Versatile Marinade

Ever have one of those days when you not sure what flavour you feel like.  This little recipe came about when I opened the cupboard and added a bit of this and a bit of that to make a marinade for chicken portions and decided it would work well with lamb, pork and beef too.

Chicken Marindade

Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

30ml brown sugar
30ml soy sauce
30ml brown spirit vinegar
30ml tomato paste
5ml lime juice
125ml water
2.5ml ground ginger
1ml cayenne pepper or more if you like a kick

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients together.
  2. Marinate protein for minimum 1 hour.
  3. Braai (barbecue) or roast protein basting with the marinade.
  4. Reduce marinade if necessary.

 

Advertisements

Mushroom & Butter Bean Goulash

This is great dish to enjoy over rice and comes together in a short time, perfect for a week night meal.  Thanks to Karin for this great recipe.

Mushroom butterbean tomato

Mushroom & Butter Bean Goulash

Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece ginger grated
500g brown mushrooms chopped
2 X 410g tin chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp vegetable stock powder
1 Tbsp honey
410g tin butter beans rinsed
Coriander to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and ginger.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry until tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the butter beans and honey and serve with chopped coriander.

Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf

I got great new vegetarian recipes from my sister-in-law Karin while she and my brother were here visiting.  Fabulous flavourful healthy and very moreish meals.  It’s wonderful to see Greg and Karin’s kids enjoy these wonderful meals too.

Brown rice pilaf

Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

1 cup of brown wild rice cooked according the package instructions
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion chopped
1 large red pepper chopped
500g  brown mushrooms chopped
2 stalks celery sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
410g tin lentils rinsed
½ cup chopped parsley
1 small punnet sprouts
Toasted flaked almonds

Method

  1. Heat the oil and fry the onions and peppers.
  2. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the mushrooms and celery are tender.
  3. Stir in the sprouts, soy, lentils and parsley.
  4. Add the rice and flaked almonds.

Pearl Barley

Do you ever have those days where you are looking for something satisfying and hearty to eat but don’t want a protein packed sandwich or the leftovers from the previous evening dinner isn’t what you feel like… Well, pearl barley is a perfect fit for those days and couldn’t be easier to prepare.

Pearl Barley

Pearl Barley

Ingredients

1 large onion sliced
2 large garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece ginger grated
2 scant teaspoons of dukkah spice
1 cup pearl barley
5 cups chicken stock

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and dukkah spice and fry for one minute.
  3. Add the barley and chicken stock, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for approximately 45 minutes until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

 

Grilled Sweetcorn with Sweet Chilli, Coriander & Lime (The Cake the Buddha Ate)

This is the first recipe I tried from my by birthday book, The Cake the Buddha Ate and it is divine!  An absolute must make!  Pete and I  did the corn on the braai  but you could easily grill them in the oven too.

sweet chilli coriander corn

Ready to go on the braai for 5 minutes

Grilled Sweetcorn with Sweet Chilli, Coriander & Lime

Ingredients

1kg sweetcorn ± 6
50g butter
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp cumin seeds, bruised, crushed
½ tsp coriander seeds
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lime juice – you could substitute with lemon
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Precook the sweetcorn in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes until tender alternatively boil in water for ±15 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the oil.
  3. Add the spices and sweet chilli sauce and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the garlic and cook while stirring for 5 minutes until thick.
  5. Add the lime juice and chopped coriander and add seasoning if required.
  6. Pour the sauce over the sweetcorn and braai for 5 minutes turning while basting with the sauce.
  7. Alternatively place in a preheated oven at 220°C and place on the highest rack in the oven.  Turn the mielies when they turn brown and grill to finish off.

Green Bean Vinaigrette

In keeping with my tradition of quick and easy recipes, this is another qualifier.  I can quite comfortably polish off all the beans by myself in one sitting.  It does help that Pete says they are squeaky and steers clear of them. 🙂  If you want to get fancy, you could throw a few toasted flaked almonds over the top.

Green Bean Vinaigarette 1

Green Bean Vinaigrette

Ingredients

350g fresh green beans
45ml olive oil
30ml red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove crushed
¼ tsp brown sugar
Ground salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Blanch or steam the beans until tender.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients and pour over the beans while they are still hot.
  3. Allow to marinate for an hour or more spooning the vinaigrette over the beans a couple of times.
Green Bean Vinaigarette 2

So tasty with a tender piece of steak

 

Mandy’s Tempura

The festive season is well under way so you may have noticed my lack of visiting your blogs – sorry about that.  Things may be higgledy piggledy until the new year before I am back in the swing of things – I will pop in periodically though just to keep up to speed with you all as I hate missing out on things. 🙂

I love when I can put something together that really works, especially the first time and this tempura is one that has jumped right to the top of my favourite list.  I call it Mandy’s tempura as I am sure it is not a traditional recipe and has a slightly thicker consistency, although you could thin it a little by adding more club soda.  This recipe doubles very well too which works well for sharing these light crispy morsels with family and friends.

Mandy's Tempura 1

Mandy’s Tempura

Ingredients

½ cup flour
1 tbsp cornflour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt or season of choice
1 egg yolk
½ cup ice cold club soda

Method

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg yolk and club soda and mix until just combined – leaving lumps.
  3. Dunk any julienne vegetable or protein (I used chicken) and fry in medium hot oil until light golden brown on both sides.

Mandy's Tempura 2

Spicy Roasted Chicpeas

With the festive season here and all the extra eating and celebrating we do, a healthy tasty snack is always welcome.  Even if you aren’t a chicpea fan, I urge you to try this easy recipe, the crispy light nutty result is well worth the time in the oven.  I would suggest doubling or even tripling this recipe and use any combination of spice you would prefer.

Spicy roasted chick peas  1

Spicy Roasted Chicpeas

Ingredients

1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tin chicpeas – drained and rinsed
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Grind all the spices together and place in a bowl, add the oil and stir to combine.
  3. Rinse the chicpeas and mix through the oil mixture to coat.  Add salt to taste.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until crispy.

Spicy roasted chick peas  2

 

Millet and Grape Salad

I wanted to call this Millet, Grape, Coriander, Toasted Almond and Spring Onion Salad because all of the ingredients are stars but alas, it’s too long.  Millet is a great alternative to quinoa for a summer salad and is somewhat cheaper too, which is great.  If you can’t get hold of millet, couscous will be a perfect substitute.

Millet Salad

Millet Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked millet
1 cup red grapes halved
1 cup coriander chopped
¼ cup red spring salad onions sliced
½ cup almonds toasted

Dressing

30ml apple cider vinegar
60ml olive oil
⅛ tsp sesame oil
1tsp honey
1 small garlic clove crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad and mix through.

Your ideal all in one cook book

If somebody had to ask you the question, “What is in your ideal cook book?” what would your top 3, or more if you like, things be?

Blog Book Cover

I ask because I am in the process of revising my Complete Cook Book and will be fluffing up the kitchen guide as well as the recipes.

So, if you could have an all in one complete kitchen book, what would you like to have featured?

I really would appreciate your input and if there is anything I can credit you for, I certainly will.

Thank you for your valuable input and hope you are as excited about the prospect of an improved complete cook book as much as I am.

Quick Coconut Chicken Curry

This is the ideal week night meal when you want a quick,  tasty and satisfying meal.  It may seem like a long list of ingredients but it all comes together and ready for the table in the amount of time it takes your rice to cook.

Quick coconut chicken curry

Quick Coconut Chicken Curry

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seed bruised
½ tsp cumin seed bruised
½ tsp chilli flakes – more if you like it hotter
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece of ginger grated
Zest of half a lemon
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp brown sugar
400g tin coconut cream
4 chicken breasts sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices and gently fry for one minute.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, zest, stock powder and sugar and fry for one minute.
  3. Add the coconut cream and allow to reduce by one third.
  4. Add the chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with basmati rice.

 

Naan Bread

Pete and I ate copious amounts of wonderful naan while we were living in Mauritius.  Sadly I cannot reproduce exactly what we ate then but this recipe comes close.

naan

I rolled my naan a little too thin

Naan Bread

Ingredients

7g active dry yeast
250ml warm water
60ml white sugar
45ml milk
1 egg beaten
10ml salt
± 4½ cups all purpose or bread flour
60ml butter melted
4 garlic cloves minced

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar, milk, egg, salt, and flour to make a soft dough.
  3. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, cover and set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in volume.
  5. Punch down the dough and knead lightly. Pinch off small handfuls of dough the size of a golf balls and roll into balls and place on a tray, cover lightly and allow to rise until double in size.
  6. Roll one ball of dough into a long oval. Lightly oil a heated pan and cook the dough until puffy and lightly browned.
  7. Turn and brush the cooked side with butter and garlic and cook until browned.
  8. Continue until all the naan have been cooked.

Red Lentil Dahl

It doesn’t feel like it but yesterday was my 4th year anniversary of blogging.  What a fun 4 years it has been.  I am looking forward to sharing more with you over the next 4 years. 🙂

I saw this recipe over at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide and was immediately dashing down the passage to see if I had any lentils in stock.

I modified the recipe slightly, as listed below for the ingredients I had on hand and doubled it to serve as a main meal which I served with naan (recipe coming soon) and would definitely make it again but next time I would increase the coriander, mustard and cumin seed quantities.

Red lentil dahl

Red Lentil Dahl

Ingredients

2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp mustard seed
½ tsp cumin seed
1 tsp cayenne powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 cup red lentils
1 onion chopped
3 tbsp garlic minced
3 tbsp ginger minced
400g tin tomatoes
8 cups chicken stock
Coriander chopped to serve

Method

  1. Grind the whole spices to a powder and mix with cayenne and turmeric.
  2. Sauté the onion in a little oil in a pot until translucent and soft.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the lentils and stir to coat.
  5. Add the tomatoes, spice mixture and chicken stock, mix through and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for 40 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with fresh coriander and naan.

Un-Recipe – A bowl of pasta

I cannot remember when I last shared a un-recipe and this one couldn’t be easier.  I am starting to think I am craving so much pasta because of the running as I wasn’t that much of a pasta eater before.  I must confess to not making my own pasta for this dish, I simply opened a packet of store bought, well wouldn’t be much of an un-recipe if I had.

Bowl of pasta

Un-Recipe – Bowl of Pasta

Ingredients

Pasta of choice
Olive oil
Garlic crushed
Coriander chopped
Salt and black pepper
Cheese of choice grated

Method

  1. Boil pasta as per package instruction.
  2. Stir in a good glug of olive oil with the garlic and coriander.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper and top with cheese.

Lack of Food Posts

As most of you know, Pete is away a lot of the time which means you will also know I get suckers on my butt and sit at the computer far too long which means supper is always an easy throw together meal.

Apple

When Pete is home, it is not for extended periods of time so we always enjoy his favourite meals and lots of braais (barbecues) so there is nothing new to share with you, very sad I know.

Every now and again I will get a sudden rush of blood to the brain and will make something scrumity like the Anchovy, Garlic, Tomato Pasta, or indulge in Sticky Chicken Wings but for the most part, I throw a chicken with some veggies and  spuds in the oven.  I have been known to get extravagant and on occasion even make gravy.  This will serve me well for at least 3 meals with leftovers to add to a salad.  A couple of other quick favourites are steak and salad or a piece of fresh fish and salad.

I will work on getting back in the kitchen to share something new and delicious with you.

Anchovy, Garlic, Tomato Pasta

I have been craving pasta for the past couple of weeks.  Maybe my body is lacking something or more likely I was just wanting to eat pasta.  I finally succumbed to the craving and made a scrumptious and very moreish meal, I think even my friend John would be impressed.

Anchovie pasta

Anchovy, Garlic, Tomato Pasta

If you don’t want to make your own pasta, use your choice of store bought.

Pasta Ingredients

200g all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1ml salt
5ml olive oil

Method

  1. Place the flour on a counter top and create a mound with a crater in the middle. Put the eggs, salt and oil into the crater.
  2. Beat the eggs with a fork and gradually incorporate the flour until all the egg is incorporated into the flour.  The dough should be of a rough consistency, feel slightly sticky to the touch and moist. If it’s too sticky sprinkle a bit more flour on the mixture.
  3. Using the palm of your hand push the dough down and away from you. Flip it back towards you and fold it in half. Once again push the dough down and away from you, rotating the dough so that it kneads in every direction. Continue until the dough becomes smooth.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for 20 minutes. Don’t put it into the fridge.  I sometimes even skipped this step.
  5. If you don’t have a pasta machine to roll out your pasta, using a rolling pin, roll dough until flat and fairly thin.
  6. Roll the entire dough up like a pancake and cut into slices. The width of the cut will determine the thickness of your pasta. Unravel the pasta into strips.
  7. Cook for three to five minutes until al dente in a generous amount of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally to separate strands and prevent sticking.

Sauce Ingredients

15 ml olive oil
20 anchovies – more if you can resist eating them straight from the bottle
1 tin Italian tomatoes chopped
5ml sugar
3 garlic cloves crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh coriander and flat leaf parsley chopped for serving

Method

  1. Mash the anchovies in the oil  in a pan.
  2. Add the tomatoes and sugar and reduce by half.
  3. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Add your drained pasta to the pan with the tomatoes sauce.  Once plated, top with the coriander and parsley.

A few shavings of parmesan wouldn’t go a miss here either.

Karin’s Quinoa Salad

My lovely sister-in-law Karin introduced me to the super grain quinoa.  I know, I am far behind in trying new things.  I was also put off by how expensive it is.

Quinoa in a nutshell – it is high in protein, is a good source of dietary fibre and phosphorus and is high in magnesium, iron and calcium, so is good for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant and is also gluten-free and is easy to digest.

Karin's quinoa 2

On it’s own quinoa tastes pretty much like nothing but has a wonderful texture and put with other lovely ingredients makes a fabulous salad.  Karin adapted a couscous recipe from her favourite recipe book, The Cake the Buddha Ate. I highly recommend you make this for a lovely hot summer’s day salad.

Karin's quinoa 1

Karin’s Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup flaked almonds toasted
1 cup fresh coriander chopped chopped
1 cup tinned chickpeas – oops I forgot to put these in
1 cup red and yellow capsicum peppers chopped – I only had yellow
¼ cup dates chopped
¼ cup figs chopped
½ red onion chopped

Dressing

100ml olive oil
50ml apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
1 small garlic clover crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad and mix through.

Barley and Lentil Soup

I am sorry I haven’t been around to visit your blogs and read your posts yet – things have gone a touch haywire here and I am hoping to be back to normal by next week.  Please be patient with me while I get there. See you soon. 🙂 xo

Even though Spring is officially here, we are still having some blustery cold days.  A pot of soup simmering on the stove is always a warm and welcoming smell on days like this.

Barley and lentil soup

Not the prettiest but oh so tasty

Barley and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 large onion chopped
2 inch piece of ginger grated
6 garlic cloves crushed
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
500g packet soup mix – barley, brown and red lentils and split peas
± 4 litres chicken or vegetable salt
Celery salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic and herbs and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the soup mix and stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour until cooked.  You may need to add additional stock if the soup is too thick.
  5. Season with celery salt and pepper.

Hot Milk Chocolate Cake

I was browsing through a pile of my old recipe books the other day looking for some inspiration and out fell a handwritten page with a few shopping items written in Afrikaans; first clue this wasn’t mine, secondly I write in all capital letters and this was all in lower case.  The recipe portion of the page was in English though and the ingredients were written in such an odd order with a couple of corrections along the way – I list my ingredients in the order in which they get used so further proof that this recipe was not written down by me.  I also write the name of the person I get a recipe from or where I have copied it from.

Sadly I have no idea who’s it is but loved the idea of a hot milk cake so put all the books aside and preheated the oven while I got all the ingredients together.

Hot milk chocolate cake 3

The cake itself was lovely and spongy and moist but the flavour was somewhat insipid- I would at a minimum double the quantity of cocoa called for to get the desired result of a chocolate cake – also by using the stated amount of cocoa made the cake look like coffee cake.

Hot milk chocolate cake 1

Hot Milk Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

4 eggs
1½ cups sugar – I am sure this could be reduced to 1 cup
2 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa – I would increase this to 5 tbsp
2 tbsp butter – I would substitute this with oil
1 cup milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Spray two 20cm baking tins with non stick spray.
  3. Beat the eggs well.
  4. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the butter to the milk and heat to boiling point.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in.
  8. Add the milk and mix well.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and lightly tap the tins to expel any air bubbles and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Once cooled ice as desired.

Hot milk chocolate cake 2

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits

These biscuits smell like what my granny’s kitchen smelt like – such a beautiful warm welcoming smell that wraps you up in a delicate warm and fuzzy feeling.  What more could you ask for!  These are so good that even my ever loving Pete who isn’t a biscuit person kept saying how fabulous they are.

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits 1

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits

Ingredients

115g all purpose flour
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼tsp baking powder
¼tsp salt
115g butter
115g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla essence
85g oats
170g chocolate chips

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits 6

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly blended.
  6. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  7. Place teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, spacing the dough about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes until just firm around the edges.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits 3