Monthly Archives: April 2012
We’ve had some really strange weather today, a sudden storm and a lot of rain, not that I’m complaining at all.
I love the rain and the cold weather. With the cold weather comes all my favorite things in life: Hot soups, a steaming mug of hot chocolate, curling up in front of the television with a nice blanket watching your favorite show, cuddling, boots, scarfs, hot stews, early nights, and the list goes on and on!
I love making my Creamy spinach and Feta soup on cold rainy evenings, it’s done under a hour and it taste delicious served with a toasted french loaf or rye bread on the side.
I’ve received the original recipe from a farmer that was one of our clients at the previous company I used to work for. He always told me that his wife makes the Best ever spinach soup! I have replaced the cream with 2 % low-fat milk for a much healthier option and I’ve replace the packet of white onion soup with plain flour.
1 medium onion chopped
Olive oil for frying
1 bunch of spinach (+ – 300g)
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 liter of Chicken stock or water
500 ml 2% low fat milk
500 ml of water
60 ml flour
salt and pepper to taste
5 ml celery salt
1 wheel of feta cheese
Fry the onions in a large pot with a little olive oil until soft. Add the chopped spinach to the onions frying it for a minute or two until the spinach have wilted. Add the potato, celery salt and chicken stock to the pot and cook with the lid on until the potatoes are soft. (by now some of the liquid would have evaporated.)
Mix the milk and flour and add soup mix in the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and stir continuously until the soup have thickened, be careful as the soup will splatter. Believe me I have a scar to proof it!
If the soup is a little thin to your liking add some more flour mixed with a little milk.
Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some feta cheese as garnish on top of the hot soup.
You could add bacon or Chicken to this soup for a nice variation.
Fry 2 gloves of chopped garlic with the onions.
This is no ordinary Garlic Chicken, the chicken has been brined overnight in a solution of water, sugar and salt.
The meat falls from the bone and the garlic adds a lovely depth to the dish. This recipe was published in the February / March issue of the ”Sarie Kos” Magazine.
The recipe calls for 250 ml dry wine which I didn’t have. I made it without the wine and still it was absolutely delicious. I’ve also seasoned my chicken with 10 ml chicken spices.
Brining is a method used similar to marinating chicken, it increase the moisture resulting a succulent piece of meat when cooked.
125 ml Salt
125 ml Sugar
Enough water to cover the chicken
1 Whole chicken
40 Gloves of garlic (I’ve used only 20)
(Keep the skin of the garlic on to ensure the garlic flavor is not too overpowering)
1 Onion chopped into big chunks
4 Carrots cut into chunks
Celery stalks to taste cut into chunks
250 ml Dry white wine (I’ve added 125 ml water)
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
2 Sprigs of Thyme
3 Bay leaves
Freshly ground pepper
10 ml Chicken spice (optional)
(Add potatoes with the chicken if you prefer)
Use a container that is big enough for the chicken to fit into it. Add the sugar, salt and water and full the container making sure the Chicken is covered. Keep chicken in the fridge overnight.
Remove chicken from the solution and pat dry. Discard of the water solution.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the onions, carrots, celery to the bottom of a casserole. Add the wine / water and lay the chicken on the bed of vegetables. Add the fresh herbs and sprinkle with pepper and Chicken spice.
Bake for 2 hours until, remove casserole lid and grill for 5 minutes until Chicken is browned.
Instead of serving it with rice or potatoes serve it with toasted french bread. Spread the flesh of the roasted garlic on the french loaf.
Use the rest of the left over garlic to add some flavor to mashed potatoes, pasta dishes and sauces.
This is an old recipe with a new jacket on! (Sounds a bit like me in winter…lol!)
The original recipe calls for Puff pastry which taste really, really good!. Now I don’t have to tell you how much fat there is in puff pastry do I?. So because I’m such a good girl I’ve decided to use phyllo pastry instead.
This tart is best served hot from the oven to the plate. The leftovers however do not taste nearly as good as the phyllo pastry gets a bit soggy from the tomato and onion sauce.
If you don’t have enough people to feed at once rather make a smaller tart by dividing the recipe by half.
Tomato & Potato Phyllo tart
5 ml dried Marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tomatoes cubed
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs tomato puree
90 ml water
+- 4 tbs butter melted
5 sheets of phyllo pastry
1 cup of grated Mozzarella cheese.
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
Peel and cut the potatoes in thin slices and cook in salty water until soft. Strain and set aside to cool down. In the meantime fry your onions in a little olive oil with the dried Marjoram until soft. Add the tomatoes stirring continuously. Add the tomato puree, sugar and water cooking it for a minute or two until most of the liquid has evaporated and a thick sauce have formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lay a sheet of phyllo pastry on your baking tray and brush with the melted butter, add another sheet of phyllo pastry, continue with the process.
Smear the phyllo pastry base with the tomato and onion sauce and layer the sliced potatoes on top. Sprinkle the grated Mozzarella cheese over the potatoes and bake in the oven for +- 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.
I’ts been a while since we’ve visit the Irene Market in Pretoria. The Irene Market is situated on the Grounds of the Smut House Museum.
What makes this market so special is the great entertainment it offers to children and adults alike, from camel rides and jumping castles to the fresh smell of baked goods and over 300 stalls.
The ambiance from being outdoors, walking through the tall trees sipping on a Red cappuccino and being visually entertained by the great arts and crafts from the exhibitors makes it more than just another market.
My favorite spot is by far the great food stalls that vary from Asian, indian to traditional foods, from Cupcakes to home-made venison pies and everything in between. Be prepared for a treat from the live entertainment while you enjoy your favorite foods. Did I mention that pets are also allowed?
Some of my favorite products is the Olives stuffed with nuts and garlic, the homemade pesto’s, olive tapenade, freshly baked rye bread and not to mentioned the home-made varieties of Cheese spreads.
My ultimate treat is all the spices available. I just had to buy a big bag of my favorite curry mix as well. The magic ingredient to this curry mix is the dry spices mixed with a blend of masala infused oil which makes it a moist mix with an unbelievable taste!
The next market date is the 28th of April, be sure not to miss it!
Irene Village Market
What is nicer than a hot cup of Rooibos Masala Chai?
Masala Chai originated in India and is a spicy milk tea which can be enjoyed hot or cold with ice. I’ve added some milk froth to mine to make it extra special, it was delicious!
Rooibos Masala Chai
3 cups of water
1 cup milk
1 Cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 whole peppercorns
2 Rooibos tea bags
Combine all of the above ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for +- 20 minutes.
Strain the tea through a sieve and serve.
Fancy a healthy Chimichanga? Try this oven baked whole-wheat and poppy-seed tortilla. Great for lunch and quick and easy to make when you have your prepared tortilla’s ready.
I usually bake a batch of whole-wheat Torilla’s and freeze them to use them later in the week. Use shop bought Tortillas if you are pressed for time, although I could promise you that once you’ve made your own tortillas you will never buy them again.
My recipe calls for whole-wheat flour and poppy seeds bu you could replace it with plain flour instead if you prefer.
Breakfast on the run? than have a look at my previous post for healthy Breakfast Wraps.
Whole-wheat , poppy seed Tortilla Wrap
Makes 12 Tortillas
500 g Brown Bread Flour
5 ml Baking powder
2 ml Salt
10 ml Poppy Seed (optional)
60 ml Butter
225 ml Warm water
1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter and rub in with your fingertips to resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Add water and mix until well combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for two minutes until dough is smooth.
2. Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll into a ball. Place onto a floured baking tray and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rest for one hour.
3. Roll each ball out onto a lightly floured surface to form very thin circles.
4. Heat a heavy-base frying pan over high heat and place one tortilla int he pan.
5. Cook for four to six seconds, then turn over and cook for another five seconds. Remove from the pan and cover with a dishcloth. Cook remaining tortillas, keeping the pile wrapped until they are all are cooked.
500g Minced beef
5 ml paprika
1 onion sliced
1 red chilli (optional)
2 Tomatoes cubed
2 tbs Tomato paste
1 tbs Sugar
1 – 2 cups Cheddar Cheese grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying
In a frying pan fry your Sliced onions until soft, add the Beef mince and the Paprika and brown. Add the Chilli and the tomatoes and fry for another few minutes, stirring the mixture allowing the tomatoes to break up. Add the tomato paste and the sugar and a enough water to form a sauce. Gently cook for a minute or two. Season to taste with Salt and pepper.
Assemble your Chimichanga by placing some of the grated cheese in the middle of the flour tortilla. Add the meat on top of your cheese. Now fold the top part over the meat mixture and fold the bottom part over your top part. Close your Chimichanga by folding the left and right sides over to the middle. Place your Chimichanga with the folded sides facing down onto your baking tray and bake for +- 10 minutes until brown on top. Place on a bed of greens and enjoy with quaqamole.
I’ts Saturday afternoon, Autumn is in the air yet we still had a lovely 21 degrees in Sunny South Africa today. We stay in much colder region as our fellow South Africans but it still feels very much like summer in mid day’s.
It’s only the cold breeze early mornings and late afternoon that reminds us that winter is around the corner.
Off course It’s rugby time and rugby time means Braai (BBQ) time. I was not in the mood for making any special salads so we decided plain old traditional “pap and sous” will do the trick.
Stywe pap Recipe (Stiff porridge Recipe)
Many traditional South African dishes include pap, such as smooth maize meal porridge, pap with a very thick consistency and a more dry crumbly pap.
Making pap is very similar to making polenta, sooner than later you don’t measure the water or the maize meal it comes as second nature, the same goes for the consistency. “Slap pap” (a smooth pap) is traditionally eaten as a breakfast porridge with melted butter with or without milk where as “Stywe pap” (stiff porridge) is mostly eaten with meats, stews and curries.
This dishes are mostly enjoyed by the black population and the Afrikaners, rather than those of English or Asian descent.
This is how to make a stiff porridge to go with your braai (BBQ). By adding less maize meal to the water your porridge will be smoother and by adding more maize meal you will be making “krummel pap” which resembles a crumbly consistency, this version is also very nice.
If you have time on hand this Easter Weekend than do yourself a favour and try this recipe.
You won’t believe how good it taste considering the fact that this a low GI recipe. I love this recipe because it makes only 6 pancakes, although I normally get 10 out of the batter since I like my pancakes a bit thinner. Feel free to double the batter, personally I just don’t like the temptation of having to face a mountain of pancakes when I was only supposed to eat 2!
They taste just as great with a savory filling for a light meal and it’s perfect for the kids lunch boxes.
For 6 Pancakes
5 ml Macadamia or canola oil
1.25 ml white vinegar
190 ml Cake flour
1.25 ml salt
60 ml Oat bran
250 ml low-fat milk
5 ml baking powder
Mix the egg, oil and vinegar together.
Sift the Cake flour, baking powder and salt together, add the oatbran and mix through.
Mix together the dry ingredients with the egg mixture and the milk in 3 parts. Mix thoroughly after each addition.
The batter should be resting for 5 – 10 minutes to ensure that the oatbran rehydrated, add a little more milk if the batter is too thick.
Fry your pancakes in a hot pan with a little oil and sprinkle with Cinnamon sugar.
Can Chicken soup cure a common cold or flu? I don’t know, what I do know is that it really makes you feel better! Chicken soup is comfort food it heats you right up from the inside, sooth all aces and pains and simply just lift your spirits. I wonder if anyone had Chicken soup to mend a broken heart, Neh just a thought I believe Ice cream still works for that!
So what is your comfort food when live don’t look so bright?
1 Onion chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
5 ml Robertson’s veggie spices
Olive oil for frying
4 -6 pieces of chicken (Breast, thighs with skin and bones)
1.5 liter water
5 carrots peeled and chopped
1/2 bunch of celery stalks and leaves chopped
1 potato cubed
In a large pot fry the onions, garlic and veggie spice with a little olive until soft. Add the Chicken pieces and fry for another minute. Add the carrots, celery and potato with the water. Cook with lid on until the potatoes are soft. Remove the Chicken from the pot and remove all bones and skins. Flake the chicken meat and transfer back to the pot, cook with the lid until the carrots are soft. Remove some of the oil floating on top with spoon and season with Salt and pepper.
This recipe has been haunting me for the last few weeks and finally I had some time on my hands to try it, Oh and there was a ripe avo!
I gave it to my husband to try, he thought it was the sugar-free diabetic mousse I bought the other day…see if you don’t tell they won’t know. *Naughty grin*
Despite the fact that I’m still sick and couldn’t exercise it was a good weekend. I had that long overdue haircut, my favorite food magazine was on sale and I bought 2 cups and saucers and 10 other side plates from an antique shop all for R 52.00. Great investment for the blog and the never-ending photo shoots!
Feel free to double or triple the recipe. I have used fructose but honey is also a great alternative.
Well my batch is in the fridge ready for tomorrow’s nights indulgence while I watch another awesome episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
1 ripe avocado
3 – 4 tbs cocoa powder (don’t be lazy, sift it first)
3 – 4 tbs fructose or honey
2.5 ml vanilla extract or essence
a pinch of salt
Scoop out the flesh of the avo and whiz it up with the rest of the ingredient in a food processor for a minute or two. Scrape the mousse from the sides and whiz for another minute until smooth. Taste and adjust the cocoa and sugar to taste.