Lime Meltaways


These delicious melt in your mouth cookies always leave you wanting more . They have a tangy zip from both lime juice and zest and the sweetness from the vanilla . They are coated in powdered sugar , making them ideal for all your holiday parties.

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3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks ) unsalted butter , room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice , plus grated zest of 2 limes

1 tbs pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs all purpose flour

2 tbs cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment , cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy . Add the lime juice , zest and vanilla ; beat until fluffy.

In a medium bowl , whisk together flour , cornstarch and salt . Add to butter mixture , and beat on low speed until combined.

Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into 2 1 1/4 inch diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 *F . Line 2 baking sheets with parchment . Place remaining sugar in a resealable bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice into 1/8 inch thick rounds . Place rounds on parchment , spaced 1 inch apart.

Bake until barely golden , about 15 minutes . Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly , 8 to 10 minutes . While still warm , place cookies in the sugar -filled bag , toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough . Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

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Vietnamese fried bean curd in tomato sauce


This is one of the quickest to prepare feel good , taste good , look good dishes I know of . The firm bean curd is pan fried till crisp and topped with and Asian style tomato sauce . Vegans can easily omit the fish sauce simply by increasing  the soy sauce.

Serves 4

Wendy Hutton

3 tbs vegetable oil

4 squares firm bean curd, dried with paper towels

sprigs of fresh coriander , to garnish

SAUCE

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp finely minced garlic

2 medium ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced

1/4 cup water

4 tsp fish sauce

2 tsp light soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp tomato paste

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the sauce first by heating the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and stir fry over medium heat until golden . Add the tomatoes and stir fry until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add water , fish sauce , soy sauce , sugar tomato paste and pepper . Bring to the boil , lower heat, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat but keep warm.

Heat the oil in frying pan until very hot. Add bean curd and fry until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn and fry the other side, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel and transfer to a serving dish . Pour over the tomato sauce, garnish with coriander sprigs. Serve with steamed rice.

Stir -fried chicken with lemon grass , chilies and tamarind


This is a simple stir fry dish ideally made with chicken thighs.This is an ideal week night dish as it is a quick and econonical dish to make. Serve it alongside a cooling green salad and a bowl of steaming  jasmine rice.

Serves 4

Wendy Hutton

1 lb chicken thigh filets , cut into 1 3/4 ” pieces

1 tbs fish sauce

1 1/2 tbs sugar

1-3 large red chilis, ground to a paste

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 stem lemongrass , tender inner part only , very thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic , very finely minced

1 tbs vegetable oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 heaped tbs tamarind juice

salt to taste

cilantro to garnish

Put chicken in a bowl and add fish sauce, sugar , pepper , chili , lemongrass, and half of the garlic , stirring to coat.Cover and marinade for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a wok 30 seconds. Add the remaining garlic and stir fry 5 seconds. Add marinated chicken and stir fry over high heat until it has turned brown about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the remaining sugar ,chicken stock and tamarind juice. Simmer until tender , stirring frequently about 3 minutes. Taste for salt . Transfer to serving dish  and garnish with fresh coriander.