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.
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.
There is a first time for everything….even green Asparagus.
Yes I know! How is it possible that I’ve never eaten green Asparagus yet I love white Asparagus spears so much.
When we just got married (many, many moons ago) I tried to cook green Asparagus and it tasted horrible, I thought it was just the Asparagus that tasted bad, off course way back than I wasn’t able to cook an egg properly either.
Don’t be fooled, the actual star of this meal is the Sticky Soy, Honey and Sesame Chicken Wings served with a potato Rosti.
Soy, Honey and Sesame Chicken Wings
+- 8 -10 Chicken wings
50 g Sesame seeds
For the marinade mix together
150 ml Vital Soy Sauce
75 ml Honey
1 tbs Chicken spice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Marinade the chicken for at least 1 hour.
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and place chicken in a baking tray. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on to the chicken. Baste frequently with the remainder of the marinade that is left over. Bake until golden brown and cooked through.
In the meantime cook your asparagus as follows:
Heat a large griddle pan and dry-griddle the asparagus spears on both sides. When they are ready drizzle the juice of 1/2 lemon and a dash of Olive oil over them. Season with ground pepper and salt.
For the potato Rosti
6 Potatoes peeled
6 tbs flour
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped spring onion to taste
Grate the potatoes and rinse under cold water, strain the potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the potato mixing it thoroughly. Transfer the potatoes onto a clean tea towel. Bring the corners together and squeeze the liquid out. Use your hands to form little potato patties for frying.
Heat your pan with a little olive oil and fry the rosti’s on a low to medium heat for +- 7 minutes on each side turning carefully.
I had this crazy urge to bake something sweet this weekend, as I was about to prepare the pancake batter the sun came out.
I don’t know about you but I cannot bake or eat a pancake if the sun is shining, it is just totally wrong! Pancake is for cold and rainy days to be enjoyed under a blanket on the coach with a steaming mug of hot Coffee. So on that note I made Chocolate brownies instead.
This is probably the healthiest Chocolate brownies you will ever eat! This Brownie equals one slice of bread, so if you are watching your diet swap out a 1 x carb for this sweet treat.
1 can Butter beans (strained)
75 ml low-fat milk
2 apples peeled, grated
200 ml Cake flour
10 ml Baking powder
2,5 ml salt
100 ml cocoa powder
250 ml sugar
5 ml Vanilla essence / extract
+- 20 Pecan nuts
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
Grease a medium oven dish with oil or cooking spray.
Whizz the drained butter beans with the milk in a food processor to a smooth paste.
In the meanwhile peel and grate 2 x apples. Cook in just enough water to cover the apples for +-15 minutes until soft. Strain over a sieve.
Add the apples to the bean mixture and pulse for another minute.
In a separate bowl sift the Cake flour, baking powder, salt and Cocoa.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg with an electric beater. Add the sugar bit by bit by the eggs, continue to whisk.
In a separate bowl mix half of the bean mixture half of the dry ingredients and half of the egg mixture together folding in carefully. Repeat with the remainder of the mixtures.
Add the nuts and the vanilla to the mixture and mix through.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until done.
Like every other Saturday my husband have the urge to “braai”. This ritual starts in Spring and continues well into the winter. Yip that’s my hubby! , facing the icy cold winters of the Highveld armed with his beanie, winter jacket and a scarf and his bottle of mixed spices turning ordinary lamb chops into succulent little dreams.
Unfortunately the side dishes is not his forte’, instead he likes to order me around. His favorite would be “pap tert” (a maize meal tart).
I decided it is about time that we jazz up the old maize tart a bit, you know, making it a bit more sophisticated, so instead of using ordinary maize meal in boring layers I used Polenta instead.
To all the vegetarians out there, feel free to remove the bacon from this recipe, I would’ve but my husband is a carnivore and he tends to get a bit grumpy if there is no extra meat in a savory tart!
Polenta ( about 1 cup cooked in 4 cups of water, should be a spreadable consistancy)
2 tbs garlic butter
salt to taste
125 g white button mushrooms (1/2 punnet)
125 g Portobello mushrooms (+- 4 large)
1 Onion – sliced
Olive oil for frying
a pinch of dry thyme
100 g bacon bits
2 tbs tomato puree
1/2 tsp of sugar
100 ml milk
2 heaped tbs of flour
2 ml salt
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Gouda Cheese
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Rub your pie dish with butter. Cook polenta, stir in the garlic butter and set aside keeping the lid on your pot to keep the polenta warm.
Fry the onions and mushrooms with the thyme in olive oil. Add the bacon bits and fry for another minute. Add the tomato puree and the sugar, fry for another minute.
In a measuring cup add the flour and salt to the milk and mix, add the egg mixing it again.
Use a the back of a metal tablespoon or a spatula to spread an even layer of polenta to the bottom of your pie dish covering the sides as well.
Add the mushroom filling on top of the polenta and pour the milk mixture over it.
Top with the cheese and bake for +- 15 -20 minutes.
Phew! I’ts been more than a week since my last post.
I’m exhausted, emotionally unstable (blame it on the full moon), I don’t have an appetite (sorry can’t cook if I’m not hungry) and besides that I just can’t seem to get ahead of my workload….
Anyway, I’ve discovered a bottle of Robertson’s spice for rice in the back of my grocery cupboard and thought I should make some spicy rice to go with the Rosemary Kofta’s.
If you don’t have spice for rice you could simply add 3 ml turmeric and 2,5 ml chilli powder to your rice while cooking.
For the Rosemary koftas
600 g Beef mince
6 sprigs of Rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
5 ml of chopped rosemary
5 ml paprika
1/2 cup of Brown bread crumbs ( whiz up one slice of bread in a food processor)
Oil for frying
Remove the leaves from the Rosemary sprigs leaving a tiny bit behind at the end of each sprig.
Use 5 ml of the rosemary leaves that was removed and chop finely.
Mix all the ingredients together for the koftas. Shape the meat by hand into a sausage and stick the Rosemary “skewers” in the middle of your kofta.
Fry in a hot pan until done.
For the Spicy rice
2 cups of cooked rice (Cook with rice spices)
1 carrot (thin julienne slices)
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen peas
handful of flat leave parsley (roughly chopped)
1 tbsp garlic butter
Olive oil for frying
Slice your onions and caramelize in the olive oil. Add the Julienne carrots and saute’ for a few minutes, add the peas and saute for another 3 – 4 minutes. Add the garlic butter to the veggies and season with salt and ground pepper. Add your cooked rice to the veggies and mix through. Garnish with chopped flat leave parsley.