Thursday, February 20, 2003

Chicken on Lemongrass Skewers

Serves 4 (as a light meal)

450g chicken breast fillets, trimmed & chopped
1 tablespoon green curry paste
3 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 eggwhite
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
8 lemongrass stalks, trimmed to 25cm lengths
2 teaspoons oil

Soak the lemongrass stalks in water for 20 minutes to prevent them from burning while cooking.
Place the chicken, curry paste, fish sauce, sugar & eggwhite in a food processor & process until smooth. Stir through the mint. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Mould 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture around 1 lemongrass stalk (use slightly wet hands for easier handling) & place on the baking tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture & lemongrass stalks. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until needed.
To cook, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil & cook the skewers in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through.
Serve hot or warm with sweet chilli sauce & lime wedges.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

A refreshing selection to get you through the heat, thanks to Donna Hay.

Bread Salad

Serves 4

12 slices wood-fired bread
60g baby spinach leaves
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
2/3 cup small basil leaves
120g kalamata olives
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & cracked pepper

Toast the bread under a hot grill until golden. Break each slice in half.
Arrange the bread, baby spinach, tomatoes, basil & olives on plates.
To make dressing, combine the vinegar, oil, salt & pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad & enjoy!

Salsa Verde Potato Salad

This isn't creamy, so it's much lighter than regular potato salad, & is like the one my mum makes.

Serves 4

850g desiree potatoes, washed & sliced into 1cm thick rounds
1/4 cup thinly sliced cornichons (small gherkins)
1 small Spanish (red) onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped dill
60g watercress sprigs

1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt & cracked pepper

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over medium heat. Add the potato slices & cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain & rinse under cold running water until cooled.
To make the dressing, whisk the oil, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt & pepper until sugar is dissolved.
To serve, combine the potatoes with the cornichons, onion, basil, mint & dill in a large bowl. Pour over dressing, toss gently & arrange on plates with watercress.

Iced Moroccan Tea

Serves 4

1 1/2 tablespoons English Breakfast tea leaves
5 cups boiling water
8 stems mint
1/3 cup sugar
ice cubes
extra mint sprigs, to serve

Place the tea in a heatproof jug, pour over the boiling water & infuse for 5 minutes.
Strain the tea over the mint & sugar & set aside to cool.
Serve over ice with the extra mint.
Sit in the sun & share with friends!

Friday, February 07, 2003


For a good cup of chai, crush a pinch of cardamom seeds and add them to milk (1 cup per person) while bringing it to a gentle boil. Once the milk comes to a boil, take it off the heat and add the chai blend of your choice (there are several types you can buy*). Use one teaspoon per cup and let it steep for 5 minutes. Then strain the leaves and add sugar, maple syrup or honey to taste. Enjoy the chai!

* I like the one from Glenbog Fine Teas at the Kingston Markets in Canberra. It is an Assam tea with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, coriander, cardamom & pepper. You can call up and order over the phone - they send stuff via mail.