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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creamy Mustard Dressing Recipe

I always prefer homemade sauces and dressings and this is one of those ones that is very simple to make. Once you have tried this you will never go back to buying one from the supermarket. This is so much nicer and will become one of the family favourites.
It is not suitable to store for long periods and I only recommend that you keep it for a couple of days in the refrigerator in an airtight jar or container.

1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons brown vinegar
1 teaspoon Djion seeded mustard (can substitute a mild english one)
pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and secure lid thoroughly.
Shake together until well combined.
Drizzle over your favourite chargrilled vegetables, pumpkin, pasta or potato salad.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roast Pumpkin and Spinach Salad with Maple Syrup Recipe

I love anything with pumpkin in it so when a girlfriend made this wonderful salad, I just had to get the recipe from her to make it myself. It has been given the thumbs up from David, hereby known as the recipe taster. It is so easy to make and you will be a hit with your friends when you serve it up at your next barbecue.
This recipe uses Maple syrup but you could easily substitute that for honey if prefered. Either way, it is a delightful salad and one that goes great with chicken or beef.

750g jap or kent pumpkin - peeled and cubed into 2cm pieces
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
100g baby spinach leaves - thoroughly washed and dried
1 tablespoon light tasting olive oil
1/4 spanish (red) onion - thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts - halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dijon Dressing:
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light tasting olive oil
2 - 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For salad, place pumpkin, syrup and olive oil in a large bowl and lightly season with the salt and pepper. Toss through to combine all ingredients.
Lay pumpkin in a single layer on an oven tray that has been lined with baking paper.
Cook in a hot oven of 240C for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
To make dressing, place vinegar, oil, mustard and syrup in a small bowl or jug. Lightly season with salt and pepper and beat well with a whisk.
To serve, place the still warm salad in a nice serving bowl and add the spinach and walnuts to it. Drizzle some of the dressing over salad and toss through to combine.
Serve with some lovely fresh crusty sourdough bread.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tourtiere (Pork Pie) Recipe

Tourtiere is a French-Canandian pork pie which is traditionally served on Christmas eve after attending midnight mass. There are many variations but most believe that it originally was made from pork, game birds such as wild ducks, rabbits and venison.
Today it is mainly made with pork, garlic, mashed potato mixed in and celery.
My mum used to just make it with pork, a little herbs and puff pastry from the supermarket. As my dad loved anything made with pastry, it was always a popular pie in our house.
I have given the recipe here that my mum used to make but you can always experiment with adding a few other things to it if prefered.

375g pkt frozen puff pastry
500g pork mince
1 small brown onion - peeled and chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon chopped herbs (if using dry just use about 3/4 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brandy
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra egg yolk - slightly beaten


Combine the pork mince, onion, egg yolk, herbs, brandy, salt and pepper and let stand for 1 hour to marinate.
Preheat oven to 220C or 210C if using a fan forced oven.
Heat butter in large frypan and brown the pork mixture over a high heat. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from pan and set onto a large plate or dish to cool.
Divide the pastry in two and roll out one half to fit a 20cm (8 inche) circle. Glaze the edge of this with half the beaten egg yolk and place it onto a greased baking slide. (You can use a pie dish if you prefer but I like it made this way)
Mound the meat mixture onto the pastry, leaving a about 1cm or 1/2 inch around the edges free of any meat.
Roll out other half of pastry to form a 25cm (10 inch) circle. Decorate with the back of a knife in a swirling pattern for a nice effect and brush with egg yolk.
Bake your pie at 220C (or 210C fan forced) for 10 minutes then reduce oven to 180C and bake for another 35 minutes or until lovely and golden brown on top.
Can be served hot or cold with a lovely tossed salad.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beef Stroganoff Roll Recipe

I joined a weight watching group several years ago and over the time we have changed more into a get together group that exchanges recipes, new ideas, fellowship and a bit of group therapy thrown in when needed. We laugh over some of the extreme ideas thrown around, body image and everything else that such a diverse group brings to our sessions.
This recipe was given to me by Jill, who made it for us at a luncheon we had to celebrate her birthday. We all tried it and agreed it was definitely one to make at home for our own families.

500g low fat mince steak (heart tick one)
1 pkt beef stroganoff sauce mix
1/4 cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 medium size egg
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (can use fresh)
1 tablespoon dried chopped chives
1 cup cottage cheese (I used low fat)

Combine meat, sauce mix, tomato sauce and lightly beaten egg in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Press mixture out flat onto a sheet of glad wrap, into an oblong shape.
Combine parsley, chives and cottage cheese and spread over meat mixture. Do not take the cheese mixture completely to outer edges of meat.
Roll the meat up as for a swiss roll, using the glad wrap to help with the rolling.
Place meat roll onto a microwave safe rack (seam down) and cook on MEDIUM HIGH for 15 minutes. May take more or less, depending on age and power of microwave.
Serve hot with a nice tossed salad or vegetables.

Bobotie Recipe

My friend Jacqui gave me this recipe and said it is one of those dishes she makes that the whole family enjoy. Although her recipe is for slow cookers, you can easily adapt it to cooking in the oven if you don't have a slow cooker. I will give you both ways of cooking it. You will find that the flavour is enhanced by doing it in a slow cooker so well worth investing in one, especially as there are so many wonderful recipes around now using them.
Bobotie is a traditional South African dish using spiced minced meats with an egg topping that many say, originated from the Dutch East India Company. It is a recipe that has slight variations, depending on individual tastes, and most housewives in South Africa will have their favourite version of this popular dish. You can use beef, pork or lamb in this but I have given you a simple one, using minced beef.

2 slices fresh white bread
1 cup milk ( can use hi-lo)
1 large brown onion - peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
750g lean mince steak (heart tick one)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon chutney
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
2 medium size eggs
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup seedless raisins (optional)

METHOD: (slow cooker)
Tear bread up into small pieces into a medium size mixing bowl and pour the milk over.
Heat oil in a large frypan over medium/low heat and saute the onion and mince steak until browned.
Add the curry powder and cook another two minutes. Turn heat down to low and add sugar, vinegar, chutney, raisins, seasoning and lemon rind.
Squeeze out the bread and reserve the milk. Add the bread to mixture and continue cooking for another minute, stirring through.
Turn mixture into the slow cooker.
Beat eggs with the reserved milk and pour over top of mixture.
Cook for 2 hours on high temperature then reduce to low and cook for a further 3 hours.

METHOD: (traditional)
Same as for slow cooker until just before you add the egg/milk topping.
Turn mixture into a lightly greased ovenproof dish and cook for 35 minutes at 170C. Remove from oven and pour over the beaten egg/milk mixture and cook for a further 25 - 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed yellow rice and extra chutney in a side dish.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon Recipe

I always like experimenting with traditional dishes and this is one of those old time favourites that I have given a bit of a twist to.
If you prefer it without the bacon, just delete that from the recipe. You will find that the kids will love it with the bacon and it encourages them to eat their vegetables.
This amount will serve at least 6 adults so you can always halve it if cooking for less.

1 small cauliflower or half a large one
1 brown onion - peeled and chopped
4 rashers of short cut bacon - diced
30g (2 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 1/2 cups milk (can use hi-lo)
1 large teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 cup tasty cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (can use wholemeal if preferred)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
extra 1/2 cup cheese
sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C
Steam or microwave cauliflower florets until only just cooked but still firm. Place into an ovenproof dish that has been slightly greased with a little butter.
Heat butter in medium size saucepan and when starting to bubble, add onion and about 2/3 of the bacon. Cook over moderate heat until softened. Add flour to this while still over heat and continue to stir for about 2 minute or until the flour is thoroughly cooked.
While still over heat, add the milk, all at once while continuing to stir the mixture. Don't worry that it will go lumpy as it won't and will be nice and smooth once it is cooked. Bring it to the boil and then turn heat down to low. Add the mustard, 2/3 cup cheese and the parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
When cheese is completely melted pour over the cauliflower. Top with the fresh breadcrumbs, extra cheese and bacon.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the top is lovely and golden.
Serve as a side dish to your favourite roast or meal.