competitive cooking

Lemongrass infused fruit salad with coconut biscuits

So this course was definitely my weakest, but I think I’d make it again, it was relatively healthy (but high sugar) and a good light pudding!

Coconut biscuits
I used nigella’s cut out biscuit recipe, already posted. I swapped 50g of the flour for 50g dessicated coconut. Instead of cutting it out I rolled t into little balls so it came out as kind of thick, English macaroon style biscuits. Easy and perfect!

Fruit salad
Ingredients
Can of lychees in syrup
2 cans fruit salad (as exotic as possible)
2 stalks of lemongrass
85g castor sugar

Drain the syrup from the lychees into a pan, and put the lychees into a bowl
Add the sugar t the pan
Chop lemongrass into 2 and bash it a bit (I pressed on it with the end of the rolling pin). Add it to the pan
Gently heat the pan stirring until the sugar dissolves
Turn up the heat and allow to bubble for 1 min
Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse
To the other 2 cans of fruit into the bowl with the lychees, but don’t include their juice (give it to somebody as a tasty drink )
When you want to eat it, pour the infused syrup over the whole fruit salad and mix
Serve with the coconut biscuits

Again, the original recipe is from good food!

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Pork and peanut Thai red curry

This recipe is a real keeper. I halved the ingredients suggested by good food magazine, so it served 2. This is best for us as its a relatively expensive meal (£4 worth of pork tenderloin if you do it for 4) so wouldn’t necessarily use it for leftovers. However, a lot of the expense for me was stocking my Thai store cupboard! You don’t need the whole packet of coriander in this so if buying the herbs from the shop would need to combine it with another coriander dish to get your money’s worth!

Ps. About a year later… This is one of our absolute favourite dishes, so much so that I no longer really agree with some of my comments above! I would now use 400g tenderloin to make enough for 4. We like it so much we are totally happy to have it 2 days in a row, and tenderloin is quite often on offer (it was this week). The other change I’ve made, for panther really, is to halve the amount of curry paste. So the ingredients below are now as we use them, aren’t making it for a year 🙂

Ingredients
400g ish pork tenderloin
2 Packets of baby corn
2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
200 ml coconut milk (recipe specifies reduced fat but I don’t agree with this as its just watered down but same price! So I’ve halved the amount of coconut milk and also use milk, as below)
200ml milk (ideally skimmed)
2 tbsp soy sauce
Lime juice (I sometimes miss this out but mainly use from a bottle)
3-4 spring onions (have started missing these out as Chris hates them)
Small bunch of fresh coriander
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp sugar (should be soft dark brown, I just used castor)

Method
Pick leaves from coriander and finely chop stalks (I used scissors to chop these)
Chop spring onions (again I used scissors)
Fry spring onions and coriander stalks in oil for 1 min
Thinly slice pork (again, used scissors!), add to pan and stir fry for 5 mins nail starting to brown
Stir in curry paste and peanut butter
After 30 secs add soy sauce, coconut milk, sugar and 200 ml water
Mix well, put lid on and simmer for 15 mins
Remove lid, turn up heat and add baby corn. Bubble for 3 mins
Add lime juice If using

Apparently at this stage you can freeze it for 2 months. Not sure it’s worth it as its so easy! I served this with boiled jasmine rice, it was quite hot so a basic accompaniment was perfect. One last thing, I think from the comments on the good food website, it’s important to use tenderloin in this, as other cuts of pork would go tough where this is melt in your mouth and delicious!

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Coconut pancakes

We have just finished l one of our cooking competitions. We do a variety of these, which we judge ourselves, as it’s a fun way to try out new recipes and an exciting evening without going out! Here are a few we’ve done before

Store cupboard challenge- cook a meal using only what’s in the house (we are doing this tomorrow actually, Chris is doing main and I’m doing dessert!)
Ready steady cook- 2 cook a main and dessert from a bag of £5 worth of ingredients, plus contents of house. Others watch and then judge. This is great fun and we are horrible to each other!
Master chef challenge- I bought Chris a bag of fancy ingredients (pork belly, fennel etc) he had to make a master chef standard meal. I was meant to reciprocate but got pregnant and couldn’t face it!)
General 3 course challenge. Choose a menu you fancy and buy and cook. That’s what we did this week

So my 3 courses were coconut crepes and asparagus (this recipe), pork and peanut Thai red curry, and lemongrass infused fruit salad with coconut biscuits. I would do all three again. The weakest was the pudding but I needed it to fit the theme, which it did, and also be low calorie. I loved the other two courses. We weren’t able to choose a winner, we both thought our own was the best, so we’ve put the menus on Facebook for our friends to vote on. So far i have 6 votes, Chris has none!
So here is my starter.
Could be part of a main and with changes to the herbs probably a pudding too!

Ingredients
100ml coconut milk
3 eggs, beaten
4 rounded tbsp flour
Turmeric
Seasoning (I forgot this and think it made my crepes less tasty)

Method

Mix the ingredients in a juguntil there are no lumps
When ready to cook, pour 1/4 into a pan, where you have heated some oil. I used my crepe pan
I added some snipped spring onions to the top non-set side
Flip it over and cook bottom
Put on plate covered in cling film and keep warm
Makes 4 crepes

The Thai serving suggestion was to wrap crepes around asparagus and include a chopped boiled egg. I didn’t include the boiled egg. Serve with sweet chilli sauce
388 calories including half a boiled egg and sweet chilli sauce per person. Original recipe is from good food magazine.

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