Thursday, July 17, 2008


A dish with an oriental flavour, and a quickie as it takes no more than 10 minutes to cook. Again vegetarian but chunks of cooked chicken could be included, and as ever, different vegetables, although the ones used do go well together, and are around at this time of year either on the shelves or from the freezer.
Satay Stir-Fry: serves 4 (V)
2 tblsp sunflower oil
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 carrots, sliced
8 oz (225g) string beans, cut into 2" lengths
8 oz (225g) cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 oz (50g) unsalted cashew nuts (or peanuts)
8 fl.oz (250ml) ready-made satay sauce
Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat then stir-fry the onions for 3 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and continue stir-frying for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but still have a bit of bite to them. Stir in the cashew nuts and satay sauce and cook for a further minute or until heated through. Serve on a bed of Chinese noodles.

The final recipe today has a dual use. It could be served as a breakfast dish, or as a pudding. Ideal for this time of year as the fruits are in season, at other time use fresh blackberries and apple or thawed frozen fruits.
Warm fruits on Eggy Bread: serves 4
6 oz (175g) each redcurrants and blackcurrants
6 oz (175g) raspberries
5 oz (150g) caster sugar
eggy bread:
2 eggs
5 fl oz (150ml) milk
5 oz (150g) caster sugar
4 thickish slices bread, crusts removed
2 oz (50g) butter
Strip currants from their stems using a fork and put the fruit in a pan with the raspberries and sugar, heat gently until the juices flow slightly and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the simmer and cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and keep warm.
To make the eggy bread, put the eggs,milk and sugar into a shallow bowl and whisk together. Add the bread slices, one at a time, letting each sit in the milk for a minute, turning once. Heat the butter in a frying pan and as soon as it begins to foam (leave it too long and it will burn), add a couple of slices of the prepared bread and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain, keep warm and fry the remaining slices adding a little more butter if necessary.
To serve, place a slice of bread on each of four individual plates (it can be left whole or sliced into triangles), and top with a portion of the warm fruits including a share of the juice. Much improved with the addition of a dollop of Greek yogurt or creme fraiche.
Tip: adding sugar to the eggs and milk may not seem necessary, but sugar does help to give the golden colour (by - presumaby - caramelising when touching the heat. Once I omitted the sugar when making Scotch pancakes (drop scones) and they ended up pale gold without any of the brown colour on both sides I was hoping for. The same thing happened when making pancakes.