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Christmas Pudding – serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 375 g mixed dried fruits
  • 3 tbs brandy
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50 g butter, grated
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread, crumbed
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 2 tbs apple juice
  • 2 tbsp skim milk

Serves 6 – 8

Preparation

  • Place the fruits and brandy in a microwave-safe bowl or jug, and stir. Cover, and cook on HIGH (100%) for 2 minutes.
  • Sift flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir through the breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg, apple juice, and milk, stirring well.  Add the cooled fruits, and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture back into the jug.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Elevate on a microwave roasting rack, and cook on LOW (30%) for 10-15 minutes.
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  • Serve with creamy yoghurt.

VARIATION

Add 1 tbsp chopped pecan nuts

NB: SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES –

PER SERVE

  • kj: 830
  • kCal: 200
  • Carbohydrate: H
  • Fat: VL
  • Sodium: L
  • Fibre: H
  • Good source: iron, potassium, vitamin A

Crème Caramel

Ingredients

Caramel

  • 1 cup castor sugar

Custard

  • 6 x 70g free-range eggs
  • 4 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 300ml container thickened cream
  • 2 cups regular milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Serves 6 – 8

Preparation

The Caramel

  • Place castor sugar in a small heavy based saucepan.
  • Place over medium heat and cook until caramel appears through the sugar.
  • Stir and cook further until the sugar melts and caramel is golden brown.
  • Quickly pour over the base of a 20cm x 5-6cm deep ovenproof glass dish allowing the caramel to reach the edges.
  • Set aside.

The Custard

  • Whisk eggs and castor sugar together in a bowl.
  • Combine the cream, milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and remove from the heat.
  • Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture.
  • Leave for a minute then carefully pour over the caramel.
  • Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Place on a microwave proof rack on the turntable.
  • Place in an 800 Watt oven*, microwave on MEDIUM (50-60%) for 9-12 minutes checking after 10 minutes. The custard should be softly set in the centre.
  • Stand for 20-25 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap.
  • Either serve the crème caramel in the dish or, ensure the custard is free around the edges, place a 30cm flat plate with a slight rim on top and carefully invert it onto the plate.

NB If your oven has a higher wattage, reduce cooking time by 10% (gradually adding more if needed)

 

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 250 g button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • ¼ white wine
  • 150 ml beef stock
  • 150 ml light sour cream
  • 1 ½ tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 500 fillet steak, tail end, thinly sliced

Serves 4

Preparation

Sauce

Gently heat butter in a pan. Add onion and sauté until soft.
Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add thyme, nutmeg and mushrooms and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
Pour in wine and stock and allow to simmer for several minutes.
Stir in in sour cream and cook a further minute to blend.  Set aside until ready to serve.

Serving Time

Heat oil in a large fry pan over, a high heat. Stir in paprika then fry meat in batches, 2 – 3 minutes, or until seared on all sides.
Combine steak with pre-prepared warm sauce, season to taste, garnish with parsley and serve with fluffy rice.

Tip

Substitute fillet steak with chicken and use chicken stock.

 

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 leek, chopped
  • ½ cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

Makes 4 cups

Preparation

Place chopped leeks in the base of a 2 litre ovenable glass jug and microwave cook on HIGH (100%) for 1 ½ minutes.
Stir in cauliflower, oregano, cayenne, oats and chicken stock. Cover container and cook on HIGH (100%) for 15 minutes, stirring several times.
Uncover, cool slightly then using a hand blender, puree until very smooth.
Season to taste, stir in crème fraiche and reheat on HIGH (100%) for 2 minutes.
Serve hot, garnished with chives.

 

Danish Style Pear Trifle

Ingredients

  • 750g pears, peeled cored and sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 cups white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 200 mls. cream or yoghurt whipped
  • 50g chocolate grated

Serves 4

Preparation

  • Place pears, lemon, water and sugar in the base of microwave safe container, cover and cook on HIGH (100%) for 8 minutes or until the pears are soft then mash to a smooth puree. Cool.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs until golden.
  • Add the brown sugar and cool.
  • Put half the pear puree in the bottom of a glass serving dish, add half the crumbs, then the remaining puree and the rest of the crumbs.
  • Spread with lightly whipped cream or yoghut and finish with a sprinkling of grated chocolate.
  • Serve lightly chilled.