East meets West.  An American style dish with a Chinese flavour - the sauce is particularly tasty.  try it as a quick supper dish when you fancy a meal with a little zing!

Serves 4
4 Medium potatoes, cut in thick chunks
3 spring onions, sliced
1 large fresh chili, seeded and sliced
30 ml / 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 400 g / 14 oz can red kidney beans, drained
30 ml / 2 tbsp soy sauce
15 ml / 1 tbsp sesame oil
to serve
salt and ground black pepper
15 ml / 1 tbsp sesame seeds
fresh coriander or parsley, chopped, to garnish

1. boil the potatoes util they are just tender.  Take care not to overcook them.  Drain and reserve.

2. In a large frying pan or work, stir-fry the onions and chilli in the oil for about 1 minute then add the garlic and fry for a few seconds longer.

3.  Add the potatoes, stirring well, then the beans and finally the soy sauce and sesame oil.

4.  Season to taste ad cook the vegetables until they are well heated through. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the coriander or parsley.

Caribbean Rice and Peas

A great family favourite in West Indian culture, this dish is not only very tasty, but nutritionaly well balanced too. Serve with the gravy sauce and slices of fried aubergine.

serves 4
225g / 8 oz / 1-1/4 cups easy-cook long grain rice
115g / 4 oz / 3/4 cup dried guna peas or red kidney beans, soaked and cooked out still firm
750 ml / 1-1/4 pints 3-3/2 cups water
50 g / 2 oz creamed coconut, chopped
5 ml / 1 tsp dried thyme or 15 ml / 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 small onion stuck with 6 whole cloves salt and ground black pepper

1. put the rice and peas or kidney beans into a large saucepan with the water, coconut, thyme, onion and seasoning.

2. bring to the boil, stirring until the coconut melts then cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

3. remove the lid and allow to cook uncovered for 15 minutes to reduce down any excess liquid.   Remove from the heat and stir occasionally to separate the grains.  The rice should be quite dry.


All the Reds Soup
Vibrant in colour and taste, this soup is quickly made.  Use a red onion - if you can find one - it will enhance the final appearance.

serves 4 - 6
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil
1 x 400 g / 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 litre / 1-4/3 pints / 4 cups stock
30 ml / 2 tbsp long grain rice
30 ml / 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 x 200 g / 7 oz can red kidney beans
5ml / 1 tsp dried oregano
5 ml / 1 tsp sugar
salt and ground black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped, and Cheddar cheese, grated, to garnish

1. put the pepper, onion, garlic and oil into a large saucepan.  Heat until sizzling then turn down to low.  Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. 

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the garnishes, and bring to a boil.  Stir well, then simmer - covered - for 15 minutes.  Check the seasoning, garnish and serve hot.  Omit the Cheddar cheese for a vegan soup.

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Julia Chen

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