Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thai-licious Salad

I know....the title is lame, but I can assure you that the dish isn't.

A couple of weeks ago I needed to take a dish to a family gathering. As I was searching through magazines, looking for something that met my criteria - simple, different, yummy - I stumbled on a Thai Beef Salad salad that ticked all my boxes.

I followed the recipe pretty much but just added some rice noodles to bulk it up. The salad was such a success I re-made it the other day without the beef and added some raw peanuts for that extra crunch.


Red Chilli - I took the seed out of the chilli but if you would like a bit of heat just leave them in

Shallot -if you can't find any just use a red onion

Beef - If you want to turn it into more of a main meal add some beef. Last time I used rump steak

Leftovers - if by chance it wasn't gobbled up, it tastes great the next day

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crushed Cherry Tomato Pasta


Before we go too far you have to know something about me to understand what a massive leap I took in my first cooking challenge. I have been traumatised by the humble tomato. Not the tomato itself but the fact that sometime before I was 8 my Mum made me sit at the dinner table until I ate the tomatoes from the salad. I sat and cried and sat some more I could not bring myself to eat that juicy, red section of antioxident giving goodness. My senses would not allow it. To this day I choose to not eat juicy, soft, mushy, fleshy fruit or veg. I like my fruit fresh, crisp and cold.

So, Crushed Cherry Tomato Pasta. If the tomato had been this awesome when I was 6 I may not have maligned the tomato all these years.

200g Spaghetti - 500g cherry tomatoes, halved - 50g butter - 4 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced - 1 clove garlic, crushed - 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar - sea salt and cracked black pepper - 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves - shaved parmesan to serve.

Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 10-12 mins or until aldente. Drain. Return to the saucpan and keep warm. Place tomatoes in a bowl and crush with a potato masher. Set aside.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan ocer medium hear. all the butter and cook until melted. add spring onions and garlic (at this point your mouth will be salivating) cook for 1 minute.Add red wine vinegar, tomatoes,salt and pepper and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Add to the pasta with the parsley and toss to combine. Serve with shaved parmesan.

The recipe is for two but I think this is not right. I doubled the recipe and fed 6 with left overs. I was looking forward to eating those left overs but they disappeared in the middle of the night. This disappearing act is a very good sign that this meal will be seen again, soon, at our table.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ricotta & Cumin Meatballs

Last year we got hooked on Celebrity Masterchef - who knew that celebrities COULD cook, and well.

Right at the start of the show, I think maybe episode 1, one of the celebrities cooked a meatball dish that looked family friendly and delicious. Her secret ingredient was ricotta, an ingredient that I've not really used before.

I don't know about you, but I find it hard to ensure that my kids get the right daily dose of nutrients from the sometimes limited food that they WILL eat. So when I have the opportunity to "hide" goodness within a dish I seize it.

I knew if I told my kids, and probably my husband, we were having ricotta for dinner they would run a mile, but I knew that if I told them we were having meatballs they would be at the table within a flash.

So I tried it, I secretly added ricotta to my meatballs and they tasted moist and delicious and the kids were none the wiser. Win/Win.

So give them a try and let me know how you go.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

These sticky, meat-falling-off-the-bone ribs were a hit will all the family and our guests.

These really are not something you can just whip up, you do need to allow a bit of time, but they are super easy to prepare and will be devoured in minutes.
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