As I was rather busy this weekend I thought I’d try The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook, Meals in Minutes. This cookbook belongs to Scott, and so by virtue of our relationship, ends up being mine and one that must be cooked from – well that’s my excuse. The recipes are relatively straight forward, rely on store bought ingredients for some recipes (such as pesto in the Galletes), and they’re tasty. I’ll put notes after the recipes, suffice to say and important thing when buying lamb shanks is to make sure they’re French dressed if the recipe asks for it. It wasn’t a fatal mistake, but the recipe would have been a bit easier to make if we’d had prepared ones.
Tomato, Fetta and Spinach Galettes
- 250g frozen spinach, thawed
- 2 sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 1/3 cup bottled pesto
- 200g soft fetta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- Drain spinach then, using hands, squeeze excess liquid from spinach; chop roughly.
- Oil 2 oven trays; place 1 sheet of pastry on each. Fold edges of pastry inward to form 1cm border; pinch corners of bases together.
- Divide pesto between bases; spread evenly to cover base.
- Top each with spinach, cheese, basil and tomatoes; spring with cheese and pepper.
- Cook in very hot oven (230C) for about 15 mins or until crisp and browned slightly.
Notes on this recipe:
- It takes a lot longer to defrost spinach than I thought it would.
- If you have all the ingredients prepared, this is really quick. Preparing the ingredients takes some time.
- I cooked this on baking paper on the oven trays, made my life much easier.
Almond, Chickpea and Pumpkin Stew
- 900g butternut pumpkin, chopped
- 1 large (500g) leek
- 575g bottled tomato pasta sauce
- 1 cup water
- 425g can chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 200ml yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- Cook pumpkin and leek in large heated oiled pan, stirring, until leek is soft.
- Stir in the sauce, water, chickpeas, juice and cumin.
- Bring to the boil; simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until pumpkin is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in almonds; serve with combined yoghurt and mint.
Notes on this recipe:
- The most difficult part of this recipe is peeling all that pumpkin. Otherwise it is easy, tasty, and great with rice.
Lamb Shanks with Barley in Red Wine
- 8 French-trimmed lamb shanks
- 2 medium onions
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 425g can tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Cook lamb, in batches, in a large, heated, oiled pan until browned lightly.
- Halve onions lengthways; cut into thick wedges.
- Add onions and garlic to same pan; cook, stirring, until the onion is soft.
- Return lamb to the pan; add carrots, barley, wine, stock, undrained crushed tomatoes and paste.
- Bring to the boil; simmer, covered, for 1 3/4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in thyme; simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until lamb is tender.
Notes on this recipe
- Whoever wrote this recipe didn’t like prepositions, nor putting commas between their adjectives. I hope it is now legible and as grammatically correct as it can be.
- Yes… crushed tomatoes, which weren’t specified in the recipe list. See recipes can be evil. I got out a can of whole tomatoes, and then chopped them into smaller pieces. Slightly messy, but it worked.
- French trimmed lamb shanks not 100% essential, but would have made eating and preparing the recipe a little easier.
- They’re not kidding about a large pan. I used a stock pot, the only thing I had that would fit all the boned meat.
- Because you have 8 lamb shanks, stirring is really difficult (though this would depend on the type of pot you’re using). Don’t stress too much, just make sure that the pearl barley is in the liquid, the uncovered lamb shanks will steam cook just fine.
- I love pearl barley and should cook with it more.