Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mint Raita

Served with Tandoori Chicken or most Indian dishes in fact, this side dish accompanies them perfectly.  It's great for helping to reduce the heat and calm the tastebuds while enjoying a spicy dish.

There are so many different versions of Raita - some with mint and coriander, some with mint and cucumber, some just cucumber, to name a few.  We like this nice clean flavour of plain mint with a hint of garam marsala but best of all it's very easy to make.


Mint Raita

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 1

1/4 cup freshly chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 cup no-fat plain yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

In a medium sized bowl place mint leaves and sprinkle with sugar.  Mix and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Add yoghurt and garam masala and mix well until completely combined.

Refrigerate until required.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tandoori Chicken

This has to be one of the easiest ways of making Tandoori Chicken - cooked on the bbq and served with a salad, Mint Raita and mango chutney it becomes a perfect balmy evenings dinner.

The trick to tandoori marinade I believe is the length of time you allow it to stand and gather all the flavours.  I always marinade mine overnight, covered in the fridge.


Tandoori Chicken

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 8

4 tablespoons tandoori paste
1 cup no fat natural yoghurt
6 x skinless chicken thighs, all visible fat removed
6 x skinless chicken drumsticks, all visible fat removed

Mix together tandoori paste and yoghurt until well blended.

Place chicken in a large bowl or large snap lock bag.  Pour yoghurt mixture over chicken, toss to combine completely.  Allow to marinate for at least 1 - 2 hours or overnight if possible.

Preheat a barbecue.  Cook chicken, brushing with marinade, for 4 - 5 minutes each side ensuring chicken is cooked through.

Alternatively, preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.  Place chicken, in single layer, on an oiled wire rack set inside a large shallow baking dish.  Cook, uncovered, for about 25 - 30 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through, occasionally brushing with remaining marinade.


(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shredded Chicken Leek and Thyme Tart

This meal has been on my menu planner for the last few weeks but somehow keeps getting brushed aside for no particular reason - either something else gets requested or our plans change.  What ever the reason we had some left over barbecue chicken again this weekend so I was determined to have this no matter what.

The thought of having pastry while dieting is a novelty in itself  for as we all know as a rule pastry is a NO-NO.  This recipe called for reduced fat shortcrust pastry therefore reducing the fat content. 

Although the pastry component was a little fiddly, the rest of the recipe was easy.  The dish was quite inviting to look at and not to mention it was definitely full of flavour.  The feta cheese made a nice change to normaly cheddar and the flavour was delicious combined with the sundried tomatoes and the thyme.  The serving sizes were quite large so this recipe could easily serve 6 - 8 for a light meal.

Overall this recipe sured pleased my crowd, with it being devoured last night.


Shredded Chicken Leek and Thyme Tart
(recipe sourced from WW Magazine January 2012)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 14

2 sheets reduced fat shortcrust pastry, just thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small leeks, halved, thinly sliced, washed and drained
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded left over skinless cooked chicken
1/3 cup fat free semi dried tomatoes, chopped
70 grams reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

Line base and sides of a 2.5cm deep 11.5cm x 34cm loose bottom flan tin with pastry, trimming of the excess.  Place flan tin in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Place flan tin on a baking tray.  Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges are crisp and light golden.  Remove weights or rice and baking paper and bake for a further 6 - 8 minutes or until base is light golden.  Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

Reduce oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium non stick frying pan.  Add leeks and half the thyme leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened.

Spread leek mixture over pastry case.

Whisk eggs and milk in a medium jug and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Top leeks with shredded chicken, tomatoes and crumbled feta, then pour over egg mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining thyme.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until just set. 

Serve Chicken Leek and Thyme Tart warm or cold.



(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicken Corn and Broccoli Pies

From such a heat wave to a cold snap here in Melbourne comfort food was on the menu last night.  All rugged up in our winter woolies it was nice to sit down to a warm homestyle pie full of creamy goodies hidden under a crunchy and light filo pastry lid.

These individual pies are a complete meal in themselves and very filling.  Using the filo pastry reduces the fat content dramatically but you could use puff pastry for a more tradition crust.


Chicken Corn and Broccoli Pie

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 9

cooking spray
750 grams chicken breast, fat removed, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornflour
freshly ground black pepper
12 sheets filo pastry
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a large non stick saucepan with cooking spray and cook chicken in batches over high heat until browned, remove to a plate.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

Respray saucepan with cooking spray and cook leek for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add wine, simmering until liquid has almost evaporated.

Add stock, mustard, dijon mustard, chicken, broccoli and corn to saucepan.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add milk and combined water and cornflour.  Stirring well to combine.  Continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Divide mixture amongst 6 ceramic pie dishes.  Spray 1 sheet of filo pastry with cooking spray and scrunch together gently, placing on top of half the pie dish.  Repeat with a second piece of filo pastry and cover the other half of the pie dish.  Continue placing two sheets of pastry on each pie.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling heated through.


(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mussels with Tomatoes and Chilli

This is a really quick and easy dish to make and is on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Nothing tastier than fresh mussels steamed in a broth of fresh tomatoes, white wine, chilli and kaffir lime leaves which add such an amazing flavour to the meal.  

Served with crusty bread this is a wonderfully feeling meal for event he fusiest seafood eaters.


Mussels with Tomatoes and Chilli

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

1 kilogram fresh mussels
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 red chillis, finely sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
2 spring onions, sliced
5 tomatoes, diced
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper

Clean mussels and remove beards.  Disregard any mussels that are open prior to cooking - tap on benchtop to see if they will close.

Using a large wok or saucepan, heat oil over high heat add garlic and chilli.  Cook for 1 - 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Add spring onions, tomatoes, lime leaves, wine and season with pepper.  Stir for 3 - 5 minutes or until boiling.

Add mussels, toss and then cover with a lid.  Allow mussels to steam for 8 - 10 minutes.

Serve, removing any shells that have not opened.


(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fish Fillets with Confetti Topping

On a fish fancy yesterday, I remember this old recipe I used to cook many moons ago.

An easy dish to prepare and cook which sees a fish fillet topped with a medley of vegetables, lemon, soy sauce and ham - yes ham! 

The flavours are great - really complimenting the fish to the point that it needs no sauce added and the fish is moist and tender.


Fish Fillets with Confetti Topping
(recipe adapted from WW Cooking Light Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 5

4 x 200 gram boneless fish fillets
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
120 grams lean ham, cut into fine strips
2 carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
2 spring onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place fish in a single layer in a shallow casserole dish or baking tray.

Combine all remaining ingredients and divide among each fillet, pressing into to place.

Cook in oven for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and tender.


(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chinese Barbecued Pork and Snow Pea Salad

The heat is Melbourne is starting to subside with a cool change expected sometime today... it still meant however that we had another warm evening last night.

The house was warm enough thanks to the huge pot of Pea and Ham Soup (using up the rest of the Christmas Leg of Ham) that had been simmering away for a few hours needless to say I didn't want to cook too much to create additional heat.  This Chinese Barbecued Pork and Snow Pea Salad was the perfect dinner.

Not only did the pork have a sticky somewhat sweet glaze from using one of our favourite ingredients, Char Sui Sauce, but the pork itself was moist and tender.  The noodles and the vegetables, served cold, were fantastic also - infused with a tangy asian dressing which complimented the pork beautifully leaving your mouth bursting with flavour.

An easy dish to prepare, cook and plate up - definitely a summer dinner that will be cooked again in this house.


Chinese Barbecued Pork and Snow Pea Salad
(recipe sourced from WW Eat and Enjoy Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 7

cooking spray
1 tablespoon Char Sui sauce
1 tablespoon water
500 grams lean pork fillet, fat trimmed
150 grams dried rice stick noodles
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 cm piece fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
1 teaspoon sugar
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
200 grams snow peas, thinly sliced
50 grams mizuna (Japanese lettuce), if desired
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Lightly spray a baking tray with oil.  Combine char sui sauce and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.  Place pork on baking tray and brush with sauce.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.  Transfer to a plat and cover to keep warm.  Allow pork to rest for 5 minutes before slicing thickly.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following the packet instructions or until just tender.  Drain.

Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and sugar in a small bowl until sugar has dissoved.  Combine noodles, capsicum, snow peas, mizuna and coriander and transfer to a large serving dish.  Top with sliced pork and drizzle with dressing.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Barbecued Lamb and Vegetables

" HAPPY NEW YEAR" to each and every one of you.  I wish you, your family and your friends best wishes for 2012.

Summer is definitely the time for cooking on the barbecue. There is something about the ease, the aromas and the relaxing atmosphere that comes from cooking outside.

We tend to have the same things on the grill.. sausages, hamburgers, steaks so last night I decided it was time to try something different.

Everyone enjoyed the flavour of this dish - as usual the rosemary and garlic complimented the lamb.  It was a nice change but will stick to the recipe next time.  I used lamb stir fry strips instead of lamb fillets which of course cooked too quickly on the bbq but didn't need to rest.  Although the lamb wasn't as tender as we would have liked but it was edible and all consumed.

Cross fingers 2012 allows me to be more regular with blogging as last year my work was so hectic, especially with the additional travel,  leaving me struggling to keep up with my precious hobby.  Thank you all for being patient with me and my erratic recipe blogging.  So here goes - the first recipe post for this year!! 

Enjoy....


Barbecue Lamb and Vegetables
(recipe adapted from WW Cook Fresh)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 9

4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped, plus extra sprigs to garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 grams lean lamb fillet
2 medium zucchini, thicly sliced
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 medium red capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces
1 bunch brocolini cut into 4 cm pieces
cooking spray

Combine garlic, chopped rosemary and oil in a small bowl. Place half of the rosemary mixture in a shallow dish. Add lamb and turn to coat.

Combine zucchini, onion, capsicum and eggplant in a large bowl. Add remaining rosemary mixture and toss to coat.

Heat an oil-sprayed chargrill or barbecue over medium-high heat.

Chargrill lamb for 3–4 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Rest lamb for 10 minutes before slicing thickly.

Meanwhile, chargrill vegetables, turning occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until golden and tender. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add sliced lamb and rosemary sprigs and toss to combine. Serve.