In My Kitchen – September 2014

Yippee, it is officially Spring – days will be getting warmer and evenings will be getting longer – oh happy days.

Thanks to the lovely Celia’s over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, we get the opportunity to peek into so many wonderful and different kitchens every month.  If you haven’t already, why don’t you share a little of what is in your kitchen with us.

In my kitchen…

Are the most beautiful napkin / flower holders.  We originally only had 3 and my sister-in-law Trish had the other 3 so I asked I could have her 3 – she lovingly obliged.  They originally belonged to our parents-in-law.  I would love to hear where they originated from.

napkin flower holders

In my kitchen…

Are an ever growing pile of matches which Pete collects from the various countries he visits.  Seems though, our Lion (not photographed) brand of matches are still the best.

Matches

In my kitchen…

Is a bacon, mushroom and leak creamy pasta – a fabulous dinner with plenty leftover for lunch.

Bacon, mushroom leak pasta

In my kitchen…

Is dried lemon grass which I found at Woolies.  I am looking forward to using it in a curry soon.

Lemon grass

In my kitchen…

Are drying peppadews – the seed with be planted soon and hopefully we we will have lots of peppadew baby plants.

Drying peppadews

In my kitchen…

Is a Mandy special – I never inherited my mom’s ability to arrange flowers.  I thought strelizia’s and red Brazilian peppercorn branches would make a nice display.  I will endeavour to get better.

Strelitias

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up.

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.

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.

Garlic, Wine & Thyme Mushroom Pasta

This is one of those meals you can have ready in 20 minutes, you know, for those evenings when you have sat behind the computer for too long AGAIN…

Garlic, Wine & Thyme Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients

Pasta of choice
250g button mushrooms sliced
Vegetable spice
2.5ml dry thyme
250ml cream
60ml dry white wine
15ml maizena (cornstarch)
2 garlic cloves crushed
Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.
  2. Fry the mushrooms in a little butter sprinkled with the vegetable spice and thyme until tender.
  3. Pour the cream and wine into the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Mix the maizena with a little water and stir through the cream mixture to thicken.
  5. Add the garlic and season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Serve over the pasta.

 

Stir fried Mushroom and Red Pepper Pasta

It was one of those evenings AGAIN where my butt was glued to my chair (Pete was away on business) and I needed a satisfying meal fairly quickly with as little fuss as possible.  On opening the fridge, the mushrooms and red pepper jumped at me so no need to look any further – vegetarian pasta is was going to be.  This meal came together in the amount of time it took the pasta t cook and was very scrumity!  Must say the left overs were equally as delicious for lunch. 🙂  This isn’t a recipe per se more of a guideline of ingredients.

Stir Fried Mushroom and Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

Pasta of choice – I used linguine
Olive oil
Mushrooms sliced
Red pepper (capsicum) sliced
Vegetable spice
Garlic crushed
Lemon Juice

Method

  1. Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.
  2. Stir fry the mushrooms and red pepper in olive oil and season with the vegetable spice.
  3. Stir through the raw garlic and lemon juice when serving with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Good old faithful Macaroni and Cheese

For somebody who doesn’t cook pasta very often, I have made up for lost time recently.  Macaroni and Cheese is one of those super comfort meals that you can eat with your feet up on the couch while watching TV – not that I would ever do that…  Frying some onion and bacon to add into the mix makes this an even more scrumity, not to mention the truck load of cheese.  If you prefer to bake your Mac ‘n Cheese before serving, top with a breadcrumbs and parsley mixture before baking.

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

250g macaroni or pasta of choice
1 onion sliced
6 rashers bacon diced
80ml butter
80ml flour
500ml milk
2 cups cheddar cheese grated
5ml chicken stock powder
Pepper to taste
1 large tomato chopped

Method

  1. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions.
  2. Fry the onion in a little olive oil or butter until lightly browned, add the bacon and fry until cooked through.  Set aside.
  3. In a pot, melt the butter and the flour and stir through to form a roux.
  4. Add the milk and continue to stir until thickened.
  5. Add the cheese and stir through until incorporated.
  6. Add the stock powder and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in the bacon and onion and macaroni.
  8. Stir in the tomato just before serving.
  9. Serve as is or bake for 20 minutes in the oven preheated to 180°C.

Mandyoli aka Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli with Parsley Garlic Oil

I was so happy with my lasagne I thought it time to spread my pasta wings.  I have made fettucini and spaghetti so Ravioli was next on the list.  It was a little more labour intensive because of cutting out the rounds, fillings and sealing with another round but well worth the effort.  I will be trying another method soon by placing the filling at set intervals on a long piece of pasta, then coving it with another piece and then cutting them out.  I never took measurements of what all went into this delicious meal so these amounts of averages, let your common sense guide you.  This would also make for a fantastic starter or main meal for dinner guests.


Manyoli aka Ravioli

Ingredients

1 small onion finely diced
3 chicken breasts finely chopped or minced
5ml chicken stock powder
250g button mushrooms finely diced
250ml cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5ml corn starch
Handful of parsley
1 garlic clove
45ml olive oil
300g flour
3 extra large eggs
1ml salt

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a little butter until nicely browned, add the chicken and stock powder and cook through.  Set aside.
  2. Fry the mushrooms until tender, add the cream, heat through and thicken with the corn starch mixed in a little water.  Set aside.
  3. Blitz the parsley, garlic and oil in a beaker using an immersion blender. Set aside.
  4. Place the flour on a counter top and create a mound with a crater in the middle. Put the eggs and salt  into the crater.
    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.
    “Knead”  the pasta until smooth.
    Divide the pasta into 6 equal parts and If you don’t have a pasta machine roll out into long lasagne strips, using a rolling pin, alternatively work each quarter through your pasta machine starting on the lowest setting (1) working up to the highest setting (9).
  5. Place the pasta on a floured surface and using a cooker cutter, cut out as many circles as the pasta will allow.  You may need to re- roll the excess pasta and cut out more circles.
  6. Place a small amount of the chicken mixture in the centre of half the circles and seal over with the other half using a small amount of water around the inside edge, pressing the two pieces of pasta together.
  7. Bring a big pot of water to the boil and cook the ravioli in batches for 8 to 10 minutes until tender.
  8. While cooking the ravioli, heat the mushroom sauce.
  9. Once all the ravioli is cooked, spread a portion of mushroom sauce on a heated plate, topped with a few ravioli and drizzled with the parsley oil.


Anchovie, Garlic and Basil Linguine

This supper which comes together in the length of time it takes your pasta to cook, is a satisfying tasty meal for when you really don’t feel like standing in the kitchen cooking, or like me, your husband is away on business and you sat behind the computer the whole day until way passed your normal dinner time.  When I make it again, I think I shall add a splash of white wine and or possibly some chopped black olives.  I may just add that to the leftovers for lunch.

Anchovie, Garlic and Basil Linguine

Ingredients

250g linguine or pasta of choice
8 anchovies
4 garlic cloves crushed
Black pepper to taste
6 basil leaves chiffonade

Method

  1. Cook the linguine according to packet instructions.
  2. Mash the anchovies including some of the oil from the bottle or tin in a pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and pasta and stir to combine.
  4. Add the black pepper, basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Pasta Rice Salad Ring

Rice and pasta salads can often look like a big lumpy mess in a bowl, so it makes a nice change to have a salad all neat and tidy turned out from a mould especially with the added burst of colour with the ingredients for this salad.

Patsta Rice Salad Ring

 

Ingredients

900ml cooked risoni pasta
200ml mayonnaise
410g tin peaches drained and chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 green pepper finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
25ml parsley chopped
25ml Greek or Italian salad dressing
5ml salt
2ml pepper

Method

  1. While still warm, mix the risoni pasta together with the mayonnaise.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Press into an oiled mould.
  4. Allow to set overnight in the fridge.
  5. Unmould and decorate as desired to serve.

 

Submitted by:  Renee Whittal, Port Elizabeth

Pasta Salad

This is another variation of a fabulously easy and tasty recipe, great for all weekend occasions.  The cheddar cheese can be replaced with any one of your favourites.

Ingredients

Salad

250ml pasta cooked of your choice
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped onion
1 tin peaches cut into small pieces
Cheddar cheese cut into cubes

Dressing

50ml oil
5-10ml curry powder
25ml sugar
5ml Worcestershire sauce
3ml turmeric
25ml chutney
25ml vinegar

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients for the salad and the dressing and mix together in a bowl.

 

Submitted by:  Elizbe Wessels, Mauritius

Homemade Pasta

There is something so pleasurable and satisfying about making your own pasta, not to mention there is no comparison in the taste of fresh pasta versus store bought products and family and friends will be suitable impressed with your efforts.  Try not work on a cold surface such as marble, working a board will result in a better dough and always use room temperature eggs to make your pasta.

Homemade Pasta

Ingredients

300g all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1ml salt
10ml olive/grape seed 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 stand 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, or you can wrap it around your fingers to make a pasta nest. Place on a tea towel to dry.
  7. Cook for two to three minutes until al dente in a generous amount of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally to separate strands and prevent sticking.