Mini Chicken Meatballs over Butter Fried Baby Cabbage and Roma Tomatoes

I really should think about a shorter title but Chicken Meatballs and Cabbage doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.  This makes for a scrumptious lunch or light dinner and comes together in no time at all.

The picture leaves much to be desired but the flavour was delicious, promise.

Mini Chicken Meatballs over Butter Fried Baby Cabbage and Roma Tomatoes

Ingredients

500g ground chicken
1 egg
45ml finely diced onion
15ml sweet chilli sauce
10ml chicken stock powder
5ml dried thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 baby cabbage shredded
8 Roma tomatoes halved

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the cabbage and tomatoes in a bowl and form small meatballs.
  2. Pan fry the meatballs in a little drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
  3. Melt a good sized knob of butter in a pan and fry the cabbage and tomatoes for 2 minutes.

Pizza – Dough, Sauce and Toppings

Pizza is not something I make very often but on occasion the craving will kick in and being the obedient person that I am, I satisfy it.  Below is the recipe I use every time I make pizza, even the toppings – quite boring I guess but delicious all the same.  Here is a reminder for you.  Think I will branch out next time and add sliced avocado when it comes out of the oven.

Pizza Dough, Sauce and Toppings

Ingredients

Dough

10g sachet instant yeast
10ml brown sugar
1ml salt
125ml luke warm water
160-210g all purpose flour *

Tomato Sauce

30ml tomato paste
10ml olive oil
1.2ml dried oregano
1.2 dried sweet basil
2.5ml sugar

Toppings

1½ cups white cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese grated
1 garlic cloves crushed
4 big white button mushrooms thinly sliced
4 rashers bacon diced
Dried oregano

Method

  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, salt and water in a bowl.
  2. Add half of the flour so that when you stir it in, the dough comes together.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, gradually adding more flour until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
  4. Roll the dough into a ball and lightly oil the surface, place in a bowl and cover with cling film and place it in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  6. Lightly punch down the dough and roll it out as thinly as desired directly onto a piece of tin foil which has been sprayed with non stick spray and transfer to a baking tray.
  7. Spread the tomato sauce over the base followed by the cheese, garlic, mushrooms and bacon.
  8. Sprinkle over the oregano and bake for 10 -12 minutes.

* I weighed out 210g flour and used from it to flour the counter.

Courgette Tartlets

I had high hopes for this recipe but it fell a little short on flavour.  Even the pictures didn’t turn out the best.  Chopped, fried bacon and mushrooms would take it to the level I was hoping, so if you are going to make these please do add the bacon and mushrooms.

Courgette Tartlets

Ingredients

3-4 courgettes finely sliced
3 eggs
45ml crème fraiche
100ml milk
1 small garlic clove crushed
2.5ml hot English mustard powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 rashers of bacon chopped and fried – missing from mine
4 mushrooms chopped and fried
– missing from mine

Method

  1. Line 4 ramekins with the courgettes overlapping the courgettes.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add in the other ingredients and stir through.
  3. Divide between the ramekins and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Eggs Benedict aka Heaven on a Plate

This really is heaven on a plate and most certainly is not a slimmers delight – but hey, you got to live on the edge every now and again.  There is a little bit of prep work involved with making Eggs Benedict but it is SO worth it.  I don’t enjoy the English muffin so swap that out with a potato & onion rosti and replace the ham with crispy streaky bacon – perfect! 😀

Eggs Benedict

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes peeled, grated and squeezed through a cloth to remove all the liquid
1 small onion peeled, grated and squeezed through a cloth to remove all the liquid
Streaky bacon – 3 strips per rosti – probably not necessary but oh so nice
Hollandaise Sauce
Eggs – 1 per rosti

Method

  1. Divide and roughly shape the potatoes and onion into thin disks and fry in a little olive oil over a medium heat – turning regularly to prevent burning.  Fry until browned and crispy.
  2. Fry the bacon until crispy and keep warm.
  3. Make the Hollandaise Sauce.
  4. Poach the Eggs.
  5. Plate and serve.

Poaching an Egg

I have read SO many different and conflicting ways on how to poach an egg that I got terribly confused by the whole idea.  I thought the whirlpool option would be best so set to poaching my first egg – d i s a s t e r – there were egg white ribbons everywhere with a lonesome little yolk all by itself.  I should possibly have made a “calmer” whirlpool but was put off by this method.  I shall not bore you with the insurmountable ways there are to poach and egg, rather I shall show you how I was successful after a few attempts at the various methods.

I am of the opinion that the fresher your egg the better as the older the egg gets, the runnier the white will become.

Poaching and Egg

In a saucepan, bring water to a gentle rolling boil and add a teaspoon or two of vinegar if you like – “they” say the acidity in the vinegar helps the protein in the egg white coagulate so it hugs nicely around the yolk.  I have tried with and without with pretty much the same result.

For ease of getting the egg into the boiling water I cracked it into a Tupperware measuring cup which has a smooth rounded lip.  I gently and slowly submerged the tip of the measuring cup into the water and tipped the egg out into the water.

I let the egg poach for two and a half minutes and removed it with a slotted spoon.

Gently place the egg on a piece of kitchen towel or stale bread to absorb the excess liquid followed by some freshly ground black pepper and sprinkling of salt and voila you have the perfect poached egg.

Watch this space for my version of Eggs Benedict…

Chicken Livers in Port and Crème Fraiche

This is super quick, easy and tasty lunch or great appetiser for dinner guests.  You can jazz it up with herbs or leave it plain perched on top of some salad leaves.  If you are feeling adventurous you could add some Melba toast on the side too.

Chicken Livers in Port and Crème Fraiche

 

Ingredients

250g chicken livers
15ml port
1 large garlic clove crushed
3 tbsp crème fraiche
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Salad leaves

Method

  1. Fry the livers in a little olive oil over a medium heat until browned and cooked through.
  2. Add the port and garlic and stir through.
  3. Add the crème fraiche, stir through and place on top of salad leaves to serve.

Un-Recipe – Lazy or Busy Day Cucumber Sandwich

It has been a long while since I shared an un-recipe with you and yesterdays lunch was very much just that, an un-recipe sarmie.  It was another one of “those” days where I could not pull myself away from the computer until it was too late to make anything more than a quick sandwich for lunch.  A very satisfying and very moreish sarmie mind you, one which I quite often enjoy.

Un-Recipe – Cucumber Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of brown bread
Butter
Mayonnaise
Cucumber slices
Salt and Pepper

Method

  1. Butter the bread.
  2. Spread a layer of mayonnaise on one slice.
  3. Top with the cucumber, salt and pepper.
  4. Place the second slice of bread on top and cut in half.

Pancakes (Crepes)

As promised, this is my basic pancake recipe, which doubles and triples beautifully.  It is super easy and produces lovely light and soft pancakes ready for all your savoury and sweet desires.  Allowing the mixture to stand for 30 minutes before cooking is not necessary but it does soften the batter and allows the flour to absorb more of the liquid.  Once cooked, these pancakes also freeze very well.

Pancakes (Crepes)

makes ± 16 small pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup water
½ cup milk

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
  2. If you have the time allow the mixture to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a small pan or crepe pan over a high heat and brush with oil.
  4. Pour or ladle small amounts of batter into the pan tilting the pan in a circular motion to coat the bottom of the pan evenly with the mixture.
  5. Once lightly browned on the underneath side, flip the pancake over using a spatula and cooked for a few more seconds.
  6. Continue with points 4 and 5 until the mixture is finished.

Savoury Pancakes

The last remains of a roast chicken work perfectly for these tasty and comforting savoury pancakes and butter fried mushrooms with garlic up the flavour while the creamy white sauce balances things our beautifully before rolling up and sprinkling with cheese to melt and bubble under the grill.  Serve with a crispy green salad or just on their own for a delicious lunch or light supper.

Savoury Pancakes

Ingredients – quantities depending on how many you are making

Left over roast chicken broken into pieces or fried chicken breasts cut into thin slices
Button mushrooms sliced
Vegetable spice
1 to 2 garlic cloves crushed
White sauce – recipe to follow soon
Pancakes – recipe to follow soon
Grated cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Fry the mushrooms in butter until tender and add the vegetable spice and garlic.
  2. Add the chicken and heat through.
  3. Place a portion of the chicken onto a pancake and spoon over white sauce.  Roll up and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Place under the grill until the cheese is melted.

Avocado and Salmon Mould

I love family gatherings where everybody is responsible for one course of the meal.  On a recent occasion, it was my duty to take care of starters.  We have been enjoying beautiful summer weather the last couple of weeks so I was in the mood for a cold and light start to our meal and albeit that this mould has cream and mayonnaise in it, it is still light enough if enjoyed in a small quantity.  I made it in my Tupperware ring mould which made for 20 perfect little segments.  This mould can easily be made a day ahead of time too as can the Rosemary Crackers I served it with.

Avocado and Salmon Mould

Ingredients

Avocado

15ml gelatine
60ml hot water
1 avocado mashed
150ml mayonnaise
15ml onion finely chopped
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
150ml cream lightly whipped

Salmon

15ml gelatine
60ml hot water
1 tin pink salmon
100ml mayonnaise
15ml tomato sauce
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
100ml cream lightly whipped

Method

Avocado

  1. Dissolve the gelatine in the hot water.
  2. Place the avocado, mayonnaise, onion and lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Stir the gelatine into the avocado mixture.
  4. Fold in the cream.
  5. Pour into a ring mould and refrigerate.

 Salmon

  1. Dissolve the gelatine in the hot water.
  2. Place the tuna, mayonnaise, tomato sauce and lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Stir the gelatine into the tuna mixture.
  4. Fold in the cream.
  5. Pour over the avocado mixture and refrigerate.

 

De-mould and serve.

Broccoli Cheese Quiche with a Rice Crust

I read about this lovely idea over at Ashley’s, The Driven Cook’s blog and set to making this healthy lunch idea with a slightly less healthy white rice and amended the recipe ever so slightly.  This is a super idea to use up left over rice which I always seem to have, on the few occasions that I do cook rice.  I bet that brown rice would add a nice nutty flavour.

Broccoli Cheese Quiche with a Rice Crust

Ingredients

Crust
2 cups rice cooked – the original recipe called for brown rice
¼ cup cheddar cheese grated
1 egg

Filling
4 eggs
½ cup milk – the original recipe called for 1 cup
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
1 tsp veggie spice – this was not part of the original recipe
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Mix the crust ingredients together and press into a prepared quiche dish.
  3. Bake for 7 minutes and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C.
  5. Combine the filling ingredients and pour into the crust and baked for 25-30 minutes.  The original recipe calls for 35-40 minutes.

Pork Sausage Salad

The festive season is in full swing and with lots of family catching up to do so quick lunches are definitely the way to go, especially when there is a nice sunny day – they have been very few and far between of late so taking full advantage is a necessity and on these days, a lunch that comes together in a matter of minutes is paramount – and so the pork sausage salad was created.  Quantities will depend on the amount of people you are feeding.

Pork Sausage Salad

Ingredients

Pork sausages cooked – left over from the braai (barbecue) the night before are perfect
Tomatoes chopped
Cucumber chopped
Garlic chives chopped
Parsley chopped

Dressing
Homemade Mayonnaise
Whole grain mustard

Use a ratio of 3:1 respectively

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.

Caramelised Onion and Bacon Tarts

Savoury tarts always make for a scrumptious lunch and come together quite quickly, so if you have last minute guests, you are good to go. I was going to serve these tasty tarts with a all-home-grown salad and when I went to harvest my greens, my lettuce had all but vanished!  I had the healthiest most beautiful lettuce not 2 days earlier – I can only assume that all the rain we have been having has something to do with it.  What a disappointment, but no matter, these little individual quiches still went down a treat.

Caramelised Onion and Bacon Tarts

Ingredients

1 brown onion thinly sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon chopped
250ml cheddar cheese grated
3 eggs
125ml milk
5ml veggie spice
Black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Caramelise the onions over a medium heat in a little olive oil and butter.  Set aside.
  3. Fry the bacon until cooked through.
  4. Beat the eggs in a jug and add the milk, veggie spice and pepper.
  5. Divide the onion and bacon into 4 10cm prepared quiche tins. *
  6. Divide and spread the cheese over the onion and bacon.
  7. Pour over the egg mixture and bake for 15 minutes.

*If using the loose bottom tins, place them on a baking tray in case they leak.

Un-Recipe – Chicken and Tomato Sandwich

On occasion when Pete is away, I have been known to get carried away and seem to get suckers on my butt as I never leave my computer for very long.  Recently was such a day (and night) which meant cooking supper was not top priority and I only thought of it when my worm was awake and needed to be fed immediately!  Seriously quick and easy would have to do – hence the Chicken and Tomato Sandwich was born, which made for a delicious light supper and was perfectly balanced with a Gin and Tonic 🙂 which I enjoyed at my desk.

Un-Recipe – Chicken and Tomato Sandwich

Ingredients

1 chicken breast slightly flattened with the heel of your hand
Smoky barbecue spice
Butter
2 slices of brown bread
Homemade Mayonnaise
Homemade Guinness Mustard
1 tomato sliced

Method

  1. Fry the chicken in a little butter sprinkled with the spice.
  2. Butter the bread and spread the mayonnaise on one slice and the mustard on the other.
  3. Top one of the slices  with the sliced tomato.
  4. Once cooked cut the chicken breast into slices and place on top of the tomato.
  5. Top with the second slice of bread and cut in half.

Parsley Crackers

Since enjoying the rosemary version of these lovely crackers, I was set on making a parsley variant and they worked out a treat.  With parsley being a much milder herb to rosemary, I doubled the quantity asked for in the original recipe which made these crackers even more attractive, even though the flavour was very mild.  Throw in some cranberry jelly and you have all the colours of Christmas taken care of.  These crunchy snacks lend themselves to a myriad of accompanying flavours and as my friend Tandy said, they are perfect after work snacks for with a drink.

Parsley Crackers

Ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
4 tbsp fresh parsley chopped – I used curly
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup cold water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and parsley in a bowl.
  3. Add the oil and enough of the water to form a dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a counter top and knead to a smooth ball.  The dough should feel tacky, not sticky.  If it feels sticky, add a *very* small amount of flour.
  5. Divide the dough into four pieces and cover with a towel.  Rest the dough for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
  6. If you have a pasta roller, roll each piece as thin as possible (this is what I did). Alternatively, use a rolling pin to roll the pieces out as thinly as possible.
  7. Joanne says to spray the dough with water which helps it to go crispy.  I found they baked better and crispier without the spritz of water.  See which works best for you.
  8. Bake on a baking try for 3 – 4 minutes on each side until lightly golden.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough.  The crackers will become crispier as they cool.
  10. Once cooled, break into shards.

Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have been wanting to make stuffed peppers for the longest time but for whatever reason, is just one of those ideas that gets pushed aside or forgotten.  I was reminded about this lovely idea when I was visiting over at Zestybeandog’s Blog, which made me put my want into action.  Thanks Zestybeandog for the reminder.  This is really a tasty meal and we enjoyed the yellow pepper so much more than the red.  It seemed to have more flavour once baked.

Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

Inspired by Zestybeandog

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tbsp butter
½ onion chopped
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic crushed
4 pork bangers removed from casings
10ml chicken stock powder
5ml vegetable spice
¾ cup cooked rice

Method

  1. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the inner membrane and seeds.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Fry the onion and mushrooms in the butter until tender.
  4. Add the garlic and and sausage breaking the sausage up into small pieces.
  5. Add the stock powder and vegetable spice and cook through.
  6. Stir in the rice and stuff into the peppers.
  7. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
  8. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil before serving.

Un-Recipe – Bacon and Mushroom Omelet

For some peculiar reason, I had just two rashers of bacon left over in the fridge.  Stranger things have been known to happen though.  I could not live with myself if I let them go to waste so very quickly whipped them out of the fridge along with 2 mushrooms, and egg (which had 2 yolks :-))  and some cheddar cheese and turned it all into a lovely little omelet.  This was the ideal super quick, tasty and easy lunch.  Think I may have to always keep 2 spare rashers of bacon going forward.

Un-Recipe – Bacon and Mushroom Omelet

Ingredients

2 rashers bacon chopped
2 mushrooms sliced
Vegetable spice
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Fry the bacon and mushrooms until browned and sprinkle on vegetable spice.
  2. Add the egg and grated cheese.
  3. Fold sides into the middle and turn.

Rosemary Croccantini

When I read about this recipe over at Fifteen Spatuals, I knew it would have to go to the top of my ever growing “Must Try” recipe pile.  It took a few days but finally, I got around to making these lovely crackers.  They appealed to me for a number of reasons, mostly because I love a crispy cracker and I have an enormous amount of fresh rosemary in the garden which I love using.  These are an absolute must make, especially if you are having family and friends over for a drink – they go down a treat with Onion Marmalade, chicken liver pâté and (not that I would agree) blue cheese and fig preserve.  Joanne serves hers with fig jam and manchego cheese.

Rosemary Croccantini

Taken from Fifteen Spatulas

Ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup cold water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and rosemary in a bowl.
  3. Add the oil and enough of the water to form a dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a counter top and knead to a smooth ball.  The dough should feel tacky, not sticky.  If it feels sticky, add a *very* small amount of flour.
  5. Divide the dough into four pieces and cover with a towel.  Rest the dough for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
  6. If you have a pasta roller, roll each piece as thin as possible (this is what I did). Alternatively, use a rolling pin to roll the pieces out as thinly as possible.
  7. Joanne says to spray the dough with water which helps it to go crispy.  I found they baked better and crispier without the spritz of water.  See which works best for you.
  8. Bake on a baking try for 3 – 4 minutes on each side until lightly golden.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough.  The crackers will become crispier as they cool.
  10. Once cooled, break into shards.

My prize and a Rosti-topped Root Vegetable Bake

I was the lucky winner of Tandy’s regional and seasonal challenge with my Preserved Peppadew recipe and won the Love and Food, The Market Cookbook.  It is a super book with lovely ideas and the cover boasts a picture of my favourite fruit – figs!  I received my lovely prize in the post a couple of weeks back while the folks were visiting again and mom hijacked my prize to have a read through with her afternoon tea and decided to surprise us with one of the recipes that evening.  It was slightly amended as she did not have all the vegetables on hand that the recipe called for but was a great interpretation of the original recipe (original recipe below).

Rosti-topped Root Vegetable Bake

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
4 carrots peeled and diced
4 parsnips peeled and diced
3 rutabagas (swedes) peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
45mlolive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium or 6 small beetroot
400g chickpeas
125ml coconut milk
25ml vegetable stock
Handful coriander leaves
4 potatoes
2 eggs
125ml cake flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and garlic on a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelised.
  4. In the meantime, cook the beetroot in boiling water until tender.  Skin and cube and add to the vegetable mixture.
  5. Add the drained chickpeas.
  6. Combine the coconut milk and vegetable stock and pour over the vegetables and add the chopped coriander.
  7. Peel and grate the potatoes into a medium bowl.
  8. Add the eggs and flour.  Season with salt and pepper and mix through.
  9. Layer the potato mixture over the vegetables and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is crispy and the vegetable sauces are bubbling.

Garlic Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Food, as it always is in our family, was the main topic of conversation.  Years ago, my mom came across the easiest recipe for a potato salad – potatoes and a bottle of what I have always remembered being French salad dressing and which mom has tried to reassure me is Italian salad dressing.  Be that as it may and our ever changing palette away from most things preserved and processed (except for Aromat of course) we thought it a much nicer idea to make the dressing ourselves.  What a hit!  We enjoyed it so much, mom made if for us three times in one week!  A must make this absolutely is, especially with the holidays coming up and lots braai’s (barbecues) and alfresco dining with family and friends.

Garlic Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes – peeled chopped and boiled until tender
40ml white vinegar
1 large clove garlic crushed
15ml sugar
80ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
20ml moss curled or flat leaf parsley chopped

Method

  1. Place the potatoes in a dish.
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients and pour over the potatoes and stir through to coat the potatoes.