Easy family dinners: From butter chicken nachos to creamy chicken and corn pie


Easy, 0:10 Prep, 0:15 Cook, 4 Servings

Butter chicken nachos. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraButter chicken nachos. Picture: Supplied

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

500g chicken mince

½ x 375g packet butter chicken simmer sauce

75g packet mini plain pappadums

¼ cup finely grated tasty cheese

1 Lebanese cucumber, finely chopped

1 tomato, seeded, finely chopped

¼ red onion, finely chopped

½ cup fresh coriander sprigs

Plain Greek-style yoghurt, to serve

METHOD

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add brown onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to high. Add mince. Cook, breaking up mince with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until cooked. Stir in sauce. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Preheat grill on medium-high. Arrange mince mixture on a baking tray. Partially cover with pappadums. Sprinkle with cheese. Grill for 1 minute or until just starting to melt. 3 Sprinkle with cucumber, tomato, red onion and coriander. Serve with yoghurt.

CHILLI BEEF BAKE WITH CHEESY POLENTA DUMPLINGS

Easy, 0:15 Prep, 0:05 Cook, 4 Servings

Chilli beef bake. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraChilli beef bake. Picture: Supplied

INGREDIENTS

1 litre chicken stock

1 cup polenta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 red capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 dried bay leaf

500g beef mince

375g jar enchilada cooking sauce

2 x 400g cans black beans, rinsed, drained

½ cup grated tasty cheese

Fresh oregano sprigs, to serve

METHOD

1. Grease an 18cm x 28cm (base) slice pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 2cm above edges of pan on all sides.

2. Bring stock to the boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and polenta is soft. Pour into prepared pan. Level top with a spatula. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool. Cover. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

3. Heat oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and capsicum. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Increase heat to high. Add mince. Cook, breaking up mince with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add sauce and beans. Stir to combine.

4. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Lift polenta out of pan and place on a board. Using a 6.5cm-round cutter, cut rounds from polenta and place over mince mixture. Sprinkle polenta with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve with oregano and sprinkled with pepper.

EASY PUMPKIN, SPINACH AND RICOTTA CANNELLONI

Easy, 0:20 Prep, 1:00 Cook, 4 Servings

Easy pumpkin, spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraEasy pumpkin, spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Picture: Supplied

INGREDIENTS

405g can pumpkin soup

250g packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed

400g fresh ricotta

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

2/3 cup finely grated parmesan

4 fresh lasagne sheets

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 gem lettuce, leaves separated

125g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 baby cucumbers, quartered lengthways

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Lightly grease a 5cm-deep, 20cm x 32cm rectangular baking dish. Place soup in a large jug. Add 3/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

2. Pour half the soup mixture into prepared dish, spreading evenly over base.

3. Place spinach in a sieve set over a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press spinach to drain excess liquid. Place ricotta, spinach, chopped basil and half the parmesan in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Cut each lasagne pasta sheet in half crossways.

4. Place 1/2 cup ricotta mixture along 1 long edge of 1 piece of pasta. Roll up to enclose filling. Place in prepared dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining ricotta mixture and pieces of pasta. Spoon remaining soup mixture over cannelloni. Cover with foil. Bake for 50 minutes.

5. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. Remove foil from cannelloni. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining parmesan. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted

6. Place lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and basil leaves in a serving bowl. Toss to combine. Whisk oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over salad. Sprinkle cannelloni with extra basil leaves and serve with salad.

PORK CUTLETS WITH MUSHROOM AND THYME SAUCE

Easy, 0:15 Prep, 0:45 Cook, 4 Servings

Pork cutlets with mushroom and thyme sauce. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraPork cutlets with mushroom and thyme sauce. Picture: Supplied

INGREDIENTS

800g chat potatoes, halved

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

4 pork cutlets

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves

420g can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/3 cup pure cream

2 tbs. chopped fresh chives

Steamed green beans, to serve

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Place potatoes in a large, heatproof, microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to a roasting pan. Drizzle with half the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Roast, turning, for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are golden and tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pork cutlets. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add garlic and thyme to pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden. Add soup and cream. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return pork to pan. Simmer, turning pork occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until pork is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.

4. Sprinkle pork with chives. Serve with roasted potatoes and steamed beans.

CREAMY CHICKEN AND CORN PIE

Easy, 0:20 Prep, 0:50 Cook, 4 Servings

Creamy chicken pie. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraCreamy chicken pie. Picture: Supplied

INGREDIENTS

10g butter

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 middle bacon rashers, trimmed, chopped

2 garlic cloves

3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

420g can condensed cream of chicken soup

1/3 cup pure cream

1 cup frozen corn

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

30g baby spinach, plus extra to serve

4 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed

1 egg, lightly beaten

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bacon. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and thyme. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add soup and cream. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in corn, lemon rind, chicken and spinach.

2. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

3. Stack 2 pastry sheets on top of each other. Place on a prepared tray. Spoon chicken mixture in the centre of pastry. Brush pastry border with egg. Stack the remaining 2 pastry sheets on top of each other.

4. Using a rolling pin, roll out to form a 27cm square. Using a 4cm round cutter, cut out a small round from the centre of the pastry stack and discard. Place pastry over filling. Trim edge to form a round. Pinch and roll edges together to seal. Brush pie with egg. Season with sea salt and pepper.

5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve pie with extra baby spinach.

Originally published as Dishes to spice up your family dinners



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