Quick chicken parmagiana

Quick chicken parmagiana

parmesan chicken

Chicken Parmagiana

This one is really quick and tastes fantastic. The parmesan in the crispy crumbs is seriously moreish. It is a perfect weekday treat and only takes minutes to prepare. It’s Italian food in the real spirit of Italian cooking, tasty, quick and easy to prepare. Give it a try!

What you need

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
Good grind of black pepper (about 1 teaspoon)
1 egg beaten
2 cups tomato pasta sauce (bottled or see here)
Pinch dried basil
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch garlic powder
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese(optional)

The process

Take each chicken breast, cover it with cling film and pound it gently with an empty bottle or rolling pin to flatten to about 1-1 ½ cm thick.

Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan on a plate and stir around to distribute evenly.

Beat the egg in a bowl, dip each breast into the egg, shake off excess and coat with the breadcrumb mixture, set aside and repeat to coat well.

Heat some oil in a pan on a medium heat and fry each piece until golden brown on the outside. Do not make the oil too hot or the crumbs will burn and the chicken will not cook properly.

Sauce

Heat the tomato sauce in a pot, add the herbs and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Place the chicken on top of a some tomato sauce and top with a little mozzarella and place under the grill to melt.

It’s really a fantastic flavour combination even without the mozzarella.

Serve with lightly steamed vegetables that have a little of the sauce over them.

Coconut beef curry

Coconut beef curry

coconut-beef-curry

Coconut beef curry

I went to this restaurant in JHB and had the most fantastic cocnut beef curry that I just had to try and reproduce it. This was pretty close and I can tell you I really enjoyed it. It’s a hot version which for some reason the coconut seems to calm.

What you need

2 large onions grated
3 cloves crushed garlic
10 small dried red chili’s
10cm piece fresh ginger grated

2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
pinch nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon salt

750g rump or sirloin trimmed of fat cut into cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups dessicated coconut
5 cloves
400ml (1 tin) coconut milk
1 cup water
Oil for frying

The process

Add the onions, garlic, chilis and ginger to a pestle and mortar and grind to a paste. (If you dont have one, chop up the chilis and mix with the back of a spoon to form a paste)

In a pot on a medium heat with a splash of oil cook the paste for about 3 minutes, add the seeds, nutmeg and salt stir to combine and cook for a further 3 minutes until the room is filled with oriental smells.

Add the meat and cook for a further 4 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients, reduce the heat tolow and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The sauce should be thick and the meat tender.

Serve with rice.

Roast brisket

Roast brisket

slow-roast-brisket

fantastic roast brisket

Brisket that has been slow roasted is incredibly soft and tender and this recipe has a fantastic smoky, sweet and spicy outside which is delectably irresistible. Have this as a main meal and be sure to leave a few slices to have on sandwiches made with some nice rye bread and a generous smothering of mustard.

What you need

2 1/2 kg brisket
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
6 cloves minced garlic (2 teaspoons or so)
1 packet clear onion soup powder

2 carrots roughly chopped
1 large onion roughly chopped

The process

Empty the onion soup powder into a bowl and add the honey, paprika and garlic. Mix to form a paste.

Coat the outside of the brisket with the paste and rub it into the meat very well.

Place the brisket into a cast iron roasting dish, toss in the vegetables, put on the lid and place in a hot 220 Celsius oven for 3 hours.

Then remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 180 Celsius and roast for a further 1 hour or until the exterior is well browned. (It may begin to look very dark but that is the sweet and spicy crust as it should be)

Before slicing, let the roast rest in the roasting pan for at least 1/2 an hour. This ensures that the juices do not flow out when sliced and retains the juicyness.

Serve hot or cold.

Try this unbelievable braised brisket recipe.

Champagne cocktail

Champagne cocktail

champagne-cocktail

Champagne cocktail

It’s celebration time! New years celebrations mean one thing, and that is lots and lots of champagne. Try these champagne cocktails for some variety. There is a sweet one, a dark one, a traditional champagne cocktail and then the good old Mimosa.

Traditional Champagne cocktail

1 sugar cube
1 teaspoon brandy
Chilled champagne
cherry to garnish

Place the sugar cube in the glass and pour over the teaspoon of brandy, Fill with bubbles.

Kir Royale Champagne cocktail

1/2 shot kir royale
Champagne
Cherry to garnish

Fill a glass with champagne and the pour in the Kir Royale, drop in a glace cherry.

Black velvet

Stout or guiness
Champagne

Fill the glass to 1/2 with champagne and then top with stout or guiness

Mimosa

The old favorite, 1/2 champagne and half orange juice.

Have a fnatstic time over New year!

Christmas turkey

Christmas turkey

christmas roast turkey

Christmas turkey

It’s that time of year again that we get all excited and prepared for the Christmas lunch or dinner food fest and of course the turkey is the most important part. Cooking a turkey can be a little intimidating faced with a 5kg bird that needs to be done to perfection. It’s really is not that difficult, just be patient and give yourself plenty of time.

What you need

Preperation

This is a tip that I picked up on Nigellas program that works extremely well to keep the turkey moist and is really no fuss. Take a large bucket of cold water the day before, toss in a quartered onion, a quartered lemon, a few cloves and a few chopped celery sticks, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of salt and a cinnamon stick and a handful of black pepper corns, unwrap your turkey and soak it in the bucket, in the fridge overnight.

Remove from the water, place on a rack to drain off the water and dry the skin thoroughly.

What you need

5kg Turkey
250g melted butter
1 large onion quartered
Salt and pepper

The process

Once the turkey skin is thoroughly dried, place in a roasting pan. Pour over the melted butter and rub it all over the turkey, then season it well with salt and pepper (don’t be shy here) and stuff the oinion quarters into the cavity.

Cover the turkey with tin foil and place in a preheated 200 Celsius oven for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, spoon some of the juices over the breasts, reduce the heat to 180 and roast for a further 1 hour checking to see that the skin is browning nicely and basting with the juices every 20 minutes or so.

For the vegetables, I like to do

1. The perfect roast potatoes of course

2. Green beans that have been lightly steamed (still crunchy) that have been tossed in crisp bacon bits and butter.

3. Cinnamon and syrup roast pumpkin

Cut the pumpkin into 3-4 cm cubes, place in a roating pan, dot bits of butter around the pumpkin, sprinkle with cinnamon and trickle over the maple syrup, roast for about 40 minutes at 180 Celsius under the turkey.

Here is a Christmas glazed gammon recipe , a Christmas cake recipe and of course, perfect roast potatoes.

See all of the Christmas recipe ideas

Steak and avocado salad

Steak and avocado salad

steak avo salad

Steak and avocado salad

This is a salad with a difference, crunchy potatoes, avo and a mustard dressing. It’s really good and a substantial meal that takes just a few minutes to prepare. The aged steaks available at Pick n Pay or Woolies are such great quality and so tender these days that a good piece of rump does the trick but of course a piece of fillet is for a special occasion. Good for 4 people.

What you need

600-700g rump or fillet
Salt and pepper
300g pack of baby spinach leaves
2 avocado’s

2 large potatoes
2 tablespoons oil
1 heaped tablespoon butter

Dressing
2 teaspoons granular mustard
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon brown sugar
90ml olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
90 ml cream

The process

Steak
Season the steak with salt and pepper and cook to your liking. Let it rest for abiut 10 minutes and then slice into thin strips across the grain.

Potatoes
Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes about 1-2cm. In a pan on a medium heat add the oil and butter together, fry the potatoes until golden brown, remove and drain on a paper towel.

Dressing
Add all of the ingredients to a small pot over a low heat. Heat through and mix well then remove from the heat.

Combine the spinach leaves, chopped up avo and potatoes, mix together and drizzle over a little of the dressing. Add the steak slices and pour over the rest of the dressing.

It’s a truly delicious salad recipe.

Beef and haloumi kebabs

Beef and haloumi kebabs

beef and haloumi kebabs

Kebabs make a great change when serving steak and the creamy haloumi just adds to the experience. For the braai or the stove, these are really fanatstic. Beef and Haloumi go so well together, I am surprised you don’t see it in restaurants.

What you need

1kg rump steak
350g haloumi cheese
Big pinch of chopped fresh thyme
Palm full of chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic crushed
50ml lemon juice
100ml olive oil

The process

Place your wooden/bamboo skewers in water whicle you prepare the meat so they don’t burn.

In a large bowl place the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and chopped herbs and mix well.

Cut the steak and haloumi into 2-3cm cubes and place into the marinade for about 10-15 minutes making sure that each piece is well coated with the marinade.

Thread pieces of steak and haloumi on the skewers.

In a large pan heat some oil for frying and cook until nicely browned all over. Of course these are great for the braai as well.

Serve them with boiled baby potatoes that have been tossed in some butter, fresh parsley and plenty of salt and a little wilted seasoned spinach.

If you like to braai, try this pork rib marinade.

Classic Italian sauce

Classic Italian sauce

Italian tomato pasta sauce

Italian tomato pasta sauce

This really is a fantastic pasta sauce that takes just minutes tp prepare and can be added to any pasta you have in your cupboard. It’s a really good pasta sauce to make and freeze in portions for when you just have time for a quick meal.  (4 portions)

You Need

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
1 400g chopped peeled tomatoes
4 cloves garlic quartered
salt and pepper
500g spaghetti
large handful fresh basil leaves ripped
Parmesan

The process

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes, or until the oil separates fromt he tomato. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warm serving dish.

Pour the sauce over the pasta. Add the basil and toss well to mix. Serve with Parmesan.