Monday, August 10, 2009

Tortilla Chips With Fresh Mango and Tomato Salsa

Here is a fresh-tasting, colourful salsa that is rich in vitamins and valuable anti-oxidants.
Preparation time 25 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes, plus cooling
Serves 6

8 corn tortillas (about 300 g in total)

Tortilla Chips With Fresh Mango and Tomato Salsa ingredients
For the salsa
2 ripe mangoes
1 large ripe tomato
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 medium-hot fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
salt and pepper

How to make Tortilla Chips With Fresh Mango and Tomato Salsa
1 Preheat the oven to 160�C. To make the salsa, peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the central stone. Chop the flesh into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Chop the tomato into small pieces and add to the mango.

2 Add the lime zest and juice, chilli, garlic, coriander and chives. Stir, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool place while preparing the tortilla chips.

3 Cut each tortilla into wedges using kitchen scissors. Spread out the wedges on a large baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and firm. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
4 To serve, place the bowl of salsa on one side of a large serving platter and scatter the tortilla chips next to it.< Some more ideas�
Instead of the corn tortillas, use 4 large or 8 small flour tortillas (also called wraps).

Make a fresh peach salsa by using 4 ripe peaches instead of the mangoes. There is no need to peel the peaches � just cut them in half, remove the stone and chop them.

For nachos, prepare the tortilla chips and leave to cool, then make a melted cheese dip. Finely chop 3 spring onions, 2 green capsicums and 1 medium-hot fresh green chilli, deseeded, and put in a shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut 200 g low-fat soft cheese into small cubes and scatter over the vegetables. Bake in a preheated 190�C oven for 10�15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Scatter a little finely shredded lettuce over the top, and serve hot, with the tortilla chips.

Each serving provides
Key nutrients 590 kJ
4 g protein
1 g fat (of which 0.1 g is saturated fat)
28 g carbohydrate (of which 10 g are sugars)
4 g fibre
126 mg sodium
GI estimate low

the Meatloaf With Porcini Mushrooms

low fat recipe:
Serving: 10
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 78 minutes
Total Time: 103 minutes

the ingredient :
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 freshly chopped tbsp basil
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 whole lightly beaten egg
1 lightly beaten egg white
to taste salt and freshly ground pepper
1 6 oz can tomato paste
Garnish: fresh basil leaves
3/4 (not instant) cup quick-cooking oatmeal
2 tsp olive oil
1 finely chopped large onion
1 finely minced clove garlic
1 lb very lean ground beef
1 casing removed and finely chopped (optional) lean turkey sausage
2 grainy style preferred tbsp Dijon mustard
2 freshly chopped tbsp parsley

direction :
1. Soak the mushrooms in � cup hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms, finely chop, and set aside. Strain the reserved mushroom liquid into a small bowl, stir in the oatmeal, and allow to sit at room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350�F. Coat a 9-x-5-x-3 inch nonstick loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a small skillet, heat the oil and saut� the onion over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion is lightly golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to just combine the flavors, for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the onions to a large bowl, and allow to cool slightly.
4. Add the remaining ingredients to the onions, including the chopped mushrooms and oatmeal, mixing with your hands until well combined and place in the prepared loaf pan. Spread the tomato paste to cover the loaf.
5. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and to make it easier to slice the loaf. Slice and serve the loaf garnished with basil leaves. Serves 8 to 10.
6. Cook Note: A meat loaf cooked in a loaf pan will be juicier than one patted into a shape and cooked in a larger pan
7. Do-Ahead Prep: The meat loaf can be shaped earlier in the day, wrapped tightly, and refrigerated until ready to cook.

nutritional information :
Calories: 200
Total Fat: 10 g
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Protein: 17 g

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lamb Racks with Garlic and Rosemary

Serves: 4
Yield: 4 racks
Ready in: 1 hour (40 mins prep - 20 mins cook)

Ingredients for Lamb racks with garlic and rosemary
4 lamb racks (with 3 cutlets per rack)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 long sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons mint sauce

Preparation method for Lamb racks with garlic and rosemaryPreheat the oven to 200�C.

Trim any excess fat from the lamb racks. Cut small slits in the top of the lamb with a small, sharp knife. Insert slices of garlic and small pieces of rosemary into the slits. Sit the lamb on a plate.
Whisk together the honey, wholegrain mustard and mint sauce and brush over the lamb racks. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes in a cool place.
Put the lamb racks into a baking dish and spoon on any sauce that may be left behind on the plate. Bake for 20 minutes for medium�rare, or until cooked to your liking, basting a couple of times during cooking with the honey mustard mixture.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand, covered, in a warm place for 10 minutes to allow the juices to be absorbed back into the meat. At this stage you can either cut the lamb into individual cutlets or leave the rack intact and serve as is.

Monday, August 3, 2009

the Glossary of Wine Preservatives and Additives

Alcohol � a natural by-product of yeast fermentation converting sugar to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Alcohol may cause allergic reactions in some people, regardless of the level of preservatives, tannins or esters in the wine. (Of course, alcohol is also responsible for hangovers, but these can be easily avoided by simply drinking in moderation!) Extra alcohol may not be added to wine at any stage of the winemaking process.

Sulphur dioxide � labelled "Preservative 220" or "SO2", this is the most contentious and maligned of wine additives. It has been used for thousands of years in wine production. A small amount of SO2 is produced naturally as part of the fermentation process in all wines.

Ascorbic acid � also labelled "Antioxidant 300" and commonly known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid is naturally present in grapes. In Australia winemakers can add ascorbic acid to white wines to help prevent oxidisation. Ascorbic acid is not used in red wines. When added to fruit juices it is listed as "Vitamin C".

Chaptalisation � sometimes called �enrichment�, the addition of sugar to a wine raises the alcohol level, enhancing a wine�s flavour and body. In Australia, sugar can only be added in the form of concentrated grape must (grape juice). Addition of sugar (sucrose) is common in Northern Europe, parts of the USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan and much of New Zealand.

Acidification � In much the same way that chaptalisation is used to lift highly acidic wines from cooler regions, acid is used to balance the sweeter, ripe flavours of wines from warm to hot regions. It may be added in the form of tartaric, citric or malic acid and helps brighten the colour of wine while freshening flavours and aromas.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

the Cleanskins Wine: The Lowdown

It's the wine without the fancy label and with just the barest details to guide selection. But the "cleanskin" is grabbing attention from wine buyers across Australia.

An oversupply of grapes and intense competition within the industry means many producers are having to find inventive ways to turn a profit. The no-fuss bottles allow wine producers to quietly rid themselves of excess stock - whether it's a prestige brand's bin end or a boutique winery forced to balance its books.

By law the labels must show alcohol content, volume, additives and standard drink information.
. . . but beware

Often when wineries have trouble selling a certain line, they package it as a cleanskin. And if they need to clear the warehouse or empty tanks, they do the same.

Worse, a few operators even use it as a way to clear that sem-sav that fell victim to a batch of bad corks or the unripe cabernet that Joe Winemaker was obliged to take in because of a contractual obligation. But to be fair, this can happen under known brands, too. The only way you will know for sure is to try the cleanskin first.

They are usually so cheap that retailers shouldn't baulk at pulling the plug on a bottle and pouring a free taste. And if you aren't allowed to taste it first, why wouldn't you prefer a well-known brand that you know you can trust? Especially when well-known, mass-marketed brands are also being discounted to amazingly low prices these days.

source :

the Red Wine: the pros and cons

Heart disease

Scientists believe the polyphenols found in red grapes' skin are cardioprotective. The Copenhagen City Heart Study tracked more than 13,000 people over 12 years and found those who drank 3-5 glasses of wine a day had half the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or stroke as those who never drank. Canadian cardiologists analysed more than 13 studies to find red wine drinkers had 32% less atherosclerosis than non-drinkers.

Will any old red do?

Initial studies by London researchers suggest cabernet sauvignon may be the most effective at protecting against heart disease. All reds suppress endothelin-1, a protein in blood vessels that leads to hardening of the arteries, but the polyphenols in cab sav more than halve its production.

Harvard researchers have found that resveratrol switches on an enzyme that slows the ageing process, extending the life of yeast cells by as much as 70%. If the same process is found to work as well in humans, researchers believe this may extend the average human life span by up to ten years.


A study at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that adding cabernet sauvignon to the drinking water of mice with Alzheimer's-type brain changes reduced brain deterioration. Earlier studies had found that resveratrol, which is abundant in the skins of red grapes, activates the brain enzyme MAP kinase, which helps the regeneration of neural cells.

Prostate cancer

A daily glass of red may halve a man's risk of prostate cancer, according to a US study of almost 1500 men. Resveratrol may clear the body of cancer-causing free radicals, reduce cell proliferation and work as an anti-inflammatory. It may even reduce levels of male hormones such as testosterone that fuel the growth of prostate cancer.


The tartaric acid in wine can wear away tooth enamel and red wine's tannins can also cause staining. However, researchers at the University of Laval in Quebec believe the polyphenols in red wine may help dental health. Lab tests show they reduce gum inflammation and stave off periodontal disease.


A Lancet study tested migraine-sufferers who believed that red wine, but not alcohol in general, caused their headaches. Red wine triggered a typical migraine in nine out of eleven sufferers, whereas none of eight migraine-sufferers who were tested with vodka experienced an attack.

Some researchers believe that red-wine headaches may be caused by the bacteria in wine. Vintners are working on the problem - a red wine with a genetically-modified strain of yeast (MLO1) performing the function of bacteria was released this year.