June 26, 2013

Julie & Julia Inspiration - Week 1 Day 3

Crispy Parma Pork
400g pork fillet
40g feta cheese
4 slices of Parma ham (I used pancetta)
olive oil
8 fresh sage leaves
balsamic vinegar

6 medium mixed-colour zucchinis (I used the green only)
5 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli (I also again left this out:))
1/2 bunch of fresh mint

To serve
2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
1 lemon
2 x 250g packs of cooked brown rice
4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt

Ingredients Out * Large frying pan, medium heat * Food Processor (fine slicer) * Large casserole pan, medium heat*

Cut the pork into 8 even sized medallions and make a slit in the centre of each one.  Cut the feta into 8 pieces and poke these into the slits in the pork, then sprinkle with a little black pepper and wrap each piece with 1/2 a slice of Parma ham.  Flatten with your fist and put into the frying pan, ham side down, with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning regularly until golden and cooked through.

Finely slice the zucchinis in the processor and add to the casserole pan with 2 tbs of oil.  Squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and turn up the heat to high.  Finely chop the chilli and most of the top leafy half of the mint and add to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir regularly until softened and delicious.

Add the sage leaves to the pork pan for 30 seconds until crispy.  Tip the zucchinis on to a serving platter and arrange the pork and sage on top.  Return the frying pan to a high heat, add a splash of water, the sun-dried tomato paste and lemon juice, then tip in the rice and warm through for 1 minute.  Serve the rice drizzled with yoghurt, drizzle a little balsamic over the pork, then scatter everything with the remaining mint leaves.

My husband James is not a fan of pork and as such I dont usually cook it.  But he said that he could barely taste the pork in this dish which shows how lovely the parma ham is when caramelised.
We are still in the midst of renovating the kitchen, so I again was limited with space and items I could use.  I cooked the pork in my electric wok and found it took awhile to crisp up but eventually did.  
If I did this again, I would use normal cooked rice not instant, as we found it not that soft.

Tomorrow night's recipe is Lamb Lollypops, Curry sauce with rice and peas from page 102.

-Kcal 582
-Fat 22.4g
-Sugar 8.8g
-Sat Fat 6.3g

{This recipe is directly taken from Jamie Olivers published book '15 Minute Meals}


June 25, 2013

Julie & Julie Inspiration- Week 1 Day 2

Chilli Con Carne Meatballs

Bulgur Wheat
1 mug (300g) of bulgur wheat (I couldn't find bulgur wheat so I used cracked wheat from the health food section)
1 preserved lemon(I could not find preserved lemon so I just added a half fresh lemon and took the rind out once it finished cooking)
1 cinnamon stick

400g lean beef mince
1 heaped tsp garam masala (I used Tikka Masala instead as it was milder and I am not a fan of spicy food)
olive oil
3 jarred red peppers
1 tsp smoked paprika
700g passata
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 x 400g tin of fresh kidney beans
1 pinch of cumin seeds
4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
1 lime

Grilled chillies
4 fresh chillies (I left this out as I don't eat chillies)

Ingredients out * kettle boiled * oven grill on high * medium lidded pan, high heat * large frying pan, high heat * blender * medium frying pan, medium heat

Put 1 mug of bulgur wheat, 2 mugs of boiling water, the preserved lemon, and the cinnamon stick into the medium pan and cover, stirring occasionally.  With clean hands, scrunch the mince with salt, pepper and the garam masala.  Divide the mixture into 4, then with wet hands quickly shape each piece into 4 balls, placing them into the frying pan as you roll them and adding 1 tablespoon of oil, toss regularly.

Blitz the peppers, half the trimmed spring onions, the paprika, passata, half the coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper in the blender until smooth, then pour into the medium frying pan (swirl a good splash of water around the blender and pour into the pan) and turn the heat up to high.  Prick the chillies and put under the grill to blacken all over, then remove.

Rinse and drain the beans, then add to the meatballs with the cumin seeds.  Use tongs to transfer the meatballs straight into the pan of sauce, leaving the beans behind.  Finely slice the remaining trimmed spring onions.  Stir the beans into the sauce.  Remove the cinnamon stick, then mash the lemon into the bulgur wheat and serve with the meatball sauce, dollops of yoghurt, the charred chillies and wedges of lime, scattered with the remaining spring onions and coriander leaves.

This was a relatively easy recipe to make. The only hurdle I had was I was not able to use my cooktop or kitchen bench as we were right in the middle of re-laminating the bench top.  So instead I used an electric hot plate and an electric wok frying (thanks Mum!).  This was a challenge but somehow made it work:)  James loved the wheat but thought the meatballs could have used more flavour so perhaps next time I might add a touch more masala.  A great dish for a cold night!

Tonight I am making Crispy Parma Pork with minted courgettes (zucchinis) and brown rice.  Should be interesting as James is not a fan of pork...so we will see if it passes the test:)

-Kcal 437
-Fat 14.2g
-Sugar 11.1g
-Sat Fat 4.8g

{This recipe is a directly taken from Jamie Olivers published book '15 minute Meals'}


June 24, 2013

'Julie & Julia' Inspiration - Week 1 Day 1

Coconut buns
1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk
2 coconut tins (500g) of self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

Chicken, pickles & garnishes
2 x 200g skinless chicken breasts
140g mixed mushrooms (I used champions as I am not a fan of mushrooms)
3 tbsp hoi sin sauce, plus extra to serve
2 limes
200g tenderstem broccoli (I couldn't find the tenderstem ones so just used regular broccoli and it worked fine)
1 cucumber
1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
1 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar (I personally like white wine vinegar so used this)
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander (Not a fan of coriander so left this out)
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 x 105g pack of pickled ginger (Could not find at Coles so left this out)
1-2 fresh red chillies (Not a fan of chilli's so again left this out)

Ingredients out * Kettle Boiled * Food Processor (bowl blade) * 16 non-stick muffin cases * Two 25cm bamboo steamers * Wok, medium-high heat * Small frying pan, low heat

Pour the coconut milk into the processor with 2 heaped tins' worth of self-raising flour and a good pinch of salt, whiz to a dough, then tip on to a flour-dusted work surface.  Roll the dough into a sausage shape, cut into 8 even-sized pieces, then place each one into a double-layered muffin case, and squeeze those into one layer of the steamer.  Pour 5cm of boiling water into the wok, put the basket of buns on top with the lid on and leave to steam hard.

Cut the chicken into 1cm strips and toss into a bowl with the roughly torn mushrooms, hoi sin sauce, juice of 1/2 lime and a pinch of salt.  Tip into the second steamer basket along with the trimmed broccoli and pop underneath the tray of buns for 5 minutes unti cooked though.  Speed-peel the cucumber into ribbons, toss into a bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar and a few torn coriander leaves, then with clean hands squeeze and scrunch everything together to make a pickle.

Toast the sesame seeds in the frying pan until golden, then tip into a little bowl, cut the remaining 1 1/2 limes into wedges, and serve with the pickled ginger and extra hoi sin sauce in little bowls.  Serve the buns and chicken in the steamer trays, scattering everything with the remainder coriander leaves and finely sliced chilli.

-I didn't own any steamer bowls so visited my local 'cheap' shop and found 2 for $24.  
-I also own a very basic food processor and had no clue what a bowl blade was, so just used the normal chopping blade and it worked a treat!
-I used a large frying pan with the water on the bottom to place my steamers into and again worked just as well
-Speed peeling means grabbing your potato peeler and peeling long ways down the cucumber {really easy} and I didn't peel the cucumber first

-795 k cals
-16.4g fat
-6.2g sugar
-6.4g sat fat

After watching Julie & Julia the other night, I found myself longing to share the food my husband and I love cooking and eating at the present moment.  Jamie Oliver's 15 minute Meals is one of he first books that I have longed to cook out of.  Ok, so it might take a tad more than 15 minutes (but I am a hand washer, wiper and washer upper, so it takes me loads longer:)) but it is easy and delicious!

I may miss nights as we have dancing or work, but I will endeavour to share with you the recipe's I make and some things I learn whilst creating these meals.

Please feel free to share with me your version of the recipe's either in the comments or email me at lilian.oliver2@gmail.com and I will share in a blog post.

I hope you get some inspiration to try some of these (I would never have picked this recipe to try first but it is delish) and have fun!


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