Lemongrass Beef Stir Fry

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

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

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

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.

  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

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.  

  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

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.


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