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    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Diet Food:Chicken Poached in Orange with an Asian Twist

    I’m not one for sensible eating which is obvious from my size. I can’t bear the thought I would have to miss out on every fabulous bit of food this planet has to offer.
    Of course like everyone else I have been on most of the weight reducing programmes.
    My favourite which a couple of friends attempted was the wine and egg diet, it was very funny, 1 glass of wine and 1 egg at breakfast…2 of wine and 2 eggs at lunch…3 eggs and the rest of the wine at dinner...This was a 3 day programme. I don’t know who designed this diet or why they did but my friends thought it sounded fun. The outcome was a small loss of weight but a lot of hilarity was had during the day. Don’t think they did a further 3 days, that breakfast drink was too hard to handle. Of course in those days you ‘could’ drink and drive!!! And think of your poor liver!!!

    Anyhow enough rambling, this recipe off Food TV falls into sensible eating and is delicious to boot. The recipe called for chicken breasts but personally, I really like chicken thighs…so moist and tender.

    2 chicken breasts/thighs
    2 cups of chicken stock
    Juice of 2 oranges
    Zest of 1 orange
    3 star anise
    Fresh ginger finely sliced
    Salt & pepper

    Baby Bok Choy cut in quarter
    3 spring onions cut in half horizontally
    Snow peas cut in half

    Steamed rice to absorb all the beautiful juices.

    Bring the stock and orange juice to the boil add the ginger, zest and star anise place the chicken in and cover, turn heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes, take out a few ladlefuls of the juice into a pot and reduce down, put to one side in the covered pan while you fix the vege.

    Blanch the vege in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes drain.

    To plate
    First the rice, the chicken and the vege, then the sauce.

    This is really superb, talk about low cal!

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    An Elvis Inspired Coffee Cake

    If you want rich and fattening, this is it…great for a crowd.
    A little goes a long way. Thank you Paula Dean.
    Her Elvis addition to this American Gooey Butter Cake Classic of course is the peanut butter and banana. (By the way his famous banana and peanut butter, fried in butter, sandwiches are superb). Sounds gross but trust me.

    This is really easy and I guarantee it will be a hit

    You will need
    The Base
    1 pkt Chocolate cake mix
    1 egg
    125 gms butter melted

    Combine all ingredients and beat well. Press the mixture evenly with your fingers into a swiss roll tin.

    The Filling
    250 gms cream cheese room tempertaure
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    ½ cup of smooth peanut butter
    1 whole ripe banana
    125 gms butter room temperature
    400 gms icing sugar
    Mint leaves (optional)
    Crème Fraiche (optional

    I know this sounds a lot of sugar and fat but believe me combined it is great…just forget the calories on this occasion.

    Beat the cream cheese until smooth, keep on beating and add eggs 1 at a time then the vanilla and the peanut butter, and then the banana and butter, then mix in the icing sugar till all combined. Pour over base.
    Bake in 180° oven 45-50 minutes. Look at it after 40 mins check with knife to see if it comes clean…you want the centre to be gooey so don’t over bake. Cool in tin
    Cut into squares dust with extra icing sugar and garnish with sprig of mint.

    A little dob of crème fraiche just tops it off.

    Poached Eye Filet with leeks and a Kumara Mash

    Wow this is superb such a simple dish with sensational taste.
    I saw this on Huey’s Cooking Adventures, it looked so easy so I had to try and
    the eaters at our house adored it!!! It looks like a lot of work but trust me it is easy.
    Apologies for the photo, the drizzling of the sauce got a little out of control, please don’t let this distract you from trying this recipe.
    As long as you use Gluten free stock, this is fine for your Coeliacs, just check the packet or use homemade.

    Best to go to your butcher and get him to cut 1 filet steak (about 4 cms thick per person).

    For 3 people I used the following amounts of vege

    2 med kumara sliced, boiled with a clove of garlic, till tender, drained and mashed with a big knob of butter

    2 leeks To prepare the leeks…cut off green tops remove the tough leaves and finely slice the tender core, then slice the whites. Don't forget to rinse them well they can get dirt amongst the layers.

    1 tbs Butter
    1 tbs olive oil
    Sea Salt
    Ground black pepper
    Heat the fats and add the leeks, sauté gently for about
    4 minutes, season S & P, then add about 50 mls of water...stir, cover and simmer about 4-5 minutes until tender
    but still beautifully green. Set aside.

    The Sauce
    1 cup of beef or chicken stock (same as you used for the beef)
    4 tsp Dijon mustard
    4 tbs passata or pureed canned tomatoes
    Ground black pepper

    Whisk the mustard and passata with the stock and bring to the boil, turn down the heat a little and reduce down till the sauce thickens…then season with pepper and taste to check whether or not you need to add salt. Put aside. Re-heat when needed.
    (You will have leftover tomatoes and stock but to use them up,just make a soup of them using the poaching stock from the meat…I also had some leftover
    leeks which I also threw into my soup.)

    Now the meat this is so so simple
    Filet steak 1 per person
    Beef Stock or chicken the packet stock is just fine for this
    Sea salt, ground black pepper
    2 tbs parsley finely chopped

    Into a large shallow pan pour about 3 cms of stock and bring to the your steaks in the hot stock making sure they are not touching, reduce to simmer, cover and cook gently for 7 minutes, take off heat and leave covered for another 5 minutes. Turn over in stock, remove...then season with salt & pepper.

    To plate
    A nice little mound of mashed kumara, a good big spoonful of leeks. Your beautiful piece of eye filet, some sauce and a sprinkling of chopped parsley will finish it off.