Friday, December 30, 2011

Xinjiang Lamb with Cumin and Chillies

The ingredients in this dish caught my eye straight away - which only meant one thing!  It had to be cooked.

This cumin spiked dish is inspired by Uygar cuisine in northern China and it sure left an amazing lingering flavour with each mouthful.  The chilli added the heat which complimented the dish nicely.

Xinjiang Lamb with Cumin and Chillies
(recipe adapted from Woolworths Good Taste Magazine January 2012)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

450 grams lean lamb strips
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 brown onion, halved and cut into wedges
1 green capsicum, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped, to serve
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
dried chilli flakes, extra to serve

Combine the lamb, garlic, cumin seeds, cumin powder, chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wok over high heat until just somoking.  Stir fry the onion and the capsicum for 2 minutes or until lightly charred and tender.  Transfer to a bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil in the wok over high heat.  Stir fry half of the lamb mixture for 2 minutes or until browned and just cooked through.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with remaining oil and lamb mixture.

Add the lamb mixture, onion mixture and remaining soy sauce to the wok.  Stir fry for 30 seconds or until heated through.

Divide among serving plates.  Sprinkle with spring onion, coriander and extra chilli flakes.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Prawn and Avocado Salsa Wonton Cups

Boxing Day we headed off for lunch at our long time family friends' house.  It was a lovely day so I decided to take something light yet tasty as my food offering.

Wonton cups are so easy to make and make an attractive entree, finger food and even a dessert.  They can be filled with whatever takes your fancy.  I decided that it would be prawns with an avocado salsa just for something different.

 Prawn and Avocado Salsa Wonton Cups

Serves: 30
ProPoints per Serve: 1

30 fresh wonton wrappers
30 cooked and peeled prawns
1 avocado, diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
freshly ground black pepper
150 grams Kraft Philadelphia Extra Light cream cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a large muffin tin with cooking spray.  Line each muffin hole with a wonton wrapper.  Spray tops of wrapper and cook in oven for 5 - 8 minutes or until wrapper is crisp and golden.  Remove and allow to cool.

In a bowl gently mix together the avocado, tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, chilli powder and black pepper.

In the base of the wonton cup place a teaspoon cream cheese, stand up the prawn and fill the wonton cup with a couple of teaspoons of salsa.


Note - do not fill too early before serving or wonton cup with go soggy.

Steamed Christmas Pudding

This steamed Christmas Pudding also seems to have become a tradition with everyone requesting it each year.  Even though we didn't host Christmas at home this year Vicky requested that this be our contribution to the celebration at their house.  I was only to happy to make it as it is quite easy although the cooking is the time consuming part of the process.

This is such a moist pudding - full of flavour and very morish.

Another recipe that I will not publish ProPoints for but will maybe look at next year modifying to lessen the blow!!  LOL!!

Steamed Christmas Pudding

Serves: 12 - 16
ProPoints: Danger Beware

1 kilogram Mixed Dried Fruit
2 cups fresh orange juice, no added sugar
1 teaspoon bircabonate of soda
1/2 cup brandy
400 grams unsalted butter, softened
2 cups soft brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Combine fruit, orange juice and bicarbonate of soda in a large saucepan and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes until liquid has almost evaporated and fruit is plump.  Remove from heat.

Add brandy, mix well and allow to cool.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in remaining ingredients along with fruit.

Grease a 2 litre pudding steamer/dish with butter and line base with a circle of baking paper.  Spoon in mixture.  Pleat a piece of baking paper to cover top of pudding.  Secure with lid (if you have) or cover with 2 layers of oil, securing edges tightly with string.

Fill a large saucepan with water.  Place an upturned small plate or saucer in the bottom.  Put pudding on the saucer, ensuring thatwater comes halfway up the sides of the pudding bowl.  Cover with lid and bring to the boil.  Boil for 4 hours, adding more hot water as the level drops.

Gently invert pudding onto a plate.

To reheat place in microwave for 5 - 8 minutes. 

(Click here for a printable version of the recipe)

Gingerbread House

On Christmas Eve while my mam was making her Mince Pies, which are such a family tradition to be cooked while watching Carols by Candlelight another Christmas tradition was being born.... the Gingerbread House. 

I used to make one most years when the kids were little but I do admit it has now been some years.  Alexandria asked for one last year but time was against us so this year I did everything I could not to disappoint her again and so our house was mixed, baked and decorated.

PS there is NO ProPoint value for this recipe - DANGER BEWARE!!

Gingerbread House
(Recipe sourced from The Essentials Christmas Cookbook)

250 grams softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
additional flour (for kneading)
1 egg white
2 1/4 cups pure icing sugar
sweets/lollies of your choice and quantity

Place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a bowl and beat until light and creamy.

Gradually add eggs, beating thoroughly after each additon.

Sift flour, ground ginger and bicarbnate of soda into the bowl and stir until combined.  Bring the dough together with your hands, turn it out onto a well floured work suface and knead until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cut a paper pattern for each part of the house. 

The pattern for the house is as follows:
~ 2 x sides - 10 x 20 cms
~ 2 x roof  - 18 x 20 cms
~ 2 x ends - 16 x 22 cms (measure 10 cms down the length to form two rectangles - measure 8cms     accross the length of the smallest rectangle then draw diagonal lines to make a triangle and cut off the corners giving you the peaked house ends)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, in batches, to 5 mm thick.  Using the paper templates as a guide cut house pieces (ensuring you have two of everything).  If you would like windows or a door cut these out now.

Line baking trays with baking paper.  Gently lift the pieces onto the trays and refrigerate for a further 20 minutes.

Bake each tray for 12 minuts each.  Set aside to cool.

For stained glass windows - crush assorted coloured boiled lollies and fill the cut out windows after cooking for 7 minutes.  This will allow them to melt together but not burn.

To make the icing, place 1 egg white in a bowl and gradulally add sifted icing sugar until you have a smooth mixture which will stay in place when piped.  If it is too runny add more icing sugar.

Assemble the house by joining the front and sides together with a piped line of icing and leave to dry.  Add the back of the house in the same way, hold for a few minutes and then leave to dry.  Decorate the outside seams of the house with more icing to strengthen.  Ensure house is dry and sturdy before decorating with lollies.

Decorate the house with sweets/lollies by attaching with icing.

Note - the quantity of gingerbread mixture will make approximately 30 gingerbread people.

(Click here for a printable copy of this recipe)

Roast Pork Cutlets with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Another one I created earlier.... LOL!!

These juicy pork cutlets are paired with an irresistible creamy mustard sauce which went down a treat.  The creamy mustard sauce was smooth and not over powering.  The vegetables soft and the pork cutlets were just mouthwatering.

I wasn't quite sure on the actual outcome - I had never roasted my potatoes with a sauce as such but I am really glad that I gave this recipe a go.  It was delicious and everything was tender.  Not to mention this dish was on the table with minimal fuss and minimal mess.

Roast Pork Cutlets with Creamy Mustard Sauce
(recipe adapted Super Food Ideas Magazine August 2005) 

Serves 4
ProPoints per Serve: 10

800g Desiree potatoes, unpeeled, cut into wedges
5 carrots, peeled, thickly sliced
2 green capsicum, deseeded, thickly sliced
250 grams button mushrooms
1/4 cup wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chicken stock
4 rindless pork loin cutlets
1/2 cup thickened low fat cream
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place potatoes, carrots, capsicum and mushrooms in a large roasting pan. Combine mustard, oil, stock and salt and pepper in a jug. Pour over vegetables. Toss to combine.

Place pork cutlets on top of vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until pork is just cooked through. Transfer pork to a plate. Cover with foil and stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add cream and parsley to vegetables in pan. Stir to combine.Return to oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Place vegetables and pork onto plates. Spoon over creamy mustard sauce. Serve.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Steak with Prawns in Bryon Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce

I was really fancying a Surf and Turf but the creamy garlic sauces are not a favourite with Noel so I decided to create a "prawn sauce" to top our steak that Noel would enjoy and would also satisfy my craving at the same time.

Recently we have really been enjoying the Byron Bay Chilli Co Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce.  It has an amazing flavour and while it's rate medium hot it sure does have a kick that's for sure.  Hog's Breath Cafe serve it on their menu and Noel always orders it when we eat there.

I have to say the sauce I made was actually delicious.  Still full flavoured even though I did combine it with cream it definitely made an interesting change to the normal "Surf and Turf".

Steak with with Prawns in Bryon Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce

Serves: 2
ProPoints per serve: 12

2 scotch fillet steaks 200 grams each, barbecued to your liking
cooking spray
250 grams large green king prawns, peeled and rinsed
2 spring onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Byron Bay Chilli Co. Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
2 tablespoons reduced fat cream

Cook steaks your preferred way and to your liking, keep warm.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and cook prawns for  1 - 2 minutes each size until colour starts to change (but do not overcook).  Remove to a plate.

Respray the same pan with cooking spray and add spring onions and garlic over a medium heat.  Saute for 2 minutes or until spring onions have softened.  Add chilli sauce and water, mixing well to combine.

Stir through cream until combined.

Return prawns to the pan and cover with sauce.  Continue to stir until heated through and sauce has returned to a slight boil (do not boil).

Serve prawns and sauce drizzled over steak.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Herb and Spice Steamed Fish

It has been so long since my last my last post but I have not neglected my treasured hobby - in fact my absence saddens me as I love nothing more than cooking a delicious meal and then of course bragging oops I mean blogging about! 

I have been so overwhelmed with my work load of late and of course the Christmas period otherwise known as the Silly Season, where everything is frantic. I have to admit not a great deal of new recipes have been cooked most nights it's been trusty old favourites but I do have a few dishes I want to share with you....

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This was one recipe that had always enticed me.  I firmly believe that we do not eat enough fish although we do tend to eat seafood.

The combination of the herbs and spice was delightful especially teamed with the lemon.  The fish itself was very tender and I was surprised considering I cooked it in the oven as the steamer I have wasn't big enough for all the fish fillets.  Next item on my shopping list is a large bamboo steamer and then I will try this recipe again as I really enjoyed it.

Herb and Spice Steamed Fish
(recipe sourced from WW Secrets of Success Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

2 teaspoons Master Foods Moroccan Seasoning
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
800 grams fresh flake or other firmish white fish
1 medium fresh lemon, sliced

Combine the seasoning, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander and oil in a large bowl. Add fish, turn until coated in the mixture, refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Line base of a large steaming basket with a sheet of baking paper. Lay fish pieces side by side on the paper. Lay lemon slices over fish.

Cover with the lid or a sheet of foil. Place basket over a wok or saucepan of simmering water, without the basket touching the water. Cook for 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.

Alternatively cook fish in a covered baking dish in a 180°C oven for 15 minutes or until cooked.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)