Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lebanese Pork and Veal Meatballs

This was an interesting recipe not only by name but by the way that you cook part of the actual recipe.  I have to say I was very intrigued and felt compelled to try it out.

Meatballs are a winner at any time as far as I am concerned - small mouthfuls of tender melt in your mouth bites are always enjoyed but these that are Middle Eastern infused topped the list.

The Lebanese rice was very different but was one of the conversation highlights.... really rice and pasta? Who would have thought?  But both these combined, cooked in the stock until tender, really made this dish as they both enveloped the flavours and made the meal complete.

If you are after some different and want a one pot wonder this perfectly fits the bill. 

Lebanese Pork and Veal Meatballs
(recipe adapted from WW Slow Cooking Cookbook)
Serves: 8
ProPoints per Serve: 10
400 grams lean pork mince
400 grams lean veal mince
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 white onions, thinly sliced
4 cups veal or chicken stock
1 cup long grain white rice
100 grams angel hair pasta
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh coriander leaves

Combine mince, garlic, egg, cumin, coriander and cardamom in a medium bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Roll level tablespoons of mixture into 32 meatballs.  Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook meatballs, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to a plate.

Reheat same pan over medium heat.  Cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add meatballs and stock, bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.

Add rice and cook for 5 minutes.  Add pasta and cook for 10 - 12 minutes or until rice and pasta are tender and liquid has been absorbed.

Serve topped with tomato and coriander.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beef and Pumpkin Rendang

It's absolutely no secret that our household loves curry.  Any type of curry regardless of it's origin.  It surprises me that when many people think of curries they think Indian considering all the tastes and flavours we have in the world.  So many different styles of curry and so many different versions of the one curry dish.

Rendang is a spicy meat dish which originated from Indonesia but is now commonly served in many countries. The curry paste is a mix of spices, which includes ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, lemon grass, garlic, shallot and chillies. Cooked with coconut milk traditional Padang Rendang takes hours to cook. However this recipe is both quick to prepare and cook plus having the added bonus of it being low fat.

The house smelled amazing not only once we started cooking the paste but while we waited for it to cook on the stove.  This recipe cook easily be adapted to a slow cooker recipe, obviously by adjusting the liquid and the cooking times.

Beef and Pumpkin Rendang
(Recipe adapted from WW Slow Cooking Cookbook)

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 7

2 red onions, chopped
6 small fresh red chillies, chopped
2 lemongrass sticks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk powder
1 kilogram gravy beef, fat trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
4 cups beef stock
800 grams pumpkin, chopped
200 grams green beans, cut into 5 cm lengths
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

Process onion, chilli, lemongrass, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a food processor until smooth.

Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook curry past, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add milk powder and stir to combine. Add beef and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef is tender.

Add pumpkin and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until tender. Add beans and cook for 2 minutes or until just tender.

Serve sprinkled with lime leaf. Add 3 ProPoints for ½ cup steamed rice.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes Crispy Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables that most people eat.  They can be boiled, mashed, baked, steamed, grated, diced, sliced, etc. but my favourite has to be little tasty bite sized cubes that are flavoured and crispy.

Fresh rosemary roughly chopped with garlic and sea salt perfectly complimented the crispy potatoes and were delicious served with Southern Fried Chicken.  Trust me though, they were nice just on their own (I snuck a few in the kitchen).

To easy to make... perfect to eat!

Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes Crispy Potatoes
ProPoints per serve: 3
600 grams potatoes, peeled and 2 cm diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely crushed sea salt

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl mix all ingredients together.

Place on a single layer on a prepared baking tray.

Cook for 25 - 30 minutes until golden and crispy and cooked through.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Southern Fried Chicken

Comfort food doesn't get any better than eating chicken drumsticks with your fingers, except when the chicken is coated in a blend of spices that make your tastebuds dance.  Southern Fried Chicken is just one of those dishes that not only sounds soulful but sounds inviting and comforting.  It's a dish that is hard to resist... at times one piece is just not enough.
The American's have made this a well known dish especially in the Southern States.  The most famous version of this dish of course is Kentucky Fried Chicken.  The original version of this dish required deep frying the coated chicken pieces.  I have made a low fat version "Home Made Kentucky Fried Chicken" which was also delish.
The secret to Southern Fried Chicken is that the chicken pieces are marinated in chilli tainted buttermilk and then coated in a seasoned flour what could be easier?  A quick fry to seal and then oven baked which reduces the greasiness.  This recipe was very easy and as always devoured by those sat at our dinner table.
Southern Fried Chicken
(Recipe sourced from WW Dinner with Friends Cookbook)
Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 11
8 x 70 gram skinless chicken drumsticks
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon mild paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place chicken in a glass or ceramic dish (or large snap lock bag).  Add buttermilk and chilli, and turn to coat.  Cover and place in fridge for 3 hours or longer if time permits.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Combine flour, paprika and cumin in a shall bowl.  Remove chicken, one piece at a time, from marinade. Coat chicken in flour mixture.  Transfer to a plate.  Discard marinade.

Heat oil in a large non stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook chicken, turning, in batches,  8 - 10 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to prepared tray. 

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through. 

Serve with coleslaw mix drizzled with lemon juice (0ppts) and steamed corn on a cob - add 2ppts for 80g corn.  You could also serve with Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes Crispy Potatoes.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)