jannson's Temptation, a traditonal Swedish potato casserole, but not fussed on one ingredient - anchovies!!  I am not a fan but saying that I also have purposely not eaten one for years.  Maybe I will like then now as I know that my tastebuds have changed.  I now like oysters and mussels and am willing to give smoked salmon again.... who knows??

This potato bake was created with Jannson's Temptation in mind but we added onions and bacon to the potato.  It was very easy to make.  Overall it had a very "comfort food" feel about it and was enjoyed by all.

Potato, Onion and Bacon Bake

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 5

cooking spray
175 grams Weight Watchers Bacon, thickly sliced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into batons
1 brown onion, sliced
300 mls reduced fat thickened cream
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook bacon for 2 - 3 minutes until slight crisp.  Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.
Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.

Combine potatoes, onions and bacon in a large bowl.  Place mixture into casserole dish.

In a small jug combine cream, stock powder, parsley and pepper to taste.  Pour over potato mixture.
Cover casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and golden on top.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Veal Cutlet Martini

It has been a wonderful day - work was productive and I have a proud announcement (below) to share so I thought we definitely needed a nice dinner and a nice glass of vino to cap off the day.

Veal is always a favourite in our house.... Alex still refers to the thick cutlets as "fluffly pillows of meat" due to their tenderness.

This is a meal I came across a long time ago and knew that we would enjoy the welcome flavours of tomatoes, mushrooms and oregano with the veal cutlets all laced with a delicate trace of wine.  The recipe I somewhat followed was also an adaptation from Chef Tony Tammero of Palm Restaurant, New York, NY.

I was really impressed with the outcome - this meal was delish and infact it was deavoured tonight by all.

Veal Cutlets Martini
(recipe adapted from Veal Recipes) 

Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 9
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
cooking spray
250 grams button mushrooms, sliced,
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed of oil
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 veal leg cutlets, 200 grams each
440 gram can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons water

Add stock and wine to medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.

Spray cooking spray in large nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and shallots to pan, cook and stir 5 minutes or until mushrooms have softened. Remove from pan.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in shallow dish. Lightly coat cutlets with seasoned flour.

Using the same frying pan, spray with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Cook veal cutlets in pan for 4 to 5 minutes or until veal is cooked through, turning once. Remove cutlets; keep warm.

Add reduced stock mixture to pan. Cook and stir 1 minute or until browned bits attached to pan are dissolved. Return mushroom mixture to pan. Stir in tomatoes and oregano. Combine arrowroot and water, mixing well. Stir into tomato mixture, return veal cutlets and cook until heated through and sauce thickens. Serve immediately.

My announcement... some of you have already heard, read and even seen but A Dash of Flavour, my nerdy hobby of keeping a food blog, made it into this month's Weight Watchers Magazine... what a thrill for us!!

Thank you to all of those that follow our blog, for the support, for the feedback and for sharing this blog with people you know - it is all definitely appreciated.  Also thanks to those that have tried some of the recipes featured and we honestly hope you have enjoyed them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pasta with Beef, Bacon, Rosemary and Olives

Wanting comfort food due to a stressful day at work I knew that dinner tonight had to be pasta of some description.  I wanted good ol' Spaghetti Bolognaise but on the other hand also wanted something different.

So with that in mind I was trying to combine my two wants to satisfy my need..... meat sauce but with a difference?  This is where my thoughts led...... Pasta with Beef, Bacon, Rosemary and Olives.  A very pleasing result.. full comfort food that's for sure.

The meat sauce full of beef and bacon was not only thick but very filling, the kalamata olives brought a pleasant saltiness complimenting the fresh rosemary perfectly.  The flavours worked so well together.

Pasta with Beef, Bacon, Rosemary and Olives

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 14

cooking spray
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250 grams reduced fat bacon
750 grams premium beef mince
4 large sprigs fresh oregano, chopped to 2 inch lengths
1 cup port
2 teaspoons salt
1 teapsoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
440 gram can diced tomatoes
150 grams Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
250 grams pasta of your choice
60 grams fresh parmesan cheese

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat.  Cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.  Add bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Add beef and cook until beef has browned.

Add the rosemary and port.  Increase heat to medium hight and cook until liquid has almost absorbed.  Stir through salt and pepper.

Add tomato paste and stir to combine. 

Stir through diced tomatoes and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook pasta according to packet directions.  Drain.

Stir through olives and cook for 5 minutes to ensure they are heated through. Quickly remove the rosemary stalks.  Serve pasta topped with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chicken with Wine, Garlic and Herb Sauce

Sorry for the delay in posting Monday night's feast but Tuesday saw me off to Brisbane with work of course, only to return very late Thursday night.  Never mind I had a good time this trip during my absence but have been waiting to blog again on the new fresh version of A Dash Of Flavour.  I hope you are liking the few changes that we have made to our blog.

This dish, I have to say myself, was magnificent.  In fact I think we all wanted second helpings once we had cleared out plates.  The chicken moist and tender, the sauce creamy and powerful - a brilliant combination of garlic, fresh herbs and wine.  And another easy weeknight dinner that could easily be served for a special dinner.

I love the delicateness of a cream sauce and there was no resisting this while eating.

Chicken with Wine, Garlic and Herb Sauce

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 7

2 red onions, thinly sliced
4 x 200 gram chicken fillets, all visible fat removed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup thick light cream

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Coat a small frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until softened.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Place chicken fillets in a shallow oven proof dish.  Sprinkle with onions, galic, oregano and thyme.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Mix together wine and chicken stock, pour around chicken fillets.  Cover dish with lid or foil and cook in oven for 25 - 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken from casserole dish, covering with foil to keep warm.  Mix cream into wine mixture until well combined, return chicken to sauce to coat.

Serve chicken drizzled with sauce accompanied by point free vegetables.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)