Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 56, Tuesday February 24, 2009



Prawn and vegetable skewers
12-16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
800g large king prawns, peeled, and de-veined, tails intact
¼ cup each Sweet Chilli Sauce and Chilli and Garlic Sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
1 red capsicum, deseeded and cut into chunks
6-8 button mushrooms, halved
½ cup canned pineapple pieces in natural juice, drained
6 tomatoes, cubed
Preheat barbecue grill plate to medium-high heat. Rinse prawns and place in a bowl with sauces. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to marinate. Alternately thread capsicum, mushrooms, pineapple and tomatoes onto skewer. Thread prawns onto separate skewers, fitting 3-4 prawns on each skewer. Place vegetable skewers on grill plate and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally. Add prawn skewers and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally.

Beef and crunchy cabbage salad
500g beef steaks
800g Chinese cabbage, trimmed and shredded finely
1 medium carrot, grated coarsely
2 cups bean sprouts
½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
½ cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves.

½ cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
Cook the beef with some barbecue sauce in the oven till brown all over. When cool, slice thinly. Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well. Now combine cabbage, sprouts and herbs in a large bowl. Add beef and then the dressing and toss gently.

Main course:Thai chicken patties
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 6 mins
500g minced chicken
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
1 stick lemon grass, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
½ beaten egg
8 spring onions, finely sliced
lettuce leaves, to serve
25g sesame seeds, lightly toasted
lime wedges and sweet chilli dipping sauce, to serve
Place the minced chicken in a large bowl with the garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon grass, coriander, egg and half the spring onions. Season with a good pinch of salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Using wet hands, divide the mixture into 12 portions and press into patties and shallow fry.
Serve on the lettuce leaves, scattered with the remaining spring onions, toasted sesame seeds, a squeeze of lime and sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Indonesian-style stir-fry
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp homemade chicken stock
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
350g skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp five-spice powder
1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into strips
175g button mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, coconut milk, stock and lemon zest until blended, then set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds to release the flavours. Add the chicken and five-spice power and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the chicken has coloured all over. Add the red capsicum, carrots and mushrooms, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the wok and stir-fry for a further 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped coriander and serve immediately.

Coconut steamed fish
Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tbsp lime leaves, finely sliced
1 long red chilli, sliced thinly
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp finely grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
4 x 200g fillets (or any white-fleshed fish)
sprigs of basil and lime halves for serving
Combine the coconut milk, curry paste, lime, chilli, fish sauce, palm sugar or brown sugar and lime juice in a small bowl.
Lay four 30cm x 30cm x30cm pieces of baking paper or foil on bench. Place a fish fillet in the centre of each. Alternatively, you can use banana leaves to wrap the fish. Spoon the coconut milk mixture over the fillets. Fold paper to enclose the fish and tie with string.
Steam the fish for about 7 to 8 minutes or until just cooked. Alternatively, you can place fish on a preheated barbecue plate or in a preheated 180Cº/160Cº fan-forced oven for the same amount of time.
Serve with basil leaves and lime halves.

Triple-vanilla baked cheesecake
Serves 10 to 12
Preparation time: 1 hr 15 mins
500g cream cheese, at room temperature ,1kg cottage cheese ,2 eggs,1 cup yoghurt, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 2 tbsp cornflour, 2 tbsp plain flour, 60g butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 150C. Invert the base of a 23cm round springform pan and clip in position. Line the base and side with baking paper. Place pan on an oven tray.
Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in cottage cheese until combined, then eggs, one at a time. Add yoghurt, sugar, vanilla essence and beat until combined. Sprinkle flours and butter over the mixture; beat until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake for about 1 hour or until cheesecake is slightly soft in the centre. Turn oven off, cool cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar. Refrigerate cheesecake a couple of hours before serving with fresh fruit, if desired. Cut cheesecake with a hot knife, wiping the knife blade between each cut.
Not suitable to freeze or microwave.

Special thanks to Samina Qasem, Sumi and their charming friends
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayeed



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