Fried Rice

This is for my lovely friend Diane over at Photographs and Recipes. 😀

This is my base recipe for fried rice which I throw all different types of rice at, even pasta rice – love versatile recipes that take so well to varying ingredients.  Very rarely I will add an egg to the mixture but don’t find it adds that much to the dish and occasionally will add fresh chilli, corn, chives, parsley and anything else I have taking up space in the fridge.

Fried rice  2

Fried Rice

Ingredients

Olive oil
Half an onion chopped
Half a red (capsicum) pepper diced
8 white button mushrooms sliced
3 cups cook rice of choice – I used basmati
Handful frozen baby peas
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Fry the onion and pepper in a good glug of olive oil.  Once the onions and peppers have started to soften add the mushrooms and fry until tender.
  2. Add the rice and stir fry until warmed through.
  3. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fried rice  1

Spicy Chicken Curry

With the cooler weather I have been craving heartier food – salad isn’t quite cutting the mustard any more plus I was in the mood for a taste explosion but wasn’t quite sure what kind of flavour taste explosion so into the kitchen I went to rummage through the spices.  A few bottles made their way onto the counter along with a few other ingredients and the result was a fabulously flavourful chicken curry which I think may be making an appearance in our kitchen soon again.  Next round may have to have a few pappadums on the side too.

Spicy Chicken Curry 1

Spicy Chicken Curry

Ingredients

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 large onion sliced
½ tsp coriander seed
½ tsp cumin seed
½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground ginger – fresh would be even nicer
2 tbsp curry paste or to taste – I used Thai green curry paste
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 410g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup coconut cream – normal cream would work equally as well
3 -4 chicken breasts sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh coriander to serve

Spicy Chicken Curry 2

Method

  1. Fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil until tender and lightly browned.
  2. Lightly bash the coriander seed and cumin seed in a pestle and mortar and add to the onion along with all the other spices and curry paste and fry for 2 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  3. Add the garlic, tomatoes and sugar and cook until reduced by half.
  4. Add the wine and coconut cream and reduce by half.
  5. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh coriander and rice.

Spicy Chicken Curry 3

Sakura Sushi

What a treat; on my last trip to visit the folks, we went to Sakura Sushi twice – yes twice and I was only there for 10 days. Oh happy days. 🙂

Sakura Sushi have a special at the moment to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  For R100.00 you can eat as much as you like excluding 3 of the plates.  The prices work according to the colour of the plate, so it was easy to see what we were not allowed to eat as part of the special.  Well, let me tell you, I seriously battled to make up my R100.00 worth of sushi and I am a sushi fanatic.  I ate approximately R65.00 worth and was stuffed but fear not, I took my time and gobbled enough sushi to make up my quota.

As you are seated, you are given a nunu little bowl with pickled ginger and wasabi.  You have another cute little bowl which you can fill with as much soy sauce as your heart desires and obviously chopsticks which I seemed not to photograph.

Then it is time to dig in!  Where to start…  There are so many wonderful choices whizzing past on the conveyor belt of happiness.  And just when you think you have chosen the right one, another moreish option comes past.

It turned out that the black plates were all of our favourites – they all contained salmon or prawn and avo – wonder if that had something to do with it.

Here you can see why it is so difficult to make a decision – talk about being spoilt for choice.

Would you look at my skill using chopsticks. 🙂

The decor of Sakura Sushi is beautifully done with a minimalist feel, which I love.

We were wondering if there are any spelling mistakes in this magnificent wall hanging.  I wonder what is says.

Some jasmine tea was a perfect ending to a truly memorable meal.

I was in no way compensated by Sakura Sushi.  I merely wanted to share my experience with you, so they were kind enough to allow me to take photos.

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.

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

Vegetable Rice Casserole

This hearty casserole is ideal for vegetarians or on one of those Meatless Monday nights.

Vegetable Rice Casserole

 

Ingredients

4 cups cooked rice
1 ½ cups broccoli florets
1 medium carrot sliced
1 bunch spinach chopped
2 medium tomatoes cut in 1/8ths
½ cup olive oil
¼ tsp hing *
⅓ cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup breadcrumbs
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Partially steam the broccoli and carrots.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the hing, stir the tomatoes in and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and sauté for another 3 minutes.
  5. Combine the rice and the vegetables. Add the salt and the remaining ingredients except for half of the cheese. Do not over mix. Transfer to a 1.5 litre casserole dish and top with rest of the cheese.  Cover and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

* Hing (a salty dried plum) is needed in a vegetarian diet as it assists the digestive system.  It has a very distinct flavour (sweet, sour and salty) and therefore is used in small quantities.  It can be found in Indian shops.

 

Submitted by:  Nic Prinsloo, Clarens

Bahraini Rice

The aromas of this dish are very comforting with flavours that tickle your taste buds.

Bahraini Rice

 

Ingredients

¼ tsp saffron
3 cardamom pods cracked
2 tbsp rosewater
2 cups basmati rice
6 cups water
1 tbsp salt
¼ – ½ cup honey
¼ cup ghee

Method

  1. Place the saffron and cardamom in the rosewater and set aside to steep.
  2. Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
  3. Bring the water to the boil in a heavy pan and add the salt and rice, stir occasionally until the water comes to a boil again and boil for 8 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  4. Pour the honey (to taste) over the rice and mix through with a fork.
  5. Heat the ghee in the pan where the rice was cooked and add the honeyed rice. Sprinkle the rosewater mixture on top. Make three holes in the rice with a wooden spoon.
  6. Cover and cook over a low heat for 20-25 minutes until tender.

 

Submitted by:  Nic Prinsloo,  Clarens

Risotto

Risotto has to be a favourite all around the world.  I remember as a child, you got white rice and brown rice – well that was the extent of what I was exposed to.  Nowadays there are so many yummy varieties, that we have had to make extra space in our pantry cupboard for all the types we keep.

Risotto

 

Ingredients

± 1.1 litres stock (chicken, fish or vegetable as appropriate)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots or 2 medium onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
½ a head celery finely chopped
400g risotto rice
2 wine glasses of dry white vermouth (dry Martini or Noilly Prat) or dry white wine
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
70g butter
115g freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 good handfuls fresh lemon thyme leaves picked off
8 slices prosciutto
155g goat’s cheese crumbed

 

Method

  1. Heat the stock.  In a separate pan heat the olive oil, add the shallots or onions, garlic and celery and fry slowly for about 4 minutes.  When the vegetables have softened add the rice and turn up the heat.
  2. The rice will now begin to fry, so keep stirring it.  After a minute it will look slightly translucent.  Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring – it will smell fantastic.  Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.
  3. Once the vermouth or wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt.  Turn down the heat to a highish simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside.  Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch from the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.  At this stage add the lemon thyme. This will take around 15 minutes.  Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite.  Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the butter, parmesan and pecorino cheese.  Stir gently.  Place a lid on the pan and allow to it sit for 2-3 minutes.  This is the most important part of making the risotto as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. 

Lay over the prosciutto slices just before eating and serve with the goat’s cheese crumbed over the top. Scatter with a little extra thyme leaves if you like.  Eat as soon as possible while the risotto retains its perfect texture.

 

Submitted by:  Tracey van Niekerk, Mauritius