Chickpea lamb

Chickpea lamb

chicpea-lambChickpeas are so good for you and in the winter we need every last natural vitamin and mineral we can get to keep colds and flu away and here is a great recipe. It’s go a nice bite to it and smacks of North Africa. It needs some marinate time so prepare the night before or in the morning. It doesn’t take long to cook. (enough for 4)

What you need

6-700g lamb fillet thinly sliced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
60ml oil
Grated rind of 2 large lemons
Juice of 2 large lemons
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 red pepper thinly sliced
1 can chickpeas (420g)

The process

In a large bowl make a marinade by adding the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili, lemon rind and 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced lamb and mix to coat well. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Drain the liquid from the chickpeas, rinse under cold water and set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil in a pan on a hot heat and stir fry small amounts of lamb and onions to brown well, remove and set aside.

Now stir fry the red peppers for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the lamb and onions along with the chickpeas and lemon juice, toss around until evenly distributed.

That’s it.

Serve with couscous and stir fried spinach.

Mothers day crepes

Mothers day crepes

mothers-day-breakfastEvery Mom should, at the very least be treated to a fabulous breakfast in bed or a lunch made by her loving children. Here are a few ideas that are really easy, can be used for both breakfast or lunch and your Mom will appreciate all the effort more than any gift you could buy her. The best part is they are so simple, you will have plenty of time to tell her how much you appreciate her.

What you need

Crepes

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar (if you are making sweet crepes)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (if you are making sweet crepes)

Filling

1 punnet Fresh raspberries or any berries really
60ml water
2 tablespoons of sugar

gently heated until the liquid is syrupy but the fruit still firm.

The process

Add all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until the mixture is thoroughly mixed, thin and liquid. If you are using a hand whisk it will take max 2 minutes and about 1 minute with an electric mixer.

Heat a pan on a medium heat, spray liberally with spray and cook and allow to heat.

Pour in enough crepe mixture to thinly coat the base of the pan, cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the top appears slightly rubbery and the base is lightly browned (check with your spatula), turn and cook for another 30- seconds or so.

Place some of the syrupy fruit mixture in the center, fold or roll the crepe, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and that’s that, a happy Mom.

If you want to make savoury crepes for lunch here are a few ideas.

Creamy chicken crepes

Steam chicken breasts until cooked through and cut into small pieces.

Make this white sauce and season to taste, and mix in the chicken pieces.

Fill crepes and add extra sauce to the top of the crepe. Top off with some fresh parsley

You can also make the cheese sauce top off with extra cheese and place under the grill for a minute or two.

Minestrone soup

Minestrone soup

minestrone

Minestrone

This is a very old real Italian minestrone recipe that is full of flavor and is a meal on it’s own. It serves 4 with some left over for a late night snack. It may sound like a lot of work when you read the ingredients list, but really, it’s just chopping and really well worth it. It’s traditional and a perfect winter soup. In fact you should always have a nice veg soup of some kind in the winter, helps keep the pesky flu away.

What you need

2 onions finely chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 sticks celery chopped
2 large potatoes chopped into squares
100g green beans chopped
250g cabbage shredded
125ml olive oil
3 tablespoons butter(45g)
1 ¼ litres water
3 cubes beef stock
2 tins peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tin cannelini beans
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot, add onions and cook till the edges start turning brown. Add the carrots and potatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, cabbage, water and tomatoes, then break up the stock cubes and crumble them into the pot. Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for covered for 1-1 ½ hours.

The soup should be fairly thick at this point, if it is not leave the lid off and simmer for a further 15 minutes, now add the beans, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 15 minutes.

We like to serve it with garlic bread and a little parmesan.

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita

raita

cucumber raita

This is a fantastic little extra for any curry and takes just a few minutes from start to finish. If you are having a hot curry, you are going to thank me… Try it with a traditional biryani or any of the many other curries on the site just do a search for “curry”.

What you need

1 cup cucumber diced into small cubes
1 large onion halved and finely sliced
3 roasted garlic cloves chopped
1 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh mint finely chopped
salt

The process

Place whole garlic cloves or a whole buld in a 180 Celsius oven for about 20 minutes to roast. Do more than 1 bulb, the sweetness of the roast garlic is excellent with chicken or a good steak.

Combine garlic and youghurt in a bowl and mix well.

Add the rest of the ingredients,mix well and then season with a little salt.

You can also add a chopped fresh green chili if you are a heat freak but I prefer it just like this.

For your curries you need a good Tandoori Masala, make your own Tandoori Masala

White sauces

White sauces

cheese-sauce

Cheese sauce

White sauces are really easy to make and are generally used to coat veggies or variations like a mushroom sauce or mstard sauce for meat and fish. I usually use a plain white sauce over poached smoked haddock for breakfast and it’s become a staple breakfast. There is a cheese and a mushroom sauce below. This amount of sauce should be enough to smother veggies, meat or fish for 4 people.

The basics are that you use the same amount of flour and butter.

Basic white sauce (Bechamel)

What you need for 250ml sauce

1 heaped tablespoon butter
1 heaped tablespoon flour
250ml milk
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat the butter in a pan over a medium to low heat until the butter is foamy.

Add the flour and whisk constantly for about 2 minutes. You want to cook the flour but not brown it.

Then begin adding the milk in a stream whicking constantly until the lumps have dissapeared and the sauce is smooth and glossy and begun to thicken nicely.

Season with salt and pepper.

That’s the basic sauce done.

If you are going to let it stand and want to prevent a skin forming, take a lump of butter and with a fork melt a little over the entire surface.

A classic spinach and ricotta lasagna use bechamel or a light cheese sauce

Cheese sauce

Make the bechamel and add 4 tablespoons of grated cheese. if you are using a strong cheese like parmesan or gruyere taste after each tablespoon.

Whisk until completely melted and smother you favorite veggies, eggs, fish…..

Easy hey!!!

Mushroom sauce

take about 60g off finely sliced mushrooms and add 2 tablespoons of water, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper. Gently simmer them until they are soft.

Add the bechamel sauce

Smother a steak or quick roasted chicken pieces…

Simple and delicious.

Pickled fish

Pickled fish

pickled fish recipe

Pickled Fish

Pickled fish is a great thing to have in the fridge for weekends when you just want to put your feet up and veg out. Make a quick salad or some potato salad, a nice piece of pickled fish and everyone is happy. It’s not very difficult and certainly better than anything from a tin!

What you need

2kg Kabeljou/yellowtail or kingklip cut into portions
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Sauce

3 large onions sliced
200ml brown vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 or 5 bay leaves

The process

Season the fish portions with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil on medium and cook the fish fillets for about 5 minutes until white and beginning to brown.

Remove from the oil and place on some kitchen paper to drain.

Add all the rest of the sauce ingredients to the hot oil and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly and until well blended.

Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary, then remove from heat.

Place the fish fillets in a casserole dish or any flat dish and cover liberally with all of the sauce. Turn the fish to ensure that they are covered completely in the sauce and then cover the dish and set aside in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow the flavour to really impregnate the fish and develop fully.

For a stronger flavour, just leave it for another 12 hours. (If you can)

Braised Cape malay chicken

Braised Cape malay chicken

braised_chickenThis is the real flavour of the Cape, a traditional Cape malay dish that is so tasty you will have trouble letting it finish cooking. There are quite a few ingredients that nake up the Masala and the best place is Atlas trading in Cape Town (It’s great just for the experience)it’s spicy and perfect for those cold winter evenings.(serves 6 hungry people)

What you need

1 1/2kg chicken pieces
125ml oil
2 medium potatoes quartered
2 medium onions finely chopped
200ml Water

Masala
4 or 5 cloves garlic
4cm piece fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chilis
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons leaf masala
1 tespoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons peri peri sauce

The process

Take all of the Masala ingredients, place them in a pestle and mortar and crush them into a paste, add a little drizzle of oil if need be.

Rub the chicken pieces with the Masala and set aside in a large bowl to rest.

Add the oil to a pot on a medium heat and brown the potatoes on all sides, remove and set aside.

Add the onions and cook until beginning to brown. Now add the chicken pieces and cook, turning frequently for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the water and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes or so with the lid off until the potatoes are soft and some of the water has evaporated.

Try it with this yellow rice recipe.

A true Taste of Cape Town.

Fish Frikkadels

Fish Frikkadels

fishfrikkadelsThese are really delicious as a meal or as a snack with a dipping sauce but best of all they are cheap to make and have a freshness that is very unexpected. You will never again buy frozen fish cakes…. trust me. (enough for 4 people)

What you need

3 slice white bread
water
500g hake
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 medium inion grated
1 firm tomato grated
1 egg beaten
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
palm of fresh chopped parsley (about 2 heap[ed tablespoons)

Oil for frying

The process

Remove the crusts of the bread and soak in water. remove from the water and squeeze out as much as possible.

Place the soaked bread into a large mixing bowl.

Chop up the hake into small pieces, almost mincing the fish and add to the soaked bread along with all the rest of the ingredients.

Mix to distribute all of the ingrededients evenly and then form into patties.

Heat about 3cm of oil in a pan on a medium heat and fry the frikkadels until golden on each side. Should be about 4 minutes on each side.

these are truly yummy, serve with mash, salad, veg, anything that grabs your fancy really depending on which meal you are having.

Another traditional South African meal is Denningvleis, its rich and spicy but not hot.

Tomato bredie

Tomato bredie

tomato_bredie

Tomato Bredie

This is Farm food at it’s best I tell you and will even have vegetarians questioning their choices! It’s a rich meaty stew with a slight sweetness that makes it impossible to stop eating until it is finished. I remember tomato Bredie from my childhood and this tomato bredie recipe hit the mark! (enough for ,6 or 4 hungry people)

What you need

2 large onions halved and thinly sliced
1 kg lamb or mutton knuckles
2 tins peeled chopped tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 large dry red chili crushed(optional)
50ml tomato paste
4 medium potatoes quartered
2 tablespoons sugar
Oil

The process

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil on a medium heat in a large pot and cook the onions until they start to brown on the edges.

Add the knuckles, stir them around for a while and then place the lid on and cook for 40 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so. The meat should be browned and pretty much cooked.

Add the tomatoes and crush any large pieces (you can also crush up the tomatoes or even puree them slightly before adding). Add chili, tomato paste, garlic and salt, stir and let it simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes and simmer for a further 20 minutes until they are tender.

Lastly add the sugar, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Thats it, you have the most delicious bredie you have ever tasted.

Serve with rice or Mash (my favorite)

It does not freeze well becuase of the potatoes so eat as much as you can or finish off the next day. You might want to give the sticky beef casserole which uses coke in the recipe if you like this type of food.

Chicken and sweet potato curry

Chicken and sweet potato curry

chicken-sweet-potato-curry

Chicken sweet potato curry

This is a really delicious curry and the sweet potatoes, ginger and coconut milk give it a distinct Thai flavour. If you are a lover of Oriental flavours this one is for you. Serve it with jasmine rice for a little extra fragrance. It can also be served with noodles but the doesn’t do the sauce justice. (For 4 people)

What you need

500g skinless chicken breasts sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
6cm piece fresh ginger grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
250g sweet potatoes diced
500ml coconut milk
½ tin chopped peeled tomatoes
Palm of chopped coriander

The process

In a wok or large pan heat a little oil, add the chicken sliced and stir fry for 4 or 5 minutes until the chicken is white.

Now add the curry paste, garlic, ginger and lemon juice and stir fry for a minute or so to combine the flavours.

Add the sweet potato pieces and coconut milk, bring to the boil, reduce to a medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

The sauce should be thick and reduced and smell incredible.

Serve immediately.