Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori recipe

Chicken Yakitori

These little skewers of succulent marinated chicken are fantastic any time any day. Make a whole lot of them, they are great to take to work for lunch and if you pop a few in your childrens lunch boxes they will be very grateful… you may even get a car wash. These are great for the stove or the braai, can be prepared ahead of time and then take just 5 minutes to cook. (2 people)

What you need

500g chicken breast halved and sliced about 4cm thick
4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teasponn fresh grated ginger
Oil

Bamboo skewers

The process

You want to split the chicken breasts through the center and then cut into strips, so each breast should give you 4 x 4cm wide strips.

Mix all of the marinate ingredients together in a bowl, give it a whick and add the chicken. Mix the chicken around a bit to cover each piece in the marinate. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for a few hours, overnight if you can.

Thread the chicken onto skewers and cook in a hot grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side. (soak the skewers in water if you are doing them on a braai)

Serve them with chinese fried noodles or egg fried rice, or just as they are for finger food.

These are very good.

Beef rissoles with a fresh mushroom sauce

Beef rissoles with a fresh mushroom sauce

Beef rissoles

These were really fantastic rissoles that need to cook gently and the mushroom sauce is quite unlike any I have tried before. The mushrooms are only put in right at the end with the spring onions so you get the wonderful rissole and fresh sauce flavor that is an amazing combination. (Serves 4)

What you need

750g lean beef mince
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot grated
palm of fresh chopped thyme
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup flour

For frying

2 or 3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil

Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
6 spring onions chopped
125g  button mushrooms chopped small

The process

Mix all of the ingredients for the rissoles except the flour together until well combined.

Place the flour on a plate for coating.

Divide the mixture into 8 portions and create small burger shapes.

heat the butter and oil together in a pan on a medium heat and coat each rissole in flour before frying to a golden brown on each side. This should take about 8 minutes or so on each side. Fry gently and you will get a beautiful golden brown rissole.

While you are frying the rissoles, make the mushroom sauce by melting the butter in a pot on a medium heat, add the flour and stir until the flour begins to brown slightly.

Add the wine and stock and stir constantly until the sauce is thick and begins to boil. add the spring onions and mushrooms and allow to simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.

By now your rissoles are done and ready to serve with the sauce.

Serve with a salad or some nicely roasted vegetables and boiled baby potatoes that have been tossed in butter with a little parsley.

Cheese biscuits

Cheese biscuits

Cheesy bisuits

These Cheese biscuits are wonderfully crumchy and quite unlike anything you will expect. They use cornflakes which give them something uniquely South African and are well worth making. They lasted less than a day and are very morish.

What you need

125g butter
3/4 cup grated cheddar (use a mature cheddar)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 egg lightly beaten
Milk

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and lightly butter a baking tray.

To a bowl add the butter, grated cheddar and cayenne pepper. Beat with a electric beater until smooth.

Sift in the flour, add the crushed corn flakes and the egg and stir until evenly distributed. Don’t use the mixer.

Use a teaspoon to roll small balls and place them about 4cm apart on the baking tray. Give each one a light press with a fork and a brush with a little milk.

Bake for 15 minutes until light brown.

Cool on a rack and dig in. They will be crunchy and delightfully cheesy. You could also add a pinch of curry powder if you like that sort of flavour. The peanut butter cookies are great sweet cookies, try them.

Bacon aspargus and tomato penne

Bacon aspargus and tomato penne

Fantastic pasta sauce

Fantastic pasta sauce

Rummaging around in the fridge last night and trying to decide what to make I settled on a pasta sauce that turned out to be incredibly good. We had it with penne but it would be good for any pasta. Double it or triple it, it’s very easy and leaves next to no mess in the kitchen.(for 2 people)

What you need

200g dry penne
125g mushrooms chopped small (1/2 a punnet)
100g bacon chopped
100g asparagus tips (heaped palm of 2 to 3cm pieces)
250g tomato, basil, garlic and oregano mix (In a tin, this was a MIAMI product)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
Olive oil

The process

Put your pasta on to boil in a large pot of salted water.

In a pan with a little oil, fry your bacon for about 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook until they are beginning to brown on the edges, toss in your asparagus tips and cook for about another 3 minutes or so tossing from time to time.

Now add your tomato mix and chicken stock, mix it up, turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. The liuid should reduce by about 1/3.

Add the butter and a good grind of black pepper, stir and allow the butter to melt and thicken the sauce a little.

By this stage your pasta should be ready, drain it and add it to the sauce.

Toss it to coat all of the pasta in the sauce and serve with grated parmesan, crisp bread and some sliced tomato with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar on the tomatoes.

Simple and really tasty pasta recipe.

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

There are few things better than smell of freshly cooking pancakes in the morning and this buttermilk pancake recipe is just what the doctor ordered. The challenge is to get them to the plate without eating them yourself as soon as they are done. What you will find as that the kids will be waiting by your side, plate in hand to take them from you as soon as they are ready. (Makes 12 10cm pancakes.) If you are looking for crepes, try this  crepe recipe.

What you need

125g flour
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons melted butter (30g)
1 egg
250ml buttermilk
Butter for frying

The process

The real secret to this recipe requires some patience… if you have it you will be well rewarded, so follow the recipe to the T.

Sift together all of your dry ingredients, make a well and add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk, stir to a thin creamy texture.

Now cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it to stand for at least ½ an hour. Go and have a shower, catch up on the news or have a cuppa… but let the mixture be…

When you are ready to cook, check that the batter is not too thick and if need be, add a little more buttermilk.

Heat a heavy based pan to medium and add a little butter, ladel in enough batter to make a 10cm pancake. Let them cook until bubbles begin to pop on the surface which should be about 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

These are fantastic… pile them up, place a generous amount of butter on top and drizzle over some maple syrup, honey or your favorite jam.

The recipe doubles without any problem. Try this breakfast scone recipe, its fabulous.

Caesar pasta salad

Caesar pasta salad

Caesar Pasta salad

Caesar Pasta salad

It has been so hot the last few days that I thought it time for something really delicious and perfect for the heat. Use this Ceasar Pasta salad as it is or add a little chicken and always use plenty of parmesan shavings. You can also add your other favorite salad items like baby corn.. you get the idea, make it to your taste. The dressing is the most important part of this recipe and you must not leave anything out or it just aint right. You need a hand blender or blender of some sort. (4 people)

What you need

200g shell pasta cooked (get the largest shells you can find)
1/2 pack, 125g bacon chopped and cooked
1 Cos lettuce
2 hard boiled eggs quartered
2 small avocados chopped
Parmesan shaved with a potato peeler

Dressing

1 egg
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon mustard (granular)
3/4 cup olive oil
8 small anchovy fillets

The process

Make the Caesar dressing by adding all of the ingredients except the oil to your belnder and whizzing until smooth. Then start adding the oil in a constant stream while blending until it thickens up.

Make up your salad ripping the lettuce into bite size pieces, add the bacon, pasta shells and avocado then toss. Now add the eggs, drizzle over the dressing and shave a whole heap of parmesan over the top.

If you are using chicken toss it in with the avocado.

It’s a beautiful thing…

For a really fantastic change add 2 cooked chicken breasts that have been chopped up for a fabulous, chicken caesar pasta salad.

Quatro Fomaggi pasta sauce

Quatro Fomaggi pasta sauce

Quatro Formaggi sauce

Quatro Formaggi sauce

This is a classic 4 cheese sauce that goes best with Gnocchi in my opinion but is great with Tagliattelle or Fettuccine as well, it makes each little gnocchi glisten and say eat me! It’s very rich and is one of the all time classic Italian pasta sauces that takes about 15 minutes from start to table.  There is a Gnocchi recipe here or you can buy the pre made gnocchi from Woolies or a good Italian deli. Checkers has a really good selection of cheeses so for Fontina, which is sometimes hard to find try Checkers.(Good for 4 hungry people)

What you need

1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (its about 45 grams)
75g Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup grated Fontina cheese (can be substituted with another white cheese)
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup milk
625g Gnocchi

The process

Put your Gnocchi on to cook according to the instructions on the pack or prepare your Gnocchis first according to this gnocchi recipe.

In a pot on a medium high heat, add the wine and allow to boil for about 3 minutes to reduce by about 1/3.

Reduce heat to medium, add the mascarpone and stir to a smooth shiny texture. Now add the rest of the cheeses and the milk and stir until all of the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.

Add your sauce to the cooked gnocchi and toss to coat each piece with the sauce.

Grind a little pepper over the top and you are in heaven I tell you.

Take a look at these pasta recipes.

Bacon and cheese muffins

Bacon and cheese muffins

Bacon and cheese muffins

Bacon and cheese muffins

These bacon and cheese muffins are great for quick breakfasts and anytime snacks. You can make them with or without the chives but the chives make them a really fantastic savoury muffin. You can also throw in a handful of corn kernels instead of the chives which makes a nice change. I have been known to smother a version that excludes the chives in butter and strawbeery jam… (12 deep muffins or about 20 shallow muffins)

What you need

6 slices bacon chopped and fried
3 melted tablespoons butter
Handful of chopped fresh chives
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

The process

Heat your oven to 190 Celsius and butter up your muffin tins. You can use cookie papers but the cheese tends to stick to them so butter the muffin tins is a better option.

After melting the butter, remove from the heat and drop in the chopped chives, mix and set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix with a spoon slightly.

In a separate large bowl add the eggs and milk and give a light whisking, then add the butter and chive mixture, the grated cheese and chopped bacon pieces. Give it a good mix to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir with a spoon in a folding motion until combined.

Fill the muffin tins to 2/3 full, pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so until the tops are golden brown.

Remove them from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Variations: substitute chives for corn kernels.
Fancy it up: Sprinkle a few bacon pieces over the top before going into the oven.

Enjoy them folks.

Brie and Walnut pasta

Brie and Walnut pasta

Brie and walnut penne

Brie and walnut penne

I have been on a pasta mission lately but got tired of tomato flavours and while I love simple pasta flavours like the penne arrabiata or penne with butternut this pasta recipe breaks the mould. It has brie, walnuts and mushrooms in it and gave me just what I was looking for, a rich complex taste that sent everyone back for more. It only takes about 20 minutes to make, what more could you ask for. (4 or 5 people)

What you need

1 teaspoon crushed garlic
200g mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon seed mustard
500ml cream
200g brie cheese chopped up
1 cup broken toasted walnuts
Chives or parsley chopped

2/3 bag dry penne or about 350g
Olive oil

The process

To toast walnuts, place the broken walnuts in a hot dry non stick pan and toss around until you smell the nutty aroma, simple.

While you are preparing the sauce, place your pasta in a large pot of salted water and cook to al dente, drain.

In a pan on a medium to high heat add a little oil and cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes or so until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned on the edges.

Now add the wine and cook until about 1/3 of the wine has evaporated.

Now add the cream and mustard and stir constantly until the sauce thickens a little. As the sauce cools it will thicken up more.

Thats it, combine the cooked pasta and the sauce together with the Brie and toasted walnuts in the pasta pot, toss around to coat the pasta and then transfer to a serving bowl.

Christmas leftover ham and mango salsa

Christmas leftover ham and mango salsa

mangoThis mango salso recipe goes so well with smoked ham or gammon and for we who live in hot climates, it makes a sublime cold lunch, perfect for leftover gammon from Christmas. Use this recipe as a guideline, you can add spring onions finely sliced instead of red onion, use less or more avocado, make it to your taste or what you have left in the fridge. orange juice is also a great alternative to lemon if you like it really sweet. Another idea is to use finely chopped red pepper instead of chili and of course if you have never cut a mango this way, it is the cleanest way of cutting a mango or just hand the half to a child, it’s a novel way that they will love.

What you need

1 large or 2 small ripe mangos cubed
2 small avocados cubed
1 red chili finely sliced
1/2 cup ripped fresh coriander
1/2 red onion finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Glug of olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt and black pepper

The process

To cube a mango the easiest way is to cut flesh off the mango in 2 slices as close to the pip as possible, then score the flesh vertically and horizontally in 1 to 2 cm slices, turn it inside out and then cut the little cubes off the skin.

Now add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix them gently with a spoon to distribute all of the pieces evenly and coat in the olive oil and lemon juice.

Taste and give it a grind of salt and pepper.

Place your thinly sliced ham on a plate and pile up some of the salsa.

It’s light and tastes fantastic, there is someting beautiful about the combination of the smoky salty ham and the sweetness of the mango. Add a few scotch eggs or Nigellas easy butternut and sweet potato soup and you have a real treat. If you had a braai for Christmas you are going to want to try this Steak salad recipe.