What's For Dinner?
WORDS : CHYKA KEEBAUGH
PHOTOS: LISA ATKINSON
DINNER TIME NEEDN’T BE STRESSFUL WITH SOME PRE PLANNING…
It may be as simple as sitting down for ten minutes on a Sunday night and making a weekly meal plan, pulling together a list of ingredients. Having a few favourites up your sleeve that please the masses makes dinner time a little less stressful, so don’t feel like you have to cook something new every night or even once a week! Mix your week up with a delicious soup, a hearty pie and then something a little creative, giving your tastebuds something to look forward to every night of the week! Let’s start off easy…
ZUCCHINI DETOX SOUP
3 cups cubed zucchini
3 cups broccoli, roughly chopped into florets
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
Melt butter over medium heat then add onion and cook until translucent.
Add garlic and cook another minute or so, until fragrant.
Add in the zucchini, broccoli, salt, and broth. Stir, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Puree soup with an immersion blender, or pour into a regular blender and blend until smooth (tip: you may have to blend in two batches depending on the size of your blender).
Credits: Recipe from All Sorts of Pretty.
A CHICKEN PIE IS THE ULTIMATE FEEL GOOD SUNDAY EVENING MEAL.
Here's a recipe I have used for years and one that's sure to be a winner in your household!
2tbs Olive Oil
x6 (about 600g) Chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
100g Swiss brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Leek, pale section only, thickly sliced
1 Garlic clove, crushed
2tbs Plain flour
1tbs Wholegrain mustard
1 cup (250ml) Chicken stock
1/4 (60g) Sour cream
2tbs Drained green peppercorns
2tbs Lemon Juice
2tbs Coarsely chopped tarragon
2 sheets ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
2 sheets ready – rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked
Preheat Oven to 200C.
Heat oil in large non-stick fry pan and once sizzling add the chicken, turning occasionally until brown. Transfer to plate.
In the frying pan add the mushroom, leek and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until leek softens.
Add the chicken and flour to pan and stir to combine.
Add the mustard, stock and sour cream. Reduce heat to medium and stir until sauce thickens.
Stir in peppercorns, lemon juice and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Line four 1 1/2 cup (375ml) capacity pie dishes with shortcrust pastry. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans.
Place the pie dishes on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove paper and baking beans.
Spoon chicken mixture evenly amongst pastry cases. Lightly brush edges with a little egg.
Use a 12cm round pastry cutter (or top of a glass!) to cut four discs from puff pastry, place discs over chicken mixture to enclose. Lightly brush with egg mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden and filling is nice and hot.
SAN CHOI BOW IS AN EXTREMELY EASY MEAL TO MAKE - WHETHER YOU MAKE THIS FOR AN ENTREÉ OR MAIN IT IS A FUN DISH TO PULL TOGETHER.
San Choi Bow is one of those recipes I always turn to when I am staring into the fridge waiting for some inspiration. I love the versatility of this meal; you can add in or remove any of the ingredients to suit your tastes, you can double the quantities to make it a main meal, or you can serve it up as an entree. It is also the perfect meal when it comes to sneaking veggies into the kids! San Choi Bow is also fun as you can build your own lettuce cup; this is great for kids as I always find that when your child helps to assemble their own meal, they are more likely to eat it!
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
500g chicken mince
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 medium button mushrooms, finely chopped
220g can bamboo shoots, drained, finely chopped
220g can water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1/2 cup (30g) fried noodles
10 small iceberg lettuce leaves, washed, dried, trimmed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
Combine sesame oil, soy and oyster sauce in small jug or bowl.
Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add peanut oil, then chicken. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, breaking up mince, until the mince is just cooked through.
Reserve 1/3 of the shallots for garnish. Add remaining shallots, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, shoots and chestnuts to mince. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add combined sesame oil sauce, stirring until heated through and sauce thickens slightly. Stir through noodles.
Divide mince mixture evenly among lettuce cups. Top with sesame seeds, nuts and reserved shallots
I AM NOT SURE I HAVE FORMALLY INTRODUCED YOU TO CLAUDIA; SHE IS THE CAPTAIN OF THE KEEBAUGH SHIP!
She is our darling housekeeper, and I am so grateful to have her in our lives. My family leads a hectic and busy life so having her in our home a few days a week lightens the load for all of us. One of her very special skills that I am going to share with all today is her fantastic recipe for Popusas! This is a traditional El Salvadorian dish and is just delicious. Similar to tortilla’s these are a thicker version filled with a blend of ingredients such as cheese, cooked meat, and refried beans. You must try it!
1 cup red kidney beans
3 garlic cloves
1 brown onion finely diced
2 green capsicum chopped
250 grams diced pork or chicken
1 bay leaf
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup feta
2 cups corn flour
TO MAKE THE BEAN MIXTURE
Cook the beans in 4 cups of water using 1 clove of garlic and salt to taste for 50 mins.
Place the beans in a processor and blend until they are smooth.
Fry the bean mixture with oil, chopped onion, and 1 chopped garlic until soft.
Season with salt and stir until it forms a paste. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE MEAT MIXTURE
Deep fry the pork or chicken with 1 clove of garlic and 1 bay leaf until golden brown.
Add the tomato, onion, and capsicum in a food processor and blend until it forms a rough paste.
Season and set aside.
TO MAKE THE CHEESE MIXTURE
Place the mozzarella, feta, remaining onion and capsicum in a food processor until mixture becomes a paste.
HOW TO MAKE THE PUPUSA
Mix the cornflour with 11/2 cups water to make a soft dough.
Make a ball of dough with about four tablespoons of flour and then flatten very thinly. Add one teaspoon each of the cheese mixture, bean mixture and pork or chicken mixture. Press edges together to seal the pupusa together.
Flatten to about half a centimetre thick and roughly the size of a CD.
Cook on medium heat in a hot plate or non-stick pan for approx 1 minute each. Until golden brown with cheese melting out.