This exotic, spicy dish of pineapple halves stuffed with beef, vegetables and nuts may be served with a fresh green salad for an unusual lunch or dinner.
1 large pineapple, cut lengthways in half, with the flesh scooped out and reserved for future use
1 oz. butter
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lb. lean beef, minced
1 tablespoon shelled pistachio nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons sour cream
Pi cheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).
Using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the pineapple shell to give it a stable base. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chilli, onion and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the beef and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pistachio nuts, salt, pepper, garam masala, tomatoes, breadcrumbs and sour cream.
Stir the stuffing with a wooden spoon until it is thoroughly combined.
Place the two pineapple halves in a baking dish and spoon the stuffing into the halves, doming it up slightly in the centre.
Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the. top is lightly browned.
Remove the dish from the oven. Transfer the pineapple halves to 2 individual, warmed serving plates and serve immediately.
Yogurt is a semi-solid dairy product pro-duced by fermenting MILK with a culture of bacteria. During fermentation the LACTOSE (milk sugar) in the milk is converted to lactic acid and this causes the milk to clot.
In the Balkans, where yogurt has been eaten for centuries, it varies considerably in texture and taste depending on whether the milk used comes from cows, goats, sheep, buffaloes or mares.
Yogurt can be made at home but most yogurt is now commercially made. To satisfy modern-day tastes, most companies produce yogurts which are less acidic in flavour than home-made yogurt and are frequently flavoured with fruit and sugar. As yogurt continues to mature even in cold storage, most commercial yogurts are marked with a date stamp and have a shelf life of about 2 weeks. This does not mean that the yogurt is unfit for consumption after the date stamp has expired, but that it will be considerably more acidic.
Yogurt is used extensively in cooking; as a dessert with fruit, in sauces, such as salad dressings, in salads, as in RAITA, and in meat and vegetable dishes.
Yogurt has the same food value as milk, although the sugar level is somewhat lower, and is consequently a good source of PROTEIN and CALCIUM. Despite the obvious dietary benefits of yogurt, and the fact that it is easily digestible, there is no evidence to support claims that it aids longevity or has any therapeutic value which is not obtained from an equivalent amount of milk or cheese.
Incidentally, it is sometimes thought that only yogurt which is labelled ‘live’ contains live culture. This is not true; all yogurt must by necessity contain a live culture, the growth of which may be arrested but not killed by keeping in cold storage. Because of this any branded natural yogurt is perfectly suitable for use in the making of home-made yogurt.
Although yogurt-making appliances available, it is very simple to make your own yogurt at home using only basic kitchen utensils. Some people prefer to make yogurt in a vacuum flask and transfer it to a bowl after it has set. This is a matter of choice. If using sterilized milk there is no need to boil the milk before bringing it to the required temperature. It is possible to continue making yogurt using 2 tablespoons of the previously made yogurt as a starter for the next yogurt. However, it is advisable to use a freshly bought natural yogurt or yogurt culture as a starter occasionally as this prevents the growth of extraneous cultures which affect the flavour of the yogurt.
To make fruit yogurt simply stir in some pureed or mashed fruit or jam, and sugar if desired, after the yogurt has set.
2 pints milk
2 tablespoons yogurt or yogurt culture
Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to the boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the milk to cool until it reaches 110°F (43°C) on a sugar thermometer or until it is possible to immerse a finger in the milk for 10 seconds without experiencing discomfort.
Meanwhile, in a large glass or earthenware bowl, beat the yogurt or yogurt culture until it is smooth. Add
3 tablespoons of the warmed milk to the yogurt, one at a time, beating constantly with a wire whisk or rotary beater.
Gradually add the rest of the milk, beating constantly until the yogurt and milk are thoroughly mixed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a large plate. Wrap the bowl in a towel and keep in a warm, draught-free place for 8 hours or overnight until it has thickened.
Store the yogurt in the refrigerator and use as required.
Yogurt and Avocado Soup
Yogurt and Avocado Soup makes a refreshing first course for a dinner or luncheon party. Serve this soup with slices of brown bread and butter.
4 ripe avocados, peeled, halved and stoned juice of
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
10 fl. oz. yogurt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place the avocados, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce in the jar of an electric blender. Blend at high speed for 30 seconds or until the mixture forms a puree. Alternatively, using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the avocado flesh through a wire strainer into a bowl and stir in the other ingredients.
Scrape the puree into a large serving bowl or soup tureen and stir in the yogurt.
Put the bowl or tureen in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, sprinkle over the cayenne and serve immediately.