Lemongrass Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 lb beef sirloin, thinly sliced 
1 yellow capsicum, thinly sliced 
1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced 
1 clove garlic, crushed 
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, thinly sliced 
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced 
2 tlbs soy sauce 
1 tlbs fish sauce 
steamed rice, coriander and extra chilli, to serve

Method  
1. Heat a deep pan over high heat. 
2. Add 1 tlbs of oil and swirl to coat. 
3. Add half the beef. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned. 
4. Remove to a plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of oil and remaining beef.
5. Add remaining oil, onion, capsicum, garlic, lemongrass and chilli to pan. 
6. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is soft. 
7. Return beef and any juices to wok. Add soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through.
8. Top stir-fry with coriander and chilli. 
9. Serve with rice.

Vanilla custard

Ingredients
3 egg yolks
50g castor sugar
¾ cup milk
¾ cup cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
300ml thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks

Method
1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. 
2. Heat milk and cream in a small saucepan with vanilla seeds and scraped pod until just below boiling. 
3. Pour slowly into egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously. 
4. Strain mixture into a clean saucepan and cook gently, stirring, until custard coats the back of a spoon.
5. Enjoy!

Goat Cheese, Rocket and Pomegranate Salad

A refreshing salad, good any time of the year.  One can substitute blueberries for the pomegranate seeds, and it’s really nice with arugula instead of romaine, if you like spicy greens.

Ingredients
  150g baby rocket, rinsed and dried
  1 ripe pomegranate
  ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  100g goats cheese
  2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  5 tablespoons olive oil
  Sea salt & Blackpepper to taste

Method
1. Discard the outer leaves of lettuce, if they are icky – you want the more tender leaves underneath. Break each leaf into very small pieces – the smaller you make the pieces, the more elegant the salad appears. Place the lettuce in a salad bowl.
2. Cut the pomegranate in half and use a fork to pick out the seeds. Let them fall directly into the salad bowl.
3. Add rocket, red onion and crumble in the goats cheese. 
4. In a jar, mix together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, put the lid on top and shake it up. Pour onto the salad.
5. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.

Useful Tip:
- Substitute baby spinach or other salad greens for the rocket if you prefer.
- The salad can be prepared in advance, covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. Dress just before serving.

Cauliflower Puree with Garlic, Onions and Goat Cheese

Cauliflower is one of the world’s most versatile vegetables. Not only does it make a perfect pizza crust and a tasty fried rice, it’s also a surprisingly delicious alternative to traditional mashed potatoes!

Serving mashed cauliflower in lieu of potatoes is an easy way to lighten up your meal, and is a great solution for those of you who need to avoid starches. The sauteed onions and garlic give it a mellow, slightly sweet flavor that balances the strong flavor of the cauliflower and the tangyness of the goat cheese quite well.  

Ingredients
  1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  1 tsp minced garlic
  2 tsp butter, softened
  1/2 to 1 tsp herb of choice – I used rosemary, but thyme or chives would work well too
  1/3 to 1/2 cup goat cheese
  Sea salt & Blackpepper to taste

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish (a deep-dish pie plate will work as well).
2. Add cauliflower to a large flat-bottomed skillet or saucepan with enough water around the cauliflower so that it is halfway covered.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover tightly and let steam until cauliflower is tender, about 10-12 minutes. 
3. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and translucent but not brown, about 7 – 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Drain the cauliflower well and place it in a food processor or blender with the goat cheese; process to a smooth purée. Add the onion/garlic mixture and pulse a few times to blend it in with the cauliflower – don’t over-mix. Taste; season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the prepared dish; bake for 15 minutes, or until and the top is beginning to brown slightly.
6. Serve immediately.

Lemon linguine

Ingredients
 500 g dried linguine pasta
 juice of 3 lemons, zest of 1
 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 125 g Parmesan cheese, grated
 1 large bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and finely chopped
 1 handful rocket leaves
 freshly ground black pepper & Salt to taste

Method
1. Cook the linguine in a generous amount of boiling, salted water for about 10-12 minutes
2. Drain thoroughly and return to the saucepan. 
3. Meanwhile, beat the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil, then stir in the Parmesan – it'll go thick and creamy. 
4. Season and add more lemon juice if needed. 
5. Add the lemon sauce to the linguine and shake the pan to coat each strand of pasta with the sauce (the Parmesan will melt when mixed with the pasta). 
6. Finish by stirring in the chopped basil and the rocket. 

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Feta Cheese

Ingredients
  1 (250g) package refrigerated fresh linguine
  3/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained 
  2 tbsp slivered almonds 
  2 tbsp preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese 
  1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves 
  1 tbsp bottled minced garlic 
  1/4 tsp black pepper 
  1/2 tsp salt  
  1/2 cup (50g) crumbled feta cheese 

Method
1. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. 
2. Drain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan.
3. While pasta cooks, place tomatoes, slivered almonds, Parmesan cheese, basil leaves, garlic, salt & black pepper in a food processor; process until finely chopped.
4. Combine tomato mixture and the reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk. 
5. Add to pasta; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with feta.

Shortbread Sugar Cookies With Icing

Ingredients
Cookies
4 cups flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter , at room temperature 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
2 tablespoons vanilla extract 

Icing
2 cups powdered sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/4 cup milk 
food coloring , if desired 

Method
1. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or generously spray with non stick spray. 
2. Using a hand mixer mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add slowly to butter mixture on low speed. Do not overbeat! Only mix until flour is incorporated. 
4. Form dough into big ball and place in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll out chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter or you can use a pizza cutter and make squares or rectangles. Another option is to roll into a log and cut 1/4 inch thick slices. 
6. Using a spatula, transfer to cookie sheets leaving about 1/2 inch between cookies. 
7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheet and then transfer to cooling rack. 
8. When cookies are cool, whisk together the icing ingredients and either dip the cookies or spread on cookies. You can smooth the icing with the back of a spoon. 
9. Enjoy

Sugar Cookie Icing

Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar 
2 tsp milk 
2 tsp light corn syrup 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
food coloring 

Method
1. Mix the powdered sugar and the milk until smooth.
2. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla until icing is smooth and glossy.
3. If it's too thick, add more corn syrup.
4. Divide icing into separate bowls and stir in food coloring as desired.
5. You can dip the cookies, paint them with a paint brush or spread them using a knife or the back of a spoon.

Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients
  1 cup all-purpose flour
  1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1 teaspoon coarse salt
  3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  1/2 cup granulated sugar
  1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  1 large egg
  1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1 large mashed ripe banana
  1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  225 grm semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
  1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Makes about 30-35 pieces

Method
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Mix together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl
3. Set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
4. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. 
5. Add egg and vanilla, Mix until combined. 
6. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture, mix until just combined. 
7. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts. 
8. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. 
9. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. 
10. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. 

Note: Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days. 

Greek Dinner Salad

Ingredients
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 
3 tbls coarsely chopped fresh dill 
1 tbls fresh lemon juice 
1 tbls extravirgin olive oil 
1 tsp dried oregano 
6 cups shredded Romaine lettuce 
3 cups diced tomato 
1 cup thinly sliced red onion 
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese 
1 tbls capers 
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced 
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
6 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut into 8 wedges 

Method
1. Combine parsley, dill, lemon juice, olive oil and oregano in a large bowl
2. Stir with a whisk. 
3. Add lettuce, diced tomato, red onion, cheese, capers, cucumber and chickpeas
4. Toss well. 
5. Serve with pita wedges.


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