Tag: onion

Low-fat sweet & sour pork

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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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How to cook red cabbage

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Ingredients

  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 2 small cooking apples such as Bramley’s
  • I small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 2tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2tbsp raisins
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1tbsp oil (to fry the onion)

Most types of cabbage are best cooked quickly but red cabbage, a winter vegetable, comes into it’s own when slow cooked with apples, spices, dried fruit and a little wine or cider vinegar to bring out its natural sweetness and give a mild sweet and sour dish which is delicious served with roast pork, baked gammon, venison or duck. It is one of the traditional accompaniments to the Christmas turkey or Boxing Day ham and is a great recipe to make ahead and either keep in the fridge for a couple of days or to freeze for up to a month. Sometimes when cooking red cabbage the colour turns blue, if this happens simply add a little lemon juice or vinegar to restore the red colour.

Red cabbage is also delicious eaten raw, cut into thin shreds and mix with celery, apple and walnuts for a winter slaw with crunch which is perfect with burgers, ribs and jacket potatoes.
It’s also a traditional vegetable for pickling, thinly sliced and steeped in pickling vinegar, the colour and flavour really helps to pep up cold meats and cheese.
When buying red cabbage choose one that is firm with bright leaves. It should keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. To prepare red cabbage, remove the outer leaves and cut it in half from top to stalk, not round the middle. Cut in half again, remove the centre white stalk and then slice the cabbage or shred in a food processor.

Twists

Red cabbage and Stilton slaw

Thinly shred ½ a raw red cabbage and mix with 2 sliced eating apples, 2 coarsely grated carrots and 2 chopped spring onions. Crumble over some Stilton and drizzle with French dressing.

Red cabbage, date and orange salad

Thinly shred ½ a raw red cabbage. Place in a salad bowl with 4 sliced oranges which have had the peel and pith removed, 200g stoned, chopped dates and 50g chopped walnuts. Drizzle with a mustard and honey salad dressing.

Red cabbage with bacon

Followiing the basic recipe for slow cooked cabbage above, add I chopped onion and 100g bacon lardoons, fried until golden. Replace the vinegar with red wine and use 2tsp Dijon instead of the spices.

Pickled red cabbage

Slice 1 raw red cabbage and layer in a non metallic bowl with 100g salt. Cover with a plate and leave overnight. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove the salt. Drain well and pat dry. Pack into clean sterilised jars and cover with spiced pickling vinegar (available in bottles). Seal with vinegar-proof lids and store for 2 weeks before serving. Best eaten within 3 months before the cabbage looses it’s crunch and colour.

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  • £101-£150 16%
  • £71-£100 12%
  • £51-£70 9%
  • £31-£50 10%
  • Less than £30 10%
  • I don’t know yet 5%
  • I’m not setting a budget 12%

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Onion and gruyere tartquiche

My husband and I have been at each other’s throats recently. It happens sometimes and there is usually a period of a few days when we simply cannot exchange a civil word.

I, of course, think it’s because my husband is a fucking arsehole. And he maintains it’s because I’m such a cold, horrible bitch – times a hundred at the moment because I am pregnant and therefore “barely able to tolerate” his presence.

In actual fact, these rocky patches are so short and intense that it feels more like some sort of bad planetary alignment.

But the bad cosmic voodoo is not helped by the fact that we are both irritable shitbags and very good at saying very mean things to each other. Sometimes arguments are like an arms race, us firing the very horriblest things we can at each other, he culminating in something about me being boring and fat and me asking him if it isn’t time he went to see his shrink.

I, of course, think it cannot possibly be me. I am not grumpy, I am just bravely tolerating the horror that is pregnancy. But after a period of quiet reflection, I think maybe I do play a part in these marital breakdowns.

On paper, I probably come across as reasonably chatty. But in real life I often don’t say terribly much – I am conversational in bursts but most of the time, I am quite quiet. And I sulk. And fume.

I live in my head quite a lot, I suppose, whereas my husband lives his life out loud. He could never, for example, have an affair and keep it secret because at some point, while emptying his brain out through his mouth, he would just confess it.

So if I do something annoying he will tell me in plain language what I am doing that is annoying, (coughing, clearing my throat a lot, leaving the car unlocked, interrupting him, blatently glazing over while he is talking etc), whereas if he does something annoying, (leaving me to clear away his cereal bowl, not understanding that giving Kitty her lunch or tea ALSO involves wiping down the bloody highchair), I don’t say a word – I just rage internally about it. And it’s not impossible that this rage, suppressed, translates itself to frostiness and unpleasantness.

Marriage is played out so much in the domestic sphere, especially when you have children, that is it very difficult not to focus and obsess about small matters, like cereal bowls and irritating coughs. I often fail to take my own advice in these situations, which is to think immeditely about the nice things one’s husband does that cancels out the need to wipe down a highchair.

Like how my husband does bathtime, on his own, every night. I’ve always taken this for granted but I am now aware that other men do not do this. Some because they can’t because they work long hours, but some because they just don’t want to deal with the screaming and the bending over and the sweat and the toothbrushing and so they magically manage to walk in the door at 7.20pm every night.

I also never see a bill for anything, I live an entirely paperwork-free life untroubled by insurance, tax, mortgages or credit card statements; someone else looks after the garden; I haven’t taken out the bins or touched a recycling bag for 5 years; I get to give birth in any private London hospital of my choosing.

And there’s me moaning on about the occasional cereal bowl. I think Giles is right. It’s not him: it’s me.

So to make amends I made Giles a tart. Not a tart though, really, in the end – much more of a quiche.

I felt terribly grown-up making this because it felt very French, very accomplished. Like one really ought to know how to talk to the Queen, get out of a sports car and make a quiche.

It was also the first time that I have successfully blind-baked something and I am NO LONGER AFRAID!!

It was an onion and gruyere tart and it was absolutely terrific and I really recommend it – especially if you are racking your brains for good mass-catering buffet lunch solutions as we stare down the festive season like it’s the barrel of a shotgun.

Onion and gruyere quiche
make about 8 picnic-sized pieces

1 23cm flan tin. Ideally with a removeable base but don’t fret if not. Most flan tins are 23cm, but this is reasonably important so if it looks to you at a vague guess like much BIGGER or SMALLER, then you might have to think again
1 packet shortcrust pastry from the excellent and life saving Jus-Roll
3 large onions, sliced as thinly as you can
200ml double cream
3 eggs (I know, rather a lot)
salt and pepper
200g gruyere, grated
50g parmesan, grated
some thyme leaves – maybe 10?
50g butter

Preheat your oven to 180C

1 Cook your onions on your lowest available heat setting with the butter and a large pinch of salt for TWO HOURS. I know this is a long time, but you just put it on the thing and forget about it.

2 Roll out the pastry and lay it in the flan tin. Trim the excess and then line with paper and then baking beads or beans or whatever. You can ALSO use cling film for this. I was worried that it would melt but it doesn’t. Use a triple thickness of film to line the pastry and then pour in the beads.

3 Bake this for 15 mins then take out the paper/film and beads and cook for another ten minutes.

4 Mix together your now gloopy sticky onions with the double cream, beaten eggs, cheeses, pepper, (the onions will already be quite salty), and thyme leaves.

5 Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30 mins.

Really delicious with a winter coleslaw or any kind of cold, sharp salad.

 

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