19/03/2007

Chinese savoury beef

Serves 4

1 tblsp oil
500g beef, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tblsp brown sugar
pinch of black pepper
2 1/2 cups water

Method:
Quick-fry beef in oil until brown, then add and quickly fry the onion, and garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 3 hours, adding extra water if needed. Serve over rice.

If you have a crockpot/slow-cooker, just put all the ingedients inside (doubling or tripling if necessary, so the crockpot is at least half full), then cook on High for a couple of hours, followed by 8-10 hours on low (or 5-6 on high if you don't have all day).
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If you have a bit of leftover wine in the fridge, you can add it with the water. You can also add in some sliced red or green bell pepper with the onion, if you wish. The amounts used are approximate - and I usually leave out the black pepper. Do remember to check the pan frequently while it's cooking, and top up with extra water when needed. It can cook for more than three hours if you wish.

We eat this with brown basmati rice, and stir-fried vegetables. If there's a vegetarian in the house, I serve something else oriental that can be eaten with the rice and vegetables.

01/03/2007

Chocolate chip oat cookies

(makes about 30-40)

1/2 cup margarine [125g]
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tblsp milk or soya milk
7/8 cup wholewheat or spelt flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (US: baking soda)
1 1/4 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Beat margarine and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and milk, and beat well. Add flour and bicarb; mix in. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips gently, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 180C (approx 350F). Cool for about a minute, then move the cookies to wire rack using a spatula.

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Chocolate chip oat cookies are an easy and delicious variation of the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe which is a little healthier than some as it uses wholewheat flour and oats. You can use whatever margarine you like, so long as it's suitable for baking: avoid hydrogenated fats if you can. You could even substitute carob chips for chocolate if you wish.

Pre-heat the oven to the correct temperature; then ten minutes should be the correct cooking time. The cookies may look rather soft, but don't leave them in the oven for longer or they will over-cook. Take them out, but don't try to transfer to a wire rack until they have hardened for a minute, or they will collapse.