Beef and Bean Stir-fry

To keep this dish crisp, be sure to cook over a constant high heat. It works just as well with veal or pork.

Serves : 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp sunflower oil; 3 garlic cloves, sliced; 2 red chillies, sliced; ½ tsp finely chopped ginger; 14oz (400g) beef, cut into strips; 14oz (400g) green beans, cut into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces; juice of ½ lemon; 4 tblsp stock; ½ tsp sugar; salt and black pepper; freshly chopped basil, to garnish.

  • Heat oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Add garlic, chillies and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add beef, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add beans, stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except basil, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve with Chinese noodles.
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Okra with Green Mango and Lentils

If you like Okra, otherwise known as ladies fingers, you’ll love this spicy, tangy dish

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 115g (4oz) yellow lentils (toor dhal); 3 tbsp corn oil; 1/2 tsp onion seeds; 2 onions, sliced; 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek; 1 tsp ginger pulp; 1 tsp garlic pulp; 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder; 1/4 tsp turmeric; 1 tsp ground coriander; 1 green mango, peeled and sliced; 1 lb (450g) okra, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) pieces; 1 1/2 tsp salt; 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and sliced; 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander; 1 tomato, sliced

* Wash the lentils thoroughly and put in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook until soft but not mushy. Drain and set on one side.
* Heat the oil in a deep round-bottomed frying pan or a Karahi and fry the onion seeds until they begin to pop. Add the onions and fry until golden brown. Lower the heat and add the ground fenugreek, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and ground coriander.
* Add the mango slices and the okra. Stir well and add the salt, red chillies and fresh coriander. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until the Okra is well cooked. Finally, add the cooked lentils and sliced tomato and cook for a further 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Lamb Stir Fry

Serves: 4;  Preparation:  30 mins;  Calories/Fat:  256 cals/13.3g;
Sodium/added sugar:  0.4g/0.4g

Ingredients:  2 tbsp vegetable oil; 1 pack lamb escalopes, weighing about 350g (12oz) shredded; 2 large carrots, halved lengthways and thinly sliced; 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced; 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced; 2.5cm (1 in) piece fresh root ginger, grated; 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped; 1 x 150g pack mangetout and sugar snap peas, mangetout cut in half lengthways; 2 tbsp oyster sauce; 1 tbsp lemon juice.

  • Heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat and add 1 tbsp oil.  Stir-fry the lamb for 1 min until browned then remove from pan with any juices.
  • Reheat the wok.  Add 1 tbsp oil and stirfry the carrots, onions, pepper, ginger and chilli for 2 mins. Return the meat and its juices to the pan.  Add the peas and stir-fry for 1 min.
  • Stir in the oyster sauce and lemon juice and toss well until heated.  Season and serve with coconut rice or noodles.

Beef and Veg Stir-Fry

Serves:  4;  Prep:  10 mins;  Cook:  15 mins;  Cals per portion:  270

Strips of beef in a sweet and sour sauce – better than a takeaway any day!

Ingredients:  1 lb/450g steak, suitable for grilling or frying; 1 tbsp/15ml sunflower oil; 2 sticks celery, sliced; 1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced; 1 red pepper, deseeded, and thinly sliced; 4oz/125g large flat mushrooms, thinly sliced; 1 tsp/5ml salt; 1 tsp/5ml sugar; 1 tbsp/15ml tomato puree; 1 tbsp/15ml dark soy sauce; 1 tbsp/15ml cornflour; 1 tbsp/15ml vinegar; 4oz/125g mangetout

  • Cut the beef into thin strips.  Heat oil in a frying pan and fry beef for 4-5 minutes.  Add celery, peppers and mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes.  Stir in salt, sugar, puree and soy sauce.
  • Blend the cornflour with the vinegar and stir into the pan.  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it thickens.  Add the mangetout and heat through for 1 minute.  Serve immediately.
  • Tip:  Rump steak is best for stir frys, other more economical cuts which are equally suitable for this dish are silverside or topside.

Peppered Tarragon Chicken

A recipe by Gary Rhodes

Create a culinary smash with stir-fried chicken on a bed of garlic mash.

This stir-fried dish, with its fiery flavour of black pepper, is slightly mellowed by the creamy garlic potatoes.  The contrast of texture works extremely well and it can be enjoyed at any time of year – the stir-fry being light and summery, while the mashed potato adds a more warming element.

Serves:  4

Ingredients:  Potatoes:  1 ½ lb (675g) potatoes, peeled and quartered (Maris Piper are great for mashing); salt and pepper; 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed; 3-5fl oz (85-150ml) double cream; knob of butter; splash of milk, optional

Chicken:  4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 1 tblsp olive oil; knob of butter; squeeze of lemon juice; 1-2 tblsp chopped tarragon

  • To make the potatoes, boil in salted water until cooked.  Drain and mash until smooth.  Add garlic to cream (the more cream, the richer the finish) and warm through.  Add garlic cream to potatoes with a knob of butter, then season.  If you prefer potatoes to be looser, add a good splash of milk.  Keep warm.
  • To make the chicken, season strips with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper.  Heat oil, add the chicken and stir fry on a high heat to seal, giving a golden brown finish.  Add the butter and fry for a further 2-3 minutes until chicken is cooked and tender.
  • Just before serving, add the lemon juice and tarragon to the chicken.  Serve on a bed of garlic mash with the orange and mushroom salad.