Tag: onion

New-style summer slaw

I stole this pic off the internet. Sorry 🙁

In our house we reserve our most arch and nasty sneers for writers who cite writer’s block. We are pragmatists! If either of us displays any preciousness about the process of writing (although not about what happens to our words afterwards) we leap on each other like Veloceraptors.

If I ever see Giles dare to make a few notes about a forthcoming piece I will shriek in high falsetto “Dear Diary, today was a really good day. Saw Polly in the coffee shop, I think she really likes me. Did 40 press-ups today. My arms look amazing!” Then I have to stop because I am falling about laughing and cannot speak and then have a coughing fit.

If I ever dare to mention this blog, or the e-book spin-offs, in anything except totally derogatory terms, I get a machine-gun ribbing complete with flopping hand-gestures, questions about how much my last royalty cheque was for (£39.50) and so on. 
It is not personal, we’re just not terribly nice people and both grew up in houses where mealtimes were a fight-to-the-death with put-downs and schools where everyone was foully mean to each other all the time. To be seen to be making an effort was the worst crime in the world. We’ve also both worked in newsrooms where you just sit down and write any old shit most days and just file it on time. In the end, when commissioning editors are casting around for writers, they mostly just want someone to file the fucking copy on time. When I started writing for magazines I could never get used to how long deadlines were. “Could you file it for… hmmm….” the comm ed would say “the end of next week?” and then pause, audibly grimacing at the short notice. I would shout with laughter, my pen still hovering over a  piece of paper, poised to write “4 PM”. 
So the idea that you don’t just sit down at a laptop and start writing, not stopping until you are finished is anathema to us. “Do you read each other’s stuff?” people say. Giles sends me his copy sometimes, just so that I know in advance what completely made-up things I will be appearing in The Times as saying. But I almost always only say “It’s brilliant! It’s the best thing I’ve ever read! They are so lucky to have it!” because if I don’t say that, he will snap “I don’t write by committee!!” and then throw a chair out of the window and burst into tears. 
I never show Giles my copy, ever, because he prints it out, reads it line by line with a ruler and gives it back to me covered in red scribble. “Serious problem with tenses,” it will always be will have saying. 
And yet… and yet… there are only so many words in the world, only so many things one has to say, only so many things one is inspired to cook. 
This is a roundabout way of saying that I have an e-book deadline for the end of July, which I am finding time-consuming. The new book is called “The Bad Mother” and I haven’t especially mentioned it because I am so used to not really discussing ongoing projects, because in our house you are so busy writing and writing and writing that you never stop to mention what you are writing because you are writing it and not just fucking talking about it. My favourite thing ever is when Giles opens the paper and there’s me in it with a massive pic and a huge headline and he goes “Wow!” and I think “BOSH” because he never saw it coming. Plus, if I tell him that I am expecting something in the paper and they don’t run it and I look even a tiny bit disappointed, Giles drives at 400mph to the editor’s house, shoulder-barges the front door and throttles them – and that’s one hell of a responsibility I tell you. 
Anyway although a lot of the posts here can be semi ripped-off for this “book” and are all very good memory-jogs, the fact is that I am having to write this “book” mostly from scratch. And I’ve never been ace at that – I’m brilliant at starting books, but not so terrific at finishing them. That’s why I’m a journalist – a sprinter – and not a novelist – a long-distance runner. But the plain fact is that I have to finish it and the only way to do it is to spend all spare writing time when I am not putting clean pants in the right place, making Kitty’s packed lunch, heaving Sam around the place or applying St Tropez Gradual Tan (Light/Medium), writing it and not, alas, this blog. 
But I feel sorry for you, because that’s the kind of patronising person you have decided to hitch your cart to, and so here is a recipe for a new kind of summer slaw. I actually totally forgot to take a photo of it, so I’m sorry about that. But it looks like a slaw just with no revolting claggy mayo or yoghurt dressing on the top.
I gave this for dinner to my friend AC and her husband Matt, who doesn’t eat much and never says he likes something if he doesn’t – and he called it “noteworthily good”, so you may proceed with confidence. 
New-style summer slaw
I have called this “new style” because I think it sounds very modern
for 4 as an accompaniment 
1/2 red cabbage
1/2 white cabbage
1 tsp grated onion (if you’ve never grated onion before, it comes out as a kind of gloop)
4 radishes
1 small fennel bulb
a handful combined of chopped mint and coriander – these are quite important so do go to some effort to source them
for the dressing
Chinese vinegar
juice of one lime
1/2 tablespoon (ish) grated fresh ginger
fish sauce
toasted sesame oil
1/2 clove garlic grated 
1 either slice with the grating attachment of your food processor or with a Japanese mandolin the cabbages, radishes and fennel bulb into a bowl. Add the grated onion and mix well. 
2 Take a small bowl and put in the lime juice, fresh ginger. Now add about a teaspoon each of the fish sauce, toasted sesame oil and Chinese vinegar and taste. Now add more of these sauces judiciously until you have something you like the flavour of. This is not because I cannot remember how much I put in of each! This is just because not everyone likes a dressing like this the same way. (It is because I cannot remember.) Anyway look you can’t really go wrong so just go for it. Pour the resulting dressing over the slaw and mix well. 
Now write your novel. 

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

If the thought of a hot sandwich filled with beef,  melted cheese, caramelized onions and peppers served with beef broth for dipping sound appealing, you NEED to make these!

These sandwiches make the perfect game day meal, start this early in the morning because you’ll need 9 to 12 hours, depending on the size of your roast. You can even serve them as sliders by serving them on dinner rolls.

Ever since I got my hands on the The Recipe Girl Cookbook: Dishing Out the Best Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day[1], I’ve had my eye on this recipe because I love a good French Dip! To be honest, I’ve never made roast beef in the slow cooker, because I love my roast beef in the oven, cooked to medium rare. But I took a chance because I was curious and made this yesterday. Smelled so good simmering all day and when it was ready I made myself a sandwich… it was awesome!

My husband came home from work hungry and I made him a sandwich, and he LOVED it! I didn’t have to do much to her recipe to make it light, I just used whole grain bread (tried with both whole wheat baguette and whole wheat 100 calorie potato rolls) and I used portion control and they were perfectly satisfying. I highly recommend making the onions and peppers, in my opinion they make the sandwich!

I’ve known Lori (aka Recipe Girl[2]) for quite a few years, we first met on Twitter, then in person a few times and recently spent a weekend away at the Better Blog Retreat in Park City, Utah along with a few other lovely ladies. Lori is pictured on my left.

The recipes in her book are perfect for entertaining and she includes menu ideas from everything from football parties, romantic dinners for two, holiday parties, tailgating parties and more, or you can just serve them up any night of the week.

Because this can make several servings depending on the size of the roast you purchase, and the appetites of your guests I am leaving out the serving size and calculating the nutrition based on one sandwich using a whole wheat baguette.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
Adapted From: The Recipe Girl Cookbook[3]
Servings: varies • Size: 1 sandwich (see below) • Old Points: 6 • Points+: 8 pt
Calories: 308 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 31 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 29 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 620 mg  • Cholest: 40 mg

Ingredients:

For The Beef:

  • 3 to 4 lb lean beef round roast, trimmed
1 tbsp minced garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dry)
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dry)
1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 to 3 (14.5 oz) cans Swanson’s low-sodium beef broth

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into chunks

For the Caramelized Onions (makes about 1 cup):

  • 
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

For the Peppers (makes about 2 cups):

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into strips

For the Sandwich:

  • 
Sargento Reduced Fat Provolone or Mozzarella Slices 

  • whole wheat baguette or rolls, cut into 2 oz pieces



Directions:



In a small bowl mix garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture onto all sides of the roast, then place in the slow cooker.

Pour the broth into the side of the roast until it just cover the meat. If the broth doesn’t cover the roast you can add water and top with onions. Add the Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns and bay leaf to the broth. Cover and cook on low until the meat flakes apart easily with a fork, about 9 to 12 hours, depending on the size of your roast.


An hour before the meat is done, prepare the onions and peppers. In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook until golden, stirring often, reducing heat as needed if the onions are burning or browning too quickly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Add 1 tbsp to the pan if it becomes too dry. The onions should turn golden and the flavor should be sweet. Transfer to a serving bowl, then add the peppers to the skillet and cook stirring often until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a cutting board and shred with a fork or slice with a knife. Strain the broth through a fine sieve then place in a gravy separator to remove any fat. Pour 1/4 cup broth into each small ramekin.

Preheat the oven to broil. Split the bread open and top with 2 ounces of beef. Top with onions, peppers and cheese and broil until the cheese melts. Place on a plate with broth for dipping.

Nutrition based on: 2 oz whole wheat baguette, 2 oz cooked beef round, 1/4 cup beef broth, 1 slice cheese, onions & peppers.

References

  1. ^ The Recipe Girl Cookbook: Dishing Out the Best Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Recipe Girl (www.recipegirl.com)
  3. ^ The Recipe Girl Cookbook (www.amazon.com)

Low-fat sweet & sour pork

Goodtoknow TV

Free & easy recipe video: Watch new how-to recipe videos with goodtoknow and Woman’s Weekly see all videos >

Chinese takeaways are a real treat but this tasty low-fat version of an old favourite makes a great dinner any day of the week. Try Woman’s Weekly’s healthier sweet and sour pork.

  • Serves: 4

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

That’s goodtoknow

Woman’s Weekly cookery editor Sue McMahon suggests cutting the tendons and trimming the fat from the pork before using it. If you want a hotter sauce, add garlic and chillies

Ingredients

  • 2tsp vegetable oil
  • 350g (12oz) piece of pork fillet, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges, leaves pulled apart
  • 1 red or green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 227g can pineapple rings in natural syrup (140g drained weight – reserve the syrup), each ring cut into 8 pieces
  • 230g can plum tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1tbsp vinegar, or more, to taste
  • ½ chicken stock cube
  • 1tsp flour or cornflour
  • About 2tbsp soy sauce, to taste

To serve:

  • 200g (7oz) dried egg noodles
  • 2 small heads pak choi, leaves separated and large ones chopped

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the pork for about 5 mins until browned on both sides. Take it out of the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, ginger and cinnamon to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Add the pineapple, 3tbsp of the pineapple’s syrup, and the tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, stock cube and 150ml (¼ pint) water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 10 mins to let the sauce thicken.
  3. Put the pork back in the pan and simmer for another 5 mins. Mix the flour, or cornflour, with the rest of the syrup to make a paste, add to the pan and stir until thickened. Add the soy sauce, and more vinegar if needed, to taste.
  4. Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, adding the pak choi to wilt. Serve with the sweet and sour pork. (Not suitable for freezing).

By Feature: Kate Moseley. Photos: Chris Alack. Stylist: Sue Radcliffe

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Nutritional information per portion

  • Calories 381(kcal)
  • Fat 9.5g
  • Saturates 3.0g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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