Meal planner: September 17
Geoff Scott's fragrant beef curry; sausages and creamy mash with fennel and onion gravy; butterflied chicken with pumpkin, shallots and pomegranate. Fresh, seasonal, well-balanced meals created in partnership with New World
Even I struggle to get the family meal on the table, on time, each night. So having a plan, thinking ahead and being organised makes life at home a lot less stressful. Here’s a set of tasty, nutritious meals to get you through the week with a few ideas to make your time in the kitchen efficient and fun.
Butterflied chicken with pumpkin, shallots and pomegranate + chicken soup meal extension
Fragrant beef curry with cauliflower rice
Sausages and creamy mash with fennel and onion gravy + creamy sausage pasta meal extension
Check you have in supply
*Milk *Butter *Parmesan *Pams olive oil *Vegetable oil *Red wine vinegar *Garlic *Red wine *Chilli powder *Chilli flakes *Ground ginger *Ground cinnamon *Ground cumin *Ground coriander *Ground turmeric *Whole cloves *Cardamom pods (optional) *Pasta
1 whole or butterflied chicken
400g beef braising steak
12 gourmet sausages
1 cup beef or lamb stock
1 cup chicken stock
1 small bottle cream
250g Greek yoghurt
600g agria potatoes
1 fennel bulb
½ cup mini cherry tomatoes
100g green beans
Fresh parsley, mint, coriander, thyme
¼ cup baby peas (optional)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can Pams white beans or chickpeas
⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 bottle pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp Pams sliced almonds
Sourdough, or other bread, for soup
- A butterflied chicken takes less time to cook and it’s easy to do: Place a whole chicken breast side down on a chopping board. Use kitchen scissors to cut down both sides of the backbone and remove it. Turn chicken over so that the skin side is facing up and use the heel of your hand to firmly push down to flatten it out, then trim off any excess fat. Or buy one already butterflied — New World do a fine line.
- The ideal cuts of beef to use for curry include chuck steak, blade steak and gravy beef. The curry can be cooked in an ovenproof dish with a tight fitting lid for 2 hours at 180C.
- Whole pumpkins are better buying than pieces and they don’t come heavily wrapped in plastic. It keeps well in the fridge and you can pre-cut it for different meals and store in covered containers.
- Toast almonds and store in an airtight container. A quick way is to put them in the microwave, cook for 30 seconds, stir, then cook for another 10 seconds or until they begin to turn golden.
- Cauliflower rice can be stored in the fridge or 3 days or freezer for 1 month.
- The beef curry can be made a couple of days in advance (it tastes better the next day) and reheated in the microwave. It also freezes well.
- Make gravy for sausages and mash. Store, covered, in the fridge 2-3 days beforehand.
This is an easy way to cook chicken and veges in one tray at the same time. Use the leftover roast chicken to make a hearty, nourishing soup (recipe follows).
1 whole or butterflied chicken
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
4 thick sliced pumpkin wedges
8 shallots, peeled (or 1 large onion cut into eighths)
⅓ cup Greek yoghurt
1 tsp grated lime zest + 1 tsp lime juice
2 Tbsp toasted sliced almonds
1 Tbsp each chopped parsley and mint leaves
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (see notes on how to use below)
- Heat the oven to 190C. Line a roasting tray with baking paper. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place chicken on tray, skin side up, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle over Cajun seasoning then rub into the skin.
- In a separate bowl toss pumpkin and shallots with remaining olive oil and a little salt. Place around the chicken in a single layer.
- Roast for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (test by piercing the thigh with a knife, the juices should run clear, if not cook for another 10 -15 minutes).
- Mix yoghurt, lime zest and juice together, season with salt. Spoon over roast chicken and vegetables, garnish with toasted almonds and fresh herbs then finish with a generous drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
Country chicken soup
Use leftover roast chicken to make a nourishing soup. Pick off all the remaining chicken meat, and chop. Make a stock with the bones, place in a pot with 6 cups cold water, simmer for 1 hour, strain then add 1 large grated carrot, 1 stick diced celery and 1 can of rinsed and drained white beans or chickpeas. You can also add diced red capsicum, baby peas and/or sliced mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes, season and serve with chopped parsley and slices of toasted, buttered sourdough.
How to use pomegranate molasses
This versatile sharp tangy syrup is made from cooked pomegranate juice that is reduced down to an intensely flavoured liquid that adds a deliciously fruity muskiness and complex acidity to dishes. Use it as a sauce to drizzle over roast or barbecue meats and vegetables; to glaze or marinate sticky spiced chicken wings or ribs; in a salsa of fresh pomegranate seeds with shallot, tomato and fresh herbs; as a dressing in place of lemon or vinegar; in a pesto with lots of fresh mint, lime, garlic, pinenuts and parmesan. If you can't find it at your local New World, ask and they will get it in for you.
If made in advance, this fragrant curry is perfect for those hectic days when all you need to do is cook up some fresh greens to go on the side. Serve with cauliflower rice.
Leftover sausages are sliced and added to a creamy pasta bake to become dinner on another night.