It’s Family Dirst!
May 15 marks International Day of families and we think the best way to celerate this it with a good meal together. But what's great about these recipes are that we've taken the hassle out long prep time and washing up-you just cook one meal in a pan! Another great way to bond? Pack a picnic and head for the outdoors. Barbara Koh_editor in Chief.
Rosemary Chicken With Caramalised Onion Polenta
Prep 15 mins / Cook 1 hour / Serves 4
20 g butter; 1 tbsp olive oil; 8 chicken thigh cutlets or drumsticks; 2 onions, thinly sliced; 1 tbsp chopped rosemary, plus extra leaves to serve.
1 tsp brown sugar; 4 cups chicken stock; 1 cup instant polenta; 1 bunch asparagus, halved; ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes; 50 g feta cheese.
1. Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C.
2. In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat combined butter and olive oil on high. Season chicken meat. Brown 10 mins, turning. Transfer to plate.
3. Using same pan, reduce heat to medium. Saute onions and rosemary, covered, 4- 5 mins, until tender. Stir in sugar and cook a further 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
4. Add stock and bring to simmer. Gradually pour in polenta, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook 4-5 mins, stirring over low heat, until mixture boils and thickens. Season to taste.
5. Lay the chicken pieces over polenta in pan, skin-side up. Bake 30 mins.
6. Add asparagus and tomatoes to pan. Bake a further 10 mins until chicken is completely cooked through. Crumble feta over and sprinkle with extra rosemary.
TIP: Make sure the pastry lid doesn’t sag into the hot filling. Place pie into the oven straight away or it won’t puff properly.
Sausage & Lentil Pie
Prep 20 mins / Cook 20 mins / Serves 4-6
1 tbsp olive oil; 8 beef sausages, quartered; 4 rindless bacon rashers, chopped; 1 large leek, thickly sliced; 2 cloves garlic, crushed.
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets; 420 g can brown lentils, rinsed, drained; 400 g can cherry tomatoes.
1 cup chicken stock; 2 dried bay leaves; ½ cup frozen peas; 1 sheet puff pastry; 1 egg-yolk; 1 tsp sesame seeds.
1. Preheat oven to hot, 200 C.
2. In a deep 23-cm ovenproof frying pan, heat oil on high. Cook sausages 4- 5 mins, turning, until well browned.
3. Add bacon, leek, and garlic to pan. Cook 4-5 mins. Stir in cauliflower and lentils.
4. Add tomatoes, stock and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, 15 mins until cauliflower is tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in peas.
5. Cover pan with pastry to make lid. Brush with yolk and sprinkle seeds over. Bake 15- 20 mins until pastry is puffed and golden.
Orange & Ginger Lamb Chops
Prep 15 mins / Cook 1¼ hours / Serves 4
2 tbsps olive oil; 1 kg forequarter chops, trimmed, and seasoned; 500 g pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 3-cm cubes.
250 g pickling onions, peeled, quartered (see tip); 75 g ginger, peeled, thinly sliced; ²⁄ ³ cup water; 2 oranges, 1 juiced, 1 sliced.
2 tbsps brown sugar; 40 g butter, chopped Half baguette, to serve.
1. Preheat oven to moderate 180 C.
2. In a flameproof baking dish, heat half oil on high. Fry chops, 2 mins each side until well browned. Remove and set aside.
3. In same dish, cook pumpkin 3-4 mins, until golden brown all over. add onion and ginger and cook a further 2-3 mins, until onion is golden.
4. In a jug, combine water, juice and sugar. Return lamb to pan with liquid and bring to boil. Dot with butter and top with orange slices.
5. Bake, covered, 1 hour, until meat is tender and vegetables cooked. Serve with baguette.
TIP: To ensure a lovely caramelised flavour through the dish, brown beef well in two batches.
Tender Braised Beef With Baby Potatoes
Prep 30 mins / Cook 2 hours / Serves 4
¼ cup olive oil; 750 g beef chuck steak, 4-cm chunks; 2 tbsps seasoned plain flour; 3 onions, thinly sliced.
200 g cup mushrooms, halved 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 1 cup red wine; 2 cups beef stock; 2 tsps chopped thyme, plus extra to serve.
500 g baby potatoes, halved if large; 2 carrots, chopped steamed green beans, to serve.
1. In a large heavy-based, ovenproof pan, heat 1 tbsp oil on high. Toss beef in flour to coat.
2. Brown beef in two batches 5-6 mins each. Transfer to a plate.
3. In the same pan, heat remaining oil on medium. Sauté onions, mushrooms and garlic 4-5 mins, until golden. add wine to deglaze.
4. Return beef to pan with stock and thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 1 hour.
5. Add potatoes and carrots to pan. Cook, covered, a further 40-45 mins, until beef is very tender. Sprinkle with thyme to serve. accompany with beans.
Pan-fried Gnocchi & Greens
Prep 15 mins / Cook 15 mins / Serves 4
2 tbsps olive oil; 500 g packet fresh potato gnocchi; ¾ cup vegetable or chicken stock; 40 g butter.
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets; 1 bunch asparagus, chopped; 100 g snow peas, sliced; ½ cup light thickened cream.
¼ cup basil pesto; 50 g feta cheese, crumbled; ¼ cup basil leaves; 2 tbsps toasted pine nuts Garlic bread, to serve.
1. In a large frying pan, heat oil on high. Fry gnocchi 1-2 mins, until lightly coloured.
2. Add stock to pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, 3-4 mins, until all liquid is almost absorbed.
3. Add butter to pan and stir through. mix in broccoli, asparagus and snow peas and sauté 1-2 mins until just tender. Stir in cream and pesto. Sprinkle with feta, basil leaves and pine nuts. Serve with garlic bread.
BAKING TIP: To prevent your cookies from sticking to the baking tray, spray a light coat of Naturel spray oil before placing the batter. And if you’re handling dough, spray hands first so you won’t have to deal with messy fingers.
Spray & Cook
If you’re watching your fat intake, one of the easiest ways to control oil usage is with a spray oil. naturel, already known for its Spanish olive oils, with its Extra Virgin Olive Oil having won The Weekly’s Domestic Diva Awards 2016, Best of the Best special mention, has now come up with its super-convenient cooking sprays.
Bearing the healthier choice symbol, the spray oils get the stamp of approval as they make low-fat cooking easier, at only 9 calories per spray. So, for the pan-fried gnocchi & greens recipe (see left), instead of pouring out 2 tbsps of olive oil from the bottle, you can choose to spray it directly onto your pan.
Not only boasting a healthier option, the spray oil is also a more convenient and mess-free choice. The triple-action spray function (you can switch from drip, stream or spray) allows for better control when dispersing the oil needed. This means you won’t have to worry about accidental spillage or having to settle for a pan with too much oil poured in.
Some people may have the misconception that spray oils are bland and food won’t taste as good. Naturel taps into Spanish vines for its Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and there are also two more variants, avocado and grape seed; so you can enhance your dishes with the flavour of your choice, plus enjoy the benefits of these healthy fats.
While extra virgin olive oil is known for its heart healthboosting monounsaturated fats, avocado oil has been shown to help reduce inflammation and decrease bad cholesterol levels, while grape seed oil is rich in vitamin E and oleic acid, a staple fat of the trendy Mediterranean Diet.
The new spray oils, at $7.90 (200 ml) each, are available at FairPrice stores.