Friday, July 18, 2008

A quick & easy mid-week meal when you've got friends over:

Cheat's Tomato, Basil & Bread Soup

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as an entrée

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g can whole tomatoes
410g can tomato purée
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
sea salt & cracked black pepper
2 thick slices Italian-style bread (eg ciabatta), crust removed, torn into large pieces
shave parmesan cheese to serve

Heat large, deep frypan over high heat.
Add oil, onion & garlic & cook for 2 min or until onion is softened.
Break up whole tomatoes with fork & add to pan with purée, sugar & stock.
Allow to simmer for 5 min or until soup thickens slightly.
Stir though basil, salt, pepper & bread.
To serve, ladle into bowls & top with parmesan.

Parmesan Veal Steaks with Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

Serves 4

4 x 150g veal steaks
1 head broccoli, sliced
olive oil for brushing
sea salt & cracked black pepper
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
70g rocket leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
lemon wedges to serve

Preheat barbecue or char-grill to medium-high.
Brush veal & broccoli with oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Cook for 3-4 min each side or until cooked to your liking.
Slice veal in half & layer on plates with broccoli, tomatoes, parmesan & rocket.
Sprinkle over pine nuts & serve with lemon wedges.

Maple-roasted Pears

Serves 4 (generously)

8 Corella (or Beurre Bosque) pears, peeled & halved
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla bean seeds from jar)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup dessert wine
2 long pieces orange rind

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Place all ingredients in baking dish & toss to combine.
Cover with foil & cook for 30 min.
Uncover & cook for a further 15 min or until sticky.
Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

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