Prawn Bhajis

Prawn Bhajis

Prawn bhajis

Prawn bhajis

Prawn bhajis are delicious little snacks that you will probably have to make a double batch of. The prawn and fresh fresh herbs compliment each other so perfectly that you will need every ounce of willpower not to hide them from everybody you made them for. Prawn bhajis or sometimes known as pakoras can also be made using fish or vegetables but whatever type you make, you must have a good chutney to dip them in or a sweet chili sauce. This makes about 2 dozen bite size bhajis.

What you need

600g peeled and deveined prawns chopped
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 or 4 green chilis finely sliced
Palm of finely chopped fresh coriander (2 to 3 tablespoons)
Pinch of bicarb of soda
water
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

The process

In a bowl add the flour and then about 2 tablespoons of water. Mix it to a thick batter. If you need slightly more water add another 1 tablespoon. It must be thick and mixed smooth. Use a fork to work out any lumps.

Add all the rest of the ingredients and season with a grind of salt and pepper and mix to distribute everything evenly.

Heat about 5cm of oil in a pot or frying pan to medium hot, not smoking. To test, drop a cube of bread in the oil and give it 15 seconds and if it is browned and not burned it is the correct heat.

Now take tablespoons of the mixture and drop them into the oil. Fry until golden and irresistable.

Serve with Chutney as an anytime snack. Try the Kerala country chicken recipe for a perfectly rounded off Indian food meal.

Shoulder of lamb supreme

Shoulder of lamb supreme

slow cooked shoulder of lamb

slow cooked shoulder of lamb

Shoulder of lamb recipes you do not often find. For some reason it’s a lesser used cut of meat that is most often used in curries and the like cubed and off the bone. Well, I tell you this recipe is fantastic, it’s a roast so takes little effort (long roasting time though) and is so tender you will wonder why you have not been roasting shoulder for years. Whatever you do, make the red onions, it is the difference between good and great! (4 people)

What you need

1.4 kg odd lamb shoulder
2 tablespoons mustard (important to use a seed mustard)
2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/3 cup red wine
2 2/3 cups beef stock
Ice cubes
1 tablespoon maizena (cornflour)
1 tablespoon water
4 small red onions

The process

Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil, pop the shoulder into the boiling water and boil for 15 minutes.

Now remove the shoulder from the pot, toss out the water and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Take a sharp knife and insert it into the meat all over making about 10/12 slits. Rub the garlic over the surface pushing some of the garlic into the slits. Do the same with the mustard. I usually use the back of a spoon to do it but hands work just as well.

Now place it into a roasting tin and pour over the stock and the wine, cover securely with tin foil and place in a 160 Celsius oven for 5 hours. Every hour, open and turn the lamb.

Now peel the onions, remove the foil, toss in the onions and roast for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours uncovered.

When it is cooked, remove the lamb and onions from the roasting pan, place in a dish and cover with foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.

here is a great trick.. Toss a whole tray of ice cubes into the liquid, some of the fat will start to solidify and can be easily removed, clever hey!

Now place the roasting pan onto the stove and bring to the boil, mix together the maizena with 1 tablespoon of water, stir into the liquid and keep stirring until it thickens up into a delicious gravy. taste and season to your liking. Pour it over the lamb and onions in the serving dish… then serve

I tell you what, serve it with some roast vegetables, roast potatoes and this strawberry cream cake as a dessert and you will be elevated to God status!

Roast tomato and chicken liver penne

Roast tomato and chicken liver penne

Penne ala fantastica

Penne ala fantastica

I have been on a bit of a chicken livers recipe mission lately since I had these incredible chicken livers and Prego steak roll at Espresso in Parkhurst last week. Their sauce is incredible, creamy and so morish you need every last chip piece of bread on the plate to scrape it up and then when you are done you feel so good yet so deprived. Anyway, this is something a little different that makes for a really tasty meal. (for 4/5 people)

What you need

500g penne
1 heaped teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1kg tomatoes, try to get the tomatoes that are egg shaped
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
750g chicken livers
½ pack bacon (125g) chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
About 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

The process

Heat you oven to 220 Celius, cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Mix the oil and garlic together and drizzle over the tomatoes, pop in the oven, pour yourself a glass of wine and let them bake for about 45 minutes or so.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven, place them n a large bowl and mash them with a wooden spoon to form a rustic looking paste. Add the chicken stock and sugar and them give them a final mashing. You do want it to remain rustic looking so don’t get too carried away.

Now put your pasta on to cook in the largest pot you have with well salted water. The more water the better when cooking pasta.

While that’s boiling, rinse the chicken livers under running water and remove any fatty or sinewy bits. It’s easiest to use a pair of scissors, then cut then in half and set aside.

Cok the bacon in a pan until it is beginning to crisp up, add the onions and cook for about 1 minute, then add the livers and the rosemary cook, stirring every now and then until the livers are beginning to brown. Add the rustic tomatoes, stir it up and let it simmer for about 2 minutes or so or until the mixture is heated through.

By this time your pasta is done, drain, return to the pot and add the sauce. Toss it around to distribute your sauce and then into a serving dish.

Top off with fresh chopped parsley, a sprig of rosemary, a grind of black pepper and a few parmesan shavings.

Roast vegetable pasta

Roast vegetable pasta

Roast vegetable pasta

Roast vegetable pasta

Great pasta recipes are so good to have around, so print this one and keep it somewhere for anytime healthy pasta that is really so simple it could hardly be called cooking. When you roast vegetables it enhances the natural flavours which when combined with a few little extras is quite incredible. It’s a rustic vegetable pasta that even the most hardened meat eater will love.

What you need

3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 red peppers seeded and quartered
2 yellow peppers seeded and quartered
400g butternut roughly chopped
250g button mushrooms
500g dry spaghetti
handfull of coriander leaves ripped up
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
Parmesan cheese

The process

Put on your grill and get it really hot.

Place peppers on a baking tray skin side facing the grill and grill until the skin has blackened and blistered. remove from oven and place in a bowl, cover with cling film and let them sweat while you continue.

Reduce the heat to 200 Celsius and place the butternut on the tray, sprinkle with some of the olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Now open the oven and toss the mushrooms onto the tray, bake for another 10 minutes or so until mushrooms are soft.

Now put your pasta into the largest pot you have of vigorously boiling salted water to cook.

Take the peppers out of the bowl and slide off the blackened skins, it’s a bit messy but so therapeutic.

Chop them up roughly. Chop the butternut a bit smaller and combine all of the vegetables together, add the garlic, lemon juice, lemon rind and Olive oil and mix to combine the flavours.

When your spaghetti is ready drain and return to the pot, add the vegetable mixture along with the coriander leaves and toss it gently.

place in a serving bowl and grate or shave over a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.

This is seriously good. Here are the rest of the pasta recipes

Smoked haddock with a difference

Smoked haddock with a difference

Smoked haddock florentine

Smoked haddock florentine

I have always enjoyed smoked haddock and happily used it in kedgeree or with a really nice white sauce on toast for breakfast, but this really steps it up for smoked haddock. The crumbly topping makes a huge difference and it was a delicious fish meal. Most of us don’t eat enough fish so here is a really quick and easy fish recipe that tastes fantastic. (4 people)

What you need

600g smoked haddock thawed (1 box)
400g spinach leaves with white bits trimmed (use scissors)
1 cup cheddar grated cheese
1/3 cup chopped chives
2/3 cup fresh cream
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter

The process

Fill a large pan about 1/3 with cold water, toss in the fish fillets and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils remove from the heat and drain.

Roughly chop up the spinach leaves and repeat the exact same process above, then take the spinach leaves in your hands and squeeze out as much water as you can.

Lightly butter a casserole dish and make a layer with half of the fish, then use half of the spinach and make another layer, 1/2 of the chives, 1/2 of the cream then 1/3 of the cheese.

Repeat again and then top it off with the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Melt the butter in the microwave and sprinkle over the top.

Bake in a 200 Celsius oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is browned.

You are gonna love this.

Apple passion crumble

Apple passion crumble

Apple passion crumble

Apple passion crumble

This is a really great recipe. Hot Apple crumble with whipped cream or ice cream is one of my real favorites but the passion fruit and pear flavour added to the apple is just fantastic. Don’t be shy with the whipped cream on this one, forget any diet your are on and just indulge yourself. Eat it straight from the oven, you are going to love it. If you don’t want to make your own pastry, use the supermarket short crust pastry. (serves 6-8 people)

What you need

3 cups flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
250g butter cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 large eggs
2 tins apples slices (800g)
2 tins pears halves(800g)
4/5 passion friut (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

The process

Take a 23cm springform cake tin and butter it lightly. Even if you are using a non stick tin, butter it, it adds to the flavour.

In a large bowl add the flour, caster sugar, cinnamon and butter cubes. Rub together with your finger tips until crumbly or process in a food processor by pulsing until crumbly.

Now add the eggs and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. if processing, continue to pulse until it forms a ball.

Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes or so until smooth. Wrap in clingwrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Take 2/3’s of the pastry and press into the base of the tin and up the sides about 7cm or so. Cover it with baking paper and fill with rice. Bake it at 180 Celsius for 15 minutes, then take out the paper and rice and bake for another 10 minutes, remove and set aside. Freeze the last 1/3.

Drain of the liquid from the apples and pears and then place them in a clean cloth to dry them off a bit.

Now add the apple pear and passion fruit pulp to a bowl with the brown sugar and toss it or stir lightly to combine.

Fill the crust with the apple mixture and use a grater to grate the remaining 1/3 of frozen pastry over the top, sprinkle a little extra cinnamon over the top and bake again at 180 celsius for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp. This can take up to 40 minutes.

Allow to cool for about 15 if you can, the filling is seriously hot.

Serve with whipped cream…. Sublime I tell you. Here is another fantastic apple pie recipe

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs are simply delicious and perfect for breakfast or lunch with a nice salad. Having them in the fridge over weekends allows you to whip up a great meal in seconds but beware, they seldom last long enough. They are great hot or cold and take little effort to make. (6 scotch eggs)

What you need

6 hard boiled eggs
6 Eskort pork sausages
Breadcrumbs
Oil for frying

The process

Remove the meat from the pork sausages, add about ¼ cup of breadcrumbs to the sausage meat and combine well. Divide into 6 equal portions.

Place about a cup of breadcrumbs onto a plate.

Peel the eggs and cover with sausage meat, it should be about 1 to ½ cm thick. Then simply roll in the breadcrumbs to give them an even covering of breadcrumbs.

Tip: If the sausage meat sticks to your hands, just dip you hands into cold water and shake them off.

Place a pan with about 2cm of oil on a medium heat and cook the scotch eggs until they are golden brown.

Remove and set onto some kitchen paper to drain.

That’s it, your scotch eggs are done.

You should never need any salt or pepper because the sausage meat is already spiced, but what you can do is add finely chopped parsley or sage to the mixture just to give them a little something extra. You could also add some chili flakes if you like a little heat.

Here is a quick sausage recipe for sausage fans.

Italian style baked beans

Italian style baked beans

italian-baked-beans

Italian baked beans

Bean dishes are really under rated and this Italian style baked bean recipe with a golden crust is just fantastic. I must confess, I seldom cook beans but the idea that beans on their own can be a meal caught my eye and I just had to try it. They were very tasty but for me would be an accompaniment at a braai. It takes quite a bit of effort but is definitely worth it. It’s very morish. (Party size side dish for about 10 to 12 people or 6 people as a meal)

What you need

400g tin Cannellini beans
400g tin kidney beans, red ones
2 x 400g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
250g bacon chopped
2 medium onions halved and sliced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
½ cup red wine
1 cup water
Palm chopped Basil
Palm chopped Parsley
2 cups breadcrumbs
Parmesan cheese

The process

Cook the bacon in a pan over a medium to high heat until lightly browned, add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are transparent. Remove from the pan, wipe it with paper towel to remove most of the fat and then return the mixture to the pan.

Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced by about ½ (5 minutes or so) Stir from time to time. Drain the beans.

Add the tomatoes straight from the tin with all the liquid, the water and the beans. Bring it to the boil and add the parsley and basil, mix to combine evenly.

Place the mixture into a large oven dish and cover with breadcrumbs, leaving about ½ cup till the end. Bake in a 180 Celsius oven for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and with a spoon, partly mix some of the breadcrumbs into the mixture. Now add the last of the breadcrumbs, give it a good sprinkling of grated parmesan and return to the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.

Do I hear gourmet braai? Yes please. italian food lovers, take a look at these pasta recipes

Tuna pasta bake

Tuna pasta bake

Tuna pasta bake

Tuna pasta bake

This tuna pasta bake recipe is really fantastic. Don’t be put off by the milk flavoring process, it takes a few minutes but makes a huge difference to the flavor. This is another one of those recipes that should be printed and kept, it will feature regularly, is inexpensive to make and a really great tasting dish. You can use tinned tuna or tinned salmon. ( for 4 hungry people)

What you need

200g dry shell pasta (shells, twirly ones or even penne)
4/5 sprigs of parsley
1 small onion roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
8 black pepper corns
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons white wine or chicken stock
1 tablespoon granular mustard
450g tinned tuna or salmon
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs

The process

Cook your pasta in a large pot until al dente, drain and set aside.

In a pot on a medium to high heat, add the milk, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves and parsley and bring it to the boil. Remove from the stove and set aside with a lid on for about 5 minutes or so. Strain the milk into a bowl and toss out the onion and spices.

Now add the butter and flour to a large pot on a medium heat and whisk to make a roux, whick like crazy and don’t allow it to brown. Add the milk and onion mix you have just made gradually, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the flour is completely dissolved and the mixture begins to boil and thicken.

Now mix in the wine or chicken stock and the mustard and combine well. Remove from heat, add the tuna and the pasta and mix well.

Place the mixture into an oven dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese that have already been mixed together and bake in a 180 Celsius oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is browned.

Herbed Pasta-Tuna Bake on FoodistaIt’s a really delicious meal this one, serve with a salad. if you like this type of recipe, your will also love the Chicken and broccoli bake recipe.

Meatballs with Ratatouille

Meatballs with Ratatouille

Meatballs with ratatouille

Meatballs with ratatouille

This is budget cooking at it’s best that tastes fantastic. The meatballs recipe and the ratatouille recipe can be used together or separately and you can use whatever starch you have available. It’s a great recipe to serve with creamy mashed potato, rice, potato bake or even just some nice warm ciabatta. (4 people)

What you need

Meatballs

1/2kg beef mince
1 small onion finely chopped or grated
1 heaped teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ cup breadcrumbs

For a little something special if you have a lemon in the fridge, finely grate about ½ teaspoon of lemon rind as well.

Ratatouille

1 large onion sliced thickly and halved
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 green pepper sliced
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
1 cup roughly chopped baby marrows
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup vegetable or chicken stock

The process

Mix all of the Meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Take dessert spoons of the mixture and roll them into small balls that you could easily pop whole into your mouth.

In a pan on a medium heat, add a little oil and fry the meatballs until they are nicely browned all over. Give the pan a shake to move them around every now and then. Set aside on kitchen paper to drain.

Heat a little more oil in the pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft.

Add the rest of the chopped vegetables and cook them all until the green pepper is quite soft. Now add the tinned tomatoes with all the liquid, the stock and tomato paste, simmer for 10 minutes or so until the sauce thickens up a bit.

Place the meatballs on top of the mixture and simmer for another few minutes to heat the meatballs.

That’s that, serve straight from the pot. Try the meatballs with onion gravy or the spaghetti meatballs while you are making meatballs.